Pumpkin Crumble Cake (Oregon, 2006, adapted)

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 yeast breads.  I can’t even make a decent pizza crust (although……

Spam Puffs (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Say what you will but I’m a big fan of Spam.  No irony, no poverty cuisine voyeurism, no pining for some lost Hawaiian vacation:  fried Spam is a genuine treat for our family.  At any given time we’ll have a half a dozen cans on hand, ready to whip up a quick batch of musubis……

Homemade Condensed Cream of Potato Soup (Wisconsin, 1962, adapted)

My vintage cookbooks are filled with recipes that require some form of condensed cream soups.   Cream of mushroom seems to be the hands-down favorite, followed closely by cream of chicken, but there are still a healthy number of recipes that call for cream of celery or cream of potato.  In terms of convenience and……