Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas recipes and crafts from a half-century ago

The December 1964 issue of The Workbasket and Home Arts Magazine is packed with craft ideas, recipes, money-saving suggestions and more for the holiday homemaker.1

The recipes are geared toward gift ideas, parties and desserts, and some of them are from readers, who received $2 if their submission was published.

Here, for starters, are a few recipes for you to check out on this snowy, icy Sunday in the northeastern U.S.

Mincemeat Cake
By Mrs. John Royal
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package mincemeat
  • ⅔ cup waffle syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • 2 cups flour
Combine sugar, butter, egg, mincemeat, and waffle syrup. Blend baking soda into cold coffee and add to first mixture. Add flour. Pour into well greased loaf baking pan. Bake in 350° oven for about 30 minutes.

Gala Holiday Wreaths
  • ½ cup margarine
  • ¼ cup sifted brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or coconut
  • raspberry jam
Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolk. Add flour. Form into small balls. Place on a fork, dip into egg white, then into nuts. Place on cooky sheet.2 Press a hole in center of each cookie. Place in a very slow oven (300° F.). After 8 minutes of baking press in center again and continue baking 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove from sheet. Fill center with jam or jelly. Yields 2½ dozen cookies.

Candied Pineapple Rings
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup corn syrup
  • 2 cans (No. 2) sliced pineapple
Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan. Cook over moderate heat until mixture spins a thread (234 degrees).3 Drop in a few slices of well-drained pineapple, being careful not to crowd the slices. Simmer slowly until pineapple becomes clear, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pineapple from pan and drain on wire racks. Continue until all pineapple is candied.

You'll also like Minted Pineapple to add a Yuletide look to roast turkey, chicken or baked ham — hot or cold.

Minted pineapple: Heat pineapple slices in their own syrup to which a bit of green coloring and mint flavoring have been added.

And here are a couple of Christmas crafts from this issue of Workbasket. First up, all you need are some metal potato-chip tins...

Rickrack Jewelry
By Nancy Osborne
Several years ago I learned to make two basic styles of earrings from rickrack braid. Since then I have designed some styles of my own. I get 35c to $1.75 for a pair of earrings and $1.25 to $3.50 for a pin and matching earrings. I sometimes combine both large and small rickrack braid in one pair of earrings. I put rickrack on any type back desired. My most popular idea so far has been a Christmas tree pin. I make 15 circles from smallest size dark green rickrack. I glue these together in shape of Christmas tree. When dry I sew a small pin to back to wrong side. Next I glue on one brown circle for tree trunk, centering it on bottom row of green circles. Then brush pin lightly with silver tempera paint. Last I decorate tree with tiny pearls, little red and crystal rhinestones. I get $1.25 for these.4

There is also a four-page craft project describing how you can create a "Stained Glass Window Nativity Niche" using a cylindrical oatmeal container, wax paper, crayon shavings and construction paper. When you're finished, it might look something like this. (Too bad it's not a color photo.)

1. It also has advertisements for live seahorses, the Inflate-A-Form Sweater Dryer sold by Mr. John D. Rex, accordions, Uncle Jenk's Art Trace Drawing and Coloring Book, and the extremely dubious "50 Brand New Towels" for $1 ... but I don't want to get off-topic. There is also an intriguing advertisement for a 30-piece old-fashioned ice skating party for $1 that I want to post later this month.
2. Yes, it says "cooky."
3. The necessary temperatures are VERY precise in candy-making. See, for example, this Candy Making Chart on
4. That seems like a lot of work for $1.25, although $1.25 in 1964 is the equivalent of about $9.13 today, which would seem to be worth the while for a nice Christmas craft.

No comments:

Post a Comment