December 18, 2021

Double Heritage Recipe Fail

Today, I thought I was really going to get ahead of the game. To take a short break from blogging up until Christmas, I decided I'd prepare a week's worth of heritage dessert recipes to post--one per day. But I'd make the desserts and write the posts ahead of time and then I could just close my computer for a week.

Yesterday, I looked through the heritage cookbook and picked out some recipes, then bought the ingredients that I didn't have on hand. And this morning, I started by making two desserts. They both needed heavy whipping cream (whipped), so I figured I'd do both of those back-to-back.

Something I don't typically do until AFTER I've prepared the recipe in the heritage books is find out whatever I can about the person who submitted it. I should do it the other way around, because sometimes I can't find out anything about the person, which isn't as fun. (My favorite part about this recipe series is learning about the people behind the recipes.)

Anyway, I made both of the recipes--one of them involved more physical work than I've ever done for a recipe!--and put them in the freezer as stated in the recipe.

After waiting several hours for them to chill, I took out the first one taste it and then write today's blog post about it: Frozen Cranberry Loaf. Sounds interesting, right? I thought so, too! That's why I chose it. That and I love cranberries.

When I tasted it, however, I was completely underwhelmed. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't something I'd encourage other people to try, either.

Frozen Cranberry Loaf: jellied cranberry sauce, lemon juice, sweetened whipped cream and nuts--frozen in a loaf-form. (I watched a Good Eats episode one time about "Ice Box Cake" and I really wanted to try making one. There are several in the heritage cookbook, and I think this would be considered an ice box cake.)

I hoped there was a good story behind the person who submitted it, so that I would have something to write about. Well, I had no luck there! With the last name of "Smith" and the first name being a gender-neutral nickname, well... I had nothing.

I decided to taste the other dessert and hoped it would be more promising. This was the one that would give me carpal tunnel syndrome if I didn't already have it! Haha. It was Apricot Mousse: gelatin, milk, apricot juice, bananas, canned apricots, sweetened whipped cream. (The recipe didn't specify what to freeze/serve it in, so I just went with another loaf pan.)

Unfortunately, the Apricot Mousse just wasn't very good. It was kind of meh, like the Cranberry Loaf. Not bad, but not good. (And it actually tasted much more like bananas than it did apricots.)

The part that nearly killed me was the instruction to "force" the canned apricots through a mesh strainer (it was about as easy as giving birth to a nearly-10-pound baby). I also had to mash and strain the bananas the same way. (If this had turned out to be a tasty dessert, I would have suggested just buying jarred baby food--apricots and bananas--because that's essentially what I produced with the strainer and whatever is left of my forearm.)

Needless to say, the recipe was not something I wanted to write about. I looked at the person who submitted it--and it was the same person as the Frozen Cranberry Loaf!

I was at a loss at that point. Not only did two of the recipes turn out to be totally disappointing, I also didn't have a recipe prepared for today.

I went back to the cookbook and flipped through it to find another. The name of the recipe caught my eye and I'd never heard of the person who submitted it. When I googled her, I found a better story than I could have even dreamed up!

I immediately went to the kitchen to make the recipe. It has to chill for an hour before I can do the next step, so I decided to post this as a little teaser for tomorrow--where I will share the recipe and the exciting person behind it :)

Whether the dessert turns out to taste good or not won't even matter. I just didn't want to rush the post tonight, because I really love the story behind the person and I want to make sure to get the details in there. So, check out tomorrow's post for the heritage recipe!


  1. Bummer about the two Smith recipes -- the cranberry loaf looked really promising. Banana does tend to overwhelm whatever it's with, unfortunately, and apricot is pretty subtle. Hope your wrist and hand feel better soon!

  2. I'm guessing the second recipe was written before food processors were a thing--otherwise it would have suggested using a food processor (and maybe then putting the puree through a strainer). Same result, less effort!

  3. Sorry the recipes didn't turn out to be very tasty, but frankly, the story of you doing them and not enjoying them was just as interesting as any of your other posts. You're a fabulous storyteller. And the fact that those two "meh" recipes came from the same woman reminds me of my mother-in-law who liked everything sweet, "not too sweet" which meant she put in about 1/8th the normal amount of sugar. Her "desserts" were so blah and bland. She was also very weight conscious so I always wondered if it was more about that than flavor. Thanks always for the effort that goes into these posts!


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