October 19, 2013

Three sweet and scrumptious vintage fall recipes


A mighty wind rapped on my window in the earliest hours of this morning, screeching one moment and slamming its weight against the glass the next. It wasn't frightening in the slightest though - in fact, it had quite the opposite effect of terror, it brought instant joy my way, because it reminded that Halloween - my most favourite holiday of the year - is just around the corner.

Spooky sounds, gales that send chills up your spine, decaying leaves, freshly picked pumpkins, chilly nights, costumed hobgoblins, and sweat treats aplenty are all the name of the game, as we count down the last couple of weeks until October 31st comes knocking on our doors - candy pail outstretched - once more.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I utterly love this time of the year. Mother Nature hasn't reverted entirely to pale neutrals yet, the sun's amber light continues to hold onto an ounce of warmth, the world smells of cinnamon, chimney smoke, and tweed, and most people are in the mood to celebrate the harvest season and all the wonderful things that the second half of October houses.




{Jack-o-lantern carving, leaves the shade of ripe Bartlett pears, and cozy cold weather clothes - this wonderful early 1960s image abounds with so much of what I adore about the second half of October! Image source.}


Without a doubt, one of the best elements of this month - from start to finish - is the abundance of delicious food it entails. Here in the vast wilds of Canada, we enjoyed our Canadian Thanksgiving on Tuesday (many of us still have turkey and cranberry sauce in the fridge as I speak), whereas those in America will celebrate this important fall date in the third week of November. For those in both countries - and many other places around the world as well - this month has ushered in the return of comfort food, hearty meals, gorgeously fragrant desserts, and perhaps even the first batch or two of Halloween baked goodies.

Given that All Hallows Eve takes place in just two Thursdays from now, and many of us are planning parties, family events, school treats to send youngsters off to class with, and meals for the big night itself, today seems like the perfect time to share a 1950s cookbook page featuring three truly classic autumn recipes: Hot Mulled (Apple) Cider, Gingersnaps, and Caramel Apples.


 photo 1b765c3b9ca68790d6f17fb707e5759b_zpsf29609ab.jpg

{Originally appearing in the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook from 1959, this trio of spiced, sweet, completely appealing fall recipes are as timeless as pumpkins, scarecrows and harvest moons themselves. Image source.}


These recipes are so delicious, satisfying and classic, I really wouldn’t (save for creating versions that were gluten and egg-free, so that I could partake of them safely myself, too) change them at all. Holidays often mean time-honored foods teaming with the kinds of flavours we grew up with in our early years, and all three of these taste bud pleasing recipes pull forth the best kind of culinary nostalgia for me precisely as they appear here.

You could whip any (or all) of these up for a post-pumpkin patch shindig, a Halloween party, Thanksgiving (next month), or simply a quiet Sunday afternoon spent looking out your window at the beautiful resplendent, vivid palette of autumn’s foliage. They're timeless and fun, satisfying and appealing to those of all ages - much like autumn itself.

25 comments:

  1. I adore the colours of this time of year. I had a lovely walk in the park yesterday finding conkers, beech nuts and newly turned leaves. It was beautiful. We don't really celebrate Halloween so much in the UK, except maybe if you have small children, so I am finding it very interesting to read all about what makes this your favourite time of year.

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    1. Autumn walks are a firm favourite of mine. I always wish I could bottle the crisp, fallen foliage filled scent of the cool air to enjoy the rest of the year through. Yay! I love discussing this time of the year and Halloween, and really hope you enjoy all my posts on both of them - lots more October 31st fun is coming down the pipeline in the next little while! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  2. I love vintage recipes :D My mum has a big pile of cut outs from 60-70s magazines and also some old cookbooks after grandma and everything made by those recipes tastes heavenly. :D I will certainly try these caramel apples, when I go home next time :)

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  3. Now you hit my soft-spot.
    Anything apple - and I go for it.
    Caramel apple, it's a whole story! You see, as a kid, I used to go to town fairs (those were the days when both of the things were still alive - town fair and my grandpa). He'd get me the biggest caramelized apple there was. Naturally, I couldn't eat the whole darn thing, but the fact that I got the BIGGEST one made it so special.
    ...
    Nowadays I'd skip the caramel apple (it's not the same without Grandpa to make it special), and I'd go for the cider. And a piece of apple pie. :)

    Many hugs, darling!
    Marija

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    1. That is such a heartwarming lovely memory, sweet Marija, thank you very much for sharing it with me.

      I wish we lived nearby, I'd whip up oodles of tasty apple treats for us to enjoy this season - perhaps even some caramel apples or a caramel apple fondue to enjoy and honour the memory of your beloved grandpa with.

      Tons of hugs & happy weekend wishes to you as well,
      ♥ Jessica

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  4. the candy apples look delish and i just love that pumpkin carving picture!

    kate the old fashioned way

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  5. How'd you get that picture of my parents? :) Even the pumpkin is being carved the way Dad used to do...again, thanks for the memory!

