Sunday, September 1, 2013

Electric Skillet Mania

Even though I usually post recipes because they're disgusting (or at least surprising), I am often just amused by the odd wording or assumptions of old recipes.

For example, what do you think of as the main barrier to making homemade pizza? I always think of the time it takes to make crust from scratch. I rarely plan very far ahead, so whatever I make for dinner usually needs to take an hour or less. Other people like the extra crispy crust that can only come from a restaurant pizza oven since home ovens can't get as hot. The concern in the Farm Journal's Timesaving Country Cookbook (1961), however, never crossed my mind:

The caption tells that the special electric skillet baking method requires "no pot watching." What? Since when is pot watching the main impediment to making a homemade pizza, and how does using an electric skillet to bake the pizza get rid of that step? There's no pot watching when the pizza is in an oven either.

If you want to know how to make pizza in an electric skillet, here's the recipe:

Easy enough. It probably wouldn't be too bad, especially if you really like a brown crust and don't care about browned cheese on top. It seems as if people in the '60s were really excited about their electric skillets, so it was probably exciting just to have another way to use the appliance.

Bonus recipe for people who really want to give electric skillets a workout:

A lot of rural grocery stores didn't carry English muffins back in 1961, so this is the quick and easy way to get the breakfast treats, yet more proof that quick and easy meant something quite different 50+ years ago. (And I haven't even mentioned the assumption that women always had to be in charge of preparing food! Well, at least not until now....)


  1. Hi Poppy!

    The only time I can remember my mother dragging out the electric skillet (we had a tiny kitchen) was when my aunts were coming to visit from Brooklyn. since they were quite well off, they had very little use for such appliances but they got a kick out of anything prepared in the skillet. Go figure!

    Thanks for sharing, Poppy...

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