BB, before blogging, there was extra time to putter around the household. Notebooks were compiled with cutsie pootsie clip art as the new fangled computer was experimented with. The color ink cartridge was drained, so only black ink was available, making silhouettes the way to go as cover sheets for the various notebooks to hold our tear sheets from magazines based on subject matter. With index tabs and spine labels. The recipe book is by far the go to among these concotions of information. Commissar your honor, honour, isn’t that little kitty too adorable? How about the little petticoat peeking out from under the apron. I look just like that still, even as a grandmama.
Let us peek inside. The book.
Bits and scraps of paper with recipes scribbled on them are held neatly in plastic jackets, better to not smear flour and butter on as the right recipe is culled for the days cookie baking. Many have been discarded over the years, but these remain. The best of the best. Let us explore them further.
Ah, Magic Bars. Many of these recipes came from the days of our employment in the accounting department of a large oil company in Oklahoma. The ladies would often bring baked goods to the office, and the recipe would be provided upon request. As a young woman, just starting my own household, all recipes and cooking pointers were welcome. They also taught me to crochet, even though I was the only left handed one among them. A more generous group would be hard to find.
The famous Hershey Kiss Cookie. We still make these. Some call them peanut blossoms. Written on a sheet of stenographers paper.
This is the oldest one, from 1961. It was found in between pages of a cookbook that had belonged to my grandmother. We have made the brown candy, better known today in the US as pralines. Very delicious, nearly pure sugar with pecans.
Notice the pink card that this recipe for No Bake Cookies is written upon. It is a key punch card, for those too young to remember such things. Before there were bar codes that could be read by computers, back in the day, there were little holes punched into cards like this that represented a document of some kind. There were large rooms full of young ladies who would hit the keys that made these holes, the keypunch room. Trays of these cards would go to be read, added and printed out onto computer runs, large sheets of paper with holes running down each side. The total would be checked against yet more papers of numbers. If there was a discrepancy, still more large rooms of young ladies would check each card against the run to find the error, the run room. We were awash in little pink cards, as you can imagine. If one would write quite small but legible, always a plus in the accounting biz back then, recipes would fit.
The best has been saved for the grand finale. Written on a larger unpunched keypunch card, the Kentucky Bourbon Balls were far and away the most popular confection ever made. Fondant and nut balls were soaked in Bourbon and allowed to cure for several days, in a shoe box lined with waxed paper. Then they would be frozen on a cookie sheet. The fine art of dipping these into melted chocolate over a double boiler was finally mastered. Now one could use a microwave to melt the chocolate in a glass quart measuring cup, or do it in the old school method. Just so you know, a couple of these goodies would have you singing Oklahoma while you were looking for the error on the computer run.
The Orange Frances Garrison.
You will notice that Frances should now be addressed as The Orange Frances Garrison. This is because she has already contributed a phenomenal ten posts to this Blog. President Obama has been informed. For anybody who is perhaps a little fuzzy about how these things work the relevant post is here