Getting back on track, the fifth prompt for the Historical Food Fortnightly was “Roasts“.
They’re a staple of the historic table, in many different shapes and forms and types. It’s also a cooking technique. Try a historic recipe for a roast, or a recipe that involves roasting, and tell us how it turned out.
For this one I laid out quite the spread…1950’s style!
The dinner recipes came from “Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cook Book” published in 1954. It’s a very sweet, little book full of colorful photos and highly stylized illustrations.
I made the “Roast Pork Dinner” from page 102 with a few modifications. First: mashed potatoes instead of brown. And, second: we skipped dessert. There was plenty of food to go around that night!
One of the most fun things about prepping the dinner was making the vegetable tray. Or, “vegetable relishes” as the cook book called it.
I perused the list on page 92 and picked from it based on what was already in the fridge. That ended up necessitating a few substitutions.
I was able to make “Cucumber Petals” (actually zucchini), “Lake Louie Poppies,” “Broccoli Buds,” and (unstuffed) “Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes.”
Mashed potatoes I made without a recipe and the cream gravy came together rather quickly despite the fact that I had hardly any pan drippings to use.
The food got excellent reviews and was plenty to feed five people; we had leftovers for lunch the next day.
One of the most interesting things about serving this dinner is that it included applesauce on the side. I have many memories of meals at my grandparents’ house featuring applesauce which, as a kid, I always thought was weird. Growing up, applesauce was usually a lunch (or snack) food. Seems to me it could be a generational trend. How do you, or your family, interpret applesauce? Lunch or diner food? Has it changed over time for you?
The Challenge: Roasts
The Recipe: Roast Pork Dinner from “Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cook Book”
The Date/Year and Region: 1954, American
How Did You Make It: Roast the meat; mash the potatoes; prepare the vegetable tray; make the gravy; serve it with applesauce and voila!
Time to Complete: 2+ hours
Total Cost: Roast was about $6, veggies about $6 altogether
How Successful Was It?: Very delicious!!
How Accurate Is It?: Pretty high on the accuracy scale. Even equipment was very similar to what was around in the 1950’s.
(Recipes transcribed under the cut)