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Magazine Recipe Nostalgia   Go to last post Go to last unread
#1 Posted : Saturday, October 17, 2020 12:49:21 AM(UTC)

I'm 58 years old, the youngest of 4. My parents both grew up working class/working poor. While they owned a shop, we were essentially still working class/working poor. It was a small mininig town and everyone rose and fell with the fortunes of the mines. And during strikes... well... there were times that there was meat on the table because my Dad poached a deer or an elk. Before anyone gets up in arms, this was Montana of the 60's, and if my father was poaching a deer, it wasn't because hunting must be limited, but for the cost of the hunting license.

Anyway, that is all prelude to the fact that in spite of their humble upbringings, my parents were foodies! Sundays were regularly dedicated to food experiments accompanied by music (show toons, American songbook or jazz greats like Hoagy Carmichael or Louis Armstong).

Many of the recipes they tried came from Woman's Day and Family Circle, which in those days, appeared each month with a themed cookbook in the middle, designed to be torn out and saved, half the width of the magazine, and printed on paper somewhere between newspaper and construction paper. Themes might be an ingredient (like ham), a holiday (Christmas) a technique (Barbecue) or a source (White House Recipes). They were designed to be torn out, punched and saved in a 3-ring binder (which my parents did). This link shows one of what I am talking about (and I think my parents might have saved this one):


Other recipes came from Life Magazine.

The collection, in a 3-ring binder, indexed for tried and want-to-try recipes, went missing after my Mom's death. We only have the recipes we'd asked for and traded back and forth between us kids, which were of course, the best of them.

Which brings me back to my point. Does anyone have a nostalgiac memory of magazine or newspaper recipes, from before the era of cooking and gourmet magazines they'd like to share?

I'll start, and all of these came from Woman's Day, Family Circle or Life Magazine:

Gouda Beer Cheese Spread (from the White House, purportedly from the Eisenhower WH).

Roast Beef Teriyaki (from Life Magazine)

Scrapple (Pennsylvania Dutch dish - RECIPE LOST - but many online)

Bavarian Beef (sort of a quick Saurbraten)

Meat-za Pie (essentially a meatloaf, made in a pie tin and topped like a pizza)

Oxtail Stew (never made myself, too much work, not to mention buying the ox tails)

Canneloni (including a Mornay sauce recipe)

Gnocchi (RECIPE LOST, but many online and multiple types)

Polvorones (or Russian Teacakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, sometimes called Snow Balls)

#2 Posted : Saturday, October 17, 2020 7:26:10 PM(UTC)

My recipe nostalgia is from my first years of cooking thanksgiving dinners.  I would buy Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines and mark the recipes to try.

None of these has become an annual tradition but the joy of choosing what recipes to make for special dinners has continued. Once I came upon a stash of old Gourmet magazines from the '70s and '80s at the library book sale.  Bought several copies and truly enjoyed these. Excellent writing and the photos were about the food not the "image" or people gathered. I loved it and it gave me great appreciation for that era of the magazine.

#3 Posted : Sunday, October 18, 2020 8:38:18 AM(UTC)

Growing up in Ottawa, I clearly remember my mom buying Canadian Living at the supermarket (1st published in 1975) and cooking from it often.  I'm quite sure that many of the recipes I have of hers known as "My mom's...." (including her - and now my -  famous lemon squares) came from CL.  Also, the only turkey stuffing I will ever make is copied onto a card - I then came across it in an older CL cookbook that I acquired a few years ago.   

I am now doing some reading on the history of the magazine and just learned that in the beginning it was partially financed and then owned (for how long I can't find) by the Labatt's Brewing Company - how Canadian is that? :) 

Of course Canadian Living is still going strong with many of its food editors etc becoming common place names in Canadian cooking (including Anne Lindsay, Daphna Rabinovich, Lucy Waverman, Elizabeth Baird, Bonnie Stern, Emily Richards etc).  I do not subscribe anymore but I still collect the annual holiday editions.

#4 Posted : Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:13:56 AM(UTC)

Yes, the Collector's Cook Book from Woman's Day!

