I dove into my grandmother’s 9th annual Pillsbury bake off cookbook. Although it was undated, I did the bake off math – it was from 1958. This thing is AHmazing. Some of the recipes are exciting: Hidden Treasure Cake (spoiler alert – the treasure is apricot filing). And some sound foul: Tun-au-Gratin. But one in particular caught my eye: Patio Skillet Bread.
First of all, I’m lazy and this cooking from scratch thing was more intimating for some recipes (yeast rising? Baby steps, okay?) – plus the name – Patio Skillet Bread – sounded so fun. Like I needed a glam patio party ASAP.
The recipe was from Mrs. Dorothy L. Ballard of Denver, Colorado who won third prize in the senior division with it, so it had to be somewhat good right? She was also quoted as saying “This recipe came about because I like to do things the easy way and get them done in a hurry” – girl after my own heart – “My family likes Patio Skillet Bread right out of the skillet of crumbled and used a poultry dressing.”
Side note: The entire cookbook got me thinking – how much time did people in the 50s spend on cooking daily? These recipes were involved. I remember watching a big Pillsbury bake off a few years ago and a few things were different:
- The top prize now is 1 MILLION Dollars (Dr. Evil voice). It was 25K back in the 50s.
- These 50s entries were made from scratch. Like scratch, scratch. The woman I saw win on TV recently made a salad using cut up frozen waffles. Times have changed. Gosh, I wonder why everyone’s so fat now…
- Would anyone use their winnings to “buy a jeep, uranium detecting equipment and go on a prospecting trip” today? Hee hee. That was another winner, but still.
Back to patio skillet bread. I followed the recipe. While I pretty much never use Crisco – it was the only unusual element of putting this together. I served it as a side with a rotisserie chicken because, let’s get real, I just made this bread from scratch.
It was good and I’d recommend it as a dressing or stuffing for this fall. The celery added a lot of flavor and the pimento was more for color. The sage gave it a fall flavor, which does not make me think “patio” – but I was glad to include it because it is not a spice I frequently use.
I also made in a glass baking dish vs. skillet because I don’t have an awesome skillet that I feel confident putting into the oven (cast iron at estate sales, I’m coming for you!).
I’d be up for revisiting this recipe. I’d like to play with a Crisco replacement to feel less artery clogging and am open to ideas/suggestions on other additions to improve it. Maybe give it a try and let me know your thoughts…