Friday, April 13, 2012

Hungry Tasters, Let's begin!

Good evening, hungry tasters!

It's the weekend and it's officially time to begin the cooking portion of the blog.

I've already had some dear readers ask about the Gum Drop Salad and Mincemeat....the Gum Drop is a go, the Mincemeat would require some fortitude....and some more research. Though, as reader Cathy mentioned to me, the old-time Mincemeat would most likely would have required COOKED meat, such as leftover meat from Sunday dinner....a ha! I've also seen Mincemeat in jars at grocery stores 'round holiday time....not sure what meat is in there either.

Ok then, let's go. Page 1. Recipe #1 Date-Filled Oatmeal Cookies. This sounds completely approachable and does not require excessive amounts of processed foods (the topic of a future blog). The writer of the recipe, Mrs. Henry Tunberg, assumes Grandma and other mid-century women had to have a certain base of unspoken kitchen knowledge when tackling this recipe. There is merely an ingredient list and a cooking oven temperature, no steps, no format other than assumptions. This is true of many of the recipes in the notebook, we'll see if it trips me up. Since my generation grew up making the Nestle Toll House Cookie (also in the notebook) I'll base my steps and oven temperature off of that.

Date-Filled Oatmeal Cookies -- submitted by Mrs. Henry Tunberg
(as appears in notebook)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 t salt
1 t soda
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2 c oatmeal
2c flour

More flour may be needed to handle to roll thin. Mix at night and bake the next day.


1 cup dates, cut
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water

Cook until thick, cool, spread between cookies after they are baked.

Ok Mrs. Tunberg....This is tomorrow's project and I'll add my own directions for today's reader. Look for the revised version this weekend.

FYI  -- I've been trying to date the column and figure out in what newspaper it would have appeared. Here are my clues so far:

Grandma grew up near the Quad Cities Cambridge, IL the seat of Henry County. They did not have a local newspaper but the surrounding counties did during the 30s and 40s.

Some of the backs of the clippings reveal ads for Carson's (a Chicago-based department store), Arrid cost 39 cents, the Nestle Toll House recipe appears, and a partial ad from a store in Oak Park and Evanston is also a big clue. I assume it's Chicago paper but Cambridge was hours away. Would they have subscribed?

If Grandma was in college when she clipped the column each week, Western Illinois is still within the Quad Cities area and perhaps they had a Moline or Macomb edition.

My Grandma's sister-in-law also submitted recipes for the column, Mrs. Kenneth Johnson. This makes me think it was a favorite read among the Cambridge locals and important enough to clip each week.

I have some research to do!!

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