Magic Tricks with Peanut Butter

Grandma B’s recipe box
Chatelaine Magazine February 1952

Digging through this massive collection of recipes from Grandma B, I found a clipping from Chatelaine Magazine 1952. What recipes did Peggy Stroud of the Chatelaine Institute come up with for using peanut butter? This was published in the Chatelaine Magazine February 1952 issue. She comments: “You can work magic in a wide assortment of recipes. And remember – there’s top-notch food value and economy packed in every jar.

Historic Canadian Recipes from Chatelaine Magazine February 1952

I think the Winter Salad ingredients sound delicious but that banana “sandwich” definitely needs to be cut into presentable pieces before placing on the crisp lettuce! Only one big “magic trick” for me. Peanut Butter Cutlets. That would take magic!

I am a big fan of natural, no-sugar added peanut butter and have used it as well in baking, of course, and as a dip for granny smith apples, too. As a kid, mom would put it on celery sticks, and make peanut butter & banana sandwiches for school lunch. However, slathered on rye bread, dipped in an egg & paprika mixture, rolled in cracker crumbs and sautéd in hot fat, to be served with corn syrup…it sounds rather weird – and I do want to try it out, with the exception of corn syrup. I’ll change that out for good Canadian maple syrup.

The recipe calls for “top milk”. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, that is the upper layer of milk enriched by whatever cream has risen. That’s going to be a hard one to find here in Canada as all our milk is homogenized but perhaps a suitable replacement would be 3.25% organic milk with a bit of 36% heavy cream (Avalon organic whipping cream) added.

I’m back…I just made this…sort of! Back in the 50’s homemakers used what they had in their cupboards and had to be creative with their recipes. I think in many cases the recipe just gave the starting point. This is the approach I took. I used sprouted bread for the rye. I used a lot of peanut butter on each side. Instead of cracker crumbs I had hazelnut meal/flour. It sautéd it in butter and served with a small amount of maple syrup. This was delicious! Actually it is very similar to french toast, with a peanut butter filling and extra nutrients from hazelnut flour. Overall, a lot better than I expected. Being that I am trying to stay on Keto, I have pretty much destroyed today’s efforts with a small portion this dish but it was surprisingly tasty nonetheless.

The Recipe Box

I have the joy of having received hundreds of recipes from both my grandmothers and my own mother from eras spanning from the early 1950’s all the way through to the 1980’s. They are written on scraps of paper, portions of used envelopes, receipts, recipe cards and sometimes put into a little 3-ringed binder. They are treasures to me – along with newspaper clipped recipes from the Toronto Star Women’s Section and from Chatelaine Magazine.

Photo by Kindel Media on

In each blog I will be sharing one unique historic Canadian recipe from one of the recipe boxes, along with the story behind it – and am going to make the recipe – and let you know how it goes!

I would love to connect with those interested in family Canadian history, lifestyles of homemakers in the 1950’s and 1960’s, historic Canadian recipes, some really good comfort food recipes, and those interested in sharing insightful stories of real Canadian homemakers working in their kitchens in the 50’s and 60’s.

I hope that during this next year we will have engaged together such that memories and family recipes are brought out and shared so that precious times of the past can be remembered, celebrations and holiday memories renewed and appreciation for what our heritage has given us.

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