Refrigerator Bread Pudding

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

This classic dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook is one that many of your grandmothers may have made. I tried it, and it’s delicious. One thing I really like about many of these historic dessert recipes is that they’re sweet, but not sugar-laden.

Gayle Martin

REFRIGERATOR BREAD PUDDING

  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup or 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 slices white bread (2 1/2 cups cubed)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • nutmeg, if desired

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold milk. Scald remaining milk with corn syrup (or sugar) and salt in double boiler. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove crusts and cut slices of bread into cubes. Pour hot milk slowly over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler. Add bread cubes and cook until custard consistency, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with rotary beater until frothy. Turn into one large (or individual molds) that have been rinsed in cold water first. Chill. When firm, un-mold and serve with cream or any sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Modern adaptation: Be careful not boil the milk. The beaten eggs can be slowly added to the milk mixture in the double boiler, stirring constantly as directed in the original recipe, until they are well blended. To give the pudding a bolder flavor add 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 nutmeg with the vanilla. The pudding can also be poured into ramekins and served with whipped cream, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top, as suggested in the original historic recipe.

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Beef Chop Suey

from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
© Can Stock Photo / Dusan

The following recipe is based on a historic Heart Chop Suey recipe included in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. However, I used regular beef instead of beef heart as many people may find organ meat less than palatable, and because beef heart may be difficult to find. I used stew meat, but I think chuck steak, flank steak or other cheaper cuts of beef would also work nicely. The end result was a tasty, easy-to-prepare meal that was both healthy and delicious, and somehow I think Rosie would approve.

BEEF CHOP SUEY

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds stew meat or chuck steak
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 coarsely chopped green pepper
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups water (or 2 cups of beef broth, omitting bouillon cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cups boiled rice

Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes and dust with flour. Place meat and onion in heavy frying pan and brown in butter or margarine. Add celery, carrots, green pepper and bouillon cubes and 2 cups water. (Beef or chicken stock can be used in place of water and bouillon cubes.) Cover and simmer until tender, about 1 to 1/2 hours. Add seasonings and sauce. Serve with boiled rice or fried Chinese Noodles. Yields 6-8 servings.

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Ham and Sweet Potatoes

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook

I once had a friend who loved sweet potatoes. I mean seriously loved them. So much so that she would have done nothing short of grabbing a steak knife and telling you to back off if you got too close to her sweet potatoes. Now that’s a food devotion. However, she wasn’t much of a cook, and when I began testing recipes for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I passed this one along to her. It’s easy to prepare, even for those who are, “kitchen challenged.” It’s also a nice dish for those who wax nostalgic for holiday meals over the course of the year.

Gayle Martin

HAM WITH SWEET POTATOES

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced ham or shoulder
  • 3 cups raw, sliced sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon margarine

Cut the ham or shoulder into pieces for serving. If the meat is very salty, parboil it in water and drain. Brown the meat lightly on both sides and arrange the pieces to cover the bottom of a baking dish. Spread the sliced sweet potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with sugar. Add hot water to melted margarine and pour over the sweet potatoes and meat. Cover the dish and bake slowly until the meat and sweet potatoes are tender, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally with the gravy. Toward the last, remove the lid and let the top brown well. Yields 6 servings.

Modern adaptation: Heat oven to 350F. Butter may be used instead of margarine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately one hour, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally as directed in the original recipe. After baking for one hour remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have browned. Turkey ham may also be used, and the sugar can be decreased to one teaspoon.

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Old-Time Rice Custard Pudding

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook
© Can Stock Photo/pruden

My former spouse used to bring home rice pudding from the refrigerated section at the supermarket. He said it reminded him of his grandmother’s rice pudding. I’d never had rice pudding before, and it reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade tapioca pudding. Funny how certain foods bring back happy childhood memories.

Fast forward a few years. I’m testing some of the recipes for the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, and while this recipe was easy to prepare and uses ingredients found in most pantries, it had a very different texture from the premade supermarket rice pudding, creating a delicious yet totally different experience. Puddings have variations, and it’s nice to try something different.

Gayle Martin

OLD-TIME RICE CUSTARD PUDDING

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 2 cups scalded milk*
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • nutmeg

Mix rice and raisins. Place in 8-inch baking pan, 3 inches deep. Blend milk into beaten eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour over rice and raisin mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place pan in shallow pan of water. Steam bake 1 1/2 hours in moderate oven (325F). Serve warm or chilled, with or without cream.

*Pasteurization has taken the place of scalding.

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Eggless Chocolate Cake

© Can Stock Photo / NewIllustrations

Food was scarce back in Rosie’s day, and many common items on grocery shelves were hard to come by, even with rationing. Food companies had to come up with new recipes to make scarce ingredients go further, or even eliminate them completely. This delicious historic recipe, from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook, omits eggs.

By the way, a rotary beater was another term for an eggbeater, although most of us today use whisks.

Gayle Martin

EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine chocolate and milk in top of double boiler and cook over rapidly boiling water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Blend with rotary egg beater; cool.

Sift flour once, measure, add soda, salt, and sugar, and sift together three times. Cream shortening, add flour, vanilla, and chocolate mixture. Stir until all flour is dampened. Then beat vigorously 1 minute. Bake in two greased and lightly floured 8-inch layer pans in moderate oven (375 F) 20 minutes, or until done. Spread frosting between layers and on top of cake.

