Yesterday's Menus

Cooking up retro menus from vintage cookbooks

1971 Chicken Casserole Surprise at Bridle Spur Farm


Today’s recipe (no menu today!) comes from Favorite Recipes of Jefferson’s Country, a church cookbook by the ladies of the Grace Episcopal Church in Cismont, Virgina.  I’m totally fascinated by this cookbook because in addition to contributed recipes, it features pictures of the contributors’ (very nice) homes.  Grace Episcopal must be where the affluent folks in the area attend church because these houses have names.  My house has just has a number.

I chose a casserole recipe, Chicken Breast in Cream, by Mrs. John S. McIntyre of Bridle Spur Farm.  This is Bridle Spur Farm:



As mentioned in the title, this chicken casserole contains a surprise.  I can image Mrs. McIntyre gracefully dismounting from her horse one afternoon and passing the reigns off to the horse-boy (so, I don’t know my horse terminology).  Her coif is Aqua-Netted in place, she wears a paisley pink polyester jumpsuit, and has a delicate cocktail (with maraschino cherries)  as she thinks up a casserole to make for dinner.  Protein: chicken breast with a bit of ham (pork is always a nice addition), starch:  classic choice of potato, veggie:  mushrooms, binder:  white sauce (bonus chef points for skipping the condensed soup) and for interest:  grapes.  Yep, Mrs. McIntyre went with grapes.  Maybe she had more than one cocktail.

I thought grapes was a pretty far-out choice, but the very next pages features “Pollo El Greco” by Mrs. Richard A. Murphy with grapes, olives and mint.  Shudder!

And the results? Not bad at all.  I loved the wine-cream sauce.  Unfortunately, the ingredients swam in it and there was a big pool left on my plate.  I would have licked my plate, but I’m a lady.  I did lick the serving spoon in the kitchen…  Rice or some other small grain or pasta might have been better.  If you’ll allow me a double negative:  The grapes didn’t not work.  They weren’t bad, but didn’t add that much either.


On the plate:


Chicken Breast in Cream

2 lbs. chicken breasts, split

1 can tiny new potatoes

1/4 lb. uncooked ham diced

1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms (or can)

1/2 lb white seedless grapes

1 c. white wine

2 c. cream

3 TBSP. butter

2 TBSP. flour

salt and pepper

Simmer ham in water 15 minutes.  Saute seasoned chicken in butter.  Transfer to deep buttered casserole.  Brown potatoes in same skillet and transfer to casserole.  Make a cream sauce in same pan melting butter, blending in the flour and using some of cream and wine.  Add drained ham, sliced mushrooms and seasonings to casserole.  Pour cream, cream sauce and wine over all.  Bake in 350 oven 30 minutes.  Add white grapes and bake 10 minutes longer.  Serves 4.  – Mrs. John S. McIntyre, Bridle Spur Farm, Keswick. 

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1978, 1987 and 1991 Exposé: The “Salad”

I’ve mentioned numerous times how much I love community cookbooks.  But they often hold a dirty little secret in the salad section.  The “salad.”  You know the one I mean:  the Waldorf, the Watergate and the Fluff.  “Salads” where the only green to be found is made of yellow #5 and blue #1.  Come on ladies. You know they belong in the dessert section, but there they are in the salad section.

Okay, I love “salads.”  Acres of fluffy, sweet deliciousness!  My mother’s signature salad was of the fluff variety:  Cool Whip, cottage cheese, lime jello and pineapple tidbits.

To start my in depth coverage of the “salad,” I turned to three mid-western community cookbooks:

The 1987 A Samplin’ of St. Mary’s by the ladies at the St. Mary’s Catholic Youth Organization of Wichita, KS


the 1978 Favorite Recipes by the Scottish Rite Ladies of Kansas City, Missouri


and the 1991 St. Mark’s Church Family Cookbook by the Christian Couples Class of Lincoln, Nebraska

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Shockingly, I’ve never had Watergate Salad, so I decided to remedy that situation with this submission by Doris Heillman:

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Wow, these salads are going to be a photographer’s dream!  It was incredibly delicious despite the lack of visual appeal.

Watergate Salad

9 oz. carton Cool Whip

3 3/4 oz. pkg. pistachio instant pudding mix

1 lb can crushed pineapple w/ juice

1 c. miniature marshmallows

1/2 c. chopped or crushed nuts, any kind (I used almonds)

Fold dry pudding mix into whipped topping.  Add pineapple, juice, marshmallows and nuts.  Refrigerate.  Can be done the day ahead.  Serves 8 to 10.  (Favorite Recipes)

Next up, a salad with tantalizing name of Pink Champagne Salad.

