Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Little White Lab Rat Has Bean Loafing Around

Little White Lab Rat Has Bean Loafing Around

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 30, 2010

Little White Lab Rat has been forced by ill health to eat as close to a no-fat diet as possible for the past few months. It’s a case of the mouse trap with its potential to snap my neck being less painfully dangerous than the cheese with which the trap is baited.

I call it my “Know Nothing Diet” based on a conversation I have with myself at least three times a day:

I: Can I have something tasty for breakfast/lunch/dinner?

Myself: No, nothing.

No fat means no dairy (pale blue water peddled by lying capitalists as skim “milk” doesn’t count), virtually no meat, no egg yolks (whoever invented the eggwhite omelet probably thinks it’s a good idea to fry the feathers and throw away the chicken, too), no nuts, no avocados, no olives, no salad dressing, no oils used in foods or for frying, and a very careful reading of labels to ferret out the sneaky marketers who set their serving sizes to unrealistically minuscule fractions of teaspoons in order to take advantage of the law that says you can label something as “nonfat” as long as it doesn’t contain above a certain amount of fat-per-serving.

For someone who loves to bake and cook as much as I do, this has put a real crimp in my enjoyment of life. Also my socializing. Go to the stake Pioneer Day breakfast? No point. Go to the ward ice cream social? Don’t bother. Go to lunch with groups of grad students before they scatter to the four winds with the beginning of the school year? Sure, but you’ll sit there nursing a cup of ice water while they dive chin-deep into cheesy, gooey mounds of delicious but greasy Mexican food.

To escape the dreary alternation between boiled vegetables (without butter) and the salad bar fare of chopped iceberg lettuce and canned chickpeas (without dressing), I’ve been combing cookbooks on line and in paper, searching for fat-free recipes that don’t involve tofu or TVP or soymilk from the vegan crowd or the chemical artificialities of fake cheese, fake eggs and fake everything else from the diet industrial complex.

That’s why Little White Lab Rat was willing to try a recipe from the meatless-wheatless section of the World War I-era Relief Society Magazine of November 1918:

Bean Loaf

1 C. white beans cooked.
1 C. peanuts.
1/2 C. bread crumbs.
1 T. salt.
spk. pepper.
1/2 C. milk.

Put beans and peanuts through grinder. Add crumbs, seasonings, and milk. Shape into a loaf. Bake 30 min.Serve hot, sliced.

I thought it sounded awful – I imagined gummy mashed beans, diluted with bread and milk, pale, anemic, baked hard, and I couldn’t imagine what in the world you’d ever serve this stuff with. Besides, peanuts, even boiled rather than roasted in oil, are enormously high in fat – the good mono-unsaturates, for sure, but fat still. Maybe I could substitute ordinary beans for the peanuts on the second try, if there was a second try, because I’ve learned you really need to make a recipe as it is written the first time before you go experimenting with substitutions.

Besides, this was probably going to be so awful that I wouldn’t be able to eat enough to have the peanut oil trigger my pain.

Was I ever in for a pleasant surprise!

The first surprises were to solve the puzzles in the recipe. Was the 1 cup quantity of white beans measured dry, or after they were cooked? Dried beans at least double in volume during cooking. Peanuts? dry roasted? salted? And that “1 T.” salt would, in today’s cookbooks, indicate one tablespoon – but one tablespoon of salt to that quantity of beans (regardless of when you measured them) would be strong enough to pickle your tongue; it must mean teaspoon, especially if the beans were salted during cooking. Then there’s always the question of baking in these old recipes – they hardly ever indicate how hot an oven should be.

I began by picking over and boiling small white beans, measuring a cupful of dry beans. I now think the recipe intended that measure to be of cooked beans, but no matter. I just ended up with a larger loaf than the recipe intended.

Peanuts was the real puzzler for me, and I’m still not sure what was intended. I decided that the most likely style of peanut available to cooks in 1918 was raw peanuts, which I keep on hand because I like to make peanut brittle (or I did, before butter became verboten). Raw or boiled? The recipe specified that the beans be cooked, while remaining mum on the peanuts. But since there is little that is nastier than a raw peanut, while boiled peanuts are pretty good (they sell them hot from roadside stands in Georgia in the fall), I boiled them too.

