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, February 22nd


freshly sliced oranges

Rolled Oats with top milk 168

toast with butter, Jelly 704, 709

coffee for adults (milk for children)


Baked Lima Beans 998

bread and butter

Carrot Sticks 1122

Pears 717a

Hermits 202

tea for adults (milk for children)


Square-Meal Sandwich 867

Cole Slaw 786

bread and butter

sliced pineapple

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Another oatmeal breakfast.  I always enjoy an oatmeal breakfast, but really can’t think of anything interesting to say about it.

2.22.14 Breakfast

Lunch was my favorite meal today.  I sometimes criticize Meta for overly beige meals, but this one is kinda pretty.  I adored 998 Baked Lima Beans.  The pork fat really emphasize the buttery-ness of the beans.  I did have some difficulty locating lima beans at the store until I googled to figure out that they are the same thing as butter beans (unless you live in the south, but since I’m a Midwestern girl–same thing).  202 Hermits were super easy and addictive.  A very satisfying meal.

2.22.14 Lunch

I’ve been looking forward to 867 Square-Meal Sandwich because I detected a pun!  (Or at least I assume that’s what Meta had in mind).  The biscuits in this meal-in-of itself were, indeed, square.  Also, yum.  The dish consisted of a hamburger patty sandwiched between two biscuits covered in a cheesy green bean sauce.  I skipped the bread and butter since there were already two biscuits on the plate, but the pineapple and coleslaw rounded out the meal nicely. Great day!

2.22.14 Dinner

Side note: Marking the biscuit recipe page in my working copy of the 1942 edition, is this 1946 newspaper clipping in German.  My college German is super rusty since it’s been a few, ahem, years since then, but I think it’s related to the death of a Mr. Wilhelm Federer-Helfenberger.  Possibly a thank you to those assisting the grieving family.  I love seeing this bit of history in my cook book.

Newspaper clipping

202 Hermits

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup melted shortening

1/2 cup seeded raisins

Preheat oven to 425.  Sift flour and measure.  Re-sift with salt baking powder and spices.  Stir in egg, sugar and milk.  Add shortening; beat until smooth.  Stir in raisins.  Drop spoonfuls on greased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen cookies.

867 Square-Meal Biscuit Sandwiches

1 recipe biscuits (26)

1 lb ground beef

1 tsp salt

3 TBSP butter or bacon drippings

1/4 cup flour

1 No. 2 tin cut green beans


3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup grated sharp cheese

Make biscuit dough.  Roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut into ten 2 1/2 inch squares.  Bake at 425 on a greased baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes.  Mix the 1 tsp of salt with the beef and shape into 5 thin patties.  Fry in greased skillet until cooked through.  Melt butter and blend in flour.  Add liquid drained from green beans with enough milk added to make 1 1/2 cups.  Stir constantly until sauce boils and thickens.  Add 3/4 tsp salt and cheese and stir to melt.  Add the beans.  Serve with beef between two biscuits and sauce poured over the top.  Makes 5 servings.

26 Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

2/3 to 3/4 cup milk

Sift four and measure.  Re-sift three times with baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening until particles are the size of wheat grains.  Add milk and stir until dough is created.  On a floured surface, knead 6 tines then roll or pat out to 3/8 to 3/4 inch thick.  Cut with a biscuit cutter and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes.  Makes 12 to 15.

Monday, February 17th


sliced bananas, honey

Rolled Oats 168 with top milk

toast with butter Jelly 704, 709, 710

coffee for adults (cocoa for children)


Spanish Rice 494

bread and butter

Plums 718

tea for adults (milk for children)


Codfish Casserole 424

Baked Potatoes 1067

bread and butter

Pear Salad 761, Peanut Mayonnaise 844

Floating Island 234

coffee for adults (milk for children)

A breakfast observation:  Unlike later in the year, Meta gives options on the Jelly: 704 Crab Apple Jelly, 709 Grape Jelly or 710 Strawberry Jelly.  Somewhere along the line, the jelly choice narrows down to one (jelly selection-fatigue)?  I took this opportunity to choose my fav, strawberry.

