Evaporated Milk Memories

June 17, 2015





The warm weather has finally arrived in my neck of the woods and for some reason the change of season, any season, puts me in a cleaning mood. Depressing isn't it, this is my road to fun?

Well, this weekend, looking for a good time, I decided that I'd had just about enough of my terribly disorganized pantry and so I started cleaning out and cleaning up that messy closet.

Once the food shelves were tidied up, I began to work my way through a mysterious pile of papers tucked into the back corner of the top shelf. Most of them were recipes, torn from magazines in the days before Pinterest, recipes that I never made...and will never make, so I tossed them. The whole pile was garbage.

Except...


...except for this sweet little cookbook that I must have stashed away and forgotten about for years. It stopped me in my tracks.

That happens to me sometimes. I start cleaning things out, come across something precious from my childhood and bam, all of my focus is gone. I get caught up in the memories of lovely long agos and it becomes almost impossible to reel me back in to complete the task at hand. This day was no different. I sat on the kitchen floor, among expired food cartons and stale chips, turning the yellowed pages and suddenly, I was six or eight again, dreaming about all the recipes I was going to make for my family. I was going to be a phenomenal cook.

Apparently, this was not a premonition.

The book was published in 1974 by the makers of Carnation Evaporated Milk. It was filled with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes and, of course, just about every one of them called for, you guessed it, evaporated milk.

According to the book, it was essential.

Carnation Evaporated Milk Cookbook

I think I had to send in a few labels to get my treasure, but when it showed up, I was hooked.

It was so different than any book I'd ever seen. It was the Fun To Cook Book and it was fabulous. It was basically a story about a little girl named Margie Blake who was learning to cook. There was a letter from her, obviously to me, in the front and then lessons on safety and how to be a good hostess peppered in between the recipes. I must have read that book every single night for a year. I had that sucker memorized from cover to cover. I couldn't get enough, which is ironic, because today, I hate to cook.

Back then, however, I couldn't wait to get my hands dirty in the kitchen. I wanted to make every dish in that book, including the Grapefruit Surprise. The surprise was that she used a grapefruit knife. It really wasn't that surprising.

Anyway, I think the sweetest memory I have of this book has to do with my dad.

There's a chapter about being ready to cook dinner by yourself and I wanted to do that so badly, I remember bugging my mom for weeks. She finally agreed and we settled on the meatloaf recipe ~ page 21. Now, you have to remember that this was the early 70's and my mom was born in the 1930's. A man was the king of his castle and dinner was essentially prepared for HIM.

So I wasn't really making dinner for the family, I was making it for my dad. I worked very hard on that silly meatloaf, I followed Margie Blake's recipe to a T and I was so proud when it came out of the oven. I placed it on the table in front of my dad and waited for his approval with baited breath. I can still picture myself standing in our orange countered kitchen with my tiny apron on, listening to my brother and sisters make fun of my lopsided little meatloaf.


I have no idea if that lump of ground meat (that I made without Carnation Evaporated Milk mind you) was actually good or bad, but to his credit, my dad made it seem like it was the best thing he'd ever tasted.

It is one of the most precious memories I have of my father. In a house with four kids and a bunch of pets, time alone with my dad was almost nonexistent, but for that moment, at that crowded table, in that avocado accented room, it was just him and me...and I was so proud.

A few years later he would be gone and that stupid meatloaf memory would become vitally important to me. He would never see me move on from elementary school to junior high. He would never see me graduate high school, college ~ the first in my family ~ or obtain my Master's Degree. He was not there when I made the kickline team or won the Most Outstanding Senior in Art Award. He would not be there for so many things I accomplished as I grew up without him, but he was there for the meatloaf and so that silly little book became the embodiment of everything I missed about my dad and even though I hated to cook as I grew, I kept it, because it kept him close to me.

Every few years it falls out of whatever safe space I have tucked it into and I get lost in those chop meat memories all over again. Invariably, I take a time out from my cleaning fun, to flip through the faded pages and visit with Margie Blake and my dad for just a bit, recalling sweet times and promising recipes, all the while wondering...


...what exactly is evaporated milk and why is it necessary, because, honestly, after almost forty years, I still don't really know.

Do you?

