Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home on the Range

This little cookbook was published in 1953 as a promotion for Wear-Ever aluminum cookware sets. The recipes are standard 50’s fare, but the book is attractively illustrated and nicely designed.

Something I found interesting? Two pages of instructions on how to use aluminum pots and pans in the different types of kitchen stoves that were in wide use back then, including coal ranges. The gas and electricity we take for granted today were still not common in rural areas.

“Use First Section over Fire Box:

• To heat all utensils for browning meats
• To brown roasts, steaks, chops.
• To pan broil steaks, chops.
• To start fresh fruits, vegetables until cover becomes hot to touch.
• To steam dried foods over water until water boils.
• To heat #825 rectangular roaster when used as an oven.* See baking directions
• To start direct top of range baking. See banking directions.
• To heat pan for baking griddle cakes.

Use Back of Range or Less Heated Section:

• To cook all meats after browning.
• To cook fresh fruits, vegetables after cover becomes hot to touch
• To steam dried foods over water after water boils
• To do direct top of range bakin after utensil has been heated. See baking directions.
• To bake griddle cakes.”

*Part of the set was a roaster that could be used as a top-of-range baking device for those who had coal ranges with no ovens. You were to preheat the roaster over high and then move to a medium heat source once the cake or pie was placed inside. Rather a handy idea for camping, I think.

Someone’s hand-written recipes were tucked inside. Here are her directions for ham loaf.

2 lbs lean pork steak—ground
1 ditto smoked ham
Salt & pepper
1 c. cracker crumbs
2 eggs

"Mix well & add ½ can tomato soup. Dent top & pour in milk so that it will run over the top. Bake slow about 1 ½ hours.”


Anonymous said...

my family used to own a cabin with only a monarch wood cook stove for cooking. I used to scour old cookbooks for such tips. It was a tiny cook stove so there was a fair amount of juggling involved for me to get the hang of it. I used to get pretty smudgy, too, with the soot - lily-white hands would indeed signify a lady of leisure, or more skill.
a sharon

Packrat said...

Love these type of instruction books/cookbooks. They are so interesting to read. My grandmother was still cooking on a wood burning Monarch when I was little. (I don't remember the stove, but I do remember the pig pen and parts of the old house.) Grandma could tell the temp of the oven just by sticking her hand in. This came in very handy in her later years. She was almost blind, but she would still cook and bake.

Shay said...

Cooking back then was, as I think I've mentioned before, very much an acquired skill. Anyone who can read the back of a box can cook nowadays. When you think of the effort that went into putting 3 meals a day (no take-out or stopping off to pick up a frozen pizza!) back hat's off to those ladies.