1945: savvy storage

Leftovers would be lonely without Earl Tupper's genius plastic food container invention. This "why didn't I think of that" idea earned Earl an early retirement in 1958 selling the company for 16 million dollars. Although the product was a hit, it was nothing compared to the success of Tupperware Parties. This inventive post-war marketing model was designed for housewives who had recently moved into a new community. There was no better way to catch up on town talk & get to know the neighbors.

p.s. This post was inspired by cleaning out my fridge today.
p.s.s. I will post the Apple Cider Cupcake recipe tomorrow. Too tired tonight...zzzzz


1931: biscuit bliss

As September wraps up, I felt it necessary to honor National Biscuit Month. (oh, the things I think about) My mother is a fabulous cook, but my memory of Sunday morning breakfasts is none other than the glorious refrigerator biscuit! It was 1931 when baker, Lively Willoughboy secured his patent for his prized product. The idea was originally acquired by the company Ballard & Ballard which was later bought by Pillsbury in 1951.

If you think like me, you want to know where that charming little doughboy came from. It wasn't until 1965 with the launch of refrigerated crescent rolls that the iconic Pillsbury Doughboy started singing, "Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven!"
As good as those darn refrigerator biscuits are, real lovin' is baked into biscuits from scratch. This is my go-to recipe in a pinch. Please enjoy!

Cream Biscuits
Yield: 8 biscuits

2 C. flour, plus extra for the counter
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. heavy cream

Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the cream with a wooden spoon until the dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gather into a ball. Knead the dough briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pat the dough into a 3/4 inch-thick-circle. Cut the biscuits into rounds using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter or 8 wedges using a knife. Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

*Adding 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese and 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper into the flour mixture makes these biscuits oh, so savory. Increase the baking time to 18 minutes.
recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook


1919: mixing it up

Today I'm thankful for... my KitchenAid mixer. 1919 was the year that this historical appliance company made its mark in history. Over the next several decades this company continued to grow and found itself on many kitchen counters across America.

So what exactly was it that inspired this thankful post? Well, just like the mission of this silly little blog, I was trying to create a modern version of a traditional classic.

For me,
apple cider is a must in the Fall months. I anxiously bought a gallon of the good stuff as soon as I saw it in the grocery store a week or so ago. As much as I love opening my refrigerator and seeing this big jug of goodness, I've asked myself several times, "how am I ever going to drink all of this!" My bright idea: bake with it! This led to a vast search on the internet for recipes that called for apple cider. I combined a few recipes together, crossed my fingers, and made a delicious batch of Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Kylie (sister) and I sat salivating over these delightful little pieces of heaven at 1 am while enjoying a Friday night classic on TBS. (love those)

F.Y.I: do yourself a favor and read this fabulous post featuring David Lebovitz's experience visiting the KitchenAid factory.
photo: davidlebovitz.com


1931: Joy

Oh what a beloved year, the first edition of The Joy of Cooking was privately published by a struggling homemaker, Irma S. Rombauer. The official title was "The Joy of Cooking: A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat."

The book was written to support recent widow, Irma and her family. It was a family affair with Irma's daughter, Marion who illustrated the book and designed the cover. The original cookbook was written in a very conversational fashion addressing solutions to current depression-era problems. Topics like canning and pickling were featured alongside recipes for unique meats in an effort to be as resourceful as possible.

Think you may have a 1st edition copy of this must read tucked away in Grandma's cookbook collection? Estimated value is around $1000.00!

1920: baking bread

In 1920 over 70% of American's baked their own bread! That's domesticity at its finest. In an effort to kill two birds with one stone, I'm sharing a Banana Bread Loaf recipe. Consider this the "recipe revamp" from yesterday's Banana & Popcorn Salad and a tribute to all of those bread baking goddesses!

Banana Bread Loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.


1920's: recipe revamp?

I'm reading this fabulous book right now that highlights classic recipes from different decades. Lucky for me (and you) I found a recipe from the 1920's entitled Banana & Popcorn Salad.
What were they thinking?! Straight from the author's mouth, Sylvia Lovegren calls this
"The Worst Salad of the Twenties."

Take a gander at the recipe & tell me what you think. I have a feeling opinions will be unanimous.

Banana and Popcorn Salad

1 banana, peeled and cut in half, length-wise
1 lettuce leaf

Place banana on lettuce leaf. Scatter popcorn over banana and place dabs of mayonnaise here and there. Makes one serving.

ahem...stay tuned for a revamped recipe tomorrow.

p.s. I thought about making this recipe to shoot a picture,
but I couldn't bring myself to waste a perfectly good banana.

1920's: refrigerator

Can you imagine life without a refrigerator? Well, thanks to the "Roaring 20's" this convenient chiller was well on its way to making life easier for Americans. Although it's actual birth was in 1876, during the twenties there were over 200 models that were introduced to the market.

a modern interpretation of an old idea

Tom Wesselmann, 1963
-saw this beauty at the MoMa this summer-
Welcome to the Retrospective Kitchen where food from the past is celebrated. Here you will find a modern interpretation of an old idea when it comes to all things food.
Each post will feature a year and the food trends associated with that point in time. Everything from classic Americana recipes, vintage cookbooks, and retro kitchen appliances will be highlighted. I plan to dig up the best of the best when it comes to Grandma's recipes and take a whack at reinventing American classics.