“Test the Recipe” is a recurring column on PCFG where we test vintage (anything published before 1990) recipes and see if they stand the test of time or need updating. In this post we test the recipe as exactly as possible for the most accurate outcomes. Those recipes that need updating will be featured later in a “We Can Do It Better” post.
I realized when looking through recent posts that the first two “Test the Recipe” posts were desserts. Not that there’s anything wrong with dessert, but we here at Poor Couple’s Food Guide believe in eating a balanced diet. So for this edition I turned to veggies. It was actually harder to find a good recipe to test than I thought it would be. There was a fair amount of vegetable recipes, but I had to narrow it down to ones that seemed quick, since this was going to be a side dish and not a main course, and also contain vegetables that everyone eating dinner would eat (which is easier said than done). There were a lot of recipes for vegetables I don’t like. Why so many asparagus and mushroom recipes guys? There weren’t even any I really wanted to use in the first book I looked through, but luckily I found one I felt like testing in Betty Crocker’s Working Woman’s Cookbook from 1982. I’ve always been a fan of sesame, so peas with sesame butter it was.
It can be a lot of fun looking through old cook books. Some recipes you look at wondering what people were thinking back then while others still sound really yummy. Though it’s usually pretty easy to tell the horrific vintage recipes at first glance, sometimes it can be harder to tell for sure which recipes have actually stood up to the test of time. That’s where our new recurring “Test the Recipe” posts will hopefully come to help. We plan to find recipes from vintage cookbooks/recipe cards/magazine cutouts, etc. and test them out. For the first run through we will follow the recipe exactly (barring any possible ingredients that are very hard to find/might not exist anymore in which case we will make the closest possible substitution) and see how it turns out. If it turns out good, then that’s it! Recipe is good to go and you can rest assured that you will end up with something yummy if you make it. If it doesn’t turn out good? Well then we’ll be revisiting the recipe and tweaking it and then posting our version of it as a “We Can Do It Better” post at a later date.
Our first recipe up for trial is from the Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook from 1979.
There’s a bunch of interesting sounding recipes in there, so we’ll probably test some more from there, but first up is the “Hearty Whole Grain Coffee Cake.” I enjoy coffee cake but hadn’t had any for awhile, so it seemed like a good place to start.