(She wasn't. This is besides the point, however.)
The next day, the Sailor pointed to a book he'd never noticed on the shelf and asked what it was -- it was an old copy of 'The Real Book about Ships'. We took it down to page through... and while at the shelf I unearthed my 1953 copy of 'Aboard and Abroad' -- an entire volume dedicated to fifties style travel to and from Europe.
Obviously, much of the information is out of date. But there are a few hidden gems, like a reminder of former steamship Cunard's ad campaign: 'Getting there is half the fun.'
I concur. Getting there (and around) usually is still half the fun. (Sometimes it's most of the fun! If you missed the post a week ago about renting a car in Mexico, you can read that here.)
But I digress... sifting through those books reminded me that I'm turning into my mother a little. I may not be reading an old, dusty edition by Sinclair Lewis yet, but I definitely have my fair share of older books -- especially cookbooks. (You can read more about that here.)
This weekend, I wanted to make a pineapple upside down cake. I could have just looked online, but I decided to use the recipe from an old cookbook, instead. I picked 'The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedia Cookbook' -- the 1966 new revised delux edition.
I should have known when I set out that this dessert might flop. At the very least, it was going to put everyone into a sugar-induced coma. For a 9x9 inch pan, the recipe called for 1 cup of brown sugar AND 1 cup of white sugar. I thought it must have been a typo, but I proceeded as directed.
In addition, I really, really wanted to use my new (yet old) round Pyrex 8x8 cake pan I recently thrifted. So of course the batter was going to ooze out over the top since the pan was too full.
I flipped the cake over once it cooled... and the whole thing started to slide off the plate. No photos... my fingers were too sticky from all of the pineapple juice to handle the camera. I took one bite of the gooey cake and my teeth started to hurt.
I chalked it up to another kitchen disaster. If you need more proof that this wasn't my first kitchen flop, you can see more here.
My mother reminded me (after taking her own bite and nearly passing out) that people didn't eat sugary stuff as often back then as they do today. So maybe it wasn't a typo on the cookbook. Maybe it was just a once-a-year-special-occasion cake?
Regardless, I'm going to think twice about making something sweet out of an old cookbook again.