Saturday, November 25, 2017

The inside story of all those roadside Burma-Shave signs

A short and enjoyable book I finished recently is The Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles, written by Frank Rowsome Jr.

It was first published in 1965 and has gone through many printings and editions over the years, including a 25th anniversary edition in 1990, so used copies are plentiful and available for just a couple bucks, in most cases.

It is, as the title explains, the history of Burma-Shave's rhyming roadside advertising signs, which could be found all across the United States in the middle of the 20th century and still have a firm place in our popular culture and collective memory.1 A typical set would feature six signs, spaced apart for reading by passing drivers, with messages such as:


As I said, it's a short book at only 121 pages. But nearly half of that is an appendix featuring the text of every Burma-Shave sign ever produced. So the actual text, in my edition, is only 68 pages. Short enough to read during the first half of a Sunday NFL game.

Here are a few of my favorite anecdotes:

  • Some of the Burma-Shave signs were public-safety and road-safety messages, rather than explicit advertisements for shaving cream. One of my favorites, combining my love of black humor and puns, is:

  • "In the first decade the strangest natural enemies of Burma-Shave signs were horses. Signs in field where horses were pastured would be found broken off forcibly at the attachment point. ... [Study] revealed that the signs were being installed at a perfect height to serve as horse back-scratchers. Throughout the country, enterprising horses were discovering that, by sidling under an overhanging sign and humping slightly, a richly sensuous scratching could be achieved; and often, in some transport of equine ecstasy, the sign would snap."
  • At one point, the U.S. Navy asked if Burma-Shave would contribute some signs to boost the morale of the men who were stationed in Antarctica during Operation Deep Freeze. Three sets of signs were selected and delivered to the Navy. The book goes on to state: "Photographs of the last series — erected in a howling wilderness with a snow tractor in the background and five politely interested penguins gracing the foreground — were picked up by United Press International and distributed to scores of U.S. newspapers. Even after allowing for the fact that Burma-Shave had become a sort of national institution, it was evident that ... [it] had a knack for unpaid publicity that Barnum would have envied."

    I found what I believe to be the aforementioned photograph posted on a member gallery at Shorpy. The caption states: "Some of the locals in Antarctica photographed in 1963 by my father-in-law, the late [U.S. Navy Senior Chief] Joe Edge."

If you don't want to pick up the book but would like to spend some time browsing nostalgically through all of the Burma-Shave jingles and reading them aloud to your friends and family, here is the perfect website for you.

1. Here is Dad's response to the general topic of Burma-Shave memories:

If you don't know
Whose signs these are
You haven't traveled
Very far

Friday, November 24, 2017

Men, can we listen for once?

This week will be remembered not for Thanksgiving or football or Black Friday shopping, but for yet another round of brave women (and a few men) coming forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment, or worse (far worse), at the hands of men in Hollywood, the media, government and other powerful segments of society.1

I will not ramble. It's time for men to shut up and listen. And believe. And figure out how we can be part of the solution as we work together to build new government, business and societal infrastructures that do not enable, provide space for or tolerate sexism or harassment of any kind.

Listen, believe and follow these women.

* * *

1. A partial roll call of the men who have been the subject of allegations, some of them criminal in nature, in recent days, weeks and months: Donald J. Trump, Roy Moore, Louis C.K., Harvey Weinstein, George H.W. Bush, Kevin Spacey, Sylvester Stallone, Al Franken, Glenn Thrush, Michael Oreskes, Richard Dreyfuss, Jeffrey Tambor, Brett Ratner, John Conyers, Larry Nassar, Mark Halperin, James Toback, George Takei, Danny Masterson, Charlie Rose, John Lasseter, Eddie Berganza, Roy Price, Jeremy Piven, Russell Simmons...

Added November 29: Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor.
Added December 14: Dustin Hoffman... (This list will never be complete.)

Ride in the pumpkin carriage at Storytown U.S.A.

This unused Dexter Press postcard promotes Storytown U.S.A., a children's amusement park near Lake George, New York, that was in operation under that name from 1954 until 1983.