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Unfortunately, there was no champagne involved, but plenty of yum.  I did reduce the sugar to 1/2 c., but it could probably be lowered or eliminated since there was plenty of sweet.

Pink Champagne Salad

1 (8 oz.) pkg. soft cream cheese

3/4 c. white sugar

1 can chunk pineapple, drained well

1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed (use juice)

2 bananas, sliced

1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip

1/2 c. chopped pecan nuts (optional)

Combine and mix well the cream cheese and sugar, then add  pineapple, strawberries, and bananas, stir, then stir in Cool Whip and nuts.  Chill until ready to serve.  Judy Spiehs

Shoot!  I forgot to take a picture of the next one, but see previous pictures–exactly the same look but with an orangish ting.  Here are the ingredients though:


This one was good, but not amazing.  I wouldn’t really make this again.  But the real question on this one is what was Roberta doing submitting Debbie’s recipe.  Hmmm….

Debbie’s Peach Bavarian Jello Salad

1 (3 oz.) pkg. lemon jello

1 (29 oz.) can sliced peaches

2 c. Cool Whip

1/4 tsp. almond flavoring

1/4 c. sugar

dash of salt

1 c. boiling water

Drain peaches, reserving 1/3 cup syrup.  Chop peaches; dissolve jello, sugar and salt in boiling water and add reserved syrup.  Chill till slightly thickened.  Blend almond flavoring into Cool Whip.  Gradually blend Cool Whip into jello, then fold in peaches.  Pour into 5 cup mold.  Chill 4 hours.  Roberta Vernon (A Samplin’ of St. Mary’s)

Now a trip to the land of the ill advised.  I saw this recipe for Pimento Cheese Salad and thought eww, but then wondered if it was the type of thing that was so weird, it was good?  Answer:  No.  Doris, I’m very disappointed in you.  I’m now imagining you as a elderly lady with taste buds killed by 50 years of chain smoking.  There isn’t any other good explanation for this.


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Pimento Cheese Salad

2 env. Dream Whip

1 c. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 (5 oz.) jar pimento cheese

1 c. pineapple tidbits

1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows

Whip together first 3 ingredients until like whipped cream.  Add pimento cheese and whip together.  Fold in pineapple tidbits (drained) and miniature marshmallows.  Let set several hours or overnight.  Doris Davidson (A Samplin’ of St. Mary’s)


1981 Good Idea – Sloppy Joses

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Have you ever looked at a sloppy Joe and thought, “This could be sloppier.”  If so, the good folks at the Kraft kitchen have got you covered with “Sloppy Joses.”  All of the slop, less bun containment.

I found this clipping stuffed in a cookbook and knew that I had to make this one.  It’s just too bizarre to ignore.  I googled the 40 recipe booklet mentioned at the bottom of this ad and this recipe is probably from 1981.

The most difficult part of this recipe was purchasing the Kraft barbeque sauce.  As a Kansas City native, there is no shortage of fantastic, locally-made barbeque sauce.  Here’s the barbeque sauce selection at my local grocery store:


Yep, all of the items to the left of the A-1 are barbeque sauce and I couldn’t even get the whole aisle in the picture.  So you can see why I would be embarrassed to put a bottle of Kraft in my shopping cart.  (Sorry Kraft).

In other weirdness, I also made the New Year’s resolution to go back to being a vegetarian.  Compatible with a vintage food blog?  Well, kinda?  I considered a series on ’70s granola recipes, but decided there were plenty of vegetarian meat substitutes and using a packaged product would only enhance the industrial foodness of the classics.

So, here are the ingredients for the cooked portion of the recipe:

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I added some vegetable oil to the skillet to make up for the natural fat in the ground beef and defrosted the “meaty” crumbles.

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Then it was time to add the sauce and veggies.  I tasted the sauce.  Barbeque-ish, but a little sweet.

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The recipe was a bit vague as to temperature so I put it on medium and then covered and cooked for 15 minutes as directed.

Here are the assembly ingredients:

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I did get the small Velveeta because I was afraid I would veer off and buy some Rotel and “accidentally” make some Rotel dip.  Also Velveeta is surprisingly expensive.

