Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake & A Picnic Game Update

UPDATE: July 1, 2010. The Picnic Game Round-Up has been posted. Oh goodness, bring your appetites!

Happy Birthday!

Yep, it is indeed my birthday today and I'm throwing caution to the wind. (if you were my age, you'd probably do the same:) It just so happens that today is also Chocolate Eclair Day, Paul Frees birth date (his was the original voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy and many many memorable voices.) You can read all about "The Man of a Thousand Voices" here. Legend has it that the doughnut was also "invented" on this day in 1847. Key word, legend:) I guess this little disc of trivia shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, it seems, according to the USPTO kids website that June 22nd is also a milestone day for Rolaids. In 1954, the trademark for Rolaids was registered. Hmmm...

However, delicious as all those factoids may sound, with the exception of the Rolaid thing, another happening is attributed to this day. It has to do with something dear to my heart (in more ways than one, you'll see:) and since it is my birthday and I can do whatever I want, I'm going to share it with you today. I'm even going to give it a pretend name...

It's Mayonnaise Day!

Not officially, of course but pretty darn close. You see, Richard Hellmann, yes, as in Hellmann's Mayonnaise, was born today in 1876. This Mayonnaise Sandwich muncher was born on the same day as the namesake of her favorite all time condiment, good ol' mayo!!! (when I was much younger, before I learned the Cholesterol word, I had a mayonnaise sandwich nearly every day of my school year) No peanut butter and jelly for me in those days. Nope, Mayonnaisse sandwiches on good old Wonder Bread. To think...

First, I would like to share two vintage Hellmann's die-cut recipe books that I have in my cookbook collection. Aren't they just the coolest things, EVER! (with the exception of mayonnaise of course:)

As you can imagine, both these recipe books are very fragile. If I had to guess, I think the Cooking Timetable booklet was probably produced before the one with the calendar. I say this because it offers a dollop of history about the History of Mayonnaise and the man himself and "his" mayo. (although, rumor has it, his wife really whipped up the recipe:)

Mayonnaise Dressing has been known for centuries, its origin being thought to date back to 1300 A.D. when a sauce prepared from egg-yolks and oil was first made in Bayonne, France. Ever since that time, mayonnaise has been considered a great delicacy, and one which required great skill and art and patience to prepare successfully in the home, but it was not until 1913 that Richard Hellmann's first made mayonnaise on a commercial scale in one of the most modern daylight factories in the world.

That's pretty much it for info from the book. I've scanned the rest of the page if you would like to read it. While I was at it, I also scanned a recipe for Topsy Turvey Salad and Country Club Salad from the Hellmann's 1925 calendar booklet. (click to enlarge)

That Amazing Ingredient Mayonnaise!

Lucky you, lol...It just so happens that I also have a more modern version of a Hellmann's Mayonnaise cookbook titled That Amazing Ingredient Mayonnaise! published in 1979. (hey that's modern to this birthday girl:)

It too offers a dab of info:

...Mayonnaise, as we know it, originated in 1912 when Richard Hellmann began selling it in his New York delicatessen. Mr. Hellmann's mayonnaise was consistently more reliable and convenient than the complicated homemade variety. With this newfound availability, consumers had the opportunity to use and enjoy mayonnaise more frequently and in more ways than ever before...

So what did this mayonnaise loving girl bake for her birthday this year? Why a Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, naturally. (yes, I am still a girl to my mind's eye:) And, how did it fair at the hands of this non-baker? It faired pretty darn good if you ask me! Look see...

How was my Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake "suppose" to look? Here's the picture from the book and the recipe.

Since the recipe didn't offer a frosting, I decided I would just sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on it to dress it up a bit. The cake was so glossy when it came out of the oven I was kind of hoping it would "sparkle" through the sprinkling. You really can't see it in the picture but it sure does shine. I also whipped up a bit of frosting and spread it around the sides and the middle. Now don't get all excited, I had a stash of pre-mixed frosting in the pantry. So, I didn't make it myself. I just whipped it with the beaters and added a teaspoon at a time of hot water to loosen it up a bit. That stuff is even too sweet for me. The hot water tones it down a bit without compromising what little flavor it thinks it has. I almost used warmed cherry juice but decided against it as I didn't want to ruin it. I bet Kahlua would worked too:) Want to see another version of this cake all prettied up? Check out what Juliana @ Simple Recipes did. Her cake looks gorgeous!

June 23rd

National Pecan Sandy Day

*St. John's Eve Dinner a la Brazil

There also seems to be a debate as to the true day to celebrate National Peaches & Cream Day. This birthday girl will wait patiently for peaches to be in season here in PA to be celebrating. As for you, you could have celebrated on the 21st or the 23rd like Rochelle's Vintage Recipes. That reminds me, I have so many people to personally invite to the picnic yet, I better get a move on. If I haven't made it over to your blog yet with an invitation, please don't feel slighted...I'll try to make it ASAP! If you know of anyone who may want to join us, be sure and invite them. When the first letters are posted, the word will spread. I know it did last year, like wildfire. Now we don't want any fires at our picnic now do we? So, get the word out soon:)

June 24th

National Pralines Day

Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me. Enjoy and "see" you Friday for National Strawberry Parfait Day!!!

1. Mr. Peanut, the Doughboy and other appetizing characters at the Inventors Museum