Update: It seems that a lot people grew up with this book. I was very curious just how long it was in publication, so I contacted Nestle, the makers of Carnation Evaporated Milk and publisher of the book. Here is their response:

The first edition of the Fun to Cook Book was printed in 1955. The last edition of the Fun to Cook Book was printed in 1982.



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91 comments:

  1. Kim,
    What a sweet post today. It is so amazing how something simple like a found treasured cook book can bring back such a beautiful memory. I bet there are some really good homemade recipes in that little book. As for your question on the evaporated milk not sure either after all these years what it is for. Never used it myself.
    Loved your sweet post. Have a great day today.
    Kris

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    1. Kris, I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who has never used evaporated milk. Decorating is my passion, not cooking, but yes, there are some good looking recipes in that book! ;)

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  2. Kim, Kim, Kim . . .
    I love reading you . . , brilliant . . .
    What a treasure this little "carnation milk" book is. And the even greater treasure is that this was you . . . for your daddy . . . it brought me to tears, oh my, a treasured memory piece . . .
    I am thrilled it is published here in blog land and we will be the first ones to read it!
    (and the meat loaf recipe is almost like my mom's recipe.)
    I use Carnation Evaporated mil in a few recipes . . . and I have no idea why!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne. It was an easy one to write, just kind of flowed out when I saw that little book. I am so glad that you enjoyed reading it. I know that my pieces are long and I often wonder if people lose patience halfway (or a quarter way!) through, so your words have made my week!! :)

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  3. Hi Kim, Oh what a wonderful post and the treasure that special cook book is. Your dad sounds like an amazing man and I think he knows all you've accomplished and looking down with great pride.
    Thank you for sharing this sweet story. I don't know what or why evaporated milk either!! LOL
    I use it in recipes where it's called for but just never questioned it. Hope you find some answers here.
    Hugs, CM

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    1. Thank you so much. I love reading everyone's evaporated milk stories! Seems I'm not alone. ;-)

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  4. How sweet, friend. Isn't it funny and wonderful that memories become attached to things like old cookbooks? Of course you cooked for your dad - he was so important to you. I can just imagine how proud you were.

    I still have My First Cookbook that I sent off to Imperial Sugar to receive. It's similar looking to yours. Sweet memories. :)

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    1. They are sweet memories, Stacey and I don’t think they offer things like that anymore. Just log on for your recipes, kids, and a video game to boot! It’s not the same.

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  5. Love this story! I have a special 'recipe' book my mom helped me make one summer when I was about 10. Each time I find it again in its 'safe storage' location, I am right back there too. My mother used evaporated milk and also dried milk. I do not know exactly, but I wonder if it was because we lived in the country and weekly visits to town for groceries did not allow purchase of enough milk for our family for the week. When I got married, I bought a box of 'powdered milk' because.... well, because my mother always had it, so it must be essential. When my oldest son was 2 years old, my husband and son were stranded at home during a blizzard while I was stranded at my employment (RN at hospital). I went to work on Wednesday night and wasn't able to get home until Saturday morning due to the blizzard. Anyway, husband/son ran out of milk, bread, etc. That box of powdered milk came in handy to keep the 2 year old happy. Thanks for sharing your beautifully-written story, it brought tears to my eyes.

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    1. Thank you, Jan, for your sweet words. I am glad my tale touched you in some way. I had always planned to make my own recipe book, when I was younger, but that never happened. You must cherish your book, so much. It's funny to look back to who we were at that age.

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  6. I bet your dad sees all that you've done and continues to look down on you and your family with pride. Thank you for sharing such personal, sweet memory with us.

    I love carnation milk in oatmeal. My grandmother and mother gave a diluted version to their babies as formula.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. I really hope so! :)

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  7. Just recently I ran across instructions for making your own evaporated milk and it was only fresh milk with about half of the water removed. I am thinking that it probably was popular because it was canned and had a long shelf life. What a beautiful post. Great memories of your dad. And reliving them for even a bit was a much better use of your time i would think. I was thinking as I was reading your post (and getting a bit teary-eyed) that your cookbook might be fun framed in one of those frames that hold stuff, kind of like a shadow box but without the dividers, along with a couple vintage kitchen doo-dads and displayed in your kitchen. But then i wondered if it would be better to let it surprise you from it's safe spot every once in a while. As we are coming up on Father's Day it is a very timely memory and post. I am thinking your dad has seen all of your accomplishments from the best seat in the house and is very proud of all that you have done. Lorri

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    1. Thank you, Lorri. What a sweet comment you have left, like always! ❤️ You know, my cousin suggested framing it as well, although, I do like those little surprise moments when I find it every few years. I will have to sit with that one and decide.

