13 December 2009

Clementine Paddleford’s Cook Young Cookbook

Here is another of the great Clementine Paddleford’s cookbooks, Clementine Paddleford’s Cook Young Cookbook. By the time she compiled this book she was falling out of fashion in the culinary world. As the food editor of This Week magazine, however she had access to a vast network of readers.

Felling somewhat dated in her own life, Paddleford writes in her introduction:
"Young is the world. Young is everything – fashion, recreation, reading, travel – and certainly food. High-spirited, high-geared young people are the trail blazers… cooking from “scratch” is no longer the brag thing…Now women put together three meals a day in about 90 minutes. Two decades ago it took five hours."
She wrote those words at the beginning of the “Swinging Sixties” trying to do for food what Marry Quant did for fashion. The experiment was a bit of a failure. While she received over 50,000 recipes from across the country, the book ended up being a glorified community cookbook, full of canned soups and vegetables.

Here is a typical example.

Chicken Pie Casserole

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
2 cans (5 1/2 ounces each) boned chicken or turkey
1 package (12 ounces) corn muffin mix

In a saucepan, blend together the soup and milk. Heat until bubbly. Turn into 9X9X2- inch pan. Add chicken, distributing pieces evenly. Meanwhile, prepare the corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread over chicken mixture. Bake at 425F. about 20 minutes or until brown. If desired, accompany with hot gravy made by combining and heating 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup and 1 cup milk.

Not a vegetable in site – not even a canned one! Well, as you can see, this may be a quick recipe, but it is hardly “young” and “trail blazing.“ However, if you are having a nostalgic longing for the 60’s, or if you are looking for a collection of retro recipes with a truly authentic flavor (albeit a canned flavor) then drag out your mini skirt and cook up some of these fine recipes.

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