Sorry to hear of your loss, Fyretigger. That's the kind of loss that hurts more than it's logically supposed to hurt.

#5 Posted : Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:09:54 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: bittrette Go to Quoted Post
Sorry to hear of your loss, Fyretigger. That's the kind of loss that hurts more than it's logically supposed to hurt.

Thank you for your kind thoughts. My Mother actually died 10 years ago now, and the disappearence of the 3-ring binder was about the same time. My posting wasn't about immediate grief, but rather a moment of longer term nostalgia. Your recognizing the "Collector's Cookbook" warmed my heart.

While I'm sure we lost a few things with the loss of the 3-ring binder, even if it was just the recipes my parents wanted to try, the best recipes survive. I'm the current keeper of the family cookbook, which now exists primarily in digital form. It now runs to 200 pages. And it won't be lost, because every few months as changes get made, it goes out to the family. When my time is done, another will take up the mantle and become the keeper.

#6 Posted : Saturday, December 19, 2020 11:13:55 AM(UTC)

I don't know that I have any treasured recipes that meet ALL these criteria, but I do have a few recipes from BOOKS from before the present era of home cookery, as well as somewhat less old recipes whose online accessibility has been compromised.

I'll talk about the books first. My go-to recipe for meat sauce for pasta comes from the 10th edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, published in 1960.

My go-to recipe for meatballs is from a 1971 cookbooklet from Better Homes and Gardens that I got with a tube of Prell Concentrate.

I also have a go-to macaroni-and-beans recipe of similar vintage but I don't remember where I got it.

There really is something to hoarding old magazines with recipes: a while back I was looking for uses for a jumbo muffin pan, and when I was leafing through a Family Circle from the 1990's  I found my recipe. A recipe for bread pudding that I converted from an 8x8" pan to jumbo muffin cups.

I wondered whether it was online. It is, at the Parents magazine website. But there it has a fatal flaw: a typo that reduces the amount of sugar to 1 Tbsp.

You can't post a comment at Parents unless you're a subscriber, and if you try to subscribe to Parents they ask you the number and ages of your children. I have no children, and I'm not a good liar.

So I emailed the editors pointing out the error. They sent the usual reply that they would get to it. I haven't checked up lately.

But without the old copy of Family Circle I could never have had success with that recipe.

#7 Posted : Saturday, December 19, 2020 6:57:02 PM(UTC)

What a great topic. This took me down memory lane. I grew up as an only child (after my sister died of childhood cancer) in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. My mom cooked very plain, mostly American style meals on a rotating schedule, with fish on Fridays (on sale because of Catholic policy to abstain from meat on Friday) and the inevitable pot roast on Sundays. I vividly remember my mom discovering 60's style convenience cooking, not with TV dinners, but with boxes like Shake n' bake for making oven fried chicken. My mom owned a couple cookbooks, including Joy of Cooking, but rarely used them.
I wasn't encouraged to cook. My mom told me I'd be cooking soon enough. So, my senior year in college,  in 1973, when I had my first apartment and a roommate, also a cooking novice, we relied on Betty Crocker and Sunset (Magazine) Cookbooks.
My first one was Betty Crocker's Cooking For Two where I learned how to make meatloaf and beef stroganoff. I added to the collection with additional Betty Crocker themed cook books and didn't venture much further until I bought a spiral bound cookbook of popular dishes from Portland restaurants, including one of salmon baked in herb butter from Jake's Crawfish Restaurant ( original McCormick & Schmick's). Another discovery was Lahana Sarma and Yaprak Sarma stuffing from Kitchen Kettle, which I'd enjoyed at the restaurant but didn't know how to make. That cookbook opened my eyes to the possibilities of home cooking beyond basic American fare.

Fryetigger, I'm envious of the venison you enjoyed throughout your growing up years. I never tasted deer meat until I moved to Germany. That's when I discovered it and it's still one of my favorite foods.  

#9 Posted : Saturday, December 19, 2020 11:09:43 PM(UTC)

If you want to try that pudding, go to the Parents magazine website and look for Blueberry Bread Pudding. Where the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp sugar, read 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar.

