Baked Bananas

I had several leftover bananas from making a Father’s Day banana pudding, so I decided to look in the 1942 Short Cuts and Left-Overs cookbook for new ideas on how to use them. I found a recipe that was fast and easy and tried it out.

Baked Bananas

Remove one section of the skin. Put fruit into pan. Sprinkle each banana with lemon juice and a little brown sugar. Bake until tender in hot oven.

Notes: This cookbook doesn’t list cooking temperatures and often doesn’t have ingredient amounts. We baked these at 350°F and guessed at the amount of lemon juice and brown sugar.

Results

We baked these until we were worried the peel would burn. The bananas were tender but not mushy and there was a sweet syrup inside the peel. This isn’t a pretty dish, but it would make a nice after school treat or a quick dessert. We ate ours right out of the peel, but you could slice or mush the fruit and put it on a sandwich with peanut butter or use it as a sundae topping.

We eat a lot of bananas in our house, and it’s always nice to find a new way to prepare them that’s quick and easy. Let me know if you try these.

Listen While You Work: Homefront Housewives and Radio

Home front housewives listened to a variety of radio programs during the day. It helped to pass the time when the day was full of household chores. Many of the shows they listened to, like “The Guiding Light”,  became television shows later on. Since many of us are staying home right now, I thought I would provide some links so you can listen to the same programs that a home front housewife would have enjoyed during the war years. 

The Guiding Light

“The Guiding Light” is probably a familiar name to many of you. After 1975 it was known as just “Guiding Light”. It is one of the longest-running broadcast programs in the United States. The radio portion of it ran from 1937 to 1956. You can find episodes to listen to by clicking the link below. 

The Guiding Light

One Man’s Family

This program actually ran once a week on Friday nights instead of during the day, but I’m including it here because of its popularity. It started in 1932 and ran until 1959, making it the longest-running uninterrupted dramatic serial in American radio history. It also had a shorter television run that began in 1949. It follows a family of 7 living in San Fransisco and you can find episodes below.  

One Man’s Family

Pepper Young’s Family

After a few name and format changes, “Pepper Young’s Family” could be heard on NBC from 1932 to 1959. The show was about a high school athlete, his family, and his friends. 

Pepper Young’s Family

Vic and Sade

“Vic and Sade” was a popular 15-minute program that aired two to three times per day, five days a week. It began in 1932 and lasted until 1946. It also later appeared on television. The link below will take you to recordings of episodes from 1940 and 1941. The program followed a middle-class family in Illinois.

Vic and Sade

Information, Please

“Information, Please” was a morning quiz show that began in 1938 and ended in 1951. The show had a panel of experts try to answer questions that had been submitted by listeners. Panels included three regulars and a guest panelist. The guests were well-known people like Fred Allen, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Alfred Hitchcock.  Prizes changed, but wartime episodes had prize packages that often included war bonds. The program was sponsored by Encyclopedia Britannica and winners received sets of encyclopedias.

Information, Please

Ma Perkins

Here is a bonus program. This weekday serial drama ran from 1933 to 1960. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any wartime episodes. I’ve linked to some both before and after the war if you’d like to listen. Ma Perkins was a widow with three children in a small southern town where she owned and operated a lumber yard. 

Ma Perkins 

This is a 1947 Stewart Warner radio that my 16 year old son and I are restoring. It belonged to my husband’s grandparents. It has a radio and record player inside. The two lower side doors are storage compartments.

Sources

Oldtimeradiodownloads.com and archive.org are terrific websites to explore old radio programs, period music, and more. The above radio programs are linked to one of these locations. There is great stuff to be found with a little exploring. I hope you enjoy these radio programs as much as I do.

Escalloped Potatoes Hungarian Style

Today’s recipe is from the 1942 edition of Short Cuts and Left-Overs by Hannah W. Schloss. Schloss felt that there had been enough attention on recipe books and household hints, but not enough on using leftovers in an easy and appetizing way. She wrote that the secret of leftovers was to make them taste better and use them in filling dishes. She also thought that combining fresh foods and canned foods was the ticket to using leftovers in a way that would appeal to the family while filling them up.

The cookbook is aimed at new cooks. I can imagine this book being a terrific gift for a new bride in the early 1940s. It includes a long list of kitchen vocabulary ranging from appetizer to zest. There is a weights and measures chapter, and a chapter with kitchen hints that help a housewife choose spices, utensils, food staples, and more. My favorite chapter is a separate index in the front of the book that is really helpful when you are trying to use up specific foods. For example, if you have leftover apples, this index lists all the recipes in the book that use apples. The index in the back of the book is not near as detailed.

One last thing I want to mention before I get to the recipe—none of these recipes have directions for oven temperature and many don’t include cooking times. Less than half actually have a list of ingredients. There is a lot of guess work involved in cooking these recipes, but I think that allows for more flexibility when using a variety of leftovers. In fact, we adapted today’s recipe. More on that in a minute.

