Thursday, April 28, 2016

1923's Purity Flour Cook Book w. Lemon Meringue Pie, Roast Chicken, Homemade Bread & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: Purity Flour Cook Book 

Publication Details: Western Canada Flour Mills Co. 1923

The Purity Flour cookbooks are an amazing series that spanned decades and that featured dozens of classic recipes that, of course, featured flour as one of their key ingredients.

Most often this is as old-school and home-style North American as one gets, especially with the earlier editions.

But they really do stand the test-of-time and the cookbooks are a delight for bakers, with sections replete with cookies, rolls, breads and cakes. But there are also plenty of mains, gravies and sides.

In fact, a Purity Flour cookbook is, in my opinion, a truly wonderful addition to a cookbook collection as pleasing to browse and peruse as a Joy of Cooking or any of the other standards.

The edition we are featuring today is from 1923.  It is densely packed with nearly 200 pages of recipes, most pages with 5-6 in two columns. I am especially fond of its simple full colour illustrations. The recipe for roast chicken is a stand-out as are any of the baking ones.

One of the recipes, you will note, comes highly recommended by a previous owner!

And, of course, lest it need be said, you can use any flour in place of where a recipe calls for the once grand brand.

(click on images to enlarge) 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

18 Black-and-White Toronto Vintage Streetscapes 1860-1974

King St. looking west from Yonge c. 1865
As even casual followers of this blog know, I love streetscape photography, vintage photography and combinations of the two!

Today we are going to look at 18 great examples of black-and-white photos of Toronto that span from as early as the 1860's up until the 1970's.

These are drawn from two books, both out-of-print. The first is Jay Myers' excellent 1977 popular history of Yonge St., The Great Canadian Road. It really emphasizes the importance the grand street has played in the development of Toronto and the other communities through which it makes its way.

The second is the well-written and very detailed To Serve the Community (1974) by G.H,. Stanford that is a history of Toronto's Board of Trade. For a leftist it is somewhat amusing to read a local history told entirely from the perspective of the capitalist class! It does, however, have interesting facts and anecdotes throughout.

Without any further ado, here are the photos in chronological order!

(Click on images to enlarge)

Looking north up Yonge St. from King St. c.1860

Horse-drawn streetcars on Yonge St. 1890

Stagecoach Stop, Yonge St. Richmond Hill 1896

Toronto Public Library 1897

Toronto Board of Trade building, Front & Yonge c. 1900

Pretoria Day celebrations at Yonge & Adelaide, June 5, 1901

The Yonge St. Radial Streetcar Line

A view of the city from St. James Cathedral, 1907

Lake front industry and railway lines, 1907

King and Yonge bustles with traffic, 1912

A "Peter Witt" streetcar heading north on Yonge St., December 24, 1912

A Peter Witt, still in service, picking up passengers northbound on Yonge
at College St., June 24, 1937

Toronto skyline, 1937

The King Edward Hotel, c. 1940

Subway construction on Yonge, 1950's

Yonge St. when it was a car-free pedestrian mall, 1970's

Toronto skyline, 1974

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Strongest?: Teaching Children About the Power of the People - A Vintage Soviet Children's Story

Published in the USSR in 1974 "Strongest" (also known as "Who is the Strongest") is an interesting example of Soviet children's stories.

Written by Valery Suslov, the simple narrative has a younger brother, Alec, pestering an older one, Anton, as to what is the strongest thing in the world. Anton tells Alec of one machine or device after another that is stronger than the last but then Anton ends by asking Alec who it is that allows each of these powerful things to operate?

And that is the people of course. This leads Anton to ask Alec at the end, "Well, then, who's the strongest of all?" and Alec responds with "We are".

This simple homage to people's power is illustrated throughout with the stunning neo-modernist illustrations of V. Trubkovich. These are both whimsical and evocative.

42 years later, enjoy this lovely little story and its charming artistry.

(Click on illustrations to enlarge)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dark Ale Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Sauerkraut

You can make a lot of great dishes with beer and sauerkraut!

Previously we took a look at a slow cooker sausage dish that used these two fine ingredients, and today we are going to look at a way to slow cook pork shoulder with them both that is delicious and simplicity itself.

It has the added bonus that pork shoulder is generally quite inexpensive and can be used to feed a large number of people on a small budget!

First, you want to line the bottom of your slow cooker with a jar of your favourite sauerkraut Once you have spread it out evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over it and place 4-5 whole cloves in the sauerkraut spread out as evenly as possible.

Then pour one full can (433-500 ml.) of a dark ale or beer into the sauerkraut. I used a can of Dab Dark Beer. Finally add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

Place a 3-5 pound pork shoulder on top of the sauerkraut mixture. One side of a shoulder roast will generally have a fat layer and you want to place the roast fat side up. Do not remove the fat layer!

Season the top of the roast liberally evenly with black pepper and paprika. Then as well with 1 tablespoon mustard powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Vegeta seasoning (if you have it...otherwise just leave out) and sea salt to taste.

Cover your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

When done remove the roast to a platter, let sit for 10 minutes and slice to taste (I like pieces not too thick). Ladle some of the juices from the slow cooker over the roast and then serve with the sauerkraut (removing the cloves).

The pork and sauerkraut are really flavourful and go especially well with a side of egg noodles tossed with salt, better and some parsley, or with mashed potatoes.


See also: Slow Cooker Beer and Sauerkraut Sausages

See also: "Green Bay Packer" Wisconsin Beer Brats with Sauerkraut & Mixed Vegetables