#8 Posted : Saturday, December 19, 2020 11:53:28 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: mharriman Go to Quoted Post
Fryetigger, I'm envious of the venison you enjoyed throughout your growing up years. I never tasted deer meat until I moved to Germany. That's when I discovered it and it's still one of my favorite foods. 

You know, I don't particularly remember the taste of venison. And the last time I had it, was actually Rocky Mountain Oysers (I'll let folks look that one up).

Generally, I've never cared for organ meat -- kidney, heart, liver, whatever, with an exception for giblet gravy. But I distinctly remember that the year my father managed to snag a Moose license, and then bagged one, that liver was amazing, sweet and delicate.

I now live in Silicon Valley in California, and there is a local German butcher, Ditmer's, that carries all manner of game and exotic meat and house made sausages, and will even custom make sausage to a family recipe for a minimum order. And while I've never done it, they even make a limited number of Treducken each year:

#10 Posted : Monday, December 21, 2020 10:46:52 AM(UTC)
Dittmer's looks like a real find. The closest butcher shop like that near me is probably in New Jersey, D'Artagnan's. I've bought their deer meat from my local butcher shop in northern Virginia. They stock it their freezer case. I can never quite replicate the venison recipes I ate in Germany, but have come close enough to enjoy it. It's also expensive, making it a special once-in-a-while treat.

Thank you for posting your special memories of family and recipes.
#11 Posted : Monday, December 21, 2020 12:37:07 PM(UTC)

I have been clipping newspaper recipes and writing down recipes from magazines since my mid teens. My family was a military family so we moved around quite a bit.  And I met many women who took me in as a younger sister to show me how to make some of their dishes.  Learned some PA Dutch style foods living in the area esp bot boi, sticky butter cake,  a German wife of a military man had me over for dinners 2-3 times a week and she taught me her German style of cooking from Hamburg region, our next door woman who was from Mexico showed me how to make simple beef tacos using ground beef which I still make all the time because it is the best tasting ground beef tacos along with cheater's way to make hot taco sauce since it was not possible to find dry chiles overseas in early times, and many other women who were older than me who taught me their specialties in Asia. I was a sponge for taste and learning new way of cooking. I am forever thankful to their generosity in sharing and friendship.  

 I had a huge plastic bin full of clipped and written recipes but two years ago, I finally looked through them and threw all out.  I have my favorite recipes from those clippings as well as book recipes transferred to 3 sites for myself, friends, family members  and for anyone else who may be interested.  They are at pepperplate (only me),,  and  

#12 Posted : Monday, December 21, 2020 12:51:29 PM(UTC)

I like Dittmers too but another of my favorite is in Corralitos. It is a tiny town with this great tasting sausage market.

#13 Posted : Tuesday, December 29, 2020 2:17:45 AM(UTC)

I started collecting cooking magazines as a youngster in the UK - had dreams of becoming a home economist at one stage: Fanny & Johnny Craddock's cooking class.. I'd religiously used my pocket money every week to buy the issue, and had the whole series..80 issues with 5 olive green binders to store them in .. they were early 70s.. and recently had a re-release.. sadly when I left the parental home for married life at 17, and then left the UK for Oz they were left behind.. I often wonder about them!.. Addendum: just looked online for $$ value of the set .. should have held onto them! 800 pound!! One issue, $86 AUD!! My husbnad now understands why I don't throw books out!!

#14 Posted : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 6:58:36 PM(UTC)

I started collecting cookbooks in a helter-skelter way when I was newly out of college, in the early 70's, and couldn't afford to move out of my parents' place. They were mostly smallish books - mass-market paperbacks, and secondhand and remaindered books. A few  magazines. They were my hope chest. Most are not indexed at EYB.

#15 Posted : Friday, March 19, 2021 11:12:33 AM(UTC)

Fyretigger, what lovely memories.  I remember those 70s Collector's Cook Books vividly!  My mother subscribed, and still does at 85, to all those magazines, but she's not a foodie and seldom cooked from them.  I was the one, from the time I was six or seven, who read and saved the recipes, and occasionally made one if she let me.

