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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cooking Favorites of Long Branch with Perfect Meat Loaf & Christmas Cake

Vintage Cookbook: Cooking Favourites of Long Branch, Women's Committee St. Agnes Anglican Church
Publication Details: Self-published, c. 1970's

Cooking Favorites of Long Branch, the historic lakeside south Etobicoke community that I call home, is a nearly perfect embodiment of the old style community cookbook. Put together in the 1970's by the church Women's Committee to raise money for the local St. Agnes Anglican Church  (which was closed in 2005) it is full of folksy recipes and advice contributed by residents of Long Branch.

It is divided into the usual sections, like "Pickles and Relishes", "Salads, Vegetables and Soups", "Meat, Fish & Poultry", etc. In addition, it ends with a section dedicated to oven and time charts, ingredient substitution, measurement tables, etc, as well as a neat page of "Super Quantity Cooking" like doing Cabbage Salad for 175! (20 lb. cabbage, 1 1/2 qt. Miracle Whip, 4 large cans crushed pineapple, 2 bunches carrots).

The cookbook is full of advertisements for community businesses (some of which are gone, some of which remain) and has blank pages for the addition of new recipes one comes across.

As with so many of these community books, it really captures, almost like a snapshot, a tone and a feel for a time and place and the recipes speak to what people saw as "home cooking" and "comfort food". It is also completely free of pretension.

As always we are sharing two recipes exactly as they appeared that reflect the feel of the book overall.

Perfect Meat Loaf 

Submitted by Prudence Smyth (Mrs. R.W.)

1-1 1/2 lb ground beef
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 - 8 oz. tomato and mushroom sauce

Combine first 6 ingredients thoroughly with 1 can tomato and mushroom sauce. Pack firmly into pan (8x4x3 inch loaf pan). Chill one hour. Unmould into a shallow baking pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for one hour. Pour remaining sauce over loaf. Bake 20 minutes more until loaf is nicely glazed. Makes 6-8 servings.

Christmas Cake

Submitted by Eleanor M. Smith

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
5 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. each of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup grape juice
3 cups seeded raisins
1 cup seedless raisins
1 1/2 cup dates, chopped
2 cups mixed peel, chopped
1 1/2 cup candied pineapple
1 1/2 cup red and green cherries
1 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Sift 3/4 cup flour over all fruit. Cream sugar, butter, eggs. Add liquid alternately with flour and spices. Fold in fruit and nuts. Put into greased paper-lined deep pan and bake at 250 degrees F. to 275 degrees F. for two hours.

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