Observations like this serve as a good reminder that I am truly an obsessive nerd.  Have I mentioned yet how many copies of Meta Given’s books I own?  It’s probably best not to reveal this information.

In any case, this was a rather tasty breakfast.  I haven’t had bananas and honey on oatmeal previously and they were particularly nice.

2.12.14 Breakfast

I didn’t expect much from 494 Spanish Rice since the only seasoning was 1/2 teaspoon of paprika (does paprika even have a flavor?)  However, it was super tasty.  The long bake made the rice tender and melded it with the beef and bacon bacon flavor with hearty tomato backup.  Yum.

I was unaware that canned plums were available, but that may be because they compare very unfavorably to their fresh (or even dried) cousins.  They were a muddy brown with an unfortunate texture.  There were a lot of canned items in today’s menu (the tomatoes, peas and pears were quite a bit better than the plums).  I think canned produce gets an unfair rep.  They’re convenient, cheap, and in the event of a natural disaster (such as a zombie apocalypse), I’ll be sitting pretty while those who insist upon fresh will develop scurvy.

2.17.14 Lunch

Dinner was pleasant and filling, but not particularly memorable and a little too beige.  My husband said the best part about 424 Codfish Casserole was that it didn’t really taste like codfish.  (I like codfish, so I didn’t count this as a plus).  It did have a tasty cheese sauce; I find that cheese has the bacon-like ability to redeem an otherwise unfortunate dish.  I also rather enjoyed 844 Peanut Mayonnaise.

2.17.14 Dinner

Dessert was still in the same color scheme, but delicious. I was looking forward to trying it since Floating Island is a fun name, but the actual dessert was impressive.  Light and refreshing.

234 Floating Island

494 Spanish Rice and Beef

4 slices bacon

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/4 lbs ground beef

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 No. 2 1/2 tin tomatoes (1 lb, 12 oz or 3 1/12 cups)

3/4 cup uncooked rice

1/2 tsp paprika

Dice bacon into small pieces and saute until done.  Remove from skillet and pour off half of the fat.  Saute the onions in the remaining fat.  Brown the ground beef with the onions.  Add rest of ingredients.  Transfer to a greased casserole dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for one and a half hours.  Add water if needed (I added about a cup and a half).  Makes 5 servings.

234 Floating Island

2 cups milk

6 TBSP sugar, divided

1/4 tsp salt

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla

3 TBSP lemon juice

Scald milk with 3 TBSP of sugar and the salt.  Beat egg yolks and slowly stir into the milk mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly until it just coats a metal spoon.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Chill.  When ready to serve, beat the egg whites until fluffy.  Add the remaining sugar and beat until mixed.  Add the lemon juice and beat until very stiff.  Transfer custard to individual serving dishes and drop meringue on top.  Makes 5 servings.

Saturday, November 17th


Puffed Raisins 306 on

Hot Rolled Oats 168 with top milk

toast with butter, jelly (Crab Apple Jelly) 704 (substituted apple jelly)


Escalloped Cabbage 1010 with

Broiled Bacon 544

bread and butter

Gingersnaps 199 (save some for Sunday)

tea for adults (milk for children)


Chicken Rice Soup 940

Croutons 61

Pea and Potato Casserole 1061

Carrot and Cabbage Salad 780

bread and butter

Lemon Chiffon Pudding 359

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Have I mentioned yet how much I love breakfast?  This is pretty close to my standard breakfast fare anyway, except for the puffing the raisins (actually quite moist and tasty, but another pan to wash).

11.17.13 Breakfast

I would have cropped out the cat feet, but honestly, this is a pretty standard sight at breakfast.  Boma wakes up very needy and clingy.

