Bananas Aren’t Just For Pies and Other Vintage Cooking Pamphlets

I thought it was time to do another weird collection post.  I have quite a few collections so it’s kind of hard to choose.  Fate stepped in, and I got into an organizing frenzy.  Patterns, doll clothes, and cooking pamphlets got sorted and put into comic book boxes—yes, I have that many of those things!  I found some pretty funny cooking pamphlets and hey presto, there was my collection post.  It didn’t hurt that there were some duplicates, so it is also time for a giveaway.

Bananas weren’t always on the counter like they are today.  They used to be considered exotic, and cooks didn’t really know what to do with them.  This pamphlet came out in 1942 to help with that problem:

Banana bread and banana cream pies are everywhere now, and rightly so because they are yummy!  But the modern housewife of the 1940s wanted to serve bananas for dinner, too:

Voila, Banana Scallops!  At first I was afraid that the recipe was for bananas and scallops, which may or may not be gross.  But no, you mix crushed corn flakes, evaporated milk, eggs, and salt together and deep fry them.  Just add tomato juice, meat patty (!!!) cauliflower, lettuce salad, orange sherbet, and crisp cookies and you have a meal fit for a king, or not.

If banana scallops aren’t your thing, how about Banana Rice Savory?

Who doesn’t love bananas with boiled rice, savory cheese sauce, and paprika?  The savory cheese sauce sounds kind of good, butter, four, salt and pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, milk, and cheese.  But, not on bananas—even with rice to help smooth things over!  I’m kind of shaky with the dessert too; is raisin pie even good?

A little later in the pamphlet, the ship gets righted with these recipes:

Finally, Banana Cream Pie!  Serve with vegetable soup, hot muffins, and a beverage and you have yourself a supper.  Although, if you just want to have the pie, that would be okay, too.  It has eggs and milk, which makes it a complete meal in my eyes.

I just love the cover of this next pamphlet:

Gosh, that has to be the late 1950s or early ’60s don’t you think?  She is a pretty cute spoon girl, and how could you not like the name, Miss Fluffy?  I’m wondering if Miss Fluffy was a brand of rice or just the spokeswoman for the Rice Council?  This kind of booklet is always published by some group trying to promote the use of their product.  Council seems to be their favorite way to describe themselves and give their association some gravitas.

I’m just showing you one Miss Fluffy recipe and it’s a doozy:

The quintessential disgusting food of the 1950s and 1960s were molded dinners made with weird ingredients and gelatin.  Shrimp and Rice Mousse fits the bill to a “T”.  What were they thinking?  Can you imagine the faces around the table when this mess was put in front of them?  I hate to say it, but when I looked at the picture, all I could think of was breasts, and I’m a woman.  The cucumber and parsley garnish at the top doesn’t help at all.  If you wanted to eat shrimp and rice, I’m sure there are about a million better ways to serve it than this!

I’m all in on this next pamphlet:


I really like potato chips, but just don’t eat them much because, well, once you start it’s hard to stop.  If I could justify eating chips with meals then life might be perfect.  Just look at all the nutritious meals you can make with potato chips:

What’s the harm in Beef Loaf, or Chicken Chow Mein?  I’m a little suspicious of Curried Shrimp Balls made with potato chips, but what the heck, give it a whirl.  I wonder what this recipe would taste like—Chip Stuffing:

There is all that nutritious chicken to offset the chips around the chicken and inside of it!  Maybe no one would call Child Protective Services on you, or at least you could make the case that you were trying to be a good parent.  Just to be safe, be sure that you add the whole three cups of bread, so you can argue that there is more bread than salty deliciousness.

If you’re going to eat potato chips for meals, just drop the pretense and go crazy.  Potato chip waffles and potato chip coffee cake fit the bill:

I’m not sure how potato chips make a coffee cake better; it seems a little salty to me.  But, if you can eat fried chicken on waffles, you might as well throw in a few chips too.