Cocoa Cake: Substitute 1/3 cup cocoa for chocolate. Sift it with the dry ingredients; add cold milk with vanilla.

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Hungarian Goulash

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook

© Can Stock Photo / fanfo

This historic recipe is great for using up leftovers, and while it includes potatoes as an option, I personally wouldn’t consider it a real goulash without the potatoes, or a can of tomatoes for that matter. If you have any leftover vegetables in the refrigerator you can certainly toss them in as well. Some people like to use ground beef and add pasta instead of potatoes, but that would be more of an American Goulash.

Gayle Martin

Hungarian Goulash

2 lbs beef chuck, neck or flank meat
2 tablespoons butter, margarine or drippings
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon caraway seed (if desired)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
paprika

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Let onion brown in butter, then add meat and let it brown lightly. Add caraway seed, marjoram, salt, chopped garlic and enough paprika to create a noticeable red color. Add 1 cup water, cover and simmer for 2  1/2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Whole potatoes may be added to the goulash 1/2 hour before done. Some goulash recipes call for the addition of tomatoes. Strained tomatoes may be substituted for water in this recipe. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Serve over noodles or your favorite pasta.

For more information about Rosie’s Riveting Recipes please click on the link below for a free preview on Amazon.

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Potato Soup

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day, and who doesn’t love potatoes?

This classic dish comes from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes  cookbook, although many of you may have similar versions in your own family recipe boxes.

Gayle Martin

 

POTATO SOUP

  • 2 cups raw potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper

Chop potatoes fine or grate them. Add potatoes, margarine, and onion to the milk. Cook the mixture over low heat until the potatoes are tender, stirring regularly. By that time the starch from the potatoes will have thickened the milk slightly. Add salt and pepper.

Modern Variation: To give this soup some extra zing try adding bacon, ham, or corn. Butter or olive oil may be used instead of margarine.

 

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Split Pea Soup

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook

© Can Stock Photo/ Yasonya

There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day, and this recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is tasty and easy to make. Some dishes simply never go out of style, and this is one of them.

Gayle Martin

SPLIT PEA SOUP

  • 8 oz. cooked cubed ham (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 1/2 quarts ham stock
  • 1 1/2 cups split green peas
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour

Place ham bone, stock, peas, seasonings and onion in large pan. Simmer 2 hours. Melt butter, add flour and blend. Add a small amount of soup stock and stir until smooth, then stir into soup to thicken slightly. Let cubes of ham heat in soup before serving. Makes 4 generous servings.

Modern adaptation: Ham hocks may be used in place of the ham bone. To make a ham stock boil the ham hocks or ham bones in water for approximately one to two hours. Chicken stock can be added to the ham stock or even used as a substitute for the ham stock. Cornstarch can also be used as a thickener instead of flour.

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Peppermint Candy Layer Cake

© Can Stock Photo / urbanlight

Just in time for Christmas baking, this delicious holiday dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, is perfect for the season.

Gayle Martin

PEPPERMINT CANDY LAYER CAKE

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream together margarine, sugar and salt. Stir in beaten eggs. Sift flour with baking powder twice. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, about 1/2 of each at a time. Pour into two 8-inch layer pans, lined with paper or greased with margarine and floured. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. When cool put layers together with white icing. Decorate with peppermint candy using whole sticks on top, crushed on sides.

Modern Variation: Since today’s baking powders are double-acting decrease baking powder to 1 1/4 teaspoon. For best results use a small (6 cup) bundt pan, a medium (8 x 4 inch) loaf pan, or an 8 x 8 inch square pan. To add some peppermint flavor add 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. If desired, top with Whipped Cream Topping.

WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
  • or 1/2 cup crushed peanut brittle
  • or 4 tablespoons jam or marmalade

Whip whipping cream until stiff. Fold in crushed candy or jam or marmalade.

Modern Variation: For peppermint candy topping add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to give the topping more peppermint flavor

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New England Turnovers

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes Cookbook
Copyright Can Stock Photo/ ajafoto

Seafood was just as popular in Rosie’s day as it is today, and this historic recipe is yummy and delicious. However, as noted below, those who don’t feel comfortable making pastry from scratch should be able to get good results using frozen pie crusts. Butter can also be used in place of margarine.

Gayle Martin

NEW ENGLAND TURNOVERS

Turnover Filling

  • 1 4 oz. package shredded codfish
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons enriched all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk

Freshen codfish as directed on package. Melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and seasoning and stir until smooth. Add milk, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Add freshened codfish and mix well

Pastry

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Sift flour and salt together 3 times. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until consistency of coarse meal. Add water and toss lightly with a fork until all particles are moistened. Roll out on lightly floured board into an 8 x 22-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares.  Heap turnover filling into each square. Fold squares in half. Press edges together with fork dipped in flour. Prick top to allow steam to escape. Bake in hot oven (425• F) 15 minutes. Yield:  6 servings.

Modern adaptation: Fish can be freshened by placing it in a bowl of cold salt water for about 15 minutes. However, if using individually frozen pieces of uncooked fish, this step may not be necessary. Frozen pie shells or pastry can also be used, and any leftover filling can be served as a delicious topping over the turnovers.

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