Lunch was quite pleasing as well (excuse the upside-downness of the picture since it was either upside-down or sideways; Word Press doesn’t play nicely with my iPhone).

11.17. 13 Lunch

Here’s a close up of the real star anyway, 1010 Escalloped Cabbage:

1010 Escalloped Cabbage

Look how toasty those breadcrumb are!  Mmmmm….  The only downside was that this did take five pans to make (one to toast the breadcrumbs in butter, one to cook the bacon, one to boil the cabbage, one to make the white sauce and one to bake the whole casserole in).  How much time did Meta spend washing dishes?  Thank god for my dishwasher.  Anywho, it was super tasty.

756 Orange Waldorf Salad was a bit odd in that Meta called for slicing the orange into fifths and putting the Waldorf Salad portion on top of it.  This seemed like an odd step instead of mixing it in with the rest (which I did with the leftovers).  However, 199 Gingersnaps was a home-run so I declare lunch a success.

Dinner featured another casserole, 1061 Pea and Potato Casserole (who doesn’t love a nice butter and cheese-laden casserole?)

1061 Pea and Potato Casserole

And here’s Meta’s version:


Mine didn’t look quite as nice.  The cheesy pea mixture overran my potato mountain and I ran out of potato topping to finish the lattice topping.  Ah well.  I never suspected I’d use a cake decorating set to pipe potatoes anyway.

Here is dinner after plating:

11.17.13 Dinner

940 Chicken Rice Soup was pretty basic but pleasing. I’ve stashed the rest in the freezer in preparation for the onset of a winter cold.  780 Carrot and Cabbage Salad had the unexpected addition of sweet pickle relish. The first bite was a bit jarring but the odd flavor grew on me with each bite.  I dare say I would even make it again.

Confession:  I didn’t feel like making dessert so I skipped it.  Otherwise a rather tasty Meta day.

1010 Escalloped Cabbage

1 small head cabbage (2 to 2 1/2 lbs)

2 cups thin white sauce (919)

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1 cup grated sharp cheese

1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs (1118)

3 slices half-cooked bacon

Trim cabbage, cut into eights and remove the core.  Cook, uncovered, in boiling, salted water for eight minutes.  Drain.  Layer half of each item in a buttered casserole dish:  cabbage, white sauce, green pepper and cheese.  Repeat with other half.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bacon.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Makes 5 servings.

1118 Buttered Bread Crumbs

Melt 1 1/2 to 2 TBSP of butter in a saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup of dry bread crumbs and stir until crumbs are coated in butter and slightly toasted.

199 Gingersnaps

2 1/2 cups AP flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp soda

1 TBSP water

1 tsp vinegar

Cream shortening.  Add in sugar and then molasses and egg.  Beat thoroughly.  Mix spices with soda, hot water and vinegar (I wish I knew what this step was for other than feeling like a mini-mad scientist since I’ve never seen it in modern recipes!)  Stir into butter mixture then mix in flour until smooth.  Drop by teaspoon onto a buttered baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 4 to 5 dozen (Really? I made 2 dozen, but I did use a one ounce cookie scoop).

1061 Pea and Potato Casserole

2 lbs potatoes

1/4 cup butter

1 cup hot milk, divided

3/4 tsp salt

1 No. 2 tin peas (1 lb, 4 oz or 2 1/2 cups)

3 TBSP butter

5 TBSP four

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 lb sharp cheese, diced

1 egg yolk

1 TBSP milk

Scrub and peel potatoes.  Cook in boiling water salted with the 3/4 tsp of salt.  Drain (saving liquid).  Mash and whip the potatoes with 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.  Drain peas (saving liquid).  Make a white sauce with the 3 TBSP of butter, flour, 1/2 cup of hot milk, 1/4 tsp salt and the liquid from the peas and potatoes.  Stir in the cheese until melted and smooth and add the peas.  Spread 2/3 of the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish and pour the pea mixture in the center.  Pipe the remaining potatoes in a lattice (or drop by tablespoon in puffs).  Beat the egg yolk and one tablespoon milk and brush on top of the potatoes.  Brown in a 400 degree oven.  5 generous servings.