According to Wikipedia, Storytown started out as a Mother Goose-themed park geared primarily toward young children. A few years after opening, the operators determined that there was a need to create attractions geared toward older demographics, so the Ghost Town (1957) and Jungle Land (1960) areas — both of which are mentioned on the postcard — were added in expansions. In the 1960s, Storytown purchased and added some attractions from the short-lived Freedomland U.S.A. theme park in The Bronx. An Alice in Wonderland themed area opened in 1967.

Storytown at one point employed a marketing technique that was slightly more controversial than postcards. Staffers would go out in the parking lot and place Storytown U.S.A. bumper stickers on the automobiles. Some grumpy reactions ended that practice before too long.

In 1983, the park was renamed The Great Escape. Today, it is a huge amusement park filled with water slides and roller coasters, and it is operated by Six Flags. If you know what to look for, you can still find some remnant elements of Storytown U.S.A. around the park.

Additional reading

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy vintage anthropomorphic vegetables

Please don't look to me for guidance or deep insight on what's going on with these vintage Thanksgiving postcards. I'm as flummoxed as you are.

"I salute thee, Miss Onion"
The gallant radish said.
"Let us have one more round
Ere our spirits are dead
Ere our charms shall
The Thanksgiving table enhance
O grant me, fair onion,
This last Harvest dance."

We're tripping the light fantastic toe
Our growing days are over
No more we'll nod and beckon
To our neighbor fields of clover.
But at the festive table,
Spread for Thanksgiving Day,
Mid sauce and soups and seasoning,
Our smiles shall fade away.

* * *

These split-back cards were published by F.A. Owen Company of Dansville, New York. According to, that company was in business from 1915 to 1927.

The top postcard was addressed — but never stamped or mailed — to Miss Pearle Fitch of Falls, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated riverside community in Wyoming County that I had never heard of and is now on my list of Pennsylvania places to check out. It was "sent" from Margaret Johnson.

Pearle Fitch is listed as being 8 years old in the 1900 census and was likely the daughter of native Pennsylvanian Joseph H. Fitch (1860-1931) and Christine "Chrissie" Sives Fitch (1867-1927), who was born in England.

Final note: The phrase "tripping the light fantastic" is way, way older than you might imagine. Most say its first appearance in print came in Milton's "L'Allegro," circa 1645:

Com, and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantastick toe.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Last-minute Thanksgiving dessert ideas from the Maine coast

If you're still working out the final details of tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner and need a sweet idea for dessert: (1) Wow! You're a procrastinator, (2) I have some ideas for you, courtesy of the spiral-bound 1964 edition of Maine Coastal Cooking and the Accomplisht Cook, or, The Whole Art of Mystery of Cookery, Fitted for All Degrees and Qualities.

The cookbook was published by Courier-Gazette Inc. of Rockland, Maine. Some of its recipes date back to 1664 and there are, as you might imagine, a lot of seafood recipes.

But right now the focus is on dessert, not 1,000 ways to prepare a lobster. So here are some of the sweetness-infused recipes from the book:

Molasses Blueberry Cake
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sour milk (or hot water may be used instead)
  • 3 scant cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups blueberries (washed, drained, and floured)
  • 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice

Bake in greased and lightly floured pan in 350° oven, baking time depends on size pan used.

Submitted by Mrs. Milton Grierson, South Thomaston, Maine

Grandma Nancy's Lemon Cake
(An 1850 Recipe)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 large lemon, grated peel and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saleratus (soda)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 egg whites, beaten stiff

Cream butter and add gradually while still creaming the sugar. Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; add to the first mixture. Flavor with the grated peel and juice of the large lemon. Sift the soda with the flour and stir lightly into the mixture alternately with the milk. Beat the four egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Pour the cake batter into two well buttered loaf pans, 11 x 4 x 3 inches deep. Bake at 325-350° F. for about 50 minutes. Remove the cake from pan. Cool. Dust the top lightly with confectioners' sugar.

Brown Sugar Fudge
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • few grains of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Place sugars, milk and salt in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until fudge boils rapidly. Let boil until temperature reaches 239 degrees or until a firm ball is formed when a few drops are placed in cold water. Remove from heat and follow the very same procedure as in the recipe for making chocolate fudge. When cool, beat and pour into buttered square pan and mark into squares.

Variation: Sour cream fudge is made by the same method, substituting 3 cups brown sugar and 1 cup of sour cream in place of the white and brown sugar and milk.

