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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bon Appetit Appleby 1977: With Carrot Bread & Easy-Life Stew

Vintage Cookbook: Bon Appetit Appleby , Appleby College Women's Association
Publication Details: Published by the college, 1977

There was (and, though sadly to a much lesser degree still is) a whole class of community cookbook that was centered around an institution of some type or another; be they schools, associations, clubs, etc...

These cookbooks were usually put together by a volunteer(s) editor with contributions from people who had ties to the institution and they were sold as a way to raise money. Over the coming weeks I want to look at a number of these, as they often provide a fascinating reflection of a time and place.

The one we are looking at today is Bon Appetit Appleby which was put together by the Appleby College Women's Association in 1977. Appleby College is a private school in Oakville, Ontario and presumably this cookbook was made to raise funds.

The cookbook was also, rather touchingly, dedicated to a Hilda Chattaway, who was the school cook and had been for 48 years! There is a tribute to her at the beginning.

The cookbook begins with a set of recipes from the school kitchen staff themselves and then proceeds through rather standard sections like Appetizers, Breads, Desserts, Mains Etc. This particular one is heavier on the baked goods than some.

The recipes are a terrific assortment of standards, through to a handful of what are really "faux" Japanese or Chinese recipes, to some fascinating traditional ones, such as a recipe for making Gravlaks. Many, as did a lot of recipes in community cookbooks in the 1970's, incorporate multiple canned elements and are meant to be tasty and easy, with names like Hamburger Pie and Frank and Bean Sandwich.

We are sharing two today, and, as always, they appear exactly as they did in the original. The second one, especially typifies a very 70's "home cooking". It is also really good!

Carrot Bread (submitted by Bonnie Peart)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dried currants (optional)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated raw carrot
3 eggs

Mix dry ingredients together. Add currants, coconut and nuts. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into 9 X 5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Easy-Life Stew (submitted by Annemarie Hodge)

3 lb. lean stewing beef, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. dehydrated onion soup mix
1/2 cup dry red wine
mushrooms or potatoes (optional)

Mix meat, soup, onion soup mix and wine. Cook in covered casserole in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours. One may add mushrooms for the last half hour of cooking time or peeled, whole potatoes after the first hour. Serves 6-8

As part of a feature on That Lefty Food Blog, we will be looking at vintage cookbooks, long out-of-print, that are worth seeking out for their quirky or community sensibility. Putting together cookbooks was done by union locals, community groups, church groups and the like, and many of these are well worth remembering. Sometimes the cookbooks would try to capture a certain place or bring new types of cooking to the people. We will feature one or two recipes from each cookbook we look at.

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