Tuesday, July 7th



prepared cereal with top milk

toast with butter, jelly 704 (crab apple)

coffee (milk for children)


New Peas 1060 in Cheese Sauce 920

celery and carrot sticks 1122

whole wheat bread with butter


iced tea (milk for children)


Spanish Pork Chops 551

Buttered Beets 1005

lettuce wedges with Russian Dressing 846

whole wheat bread with butter

Cocoa Puff 349 (substituted Red Devil’s Food Cake 109 with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting 137)

coffee (milk for children)

I never eat cold cereal for breakfast, so Meta’s menu’s are a nice excuse to venture down the neglected cereal aisle.  Looking for cereals available in 1942 makes shopping a nerdy treasure hunt.  I went with Grape Nuts (1897) and took pity on my toddler and bought him Kix (1937).  Other possibilities include: shredded wheat (1890), granola (1900ish), Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (1907), Uncle Sam Cereal (1908), Kellogg’s All Bran (1916), Wheaties (1922), Raisin Bran (1926), Rice Krispies (1929) and Cheerios (1941; originally known as CheeriOats).


Lunch was a fruit and veggie bonanza.  Four servings in one meal, plus the grapefruit at breakfast and I’ve already hit my minimum quota for the day.  Also, it was fun to dip the bread, celery and carrots in the cheese sauce.


Three more servings of veg at dinner too!  The Spanish Pork Chops were tasty in a comfort-food way.  As I was eating them, I noted something was a bit spicy.  Recalling the very short ingredient list, I identified the spicy element as pepper.  Evidently I’ve been eating way to much retro food.

Also, I ran out of chili sauce for the Russian dressing so the dressing is actually a delicious (but decidedly un-Meta) mango-peanut dressing.


For dessert, I made a Red Devil’s Food Cake, which low and behold: is actually red(ish)!:


You can also see the beginnings of my decorating problems.  It was so moist that it crumbled whenever I touched it.  Here’s the end results with lots of sprinkle camouflage:


Whoops.  Not the best looking cake, but super tasty!  I actually made the cake for a writing club that I went to Tuesday afternoon (super fun!) so I wasn’t up for the scheduled Cocoa Puff.

Thumbs up for the today’s menu.  Nothing super memorable, but a solid menu.

551 Spanish Pork Chops

5 thick pork chops (1 1/2 lbs.)

1 TBSP. fat

1 onion, sliced

2 cups tomatoes

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 TBSP. flour

3 to 4 cups boiled rice (174)

Brown chops on both sides int eh fat in a hot skillet; remove chops from pan.  Brown onions in same pan; add chops, tomatoes, and seasonings.  Cover, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove meat and thicken the tomato mixture with the flour mixed to a smooth paste with 1/4 cup cold water; boil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Place rice in center of platter, arrange chops around rice, and pour tomato sauce over all. 5 servings.

109 Red Devil’s Food Cake

2 cups cake flour

1 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 squares baking chocolate

1/2 cup butter or other shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup thick buttermilk

1/2 cup water

Sift flour, measure and resift 3 times with soda and salt.  Melt chocolate over hot water (1124); cool.  Cream butter until soft and smooth, then add sugar and blend thoroughly.  Add beaten eggs and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla.  Mix in cooled chocolate.  Combine buttermilk and water.  Add flour and liquid alternately in several portions, beginning and ending with flour and beating until smooth after each addition.  Turn into two 8-inch cake pans, lined with waxed paper in the bottom and buttered on the sides, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 27 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed with finger tips.  Turn out onto cake racks and cool.  Spread when cool with any desired frosting.  10 servings.

137 Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese

1 square (1 oz.) bitter chocolate, melted (1124)

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, firmly packed

pinch salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 to 4 TBSP top milk or cream

Work cream cheese with a spoon until very soft.   Blend in the cooled melted chocolate and gradually add the sugar, beating until smooth after each addition.  Add salt and vanilla, and stir in enough top milk or cream to give a smooth spreading consistency.  Spread on cooled cake.  Makes enough for two 8-inch layers.


