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Update 10-29-2018
My mom's recipes.
As most of you know, I have recently started back to college to finish up a bachelors
degree in sociology before I die. Some of you gals might be familiar with the story.
Straight out of high school rushing head long into life and with a couple years of college
under your belt, you figure nothing can stop you.....then "he" walks across campus and
all reasoning leaves flies out the door.

Mesmerized, reasoning fails you and wedding bells take its place.  O, you tell yourself,
there is time and for awhile you may even believe this.  Then it hits you, after chasing
diapers and dirty hands for a decade or two, you realize time is running out.  The
challenge has been lifted and you rise to the call.  The time is now.

With that said, memories of back in the day come flooding back.  Great times, wondrous
moments of my first taste of freedom, my new discoveries, my great laundry disasters,
my pink shirt in with the white clothes cleaning catastrophe and the horrible experimental
food disasters.

I ask Robin if she would be so kind as to spin a tale with a few vintage recipes thrown in
for fun. To my delight, and hopefully yours, she agreed!

So sit back, put your reading glasses on and enjoy the following piece by Robin Wallace -
Story Teller Extraordinaire.
Read, "The Story of the Missing
Cookie Jar" by PenVampyre.  A
delightful little Christmas story
with mouthwatering warm tasty
recipes for the most wonderful
time of the year!  

"Santa and the Magic
Key", plus recipes for your
holidays.  A story by PenVampyre

Easter eggs, bunnies and other
"Easter and Where NOT
to Hide Eggs" Memories of
Easters past and a few vintage

Logan's Halloween Story -The
original story won first place in
sixth-eighth grade division of
Southeastern Middle School, 2005
by Logan Lyon, alas, no recipes.

Food and Genealogy A story By
Robin L. Wallace.  Our lives, our
families, our very history's are
defined by the foods we eat.

Family Reunion Recipes
"The Fourth of July and Other
(With Apologies to Jean Shepherd)
By Robin L. Wallace

A short story by Suellen Fry.  
Memories of my father and his
version of

Memorial Day Recipes - "For me,
Memorial Day was the day when
we went out where relatives were
buried in the tiny, local cemeteries
and thoroughly cleaned up each
gravesite, carrying away branches
that may have fallen in the

Grandma Irwin's Story of Courage
Swit Tater Biskits Recipe.

Homemade Remedies Recipes -
Recipes our grandparents used
from a poultice, mustard plasters,
gargles and paste.

Thanksgiving Day recipes and
story from the past.

College Foods and Other Mistakes
I Have Eaten.
College Food and Other Mistakes I Have Eaten

By   Robin L. Wallace

From the sound of cicadas singing in my backyard, and the pounding of loud music
reverberating in the neighborhood, I know that the fall has come, and I know another
generation of young people will be getting ready to start their academic careers living away
from home for the first time.  I can remember back when I started my college career, I was
already well on my way to knowing how to survive by my wits and was more than able to
feed myself if necessary.  I shudder to think of those poor clueless souls I've met through
the years who really had no concept as to what was necessary to survive away from mom all
by themselves.  Clearly these folks had somehow missed out on the extensive kind of
training I received at the hands of my Great-Grandmother Wallace, Auntie Julia, and my
Grandmother Irwin.  All of them fervently believed in the saying, "Idle hands are the devil's
workshop" and trained me up from an early age on how to do things like make a bed, make
sure I knew how to do the laundry without ruining everything, properly washing and
sterilizing dishes, go shopping on a budget, and most essentially, be able to cook, even with
minimal ingredients.  This early training made sure I had the skills necessary to survive on a
daily basis when I finally made my first hesitant launch from the nest.
I have attended many institutes of higher learning over the years as I
tried to pursue a degree, and in each of those colleges and universities
I encountered people who were desperately in need of a crash course
in how to survive on their own.  For all those years before they started
college, their mothers were the primary ones who handled daily chores
such as cleaning, washing dishes, doing laundry, and most importantly,
cooking.  How they ever get loose into the real world without picking
up anything domestic, and continued cluelessly along on their own is a
mystery to me, but other than for one or two notable cases, these
individuals eventually caught onto what everything was about and were
quite able, eventually, to cook well enough to be able to survive
without too much help.
 The first college I attended was a real eye-opener for me when
it came to interacting with other students.  I still lived at home,
and not on campus during my freshman year because I was still
only 17, and due to the threat of mandatory all-day study halls
during my senior year, in desperation I found a way to combine
my freshman year in college with my senior year in high school.  
My dad had to drive me at first every day (in my state I was too
young for a regular driver’s license -- I had to be 18 to get
one) and we soon got into the routine where he would drop me
off for my first class of the day, and then be there to pick me up
at the end of my day, along with any strays I might be bringing
with me for a dinner that didn't involve counting pennies at
I truly believe that he must have thought there was some kind of dish washing
fairywho came around to deal with the stacks of dishes that regularly piled up in the
sink and on and around the stove, not that he had that many pots or dishes to
begin with.  I can remember on one or two occasions the ladies of the group, having
become tired of the biological experiments found growing in his kitchen, doing a
thorough scrubbing of the kitchen and the dishes they found there.  Clearly, here
was an unfortunate soul who had no idea whatsoever about what was necessary to
avoid disease by cleaning up properly or cooking something that actually might have
a little nutrition to it.