* * *
Desserts in the "reprinted from 1664" portion of the book include almond tarts, cream tarts, French tarts, cinnamon pudding and "To make Rice Puddings in guts," which includes the instruction "cut the guts a foot long, and fill them three quarters full, tie both ends together, and put them in boiling water." Let's skip that one.

Other dessert posts

Some recent mailbox smiles

Here are some colorful and amazing postcards I have received in recent weeks that put a smile on my face and hopefully will bring you some cheer, too, on this Thanksgiving Eve...

Above: Who wouldn't want to live in this village? ... Où se cache ma petite fée? is French and translates to "Where is my little fairy hiding?" (according to Google) or "Where are you my pretty fairy?" (according to the English caption on the back). This Postcrossing card is from Jeremy, a married brewery worker with two cats who lives in Pérols, France. Jeremy used washi tape and a butterfly sticker on his postcard, which is just awesome.

Above: Because when the dragon says "Freeze!!" you should freeze, right? This Postcrossing card came from China and the only handwritten message is the final portion of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses":

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Above: This beautiful card brought extra cheer and features the TWA Moonliner that was, back in the day, a big part of Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Wernher von Braun helped with the creation of this exhibit and one of his quotes (plus some dandy space-themed vintage stamps) is included on the back: "We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming."

Above: This postcard from Ekaterina in Moscow, Russia, features a nifty illustration of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow. It was constructed in the mid 1950s and used for the 1980 Summer Olympics. As a bonus, this "Fox and the Grapes" stamp was used to mail the postcard.

Above: Finally, as autumn drifts away, here's a beautiful image from the town of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Veronika says the town has a rotating outdoor garden theater during the summer, which might be separate from the also-famous 17th century Český Krumlov Castle theater, which is still in occasional use.

Book cover: "A Day in the Life of President Kennedy"

  • Title: A Day in the Life of President Kennedy
  • Author: Jim Bishop (1907-1987)
  • Front cover photographer: Cecil Stoughton (1920-2008)
  • Publisher: Bantam Books ("A Bantam Fifty" / F-2867)
  • Cover price: 50 cents
  • Year of publication: 1964 (First edition was Random House in March 1964. This edition is October 1964.)
  • Pages: 148
  • Format: Paperback
  • How acquired: For 97 cents from a thrift store in Lancaster County.
  • Waterstained? Yes.
  • Back-cover blurb: "To my eternal sorrow, I was the last writer to work with President Kennedy on an exclusive story. Therefore I asked to have it published as written, without anything added or changed, when the world was bright for him and the future held the warm promise of goodness and victory. What you will read in this book is a portrait of the Kennedy family as it looked then — with no premonition that, for him, time had run out. — Jim Bishop"
  • Dedication: "Dedicated with Affection to Caroline and John F. Kennedy, Jr. who will some day want to recall what it was like."
  • First sentence: The sun, like almost everyone in Washington, is on time.
  • Last sentence: The last few minutes of the day belong to God.
  • Random section from middle: The Kennedy Administration has been accused of managing news, and if this implies putting a good face on adverse events, and withholding certain news until the most good can be drawn from it, then the Administration is probably guilty.
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3.92 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Notes: John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day, 54 years ago. This past May marked the 100th anniversary of his birth. ... Author Bishop wrote 21 books, the most famous of which was probably The Day Lincoln Was Shot. He also penned The Day Christ Died, The Day Christ Was Born, FDR's Last Year, and The Day Kennedy Was Shot. This book is most notable because, as the back-cover copy notes, it was researched during the summer of 1963 and finished shortly before JFK's death. The following is an excerpt from Bishop's obituary:
    "He made the best-seller list again by writing one of the top 10 books of 1964. It was A Day in the Life of President Kennedy, which Mr. Bishop completed on Nov. 12, 1963, 10 days before the assassination. The President had approved it without revisions. Jacqueline Kennedy asked for 60 small changes, which Mr. Bishop made."
    ... A three-page postscript to the book includes the author's own list of "parallels" between the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations. So it's possible that Bishop had a lot to do with the perpetuation of and fascination with the Kennedy/Lincoln Coincidence Hoo-Ha that persists even today. ... Cover photographer Stoughton was JFK's official White House photographer, taking more than 8,000 shots during the nearly three years Kennedy was in office. According to Wikipedia, "Stoughton was present at the motorcade at which Kennedy was assassinated and subsequently took the only photograph on board Air Force One of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in." Also, according to Wikipedia, "on Stoughton's suggestion Johnson was flanked by his wife and Jacqueline Kennedy, facing slightly away from the camera so that blood stains on her pink Chanel suit would not be visible."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Have a very Fritos Thanksgiving