And now for the results:

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They turned out fair to middling.  The sauce was too sweet for my taste, but the Velveeta upped the taste to sufficient edibility.  I finished my serving, but I wouldn’t make it again.  If you decide to make this, I would recommend a higher quality sauce (Gates and Rufus Teague are my two favorite local brands–alas, Rufus Teague is not vegetarian).

Edit:  The vegetarian New Year’s Resolution (like most of my other resolutions) went out the window so meat’s back on the menu.

#26 Sloppy Joses

1 lb. ground beef (I substituted Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles)

1 cup KRAFT Barbecue Sauce

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 8 3/4 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained

8 taco shells

Shredded lettuce

Chopped tomato

VELVEETA Process Cheese Spread, sliced

Brown meat; drain. Stir in barbecue sauce, green pepper, onion and corn; cover and cook 15 minutes.  Cut process cheese spread slices into triangles.  Fill heated taco shells with lettuce, meat mixture, tomato and process cheese spread.  8 tacos.

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1967 Dinner in a Jiffy


Canadian Bacon Stack-ups*

asparagus spears

Lime Applesauce Mold*

crisp relishes*

crescent rolls     butter

Brownie Treats*

coffee     milk

Today’s menu comes from the 1967 Better Homes and Gardens Jiffy Cooking.   Jiffy’s a great word.  I could use some jiffy in my life.   Also, the picture caption informs me that this meal is “fit for the king of the house” so bonus sexist jokes are included with dinner.

To the results!


jiffy 2

The gold, silver and bronze medals go to:

GOLD: Canadian Bacon Stackups:  delicious pork layers with sweet potato and cranberry sauce?  It was like an after Thanksgiving leftover happy combo.  My husband said he didn’t care for the cranberry sauce, but I thought it was key to the success of the dish.

SILVER:  crisp relishes:  carrot curls and celery fans?  I kind of felt like an idiot when I was making them, but they somehow made eating veggies fun.  Evidently the same tricks that work on five-year-olds work just fine on me.

BRONZE:   Brownie Treats:  a brownie with ice cream and marshmallow fluff infused with creme de menthe?  Yes, please!

And the the lead medal of shame goes to:  Lime Applesauce mold.  It tasted like lime jello mixed with applesauce and 7-Up.  To be fair, that’s what it was, but I don’t think applesauce needs artificial food coloring and soda to be tasty.  Also, it never set up into jello.  Sad face for my lack of gelatine skills 😦

I’m feeling to lazy to type out the recipes today.  If you feel the need to create your own stack, hopefully you have good computer skills or excellent vision:

jiffy 3

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1950 A Man’s Recipe


Lumberjack Macaroni*

individual lettuce cups with chopped fresh vegetable salad


fruit sauce

Frosted Brownies*

coffee     milk

(*recipe provided)


Today’s menu comes from the 1950 Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.  Coincidentally, right after I made this menu for lunch today,  I sold this book on eBay and I dropped it off at the post office.  However, I forgot to take pictures of the menu or recipes, so this post is brought to you by my bad memory.

Among my friends, I’m well known for having a terrible memory (also, a poor social filter AKA foot-in-mouth syndrome, but that’s another story).  I’m notorious for this story:  Once, a friend asked me if I’d ever been to the Six Flags theme park.  I answered in the negative.  Five minutes later, I piped up that I had worked there.  Uh, my bad?

Anywho, I remember Lumberjack Macaroni as being credited to a Mr. So and So. (Brown?)  The recipe for Lumberjack Macaroni sounds like something a man from the 50s would come up with one night when his wife was out for a Garden Club meeting.  Seriously, look at this recipe:

Lumberjack Macaroni

hot boiled macaroni (8 oz uncooked)
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
2-4 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce (don’t be sparing, says Mr. Green)
1/4 c. chili sauce
salt and pepper
3/4 C. piping hot melted butter

Spread Macaroni out on large hot platter. Sprinkle with cheese, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, salt and pepper. Pour hot melted butter over all. Mix with two forks until sauce is creamy. Serve at once on hot plates. Serves 6.  Note:  Thankfully the title of this recipe makes it pretty easy to find via Google, so it’s probably not as inaccurate as it would be if I tried to recreate it from memory.

Shockingly, this was pretty good.  Not in “I’d make it again” kind of way, but in a “thank goodness, I don’t have to throw this in the trash immediately” kind of way.   Excellent recipe, Mr. Black!



Oh, and the rest of the meal?  I don’t know menu was Mr. Schwarz approved, but the popovers were piping hot deliciousness and the brownies were absolute fudge.  Too bad, I no longer have the recipe.  Yay Betty!

