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Cooking old school

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Old recipes found in old Vindicators

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Hopefully, all of the panic buying is over or winding down. However, should supplies remain scarce and should there be among our readers those who are cooking for the first time — or for the first time in a long time, or for the first time from scratch or mostly from scratch — then we thought it might be helpful to share some of the old recipes that once appeared in this newspaper.

Note: Wherever readers find the word “oleo,” that’s what we used to call margarine.

We will start with comfort food.

In 1974, Estelle Van Dorn won first place in the dessert category of the newspaper’s holiday recipes contest with her recipe for what she called “Inflation Cake,” and here it is:


  • 1 ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 4 fun size Three Musketeers Bars
  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Melt chocolate candy with honey, let cool. Mix eggs, shortening, add honey that is cooled. Then add dry ingredients (flour, soda and salt). Alternately with buttermilk, beat well, add flavorings. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes in greased floured oblong pan. While hot, frost with this frosting.

  • 1 stick oleo
  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 fun size Three Musketeers Bars
  • 6 teaspoons sweet milk or cream

Bring to boil in sauce pan, then add 1 box powder sugar. 1 cup nuts, 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1.2 teaspoon butter flavoring. Beat and put on cake while still hot.

Mrs. Van Dorn included the following note below the recipe: “This cake is a real moist cake. It is one I made up and I have made and taken to church. It was gone before you could turn around. With sugar so high, and lot of Bee men in this area, most of us have honey on hand.”

Here’s a recipe from 1906.


Sift together two cups of cornmeal, one cup of flour and one level teaspoon each of salt and soda. Beat three eggs with one level teaspoon of sugar, add the egg mixture to the flour, pour in two cups of sour milk and mix well. Bake in one loaf.

Era Marie Robinson won first place in the main dish category of the 1974 contest with her recipe for Vegetable Meat Loaf.


  • 1 10-ounce package forzen mixed vegetables
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef chuck
  • 1 10 ¾-ounce can brown gravy with onion, heated to serving temperature

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare vegetables according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, slightly beat egg together with milk, salt, pepper and sage. Stir in crumbs and set aside. In a small saucepan, over moderate heat (about 250 degrees) melt butter. Add onion and butter mixture, cooked mixed vegetables and ground beef to egg mixture. Turn into a lightly buttered shallow rectangular 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Shape meat mixture into an 8x5-inch oblong loaf. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until meat is well done and top is richly browned. Slice and serve with gravy. Serves four to six. Your time 19 minutes. Baking time 55 minutes.

Another from 1906:


Wash and wipe the liver dry. Cut a dozen match-like strips of salt pork and insert in gashes cut in the liver or use a larding needle. Dredge the liver with flour, sprinkle on a little salt and bake half an hour in a hot oven.

If any of our readers have a “larding needle,” we would appreciate a photo of it.


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