When the beans and peanuts were tender, I drained them and put them through my food processor. (I actually have the old fashioned cast-iron grinder my mother used – I think inherited from my grandmother – but it’s a bear to put up and clean. Modern food processors are king.)

That was the next surprise. Where I had expected a mass of pureed beans, maybe a lump looking like gluey mashed potatoes, the processed beans, although fully cooked, looked more like coarse-ground whole wheat cereal than anything else. In fact, after processing a couple of slices of bread and dumping the crumbs in the bowl, I could barely distinguish the bread crumbs from the ground beans.

The bread crumbs and milk are necessary to bind the beans together – which is where I decided the recipe intended the beans to be measured cooked rather than dry. I needed to add considerably more bread crumbs and milk to get the ingredients to form even a loose mass. I pressed it all into a loaf pan and put it in the oven.

But at what temperature? I googled to see if I could find any similar recipe … and that was the next surprise. I must have been living on an alien planet not to have heard of bean loaf before, but there are hundreds of recipes out there, using various kinds of beans, every imaginable spice, vegetable add-ins, everything. I set the oven for 350 degrees based on some of those recipes and went back to googling and taking notes.

Since my loaf was larger than intended, it took longer than 30 minutes – I left it in almost an hour before deciding it was done, judging from the browned crust and that the wet jiggling in the center had mostly subsided. I let it cool for a while, then sliced it like a meatloaf, which it rather resembled, although considerably paler. (It wasn’t pasty white, though – besides the oven toasting of the crust, the peanuts darkened the white beans by several shades.)

The biggest surprise of all was that it was actually good! Kind of nutty-tasting – not peanutty, but earthy and like brown rice or whole grain cereal. The texture was surprisingly good – unlike the mashed bean effect I had anticipated, it was, again, more like brown rice, with a little tooth resistance. With no seasonings but salt and pepper, I had expected a very bland flavor, too, but it actually tasted a bit spicy – must have been those peanuts.

The next day I cooked more white beans and some very small quantities of other kinds of beans. Using suggestions found while googling, I made a dozen more tiny bean loaves – this time in muffin cups – using the same bean, bread crumb, and milk base, but adding chili powder to one, onions and parsley to another, caraway seed to a third, etc. When I sampled them, I tried them plain, topped with sweet chili sauce, salsa, or ketchup. (I’d have tried them with gravy, too, had I had anything to make it with.)

I have to admit that the taste testing was more than one person should have to endure, even though they were all generally quite good. I was just plenty tired of beans by the time I had sampled and compared. My favorite was the onion and parsley combo, although next time I think I’ll chop the onion coarsely rather than processing it quite so fine, and I might throw in some chopped celery, too.

Little White Lab Rat boiled the beans expecting to have a recipe to laugh at, but ends up admitting that bean loaf (but a variation of the recipe in the 1918 Relief Society Magazine) is something I’ll prepare again. I’d serve it as a side dish in the same menus where I might otherwise serve rice or potatoes. It’s also hearty enough to be the main dish itself, with a couple of vegetables as sides. It would be hard to find a more thrifty main course. And by using various kinds of beans rather than peanuts, it’s practically fat free.



  1. Ardis, this is a fun post! One of my treasures is a little recipe notebook kept by my grandmother before she was married. She worked as a cook in a mining camp boarding house in Nevada during World War I. Every recipe is designed to make a familiar dish without one or more of the core ingredients which were either rationed or unavailable.

    Even though I am interested in food history, I’ve never tried to make any of the recipes. You have inspired me. I’ll have to give one a try. (Although, like you I live on a restricted diet and finding one I can actually sample is a challenge! You have my condolences.)

    Comment by blueagleranch — August 30, 2010 @ 8:35 am

  2. Ardis, you rule. Seriously.

    I have to admit of all the “free” cooking (fat-free, sugar-free, low-carb), I find fat free the most difficult. This posts demonstrates that you are a sort of champion.

    These posts have gotten me thinking – I’m sure there are histories of this written already, but I am interested in the changes in 20th century cuisine pre- and post-WWII then post 1970, on a regional basis.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 30, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  3. Very funny! I don’t know if you’ve made it sound quite good enough for me to want to try to feed my kids, but it also doesn’t sound like that prison loaf that was recently mentioned in the BCC links.

