Schools first began providing food for children because so many were undernourished and farmers had extra crops to sell. As children eating in elementary school cafeterias in the 1950s, we might have joked about the strange “mystery meat” that was infrequently served and was always greeted as a big treat, but for the most part school cafeterias back in the 50s and 60s served real food. Ladies in hairnets mashed “real” potatoes, boiled “real” pasta and even baked “real” cookies. And that’s not all. Most of the food was free of dyes and artificial flavors which has been known to trigger bad behavior, decreased learning capacity, and health problems. In the 1950s vending machines didn’t line the hallways, and a half-pint of cold milk was the only drink on the menu.
For those interested in tasting what those times were like, or those that may want to re-visit a favorite meal, here are some recipes that should hit the spot.
Tapioca, Crestview Elementary School (Waco, Texas)
1 qt. milk
1/3 c. tapioca
2 eggs, separated
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Heat milk until scalding. Stir in tapioca gradually.
Cook mixture over boiling water or direct low heat 6 to 8
minutes, until tapioca is done. Beat egg yolks until pale in
color. Beat with 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Stir into tapioca.
Cook and stir until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in vanil-
la. Cool slightly. Beat egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup
sugar until stiff. Fold into hot pudding. Cool thoroughly,
covered with wax paper. To serve, spoon into dessert or
parfait dishes. Garnish with whipped cream and maraschino
cherry, if desired. Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.
This is a wonderful recipe! It is very easy and makes
an especially creamy pudding.
2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1/2 Cup Shortening –
1/2 Cup Milk –
1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, softened (or margerine)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Cups milk
2/3 Cups Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut shortening in really well with a fork. Stir in milk. On a floured surface, dump out dough and press together with your hands to form a ball. Roll out into a rectangle (about 7×10 in size). Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon over top. Roll it up like a jelly roll and press it together lightly. Cut into nine slices about one inch thick each. Place into a lightly greased 8×8 baking dish.
In medium sauce pot, combine all milk sauce ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble lightly. Pour over rolls in pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until rolls are lightly browned on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes once it is done for the rolls to soak up more sauce. After you put each roll on a plate, spoon more sauce over it.
1/2 c. milk
2 c. celery, chopped
6 lb. cream cheese
1 c. deviled ham spread
Add milk to cream cheese to soften to spreading consistency.
Add celery and ham, and mix well.
Spread on bread.
James Connolly Jnr High’s Mashed Potatoes and Hamburger Hash (Bellmead, TX)
3-pound bag organic Yukon gold potatoes (or another kind, but these are the yummiest)
5 Tablespoons butter
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
- Put peeled potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, and boil until soft.
- When they are soft, drain the water and mash with a masher.
- Add the butter, milk, and salt and mash again. DONE!
¼ cup olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
½ cup flour
1½ cups water
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
- Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a cast-iron pan.
- Sauté the ground beef until browned.
- Mix the flour and water together and pour on to the hot cooking beef (it will thicken pretty much right away).
- Add a cup of broth to thin the gravy (you can use all broth if you want, but it’s not necessary).
- Add salt. Enjoy!
This serves six hungry people, with a little bit of leftovers, too.
5 lbs. beef, ground
1/2 TBSP. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 #10 can tomatoes
1/2 c. green pepper
3 lbs. macaroni
2 c. cheese, grated
Brown beef on top of stove, add seasonings.
Cook macaroni in rapidly boiling salted water eight to ten minutes.
Sauté onion and green pepper in fat.
Mix macaroni, hamburger, tomato and onion; spread in baking pans.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake at 350° F. for forty minutes.