midcenturymeals

1950's and 60's meals, memories and trivia

Notes About the Recipes and Ingredients

on March 1, 2012

Davy Jones of The Monkees

As much as I like to say I am staying true to the integrity of mid-century recipes, I have tried many of these dishes with alternative ingredients. If you are trying to go “whole grain,” I have found that soft wheat bread, (Oroweat Country Whole Wheat is my favorite), is a good replacement for white bread in almost any recipe. Nearly every dairy ingredient, including cheese, can be replaced with lowfat. When using milk, I used fat free most of the time.  My family could not tell the difference. The same goes for fat free Half& Half, my favorite invention!

When a recipe called for hamburger, I used lean.  It is leaner than regular ground beef, but has a lot more flavor than extra lean ground beef. If you don’t like the added fat, pour it off and then blot out the excess grease with paper towels when appropriate. Extra lean ground beef is pretty tasteless. All the recipes called for regular mayonnaise. I tested with light mayonnaise. A staple of mid- 20th century cooking was instant (dried), minced onions. I sometimes chose to finely chop fresh onions instead. It’s just my own personal preference.

I have all sorts of pages, ripped from magazines and copied off the internet, (so NOT mid-century), taped inside my cupboards with tips on everything from measuring, to types of apples and their uses, temperature conversions, etc. Though I consider myself a seasoned cook, I find them invaluable when I have a question. I would like to spare you the messy look when the cupboards are opened so I will be posting some of that info in the future. That is an entire blog by itself!

While testing, my father was suggesting some ingredients he thought might make the meals more flavorful, such as andouille sausage and fennel.  At times while creating new recipes I would think of ingredient replacements such as dried chipotle pepper or leeks.  After reading many mid-century cookbooks and doing exhaustive research online, those ingredients either didn’t exist in American cooking or were rarely used so I did not use them in any of my recipes. That doesn’t mean that you can’t add and subtract to your hearts content. I tried to stay true to the theme of this book so I stayed with ingredients I found in recipes from that era.

My family has a history of diabetes, so sometimes I would make a recipe with sugar and then try it with a sugar substitute. Make sure it is one that can withstand heat. Splenda, Xylitol or Truvia (stevia),are my choices. I would not recommend any sugar substitutes when you are making any kind of candy or syrup without further research.

When I am sharing a recipe, I am hoping it appeals to you and you want to try it, but I am also sharing the food history of the 50’s and 60’s. That is why I am staying absolutely true to the era. That doesn’t mean that if I have a roast beef recipe that calls for hours of cooking, that you can’t use your crockpot. I would, (and do!) but I won’t put that in the recipe because crockpots didn’t become available until the early 70’s. I hope you find ways to put your own special touch to the recipes in this blog. Unlike me while writing this, you will not be held to any “historical” standards!

Tomorrow I will post a recipe that was given to me by Jinx Cromwell. She is my son’s best friend’s grandmother. (Did you get that??) When I was telling people about my project, researching and testing recipes for a book, I was told by Jinx’ son, Gordon, that I needed a Beef and Vegetable Soup recipe. He is my son’s best friend’s dad. (Did you get THAT??) This is without a doubt one of my favorite all time homemade soups! Can’t wait to share it!

Trivia:  Since my very first love, Davy Jones of the Monkees, passed away today, (I was 8 when I fell in love with him!), I will do trivia about the Monkees. I got in big trouble because of Davy once. I wrote “Davy loves Lori” on my bedroom wall in crayon. (Again, I was only 8!) Anyway, RIP Davy…I will always be your “Daydream Believer!”

Aired from 9/12/66 – 3/68, the Monkees were #1 in their NBC timeslot for all 58 episodes over two years, (Mondays 7:30 pm). During the first season they were paid $450.00 each per episode. The second season they received $750.00 each per episode. Davy Jones is survived by the other 3 Monkees, Peter Tork, Mickey Donlenz and Mike Nesmith.

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2 responses to “Notes About the Recipes and Ingredients

  1. Joseph E. Michael Jr. says:

    having three boys helped with your cooking alot plus the fact they’re all tall and slender. you get an A+

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