Home Economics Pilaf and Tandy Cake - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Home Economics Pilaf and Tandy Cake

These are a few pilaf recipes I came across while searching through my recipe boxes. Pilaf was the first recipe I copied onto an index card and filed in my personal recipe box. It was a favorite beginning recipe in those mandatory home economics, food preparation classes. Since those days, the basic recipe has long been transformed and undergone a kitchen metamorphosis. It continues to be a favorite in my house.

A word of advice: do not give it.


Here are three recipes from vintage recipe boxes. There were at least five more, but weren’t  much different from the choices below.

mayphotos2 031Carol’s recipe from 1980

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cans chicken broth and
  • 1 cube butter
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 2 coils vermicelli, broken
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter, add vermicelli and brown. Bring broth to a bubble. Put melted butter and browned vermicelli in a casserole; then add rice and hot both. Put lid on and bake 30 minutes (or until rice is done) in a 350 degree oven.

Katie’s recipe from 1977

  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup broth (beef or chicken)
  • 1 small can mushrooms
  • 1 cup uncooked rice

Sauté onion, mushrooms and rice in butter. Cook until rice is slightly browned. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Lower fire and steam for 15 to 20 minutes

or this can be put into a covered casserole dish. Put into a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Fresh mushrooms work too. I couldn’t bring myself to use canned mushrooms.

mayphotos2 014Gracie’s Recipe from 1980

  • 1 cup Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 coil of angel hair
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ cube margarine
  • salt to taste: 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic powder, optional

Brown angel hair and margarine. Be sure it’s dark brown. Add rice, water, salt, bouillon and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Simmer until water disappears.

Notes: For my own version, I use butter, long grain white rice and the thicker coiled vermicelli. Generally 2 to 2 1/2 cups of liquid for each cup of rice works well.  You may want to try olive oil mixed in with the butter.

The only difficulty with this recipe was trying to open the box of rice without spilling it all over the kitchen.

Family Television Favorites from the 1980’s. Ever hear the lyrics and tunes from these shows circling around inside your head: the Brady Bunch, Archie Bunker, Flintstones, Golden Girls and Cheers to name a few!

Tandy Cake 1960s

mayphotos2 025A knock-off version of the popular mini-cakes: Tandy Kakes, Tandy Takes or Kandy Kakes; call them what you will, a recycled family favorite.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 oz. chocolate bar; I used two 4.4 oz. bars but if you like thicker chocolate, use 3.
  • Peanut butter (about 1 ½ cups)

Beat eggs until lemony. Add rest of ingredients except chocolate par and peanut butter. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cake from oven. Spread peanut butter over hot cake then refrigerate until cold. Melt chocolate bar and spread over peanut butter. (Chocolate should cover the peanut butter completely). Chill until chocolate sets.

Notes: use a 10×15 inch pan; jelly roll pan works well. Substitute a yellow cake mix and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; continue with the rest of the directions.

Hershey Milk Chocolate bars work the best. Substituting chocolate bars with chocolate chips is a problem; the chocolate layer surface cools too hard creating a hard, brittle surface.

Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

About the author

Ann Marie Bezayiff

Ann Marie Bezayiff received her BA and MEd from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is an author, blogger, columnist and speaker. Her columns, “From the Olive Orchard” and “Recycled Recipes from Vintage Boxes”, appear in newspapers, newsletters and on Internet sites. Ann Marie has also demonstrated her recipes on local television. Currently she divides her time between Western Maryland and Texas. Contact the author.

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