Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vintage recipes - the good, the bad and the ugly

A number of years ago as a Christmas gift, my mother gave me folders full of family recipes.  (And by family I mean chosen family as well as blood relatives.)

Some are typed. Some are rewritten (as in copied out by hand).  Some are photocopies of the recipe cards which still live in recipe boxes.

It's a wonderful collection, just not very organized, so I decided in this age of modern technology and self-published that I would collect them all into a cookbook to share among family and friends.

I have just finished typing one stack which comes from the family of a dear friend who passed away almost five years ago.  (I think it has been that long.  My mother can correct my faulty memory.)  Even in this relatively small collection of 19 recipes, there is impressive variety, even though most are dessert related.

Some, like the Turtle Cookies, inspire me to make them right away even though I am no good at baking cookies.

Others, like Elsie Rich's "Good Salad," make me blink in wonder as my stomach gurgles in protest.

I share them below for your fun and amusement.  Enjoy!

Turtle Cookies
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c margarine or butter, softened
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
pecan halves
8 caramels, each cut into fourths

Mix brown sugar, margarine, water and vanilla.  Stir in flour and salt until dough holds together.  (If it is too dry, stir in 1-2 tsp water.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  For each cookie, group 3-5 pecal halves (split if necessary) on ungreased cookie sheet.  Shape dough by teaspoonfuls around caramel quarters.  Press firmly onto center of each group of nuts.  Bake until set but not brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Cool.  Dip tops of cookies into chocolate glaze.

Chocolate glaze
1 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 oz melted (cooled) unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp vanilla

Beat ingredients until smooth, adding 1 tsp of water at a time if necessary.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Elsie Rich's "Good Salad"
6 oz pkg of raspberry Jell-O (or strawberry or cherry)
1 1/2 c water
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 c cottage cheese
1/2 c nuts
1/2 c chopped celery (Chef's note: "Not part of the original recipe.")
8 oz carton of Cool Whip

Dissolve Jell-O in part of the water which is boiling hot.
Add the rest of the water as ice water.
Add all other ingredients (except the Cool Whip).
Stir well.
Put in fridge until it starts to Jell.  (Love the spelling.)
Fold in the Cool Whip.

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