M & M Party Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2.5–2.75 cups sifted flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups M&M candies

To do:
Preheat oven to 375F.
Blend shortening and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Sift dry ingredients togther; add to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the M&Ms. Drop by the teaspoon full onto ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate the tops of the cookies with the remaining M&Ms. Bake for 10–12 minutes until golden brown.


Date Squares

This was on a scrap of paper carefully folded and placed in a plastic sleeve. It doesn’t look half bad.

8 oz dates, cut into small pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup boiling water

Crumb mixture:
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp soda
1.5 cup sifted flour
1.5 cup oatmeal.

To do:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook filling ingredients in a saucepan until they’re thick. Mix crumb mixture and put half in the bottom of a 9 inch pan. Spread the date mixture on top of the crumb mixture. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake for an unlisted time. [I’d start with 12-15 minutes and increase until it looks done.] Cool and cut into squares.

Baked Beans

This recipe card has “Janet Boyd” in one corner. Not someone I remember, but I do remember Mom making baked beans.

Water for soaking beans
1 lb navy beans
1 cup milk
1 tbs dried mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
Rind from 1/2 lb salt pork

To do:
Soak beans overnight.
Drain beans, add fresh water and boil until soft. (Time unspecified on card. Maybe 30 minutes?)
Preheat oven to 350F (the card just says “bake,” but this is a reasonable guess).
Drain most of the water from the beans and add everything else except the pork rind. Chop the pork rind into small pieces and parboil for 10 minutes. Add to the beans et al. Mix everything, put into casserole dish, and bake for two hours.

Meat-Bean Casserole

Maybe we had this? It looks like a way to stretch beef, so it may be a relic of Grandma Maisy’s Depression Era cooking. It’s doesn’t look half bad. I’d probably put it over rice or noodles.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbs. salt
1 small can tomatoes
1 small can pork and beans
black pepper to taste
2 tbs. fat/oil

To do:
Heat oven to 350F.
Saute onions in fat. Add meat. Stir until meat browns. Add salt, pepper, tomatoes, and beans. Mix together and bake in casserole, 30 minutes.

Orange Cake

Another one that I don’t remember Mom ever making, although she use to say she loved orange cake.

1/2 cup shortening
1.5 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 orange
1 cup raisins (or 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup nuts)
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

To do:
Heat oven to 350F (the recipe card says “moderate oven,” so this is a reasonable assumption).
Cream together 1 cup sugar, salt, and shortening. Squeeze juice out of orange and add to 1/2 cup sugar. Set the orange juice/sugar mixture aside. Grind the rest of the orange together with raisins or raisins and nuts. Combine with sugar/shortening mixture. Add eggs, sour milk, baking soda, flour, and baking powder. Mix and pour into loaf pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove when baked and let it cool. Put sugar/juice mixture on the top.

Cheese Fondue

Every New Years Eve my mom use to make cheese fondue. We’d eat it with toasted bread and olives, and later watch one of the New Year broadcasts. Last New Years Eve I was feeling nostalgic, so I dug up Mom’s recipe card and made it for a few of my friends. And now, 10 months later, I was in the process of cleaning my apartment and ran across the card, which hadn’t made it back into the recipe box. 

Cheese Fondue


0.25 cup butter
0.25 cup flour
0.5 tsp salt
0.125 tsp white pepper
6 cups (46 oz) gruyere cheese, shredded
3 cups milk
2 tbs white grape juice (or, if you’re not a tea totaller like Mom, a splash of white wine)

 To do:

Melt butter in chafing dish over hot water. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth and thickened. Add shredded cheese. Stir slowly 30 or 40 minutes or until cheese is well blended. (Mom’s directions say to stir in one direction, but I don’t know why. I did fine just stirring it however.) Just before serving, add wine and stir steadily in one direction until mixture is velvety. Serve accompanied by toasted bread squares. 

I interrupt the usual menu items

With a link to this nifty poem: A Visit from Aunt Fatty

A sample:

Imagine a pill that, for just three percent,
Does all of the things that the pill-makers meant.
Everyone else? They’ve just wasted their money.
But now let’s pretend the pill also tastes funny,
Gives you bad breath, makes you cranky and tired,
And, oh yes, three hours a day are required
To swallow it. Tell me, do you think you’d try it?
‘Cause, honey, that’s just what you get with a diet.

Words of wisdom, folks.