The next pamphlet sounds so harmless.  500 Tasty Sandwiches:

It was published in 1941, and was part of those collections by culinary institutes on how to cook almost any food category.  I’m not sure why they chose that sandwich for the cover; it shows kind of questionable content to me:

Creamed Egg and Asparagus sandwiches doesn’t even sound good.  I love asparagus, but the idea of it mixed with hard-boiled eggs, layered with ham, covered with sauce on buttered toast sounds dicey.  You had better like them, too, because the recipe makes eight sandwiches.

I had to laugh at the idea of Liver Sausage Clubs:

There was never enough tomato or lettuce to cover up the liver in a sandwich.  I don’t care if they call it liver sausage, it’s still liver.

On the same page is a club sandwich called Midnight Feast.  Since it’s made of mashed kippered herring and hard-boiled eggs, I’m pretty sure that they are the stuff of nightmares.  I love the touch that you quarter the sandwich and put an olive on each quarter as a garnish.  I’m also wondering why you would make six sandwiches at midnight?  For your insomniac bridge club?

I’m also kind of worried about cottage cheese sandwiches:

There is nothing wrong with cottage cheese just as it is.  You could even throw some fresh fruit on it if you want to go wild.  Some folks use it in lasagna, or make dips from it which is fine by me.  But, I’m drawing a hard line at putting it on sandwiches, and there is nothing you could add to them to make it bearable.  We should put the Potato Chip Council on the problem; at least it would then be salty.

I’m a little shaky on this sandwich:

I don’t eat tuna fish now, but when growing up I sure ate a lot of it, especially on meatless Fridays.  I don’t EVER recall eating it with cucumber and paprika.  I’m on board with onion, green pepper, celery, and mayonnaise.  I think cucumber and paprika just sounds gross!

Well, I could go on forever.  I scanned the Celebrity Recipe booklet with such gems as Gladys Knight’s Fried Chicken with Sauerkraut recipe, or Sergio Franchi’s Cold Poached Veal with Tuna Sauce (blorp!) but you’re just going to have to wait.  One of us is sure to organize a collection and get another wild hair.

Now for the giveaway.  We have three duplicate pamphlets and if you would like one of them, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.  If there is a special one you want, leave that info in the comment, and if you win, and are the first to request the pamphlet, it’s yours.  Here are the pamphlets.  Sorry they are a bit blurry, but since they’re in CO and I’m in MI there’s no way to retake the pictures:


The drawing will be after 7 pm MDT on May 11th.  Be sure to enter if you would like to cook like your grandmother did.

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9 Responses to Bananas Aren’t Just For Pies and Other Vintage Cooking Pamphlets

  1. Queli says:

    Wow, who knew you could use bananas in so many ways?! Thanks so much for putting this article together. Loved the graphics too 🙂

    I would like the Let’s Eat Outdoors Book.

  2. I think I have that sandwich cookbook. Got it as inspiration for tea sandwiches, but after a closer look at the recipes, decided “not!” Though that may have been where I got the inspiration for my turkey and asparagus sandwiches–which, I promise, do not have creamed eggs in them!

  3. Stephanie Gazell says:

    Oh that was fun! How on earth did people make it through meals, with some of those recipes? Poached cold veal with tuna sauce? Oh my good gracious! *turning green* Anyway, what fun! I’d love the “Let’s Eat Outdoors” if it ends up available! Thank you for sharing your fun things with us!

    Oh, and my sister’s boyfriend in the late 1970’s used to make a dish called Eggy Mess, which was scrambled eggs with potatoes, teriyaki (or soy) sauce and BANANAS. It was incredibly delicious, which you wouldn’t suppose, from just hearing about it. We used to beg him to make it on weekend mornings for breakfast. Good times, good times… :>)

  4. OSS says:

    Mmmm. Yummy. NOT. lol I think you should do an entire blog entry on aspic. I’ve been “researching” that particular delight for OSS of late. I just love those vintage recipe booklets. Although, the ink colors don’t really do much to sell the delectable dishes. heeheeeee

    • kathy & deb says:

      Yes, there is something about that gelatinous photography that really captures the YUCK factor! I am not sure we could stomach a whole post of aspic. Might be a good diet though.

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