Classics Feed

Holiday Baking: Tomato Soup Fruitcake

For some Americans, the tomato soup fruitcake is a holiday classic.

For the rest of us, it's a head-scratching oddity.  

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Tomato Soup Fruitcake
Old recipe from 1962 Campbell's advertising

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. each: ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
2 eggs
1 cup chopped candied fruit, or raisins, or prepared mincemeat
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan. In large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add shortening and 1/2 can soup. Beat until smooth. Add remaining soup and eggs. Beat again until smooth. Fold in fruit and nuts. Pour into pan. Bake about 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove.


Soften 3-oz. package cream cheese with 1 tbsp. milk; gradually blend in 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.


 Seems to me, fruitcake should be served on old-fashioned china.

Like this Christmas plate from Johnson Brothers:

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Or this pattern from Spode:


Or this classic from Lenox:



Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This is my go-to pumpkin pie recipe.

Though this ad is from 1987, according to Very Best Baking, Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe has been featured on Libby's pumpkin labels since 1950.

Libbys pumpkin pie vintage recipe

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie
Recipe from 1987 Libby's advertising

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Libby’s solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (12-oz. can) evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Mix filling ingredients in order given. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 min. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and continue baking for 45 min. or until knife inserted into center of filling comes out clean.

Cool completely. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream.

Makes one 9-inch pie.



I've always gotten best results by making my pies using glass (Pyrex, actually) pie plates. 

Turns out, I'm not the only one.

According to kitchn, "Glass takes its time to heat and heats evenly which makes it a perfect candidate for virtually any pie you're making."


Recipe via Click Americana
Image via James Vaughan

Barry Manilow Yam Bake

Okay, it's not a Barry Manilow Yam Bake — unless you read it really fast, as I did.

I've already posted a couple of other yam bake recipes from Kraft. Each has its own little twist on the basic recipe. This one features oats and cranberries. 

Yam bake 78 copy

Berry Mallow Yam Bake
Recipe from 1978 Kraft advertising

Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup old fashioned or quick oats, uncooked, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in 1/3 cup butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Toss 1 cup crumb mixture with two 17 oz. cans yams, drained, and 2 cups cranberries; place in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350˚ for 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows. Broil till lightly browned. Makes six servings.

Great with turkey, ham or roast pork.


You just know these 60s moms put mini marshmallows on their yam casseroles.



Image via Robert's World

Retro Happy Hour: The classics never go out of style

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Today's drinks come straight off a 1950s placemat.

Rob Roy
1 part sweet Vermouth

2 parts Scotch
Dash Angostura bitters
Stir with cracked ice, strain, serve with twist of lemon peel

Gin 'n Tonic
Juice and rind of 1/4 lime
1 1/2 oz. fry Gin
Quinine water (a.k.a. tonic water)
Put lime, gin, ice cubes in 8-oz. glass; fill with tonic

Champagne Cocktail
1 lump sugar
Dash Angostura bitters
Chilled Champagne
Saturate lump of sugar with dash of bitters, add ice cubes, fill with champagne, top with a twist of lemon peel


A classic cocktail deserves a classic cocktail dress. This one's from the 50s.


Recipes via Etsy 
Image via Hubpages Style

60s scotcheroos

You know what would make Rice Krispies Treats even better?

Chocolate and butterscotch.


Chocolate Scotcheroos
Retro recipe from 1960s Nestle's advertising

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1 cup (6-oz. pkg. Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup (6-oz. pkg.) Nestle's Butterscotch Morsels

1. Combine sugar and syrup in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to bubble. Remove form heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add Rice Krispies; stir well until blended. Press mixture into 13 x 9-inch pan.

2. Melt Nestles Chocolate and Butterscotch Morsels together over very low heat or over hot but not boiling water, stirring until well-blended. Remove from heat; spread evenly over Rice Krispies mixture. Cool until firm. Cut into bars.

Makes 48 bars, 2 x 1 inches each.



You've got to hand it to 3M. They managed to make a Scotch tape ad look sophisticated. 