On one visit to his house, I remember discovering an orangish colored mass with
scalloped edges sitting in a pot on his stove.  Embedded in the middle was a single
fork, unmoving, which as I soon found out, served as a handle for him to eat the
congealed mass left in the pot.  Although I don't remember much about the
packaging now, I'm sure that on there somewhere, were cooking directions on how
to prepare the boxed macaroni and cheese dinner.  In his usual inimitable way, he
couldn't be bothered to read the directions, so he just threw the macaroni and some
water in the pot, along with the contents
One of the first organizations that I joined on campus was an
international group known as the Society for Creative Anachronism
(SCA, for short).  What first attracted me was that not only here
was a group that had heard of and read JRR Tolkien, but who also
shared my passion for medieval history and languages.  Better yet,
this group researched the dress, crafts, cooking and armor used
during the period of years that the organization covered.  As an
incredible added bonus, this group had no problem allowing my dad
to come play with us at our regular meetings and events until such
time as I was legally able to drive on my own.  Interested in these
areas in his own right, Dad soon fit right in, taking on the character
of a Scottish Laird of clan MacQueen (it was the closest tartan we
could find to the Wallace’s tartan, which he couldn’t wear
because there was already a William Wallace from history, and one of
the group’s cardinal rules was that you are not allowed to be a
real historical figure – you had to do research on the time period
you wanted to be from and create a character who COULD have lived
then and in those conditions).  I think more importantly, besides
providing free rides to events, he provided a good ear when they
lacked someone neutral to talk about pr
A year later, my younger sister, who was still in high school, also joined the
group, and my mother soon found herself constructing period clothing for
the three of us and any of our compatriots who needed help but couldn't do
the work on their own.  One of the benefits of this arrangement is that we
watched each other's backs in all sorts of situations as if we came from one
big, closely knit clan of brothers and sisters.

Nor were we all of an interest in having European-based persona.  In addition
to the Europeans in our group, there were two samurai warriors, and an
Arab nomad. Although the child of two of the professors at the college, one
of our samurai lived in an apartment off-campus, away from home.  This
poor boy, although huge in heart and kind to a fault, didn't have the faintest
clue as to what was necessary to live on a day-to-day basis.  Being short on
cash (as were most of us in those days), he decided to heavily invest in a
large quantity of the generic food (most notably fake Kraft macaroni and
cheese dinners) that had begun to show up in the stores at the time.  
Remember, back in those days, anything that was labeled generic came in
unadorned black and white boxes and eventually morphed into what we now
know as off brands and store brands).
The next school that I attended was a private university in
a city about 35 miles away from the town where I grew up.  
I lived in an apartment off-campus, but my younger sister,
being a first-time freshman there, had to live in the dorms.  
She originally was supposed to have a roommate, so they
put her in a double room, but her roommate ended up
going into another dorm which housed a group along the
lines of something like a sorority.  I ended up spending a
lot of time with her since they never assigned another
roommate to her for her duration there, and quite often we
shared food, cooked together, and often roamed around in
the old Oldsmobile station wagon that I owned at the time.
 These particular dorms were coed, but to truly understand
how this was accomplished, you have to understand how
this dorm was laid out.  It had five or six floors in it (not
counting the ground level which contained storage and
administrative offices where the RA's and other staff hung
out) where the students actually lived.  Each floor was
constructed so that there were stairs on each side to exit in
case of an emergency, as well as an elevator to go up and
down between the floors.  In the center of the floor was a
huge common area  with two balconies – the front one
looked out on the parking lot and road which led up to the
dorm, and the back one looked out over the oldest
historical cemetery located in the city and which contained
the graves of luminaries like George Eastman and Frederick
 In the common area were several stoves, refrigerators, sinks for washing up, tables to eat
at, and lockers where each student could store his or her own personal cooking utensils,
plates, cups, and silverware.  These lockers could be secured, usually with a combination
lock provided by each student.  On either side of the common area were the suites where
the students actually lived, which contained the bedrooms and the common bathroom,
complete with shower.  Each suite side had only men or women, so the sexes were not
mixed, except by floor.

