Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is based on my historic cookbook of the same name. It includes World War II era ration recipes from the book, along with many of my own. If you like old-fashioned home cooking, just like Grandma used to make, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’ve tried some of these recipes and liked them, please be sure to let us know.
Here’s another delicious recipe from Rosie’s day that still tastes great today. I tested the recipe with white bread, as it was popular in Rosie’s time, but I’m sure it would taste just as good with whole wheat or multigrain bread, or whatever bread you may happen to have.
CELERY STUFFED SPARERIBS
1 side spareribs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup diced salt pork or bacon fat
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups soft bread cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Fry the salt pork until crisp, then remove the pieces. Cook the onions in the fat for a few minutes, add the crisp salt pork, celery and bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the spareribs over the dressing in baking pan, sprinkle the outside with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and rub with flour. Place pan in 350• F oven uncovered and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until ribs are tender. Yield: 4 servings.
Modern adaptation: Sliced bacon can be substituted for salt pork. (Bacon fat is another name for bacon grease.) Chop 4 to 6 slices of bacon and fry in a skillet or frying pan. Add onions and continue preparing the dressing as instructed in the original recipe. To help keep the dressing from getting too dry add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock. Once the spareribs are placed in the baking dish decrease salt to 1 teaspoon, or, for more zing, use 1 teaspoon of celery salt. Bake as directed in the original recipe.
Presenting another delicious historic recipe from the pages of Rosie’s RIveting Recipes. People may have had to cope with food shortages back in Rosie’s day, but it didn’t mean they weren’t enjoying delicious desserts which are still tasty today. In fact, this pie turned out so good I would call it decadent, yet it’s also surprisingly easy to prepare. For best results I recommend using your favorite pie crust recipe, or trying the historic Victory Pie Crust referred to in the recipe. Frozen pie crust would also be suitable. Whichever crust you use, be sure to bake it as directed below before adding the lemon filling.
LEMON CHIFFON PIE
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 package Lemon Jell-O
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
dash of salt
3 egg whites
baked pie shell
Combine egg yolks and water in top of double boiler, mixing well. Add 1/4 cup sugar and cook over hot water about 3 minutes, or until well heated, stirring constantly. Remove from fire. Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice and rind. Chill until slightly thickened. Add salt to egg whites and beat until foamy; then add remaining sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff. Fold slightly thickened Jell-O into egg whites. Pour into cold pie shell. Chill until firm.
BAKED PIE SHELL
Prepare Victory Pie Crust as directed above. Place dough on lightly floured board, shape round and pat flat with rolling pin. Then roll into 1 1/2 -inch circle. Fold in half and place on bottom of inverted 9-inch pie plate. Open out folded half of pastry and fit snugly to plate. Trim off pastry to outer edge of plate and mark around rim with table fork dipped in flour. Prick crust well. Bake in hot oven (450F) 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned.
I have no idea where this recipe came from, but somehow it got into my collection. I tried it last night and OMG! It’s delicious. It’s also easy to prepare and it uses ingredients most of us probably have in our pantries. And did I mention that it’s delicious?
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cold mild
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 pound cooked, seasoned chicken cut into cubes
1 16 oz package linguine
3 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
Heat lightly salted water to a boil and cook linguine for about ten minutes, or to package directions.
Heat butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic until tender but not browned. Add milk, oregano and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat back down to medium and cook for about five minutes. Whisk chicken stock and cornstarch together in a small bowl and add to sauce. Add chicken. Cook until sauce thickens, about five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley and cook for one to two minutes. Add drained pasta to sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of standing on a stool, in front of the kitchen counter, and watching my mother make a pie crust from scratch. She could sculpt the crust on the rim of the pie plate like Picasso, and she’d always break off little pieces and let me taste it. The raw dough was delicious. (It still is.)
Sadly, my mother soon stopped baking pies. She always said her mother could whip up a pie crust with virtually no effort at all, so perhaps my mother felt that she simply couldn’t compete with Grandma’s pies. Whatever the reason, her homemade pies virtually disappeared from the family menu, and, on those rare occasions when she did bake a pie, she used the frozen pie shells.
Fast forward. I’m testing recipes for my historic cookbook, Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, and the time had come for to try making my own pie crust from scratch. I’d never done it before, but they say certain genes skip a generation. I soon discovered that making pie crust from scratch isn’t rocket science. All you need is flour, baking powder, shortening, and a little water. Having the right tools helps too. I bought a pastry cutter at Walmart, and that investment of a few dollars really paid off because it makes blending in the shortening a snap.
Victory Pie Crust is used in many of the historic recipes in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. And one other historic note. The word, “victory,” was a significant part of the lexicon during World War II. It was a moral booster that was used everywhere.
VICTORY PIE CRUST
1 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 or 4 tablespoons cold shortening
3 or 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water*
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cut shortening into small pieces; add to flour and cut in until mixture is almost as fine as meal. Make small well in flour mixture. Turn 1 tablespoon ice water in this and mix quickly and lightly with surrounding flour only until a small ball of dough is formed. Do not over mix. Repeat this way, mixing all of the flour in separate portions. Then press portions together lightly but firmly into one dough. Makes enough pastry for 9-inch pie shell. Double recipe for pastry for two-crust pie.
*Use only 3 tablespoons ice water with 4 tablespoons shortening; use 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water with 3 tablespoons shortening.
Note: If the crust should come out too dry and crumbly simply add small amounts of water until the mixture has a more doughy consistency.