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1941 Breakfast Chocolate Fail


sliced peaches

corn flakes, milk

creamed chicken on toast*

coffee     bread     chocolate*
(*recipe provided)

Today’s menu comes from the 1941 The 20th Century Club Greetings Cook Book by the 20th Century Club of Wichita, Kansas.  This is an early community cookbook with tons of great ads.

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It also has lots of little extras like a section on budgeting, canning, household hints, and luckily for me, menus!  I picked this menu because creamed chicken sounded like a novel item for breakfast.

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Creamed chicken?  Yum!  I was worried it would be a bit boring, but the recipe had my favorite (and highly underrated) retro spice:  celery salt.  I also went with the mushroom addition for extra panache.  The peaches and corn flakes rounded out this hearty breakfast.  But wait, what’s that in the teacup?  Oh dear.

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If you’ve ever wanted chocolate scrambled eggs, I have the recipe for you.  When I saw the recipe for (hot) chocolate, I had enough kitchen experience to know that mixing boiling milk and egg was a risky proposition.  However, would Mrs. W. E. Haines submit a failure of a recipe for all of her neighbors?  Apparently, yes.

Try to follow this:


1 quart milk (boiling hot)

2 eggs

3 spoons corn starch

2 squares chocolate

salt to taste

Beat sugar (note that there is no sugar listed in the ingredients!) and eggs together and add to boiling milk.  Yep, at this point I had scrambled eggs, but I forged ahead.  Then add cornstarch, dissolved in milk, (because it wasn’t thick enough with the eggs?) and lastly add the chocolate after it has been grated and melted smooth.   — Mrs. W. E. Haines

I’m not sure how this recipe would succeed, but what the heck were the eggs doing there in the first place?  I did try it.  It was pretty stomach turning.  Fail!

Instead, I recommend Mrs. J. S. Hibbard’s Creamed Chicken.

Creamed Chicken 

2 c. cold cooked chicken, cut in dice

2 c. white sauce

1/4 tsp celery salt

Heat chicken dice in sauce, to which celery salt has been added.

Creamed Chicken with Mushrooms

Add to creamed chicken 1/4 c. mushrooms cut in slices.   –Mrs. J.S. Hibbard

Sure, she doesn’t give much in the way of instructions, but then again, if this one fails, she can blame you for not knowing your white sauces.

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1967 Betty Crocker’s Spaghetti Supper: Company’s Coming!


Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce*

Salty Breadsticks*

marinated artichoke hearts

Zucchini Toss*

Fruit and Cheese Tray* with Anise Toast*


(*recipe provided)


Today’s menu comes from the 1967 Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook.  That is one fab house!  My dream house is Disneyland’s 1957 Home of the Future (brought to you by Monsanto), but this one would do.

I made this menu to celebrate my niece’s birthday party.  She loves cheese, so this was perfect.  Coincidentally, I also love cheese.  Okay, love might be an understatement.

Dinner took awhile.  It called for an hour and a half simmer time on the sauce and baking the bread sticks and the toasts from scratch(ish), but it was fairly easy.  I put everything on the table and told everyone to move out of the way for the picture unless they wanted to be on the internet.  Typically, my nephew is still in the picture 🙂


I forgot to take a picture of my plate, but here’s Betty’s version:


And yeah.  That’s exactly what mine looked like.

Now for the pièce de résistance:


I impressed myself with this one.  Pretty!

Betty recommended selecting three cheeses for the tray: soft, semi-soft and hard.  I went with a shallot and chive Boursin (not on the list, but one of my favs), Bel Paese, and Gouda for the cheese selections.  Betty also says that I should include a type of cheese that I or my guests hadn’t tried before.  The only two cheeses on the list I hadn’t tried (not that I have a cheese problem…) were Liederkranz and Bel Paese.


The winners:

1) Cheese plate: duh!  Of course it was awesome.  Also, Betty’s requirement of trying a new cheese was quite the success.  My niece said that Bel Paese tasted like string cheese.  It did, but a nice string cheese.

2) Anise (poppy seed) Toast:  Yeah, I forgot the anise.  I’m evidently required to forget something at every shopping trip.  I subbed poppy seeds.  These babies tasted like little biscottis, but were super easy to make.

In the middle:

1) Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce:  Good and hearty, but much closer to Sloppy Joes than pasta sauce.  Also, I usually just pop open a jar so this was a bit more work than I typically put into a spaghetti.