At the time, my sister lived on the third floor, and she shared it with four other girls on her
side, and six ROTC cadets on the other.  How these cadets ever got loose on the world
without learning how to cook is a mystery to me (I suspect they would've been fine if they
simply had a stick and a campfire to sear whatever they were able to beat to death while
hunting).  I first knew they were in trouble when it became apparent they were more
interested in repelling down the balconies for fun, rather than paying attention to the girls
on the floor (and I suspect, those of their girlfriends who actually visited) who valiantly tried
to impart some kind of cooking knowledge to them.
About a month into the semester, this pack of geniuses pooled their money and bought an incredible beef
roast that they decided to make for themselves for dinner one night.  Because they were somewhat of a
captive market I'm sure they dropped well over $50 at the local grocery store for a roast that must have
weighed around eight to 10 pounds.  Having no idea how to prepare to meat, they turned up one of the
stoves to 500°F, stuck the roast in a roasting pan, deposited it in the oven, and disappeared to go repelling
up and down a building somewhere on campus.
I had come on that particular day to bring groceries to my sister from a store that
was more reasonably priced and to share supper with her (despite the fact that she
had space in the refrigerator shared by the girls in her suite, she rented one of those
little cube refrigerators she kept in her own room to avoid some of the rampant
problems with food disappearing from the bigger fridges out in the kitchen area).  
After having been there for an hour, we became aware of smoke pouring in under the
door that led from the suites to the common room, and we and several of the other
girls made our way to the kitchen area, coughing and choking  from the black cloud
that was pouring out of one of the ovens near the boys' side of the common area.
Luckily, it was a fairly warm fall evening, so two of the girls ran over and propped open
doors from the front and back balconies to help the air out the kitchen area as quickly as
possible.  Discovering the problem immediately, one of the girls snapped off the oven and
removed the smoking ruins of what was left of the roast  that the cadets had  placed in the
oven to cook.  Of course, they were nowhere to be found
 What was left of the roast sat atop the stove where my sister's
suite partner had put it for at least another three hours until the  
ROTC cadets showed up to claim their dinner. Thinking that someone
had sabotaged their attempt at cooking it, in disgust they demanded
to know who had dared to take the roast from the oven before it was
done (although ashen on the outside, at the very interior it was
completely raw).  Equal
 I'm not sure how these guys survived the rest of the semester, but just before college let out for
Thanksgiving break, they decided to try their hand at roasting a turkey.  True to form, they had no clue what
they were doing.  They purchased a 25 pound frozen turkey, peeled off the plastic wrapper off while the bird
was still completely frozen, and tightly wrapped it in aluminum foil, without removing the giblets, beef
Taking the turkey from the oven, the six of them discovered that they had
blackened the skin, thawed the turkey underneath enough to make it raw, and
made the discovery of the neck bone and packet of giblets still in the turkey's
cavity.  The girls, wisely, never said a word to them, and watched, amused, as
after a heated discussion, the group voted and disposed of the turkey, roasting
pan and all, in the nearest garbage can.  For the rest of that one, and the entire
next semester, the cadets ate out or participated in the university’s meal
plan, except for the occasional bowl of cereal that they kept in their kitchen
space.  Apparently, they mistook what part of the turkey the neck bone was, and
thoroughly weirded out, never cooked again.  I should add that none of the girls
ever bothered to correct their misconception.

