Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feasts and Festivals: St. Andrew's Day

St. Andrew

St. Andrew's Day is celebrated in Scotland as that country's National Day (the same idea as Bastille Day or Independence Day, but much more low-key), since St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. According to legend, a supernatural force brought his relics from Constantinople to Scotland, specifically to the town that is now St Andrews. Don't ask me how they are supposed to have arrived. Teleportation, maybe. It's also commonly believed that the relics were probably brought to Fife by a monk who then built a church at the behest of an angel. I still like my teleportation theory. According to legend, St. Andrew helped  a ninth century Pictish king in battle and was thus especially venerated by the Picts. St. Andrew's saltire eventually became the flag of Scotland. St. Andrew is also the patron saint of several other countries, as well as the patron saint of fishermen...and golfers.*

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

From My Collection: Haddon Hall Gingerbread

I'm amassing quite the collection of vintage magazines and cookbooks! The November 1933 issue of Better Homes and Gardens has an ad on the back page for Gold Medal Flour that features Haddon Hall Gingerbread (see illustration below). Unfortunately, there was no recipe provided because housewives were supposed to send off for the recipe booklet! Too bad I'm only seventy-eight years too late...

So, I cobbled together my own version from recipes in All About Home Baking and the Joy of Cooking. If I say so myself, it was very tasty (I think the lemon sauce was my favorite part.) If you double the gingerbread and the frosting recipes, you can have a filled and iced cake like in the original illustration.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life This Week: November 14, 1938

You can read more about cover girl Brenda Frazier and the rest of New York's 1938 debutantes in the article "The Debutante: as Seen at New York's Velvet Ball".

This week's Movie of the Week is The Young in Heart, a sweet all-star comedy in which a family of society con artists comes to love their proposed next victim, a wealthy old lady with no family of her own who takes them in after a train wreck. If you're starting to think about movies to watch with your family over the holidays, give this one a try. The Young in Heart is available on DVD.

Images from Doctor Macro

Monday, November 7, 2011

Life This Week: November 7, 1938

This week's "Movie of the Week" is The Citadel, starring Robert Donat as a young doctor who must decide what's important in life. Not to be all preachy or political, but this film outlines a few reasons why universal healthcare just might be a good idea. Keep an eye out for a young Rex Harrison.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week-in-review, Autumn Photography and Earthquakes

This week on The Past on a Plate:


In other news, it's finally looking like autumn around here! Yippee!
November 1, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Feasts and Festivals: Guy Fawkes Day

Tomorrow, November 5th, is Guy Fawkes Day. I've posted a link to some detailed information from Parliament on my 2009 post. However, if you've only got half an hour, I just found this awesome (very irreverent) television program about The Gunpowder Plot (and it has Ronald Hutton in it, too!). You should go check it out. That way, you'll know all you need to know about Guy Fawkes Day (and it might make you laugh).

I've decided to make one of our favorite, comforting, autumn-y dishes for Bonfire Night (another name for today's festivities). Lincolnshire Sausage Simmer has a lot of flavor from the bacon, sausage, garlic, rosemary, thyme, white wine vinegar (I use the good stuff!) and tomatoes. Yum! Plus, it's pretty easy to make. It just takes some planning since you have to soak the beans and it takes a couple of hours to simmer. However, all you have to do once it gets going is check it every once in a while to give it a stir and make sure everything is simmering adequately.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Feature: Think Thin Thursdays...

...where we'll have fun with diet food from the past! I picked up a copy of The Slenderella Cook Book (published in 1957) on an antiquing trip while my parents were here visiting. It's written by a lady who was the "food consultant to Pan American Airways." Can't get more glamorous in 1957 than that!

This dinner is from the 1200-calorie-menus section (that's for the whole day). I've changed the squash and pudding recipes, because I don't use sugar substitutes. Oh, and I left out the vegetable soup, because I'm lazy. I was surprised by how tasty 585 calories could be--the pork chops and squash have excellent sweet and savory flavor and the vanilla pudding in its cool and creamy goodness is so much better than the stuff from a box. Eat like this and you'll be in those shorts in no time! :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Way Back Wednesday: 17th Century Mustard-and-Anchovy Broiled Fish

Mustard Anchovy Fish

This recipe is from the "17th-Century England" chapter in Esther B. Aresty's The Delectable Past, which was recommended to me by Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook. As usual, I've used cheap, domestic, sustainable Pollock. I've gotten to the point where I almost always have some in the freezer. It defrosts quickly and cooks quickly, which is perfect. Once thawed, this dish only takes about 10 minutes of cooking. I served it with rice and sautéed mushrooms and green beans (I grew the green beans myself!).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Feasts and Festivals: All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day

It's quite the week for Feasts and Festivals--Halloween yesterday, All Saints' Day today, All Souls' Day tomorrow and Guy Fawkes Day on Saturday. I'm all for extending the holiday spirit (except the Christmas season has been expanded too much already--I've already heard carols; it's ridiculous!). Who doesn't love festive celebration? To get you in the All Saints/All Souls spirit (what a triple entendre!), how about some Spiced Ale?