Saturday, October 18th



prepared cereal with top milk

Soft-Cooked Eggs 394

toast with butter

coffee for adults (milk for children)


Creamed Carrots and Celery 1014 on toast

head lettuce with 1000 Island Dressing 848

Cherry Cobbler 644

tea for adults (milk for children)


Lentil Stew with Ham 1040

Buttered Beets 1005

whole wheat bread and butter

Fruit Salad 750

Floating Island 234

coffee for adults (milk for children)


Breakfast was very nice as usual.

10.18.14 Breakfast

I was most excited about the new teacups I found at a garage sale.  They are a matched set of nine Noritake cups and saucers.  $12.50!  Based on the stamp on the bottom, they may even be 40s/50s era.  Here’s a close-up:


Now I need some egg cups for the soft-cooked eggs because it was rather awkward to eat whilst holding it in one hand.

Lunch was not a menu I would have come up with on my own, but the creamed celery and carrots over toast was nice and substantial.  The cherry cobbler, was good, but the balance between cherry and crust was not quite right.

10.18.14 Lunch

There was a lot about the cobbler that was not quite right (my fault, not Meta’s).  The pastry was clearly too warm to work with, but I had to get lunch on the table so I didn’t want to remake it.

10.18.14 cobbler

Yikes.  It’s funny, I could cream anything in my sleep, but a pretty pastry still eludes me.

Dinner was much tastier than I imaged it would be.  I looked at the ingredients for 1040 Lentil Stew with Ham and couldn’t figure out how it would have any flavor.  But magically, it did!  I’m saving this recipe for sure; great flavor and a good pantry-staple item.  Perhaps a bit of garlic and Tabasco would make it even better, but that’s just me.

10.18.14 Dinner

So, I also got some place mats with matching napkins at the same estate sale.  Really cute fish!  Boy, does this need ironed…

10.18.14 placemat

I skipped the Floating Island for dessert in lieu of leftover cobbler (with a la mode camouflage).  I’ve made Floating Island before, see here.

 1014 Creamed Carrots and Celery

2 c. sliced carrots

1 c. diced celery

2 TBSP. butter

3 TBSP. flour

1 c. evaporated milk

1 c. cooking water from vegetables

salt to suit taste

Croutons (61)

Cover carrots and clery with boiling salted water (1 tsp. salt to 1 quart water), and cook until tender.  Drain, saving water.  Meanwhile melt butter in saucepan, blend in flour,a nd add milk and 1 c. water drained from vegetables, stirring constantly over low heat until sauce boils and thickens.  Add salt.  Add cooked vegetables and reheat thoroughly.  Serve the creamed vegetables poured over crisp croutons (61). 5 servings.

644 Cherry Cobbler

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour

1 No. 2 tin sour red cherries or 4 c. fresh sour red cherries

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 TBSP shortening

1/3 c. milk

Blend sugar and 1/4 c. of the flour together; add juice from canned cherries and cook over direct heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Add cherries and turn into a baking dish.  If fresh cherries are used, increase sugar to 1 c.; pit cherries, put in a baking dish and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and 1/4 c. of the flour.  Sift remaining flour with salt and baking powder.  Cut in shortening.  Add milk all at once and stir until dough stiffens slightly; then turn out on flour board and knead 3 or 4 times.  Roll 1/4 inch thick and cut in strips.  Arrange strips over cherries in lattice.  Bake at 425 for 15 or 20 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.  Canned cherries will now be done.  Continue baking the fresh cherry cobbler 10 to 15 minutes longer, reducing heat to 325.  Serve warm.  Serves 5.

1040 Lentil Stew with Ham

1/2 lb. dried lentils

2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. chopped onion

2 TBSP. butter

2 c. canned tomatoes

1/2 lb. boiled ham, diced

dash pepper

3 TBSP. chopped parsley

Wash lentils and soak overnight in cold water.  Drain, cover with fresh cold water (about 2 c.), add salt, and boil gently for 15 minutes, or until tender.  Saute onion in the butter in a large skillet.  Add lentils with their cooking water, tomatoes, ham, and pepper; cook at moderate rate for 15 minutes.  Serve hot, with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on each serving.  5 servings.