    Comment by Researcher — August 30, 2010 @ 10:03 am

  4. blueagleranch, you totally should try some of those recipes — then write a guest post about your experiences. Little White Lab Rat needs a Country Correspondent.

    It’s complete self interest, J., I assure you. There is only so much iceberg lettuce that any one person can stand to eat in a lifetime, especially without being able to drown it in Russian dressing, and as much as I like vegetables I’ve never been a fan of any of them merely boiled plain. I *have* to experiment for simple survival.

    Researcher, thanks for that link. I assure you that mine actually had a flavor, especially charged up with chili sauce. Your kids might still think it was cruel and unusual punishment, though.

    blueagleranch is interested in food history, and J. is, and I know Kate (Sam MB’s better half) is, and I think I remember someone at T&S with a similar interest expressed in a post a while back. We really ought to be able to have some good written histories — and recipes — from all of this interest. If anyone is working on such an article and needs somebody to serve as a test kitchen, I volunteer to participate.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am

  5. Having come late to the joy of cooking–and having arrived by way of that most testosterone-laden cooking tool, the barbecue grill–I’m afraid I’m a long way from figuring out how to cook anything without fat. The medallions of beef (actually I used filet mignon, since that was all we had handy–life is hard, I know), the potato puree (a pound of potatoes with a stick of butter and a cup of cream), the salad with lettuce and pears and bleu cheese–all made for a pretty good meal, if I do say so myself. But I’m afraid it would have broken the “no-fat” meter. Early and often.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 30, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  6. Just reading your comment kicks up my colic, Mark. I’ll get even with you, someday.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  7. I hate to admit I was laughing at someone else’s expense, but this is so well written that I had no choice! Thanks for sharing your trials, and best wishes in hoping you return to a conventional diet quickly.

    (I’d hate to deal with the digestive side effects of all those beans…)

    Comment by Clark — August 30, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  8. One final note: I read a case years ago that described some awful slop that was fed to prisoners down in the Mid-South somewhere–Arkansas or Oklahoma. It was called “grue” and the plaintiffs claimed that making the prisoners eat it was cruel and unusual.

    Aha, I just dug this up with Google’s help:

    In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a concoction used in Arkansas known as “‘grue’ might be tolerable for a few days and intolerably cruel for weeks or months.”

    Maybe we could have a grue–nutraloaf cook-off!

    From the Supreme Court’s decision, the recipe:

    their meals consisted primarily of 4-inch squares of “grue,” a substance created by mashing meat, potatoes, oleo, syrup, vegetables, eggs, and seasoning into a paste and baking the mixture in a pan.

    I guess you’ll have to figure out the relative quantities and cooking temperature and time.

    One other note of interest, from the list of counsel for the State of Arkansas:

    Garner L. Taylor, Jr., Assistant Attorney General of Arkansas, argued the cause for petitioners. On the brief were Bill Clinton, Attorney General, and Robert Alston Newcomb.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 30, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  9. Hope you can deal with your medical issues and will continue your blog.

    Comment by john willis — August 30, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  10. Blogging is the treatment for a lot of ills, john, especially when comments have me laughing.

    Clark, I do admit to — ahem — being fully able on that day to comply with Catherine Hurst’s admonitions to avoid a certain health complication.

    And Mark, I may have to rescind my offer to be a test kitchen if you’re planning THAT kind of a cook-off!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  11. I’m always fascinated with specialty diets, so I searched for a few ideas. Some of these seemed interesting. I also found a white sauce, honey cake and corn curry that might be tasty.

    I also found a few recipe compendiums online: and
    Fat-free Passover.

    I’ve not tested anything, of course, but I hope there’s something there you’ve not yet seen. looked especially interesting.

    Comment by SilverRain — August 30, 2010 @ 11:03 am

  12. I found a few links that I think got lost in spam.

    Comment by SilverRain — August 30, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  13. Your experimenting sounds fascinating! But why iceberg lettuce? Isn’t there romaine lettuce or spinach out there in the Great State of Utah? I drink a green smoothie (almost) every day for breakfast. Do you have restrictions on fruit? I’d be happy to share the recipe. Although I must admit, I have it with a buttered piece of whole grain toast.