  There were of course, many other examples I could cite of young people being
turned loose in the world with no idea of how to survive on their own.  It may be
an old-fashioned idea, but mothers, I beg you, start your kids off at a young age
to learn domestic arts like when I was.  To this day I thank my elders for all the
lessons I learned and was able to pass on to the uninitiated I encountered
throughout my college years.
What follow are some easy recipes that even the uninitiated should be able to prepare without too much fuss.  
The first was redacted from a medieval recipe by an incredible cook who I met and had the pleasure of serving
under making feasts while I was in the Rochester branch of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism).  I
made it many times to feed friends I had brought home.  It is tasty, nutritious, and nearly foolproof to make.  
She has graciously allowed me to share it here, and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I always did.
Annelise Dagfinsdoittor's (Elsa Welch) Squash and Ricotta Tart

Bottom layer:

1 1/2 half cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt to taste

Steam, microwave, or bake squash until just tender.  Mix everything for the layer well and distribute it evenly in the
bottom of a 9-inch pie pan lined with your favorite crust.

Top layer:

1 pound ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 4 tablespoons honey (to taste)
1/2 cup raisins
Pinch of salt, if desired

Mix everything well and pour over the squash mixture.  Bake at 350°F until the top layer is set, 30 to 40 minutes.  Serve
warm or at room temperature.

Annelise's variations:

Mash the squash to smooth consistency if desired.
Add a  bit of ginger and cloves to the cinnamon.
Substitute chopped walnuts for some or all of the raisins.
Make the bottom layer half squash and half chopped apple.
Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of the ricotta mixture before baking

My variations:

Boil the raisins for eight minutes, or until plump and tender, then drain before adding to ricotta mixture.
Saute 1/2 cup sliced almonds in one tablespoon of butter, coating evenly (use more butter if nuts are too dry to let a
coating adhere).  Now roll almonds in a mixture of 1/4 cup powdered sugar, one tablespoon nutmeg, and 1/2 tablespoon
ground cloves (feel free to substitute roughly chopped walnuts or pecan pieces) until well coated.  Fold into the ricotta
mixture before baking.
If making a mashed layer of squash on the bottom, mix it with a little heavy whipping cream to make it smoother, like
mashed potatoes.
If adding chopped apples, cut them up so that they are equal in size to your squash.  You can sauté them along with
the squash in two tablespoons of butter along with two tablespoons of brown sugar until both are softened and
caramelized.  Add the ricotta layer as per normal, sprinkling roughly chopped pecans on the top of the ricotta layer.
In a pinch I used both frozen butternut squash and plain, solid pack pumpkin (our local brand is known as "Lake Shore"
and is strictly plain pumpkin in the can -- the pre-made pie filling with additives like Libby's brand won't work here).  If
using the frozen squash, heat it in a pan over low heat adding the butter and brown sugar until some of the water has
reduced down, making it a smoother, creamier mixture.  If using the solid pack pumpkin, add the brown sugar and butter
and mix until smooth.  When I used the pumpkin, I added a teaspoon of nutmeg, ginger, and one half teaspoon of
ground cloves to pumpkin mixture before spreading in the pie shall.
This last recipe was also born out of desperation to provide a quick meal for a crowd during a marathon gaming

Poor Man's Fondue

2 1/2 pounds of whatever cheese you have on hand
1/2 cup milk
4 apples, cored and cut into slices
1 loaf country or French bread, cut into finger-sized pieces
1 head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets


In a saucepan, combine cheese and milk over a low heat until melted and creamy or smooth.

Cut bread, and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, slice the apples and arrange on plates.

When cheese is melted, pour over cut pieces on plate.  Eat while warm.

NOTES:  *Most of the time we had cheddar and mozzarella on hand, so that's what we used for the fondue cheese
rather than using the fancier stuff and adding things like wine (we don't drink).  Once or twice we added things like
Swiss and Colby Jack, so feel free to experiment with what tastes good to you.  If feeding more than 6, you may
need to increase your ingredients and cheeses and milk accordingly.

If you prefer, you can use broccoli in place of cauliflower.