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  8. Hi Kim,
    I enjoyed your post today.
    I have some treasures tucked away as well. I stumble on them and I do the very same....sit down right on the floor and remember.

    As far as evaporated milk...no clue. LOL

    Thank you for sharing from your heart today.
    Carla

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    1. Those memories can stop us in our tracks sometimes, such power they hold! I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who gets sidetracked...and who has no clue about that milk!!

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  9. Kim,

    What a touching post about you and your Dad. Thank you for sharing it with us. I can just bet how proud he if os you and the woman you've become. I never really knew what evaporated milk was either until I got older. It was always a staple in my grandmothers pantry. It was something she used when she ran out of regular milk and due to living 40 miles outside of any town making daily trips to the store was something they never did. I also have a lot of family members from the South that used is as baby formula, as well as for baking. I use it myself strictly for making homemade hot cocoa....makes it very rich!

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    1. Yum, homemade hot cocoa is probably very rich made that way! Thanks for the tip and they very kind words, Christine.

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  10. I don't know, but it was 1/2 of a baby 'formula' that my oldest drank when nothing else would work for her. I still remember...half evaporated milk, half boiled water, a spoonful of Karo syrup. :) We had been through regular formula, soy formula, even goat's milk. Nada. Only this worked.

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    1. The baby formula thing keeps coming up, Gwen! I guess it must have been a popular alternative. I wonder if people still do that today? Hmm.

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  11. What a lovely memory. I lost my dad when I was just 18 so I can relate to how those precious few memories mean so much. Plus...that is an awesome vintage cookbook...even if you don't cook.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your dad, it's nice to look bad though, especially near Father's Day....and yes, I love my vintage cookbook! I guess that makes me vintage now, too! ;)

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  12. Tears in my eyes!

    How wonderful that you have a sweet memory. My husband lost his father when we were just married, at 22 years. He says today that he has absolutely no recollections of his father.

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    1. It’s hard to hold on to all of the memories, so very many of mine have faded, too.

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  13. Evaporated milk (60% of the water is evaporated off) was created to make a shelf stable product that was safer to drink than fresh milk and that took up substantially less space. It also proved to be much safer milk to feed infants as opposed to fresh milk. Hope this helps. (I had a little cookbook like that as a girl. The illustrations are very similar. It was from Imperial Pure Cane Sugar. I think my mother probably still has it.)

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    1. Yes!! It helps! Thank you for clearing that up. I am going to Google your cookbook now. I may start a collection!

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    2. @Katzcadul You explained it so well - I taught high school foods classes for 35 years and I tried to explain the different forms of milk to the students - I'm sure this is a much more concise explanation than what I gave.

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    3. You ladies have all cleared up the mystery and given me so many ideas to use that ingredient now. I am so appreciative!

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  14. This is such a sweet post on all levels! Your book is a keepsake (bless that little Margie Blake!). And I felt a lump in my throat when you spoke of your father. It's sort of ironic that I bought my daughter a 'tween' cookbook when she was young and she chose to make the meatloaf for guess who? And yeah, he raved over it!

    The only thing I've ever used the evaporated milk in is my pumpkin pie recipe. I always thought it was sweetened milk with less water.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Jane x

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    1. Thank you, Jane. Meatloaf seems to be the recipe of choice for dads! I guess it’s an easy one to make…with or without evaporated milk! ;-)

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  15. That's a treasure you should frame and hang in your kitchen somewhere!!!