    Comment by NorahS — August 30, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  14. a substance created by mashing meat, potatoes, oleo, syrup, vegetables, eggs, and seasoning into a paste….

    Among the boy scouts in my troop, this dish is know as ‘The Kitchen Sink’ and is cooked in a dutch oven for breakfast at camp. The meat is either bacon or sausage, the vegetables are lots of chopped onions and peppers. And yes, the boys like to eat it with either lots of ketchup or lots of pancake syrup.

    It’s really not bad for camp chow done by 12 year-olds, I’ve probably signed dozens of Cooking merit badge cards where The Kitchen Sink was the pièce de résistance.

    Ardis, you’ve inspired me. I’m going to try this recipe with minced garlic and chopped basil as the seasonings.

    Comment by Mark Brown — August 30, 2010 @ 11:11 am

  15. Thanks, SilverRain, I retrieved your message. I may try some of those recipes — I’ve had trouble adapting my old favorites because cooking with fat-free milk just don’t work the same. But if I had a do-able white sauce, I could adapt several favorite recipes.

    Norah, yeah, there are lots more interesting greens out there than iceberg. But I’ve found that they are very hard to eat dry, without dressing. Spinach especially is difficult to chew in serving-size amounts. The reason I’ve fallen back on iceberg lettuce is because the higher water content makes chewing easier, and the crispiness adds a texture element that is sorely missing from your diet when you can’t fry (or even oven fry) foods. Not sure I could swallow a green smoothie, though.

    Way to go, Mark! Gourmet Scout campfire chow!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  16. OK. Let’s all experiment to try to find a do-able white sauce for Ardis. 🙂

    Comment by michelle — August 30, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  17. (I keep thinking of you when I make my fat-free taco stuff, Ardis.)

    Comment by michelle — August 30, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  18. I had to drastically reduce my fat intake for a while when my gallbladder was acting up, so I feel your pain. One thing I did in baked goods was to use applesauce instead of butter or oil. It’s a 1/1 substitution, and it doesn’t affect the texture that much.

    Comment by Keri Brooks — August 30, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  19. Was that “spam” comment in jest? : )

    If suddenly you were to shift from a “fat-free” diet to a “fat-only” diet, might I suggest that product brought to us by the wonderworkers at Hormel?

    Comment by Mark B. — August 30, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  20. Ardis, did you use fat-free blue milk in the bean loaf? You didn’t say, and I know you can’t have any milk with fat in it.

    Comment by Maurine — August 30, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

  21. I have my grandfather’s sister’s hand-written recipe book. Inside the front cover she wrote: Cooking Recipes, L.D.S.U. They must have come from a class, because the front several pages include instructions for measuring, weights, boiling time for different vegetables and meats, and other hints.

    Some of the recipes are identified by M.H., Mrs. D., G. C., E. S., Erma (her sister), mother, Mrs. Rich, Vera’s Sour Cream Cake, Hattie Barber’s Caramels, etc.

    There are a lot of great-sounding recipes. Also some interesting ones, such as: stuffed eggs, egg balls for soup, cheese pudding, apricot sherbet, cottage cheese pie, prune conserve, plum pudding candy, bleach, dandelion wine, danish beer, hand lotion, face cream, Mrs. Wilcox’s Medicine.

    Comment by Maurine — August 30, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  22. Danish Beer! Maurine, that actually comes up quite a bit in primary documents and I’ve always wanted a period description. Is there any way I could get that recipe from you?

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 30, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  23. Maurine, yeah, I used the blue water. I think any liquid would work in a recipe like this without affecting either the taste or the chemistry, so I thought it was as good a place as any to use up the undrinkable stuff I had already bought. Now that you make me think of it, though, it would add flavor if I used tomato juice or beef or chicken broth instead of the milk.

    You keep coming up with the most interesting family relics. I wish I had heirloom recipes, like Maurine and blueagleranch. I have my great-grandmother’s carrot pudding recipe and all my mother’s recipes, but that’s it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  24. You remind me, too, that Researcher sent me a recipe for Danish beer. If it’s okay with you, Researcher, I’ll forward that to J., too.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  25. Send away! Perhaps Danish Beer could be the next lab rat experiment. It’s fat free, and if you drink it quickly enough, it won’t have fermented much. : )

    Comment by Researcher — August 30, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  26. *hic*

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

  27. #22, sly J. real sly. Make it sound like historical research with the reference to primary sources and all.

