Favorite Treats From Times Past

Hi everyone, this is quite a departure for me on here. Maybe I’m being sentimental or maybe I’m just hungry. Ha, probably both truth be known!

As I’ve talked about often, times were extremely hard when me and my baby sister, Jan, were growing up. My parents barely made enough to keep the wolf from the door, only sometimes he slipped in anyway.

Also, as most know, Jan and I have a huge sweet tooth. We learned to be very creative and make things that called for only a few ingredients. Our treats were simple, but satisfying.

Such as kool aid mixed with sugar and eaten with a spoon. I can’t believe we did that.

Mama made us cookies from pie dough. She’d make up the dough like normal, roll it out and cut into designs, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top and bake. They were yummy. In England, they called these tea cakes. We didn’t know we were being fancy.

Rice Krispy Treats were easy and quick with cereal, butter, and marshmallow creme.

But our favorite of all were Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies. Oh man, we ate a bunch of those at our house!

Here is the list of ingredients:

½ cup of butter

1 ½ cups of white sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup of plain milk

4 Tbs cocoa

1 pinch of salt

2 teas vanilla

3 cups dry quick-cooking oats

Put the first 6 ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a rolling boil and once it reaches the boil keep it cooking for one minute. Add the vanilla and stir and then add the dry oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and cool. That’s it.

* * *

When I was about fourteen or fifteen, I learned to make Applesauce Cake and that was super easy as well. It didn’t take any eggs, oil or milk so that made it affordable. All it had in it was applesauce, butter, flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. If we had walnuts, we’d throw them in but we usually didn’t. You’ve never eaten such a moist cake. And I never put cloves in mine. I hate cloves. Here’s a link if you’d like to make it: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/7380/applesauce-cake-i/

Mama and Daddy like to make homemade taffy as well, but that when we were too young to help and it was really hot to work with. I still remember watching them stand face to face a few feet apart and pull that taffy back and forth.

I didn’t make this back then but I sure do now—Chocolate-Cherry Cake. Oh my dear Lord, it’s good. Just mix together a dry chocolate cake mix, 3 eggs, and a large can of cherry pie filling. Bake and enjoy.

Back in the 1800s they didn’t have many ingredients to work with either. They made a lot more pies then they did cakes for the simple fact that it cost less.

What were or still are your favorite treats?


Favorite Treats From Times Past — 24 Comments

  1. Oh Wow Linda my brother and I loved the chocolate no bake cookies growing up also only my favorite aunt made them using cocoa, peanut butter, powdered sugar and a little milk she never measured anything she would just taste till she had like wanted then last would add in the dry oats til she got it to the consistency she thought they should be then she would drop by spoonfuls onto a pan. Which usually resulted in a huge batch. She was one of my daddy 10 brother and sisters and she babysat for nearly all them so needless to it took a big batch for all us kids. Thanks for posting for it gave me a trip down memory lane. I am going to call her up later today.

    • Hi Glenda……Oh wow! Imagine that. Yes, it would’ve taken a large batch for all those kids! Goodness! But Lordy were they good! And with oats and peanut butter in them they were pretty healthy. Thanks for sharing. We’re more alike than we knew.

      Love you, lady!

  2. Oh the memories you have brought back for me. Loved making the no bake chocolate cookie, only we added peanut butter to ours, as we always had peanut butter. Another favorite was if we had rice with a meal, that meant we were getting rice with some milk, sprinkled with cinnamon.
    My mother was a Baker, so we always had fresh baked bread, I was seven before I knew you could buy bread in the store. Our bedtime treat on a Saturday night was usually bread right out of the oven, spread with butter and some white sugar. She also sometimes made us little fruit pies, and mini liars of bread using our toy dishes. Homemade cinnamon rolls, maple bars. Then as a teen, my favorite and the favorite of all my friends was fried bread, which she made by dropping her bread dough into hot oil, then we would dip into sugar.
    Because if my mother’s baking skills, and the fact I grew up with homemade bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, pies, cakes from scratch, I am very spoiled, and didn’t have my mother teach me how to make that bread. I did master cake making by age 13, and pie making by age 17, which both parents said I made a better pie crust then she did. And the treat you mentioned, my made the same thing only didn’t get fancy, they were usually in strips.

