It has been a little over a week since I moved into my parents’ basement, and I have made some spectacular discoveries. For example, feast your eyes on the dress I wore to Jefferson-Scranton High School’s junior-senior prom, circa 2003:
Yes, it totally still fits, thank you for asking. It just doesn’t zip, which is a minor detail. A strategically-draped shawl, a few safety pins, and BAM, I could be ready for my very own royal wedding in ten minutes, tops.
(Oh, by the way, isn’t my mirror charming? My sister-in-law painted it for me many, many years ago. She’s all kinds of brilliant and artsy!)
I also found……drumroll…….
My very first cookbooks! Do you remember the American Girl dolls? I swear, everybody I knew when I was a tiny little Darcy had one of those dolls, and about fifty outfits for it. I was not into the dolls, but I was really into the cookbooks. They came in a set of five: Molly (World War II era), Kirsten (pioneer girl), Addy (escaped from slavery on the Underground Railroad), Felicity (daughter of the Revolution), and Samantha (hoity-toity turn-of-the-century girl with a butler).
They’re full of historical information and easy recipes one could make with adult supervision, AND in the back of each one there are detailed instructions for throwing a theme party. Molly’s book, which was my favorite, was set in 1944 and had instructions for throwing a “patriotic slumber party.” Here’s a tip:
Uhhh, sure. Or, how about you just don’t invite fun-haters to your patriotic slumber party?
Here are two of my favorite recipes from Molly’s book. They’re both really easy, but the first requires a knife and the second requires a hot oven, so if you are not an adult, please find one to supervise you. I definitely waited until my mom was home for the hard parts.
Frozen Fruit Cups (adapted—barely—from “American Girls Pastimes: Molly’s Cookbook”)
Makes 8-12 small cups (I used 8 oz. cups and made 9)
- 1 c. orange juice
- 15 oz. can of crushed pineapple in its own juice
- 1 small (about 11 oz.) can of mandarin oranges, drained and coarsely chopped
- about 3 cups sliced strawberries
- 2-3 bananas, sliced
- 1 1/2 c. club soda
These are not rocket science, obviously, as the recipe came from a cookbook for elementary school-aged children. But they are delicious, and a great refreshing snack for summer. I used to make them all the time and eat them while swaying in my mom’s hammock with a Babysitter’s Club book. Feel free to substitute whatever fruit you like, your favorite juice, and 1 1/2 cups of something fizzy (the original recipe calls for ginger ale, which is good, and I’ve also used 7-Up). Stir everything up in a large mixing bowl, ladle the mixture into small cups, and freeze.
Raisin Bread in a Can (adapted from “American Girls Pastimes: Molly’s Cookbook”)
This recipe didn’t have a lot of fat in it (because, as explained in the front of the book, Molly and her mom were conserving for the war effort). It also only had one egg, so I went ahead and made a few adjustments to vegan-ize it. To bake, you need a clean, empty coffee or juice can—about 45 ounces. You could use a loaf pan, I suppose, but where’s the fun in that?
- 3/4 c. white flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/3 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts, leftover from my rapture cupcakes)
- 1/3 c. raisins
- 1 flax egg (Mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water in a small bowl, and allow the mixture to thicken for 5-10 minutes)
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 1/4 c. almond milk
- 1/4 c. molasses
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the white flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, nuts, and raisins. In a large mixing bowl, combine the thickened flax egg, canola oil, almond milk, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well-combined. Grease a large, clean tin can (about 45 ounces), and pour in the batter. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. After an hour, place the can on a rack to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, loosen the bread from the sides of the can with a butter knife and try to shimmy the bread out of the can. If you’re having trouble, use a can opener to open the bottom of the can and carefully push the bread out.
Housekeeping: the address for the blog is now http://shesingsatthetable.com, not http://shesingsatthetable.wordpress.com. Update your Google readers (or whatever you kids use to read your blogs these days) accordingly, pretty please.
Also, thanks to my web designer/13-year-old niece, you can now “like” She Sings at the Table on facebook—see the link on the right side of the page. That’s all for now—have a marvelous week!