Escalloped Potatoes Hungarian Style

Our version of this recipe is tweaked a little to fit the meal we were having. We placed the ingredients on a cookie sheet, dotted it with sour cream, and baked it at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Results

I would describe these as a cut up baked potato. Your typical baked potato ingredients are all here—salt, pepper, sour cream. The eggs were a nice, mild tasting addition. You definitely could add things like pickles or cheese to make the dish have more flavor and color. It’s a good way to use up potatoes and it will go with almost any meal. Recipes like this would help home front housewives use up every last bit of food in their kitchens.

Do you have a favorite leftover recipe?

Drop Sugar Cookies

Monday I posted a cream sponge cake recipe from Honor Among Cooks, a 1941 cookbook composed of recipes collected by Mary Spahr. The recipe could also be used to make drop sugar cookies. We made a couple of additional adjustments based on Monday’s cake results. You can find them in the note below the recipe.

Drop Sugar Cookies

  • 6 oz butter
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c sweet milk
  • 3 3/4 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon, extract or grated rind

Mix in usual manner. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake in oven at 425°F. Makes 60 cookies.

Note: Based on Monday’s cake results, we adjusted this recipe a bit. We added 2 tbsp butter and an extra splash of milk. We added the eggs to the mixture last.

Results

This is a good cookie recipe. The cookies were soft and fluffy and really moist. The lemon flavor stood out more than in the cake, which I liked. We tried these both with and without cinnamon sugar, and they were tasty either way. These would be easy to decorate as holiday cookies, topping each cookie with colored sugar or sprinkles.

My family of taste testers all loved these. In fact, while I was taking pictures, my three year old snuck a cookie from my plate. If that doesn’t say how good these are, I don’t know what will.

Let me know if you try these, and if you use the original recipe or try our modifications. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you here Monday.

Cream Sponge Cake

Today’s recipe is from the 1941 edition of Honor Among Cooks by Mary Spahr. The proceeds from the book were given to The American Friends Service Committee for Refugee Children. Spahr’s 1938 first edition booklet was a “Kitchen File” with her favorite recipes that she sent out to people by mail. In response, women shared their recipes with her. Spahr found she had enough recipes to publish a book, and Honor Among Cooks became a hard bound cookbook. The recipe for Cream Sponge Cake was from Bess Farnham.

Cream Sponge Cake

  • 6 oz butter
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c sweet milk
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon, extract or grated

Mix in usual manner. Bake in oven at 375°F. Makes two layers.

Results

The recipe is short on instructions, so we weren’t sure what to do with those two layers. My daughter came up with this lovely buttercream and strawberry jam layer. Any buttercream recipe will do. Just spread it on the the cake, follow with some strawberry jam, then top with the second cake layer.

The cake itself was pretty dry. I would have liked for there to be more lemon flavor. The addition of the buttercream and jam helped with the dryness. If it weren’t for that middle layer, I think the cake would’ve been too dry to enjoy. If you make this recipe, consider adjusting the ingredients accordingly.

With a couple of small changes, Bess Farnham said that this recipe can also be made into cookies. I think we’ll give it a go later this week. I’ll let you know how it turns out. (ETA: You can find those cookies here.)

First Monday Menu: Luncheon Ham with Cottage Cheese and Peach (Nectarine) Salad

This month’s menu is a June option from Modern Meal Menu by Martha Meade, a fabulous 1939 cookbook with 1115 menus and 744 recipes.

Menu

  • Luncheon Ham
  • Bread
  • Cottage Cheese and Peach Salad
  • Fruit Mayonnaise
  • Coffee, Tea, or Milk

This luncheon menu has three different recipes. I’ll start with the luncheon ham.

Luncheon Ham

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 lb diced boiled ham
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil
  • 1 1/2 c cooked peas

Cook diced boiled ham in butter or oil. Beat 3 eggs well and add the peas before pouring over the ham in the frying pan. Cook gently without stirring until eggs are set. Roll and cut in serving pieces.

Note: We couldn’t get this to roll. It fell apart, so we cut it into pieces to serve.

Peach and Cottage Cheese Salad

  • 1 c creamy cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 4 peaches (8 halves)
  • lettuce
  • chopped nuts
  • fruit mayonnaise (see recipe)

Mix cottage cheese with salt and paprika. Fill 8 fresh peach halves with cottage cheese mixture and place two halves on a cup of lettuce. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the salad and place a spoonful of fruit mayonnaise on the side.

Notes: We are still having problems getting certain foods at our local grocery store. We didn’t have lettuce or chopped nuts, and we could only get nectarines. I still wanted to try this, though, because the recipe sounded so interesting.

Fruit Mayonnaise

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c orange juice
  • 1/2 c unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash cayenne
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 c olive oil

Melt butter, add flour and blend thoroughly. Add fruit juices slowly, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened. Place all remaining ingredients together in a bowl and beat with a rotary egg beater until slightly mixed. Add the hot mixture slowly and beat until thick enough to hold its shape. Makes 1 pint.

Results

I’m glad I chose this menu. I picked it for the peach salad, but the luncheon ham ended up being the star of the show.