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    1. My cousin said the same thing! I never even thought about that...great idea. On my DIY to do list now! :)

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  16. What a beautiful, sweet post. How fitting you found it again so close to Father's Day. :) A wonderful cookbook. I enjoy the vintage cookbooks. And I used to collect them. Sad thing though, I am the worst cook!!! Lol
    Burnt a pan of water. Points to self. ;)

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    1. It's funny, Kathy, when I wrote and published the piece, I had forgotten about Father's Day ~ meant to be, I suppose. I like vintage cookbooks too, but yes, I can (and have) burned a pot of water down to nothing. Oops! Cooking is not my strong suit!

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  17. I love it when a cleaning bug hits, and then the finding of such a special treasure in the middle of that has happened to me plenty of times too... with a stop to walk down the memory lane opening up a journey of special memories. You weave and tell a beautiful story of this experience, and I enjoyed the sweet story of your dad's enjoyment of your special meatloaf for him. As for evaporated milk, I know that I use it mostly to make pumpkin pie, and I think this is because the custard needs a thicker milk. I know my mom used to make her own "evaporated milk" but slowly warming the milk on a pan over the stove until it had decreased to about half, and then used it in pumpkin pie. I guess from reading other people's comments that evaporated milk was a great way for people to use milk in their recipes when fresh milk may not have been available. Anyway... I really enjoyed your evaporated milk... meatloaf... nostalgic cookbook story, and I pray these memories have blessed you in a special way since I know you miss your father so much. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank you so much for all of your super kind words and I am glad you enjoyed my story. It’s been quite interesting to read everyone else’s evaporated milk tales. Apparently, there are a lot of uses for it. Who knew? I am glad that I do now…I may try it in some of the ways mentioned..especially the desserts!! Yum!

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  18. Kim, what a sweet post about your dad and your meatloaf memory. And that adorable cookbook! Thanks for sharing that. So very touching.

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    1. It was a really decent recipe, Kimberly. I have actually used it a few times...without the evaporated milk! ;-)

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  19. Kim, what a touching memory of cooking for your dad. That book certainly is special! Loved the story. I get that cleaning bug now and then myself. I lost my dad when I was only 9 months old, so I have no memories of him. But some of my older siblings have cherished memories. My mom always had canned milk in the house and I do too. lol! I always use it in my mashed potatoes (because she did) and I use it in my homemade fudge. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann. I am so sorry to hear your own story of loss. Mashed potatoes, huh? I can see that.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  21. xoxo Kim, this was such a beautiful piece. The little book is so charming, and I love what it represents. Su

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    1. Thank you, Su. I love stumbling upon it...it's funny that this year I found it so close to Father's Day. Kismet!

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  22. Hi Kim A very touching post. I don't use evaporated milk. I try to avoid cans as they are heavy and then there is a recycling issue of having to return them back to the mainland. I had that cookbook as a young girl and I remember dreaming about cooking/ baking too. My mom never used evaporated milk - not sure why so I don't recall ever really using a recipe from it. Life is so precious and so uncertain. I'm glad you were able to sit and cherish that precious memory.

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    1. Thank you Ronda. It was sweet to look back for just a bit and remember. That’s so funny that you had that book!! It was one of my all time favorites.

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  23. Great post Kim. Isn't it great that we can hear a song or look at a book and remember something wonderful from so long ago? Thanks for sharing. Oh...I've never used evaporated milk so I have no idea why it's necessary. LOL

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    1. It is funny what triggers a memory, Kristi. I love that little book, I think that it not only takes me back to that one special moment, but a simpler life in general. Today, everything is online and so intangible. I miss the treasures of the past. I think that makes me old! ;-)

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  24. A lovely post. This sweet book led you down memory lane.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. It’s always a nice trip to take…especially so close to Father’s Day!

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  25. Ai love this post and it's fun to find something like the cookbook and think of fond memories! Back in the day evaporated milk was so popular. I really don't use it. The cookbook is so adorable. Have a wonderful day and enjoy the rest of he week!

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    1. There are a lot of people who used it as a child, so many who, like us, don't use it at all. I guess it has its purpose.

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  26. A very sweet post. My grandmother used evaporated milk in tea and so now that is how I like my tea best. She would pour some over a dish of blueberries or a baked apple- 2 treats that are still comfort food to me.

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    1. Susan, thanks for sharing your grandmother's treats. Lots of people have shared its uses, but yours sounds the yummiest! ;) Baked apple...mmmm.