2) Zucchini Toss: Actually a nice, refreshing salad, but 1 1/2 tsp of salt in the dressing was way overboard for my tastes.  Also, I had to buy MSG for the first time.  I pulled it off the grocery store shelf and hide it under the lettuce in the same furtive manner that I’d buy laxatives or Oreos.

Also participated:

1) Salty Breadsticks:  With the addition of yeast, I was expecting fluffy, yeasty goodness, but these were hard and crispy.  Not worth the effort, especially since the recipe used Bisquick anyway.  It would have been about the same result to just buy a package of crispy bread sticks.

Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

2 lbs. ground beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, finely chopped

2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce

2 cans (12 oz. each) tomato paste

1 can (7 1/2 oz.) pitted ripe olives, drained and sliced

2 envelopes (1 1/2 oz. each) Italian-style spaghetti sauce mix with mushrooms

3 c. water

1 TBSP. sugar

1 tsp. crushed oregano leaves

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf, crumbled

16 oz. Italian-style spaghetti

Parmesan cheese

Cook ground beef, onion and pepper until meat is browned and veggies are tender.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the spaghetti and cheese.  Simmer uncovered 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Place in covered container; refrigerate overnight.  To serve:  cook spaghetti as directed on the package.  Heat sauce and serve over the pasta with Parmesan cheese.  8 servings according to Betty, but I estimate at least 12.

Anise Toast

2 eggs

2/3 c. sugar

1 tsp. anise seed

1 c. Gold Medal Flour (I used AP of indeterminate brand)

Heat over to 375.  Grease and flour a loaf pan (9″ x 5″ x 3″).  Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add anise seed; gradually mix in flour.  Push batter into loaf pan.  Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  (Pan will only be 1/4 full).  Remove from pan and cut into 1/4″ slices.  Place slices on a buttered baking sheet; bake 3-4 minutes or until browned.  Turn and bake 3-4 minutes longer.  (Note:  I assume the second baking is also at 375, but the 3-4 minutes didn’t do anything for me, so I broiled for a few seconds until toasted).

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1972 Bridge Day Mint Tea (Junior League Style)

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I just love a community/club/church fundraising cookbook.  All the ladies pull out their best recipes (the ones that get them accolades every time they make it).  No one wants to risk embarrassing themselves if their neighbor tries out a recipe and it turns out to be terrible.

Fundraising cookbooks are such a intriguing snapshot of the community they come from.  Like today’s recipe, Bridge Day Mint Tea.  (Yep, not a menu, but I’ve being dying to try this one).  It comes from Little Rock Cooks, by the ladies of the Junior League of Little Rock.

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I can just picture Mrs. William B. Sigler on bridge day sitting around the card table under a lazy ceiling fan with her junior league gal pals, sipping tea and gossiping up a storm.

In any case, a Southern junior league lady is clearly the right person to consult on sweet tea.  This was just right; not too sweet with a lovely amount of mint flavor.  I served this at my ladies’ book club and Mrs. Sigler did not embarrass herself with this one.

bridge tea

Bridge Day Mint Tea

1 1/2 c. boiling water

3 heaping tsp. tea

6 sprigs mint, leaves broken off stems

1 1/2 c. boiling water

1 scant c. sugar

1/2 c. lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

1 qt. cold water

Allow tea and mint to steep in boiling water for fifteen minutes.  In another 1 1/2 cups boiling water, dissolve sugar, then add lemon juice.  Strain the tea and mint mixture and add to lemon juice and sugar mixture.  Add one quart cold water and store in refrigerator.  Will keep for days.  This is a cool, refreshing drink, very light in color.  The recipe doubles easily.  -Mrs. William B. Sigler.

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1965 James Beard Dinner for 4


Grilled Cheeseburgers*

Mushroom-Romaine Salad*

toasted rolls

Quick Raspberry Shortcake*

(*recipe provided)


Today’s menu comes from the 1965 James Beard’s Menus for Entertaining.  James Beard of the James Beard award.  I’m not a bad cook, but I’m not a trained chef either so I found this book a bit intimidating.  However, this home-y, cozy menu sounded easy and accessible.  It was in the “easy to prepare” chapter after all.

And the results?  One (large!) and seriously tasty hamburger.  The salad had a classic vinaigrette and the fresh mushrooms were a interesting textural addition.  The dessert was so good, I ran out and bought some more raspberries and had the same dessert the next day.



This was a great meal, but a little lacking in visual appeal.  I would have added a slice of tomato and red onion to the burger plate. But then again, I’m not James Beard, am I?

