9 Delightful Recipes From the 1950s You Should Make with Your Kids Today

Getty Images
Getty Images

Have you ever been accused of gulping down a meal so fast you were consuming your food "like it was going out of style"? Well, keep gulping, because food does go out of style.

But let's not overlook the dishes of decades past, because they offer some delightful lessons. In 1957, for instance, Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls used easy instructions and bright, beautiful images to teach children how to cook. These recipes are just as fun to make today as they were then — even if they are out of style.

(For a larger view of each recipe, click directly on the image.)

1. Branded pancakes


Granted, names have gotten a lot longer since John and Jane dominated the pancake scene. But a hungry enough birthday girl will still enjoy a batch of Alexandria pancakes branded in her honor.

2. Eggs in a frame


This is listed under the "Campfire" section of the book, but it looks like it can be done anywhere butter is abundant.

3. Doughboys


More campfire ingenuity; simple enough for any little camper who can be trusted with a pointy stick.

4. Raggedy Ann salad


Here is an example of making do with what would be commonly available year round to a child in 1957. Granted, by our standards, Mrs. Crocker is using the word "salad" pretty liberally here. But remember, the whole point of Raggedy Ann is that she was a lovable, patched-together hodgepodge of a doll. Or a salad!

5. American pizza


It's important to include the word "American" in the title, because no matter how good this turns out, it's going to disillusion a child forever that they can make "real" pizza at home. But it's still fun! Like little Peter tells us at the bottom of the page, "Pizza cuts up real easy if you use the kitchen scissors."

6. Kabobs


This dish is perfect for the child who enjoys sharp sticks, knives, and fire. Which is most of them.

7. Three men in a boat


Okay, not every recipe is going to translate well over the years. And not every modern child will be thrilled with a mixture of creamed dried beef, potato skin, mushrooms, and cheese. But hey! It's a boat you can eat! That's pretty cool.

8. Drum cake


I must admit, falling in love with this photo was the whole reason I spent a week on the phone getting General Mills' permission to use it. Candy canes! When it's not even Christmas! Brilliant!

9. Eskimo igloo cake


Remember, in 1957 it would have occurred to no one to ask whether it was socially acceptable to make food versions of an indigenous people's home, nor would they have searched their brains trying to remember if it's rude to say "Eskimo." Today this little cake can be used as a great introduction to anthropology, history, and America's changing social values. Or you can just eat it.

**All images used with express permission of General Mills**

9 Vintage Thanksgiving Side Dishes We Shouldn’t Bring Back

We all have that aunt—the one who’s been bringing her Miracle-Whip-bound pimiento-pea salad to Thanksgiving dinner since time immemorial. Although you may swear she got her recipe straight from the devil, it turns out that cheese-and-lime-Jell-O salads and their ilk were all the rage in her day. So it’s not (totally) her fault! To cut her a little slack, here are some examples of vintage Thanksgiving-themed recipes that will make her salad look like a perfectly golden-brown turkey.

1. CRANBERRY CANDLE SALAD

Best Foods Mayonnaise Ad 1960s with Jello Molds

Nothing complements the tart, refreshing flavor of cranberry sauce like some gelatin and salty, eggy mayonnaise. If that weren’t weird enough, this recipe also tells you to shove a real candle in there and then light it. Ostensibly, you’re supposed to eat around the melted wax, but we can’t be sure—maybe it’s considered a condiment.

2. CANDIED SWEET POTATOES WITH ANGOSTURA BITTERS

This recipe for candied sweet potatoes, which involves baking them in a mixture of butter, sugar, and angostura bitters, is probably either really good or really bad. It sort of makes sense, adding bitters to cut down on the sugar factor. Alternatively, you could just not make a candied version of something that already has the word sweet in its name.

3. CREAMED ONIONS

This once-popular Thanksgiving mainstay has been neglected over the last century, for perhaps obvious reasons. In some households, the idea was to pour creamed onions over the turkey, like gravy, to add a little moisture. Or possibly because eating a chunky mouthful of pearl onions and cream sauce by itself is gross.

4. TURKEY AND STUFFING ON JELL-O

Thanksgiving Jello Ad

There’s not much to this one, is there? It’s a pile of turkey and stuffing dumped on top of a cranberry orange Jell-O ring—sounds delicious!

5. WINTER CORN

This mixture of corn, sour cream, and bacon is sometimes found on Midwestern Thanksgiving tables. It’s mostly off-putting because its main ingredient is creamed corn. That said, creamed corn really needs all the help it can get, so adding bacon can only improve it.

6. SWEET AND SOUR TANG POPCORN (A.K.A. ASTRONAUT POPCORN)

Reportedly, this was a popular Thanksgiving dessert in the ’70s. The idea seems to be an offshoot of caramel corn, but … with Tang powder.

7. HOT DR. PEPPER

You gotta give the good folks at Dr. Pepper a few points for at least trying here. They noticed that soda was not often considered a cozy, comforting holiday drink, and they stepped up to the bat undaunted. Bold move.

8. FROZEN JELLIED TURKEY-VEGETABLE SALAD

There’s only one way to improve a dish as alluring as Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad, and that’s to stick it in the freezer. From the sound of the recipe—which combines cream of celery soup, salad dressing, diced turkey, vegetables, and gelatin—this is basically the inside of a turkey pot pie if it was served frozen. And also if it was square.

9. JELL-O FRUIT CORNUCOPIA

Sure, cornucopias were for holding food in olden times, but don’t you wish you could eat one? Well, guess what—your years of longing are finally over, because someone has made a Jell-O version of one with fruit trapped in it. You don’t even have to take the fruit out of the cornucopia this time—you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth. Dreams do come true.

Up Your Turkey Game With This Simple Buttermilk Brine

iStock.com/4kodiak
iStock.com/4kodiak

Whoever chose turkey to be the starring dish of Thanksgiving dinner has a sick sense of humor. Not only does the bird take hours to thaw and cook before it's safe to eat, but its size makes it very difficult to cook evenly—meaning there are many opportunities for the millions of amateur cooks who prepare it each year to screw it up. But there's no reason to settle for dry, flavorless turkey this Thanksgiving. With this buttermilk brine recipe from Skillet, the breast will come out just as juicy as the thighs with little effort on your part.

A brine is a salty solution you soak your uncooked meat in to help it retain its moisture and flavor when it goes into the oven. A brine can be as simple as salt and water, but in this recipe, the turkey marinates in a mixture of buttermilk, water, sugar, salt, garlic, citrus, bay leaf, and peppercorns for 24 hours before it's ready to roast.

Rather than a whole bird, this recipe calls for a bone-in turkey breast. White meat contains less fat than dark meat, which is why turkey breast often turns out dryer and less flavorful than legs and thighs when all the parts are left to cook for the same amount of time. The buttermilk brine imparts a tangy creaminess to the turkey breast that it otherwise lacks, and by cooking the breast separately, you can pull it out of the oven at peak juiciness rather than waiting for the meatier parts to cook through fully.

After the turkey breast has had sufficient time to soak, remove it from the refrigerator and drain it on paper towels. Blot any excess buttermilk and pop the meat into a roasting pan and into a 375°F oven. In addition to lending flavor, buttermilk promotes browning, which is essential to a tasty Thanksgiving turkey.

When the internal temperature reads 150°F (which should take 90 minutes to 2 hours), pull out the bird, let it rest for 15 minutes, and commence carving the most succulent turkey breast ever to hit your Thanksgiving table.

[h/t Skillet]

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