Recipe via Shelf Life Taste Test
Scotch tape ad via my other blog Found in Mom's Basement

An American classic for your Thanksgiving table

New England Yam Bake. Not to be confused with the Sunburst Yam Bake or Apple Mallow Yam Bake.

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New England Yam Bake
1975 recipe from old Kraft advertising

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple slices 
2 cans (17 oz. each) Yams 
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. margarine (I would use butter instead)
1/4 cup Chopped nuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows


Drain the pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup of the syrup.

Line sides of a 10 × 6-inch baking dish with pineapple slightly overlapping. Arrange yams in center. Pour pineapple syrup over yams.

Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in nuts. Sprinkle over yams.

Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes. Top with marshmallows. Broil until lightly browned.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


I not only remember making these, I remember EXACTLY what school paste tasted like.


Recipe via Click Americana

Retro Tuna Croquettes

You can still find croquettes on diner menus around the country.

Or you can just make them yourself.


Crisco-Fried Tuna Croquettes
recipe from old Crisco advertising

Make 1 cup thick white sauce.* Cool. Add 1 (7 oz.) can flaked canned tuna, 1 tbsp. chopped onion and 2 tbsp. lemon juice. Season to taste. Shape into 6 or 7 croquettes. Dip in egg beaten with 2 tbsp. water, then dip in fine bread crumbs. Fry 3 to 5 minutes in Crisco heated to 365˚ (or when an inch square bread browns in 60 seconds).


* Here's a recipe for thick white sauce from

3 or 4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk or one half cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water

Melt butter in a sauce pan and whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in cold milk, cooking over direct heat and stirring constantly until sauce boils; reduce heat slightly and continue to stir until sauce becomes smooth and thick. When sauce thickens, simmer for an additional 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir carefully to avoid lumps. If sauce becomes lumpy, use a stick blender or rotary beater to blend out lumps or else press through a sieve. Wondra flour may be used to great advantage since this flour does not have a tendency to lump.

Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf

World's. Best. Meatloaf. Recipe.

Retro meatloaf

Superior Meatloaf
Makes about 8 servings

1 envelope Lipton Onion or Beef Flavor Mushroom Recipe Soup Mix (I ALWAYS use the onion)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup (I use a packet of tomato flavor Cup-A-Soup instead)

Preheat oven to 350˚.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients.

In shallow baking pan, shape into loaf. (Don't put the meat mixture in a loaf pan or you won't get a crispy crust.)

Bake one hour or until done.

(The above ad also has microwave directions. Only a crazy person would microwave meatloaf. Don't be a crazy person.)

Retro Cooking with Soda Pop

My husband always marinates ham steaks in Coca-Cola and grills them. They taste great — kids are especially fond of them when they hear about the Coke.

If you prefer, you could easily substitute Coca-Cola for 7-Up in the following recipe.

Ham made with 7-up

Ham Basted with Seven-Up

Gash fat on a 1 1/2-inch center slice of ham. Put in a baking dish and pour 1/2 cup 7-Up over ham. Bake in slow oven (325˚) for 1 1/2 hours. Baste with additional 7-Up if necessary.

Via The Crypt of Wrestling

Retro Recipe: Tomato Soup Cake

I know it sounds weird, but my college roommate swears by this recipe.

Tomato soup cake

Magic Tomato Soup Cake

2 tbs. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
2 c. sifted cake flour
1 tsp. each clove, cinnamon, nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 10-oz.can tomato soup
1 tsp. soda

Cream butter, sugar well.  Sift flour; measure; resift 3 times with spices, salt. Alternately add dry ingredients with soup-soda mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan. (Size important; about 8-1/4 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2). Bake 50 to 60 minutes in 350˚ F oven. 

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese
3 tbs. milk
3 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 square bitter chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Mash cream cheese. Add milk gradually, beating until blended.  Add sugar gradually, beating until smooth. Add melted chocolate, salt, vanilla. Beat until smooth.