    Comment by Paul Reeve — August 30, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  28. J. Stapley, I also found in the recipe book recipes for Saratoga Brew, dated 3 Aug 1919, and Aunt Sarah’s Bran Brew. Have you seen a reference to Saratoga Brew?

    Comment by Maurine — August 30, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

  29. I assure you that this is for strictly medicinal…er, research purposes.

    I’ve not heard of Saratoga Brew before, but it sounds like Aunt Sarah was on to something important. My Finnish Mormon friends insist that their fresh meed is to die for.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 30, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

  30. Sister Ardis, once again you have demonstrated what a courageous and resilent soul you are! With my constitution, a bean loaf would never be a consideration, no matter how dire my weight loss situation may be. Principally, such a recipe would immediately disqualify itself since I have no desire to become Utah’s newest source of natural gas, and secondly, having spent my early childhood years growing up in Tucson, Arizona, I have already consumed more than my share of beans. (For a single parent living on modest means, my mother did all she could to make them palatable, but they still remained beans.)
    My most successful effort to rein in my rotundity, came through the diet plan found in the “Type 2 Diabetes Diet” book. This diet was designed to emphasize protein and minimize carbs. Eggs, chicken, and lean cuts of meat were allowed in portions approximately the size of a box of playing cards. The plan had recipes for all three meals and an afternoon snack (usually sugarfree jello). There were plenty of fresh, steamed vegetables and some were classified ‘all you can eat’. When it came to fats and oils, this diet was also draconian in that all you could hope for was a once over your fry pan with “Pam” to brown your skinless chicken. Still and all, I did lose 22 pounds in about 6 weeks before falling off the wagon and going out to lunch with co-workers on a daily basis again. I supplemented my dieting efforts by taking a late hour walk around Temple Square and the the Church Headquarters Block. It was an excellent time to pray and reflect on my personal concerns. I think it wise that for anyone who is starting to walking regiment as part of a diet/lifestyle change, that you start walking on a level route. Then, after you have lost your first 25 pounds, you can tackle inclines and then hills. Just a few of my modest, little suggestions before your bloggernacle audience gets too enamoured with the multi-faceted bean loaf and find themselves declared a solution to the nation’s energy crisis.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — August 30, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

  31. Danish Beer:
    Brown 10 lb lard – bucket of bran.
    Use boiler – 1 big bucket of water. Add bran and 1 big handful hops tied in sack. Boil 1 hr. Then knead sack in several waters. Add to boiler – then 3 lb. bucket of sugar. Let whole come to a boil.
    Use 1 cupful – let cool – then dissolve 1 yeast cake & 2 tablespoons flour. Keep this warm until it rises then add to beer when it is milk warm. Keep whole warm and let stand 24 hrs. Bottle tightly.

    (Did this make sense, or am I the only one trying to figure out what I just wrote? Maybe the recipe of Researcher is more clear.)

    Comment by Maurine — August 30, 2010 @ 10:39 pm

  32. The recipes for Saratoga Brew and Bran Brew are also quite confusing, but the recipe for Dandelion Wine is clear:

    Cover 4 qts. of dandelion blossoms with 4 qts of boiling water. Let stand 3 days. Add peel of 3 oranges and 1 lemon, boil 15 min. Strain. Add juice of oranges and lemon to 4 lbs of sugar and 1 cup yeast. Mix. Let stand in warm room for 3 weeks.

    Comment by Maurine — August 30, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  33. Ah, Velikye, if only my diet were dictated by an ordinary need for weight loss. It is not. Even a diet modified as reasonably as the diabetic plan is not a possibility for me — a little Pam in the frying pan, an egg yolk, even a little olive oil in spaghetti sauce is enough to leave me bedridden and in pain. It has to be as close to no-fat as possible for me to get by these days.