Here's a recipe-filled advertising pamphlet that was published long ago by Fritos. That famous corn chip was "invented" by Charles Elmer Doolin (1903–1959) with The Frito Company, based in Texas, in 1932. In 1961, a merger created the Frito-Lay that we know today and that serves as a key component of so many Super Bowl parties.

So, since this pamphlet makes no specific mention of Frito-Lay, I think we can assume it dates to between 1932 and 1961.

The front measures 3½ inches by 6 inches. It folds out to four panels, which are printed front and back. It was geared toward restaurants, as the front states: "Offering Appealing Menu Variety For Exacting Appetites Of Restaurant Patrons."

One section includes a bit of contextual history:
"One may delve into the food customs of the Ancients and discover that a goodly portion of their commerce consisted of corn, wine and oil. Throughout the ages, corn is recognized as a most sustaining grain. Its planting and cultivation provided protection against famine. Corn was a chief ally to the empire builders of the old world; a friend to the pioneers of the new. ... FRITOS are a friendly food companion. Make them your ally in pleasing patrons and producing PROFITS."
The next section further stresses that notion of profits:
"The popularity FRITOS have attained in the food favor of millions, is by no means a passing fancy. More and more people are being captivated by the enticing taste of these new Mexican crisp chips, and are constantly finding manifold uses for their nourishing goodness. Being alert to the taste choice of your patrons, you are anxious to offer appealing menu variety to exacting appetites. Moreover, the quickness, ease and economy of preparing new feature dishes — with due respect to net profit — must have consideration."
And thus there are six recipes included in the pamphlet. All indicate the cost, per serving, of the ingredients for the restaurant and some suggest the menu price for the finished dish. For example the Frito Omelet has an estimated cost of six cents per order and a suggest menu price of 25 cents.

Here are two of the recipes from the pamphlet:

Frito Hot Tamale Pie
  • 2 cups ground meat
  • ¼ inch small garlic, clove, cut fine
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1½ cups meat stock
  • 8 ozs. FRITOS
Fry meat in 2 tablespoons fat, until done, mix salt, garlic and chili powder with meat and add meat stock. If no meat stock in available, use bullion cubes, and then line a baking dish, sides and bottom with crushed FRITOS, add meat mixture and cover top with remaining FRITOS.

Bake from 20 to 30 minutes in hot oven. Serve from casserole or individual meat pie dish. This is very good served with a salad, pickles or olives and cherry tarts.

Time: 20 to 30 minutes — Approx. cost 28c

At least 4 servings — Individual cost 7c

Suggested price 25c per order. Upward, when incorporated on a dinner with side dishes. Variations to suit Chef's preference can be made.

Frito Dressing
  • 3 cups moistened FRITO crumbs
  • 1 cup moistened bread crumbs
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sage, or more
Mix moistened FRITO crumbs, bread, onions, celery, salt, sage and pepper. Add melted butter and stuff fowls, game or heart. A distinctively flavored dressing that is sure to please.

Approx. cost: 10c

Variations to suit Chef's preference can be made.

* * *

The other recipes are the aforementioned Frito Omelet, Frito Enchiladas, Frito Peppers, and Macaroni La Frito.

P.S.: I think it's best that we never again discuss "Cooked Heart with Frito Stuffing."

P.S. 2: I received no money or Fritos in exchange for this post.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Get supper ready with mid-century Serbian cookery

Continuing with some long-overdue recipes this week, here is Serbian Cookery, a 143-page spiral-bound volume of recipes published in November 1955 by the Sisters of the Ravanica Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church in Detroit, Michigan. It was part of Mom's extensive and beloved collection of cookbooks.