    • Hi Veda…..Oh my goodness, you’ve got my mouth watering! Your mother would be my best friend. I can smell those cinnamon rolls and hot bread baking now! I’m sure you miss her very much. Such a sweet mama to spoil you like that.

      Much love and hugs, sweet lady!

  3. Linda- you have made me hungry. Rice jrispies were a favorite of mine too. But my favorite was my Granny made me homemade chocolate pudding. I never knew until I was much older that pudding mix could be bought in a box or like now in already made single servings.
    Homemade milkshakes were a favorite too, but all it was, was ice cream and milk put in a glass and stirred up, so I don’t know if that really counted as a milkshake, but we sure gobbled it up.
    Peanut butter cookies were made very simple.
    3 ingredients. 1- cup peanut butter, 1- cup brown sugar, & 1- egg mixed together and bake for 10 minutes on 350. Those are still My favorite cookies and Rob loves them too. Thank fir such a wonderful topic, I’m going to have to try your chocolate- cherry cake. Okay, now that I’m hungry I guess I’ll go raid the kitchen. Ha ha!!! Love you sister friend, you have a marvelous Monday.

    • Hi Tonya……I made myself hungry! Oh my goodness you had to go and mention homemade chocolate pudding. My mom made that too and sometimes butterscotch. I loved the butterscotch best poured over hot, buttered biscuits. I thought I’d died and gone and heaven. Oh wow! I’m going to have to make those peanut butter cookies. So quick and easy.

      Love you, sister friend!

  4. Mmm, this is a yummy post, Linda! My mom and grandmother made lots of delicious treats. I loved my grandmother’s Saskatoon pie best. Not sure if Saskatoons grow everywhere but they were abundant in Alberta where I grew up. They are like a blueberry but smaller and more purple. And I loved my mom’s Jelly Roll made with homemade strawberry or raspberry jam. Oh, and her strawberry shortcake was divine as well. I’m realizing now that a lot of our desserts revolved around berries (all free for the picking and growing)

    • Hi Jacqui……Thanks for coming to join in the conversation. I’ve never heard of Saskatoons. Interesting. I’m going to have to look that up. Okay, I’m back and I decided I would love these. The site I searched said they have a sweet, nutty almond flavor. And they’re closely related to the apple family. Wow! They sound very tasty and healthy for you with them being high in protein and oxidants. Your mother’s jelly rolls have my mouth watering as well. Those are so good!

      Love you, lady!

  5. These simple recipes brought back memories. Our mother loved to bake and she mastered it. And, since we both had a big sweet tooth, we didn’t mind indulging in her goodies. But, I do remember making these things when we were growing up. It was always fun, especially the sampling part! Great post. I can see that it stirred a lot of memories in your readers. 🙂

    • Hi Jan……I’m glad you liked my post. Goodness yes, Mama liked to bake. That was her most favorite thing in the whole world. I think I’m going to make an applesauce cake as soon as I can get to the store for the ingredients. It’s been probably 50 years since I made one.

      Love you, sister!

  6. What a great departure from your usual posts, Linda! Reading through your recipes brought back some memories for me, too. Though the wolf was at our door more times than we liked when I was a kid, we always had fresh lettuce from the garden. My sisters and I came up with the concoction of washing the biggest lettuce leaves, patting them not quite dry and sprinkling sugar on the lettuce. Then we’d roll the leaves and savor all the sweet crunchiness these treats had to offer. We also ate cinnamon and sugar on our toast, a classic I enjoy to this day when I have an urge to eat a midnight snack. Takes me “home,” and you took me “home” today, Linda. Thank you.

    • Hi Alice……Yes, it’s different but I was in the mood for this. How interesting about sprinkling sugar on the lettuce. Wow. Jan and I loved cinnamon toast and ate it quite frequently growing up. My mom wasn’t too particular about what we ate for breakfast as long as we ate something. So cinnamon toast was it very often. I’m glad I could take you “home.” Sometimes we just need to immerse ourselves in the memories.

      Love you, lady!

      • Yes, sprinkling sugar on lettuce definitely is a concoction. I like to think my sisters and I were creative when we were kids 🙂 Cinnamon toast was a not-so-often treat for us as we usually had cream of wheat or stiff oatmeal for breakfast!

        • Alice, you and your sisters were definitely creative and I love eating crisp lettuce. There’s something about that freshness. But us kids did whatever we had to do for sweet treats. Now I eat a lot of oatmeal and cream of wheat. I’m paying the price for some of my wild and crazy childhood and having now to adjust. I love oatmeal though as long as it’s not stiff.

  7. My mom is famous for her banana nut bread. Everyone wants it for birthday, christmas, or anytime. Easy, inexpensive and baked with love. I have her recipe but can never get it quite as good. There is nothing like Mama’s.
    She also makes an unbelievably good graham cracker almond cookie. To die for!

    • Hi Teresa W…….I love banana nut bread but I only get it once a year at Christmas. Serve it hot with butter and I’m all over that. Very, very delicious. You’ll have to tell me about the graham cracker almond cookie. Sounds heavenly.

      Much love and hugs!

  8. *pouts* I *loved* no bake cookies. Wait… love… but they don’t love me anymore. 🙁 silly peanut butter!!

    My favorite… hmmm… Texas tornado cake (aka, upside down German chocolate cake with cheesecake filling). Oh yummy!! My aunt makes the best traditional German chocolate cake and I ask for it every Thanksgiving to share with my dad (since he refuses to ask for it, stubborn man! haha!).

    While I can bake and do enjoy it, I love to cook! (and my husband will tell you that he loves to eat what I cook!) I was blessed to be able to rock at both, where my mom was the cook and my dad was the baker, I got them both! I believe several of my great-great-grand-somethings were bakers back in the old world (Europe) before the came to America. 🙂 So it’s really in my genes!

    • Good morning, Michelle……Shame on you for mentioning Texas tornado cake! Oh man! You just need to bake us up one. I’m glad you love to cook because I hate it. Always have. Cooking messes up dishes and then I have to wash them. I’d rather be writing, creating stories and people. I think I might starve one day. I keep hoping someone will take pity on me. The only genes I got came from my horse thieves and bootlegger ancestors. They SURE didn’t have any interest in cooking anything but moonshine. I kid you not here.

      Much love and hugs!

  9. I’m sorry I’m so late getting here, Linda. I saw these recipes and the delicious looking pictures. Ya know, I’ve never made or eaten a no bake cookie before, but these oatmeal cookies look positively delicious.

    • Good morning, Sarah……Nope, you’re never late. I’m glad I tempted you with my food post. Those cookies are very delicious. Growing up, we made them at least once a week–as long as we had the ingredients. Maybe you’ll give them a try. They’re probably more like fudge than a cookie if I was guessing. They sure filled my sugar-craving. I think I just needed to go back and revisit my childhood this week.

      Much love and hugs!

  10. I also make the chocolate no-bake cookies but I think my recipe cause for some peanut butter I think, haven’t maid them for a while. I re-read your book and enjoyed it just as much the second time around.

    • Hi Quilt Lady……Those cookies sure seem to be everyone’s favorites. I know we ate a lot of them. I’m sure peanut butter would make them even better, but we never put that in. We probably wouldn’t have had any anyway. Thank you for the kind words about Knight on the Texas Plains. I’m very happy you liked Duel, Jessie, and Marley Rose. By the way in case I didn’t tell you, Marley Rose is getting her own book and it’ll be out next year.

      Much love and hugs!

  11. Now I’m wishing I hadn’t read this. Lol My grandmother’s chocolate cake with cream cheese icing or German chocolate cake are what comes to mind when thinking of special treats. Like you I love chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies. Another cookie fav that’s been a huge part of my life is sandtarts another goodie that’s few ingredients and has been around forever because they do not call for eggs, baking powder or baking soda. Now I want something sweet!!@

  12. Good morning, Stephanie…..Thanks for making me hungry! I want cake! Man, do I ever. A big slice with a glass of milk. Perfect! I don’t think I’ve ever made Sandtarts but they sound delicious. I never met a cookie I didn’t like. 🙂 People in my stories didn’t always have a lot and resorted to pies more than cakes, especially if they had picked the fruit. Apple Pan Dowdy was one they made a lot. Best I can recall it’s more like a cobbler and made in a Dutch oven.

    Thanks for chiming in. Now, I’ve got to go find something to eat. It’s your fault. Love you, girl.