Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vintage Cookbook Hoedown: The Quick Cook Book (1961) by Lois S. Kellogg

A few months ago, I fell into possession of The Quick Cook Book by Lois S. Kellogg, a 1961 paperback filled with hundreds of convenient and occasionally jaw-dropping recipes.

There are Mayonnaise Mounds. There are Corned Beef Cobblers. There's even Prune Whip. And I'm pretty sure we can trace America's obesity problems directly to the Canned Chicken section.

To be fair to Lois, she seems to specialize in baking. The cake and cookie recipes look tasty and are mostly made from scratch. Some aren't, but ... we'll get to that later.

First, let's pretend we're hosting a party on Mad Men. And what better way to kick off a soiree than Cholives?

Of course, if you're not fond of olive and cheddar finger foods, deep-fried whole chicken sandwiches make an excellent light appetizer.

The meal really begins with soup. Tomatoes and pineapples are delicious, inexpensive, and come in cans. They should be lovely together.

Side dishes are vital to the success of any meal. I like to make a lot of them, since they're less expensive than meat.

I'd love to serve macaroni and cheese, but I find the garish yellow hue too distressing. How do I cope?

Of course, the most distressing part of hosting a party is that I never know what to serve for the main course. Jellied Meat Loaf? Corned Beef Corn Ring? Ham Wheel Pie? Corned Beef Cobbler? So many options, and all on the same page...

I know! We'll do breakfast for dinner! With a twist!

It's important to end the meal with a wholesome, appealing dessert. Since I believe halitosis is a myth, (like morally upright socialists), this should fit the bill!

You know, Onion Ice Cream is definitely going on the menu, but Bob really prefers treats that keep him regular. Maybe this would please him?

As for my son ... be careful, Danny. This peach pie is "Different" from all the other peach pies. You're such a good student. Don't let it ruin your future.

And to cap it all off, coffee. But drinking it just seems so ... pedestrian. Isn't there a better way to get that caffeine fix?

Mmm ... delicious. I bet the Jell-O company will pay me at least one hundred dollars for this recipe.

Cheers, everyone!

If you like this article, you might also like:
(All photos from The Quick Cook Book by Lois S. Kellogg)

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Holly said...

Words are inadequate to express how I'm feeling right now.

mollyjade said...

I love old cookbooks like these and the weird things in them. In 50 years, someone is going to be looking at present day cook books and making fun of us for replacing potatoes with cauliflower and "steam-frying" to reduce oil.

Though nothing will ever beat the illustration for how to skin a squirrel in the original Joy of Cooking.

Summerlin said...

First of all, you're completely inside my brain. I have a stack of vintage cookbooks ready for blogging.

Second, I'm laughing so hard.

Jeremai said...

Wow, and I thought finding a recipe for bear's foot in a Transylvanian cookbook was odd. Nothing beats American ingenuity!

Ashlee said...

I don't even know where to start... umm... words fail me. I am at a loss to figure out how this got published. I was trying to pick a favorite recipe... Can't. They're all pretty amazing.

Anonymous said...

I shudder to think about creative process that led to Mayonnaise Mounds. Seriously. "You know, my enormous dollops of mayonnaise just spread out into a boring old puddle next to the main dish. There's got to be a way to make them stand up tall and proud."

And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface; why on god's green earth would anyone use mayonnaise as a SIDE DISH anyway? Deeply, deeply disturbing.

Sunfall_E said...

This is so funny. One thing, I prefer gelled desserts made with fruit juice to the odd flavors of Jello. I make knox blocks with one packet of gelatin, and a cup of juice.

Karen Datko said...

Your narrative was hilarious. The food was disgusting. Pass the mayo.

Fern said...

This may reveal that I irredeemably warped - but a friend bought some little cubes of coffee-flavoured gelatin at an Asian grocery store, and they were in fact a lot tastier than you would expect.

Meredith said...

Tip! This post made me laugh so hard it hurt. Thanks.

Robyn 'My Middle Name Is Awesome' said...

