Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chill out on a hot day with these 1950s dessert recipes

Personalized Recipes is a spiral-bound collection of recipes that was published by the Women's Auxiliary to the Reading Dental Society in the mid 1950s. That would be the Reading, Pennsylvania, Dental Society.1

The 214-page volume was collected and compiled by both The Ways and Means Committee and a Special Committee of the auxiliary. The editor was Mrs. Thomas H. Leininger, who apparently was not permitted to use her own name for reasons of national security. The book was printed by Rieck's Letter Service of Reading, which has been in business since 1936 and is now called Rieck's Printing. (Speaking of the book design, the back cover is a nifty fold-out stand that allows the chef to keep the book upright while preparing a recipe.)

Mrs. Harry D. Hamilton wrote a little poem to celebrate the book's publication. I'll include it here, in case any of the Trumps want to use it in a future speech.

When we started this adventure,
We knew that it would be
A tremendous undertaking
For amateurs, such as we.

Nor our trials and tribulations
Are in the past. But look!
The pleasure is ours, the gain is yours,
So we present this Personalized Book.

But enough with the poetry. It's another sweltering day, so here are some recipes from the book that might serve to keep you cool.

Pineapple Ice Box Cake
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 T. cream
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. pineapple, crushed
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 48 graham cracker, rolled fine (4 cups)
  • 3 T. butter
Beat egg yolks with cream and stir over hot water until mixture because thick and smooth. Cool. Cream butter and sugar and add yolk and cream mixture. Strain juice from large can pineapple — use all of pineapple and enough juice to make 2 cups. Add to creamed mixture. Add lemon juice. Beat egg whites and folk in gently. Blend butter with cracker crumbs. Line a 9x9x2 pan with waxed paper, bottom and sides. Spread 1 c. cracker mix on bottom of pan, press firmly with fingers. Over this, pour 1/3 of pineapple mixture. Spread evenly with knife. Cover with another layer of crumbs, pressing firmly. Repeat until all is used. There will be 4 layers of crumbs and 3 layers of filling. Cover pan with waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator over night. Turn upside down on cutting board or flat square dish. Serve with whipped cream or sauce made with leftover pineapple juice and lemon juice. Serves 9 generously.
— Mrs. E. Harold Finnerty
Scranton, Pa.

Snow Balls
  • 1 can (#2) crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 lb. marshmallows
  • 1 c. nuts, chopped
  • 1 lb. vanilla wafers (small size)
  • 1 c. sugar
Drain pineapple several hours; add sugar to pineapple, let stand 1 hour, drain again. Cut marshmallows into small pieces (16ths), add nuts and mix with pineapple. Crush about 14 vanilla wafers and add to above mixture. Spread this mixture on wafers, 3 wafers to a snow ball. Place snow balls in refrigerator over night. When ready to serve, spread whipped cream on snow balls and sprinkle with coconut.
— Mrs. Arthur L. Jones

Frosted Green Grape Sundae
Remove small green seedless grapes from stems. Dip into heavy cream, then into sifted confectioners sugar. Dry on waxed paper. Serve on any flavor ice cream desired.
— Mrs. Cyril V. Leddy

Chocolate Marlow Cream
  • 1/2 lb. marshmallows (32)
  • 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. chopped nuts
  • -1/2 c. whipping cream
Melt marshmallows and chocolate in milk over hot water. Cool and add vanilla and nuts. Freeze until firm. Remove and beat smooth. Fold in whipped cream and continue freezing until firm. Serves 6.
— Mrs. Charles J. Wolfe

1. Here's some proof of existence of the Reading Dental Society — a (somewhat odd) photo of their clambake from the June 14, 1957, edition of the Reading Eagle.

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