9 Delightful Recipes From the 1950s You Should Make with Your Kids Today

Getty Images
Getty Images

Have you ever been accused of gulping down a meal so fast you were consuming your food "like it was going out of style"? Well, keep gulping, because food does go out of style.

But let's not overlook the dishes of decades past, because they offer some delightful lessons. In 1957, for instance, Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls used easy instructions and bright, beautiful images to teach children how to cook. These recipes are just as fun to make today as they were then — even if they are out of style.

(For a larger view of each recipe, click directly on the image.)

1. Branded pancakes


Granted, names have gotten a lot longer since John and Jane dominated the pancake scene. But a hungry enough birthday girl will still enjoy a batch of Alexandria pancakes branded in her honor.

2. Eggs in a frame


This is listed under the "Campfire" section of the book, but it looks like it can be done anywhere butter is abundant.

3. Doughboys


More campfire ingenuity; simple enough for any little camper who can be trusted with a pointy stick.

4. Raggedy Ann salad


Here is an example of making do with what would be commonly available year round to a child in 1957. Granted, by our standards, Mrs. Crocker is using the word "salad" pretty liberally here. But remember, the whole point of Raggedy Ann is that she was a lovable, patched-together hodgepodge of a doll. Or a salad!

5. American pizza


It's important to include the word "American" in the title, because no matter how good this turns out, it's going to disillusion a child forever that they can make "real" pizza at home. But it's still fun! Like little Peter tells us at the bottom of the page, "Pizza cuts up real easy if you use the kitchen scissors."

6. Kabobs


This dish is perfect for the child who enjoys sharp sticks, knives, and fire. Which is most of them.

7. Three men in a boat


Okay, not every recipe is going to translate well over the years. And not every modern child will be thrilled with a mixture of creamed dried beef, potato skin, mushrooms, and cheese. But hey! It's a boat you can eat! That's pretty cool.

8. Drum cake


I must admit, falling in love with this photo was the whole reason I spent a week on the phone getting General Mills' permission to use it. Candy canes! When it's not even Christmas! Brilliant!

9. Eskimo igloo cake


Remember, in 1957 it would have occurred to no one to ask whether it was socially acceptable to make food versions of an indigenous people's home, nor would they have searched their brains trying to remember if it's rude to say "Eskimo." Today this little cake can be used as a great introduction to anthropology, history, and America's changing social values. Or you can just eat it.

**All images used with express permission of General Mills**

This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.
TidyBoard

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

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Vermont Just Banned Residents From Throwing Food Scraps in the Trash

Compost is delicious trash salad for your soil.
Compost is delicious trash salad for your soil.
svetikd/iStock via Getty Images

Any Vermont resident who has carelessly tossed a watermelon rind into the trash bin this month is technically a lawbreaker.

On July 1, the state passed its Food Scraps Ban, which mandates that all leftover food either be composted or donated. Not only does this include inedible scraps like pits, seeds, coffee grounds, and bones, but also anything still left on your plate after a meal—pizza crusts, for example, or the square of Spam casserole your grandmother served before you could politely decline.

“If it was once part of something alive, like a plant or animal, it does not belong in the landfill,” Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation says on its website.

While it might seem like a drastic policy, Vermont has been laying the groundwork—and developing the infrastructure to maintain it—for years. In 2012, the legislature unanimously passed the Universal Recycling Law, which mapped out a step-by-step plan to cut down on landfill waste. Over the years, recyclables, yard debris, and now food scraps have all been banned from landfills [PDF]. To help residents abide by the restrictions, trash haulers have begun to offer pick-up services for the entire range of materials, and the state has budgeted around $970,000 in grant money for compost collection and processing facilities.

According to Fast Company, Vermont officials are hopeful this latest policy will help them hit their long-standing goal of reducing landfill waste by 50 percent; until now, they’ve only been able to achieve a 36-percent decrease. And it’s not just about saving space in landfills. Food decomposes more slowly in landfills, and the process produces methane—a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Composting those scraps enriches the soil (and keeps garbage from smelling so putrid, too).

As for enforcing the Food Scraps Ban, they’re relying on the honor code.

“People say, ‘What does this mean with a food waste ban? [Are] people going to be out there looking in my garbage for my apple cores?'” Josh Kelly, materials management section chief at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, told Fast Company. “That’s not the intent of this.”

The lack of consequences might diminish the efficacy of such a law in a different state, but maybe not in eco-friendly Vermont: According to a University of Vermont study, 72 percent of Vermonters already composted or fed food scraps to their animals before the Food Scraps Ban took effect.

Though Vermont is the only state so far to enact an outright ban on trashing food scraps, you don’t have to wait for your state to follow suit to make a change. Here’s a beginner’s guide to composting at home from the Environmental Protection Agency.

[h/t Fast Company]