Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Looking back over 1950 in vintage cooking

Jerry Stratton, January 3, 2024

Distracted vintage chef: Last year’s vintage cookbook jealous of this year’s.; cookbooks; memes; food history; vintage cookbooks

On December 28 of last year, I posted A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023 and wrote that:

I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe from this calendar each month come January.

I didn’t use as many of these recipes as I would have liked. Life kept intruding, and new cookbooks kept beckoning. But I did manage to try July’s Banana Cream Whip recipe well after the Fourth, August’s Date-Peanut Butter Filling for summer guests, November’s Cranberry Ice Box Pudding for Thanksgiving, and December’s Fruited Peanut Butter Rolls for Christmas.

I remade October’s Bacon-Corn Fondue over the holidays, as I planned to do, although I didn’t use ham this time.

Given how few recipes there are per month, I do wonder how often members of the Hope Lutheran community brought the same dishes to get-togethers! Fortunately, making these recipes 73 years later I didn’t have to worry about someone else bringing the same one.

Independence Day’s Banana Cream Whip is such a lovely and simple recipe, I’m surprised it’s not in the Chiquita Banana Recipe Book.

Banana Cream Whip

Banana Cream Whip

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 1 hour
A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023
Hope Lutheran 1950 calendar of recipes (PDF File, 11.7 MB)


  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup whipping cream, whipped


  1. Mix bananas, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
  2. Fold in whipped cream.
  3. Chill.
  4. Serve as is, with sliced fruit, or sprinkled with granola.

Mash bananas, mix with lemon juice, sugar, and salt, and then fold in whipped cream. If you enjoy bananas and you enjoy ice cream, you’ll definitely enjoy this dessert. And it makes for a very refreshing after-barbecue sweet if you, as the calendar suggests, “Have Fourth in the Yard”. It probably wouldn’t work if you went to the “picnic grounds or the beach”, as the whipped cream will likely melt.

Apples with date-peanut butter filling: Apple wedges, with date-peanut butter filling from the 1950 Madison Wisconsin Hope Lutheran recipe calendar.; apples; dates; peanut butter

Apples, peanut butter, and dates are a great flavor combination.

Corn-Beef Fondue: Corn-Ground Beef Fondue from the 1950 Madison Wisconsin Hope Lutheran recipe calendar.; hamburger; ground beef; casseroles; corn; bread pudding

I don’t know if I used too large of a pan, or if it’s meant to have bread on the top.

Cranberry Ice Box Pudding: Cranberry Ice Box Pudding, from the 1950 Madison Wisconsin Hope Lutheran recipe calendar.; cranberries; pudding

Cranberry pudding, a great way to get your cranberries in for Thanksgiving.

Fruited Peanut Butter Rolls: Fruited Peanut Butter Rolls from the 1950 Hope Lutheran of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recipe calendar.; fifties; 1950s; raisins; peanut butter; figs

If you like fig newtons, you’ll like these.

August’s theme is a fascinating one for me; we never really had weekend guests in the summer. Possibly this is because Michigan, being surrounded on three sides by lakes, is not a state that gets traveled through much. And especially in 1950, if you wanted to go to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you’re more likely to go through Wisconsin than Michigan.

The mighty Mackinac Bridge wasn’t open until late 1957! You had to take a ferry. Ferries still run in the summer for crossing Lake Michigan. But it’s often just as fast to drive around the lake. If you lived south or west of Michigan, that was probably also true of Lake Superior before the Mackinac.

I already made August’s Meat and Olive Spread last year while testing the cookbook as a whole. This year I made the Date-Peanut Butter Filling when it was meant to be made. As might be expected of something made with dates and peanut butter, this was phenomenal as a spread for apple wedges.

It also made a nice sandwich spread, if a little rich, and was very nice on dark toast, as the slight char contrasts nicely with the date sweetness. It would probably be good on celery sticks.

In September and October, as the meme suggests, I was distracted by other cookbooks. But come November, I used two of these recipes for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. I made November’s Cranberry Ice Box Pudding for just what it was meant for. Thanksgiving, after all, “Calls for Company”. I had some oatmeal gingerbread cookies I’d gotten on sale instead of vanilla wafers; oatmeal ginger is a great flavor with cranberry, although a bit heavier than vanilla wafers.

The pudding would be good as a pie filling or even on its own in dessert glasses.

Independence Day bible quote: The Fourth of July bible quote from the 1950 Hope Lutheran recipe calendar: “Through God we shall do valiantly.”; Bible; Fourth of July; Independence Day

I remade October’s Bacon-Corn Fondue for Thanksgiving, because I was asked to bring a corn dish and I had been wanting to remake this one. It remains more a bread pudding or casserole than (what I think of as) a fondue. Instead of topping it with ham (or the bacon the recipe calls for) I used leftover ground beef. It’s easier to sprinkle over the dish; just about any chopped meat is likely to work, and not waste precious bacon.

When I first made it, I noted that I used a taller but smaller casserole dish. If you go back to that post you can see that there is no bread showing through. This time, I used a wider dish, and the bread did show through. Being able to pick what is basically toasted bread from the top may be what makes it a fondue to whoever wrote the recipe.

To round out the year, I made the Fruited Peanut Butter Rolls over Christmas, gifting a small plate of them to each of my siblings. These probably passed as a healthy snack back in 1950. There is no sugar added except for a dusting of powdered sugar for presentation. Without it—and especially before they’re shaped into rolls—they look very scatological.

All of the sweetness comes from equal amounts of dried prunes, figs, and raisins. Mine were very fig newton like: I chose this recipe partly to get rid of some chopped figs my dad had in his freezer. He did not have raisins on hand, so I replaced the raisins with more fig.

I’m guessing dried cranberries would be another great replacement for the raisins and would offset the sweetness nicely.

If you go back to my inaugural post I was looking forward to several recipes; the only one I got around to making was the Cranberry Ice Box Pudding. But even though I’ll be removing this calendar from my wall, I’ll be keeping it among my cookbooks. I’ll be looking for an opportunity again to make July’s Almond Jam Bars, September’s Princess Pudding, and October’s Harvest Pudding and Dutch Apple Cake.

The act of placing recipes within a calendar both adds fun to making them and provides interesting context. From the choice of holidays to list, to the kinds of foods to highlight for each month to the use of gelatin to make salads, this is a fascinating look at a very different time that we—at least those of us who didn’t live through it—don’t remember as being that different.

And while I failed to read them every day, the daily bible quotes were helpful. As I wrote in my Christmas post, this has been a year of slings and arrows outrageously slung. The daily quote was a helpful reminder of what we’re here for.

While I intended to make at least one recipe a month, after some great vintage finds from San Diego to San Antonio to St. Louis to Croton, Michigan, I didn’t manage it. But keep an eye out in 2024 for what distracted me in 2023! I’ve got some very cool stuff planned.

“Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.”

In response to A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023: In October, a friend gave me this cool calendar of recipes from 1950. It turns out, 1950 is the same as 2023, right down to the date of Easter. Print it out and hang it if you wish, and happy New Year!

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