First, here is an excerpt from the lengthy foreword by Vlaiko M. Lugonja:
"The Serbian people, who presently occupy the largest portion of Yugoslavia, settled centuries ago in the heart of the Balkans. This put them astride the great East-West historical highways, which stretch from the Alps and the Pannonian Plains of Central Europe, down the valleys of the Danube, Drina, Morava and Vardar Rivers, and along the Aegean Sea. As a result, the Serbians' cooking acquired many characteristics from other nations.

"At the start of this century, emigration to the New World brought women here from all parts of Serbia, each enhancing the customs of food preparation with her own contribution of rich and varied cooking traditions. And today, whenever Serbian women gather, the usual subject of discussion (other than the usual bits of gossip) is cooking. Out of such discussion came the realization that the younger generation of Serbian women in the United States felt a desire to preserve the traditional cooking arts of their parents and grandparents."
Here are some of the recipes from Serbian Cookery:

Jerinkitz Peppers
(Turshija od zutih paprika)

Use 1 peck yellow bell peppers. Remove seeds and cut peppers in half. Bring to a boil 6 qts. water, 3 qts. white vinegar, 8 T sugar, 6 T salt and 1-1/2 c oil. Drop peppers into liquid and boil a few minutes, but do not overcook. Pack in jars, pour boiling liquid over them and seal.
-- Celia Jerinkitz

Sauerkraut and Beans
(Kiseli kupus i grah)

  • 1 lb. Roman or cranberry beans
  • 1 large can sauerkraut, washed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T shortening
  • 1 heaping T flour, 1 T salt
Soak beans overnight. Throw water away. Cook beans in about 3 qts. fresh water until done, about 3 hours. Add sauerkraut, cook half hour together. Melt shortening, add flour, stir until brown, add onion and garlic, chopped fine, fry about 5 minutes, then mix with beans and sauerkraut. Add salt and cook together few minutes longer on slow fire. Smoked meat or sausage may be added and cooked with beans.
-- Anna Boryan

Roast Suckling Pig
(Peceno sisance)

The pig should weight about 16 lbs. Wash it thoroughly and drain. Salt it inside and outside generously. Cut slits under the shoulders and on the thighs. Put 1 t salt and a cut piece of garlic in each slit. Put 6 cloves of garlic and 1 T salt in a clean cloth. Pound this slightly with a hammer. Rub cloth over pig inside and outside. Put 1/2 loaf of unsliced bread inside of pig. In the largest roasting pan, place 2 short pieces of clean board (so the roast won't stick to the bottom of pan). Cover top of pig with foil of heavy parchment paper. Place shiny apple in mouth. Bake at 350 for 5 to 6 hrs., basting with oil once or twice. It is done when no pink juice runs when pierced with fork. Remove bread and dispose of it. Serve hot or cold. If apples become soft after baking, replace with a fresh one.
-- Draga Jocich

City Chicken
[Note from Chris: I just read an article about this!]
Cut 2 lbs. lean pork and veal in pieces 1-1/2 in. long and 1/4 in. thick. String pieces of veal alternately with the pork, about 8 or 9 pieces on a skewer. Salt the meat. Dip in flour, beaten egg and crumbs and fry in 2 in. of fat. Remove to a baking dish and pour a little fat in. Cover and cook half and hour or until tender. Delicious with scalloped potatoes.
-- Mrs. Walter Sigetich

Cheese Pancakes with Sour Cream
(Palacinke sa sirom i sa kiselim krimom)

Combine 3 beaten eggs with 1 c flour and 1-1/2 c. milk. Beat batter until smooth. Melt butter or shortening in a skillet until hot. Spread 3 T batter on and move pan so that pancake is very thin. Cook on both sides. Make a stack of pancakes and set aside. Mix together 1-1/2 lbs. cottage cheese, grated peel of half a lemon and 1 egg. Mix together and spread some over each pancake, rolling the pancake up and placing the filled pancakes side by side in a greased baking dish. When you have one layer, sprinkle with a mixture of 2 c sugar and 1 t cinnamon. As you complete each layer, sprinkle each one. When all pancakes are in pan, spread 4 c. sour cream over all and bake in hot oven at 400 for about 20 min. Serve immediately -- also good cold.
-- A Friend

Boiled Kisses
(Kuvane puslice)

Beat 3 egg whites until stiff, add 1/2 c. sugar, the grated peel of a lemon, 1 c walnuts cut in large pieces. Mix all together and cook over low heat until it comes to a boil and thickens. Grease a baking sheet and drop mixture by spoonfuls forming into kisses. Put one blanched almond into the top of each. Bake in a very slow oven at 200 until set and dry.
-- Mrs. Jelena Malbasa

Sunday, November 19, 2017

3 family photos from March 1960

So many family snapshots that still need sorting. So little time...