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  27. Now I have slump in my throat and a tear in my eye and feel the need to look though my memory chest.... thanks a lot.

    Seriously, that was a lovely post, Kim. I felt the same way about my grandpa (that was more like a father to me), My 'Papa' died when I was 16. Although, I'm kind of glad he missed my late teens, if you know what I mean ;)

    I have no idea what that stuff is, but I use it in my meatloaf too.

    xo,
    rue

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    1. Sorry Rue! I was actually crying as I wrote. It’s always bittersweet to look back, isn’t it?

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  28. My evaporated milk memories are not as sweet as yours! Love your story.

    I grew up drinking evaporated milk - we called it canned milk. I was probably in high school or college before I ever had milk from a jug though I sure did love the little boxes of milk with our school lunches. We were a poor family. I was born in 1966 in Appalachia in a house with no indoor plumbing - to give you an idea of how poor. My mom shopped for groceries once a month & always bought a 50 pound bag of flour (she made everything from scratch) & a case of canned milk. We poured the milk into a pitcher, added three cans of water & that was our milk. Basically very watered down milk. She also kept powdered milk so when we ran out of canned we drank powdered.

    I keep both canned & powdered for cooking, especially when I was raising my family. When a recipe called for milk I mixed powdered milk instead of using the jug milk, because it was cheaper & didn't affect the taste of recipes. Eventually, our budget wasn't so tight so I keep powdered milk for convenience - it is a drive to the store where we live & can canned milk for recipes. It's richer than jug milk, kind of like using half-n-half or heavy cream.

    I also add it to tea when I run out of half-n-half.

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    1. Wow, Jenny, thank you for sharing your own evaporated milk memories. Your story is very interesting and one that would be hard for most kids to relate to today…a house without running water? I remember those little boxes of milk at school! If you were really lucky, you got to be the milk monitor, which meant you got to go down to the cafeteria to get the tub of little milks for snack time. I don’t think I have ever had evaporated or powdered milk, unless it was in a recipe, probably pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Lots of people have left great uses though, I just may need to pick up a can after all these years! Thanks so much for the visit taking the time to comment.

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    2. We had running water by the time I started school around 1970 or so. But I remember the outhouse, carrying water from the well, the communal water bucket with a metal dipper on the front porch & taking baths in the kitchen in an old metal wash-tub - like pioneer days! My dad shaved on the front porch & we brushed out teeth there - no sink to spit in.

      I think I was in high school before my mom had a washing machine that you just turn on & it washes everything. Before that she had to carry water to fill the tubs & run the clothes by hand through a wringer. She never owned a dryer & she lived until 2006. She used coal heat until after I was married in 1987 & she had electric heat & AC installed.

      You should try evaporated milk in dessert recipes, just substitute it for regular milk. It really makes desserts richer & creamier.

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    3. Jenny, you should write a book, I mean it…or at least a magazine article. I was reading your comment to my family and their mouths hung open. It is just something that they equate with like Laura Ingalls, not someone who is my age. The 60’s and 70’s were not that long ago. I am sure life was hard, but it was what it was and everyone survived. Today, if kids don’t have the latest iPhone the day it comes out, they act like their life is over. My parents were first generation Americans, from dirt poor parents. They were also depression era babies. By the time I was born, they were well established, but we were brought up with very frugal values that I still hold on today and try to instill in my own kids….but I am not sure if that’s the norm. Everyone seems to be chasing the bigger, better, more lifestyle all the time and nobody seems happy.

      I am definitely going to pick up a can of milk. There are a lot of great uses in the comments and now I am eager to try them out. I may have to whip that little cookbook out again and really look at the recipes again. There may be more than nostalgia hiding in those vintage pages! ;-)

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  29. I will leave a better comment on another post...I'm crying. How wonderful and what a sweet, sweet memory. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. :-(

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    1. Thank you, Benita. Every now and then it's nice to look back....

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  30. I had this same cookbook when I was a kid....I think mine might have come from a yard sale. Anything like this that can take you back in time to happy memories is a treasure! Beautifully written post!

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    1. Jamie, that is so funny that you had the book! No one I know has one. I think that’s really neat.

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  31. You made me want to cry. What a beautiful beautiful post.