    I appreciate everybody’s help and suggestions. I guess what I’m really looking for is recipes for food that is as familiar as possible. My diet will be missing some things, yes, and there will have to be substitutions in recipes, but I need normal, familiar foods. I’m not looking to become a vegan or to try out faddish nutritional supplements or to go on copyrighted diets, and I have to be able to cook from normal foods available at the only supermarket in my neighborhood — I can neither afford nor have the transportation to shop at specialty shops around the valley. Friends have given great suggestions on Facebook, and some here (using applesauce instead of oil in baked goods, for instance — that’s exactly the kind of thing that will let me make lots of familiar foods with easily available ingredients). I’ll keep trying the websites that have been suggested … and Little White Lab Rab will keep an eye on the old Church magazines.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  34. That’s why I got excited about the white sauce, even though I’ve not tried it. White sauce is essential in so many dishes.

    One other thought I had as I was thinking it over last night, Ardis, is that pureed fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free yogurt or fat-free sour cream can be substituted for milk in some recipes, particularly baked ones. The cottage cheese is best if an acidic taste would mar the recipe like in lasagna or pudding, but the yogurt or sour cream works well in cookies, bread or vegetable dishes. You just have to puree the substitute with water, rice milk, or reduced fat soy milk until it is of milk consistency. If you substitute apple sauce or pureed pumpkin for the oil and egg substitutes for the eggs, most cookies and things turn out pretty tasty. Especially oatmeal cookies or oatmeal pancakes. For some reason, oats lend a good texture when reducing fat.

    You can also use non-fat cream cheese the same way. It tastes nasty when put on a bagel, but in baking or sauces or blended with fat-free milk, it adds some good creaminess without the fat or acidity.

    I included the vegan link because even though I’d not go vegan, either, they really know how to get creamy and umami without the fat.

    What are some of the foods you’re used to eating? I’m always up for a good culinary challenge.

    Comment by SilverRain — August 31, 2010 @ 7:19 am

  35. Yours sounds like the voice of experience, SilverRain. I’m ready to start baking again and will try these techniques.

    I’m used to eating foods made largely from scratch, not boxes or mixes or frozen entrees. Not that I make my own pasta or anything quite that elaborate, but I’d rather boil the pasta and make a sauce from scratch rather than buy a frozen lasagna.

    I’ve always eaten lots of vegetables and like virtually every one I’ve ever tried. I get tired of plain vegetables, though, whether fresh or cooked, because I’m used to dressing, or stir-fry, or sweet-and-sour. I like gravies and sauces that tie foods together — a lot of what I’ve been eating lately has seemed more like basic ingredients than real meals, because the things that usually blend ingredients together into a single dish are milk or butter or something else fatty. (Some of the wish to blend ingredients into a more complex dish will be met when it’s cool enough to make soup, but right now it’s still too hot.) I like rice — plain, pilaf, Spanish, whatever. I bake a lot, more often breads and savory things than sweets; muffins and pancakes are good because they’re quick and I don’t always plan menus ahead.

    I dunno, how do you summarize foods you’re used to eating? I like stuffed peppers, and corn custard, and kielbasa, and ham sandwiches, and boiled cabbage, and tacos, and mashed potatoes, and barbecued ribs, and ratatouille, and potato salad, and coleslaw, and ethnic foods (Chinese and Mexican, particularly), and pickled beets, and turkey with stuffing — everything that seems so normal and prosaic to me that I don’t even know how to list it!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 31, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  36. This may be more work than you want, but you can make your own fat-free cottage cheese and yogurt, and from the yogurt sour cream and cottage cheese from powdered milk. (Or fat-free milk, but somehow I like the idea better from powdered milk.) I’ve also heard that bean puree can work as an oil substitution in baked goods in a 1-to-1 ratio.

    I like the Everyday Food Storage blog for tips and recipes (although I know her white sauce recipe uses butter).

    Comment by Sarah in Georgia — August 31, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  37. Hunh. I’ve been making yogurt a long time (got used to doing it as a missionary) but never thought of using non-fat powdered milk. That’s definitely worth a try.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 31, 2010 @ 8:39 am

  38. Back to Maurine’s comment 31. The version I have is from Sanpete Scenes, Gary Peterson and Lowell Bennion, p 144. I forget whether this is word-for-word or whether it’s my own summary.

