I am Bonnie and this is my blog Quaint Cooking which is all about vintage foods. I write about the history and origins of popular dishes as well popular food trends throughout the 20th century. I also highlight vintage cookbooks and their authors. Some might be familiar while others have possibly been forgotten throughout the decades. Of course at least once a month I make a Jell-O recipe in a quest to find out which ones are worth the effort because they can’t all be that bad…right?
So I created this blog for three main reasons:
1. I could not find exactly what information I wanted. I was getting frustrating finding the same list of foods whether I was googling the generic popular foods of the 1950s or trying to hone in on specifics like fancy dinner party foods of the same decade. I needed more answers than that because decades are more nuanced than that. Today we would certainly serve something different for a casual get together, a family week night dinner, a child’s birthday or a dinner party so the people who lived in the early to mid part of the 20th century had to as well.
2. What I love most about old, heritage or vintage recipes is the stories that surround them. So I know a dish like chicken a la king, wacky cake or California dip was popular and you can search the internet to find recipes for all three of those. The part that was missing for me was the when was it popular, who created the dish and the where of these recipes. So I decided to start researching the answers for myself. I figured that there maybe other people who might find the fruits of my labor interesting.
3. It is probably not surprising that I collect cookbooks and advertising recipe booklets. Also, I have a collection of sixteen vintage metal recipe boxes that I have been lucky enough to find all but two full of old recipe cards both handwritten and clipped from magazines. The problem is I NEVER cooked or baked from them. Oh I had great intentions. I would pour over the recipes and pictures with lofty dreams of making many of the recipes. Of course I never did and therefore I created this space to push me to actually use them.
So what can you expect on Quaint Cooking? As already stated, I write about the histories of some popular dishes as well as about cookbook authors and cookbooks. I mainly focus on the time period between the 1920s through the 1970s but the whole 20th century is not off limits! Of course there will be old recipes. a classic movie or two and vintage menus. I also post celebrity recipes and vintage ads. Oh and the good and the bad side Jell-O can seen around these parts because you can’t talk vintage cuisine with out some sort of gelatin salad! I also usually post every week.
Lastly, I LOVE to hear stories about the importance that some of these recipes played to people. Whether your grandma’s variation on the famous clam dip or that you use to request pineapple upside down cake every birthday. Maybe your mother made tuna casserole so much that you swore you would NEVER eat it as an adult. Oh wait that was my mother!
My trips into the world of Jell-O got me interviewed last year for a New York Post story that you can read here.