Today I was invited into a neighbor’s garage to go through his garbage? He had piles and piles of boxes that were headed to the green dumpster sitting in his driveway, he knew that I cooked and that I liked “old kitchen things,” so did I want to have a look before he tossed it all? Like a dog on a ham bone, I was all over it, and in it. He said that I could take whatever I wanted, I can’t remember when I’ve heard sweeter words… and then he left and there I was surrounded by possibilities……I’m always looking for the same things; cookbooks or hand written recipes, crocks, iron stone bowls, canning jars, and linens. Except for the bowls, I felt as if I’d won the lottery; three old church cookbooks, hand written recipes in what seems to have been a home economics work book, beautiful green canning jars including one with a beaver on it, an old wooden butter bowl worn down by the use of paddles, heavy cotton flour sacks, and a hand embroidered linen table cloth. There was such more more that I could have brought home, it mad me sad to think that it was all going into a dumpster…but I couldn’t take it all and I didn’t want to be greedy. I had so many beautiful and useful things in my pile already. I left hoping that he will change his mind about dumping it or maybe invite others to go through his garbage. There’s something for everyone in that pile, including a whole lot of fun to be had. Recycling, re-purposing, reusing, whatever you call, I believe it to be a smart thing to do, and of course you never know what you’ll find.
In honour of my super fun day, I made Mrs Jamieson’s Brownie Pudding recipe, it was hand written in a pamphlet The Third Meal, published by the Ontario Department of Agriculture, Home Economics Service, this was a Member’s Manual. The booklet contains recipes and helpful hints for the “busy homemaker who has her own ideas and methods for planning and preparing meals…but who also sometimes wants new inspiration to help her cope with the eternal triangle-the three meals a day.” For me, the best part of the book is the addition of the hand written recipes crediting its source, Mrs Jamieson, Mrs A. Wright and others. This was a time when women would refer to each as Mrs and Miss,and not their given names.
Of course, I started with the dessert recipe, Mrs Jamieson’s Brownie Pudding (as written)
1 cup flour
2 t. baking powder
3/4 cup g. sugar
2 T. cocoa
1/2 t. salt
Sift together add 1 cup milk 1 t. vanilla 2 T. melted shortening (I used butter) 3/4 cup walnuts pour into greased dish over the top pour over 3/4 cup B. sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 3/4 cup boiling water.
There was no temperature or baking time listed, possibly she knew and if not she’d call Mrs Jamieson and ask her. I didn’t have that option so I baked the pudding at 350 degrees F. for 35 min. It was still somewhat molten in the centre, so it was perfect. The best chocolate pudding cake that I have ever had .And all because I spent some time today going through someone’s garbage.