American Recipes 1940s -1960s

judsoncarroll4
judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin
edited March 2022 in General Recipes

Y'all know I love to eat! I think the era of the 40s-60s was really a classic era in American cooking, which is also very accessible to modern home cooks. Meats and veggies were still real, cut by a butcher or sold by a farmer. Convenience foods had come on the market and were used as shortcuts or optional ingredients - canned soup, American (processed) cheese and boxed crackers. Stoves and ovens were electric and accurate. They had stand mixers and blenders, refrigerators and freezers. Food was still mostly home cooked. Restaurants were either home cooking style or really fancy steaks, seafood and heavy French sauces that were a real occasional treat for most.. diners were classic. Sunday dinners were family feasts. Weekday suppers were solid and made from scratch....MUCH better, healthier and meat and veg centered than most folks eat these days. This was also the era of dinner parties, luncheons, cocktail parties, hors d'oeuvres and when a man carried a lunch box and a thermos to lunch and his wife made him his favorite sandwich to show that she cared. For many of us, this was how our grandmothers cooked... and cooking such meals ourselves is as close to "going home" as we can get. It was also the era of the classic American cookbook: Erma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking (her daughter was my mother's friends and summer neighbor, and we still enjoy her baked salmon recipe), James Beard who really defined American food by writing about our unique regional dishes and my hero, George L. Herter, whose 3 volume Bull Cook which was THE iconic American man's cookbook for the outdoorsman. One of my favorite old cookbooks is the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook - it is a true American classic. My copy was printed in 1949, and contains thousands of simple, honest recipes. Anyone can make these meals. It is accessible to the smallest budget or the least experienced cook. Yeah, it could actually change your life... and if you are living on take-out and delivery, it could save you a freaking fortune! So, let's dig in. I'll try to post a recipe a day, starting with something as simple as sandwiches. Please try out the recipes, tell me what you think and offer your own variations or options.

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Comments

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin
    edited March 2022

    The first of 300 sandwiches seriously!

    Fillings and Spreads

    Sandwich Fillings

    Combine all ingredients for fillings selected. Use as directed in sections on Party Sandwiches and Closed Sandwiches, Most sandwich fillings may be stored in screw-topped jars in refrigerator for several days. Cream cheese fillings, however, should not be stored for more than 1 day since they have a tendency to dry out and turn yellow. Fillings made of chopped uncooked vegetables should be prepared just before using to avoid loss of vegetable juices and crispness.

    Cheese Sandwich Fillings

    American Cheese and Bacon

    1/2 cup grated American cheese

    1/4 cup minced cooked bacon

    6 drops onion juice

    1 tablespoon minced pickles

    3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    300 sandwiches! That's crazy.

    How can you make that many different kinds?

    My husband would be in heaven, being able to have a different sandwich every day for almost a year.😊

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    Well, how about if you try each recipe and tell us how the year goes?! I'll make most... I'll substitute Food Lion cheddar for American cheese though

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I cook from scratch almost every night. My husband takes the leftovers for lunch. I started doing that 8 years ago now not just to save money but help us lose weight and feel better. Once we stopped eating processed foods and eating out the aches and pains went away. Even my daughter who was in middle school at the time commented on how her friends probably feel bad and don't know it.

    I think people were healthier back then.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2022

    Just snagged a 1948 copy off Ebay. They've got quite a few available. Read listings; publication years vary greatly.

    Had to copy this review. It had @judsoncarroll4 all over the first line.


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 thanks! I look forward to hearing all the sandwich recipes. It will be nice to have new ideas to add variety to my husband's work lunches. He prefers to eat sandwiches for lunch in the spring and summer. In the colder months he will usually bring leftovers that he can reheat in his Jetboil. Since he works outside it is nice to have something hot to eat. He mentioned yesterday that he will probably we wanting to switch back to sandwiches in a few weeks since spring is in the air.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    Sandwich spreads 2 & 3:


    American Cheese and Dill

    3/4 cup grated American Cheese

    1/4 up minced dill pickle

    2 tablespoons mayonnaise.


    American Cheese and Egg

    1/2 cup grated American cheese

    2 tablespoons chopped pimento

    1 tablespoon minced onion

    2 tablespoons minced sweet pickles

    2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a bunch of antique cookbooks from that time frame but I don't have the energy right now to type the recipes.

    Maybe I will get the energy if someone is looking for a specific recipe.

    I am starting to hang on to printed items as a hedge against lost information.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    I had a Betty Crocker cookbook my mother got for me. It was falling apart and I finally chucked it. I learned a lot from it's pages. @judsoncarroll4 I agree with you about all of the recipes from that time. My family had friends, family and acquaintances for dinner quite often. I enjoyed all the socializing and it probably helped me be not quite so introverted.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin
    edited March 2022

    Yeah, we need to bring back brunches, luncheons, socials, cocktail parties, cookouts, picnics and dinner parties.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭


    I would love to bring back all of that. I just love those types of get-togethers. I have memories of some of those from when I was young and my parents hosted/participated in them.😍

    I first have to have a house that's completed before I can do any of that. Unfortunately, renovations are taking longer and costing more because of the world currently.😥

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2022

    I still have my grandmother's Edith Barber cookbook from 1940. Still has the covers but fairly tattered. It has menus by season. Nothing fancy, just basic family fair for the most part.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My mother's much battered copy of Betty Crocker from her high school Home EC classes (late 1950's) is still in our family collection.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cream of split pea soup?!

    Found on page 122 of above PDF.


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl thanks for the link!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    Sandwich spreads 4 & 5 (the first one sounds great to me, but I'd use cheddar and canned anchovies):

    American Cheese, Onion and Anchovy

    1 cup grated American cheese

    1 tablespoon minced onion

    2 tablespoons anchovy paste

    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

    2 tablespoons mayonnaise


    Cheese and Salted Almonds

    1 cup grated American Cheese

    1/4 cup chopped salted almonds

    2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1940s recipes are potentially interesting because the first half of that decade was impacted by WW2, and the economy had still not returned to normal in the second half. For example, production of new cars resumed about 1949, not 1946.

    So recipes from that era likely feature vegetables grown in victory gardens or purchased locally, limited use of spices that are expensive and have to be imported, and less usage of rationed meats.

    All of these things make that era a good model for meal planning in an era of inflation and shortages.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    That is true, most of the recipes are quite frugal... except for things we can't buy in regular stores anymore. Organ meats, shad roe... we mostly have to source those ourselves or pay a lot more than they did then!

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 I was told that if I asked for Beef Heart or Tongue that those who process the meat would make those things available to me. I once visited a Basque restaurant where they marinated the tongue. It was so delicious and melted in my mouth. The taste was like that of Italian dressing (not the creamy kind).

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lets all start small and do our part to bring back these amazing events. Life would be so much richer if we still had all these fun activities. I love to hear the stories of my grandparents and their wonderful community gatherings. MY grandmother played piano and my grandfather his handmade ukulele, which we still have!~

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    Sandwich spreads 6 & 7... the second one would be a favorite for me - I love Limburger! A warning though, it is an acquired taste. My family had a cheese and wine shop when I was a kid. The back area, which included the store room, walk-in freezer and prep area REAKED of limburger! I went back there a few years ago. It had not been a cheese shop for over 20 years. I think most recently, it had been a Chinese restaurant. They let me look around, and I could still catch a whiff of Limburger cheese.... in a greasy, garlicky Chinese restaurant!

    Cheese and Pepper Relish

    1 cup grated American cheese

    1/4 cup relish


    Limburger Cheese and Onion

    2/3 cup Limburger cheese

    1/3 cup chopped onion

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All these recipes with American Cheese, which isn't real cheese. 🤢

    I'd have to change it to cheddar as well, @judsoncarroll4. The sharper the better.😁

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina American food underwent a revolution in the 1940s and 1950s.

    WW2 drove food industrialization to provide the preserved food that fed the troops overseas. The US government provided funding to build Coca Cola plants so that the troops could have their cola.

    After the war, the factories churned out canned and frozen foods for consumers. With the rise of TV, convenience foods such as TV dinners were developed.

    There's a difference between recipes created for American home consumers in the 1940s, when much of the canned food was allocated to the troops and civilians ate from fresh gardens, and recipes from the 1950s and 1960s, which are already starting to move toward processed ingredients.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just got my copy today. The Ebay vendor shipped super fast. I was just kind of flipping through it. On the same page as how to roast possum was a recipe for reindeer pot roast. Reindeer.....really?!

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's crazy that what was developed to help ended up hurting because after the war they continued to make more processed foods.

    My maternal grandmother worked in one of those plants during the war. And my paternal great grandparents had their factory changed over to help build/supply ammunition.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl I think reindeer is the 1940's term for caribou in this book. They are the same species, Rangifer tarandus, although I think they might be different sub species. The caribou in Northern Canada and Alaska are larger animals, most likely due to the domestication of the reindeer in Northern Europe and Russia.

    Caribou is delicious. I had it once many years ago before hunting was banned in my area due to population depletion. It is still available at stores that are allowed to sell game meats, mostly imported from the Yukon where populations are still high enough to allow harvesting. Reindeer is commonly eaten in Northern Europe.


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