Howard Horsey "Ted" Adams (1892-1985) in the master bedroom of the house on Oak Crest Lane in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. To his left is the small bathroom that later was remodeled and became the "pink and black" bathroom. Directly behind him is one of the room's two closets. To his right, the alcove contains a dresser that remained entrenched there until late 2014 or early 2015, when it went to auction.

Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988) in the same master bedroom at Oak Crest Lane. She's in the other side of the room, near the window that faces out into the backyard. The room layout eventually "flipped" and, during most of my lifetime, the bed was up against the wall to Greta's right and a bureau and mirror were located against the wall where the bed is in this photo. I don't believe we still have any of the pieces of furniture shown here.

Mary Margaret Ingham Otto (1948-2017) relaxing with unknown (to me) cat in, I believe, my grandmother's house in Rose Valley. It's not the Oak Crest Lane house, because that house didn't have those kind of big cast-iron radiators. The multi-colored blanket to the right is still in the family, at my sister's house.

Vintage "Radio Recipes of the Month" from Texas A&I

As I was bumbling around yesterday morning, juggling cartographers and quickies and airline stewardess outfits, I noticed, with some alarm, that the last official "Recipes" post on Papergreat was on November 26, 2016. A whole cycle of Christmas, New Year's, Easter, summer cookout and picnic season and Halloween has zipped right on by without any culinary-tip contributions from this blog!

This caused me to exclaim to the Twitterverse:

(Note: There are only about 120,000 Google results for "Holy Stromboli," which seems low.)

And so here we are. Today, we have an undated 8½-by-11 sheet of paper that is covered, front and back, with recipes from the Texas A&I College "Classroom of the Air." Texas College of Arts and Industries was the official name, from 1929 to 1967, of what is now Texas A&M University–Kingsville. So it makes plenty of sense to have this in the family papers, as Mom was born in Kingsville, Texas, in 1948 and the family lived there for a number of years.

So I would guess this piece of ephemera dates to sometime between 1946 and 1950. According to "Recipes of the Month," the "Classroom of the Air" was broadcast on KWBU three mornings a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. (KWBU is now an NPR affiliate based in Waco, Texas.) The show was sponsored by the Houston Natural Gas Corporation, which was acquired in the mid 1980s by InterNorth, which later renamed itself Enron.

These recipes are all from a week in May. They include custard, cucumber mustard pickles, gingerbread cupcakes with apricot topping, piquant potatoes, party punch (non-alcoholic), "one-dish meal," chocolate cake with fluffy seven-minute frosting, ham cornettes, Harvard beets with raisins, "meat balls," and savory cabbage.

Here are a couple of the recipes, for your reading or cooking pleasure:

Gingerbread Cupcakes
with Apricot Topping

  • 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. light molasses
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. soda
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t. ginger
Pour water over shortening; blend well. Add molasses and egg. Add flour sifted with salt, soda, and spices. Fill greased cupcake pans two-thirds full. Bake in moderate oven (350° F.) 25 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes. Remove cone-shaped piece from center of each cake. Fill with apricot filling. Replace cone.

Apricot filling: Mix 2 T. sugar, 3 T. flour, and dash of salt. Add 2/3 c. cooked, sieved apricot pulp. Cook over low heat until thick and smooth. Add 1 T. lemon juice; chill. Fold in 1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped. (Note: Evaporated milk, scalded and chilled, whips well.)

One-Dish Meal
  • 1/2 lb. ground meat
  • 1 No. 1 can corn
  • 1/2 lb. egg noodles
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 No. 1 can tomato soup
  • 2 T. margarine
Boil noodles until tender. Drain. Melt butter; add ground meat, green pepper, and onion cut fine. Brown. In a buttered baking dish, add layer of noodles, meat, and corn, until all are used. Season well. Add tomato soup and bake 1/2 hour at 350° F. Serves 6.