Monday, December 31st


grapefruit halves

French Toast 56

Syrup 924

coffee for adults (milk for children)


Oyster Bisque 970

crisp crackers or toast

Stuffed Prune Salad 770

tea for adults (milk for children)


Beef Turnovers 509

Creamed Potatoes 1070

Buttered Beets 1005

bread and butter

Mock Angel Food Cake 92

Grape Juice Tapioca 369

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Yay!  A non-cereal breakfast for the first time!  56 French Toast was pretty good.  I was a little concerned with the recipe since it only had 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk for the liquid portion for 10 pieces of bread; I usually use more eggs than milk, but it did produce a nice crispy result.  I went ahead and made 924 Syrup for the experience even though I splurge and buy real maple syrup (so worth it!)  It was tastier than bottled imitation syrup and I liked the warmth and thickness.  It was also far cheaper than the maple syrup.  I’m not really sold on it as a replacement for real maple syrup but I’d be willing to make it again especially if I was looking to economize.  I also enjoyed the grapefruit halve since I haven’t had one in a while.


Lunch was fairly good.  I liked 970 Oyster Bisque because it had a lot of concentrated oyster flavor (really just oysters and thickened milk).  Meta suggests warming the crackers to go with the bisque and it was a nice touch.  770 Stuffed Prune Salad was a bit tricky to make since my prunes weren’t particularity large.  The prunes and cottage cheese alongside the lettuce wedge didn’t really seem like a single dish, but was a unique take on a salad.  The small amount of liquid in the glass beside the tea is the cooking liquid from the prunes which Meta suggests that I save and drink (not bad).

My only complaint about lunch was that, while the menu items were tasty, the combination seemed very vintage “diet plate.”  Cottage cheese, prunes, lettuce, a thin soup and crackers really didn’t strike me as a very filling lunch.  An off-menu afternoon snack may have occurred (sorry Meta!)


Dinner, on the other hand, was very satisfying.  509 Beef Turnovers were very delicious; especially considering how simple and quick they were to make.  The menu suggested using leftover beef from the previous day’s pot roast, but since I didn’t make the pot roast I just used ground beef (the recipe calls for ground meat anyway).  The cornstarch gravy that was part of the recipe was a little odd and gelatinous, but was still good.

1070 Creamed Potatoes No. 1 were a nice improvement over over 1071 Creamed Potatoes No. 2 (which consist of boiled potatoes combined with a white sauce).  Version No. 1 was potatoes cooked in a little cream and seasoned with salt, pepper and parsley. Yay seasoning!  1005 Buttered Beets were also a good side dish.


This menu called for two desserts, 92 Mock Angel Food Cake and 369 Grape Juice Tapioca.  I wonder if this might have been an error since I haven’t seen two desserts at one meal before.  Besides, it a weird combo to eat together.

I made 369 Grape Juice Tapioca to eat tonight.  The recipe is the same as 367 Tapioca Cream that I previously made on 12/21/12 but with grape juice.  My last attempt produced a soup.   It actually thickened this time thanks to Erica’s tips at Retro Recipe Attempts.  Despite the excellent thickening, dessert was still kind of a fail.  The recipe says to use grape juice for all or part of the milk so I used half and half.  My understanding of combining acids and bases in cooking is evidently not very good because the results had an underlying grainy texture from the milk curdling.  (My husband said it tasted like partially undissolved grape Kool-aid).


I haven’t tried it yet, but I did go ahead and make 92 Mock Angel Food Cake for completeness.  I  frosted it with the frosting suggested in the recipe, 148 Raspberry Icing.


(EDIT:  92 Mock Angel Food Cake was good; 148 Raspberry Icing was even better.  It had texture somewhere in between meringe and divinity and a good raspberry flavor).