Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Goodies, 1940s Style

At this time of year I like to search through my vintage cookbooks and magazines for long-lost recipes, craft, and decorative holiday ideas. Sometimes I enjoy reproducing the recipes or crafts, and sometimes it is just interesting to look at these things through the lens of history.

I found two charming ads in my October 1941 issue of Woman's Day to share with you.  At this point World War II had begun, but the U.S. would not officially enter until December of the same year.  Rationing did not begin until Spring 1942, so sugar, meat, and fat were still readily available in the fall of 1941.

This first ad is for the A & P grocery chain, and features a macaroni recipe that uses evaporated milk but still contains two types of meat, the choice of chicken or veal and ham.   I think it would be very interesting to see how an ad for the same macaroni might change six months later.

I still haven't found a gingerbread recipe that I really like, so I just might try the one written for the Good Little Goblins in this ad:

Halloween Gingerbread

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS. ginger
1 tsp. cinammon
1 1/2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup evaporated milk soured with 1 TBS. vinegar

Cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time; add molasses.  Sift flour with spieces, baking soda, and slat.  Add to molasses mixture alternately with soured evaporated milk.  Pour into greased shallow baking pan and bake 30 minutes in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F.  Cool and top with Orange Icing.  8 servings. (The Orange Icing recipe is not included here.  Perhaps it was on the evaporated milk can?)

I found this second A & P ad for Jane Parker donuts to be just too cute. I love those individual leaf-shaped serving trays and I wish that they were mine.  If I saw those at a thrift store or estate sale I'd snap them up.   But I have to say that those ghostly little marshmallow faces with cloves for eyes and maraschino cherry mouths just adorable?

What are you planning for Halloween?  Do you have a recipe or a decorating tip to share?  Leave a comment!


  1. Combining three of my favourite things: Halloween, the 1940s, and recipes, you can imagine how much I adore these lovely seasonal post! :)

    Wishing you a spooktacularily wonderful countdown to Halloween, sweet dear.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I thought that you would like this post! I'm glad to know that I was right! :)

  2. I'm planning to keep my eyes open for leaf plates for you! Gonna get off my hiney in a few and make some Scotcheroos Rice Crispies type snacks. Decorated with candy corn and orange sprinkles.

    1. That would be awesome! I love those plates. And oh how I love Rice Krispie treats!


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