I was reading a blog post the other day about gross recipes from the ’50s (Jell-O and mayonnaise, together at last) that inspired me to whip out my favourite vintage cookbook.
I stole Cookbook ’78 from my mother, because I felt she didn’t properly appreciate it. Check out the font:
It actually has some really yummy dessert recipes, and some of them are classics around these parts. I haven’t used it much for main course recipes, and it turns out that was probably wise of me. After reading about those ’50s recipes (and visiting the Gallery of Regrettable Foods), I checked out some of the mains in my favourite cookbook. There were tons of “congealed salads” and recipes involving bizarre flavour combinations. But I stopped when I found a casserole combining oysters and creamed corn.* I wasn’t going to be able to find anything to top that.
Anyway, I decided to bake something from Cookbook ’78 with C today, because we needed an afternoon activity.
I chose a recipe called “Busy Day Pudding” because it seemed appropriate on a day when I had both kids at home. I put the baby in his chair in the kitchen so he could watch us cooking, and got started.
I’ve realized that in addition to letting C put in the ingredients, it really helps if I let her count out measurements. She learns her numbers and it keeps her busy enough that I can (mostly) keep her from throwing non-ingredients into the batter. Win-win.
The pudding was really quick to make, and the clean-up was easy, too. It’s a good one on that front.
The pudding is a thick batter in a “sauce” of hot water and brown sugar. This is what it looked like uncooked:
Once it was cooked, it was still a bit weird, texture-wise. Pete and I both agreed that it had a slightly disagreeable gooeyness to it. Were you the kid in school who liked to eat paste? Then this recipe is for you.
So, the Busy Day Pudding was a success in the sense that it kept my toddler busy and let her practice her numbers. Would I make it again? Probably not. But at least it was free of creamed corn.
*Someday, and you can mark my words, I am going to make this. I won’t eat it, but I HAVE to make it. Just out of curiosity. I’ll be sure to document it here.
Recipe: Busy Day Pudding
Put 1 cup of brown sugar in casserole. Add 1 cup of boiling water and let stand while mixing the following ingredients.
1 cup flour sifted with 2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soft butter
1/2 cup milk
Drop batter in syrup and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.