Friday, December 9, 2011

Dinner and a Movie: White Christmas, Visions of Sugarplums, and Exciting News

I love picking up old magazines at estate sales or antique stores. This December 1956 issue of McCall's is chock-full of great recipes, including Huntburgers and Polka Dot Pudding, which went perfectly with a viewing of White Christmas (1954). A couple of notes: next time, I'd use homemade marinara sauce in the Huntburgers, so that's what I've listed in the recipe. Secondly, the marshmallow ad has obviously used torched marshmallows, rather than the browned-in-the-oven variety (see my photo). Paul's hoping I'll make this again and let him take his propane torch to the unsuspecting confections.


2 hamburger buns (unsplit, preferably)
1/3 lb ground beef
1/4 onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Hollow out buns, leaving 1/2" all the way around and on the bottom. Crumble the removed bread into a mixing bowl and add the beef, onion, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup marinara. Mix together then form into two large meatballs and place in the hollowed-out buns. Place Huntburgers on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, top with remaining sauce and bake another 5 minutes.

Serves 2

Adapted from Hunt's ad in December 1956 issue of McCall's.

Polka Dot Pudding

2 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into cubes and boil until tender. Mash them well and measure out 2 cups (if you have much more than that, reserve it for another recipe). Add butter and salt and combine. (I used my hand mixer for all of this.) Transfer to a greased casserole or baking dish (an 8" round Pyrex cake pan in my case) and bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top and bake another 10 minutes, or until marshmallows are browned.

Serves 4

Adapted from Kraft Miniature Marshmallows ad in December 1956 issue of McCall's.

Photo sources clockwise from top left: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4

OK, so White Christmas is a pretty ridiculous movie. It does, however, have fabulous costumes and the ability to make me want to spend Christmas in Vermont. When I first saw White Christmas, I was twelve or thirteen and in Show Choir. My friend Grace and I went around for weeks doing the "Sisters" number! It's practically an old friend, which makes it the perfect movie for cold and gloomy weather. If I were pretentious about movies, I would decry White Christmas as overly-sentimental drivel. However, all of you know I don't watch very many "serious" movies.

Be sure to check out today's posts from:

Christina at I Gotta Create!
Jennifer at Just Wedeminute
Lori at Choux-choux
Mika at Mika's Pantry

Some very exciting news: my Sachertorte recipe was published in Ruche's A Homemade Holiday. It's actually been up since last month, but I didn't find my acceptance letter until yesterday because either I accidentally deleted it or it was classified as spam. Probably a good idea to remember when newsletters say "please add us to your safe list" to do so. Anyway...

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  1. Don't you just love these 'old' recipes? Somehow food was much less fussy back then but all the more delicious! I still own a few of my mom's cookery books, all the more precious to me now that she's no longer with us... Thanks for sharing another lovely post Lauren!

  2. I love 'serious' movies but I love White Christmas too! The 'sisters' numbers is one of my all-time favourites (even though I don't have a sister... or perhaps especially because of that!)

    I have just bought (2nd-hand copies, you know why!) Meet Me in St-Louis and It's A Wonderful Life for my husband's stocking!

  3. p.s. your blog's still not showing up on my dashboard :(... think I'll try Bloglovin' instead - I don't want to miss any posts!

  4. I just love looking through old recipes.. Those dishes look yummy!!!

    Hugs, Linda

  5. So far, everyone on my list is getting something old or something handmade, too. Love your Careful Christmas project.

  6. I've had the exact same problem with the blogger dashboard from time to time. I generally use bloglovin.

  7. I saw the White Christmas photos and the first thing I thought of was "Sisters" lol.

  8. Love love love love love 'White Christmas." An bit of trivia--if you notice, Vera-Ellen (that's her name, right?) always wears turtlenecks. It's because she was so anorexic.
    Also, your 'follow by email' thingie isn't working. I wanted to subscribe but couldn't. Enjoy your site and would like to follow!

  9. Oh, White Christmas - it is such a hoot! I think you should let Paul get out the blow torch... (But watch him carefully, especially his eyebrows!) Wow, how cool to have your recipe published! I'm on my way to check it out now!

  10. @Lori
    I'll definitely make sure it doesn't get anywhere near his eyebrows! A person should only have them singed off once!

  11. Congratulations on your published recipe! I too am a sucker for White Christmas and always sing "Snow" when I see the first flakes of the season.

  12. @DinnerIsServed1972
    I'm sorry about the e-mail link--it should be working now. Thanks for the heads-up.

  13. I also love "White Christmas" and watch it every year. I just smile through the whole thing. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. So happy to have discovered yours!

  14. That is the cutest cover ever on the magazine - gorgeous. I am keen to try the polka dot pudding - who could resist anything with marshmallows!

  15. "Sisters" is the Shellac Sisters theme tune! We end every gig with this song, wagging our fingers at each other at the appropriate spots! Have to admit, have never seen the movie though...

  16. Congratulations on your Sachertorte recipe publication! And what terrific recipes from McCall's - can't resist Polka Dot Pudding!


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