I've always been a pack rat, but don't know if my collection from my childhood and teens still exists- it may be in my parents' attic.  I'd love to find it.  I remember that when I bought Jean Anderson's American Century Cookbook in the early 2000s a certain recipe was credited as coming from a Family Circle article on state fair prizewinners, and I immediately remembered it as one I'd saved.  

For a while in the 80s my parents subscribed to Bon Appetit, and again I was the one who read and saved it.  I was in high school and college by that time, so I was able to do more cooking.  I made some of those recipes for years after I was married- a French silk pie. Cornish hens with a cheddar butter under the skin. A few years back I found several 30-year-old issues on a library sale shelf.  I brought them home and reveled in the nostalgia.

#16 Posted : Friday, March 19, 2021 10:12:41 PM(UTC)

"I've always been a pack rat"

Me too. That's why I joined EYB

Now I remember where the mac-and -beans recipe came from. It was from a box of elbow macaroni..

#17 Posted : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:54:14 PM(UTC)
So disappointing to lose a family treasure. The thing about missing items is, they have a habit of resurfacing. The universe has a way of returning things to us when we least expect it, be hopeful and on the lookout for it.

My mom was a great cook but being a little pesky, I was never welcomed in the kitchen. Good food seemed to magically appear. One of my favorites she made was a dessert called “Coffee Toffee Pie”. It had a nutty, crunchy crust, coffee flavored filling and was topped with loads of whipped cream. I’ve asked her for the recipe, I recall it coming from the packaging of a pie crust box (strange recollection right, pie crust box?) but she couldn’t remember and that was ages ago. Maybe it’s time I ask her again, it’s still one of my favorite things that came out of her kitchen.

If anyone has a lead for this recipe, I’m happy to chase it. I haven’t had success with the versions I’ve found. The dessert of my youth, before calories and cholesterol were a thing.
#18 Posted : Saturday, October 9, 2021 12:43:33 AM(UTC)

I loved magazines and their recipes in the 70's. My favorites were Mary Cantwell's EAT column in Mademoiselle magazine, and an occasional publication called McCall's Cooking School. I think some of the cooking school recipes may also have been featured in the monthly magazine. I made many, and they were all good, but I think the only one I still make regularly is McCall's Gazpacho. I remember makng a Cassata Siciliana, and manicotti, and coveting the gorgeous cookware and presentation in the lush photos. They set me on my path as a dish collector and serious yard-saler/flea marketer, appreciating that the pans and dishes enhanced the whole cooking/dining experience.

The Cantwell columns were beautifully written. I still make many of her recipes, all excellent, and I learned so much more from her sophisticated, yet intimate, food essays. I was introduced to Dorothy Sayers' books, Bonnard's and Vuillard's paintings, MFK Fisher and Marcella Hazan. I still have books that I bought because she recommended them: Pearl Bailey's, Roy Andries de Groot, Edna Lewis, Alice B. Toklas. 

Those two magazines woke me up to the aesthetic and literary aspects of cookng, both of which still bring joy and satisfaction in my late sixties.

#19 Posted : Saturday, October 9, 2021 2:21:48 AM(UTC)

Love McCall's white plastic bound cooking school book.  Much more treasured than most new cookbooks being published now.  No isbn though. Foolproof and made lots of recipes from the book. Eggplant Italian Style is very simple and quick and it has been my go to recipe for over 4 decades.

Beside the book, I love McCalls Treasured Recipes approx. 3" x 4" cards.  I have the complete set and still use them. 

#20 Posted : Saturday, October 9, 2021 10:52:29 AM(UTC)

Rinshin, as a fellow military brat, I especially identified with your recollections.

I think all of the moving between continents and cultures helped us to recognize, appreciate, and tune-in to differences in foods and flavors. At three years old, I knew "bread" meant cornbread at my Arkansas grandmother's, a huge thin slice of buttered Mother's Pride, or Hovis cut into fingers at my British Nana's, and a crusty baguette at home in the French village where my own family was stationed with the USAF.

I am intrigued by your story of the ground beef tacos you learned. Would you be willing to share that recipe, please?

Thank you!

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