This menu was way less intimidating than I feared.  Not a book for rank beginners.  The instructions assume that you’ve been in the kitchen before.  Perhaps I’m to use to idiot-proof instructions.  For example, the burger instructions didn’t say how many patties to make.  The menu served four, so I assumed four, but it did make giant 1/2 lb. burgers so I wondered if a better cook than I would have made eight.  Maybe I’m just over thinking it.

Still, lots of interesting menus in this one.  There are a few breakfast menus I have my eye on.  A mint julep breakfast (cold Smithfield ham, rye or french bread, eggs and mushrooms in tarragon cream, raspberry preserve, toasted muffins and pound cake) and a champagne breakfast (tiny croustades, superb chicken hash, chipolatas, asparagus, toasted brioche, damson preserves).  Yes, please.

Flipping through this book made me seriously wish I could go back in time and become James Beard’s friend.  I would just stand outside his house unobtrusively until he invited me in for dinner (or lunch, breakfast, brunch or cocktails). Or perhaps, that’s a description of a stalker.

Also on my list of time travel wishes is opening day at Disneyland and the day I met my husband. (That also involved a nice dinner…)


Grilled Cheeseburgers

2 lbs. chopped chuck or round

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. Tobasco

1/2 tsp. mustard

1 c. loosely packed shredded cheddar or Gruyere cheese

Mix seasonings and cheese with the beef.  Make patties about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Grill or pan-broil to desired doneness.  Serve on hot plate with mustard.

Mushroom-Romaine Salad

1 large head romaine

1/2 lb. raw mushrooms, sliced

6 to 8 scallions, finely cut

6 TBSP. oil

2 TBSP. vinegar, or to taste

1/4 c. chopped parsley

1 tsp. salt

freshly ground black pepper

Tear romaine and put in a salad bowl.  Add mushrooms and scallions.  Blend rest of ingredients and toss with salad just before serving.

Quick Raspberry Shortcake

1 or 2 packages frozen raspberries (or fresh raspberries, sugared, if in season)

4 slices Pound Cake

heavy cream or sour cream

Defrost the raspberries (or sugar the fresh ones–I used fresh).  Toast both sides of the pound cake.  Top with raspberries and cream (I used sour and it was fabulous).

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1973 Lo Carbo Slimming Menu



1/2 c. strawberries

Shirred Egg*

broiled or fried ham

1/2 slice buttered toast


Stuffed Tomato*

1 slice melba toast


Wilted Lettuce Salad*

Broiled Steak with Mushrooms*

1 medium size ear corn on the cob

(*recipe provided)

Today’s slimming menu comes from Sue Farrell’s 1973 Lo-Carbo Cook Book.  Sue states in the forward that she has “sat happily on my posterior (skinny) and shared the complications faced by those who must make weight watching a way of life.”  Glad to know your butt is skinny, Sue.  Very supportive.


This book came out a year after Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution book, so I’m guessing lots of people in ’73 were slimming with steak.  In any case, this menu sounds pretty tasty.


I was pleasantly surprised that lo-carbo didn’t mean no-carbo.  The shirred egg was soft and creamy.  Yum.  Coffee isn’t specifically on the menu, but I was sure Sue (and her skinny posterior) would have wanted me to have it.

lo carbo breakfast

Lunch made me smile.  It looked like a very stereotypical “diet plate.”  The one lone melba toast in the corner and the instructions for two small radishes (don’t go overboard!) really make it.

Lo-carbo lunch

Really, it was surprisingly tasty and satisfying.  I did buy the expensive crab meat ($6.99 for the meal!) instead of krab meat so that really helped.  I even ate the one lonely piece of lettuce.

Dinner was fantastic.  I cooked a flat iron steak to the perfect state of nearly raw and added a few more mushrooms than called for.  The wilted lettuce salad was delightfully bacon-y.  My husband said he would have this meal anytime and I agreed.

lo carbo dinner

I loved this full day of menus!

Wilted Lettuce Salad

2 large bunches of leaf lettuce

1/2 tsp. liquid sugar substitute

2 green onions, chopped

4 slices bacon, diced

1/4 c. wine vinegar

2 TBSP. water

salt and pepper to taste.

Shred lettuce and put in a hot bowl.  Add salt, pepper, sugar substitute and onions.  Fry diced bacon until crisp.  Add vinegar and water and continue cooking until hot.  Poor over lettuce.  Toss well and serve at once.

Serves 6 (5.4 carbs per serving)

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