    I have only used evaporated milk for one thing in my entire life that I can think of and that is for pumpkin pies :)

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    1. Thank you, Deb, and pumpkin pie seems to be popular in pumpkin pie.

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  32. Kim - such a beautiful post,I loved reading it.

    I seem to recall that when growing up we quite often used to have evaporated milk with tinned fruits, don't know if any of your other readers did?

    My good wishes to you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan. It was a nice memory to write about. It seems like lots of people have different uses for evaporated milk. I like reading about them!

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  33. Kim, I so enjoyed reading your tribute to your beloved father, on this Father's Day, 2015. It is exactly these kinds of memories and mementos that truly make a difference on such special occasions, instead of expensive gifts, isn't it?

    Your excitement about making that meatloaf for your daddy, then actually cooking it, presenting it to him, and awaiting, as you said, with baited breath for his reaction, after that very first bite - well, frankly, I don't think I've read a more suspenseful story in the last while than your 'Evaporated Milk Memories'! Thanks for making this Father's Day a sweet one.

    Poppy

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    1. Thank you, Poppy, It was a bittersweet memory for certain, but it always makes me think of him for more than just a fleeting moment and that is always a good thing. Thank you so much for the lovely comment.

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  34. Hi Kim,

    Such a lovely sweet post you have shared today and aren't special memories like this beautiful.
    Yes, for sure must have been bittersweet for you. The little book is sweet and glad that you were able to make the meatloaf for your Dad. We had a kitchen with bold designs in orange wallpaper when I was growing up.
    My Grandad used to have Evaporated milk in his coffee.
    Happy week and many thanks for visiting me
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. It was so nice of you to visit and leave a comment. I guess those orange kitchens transcended all hemispheres of the globe, huh? I don’t suppose it’s a color you are considering for your new kitchen! ;-)

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  35. I was shocked when I saw your article and picture of the "Fun to Cook Book"! It was copyright in 1955 and I remember some of my first attempts at cooking were with recipes from this book. I still have it and plan to share it with my young granddaughters. Thank you so much for sharing! Anita

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    1. Anita, a lot of people, younger and older than I, were commenting that they had the book, too. So I emailed Nestle to ask them about publication dates and yup, you have a first edition! It was updated and reprinted several times, with the last in 1982. I am so glad I hung on to my copy and I bet your granddaughters will be happy you did, too!! :) Thanks so much for the comment! It was a pleasure to read!

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  36. What a beautiful post...but I have no sweet memories of my dad, quite the opposite! It was a sweet post about love and your father. I remember my Mom using sweetened condensed milk for her desserts. Its cow's milk from which water has been removed and sugar added. You are so lucky to have had such a loving Father. Also a big thanks for stopping by and letting me know how much you loved my cottage garden. Just a nice thing to do!

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    1. Cathy, thank you so much for the visit. It was kind of you to pop by and leave such a thoughtful comment. No one has mentioned the sugar added to the milk…ah, now I see why everyone is so taken with it in their tea and desserts! : )

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  37. Kim, I'm so happy I've found your blog. You delight in your appreciation of the ordinary things in our lives. I can most certainly relate to cleaning out something only to be distracted by a treasure that takes me off into a world of memories. Your stack sounds much like our file folder filled with just such recipes, only most were ones we made through the years and continue to use. You would think in this day and time we would now have them all on the computer. Many are, but yet the file folder continues to provide us with just what we need. Love the little book. 1974, was the year before I married. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing your joy in discovering this little book again. Delightful!

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    1. Sarah, you always have a way of brightening my day. Your lovely comments are truly appreciated. I like the computer, too, but there is something about holding the pages in my hand that makes me happy. I especially like the recipes that have ingredient stains on them…I imagine my mom in the kitchen, turning pages with messy hands. Can’t get that from a computer! :)