I experimented with several different zucchini bread recipes back when I used to grow it in my garden. I’d tweak this and add that, and in the end, I liked this one the best. It includes a box of cake mix which helps save prep time. However batter tends to be thick and heavy, so I highly recommend using a KitchenAid or other heavy duty mixer.
CHOCOLATE CHIP ZUCCHINI BUNDT CAKE
1/2 cup butter, softened (4 ounces or 1 stick)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package of cake mix with pudding in the mix *
1 medium zucchini — grated
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/8 cup powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F. (350F for a light colored pan).
Place softened butter in KitchenAid mixing bowl and beat the butter until light. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the sour cream, add the cinnamon and mix until all ingredients are well blended. Slowly add in cake mix, a little bit at a time, and mix thoroughly. (Batter will thicken considerably as cake mix is added.) Fold in the zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts.
Spoon the mixture into the bundt pan and gently blend mixture around the pan until it’s level. Firmly tap the bundt pan on the counter top several times so that air bubbles can work their way to the top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Cake will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then place cake plate on top of bundt pan and invert. Allow cake to finish cooling. Sprinkle powdered sugar, if desired.
Variations: Use peanut butter or white chocolate flavored chips with a chocolate or devil’s food cake mix.
* Most of the popular name brand cake mixes, such as Pillsbury, Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker have pudding in the mix. White, classic yellow or devil’s food are recommended for theis recipe.
Here in southern Arizona we have an abundant supply of citrus. So, what do you do when someone gives you a big bag full of fresh oranges? You do what Rosie would have done. Use them to create something wonderful. This recipe is easy and delicious, and I had a dear friend who adored it.
ORANGE CHOCOLATE CHIP LOAF
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest *
1/2 cup orange just
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add orange zest and orange juice. Mix until well blended. Add flour mixture, a little at time. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. Bake for one hour.
If desired, make glaze by stirring sugar and orange juice together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over loaf. Let stand for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.
Who doesn’t love chili con carne? I grew up on canned chili, but trust me, once you get used to eating chili made from scratch, you’ll never want to go back to canned. I know I certainly don’t.
Chili con carne is an amazingly simple dish to prepare. It’s also an easy way to use up leftover veggies. Tastes great on its own, or top it on a hot dog. The following recipe is one that I’ve put together through trial error and tweaking other recipes. One nice thing about chili con carne is that there really is no way to make it wrong.
CHili con carne
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced *
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 4 ounce can diced green chilis
1 16 oz can red kidney beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1 cup water or broth
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons hot wings or Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch.
1/4 cup water or broth
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic in a small stock pot or kettle until the meat is cooked all the way through. Stir in canned green chilis. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup of water or broth. Stir in the canned beans and add seasonings. Stir cornstarch and water in a small bowl and pour into the chili mixture. Mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. If desired, top with cheese, sour cream or chives. Serve.
For those who prefer, ground chicken or turkey may be used instead of ground beef. If using ground chicken or turkey, add a tablespoon of cooking oil.
* A tablespoon of garlic powder can be substituted for the minced garlic.
While it may not used as much today, molasses is a sweetener that our grandmothers used. Sugar was rationed during WWII. Housewives had to find sugar substitutes. Molasses was one of those substitutes. And, unlike many of today’s sugar substitutes, molasses is natural.
The following is a historic recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. And if you’re a cookie lover like I am, you may want to try it.
soft molasses cookies
3 cups sifted cake flour*
1 1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg, unbeaten
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sour milk** or buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sift flour once, measure, add soda, salt, and spices, and sift together three times. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, creaming until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well; then add molasses. Add flour, alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Chill 1 to 2 hours, or until firm enough to hold shape. Drop from teaspoon on lightly greased baking sheet, placing about 2 inches apart. Bake in hot oven (400F.) 13 to 15 minutes, or until done. Makes 6 dozen cookies.
*No flour sifter? Not a problem. Simply measure the flour and pour into a large strainer and stir with a wooden spoon.
** To make sour milk add one tablespoon lemon juice of white vinegar to one cup 2% or whole milk, (fat-free milk will not work). Let sit for 15 minutes until milk begins to curdle. Add to recipe.
I got this recipe years ago from a friend of a friend, at whose home I once had Christmas dinner. She served the most delicious salad with her meal, and she was happy to write down her recipe for me. It’s economical and oh so simple to make. Add chicken or shrimp and make it a meal.
Asian Cabbage Salad
1 head cabbage, (green or red) shredded
1 package Ramen Oriental flavor soup
4 to 6 stalks green onions, chopped
1 small package sliced almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Place cabbage, green onions and almonds in a salad bowl. Break ramen noodles into small pieces and place on a baking dish. Add sesame seeds and toast in broiler until the noodles turn golden brown and crisp. Add to salad mixture.
3 to 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
ramen soup seasoning packet
salt and pepper
Blend all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Pour over salad mixture and toss.
During WWII many food products were scarce. This is why food was rationed. So, as a result, some recipes included different variations so people could use whatever they had on hand.
FISH OR MEAT SOUFFLE´
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons enriched flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons enriched flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
3/4 cup milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups flaked salmon, tunafish, ground or cooked chopped meat
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Combine flour, butter, add seasonings in top part of double boiler. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. Cook to form a thick paste.
Beat egg yolks until thick and light in color; add flour mixture and stir until smooth. Add salmon; mix well. Fold carefully, but thoroughly, into egg whites beaten stiff but not dry. Turn into well-greased casserole. Place in pan of hot water; bake in moderate (350ºF.) oven about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until set, or knife inserted into center comes clean. Serve at once with melted butter, celery, or pickle sauce. Serves 6.