OMG B.A.R.F! Who the heck would eat ANY of that??

BTW, have you seen Sandra Lee's slow cooker show (the recent one as I'm sure she has many)? What the hell was up with her face?? Did she get the 'Joan Rivers' special? Her face was so stiff that she could hardly talk, lol!!


I have spent hours going through my old first edition (hardback) of THE BOSTON COOKING SCHOOL COOK-BOOK, written by Fannie Merritt Farmer (who we now call Fannie Farmer).

The first edition was published in 1895.

It's got a lot of unusual recipes as well, and I think one that tickled me was baby ribbon sandwiches.

You cut white bread very thin; lay out the slices and put a moist towel on them for 15 minutes. Then you butter them with either butter, or a 'sweet' mayonnaise, and then you roll each one up and tie with a bit of baby ribbon.

There's 808 pages in the book and it's a fun thing to read on those days when we just want to relax.

Also, in the back, it has wonderful advertisements of products that are fun to look at.

Examples are:

Walter Baker & Company, established in 1780 in Dorchester, Massachusetts - of course we now call it Baker's chocolate.

Royal Baking Powder that is single-acting because it contains no aluminum as double-acting powder does.

Foss' pure vanilla and other flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, pineapple, pistachio, orange, lemon, coffee, nutmeg, celery, rose, onion, mace, CHECKERBERRY (whatever that is), peppermint, wintergreen, and almond.

It has an ad' for WEAR-EVER aluminum cooking utensils (and I have an old one that is a stock-pot).

It advertises early sweepers; an antiquated (by our standards now) refrigerator by General Electric.

It features a HUGE STAND-MIXER that takes up almost all of any counter space we have now in our kitchens.

It has small books on 'how-to' for 75 cents each, and one of them includes how to be a good waitress or waiter (we could use that nowadays).

I really loved your post and had fun reading the recipes.

....great fun!

Kris said...

Nevada, that is really neat. Thank you for sharing.

You know, I think there might have been a Checkerberry recipe in the Kellogg book, too. Will research...

Dawn said...

Well, I was pretty much speechless (the idea of those mayonnaise mounds is just awe-inspiring} until I got to the last item. I have definitely seen drinks with coffee jelly cubes here in Seoul. Never been tempted to try one, but I have seen it.

spotter77 said...

I am speechless. And just when I thought it couldn't get any jello. So much for thinking of the 1960s as those halcyon days when everyone ate 'normal, unprocessed' food.

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

Oh. My. Soul.

What's with the jellied-everything obsession?? lol

Anonymous said...

I was 12 y/o in 1961 and I remember reading lots of recipes like this in the cookbooks. I don't, however, remember anyone making them!

Melissa said...

Love it! I have old cookbooks laying around that I read for pure entertainment. Nothing I've seen before or since can top "jellied salad." Apparently the idea is that you chop up all your veggies for a big salad and then preserve them in unflavored gelatin...

Nancy said...

I'm a huge fan of vintage cookbooks. It's such an interesting way to learn about the history of food in our country. It never ceases to amaze me at what was once considered "good food." In 2061 someone will be reading a cookbook from today with the same horror and disgust I just expressed reading your little excerpts!

wosnes said...

I have some recipes of my mother's from the early 1950s and I was shocked by the amount of manufactured foods used. I think the use of processed foods increased dramatically after WWII -- and has continued to increase exponentially every year. And so have our rates of chronic disease and obesity.

Lydia said...

There's a recipe for Hamburger Pancakes on One of the Recipe Exchange regulars tried it on a dare and said they're actually pretty good. But tomato pineapple soup? Some home economist must have been having a rocky morning to come up with that one!

Anonymous said...

I looked it up. Checkerberry is wintergreen...also known as Teaberry, which explains the gum!

Savory Tv said...

Stellar post, hilarious! If you have not seen it yet, check out, it's a vintage scan of a meat cookbook circa 1950's with some quirky illustrations and a few horrible photos. Cheers!