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  38. I don't think anyone mentioned refrigeration. I remember the ice box throughout the 40's when my mom hung a sign in the window for the iceman - you turned the square sign to read at the top either 25, 50, 75, or 100 so he'd know what size block of ice to bring into the house. You couldn't freeze anything, and things like milk and meat couldn't be stored very long. I really think (I haven't looked it up) that canned milk may have started for that reason. I remember my Dad making us snow ice cream by scooping clean snow into a big bowl and quickly adding some powdered sugar, vanilla, and canned milk - it was delicious and we ate it in a hurry! Then there was sweetened condensed milk. I have two beautiful china containers, the size of a can of milk, with lids and holes in the bottom, sitting on a plate to match. When I found the first one I was puzzled at the hole in the bottom - until I discovered it was meant to serve sweetened condensed milk at the table. The can sits inside and can be removed by pushing up the bottom with a finger through the hole. People used it in coffee and tea. My Dad always used evaporated milk in his coffee, and I remember others doing that too. I'm a bit older than you ladies - born in 1939. I have my aunt's recipe for potato salad that uses canned milk in the dressing. Oh this has brought back so many wonderful memories. But surely you ladies use evaporated milk to make pumpkin pies from the recipe on the Libby's label!!

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    1. My uncle's family started in the ice business. My mom was born in 1931 and told us all the icebox stories. Amazing how far we've come in such a relatively short period of time. I do remember the milk man coming to my house as a child. Crazy isn't it? He would bring milk and leave it outside! Thank you so much for sharing your own milk memories! I am so curious about it now, I just may have to google all those kinds of milk!!

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  39. Great post! Bittersweet memories are among the most meaningful. They are personal little treasures that mean so much to us. I make the same butter/sugar cookies with a cherry every holiday season because I used to make them with my mom when I was a kid. Keep the posts coming....love to read them.
    Tracy S.

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    1. Thanks Tracy! I'm so glad you enjoy the pieces. Your cookies sound delicious, but not as sweet as the memories they bring back, I'm sure. :)

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  40. Ok, I just scrolled through all the comments so I wouldn't see, I thought evaporated milk was just milk basically cooked so that a lot of the moisture had evaporated making it thicker? Ha ha, maybe I'm wrong ; )

    I love finding things like this from my childhood. I beckon my husband over and show him, in awe, brought right back to those memories, and he looks at me like I've lost my mind, ha ha.

    Thanks for linking up at Favorite things Friday! Hope to see you again this week!

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    1. Ha! Yes, I 've gotten those looks from my husband...and my kids, too! He just may not be a very sentimental guy, but someday, I am sure my kids will get it!

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  41. What a wonderful post! I have very fond memories of growing up with Carnation Evaporated milk. My mother used to buy it and used it for her coffee! To this day I still enjoy it but the price has gone up drastically so I hope, and look for specials on it. :)

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    1. I see it on sale around the holidays, Linda, I guess that it because of those pumpkin pie recipes, but you are not alone. It seems that the number one use for it is adding it to coffee and tea!

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  42. What an adorable cookbook Kimmie! Such a treasure find! :) No clue what evaporated milk is, but my mama always used it for fudge! :) xoxoxo Jen

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    1. Well, there is a fudge recipe in the book Jen and it does use evaporated milk...surprise! ;)

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  43. Oh, this is too funny because not too long ago, my mom brought me a stack of books from her attic and one of the books was a cookbook that I had when I was around 6 or 7! It's called "The Creative Playthings Mini Menu: A cookbook for mini-moppets ages 3-6" Apparently I was a "mini moppet" whatever that was. :) I think it came with a kitchen set I got as a Christmas present. It says 1976 on the back, so I guess it was around that time that I got it. I might do a blog post on it. It has such funny recipes in it like "ice cream fizz" which is ice cream and club soda. This was a nice walk down memory lane. Isn't it fun to come across things like this? Another thing we have in common is that I loved to "cook" when I was little, but now I don't enjoy it at all. So funny how we change like that. :)

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    1. I guess it was a lot more fun when cooking was a novelty instead of necessity, huh! I love unearthing old treasures like this, I bet you had a blast peeking inside. I say you make some ice cream fizz and put it on Pinterest. I bet it’d go viral!! ;)

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  44. Kim, what a sweet little story, and I can just imagine your finding that little book. Funny how you had big plans for cooking, but as an adult you hate to cook. I can relate b/c I feel the same way about it. Special memories of your dad! My mom always bought evaporated milk to use in recipes, but in my opinion, it tasted terrible by itself. One time I substituted it for sweetened condensed milk for a pie...almost the same thing, but NOT. It didn't work at all.

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