780 Carrot and Cabbage Salad

5 medium carrots

2 cups shredded cabbage, firmly packed

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 TBSP sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles


Grate the carrots and combine with the cabbage, pepper, mayo and relish.  Serve on lettuce.  Makes 5 servings.

Friday, October 5th


Stewed Prunes 301

Cooked Whole Wheat Cereal 168 or 170 with top milk

toast with butter

Jelly (Crab Apple Jelly) 704

coffee for adults (milk for children)


Shrimp Salad 836

potato chips

bread and butter

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding 366

milk for all


Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 486

Buttered Parsnips 1057

(substituted Buttered Celery 1020)

Orange and Raisin Salad 755

bread and butter

tokay grapes

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Breakfast was pleasing (as breakfast foods nearly inevitable are).  I enjoyed 301 Stewed Prunes more than I feel someone my age should.  Along with the cracked wheat cereal and whole grain bread, breakfast was filling (and fiber-rific).  I used apple jam instead of the elusive crab apple jelly (I’m going to be very excited if I ever see it in a store).

10.6 Breakfast

Lunch was the surprisingly good 836 Shrimp Salad which was pretty tasty with a surprisingly almost-spicy chili sauce.  Also a non-homemade item on a Meta menu:  behold the potato chip!  If only I could find some fried in lard, I would be period specific.  Lunch was rounded out by bread and butter, milk (I made 18a Hot Milk since it was such a cold day) and grapes (switching desserts with dinner).  Purple grapes that is; no idea where where one would find tokay grapes

10.5.13 lunch 2

For dinner, I’ve really been looking forward to trying Meta’s 486 Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (in fact, I feel a little thrill every time I see an “ethnic” dish).  I felt a strange glee that the recipe contained nary a single herb or clove of garlic and called for 20 minutes of cooking time for the pasta.  The results was decidedly un-Italian but still pretty good.  My husband described it as “Manwich on pasta.”   Fair enough.  Also, the recipe called for 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings and never mentioned draining off fat so I assumed that she didn’t intend for me to do so.  It made for a hearty dish.

Since I’ve made 1057 Buttered Parsnips before, I went with 1020 Buttered Celery instead.  Shockingly tasty.  I’ve never considered celery to be a cooking vegetable, but it was covered in butter…

10.5.13 Dinner 2

Dessert, 366 Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding wasn’t bad.  I’m not a big fan of it myself (who says rice in a puddle of milk constitutes dessert?), but my husband is a big fan so I gave it a whirl.  I have to say that it wasn’t really worth the 3 hour cooking time though.


486 Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

3 TBSP bacon drippings

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 lb. hamburger

1 tsp salt

1 No. 2 1/2 tin tomatoes (28 oz)

2 TBSP flour

3/4 lb spaghetti

1/8 lb sharp cheese, grated

Heat the bacon drippings and brown the onion.  Add the hamburger and brown, crumbling well.  Run the tomatoes through a sieve and add then to the pan along with the salt.  Simmer 15-20 minutes.  Blend the flour with 1/4 c. cold water and add to the sauce about 5 minutes before it’s done to thicken.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in 4 quarts of boiling water with 4 tsp of salt for about 20 minutes (or as long as you can stand it before shouting “al dente!”) Top the pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Buon appetito!

1020 Buttered Celery

2 1/2 cups celery (serves 5)

melted butter to taste

Meta recommends using the outside branches after consuming the tasty hearts raw.  Clean, cut away blemishes and cut lengthwise into two or three strips.  Cut into 1/2 in pieces.  Cover with boiling, salted water and cook about 10-15 minutes.  Drain and add butter.  Be sure to save your cooking water to add to another recipe.