My sister came to visit me this weekend and while she was here, I showed her a cookbook I have, that used to belong to our grandma. Checking the date inside the cover, we discovered it is a sixth printing of a 1968 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. You know - the red and white checked cookbook that everyone in the country has on their bookshelf. I compared it to a more recent version done in the 1990's and discovered that other than the cover, there was very little that was the same about these books!
I told Jana that she needed to borrow my book for this blog and instead, she invited me to do a guest blog post. It was really fun going through the book. It had a great section in the back for meal planning and entertaining. I finally settled on a menu called "Children's Lunch"
Nutty Pups, Pineapple-carrot Toss, Potato Chips, Popcorn Pops, Milk
Broil Frankfurters over hot coals. Serve in a hot toasted buns spread with chunk-style peanut butter. Pass pickle relish
"Frank"ly I was very skeptical about this one. I had no hot coals, so I cooked the hot dogs under the broiler and since my daughter is allergic to peanutbutter, I used sunflower seed butter instead (which tastes very similar). This is what she thought:
She ate every single bite of this hot dog! My three year old ate just the hot dog and half the bun. My 2 year old just ate the bun. Then again - I didn't even give her a hot dog because she doesn't eat them when I serve them normally.
I found it to be edible. It wasn't disgusting like you would think it would be - it had a bit of that sweet/salty thing going actually. I wouldn't serve it again on purpose but if somebody served it to me for dinner I would eat it politely.
Drain one 8 3/4 ounce can pineapple tidbits well. Mix with 2 cups shredded carrots and 1/2 cup plumped raisins. Chill. Just before serving, add mayonnaise to moisten.
The only change I made to this is that I used Vegannaise (soy mayo) instead of mayo. My daughter is also allergic to egg so the substitution was necessary.
This is my 3 year old smiling at the camera and nodding that she likes this salad:
However, when the meal was over, this cup was still just as full as you see it. In fact my 5 year old, who also liked it on first bite, didn't eat hers either. My 2 year old picked out the pineapple pieces and ate those. I thought for sure this would be the hit of the meal but it was definitely the miss instead! I thought it tasted a whole lot like a jello salad my grandma used to make - minus the jello. In my opinion, the mayo didn't ruin it at all like you would think it would but clearly my kids (who the meal was designed for according to the cookbook!) didn't like it.
Potato Chips - I served these straight out of the Lays bag. The cookbook didn't include a recipe so I assumed they didn't want them homemade. My kids ate every single chip. Shocking.
Milk - I thought it was weird that they listed milk as part of the menu, but I guess they were thorough in including a drink as well! Milk in a cup is a rare "treat" for my younger kids since my 5 year old is allergic to dairy as well. My 3 year old said, "MMMM! I like milk!"
4 quarts popped corn (2/3 cup unpopped)
1 cup peanuts
1 cup light molasses
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
Combine popped corn and peanuts in a large bowl or pan. In 2-quart saucepan, combine molasses, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat to hard ball stage (260*) Pour syrup slowly over popped corn and nuts, stirring till mixture is well coated. press into 5 ouce cold-drink cups. Insert a wooden skewer in each. let cool. Push on bottoms of cups to remove. Makes 16
I have owned a candy thermometer for 10 years and have never used it until today. I actually had to test it first because I live at a high altitude and adjust the temperature accordingly. Also I deleted the peanuts due to the peanut allergy. Basically these tasted like Cracker Jacks. I didn't have sticks or the right sized cups, so you can see in the picture at the top, that I made them into popcorn balls instead.
I'll close this up with a few words from the editors at the beginning of the cookbook:
"A homemaker's kitchen is a personal, creative world of her own where convenience and proficiency in food preparation are supreme. The Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen helps provide inspiration and ideas for homemakers who want the best in creative food preparation."
I'll give them that - these recipes certainly were ... creative.