    Brown 1 quart wheat in a 350° oven. Place wheat and 1-1/2 quarts clean, food-quality barley and 1/2 cup hops in a cloth sack. Boil in large pan until nutrients are removed from grain. Keep draining and add liquid until you have 5 gallons of stock. Place in a crock. Add 1 quart honey, 2 pounds raw, dark pure cane sugar and 2 dissolved yeast cakes. Let sit overnight and then bottle. Cool. The brew should not ferment for one to two weeks.

    I have had a similar Finnish drink. It must be an acquired taste. Kind of like fermented Postum.

    Comment by Researcher — August 31, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  39. Years ago I found that eating canola oil gave me problems. Canoloa oil comes from the “rapeseed” plant. It’s actually a genetically modified plant, because the natural rapeseed plant has too much erucic acid, which is toxic to humans.

    (Google rapeseed, canola oil, and erucic acid.)

    The GM rapeseed has a low enough erucic acid percentage that makes it acceptable to the vast majority of people. However, due to the widespread use of canola oil, that small percentage of people who get sick with canola oil still amounts to a noticeable amount of people.

    The amount used in processed foods may not be enough to trigger illness, but if someone is trying to figure out what it is in their diet that is making them sick, cutting out canola oil (if you’re using it to fry with, or make salad dressing) would be a good place to start.

    Other candidates for removal from diets (assuming you’re trying to find out what is causing any ill health) would be artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium. They are safe for the majority of people, but in some cases, they can cause some people to be in general ill health.

    Comment by Bookslinger — August 31, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  40. “Brown 10 lb lard – bucket of bran.”

    I’ve been trying to figure out what this was to mean. I’m fairly certain that it isn’t “lard.” Adding fat to a fermentation would be disastrous. I’m thinking maybe it was “large bucket.” What do you think?

    Thank you everyone for contributing your recipes. Simply wonderful.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 31, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  41. #40: That one’s easy: “Use as much bran as will fit in an empty ten-pound lard bucket.” (That’s much more specific that the next ingredient, which is “as much water as will fit in a ‘big’ bucket” Maybe 5 gallons?)

    Comment by Clark — August 31, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  42. Hah! That is awesome Clark. When in doubt, read it as if it meant something.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 31, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  43. #40, 41, 42
    The 10 lb lard – bucket of bran didn’t make sense to me either, but Aunt Annie’s handwriting is very clear and that is what she wrote. This particular recipe has several “space, hyphen, space” so what looked like lard – bucket could very well be lard-bucket. Clark’s explanation about the empty ten-pound lard bucket sounds good to me. Now explain kneading the sack with hops in several waters, added to boiler.

    Comment by Maurine — August 31, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  44. Add bran and 1 big handful hops tied in sack. Boil 1 hr. Then knead sack in several waters. Add to boiler – then 3 lb. bucket of sugar.

    The bran and hops are placed in a cloth bag and the bag is tied. The entire bag is placed in a large pot of boiling water. After it is boiled, the sack is rinsed until the water runs clear. I assume some women would knead the bag in the water to hasten the rinsing process and move the materials through the cloth bag. I can’t tell if they were saving the rinse water or discarding it. Probably saving it, because the other recipe says:

    Place wheat and 1-1/2 quarts clean, food-quality barley and 1/2 cup hops in a cloth sack. Boil in large pan until nutrients are removed from grain. Keep draining and add liquid until you have 5 gallons of stock.

    This is a rather amusing topic for a Mormon history blog. Should we call in a brewer to clarify the process?

    (The reason I have the recipe is that my Danish ancestors were supposed to get married but Ephraim bishop Canute Peterson told them to go to Salt Lake City to get married. They did that a few days later, but they still threw the party that day and served “Beear & Kigs” (beer and cakes). I’m sure the adoption of the Word of Wisdom was not a straight line for the Danish immigrants.)

    Comment by Researcher — August 31, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  45. Reminds me of grandma’s cookbook with “peanut butter and onion sandwiches”.

    Comment by Carol — August 31, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  46. I’ve copied all the beer-making discussion to a new post with a title that will let us find it again later. Lots of fun!

    “Barley … for mild drinks”: Danish Beer

    Please continue any discussion of this on that post.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 31, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

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