(Bear with me. I'm wallowing in nostalgia.)
You might well ask why I have two copies of the New York times Natural Foods Cookbook. Well, a close reader will note that one of them is "new".
And the old one has fallen apart.
The one that unbound itself had been my mother's, and there were two recipes in it that I remembered from my childhood. So, when I found the "new" one in a used bookstore one day, I bought it, thinking fondly about wheat germ snickerdoodles and wheels of steel. The wheels of steel are indeed a fabulous cookie, but the wheat germ snickerdoodles don't really do it for me anymore.
After we cleaned out her house, I brought home the old copy; I think its spine gave up the ghost on the journey. I was going to just toss the broken book in the recycling, but paging through it nostagically, I found marginalia, notes from my mother. And then, because I couldn't help myself, I read through the entire cookbook. Her notes are one thing, but oh what a mess of whimsical sounding recipes are in there. Consciousness III Pudding, followed some 60 pages later by Consciousness III Cookies? How about Bone Marrow Gruel or Mystery Fruit Thing? Definitely a product of 1971.
Upon consideration, I've decided that the blue ribbon winning recipe from the original New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook is this:
Simplest Dessert of All
1 Ripe Banana
Peel banana and freeze. Serve frozen and whole with napkin wrapped around the bottom, or sliced into serving dish.
Yield: One serving
Note: Frozen banana has the consistency of ice cream and tastes delicious.
Really? That needed page space and ink?
My mother doesn't seem to have made any of the really outlandish recipes; her notes show a tendency towards soups, casseroles and cookies. And chicken livers.
Mushroom and Barley Soup
Cold Cucumber Soup III
OVERDONE, NOT CRISP ENOUGH:
Sesame Baked Chicken
Just a check mark:
Whole Wheat Fruit Cookies
Wheat Germ Snickerdoodles
Cracked Wheat Casserole
Potato Meat Loaf
Musart Sprouted Beef Loaf
Lentil and Barley Stew
Luscious Chicken Livers
Chicken Livers with Sour Cream
Soybean and Vegetable Casserole
Starred, with a nice five pointed pentagram
Wheels of Steel
Homemade Graham Crackers
Because this all started with the Wheels of Steel, here's the recipe. They're sort of oatmeal raisin cookies with peanut butter. Delicious nostalgia, worth making.
WHEELS OF STEEL (adapted from Jean Hewitt's Natural Foods Cookbook)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cream together butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, stir together flour, wheat germ, powdered milk, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix well.
- Add liquid milk, oats and raisins, and mix well.
- Blob the dough out onto greased (or parchmented) cookie sheets. (The original recipe has you make nine enormous cookies out of the whole batch of dough. I like smaller cookies than that. Maybe I should call mine Poker Chips of Steel. Or, Floppy Disks of Steel.)
- Leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread. Sprinkle with each cookie with some sesame seeds.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until done.
- Cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack.