Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,


Today's recipe is from the 1977 Harmony in Cooking recipe collection put together by the St. Mary Music Parents of Menasha, Wisconsin. There are actually some useful recipes here, and some good recipes, and some recipes of great historic interest.

And then there's this one.

Dump Cake
20 oz. can crushed pineapple
20 oz. can cherry pie filling
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 - 1 cup oleo, melted
1/2 c. chopped nuts
Whipped topping or ice cream

Grease a 9x13x2" pan. Dump in undrained pineapple swirling it around to fill corners. Dump in pie filling and push around until layers of fruit are quite even. Dump dry cake mix over fruit evenly. Melt butter and dribble over top. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hr. or until browned. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

I think dump is the operative word.

My Wisconsin-bred co-worker Dean, who really is a good cook, knew exactly what dump cake was and he says it's delicious. It's pineapple upside down cake. He says when he and his siblings grew up his mother put together her own recipe book called "food we made our kids eat" and dump cake features prominently. He was also pretty excited about all the cheese ball recipes.

There's an interesting section of the book devoted entirely to "micro-wave" cookery, which is interesting because in 1977 microwave ovens hadn't quite become standard. The problem, though, is that the chapter begins with the dubious and vague bit of advice that "The recipes in this section may be made in a regular oven by multiplying the time by 4." I'm not sure that's quite right, nor am I sure what the oven temperature should be.

And then the very first "timesaving microwave hint" is just a lie:

Have fresh coffee all day by brewing a pot; then refrigerating coffee in container. Want coffee? Pour cupful and heat for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. It will taste just perked.

It will not. Now look, I'm not a snob here -- on occasion I will microwave day-old coffee from Sunday's carafe on a Monday morning. But it will not taste fresh perked. Not remotely.

Here's another microwave hint from 1977:

Take the chill off refrigerated dog or cat food by heating for a few seconds right in the dish (not-metallic).

Do the dogs and cats really care? Or, wait, maybe ... no I don't want to think about it.
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