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  6. I may use the Mulled Cider to make some hot totties. I like to have an adult drink every once in a while during colder weather but beer and cocktails just make me colder. Great post

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    1. Yum! That sounds like a wonderful idea. I saw this recipe a few months back that would be an especially perfect October take on the classic Hot Toddy: http://whatsfordinner-momwhatsfordinner.blogspot.ca/2011/10/pumpkin-hot-toddy.html

      Thank you, honey - have a terrific weekend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  7. I love your blog. No, I mean it. I really love your blog. It's the best.

    I have a funny story to tell you, prompted by your pumpkin-carving reference. I play pranks on my wife who's a straightlaced schoolteacher. Last year, I read about one in a book for teasing children, so I used it on my wife and it was perfect. My wife mentioned that she'd never carved a pumpkin before, so I insisted we do one. We spread out newspaper, cut open the top of a pumpkin and I told her to stick her hands in and pull out the guts. As she did, coins started falling out! Quarters and dimes and nickels inside the pumpkin. My wife was amazed. She looked at me quizzically and I said, "You got a money pumpkin!" She wondered how the farmer had grown it.

    After ten minutes, I burst out laughing and told her how I'd done it. Before we started, I took a knife and sliced a tiny hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, just big enough to slip coins inside. When she realized she'd been pranked, she was equally amused and annoyed.

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    1. Hi Ally, that's is such a terrific Halloween prank! I love it when practical jokes/pranks are funny/happy, not malicious or likely to really upset anyone. Plus the idea of a coin filled pumpkin is just plain fantastic! It makes me think that it should be a wide spread idea, a bit like the tooth fairy leaving coins for kids, on Halloween. It also reminds me of the tradition of putting coins in birthday cakes that my mom always did for us when we were growing up (finding the dollar, or loonie as we call them up here in Canada, was the coveted goal!).

      Thank you much for your great comment and compliment. Your blog absolutely rocks as well!

      ♥ Jessica

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  8. These look delicious!! I will definitely have to try these.

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  9. I have always loved Halloween since I was little, but it is also our anniversary, (a fact that many friends find hilarious!) so it is an extra special time of year for us too.

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    1. Far from hillarious, I think it's flat out awesome!!! I would have gleefully gotten married on Halloween (whether I had an All Hallows Eve themed wedding or not). It's my favourite holiday of the year, so getting to celebrate an anniversary on top that fact would have been uber cool. As it turns out, I was an October bride, too, just not a Halloween one.

      Happy early anniversary wishes to you both!
      ♥ Jessica

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  10. yumm caramel apples, i love them my mum used to make them when we were little;) and how adorable is this jack o lantern carving photo!
    love and kiss,mary

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  11. Yay! I'm so inspired by this coming Halloween (this holiday isn´t celebrated in Spain) that I'm planning to cook a big family dinner at home, I'm going to do Halloween decorating and enjoy the first film "Frankenstein" in black and white, of course! The fact that Halloween is not celebrated in my country is that there are no recipes for this dinner ... so if this is well for you , I will "steal" your recipes to bring them to my table. Happy weekend, dear friend!

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    1. That's so cool, Rosy, I love that you're going to throw a Halloween feast for your family. I hope you all have a terrific time! Please, use these tasty classic recipes to yours heart's content.

      Happy Halloween wishes!
      ♥ Jessica

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  12. I want to make all of those delicious treats! It looks like my kitchen will be busy between Halloween and Christmas - thanks for the recipe and great post :D

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    1. You're very welcome, Fay. I'm delighted to know that these classic recipes struck a chord with you as well. Happy holiday cooking!

      ♥ Jessica

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  13. You know I have never had a caramel or chocolate apple?? I would love to cross that off my bucket list.

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    1. Isn't it interesting how we can reach adulthood without having tried certain commonplace foods? I think we all have at least a few things that fall into that camp. Both are scrumptious, but I prefer caramel apples (followed by candy apples, then the chocolate version). They're addictively delicious! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  14. I love this time of year so much! I'm not a fan of warm weather, so I'm rather pleased to be feeling the bitter chill of a Northern English October ;)
    I wish Halloween was a bigger deal over here; I've dressed up and been to a few Halloween parties, but I don't think I ever trick or treating nor carved a pumpkin. I'm so totally fascinated by how the holiday is celebrated in other countries.

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  15. I have never tried making caramel apples myself, perhaps I should give it a try, yhey also look delish. :)

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    1. It's such a snap, especially if you use store bought caramels (easier, I think than red candy apples). They're fun and fairly fast to make. If you have a hard time finding caramels in your area, let me know, I'd be happy to send you some from Canada (if you're legally allowed to import foreign foods).

      ♥ Jessica

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