Tomato Pudding (adapted from The Black Family Reunion Cookbook, 1991)

Tomato Pudding is a simple casserole-style side dish meant to accompany a rich Southern meal.  Or maybe it’s a dessert.  The recipe’s original author, Cincinnati restaurateur Barbara Bond, isn’t quite sure.  This recipe comes to me by way of The Black Family Reunion Cookbook,  a recipe book compiled by the National Council of Negro Women…….

Pumpkin Crumble Cake (Oregon, 2006, adapted)

Pumpkin Crumble Cake represents one of my rare attempts at baking.  For a home cook I feel like I know my way around a kitchen.  But everyone’s got their blind spots, and mine is baking.  I don’t enjoy it and I’m not good at it, and despite a background in chemistry I’m especially bad at……

Sour Cherry Pie (adapted from The Black Family Reunion Cookbook, 1991)

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (1991) is one of the books in my collection that I’ve read cover to cover but have never done much cooking from.  It’s not that the recipes aren’t intriguing or delicious, it’s that the stories that accompany them are compelling and essential reading.    The titular “Black Family Reunion” is an……

Grandmother’s Ginger Nuts (adapted from Mennonite Community Cookbook, 1950)

The recipe in Mennonite Community Cookbook that I find most entertaining is Grandmother’s Ginger Nuts.   This book designates the recipe as “very old”, presumably from the late nineteenth century.   This recipe was submitted independently by two different women.  The first was Grandmother’s Ginger Nuts, the other Ginger Balls.   I shudder to think what internet……

Next Best Thing to Tom Selleck Cake (Wisconsin, 1980s, adapted)

Next Best Thing to Tom Selleck Cake is a genteel, Christian take on Better than Sex Cake, which was a randy fixture of otherwise staid cooking magazines in the late 1980s.  This recipe is adapted from a version I found in Country Favorites, a 1980s community cookbook from a Catholic congregation in Wisconsin.  I imagine……

Baked Bananas and Cranberries (adapted from Old-Time Meatless Recipes, 1955)

Baked Bananas and Cranberries is an easy-to-make fruit-forward side dish that exemplifies the spirit of Old-Time Meatless Recipes.  The original cookbook includes full mean plans:  Baked Bananas and Cranberries is meant to accompany a luncheon menu of cheese rarebit (i.e. Welsh rabbit) and coffee.  As will be obvious from the ingredient list, it is not……

Apple Pudding Bread (Wisconsin, 1989, adapted)

Apple Pudding Bread is a spiced dessert bread recipe from Ascension Lutheran’s 1989 community cookbook.   The recipe’s author was a longtime member and mother of three.  She was an avid bridge player and teacher and her husband served in various lay leadership positions at the church.  In the recipe description she brags that Apple……

Potato Chip Cookies (Ohio, 1995, adapted)

Potato Chip Cookies are exactly what they sound like: a simple sugar cookie “seasoned” with a handful of crushed potato chips.  I have no personal nostalgia for these cookies; I first encountered them in a church cookbook from the mid-90s.  The recipe’s author was a homemaker from my grandmother’s generation, and this seems like a……