RSS
9 delightful recipes from the 1950s you should make with your kids today
Yes, you can cook like a Cleaver
 

Have you ever been accused of gulping down a meal so fast you were consuming your food "like it was going out of style"? Well, keep gulping, because food does go out of style.

But let's not overlook the dishes of decades past, because they offer some delightful lessons. In 1957, for instance, Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls used easy instructions and bright, beautiful images to teach children how to cook. These recipes are just as fun to make today as they were then — even if they are out of style.

(For a larger view of each recipe, click directly on the image.)

1. Branded pancakes


Granted, names have gotten a lot longer since John and Jane dominated the pancake scene. But a hungry enough birthday girl will still enjoy a batch of Alexandria pancakes branded in her honor.

2. Eggs in a frame


This is listed under the "Campfire" section of the book, but it looks like it can be done anywhere butter is abundant.

3. Doughboys


More campfire ingenuity; simple enough for any little camper who can be trusted with a pointy stick.

4. Raggedy Ann salad


Here is an example of making do with what would be commonly available year round to a child in 1957. Granted, by our standards, Mrs. Crocker is using the word "salad" pretty liberally here. But remember, the whole point of Raggedy Ann is that she was a lovable, patched-together hodgepodge of a doll. Or a salad!

5. American pizza


It's important to include the word "American" in the title, because no matter how good this turns out, it's going to disillusion a child forever that they can make "real" pizza at home. But it's still fun! Like little Peter tells us at the bottom of the page, "Pizza cuts up real easy if you use the kitchen scissors."

6. Kabobs


This dish is perfect for the child who enjoys sharp sticks, knives, and fire. Which is most of them.

7. Three men in a boat


Okay, not every recipe is going to translate well over the years. And not every modern child will be thrilled with a mixture of creamed dried beef, potato skin, mushrooms, and cheese. But hey! It's a boat you can eat! That's pretty cool.

8. Drum cake


I must admit, falling in love with this photo was the whole reason I spent a week on the phone getting General Mills' permission to use it. Candy canes! When it's not even Christmas! Brilliant!

9. Eskimo igloo cake


Remember, in 1957 it would have occurred to no one to ask whether it was socially acceptable to make food versions of an indigenous people's home, nor would they have searched their brains trying to remember if it's rude to say "Eskimo." Today this little cake can be used as a great introduction to anthropology, history, and American's changing social values. Or you can just eat it.

**All images used with express permission of General Mills**

 
Therese Oneill has written for The Atlantic and The Salem Weekly and is a regular contributor to Mental Floss. She lives in Oregon and blogs at writerthereseoneill.com.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week