Most of the time we used Jonagold apples, which we found to be a good all-purpose variety.  This also works well
with Empire, Macintosh and Red Delicious apples.

When we started making this regularly for a group, we would have to reheat the cheese mix at least one or two times
while eating it because we didn't have a fondue set in which to keep the mix hot.  One day, in desperation, I just
poured the cheese over the other ingredients, and a hit was born.  On nights we knew we were going to make this,
everyone would kick in one or two ingredients, and by sharing the work, it got done quickly, and before long we were
feeding up to 12 folks at a crack.
This particular pizza was born of desperation one night during a weekend-long gaming session.  It was well before
the days of the 24 hour store and was made up of what we had on hand.  Surprisingly it's very good, and with
the newer varieties of beans, etc available today, you can adjust anything to suit your individual tastes.

Barbecue Pork and Beans Pizza

1 prepackaged 12-inch pizza shell
1 bottle barbecue sauce (I prefer Bullseye' brand)
1 cup shredded pork from ribs or cubed ham
1 cup shredded white cheese (use Swiss, Colby, etc or you can use Bleu for a twist)
1/2 cup baked beans, drained (Bush's Molasses work well)
1/2 cup diced onions (optional)
1/2 cup diced green peppers (optional)
1/2 cup diced mushrooms (optional)

Coat a pizza shell with a good layer of barbecue sauce instead of pizza sauce.  Top with any optional toppings.  
Top with shredded pulled pork or ham cubes.  Spread on baked beans.  Spread cheese in an even layer over the
top.  Bake in 350° F oven until cheese is golden and melted.

NOTE:  Only Grandma Brown's Baked Beans or Campbel's  Pork and Beans existed back then (if you weren't lucky
enough to have homemade around), so I used to stir in about 3 tablespoons of Bullseye into the beans before
putting them onto the pizza, but some of the newer flavored national brands work very well.  Experiment with
what's out there to see what suits your individual tastes.
This next recipe is a great one because it goes far and is full of protein and fiber.  Vegetarians/vegans can leave out
the tuna and cheese and use a dressing that has no cheese in it.

High Fiber Bean and Broccoli Salad

1 can (15.5 ounces) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (6 ounces) white albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked §
1  (12 ounces) package broccoli slaw*
1 jar bleu cheese vinaigrette dressing ¥


In a large bowl, mix beans, broccoli slaw and tuna.  Toss with enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients, but
not drown them in addressing.  Serve immediately as a meal, or it can be used as a side dish.  Refrigerate any
unused portions.

NOTES: §Even though I prefer albacore tuna, I am told that chunk light works just as well in this recipe.  Feel free to
use whatever kind suit your taste more.

*  Here locally, a company called Manns markets a type of slaw which is made from the julienned stems of broccoli.  
Most usually this part is cut off and thrown away in favor of the florets we are more used to consuming.  The stems
are just as tasty, and rather than just throwing them away after you've used the florets, julienne up the remaining
stems to use in this kind of salad.  Although I've never tried it myself, I would imagine that the florets, when chopped
finely would do just as well.

Â¥  When not able to find bleu cheese vinaigrette dressing, I often use the kind that is mixed up with water and oil
from a packet.  The flavor I prefer is Parmesan Caesar, but I have also used an Asian dressing that I get from a local
Asian market that has sesame oil, lime juice, and other spices in it.  Feel free to try any that might suit your own
personal tastes.

VARIATIONS:  In a pinch I used a can of yellow wax beans instead of the black beans.  Just make sure they're well
drained and rinsed before adding them to the salad.

You can also stir in up to a cup of your favorite shredded or crumbled cheese if you don't like tuna.  Bleu cheese or
feta work especially well, although I have also used cheddar and some of the commercial blends like Mexican, Pizza, or

A special thanks goes to the folks at my local Wegmans store for helping me to double check that the size of and
amounts in the cans were accurate for this piece.
College Dorm Room Recipes
Love and marriage vintage recipes
college cooking recipes
Vintage Recipe Collection
poor man's pizza
away from home recipes
Like a lollipop
Several stoves, refrigerators, sinks
Spring Break from college with recipes
Roast recipe for college
ROTC cadets
some easy recipes