The luncheon ham really was just an omelet with ham and peas. I’ve never had an omelet with peas before, and let me tell you, I’ll definately add peas in the future. Peas were unexpected, but at the same time blended well with the other flavors. I think adding a little bit of finely chopped onion would also be good in this recipe. My entire family really enjoyed the luncheon ham and I know we’ll eat it again in the future. It’s quick and easy in addition to being super tasty.

Do you add peas to your omelets? I wish I had thought of this earlier.

On to the peach salad. We can’t buy peaches here right now, so we used nectarines instead. I was unsure about the combination of ingredients in these recipes. I didn’t know what to expect. I tried both with and without the fruit mayonnaise.

Without: The sweetness of the nectarine was nicely balanced by the cottage cheese and paprika mixture. I was surprised at how much I liked it. I like cottage cheese, but I typically don’t eat it with sweet foods. This was pleasant, and the soft textures of the nectarine and the cottage cheese worked together nicely.

With the fruit mayonnaise: I really don’t know what to think of this. The fruit mayonnaise by itself was oily and lumpy and I didn’t like it at all, but when I added it to the nectarine and cottage cheese mixture, it transformed itself into a slightly citrusy topping that wasn’t at all as strong as I expected it to be. The whole thing worked out well. The fruit mayonnaise isn’t really necessary, I suppose, but I think I would miss it if I made this dish again without it.

In all, this was a fun menu with some great new recipes that I think would work well in our modern meals. Hope your June is a healthy and happy one.

Drink Week: Two-Tone Fruit Drinks

To wrap up drink week, I wanted to add this fun recipe. It’s also from the 1942 edition of The New American Cook Book. I’ll include the paragraph from the book so you can see how the idea was presented.

Results

I chose pineapple juice and Concord grape juice. These drinks turned out so nice. They were very pretty with their two-tone colors that slowly swirled together. The flavor was well balanced. You could taste both the grape and pineapple juices. You can definitely taste the pineapple, though, so if you have some pineapple haters in your bunch, you might want to have a second option available for them.

The colors stayed separated as long as we didn’t stir them together. It seemed to mix from the bottom up. We used straws, so the top of the drink stayed separated until we were nearly finished, but we were drinking from the mixed bottom part of the glass. I’m including a couple of pictures of the drink after it had been sitting for a while.

This was a fun way to use two pantry staples. It was also an affordable way to have a fancy looking drink in 1942. I like how the cookbook mentioned Hawaii. I imagine that was very timely after the war began.

Thanks for coming along on my drink journey this week. I’ve found some interesting recipes. Maybe I’ll do this again when it gets cold this winter. If you want to check out the other drinks from this week, you can find them below. See you Monday!

Presidential Punch

Glorified Lemonade

Pineapple Fizz

Orange Julep

Drink Week: Orange Julep

From pineapple yesterday to oranges today. Here’s another refreshing drink for you from the 1942 edition of The New American Cook Book.

Orange Julep

  • 1 qt orange juice
  • juice from 6 limes
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c chopped mint leaves
  • carbonated water

Combine the fruit juices, sugar, and mint leaves. Chill one hour and strain. Pour over crushed ice in tall glasses. Fill with carbonated water and stir gently. Garnish with mint and orange slices.

Results

I left the mint in the pitcher and strained as I was pouring the drink into the glasses. I’m hoping that the longer this drink chills, the more mint flavor it will have. The addition of carbonated water made this taste and feel like a sparkling orange juice and the lime juice gave it a nice little kick. I would definitely pour myself a glass of this and hang out on my patio watching the birds play in the bird bath or the kids build sandcastles. Again, adjust the amount of carbonated water to suit your tastes. Enjoy!

Here are the links to the rest of this series:

Presidential Punch

Glorified Lemonade

Pineapple Fizz

Two-Toned Fruit Drinks

Drink Week: Pineapple Fizz

Today’s drink was definitely a winner. If you like pineapples, you’ll like this one. The ingredients are what drew me to the recipe. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try this drink or not, but I decided that this blog is about being adventurous and trying things that I don’t eat everyday. This recipe is perfect for that. You can find this one in the 1942 edition of The New American Cook Book.

Pineapple Fizz

  • 1 1/2 c canned unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg white
  • crushed ice
  • 2 12 oz bottles dry ginger ale

Place all ingredients except ginger ale in a shaker or screw cap jar, leaving enough room for a thorough shaking. Shake 20 times. Add chilled ginger ale and serve in cocktail glasses. Serves 12.

Results

So far this week, this is my favorite. This drink dials down the sweetness and heaviness of pineapple juice and turns it into a light, refreshing drink. It was a little frothy when first poured into the glass, but that doesn’t last long. If you are worried about the Worcestershire sauce, don’t be. You can’t taste it at all. In fact, I’m tempted to add a few drops more when I make this next to see if it adds more depth to the flavor.

The reactions in my family were very mixed. There are a few people who don’t like pineapple at all and didn’t like it. One isn’t a big fan of pineapple, but really liked the drink, and the pineapple lovers in the group thought it was wonderful. I really think the success of this drink in your house depends on whether or not you enjoy pineapple.

Let me know if you try this one.

Here are links to the rest of the drinks in this series:

Presidential Punch

Glorified Lemonade