Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Cooking Shows are Not New!

Dear Folks,

As fan of old time radio, I asked Jon over at if he had any old shows on cooking or gardening.  I have purchased mp3 shows from Jon for some of my favorite old time detective shows (like "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar") and with all that is going on now with the economy and renewal of interests in home gardening (aka Victory Gardens) I figured I would ask if Jon had any in his extensive collections.  He said he would check and he did!

He has two small collections of old time cooking shows "Betty Crocker" and "Martha Meade" (known as the Betty Crocker of the West).

I transcribed the recipes from two shows for you below -- I can't wait to try the "Emergency Steak" -- it is a perfect fit for an economical dinner today!  The war time economies required creativity in the kitchen.

A note about old time radio shows.  These shows were made in the 30s and 40s primarily although Jon's collections go from about the 20s through the 50s.  The culture and times were different, think of it as a history lesson. Many of the shows still have their commercials.  As a history lesson it is what it is and the fact that women's roles have significantly changed and evolved in society is an important current event compared to history.

One of the aspects of these cooking shows is how long they pause to give the listener time to write down the instructions -- compare that to today's cooking shows and you have to be a speed typist to write it down.  Although most of the time you can go to a current show's website to find the recipe, many times they are not available at the time of the show, so the pause is helpful :-)

Jon tells me he is working on compiling the gardening shows and hopes to have something in the spring.  I can't wait!  Did you know about 40% of all produce consumed in the country back then was home grown to support the war - Victory Gardens were then and now a great way to bring fresh to the table.  Our local family owned nursery Harpers Nursery was started as a Victory Garden!

Jon has an extensive collection of holiday shows, click here for the main holiday page.  Although Halloween is past Jon has a family friendly selection of halloween shows - comedy and variety - in addition to his scary sampler.  Click here for the variety halloween page.

On each of the main pages, Jon includes a show you can listen to or download to computer.

His collections are inexpensive and many times include a hundred hours or more on each disc.

Okay here are the recipes with a link following for the shows page.  The emphasis was on a lot of vegetables, a point I keep writing about and folks need to pay attention to today - your plate for a meal should be a rainbow of color with 2/3 of it taken up by vegetables and fruits (not including potatoes, pasta or grains).

"Emergency Steak"
Betty Crocker August 10, 1945
Serves 6
1 lb of ground beef or hamburger
1/2 cup milk
1 cup wheaties
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tblsp finely chopped onion
Mix all together, pat the mixture into a 1" thick 'steak shape' on a broiler pan or in a heavy skillet.  Broil 8-15 minutes til desired doneness (med - well).
Serve garnished with parsley and sliced radishes and vegetable side dish (below)
Cut a mixture of carrots, celery and cabbage into equal size pieces to equal 3-5 cups total.  Cook in a pot with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1/4 cup of water in a covered pot. Add a bit of water if needed. All the water should cook out.  Cook only until crisp done (in the 40s they would have been cooked very well done).   Serve the Steak and veggies with a tossed salad.

"Sour Cream Tart"
Martha Meade Society Cooking Show
May 16, 1933
Martha Meade was called the Betty Crocker of the West, sponsored by The Sperry Flour Company, of San Francisco, CA, would eventually become part of General Mills.
The show featured information about the local growers of food products and in this episode the focus was on apples.
6 baked pastry tart shells
2 eggs separated
2 Tblsp flour
6 Tblsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
1/4 tsp nutmeg*
1/4 tsp "pastry spice" but can substitute half and half ground cloves and allspice*
1 cup sour cream (or add a tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of cream and let set for a couple of hours)** 
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (Show notes to make apple sauce add the juice of 1/2 a lemon to the apples while cooking and then add the rind for flavor - removing before serving -- Catherine notes if you have never made apple sauce it is very easy -- core and dice up apples - I personally leave the peels on - 1-2 tablespoon of water is all you need usually - bring to high simmer, reduce heat, stir, cover and cook on low for about 30-40 minutes depending on how thick you want it.  Stirring occasionally.
4 tbls sugar
2 tbls chopped walnuts
*Catherine says you could substitute 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and achieve a very similar taste.
** Catherine says "I would consider 1 cup of greek style yogurt as an option to the sour cream."
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon yellow.  Add sugar and beat to incorporate sugar well.  Mix flour, salt and spices together then add to egg mixture, mix.  Then add sour cream and apple sauce and blend thoroughly.  Cook mixture in the top of a double boiler until thickened.  Cool, Pour into pastry shells.
Whip egg whites to peaks, gradually add in 4 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, and top each tart with some of the meringue.  Bake in slow oven 300 for approximately 20 minutes. 

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady