My fabulous mother-in-law Pati bestowed upon me her copy of The Vermont Symphony Orchestra Cookbook. It was published in 1984 by the Rutland (VT) Area Chapter of the Friends of the VSO to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Orchestra. All of the recipes were submitted by the Friends of the VSO.
It is a charming cookbook. Much like the “Out of Vermont Kitchens” that I shared for ‘O’, it is nice to see a community cookbook, that captured and put into print the favorite recipes of this group of Vermonters.
The cookbook sections are named with musical terms (i.e. Pastorale for Vermont Specialities, Opus for entrées, Finale for Desserts.) Each section also opens with a note from “The Maestro”, who shares brief thoughts on the correlations between good food and good music. The Maestro also shares food-related quotes from and stories about composers:
“Beethoven was a dreadful cook who, however, thought he was good. His friends dreaded an invitation from him.”
The book is a mix of elegant dishes (Company Caviar, Salmon Mousse, Boursin Cheese) and recipes that are more homey, more country (Vermont Cheese Supper, Hot Chipped Beef Dip, Sweet and Sour Cucumbers.)
I laughed when I saw that there were a few holdouts in this cookbook from the Jell-O era, like Ginger Ale Salad made with ginger ale, lemon gelatin and chopped fruit, and Tomato & Cottage Cheese Aspic Salad also made with lemon gelatin.
Those few jiggly recipes aside, most of the food in this cookbook sounds amazing. I am very intrigued with the Raw Blueberry Pie, made with a graham cracker crust and no baking! And the chocolaty, peanut-buttery Oh Henry Bars. (Shout-out here to my nephew Henry!)
The recipe I am sharing is for Frozen Strawberry Squares. I enjoyed this recipe so much that I made a version using cherries and blueberries, the Frozen Cherry Blueberry Cloud Cake.
- This recipe is from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Cookbook. The ingredients and directions below are listed and formatted as they are in the cookbook.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 egg whites
1 16-oz. package frozen strawberries, partially thawed
2/3 cup sugar
2 TBSP. lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Mix flour, brown sugar, nuts and butter together. Spread evenly in shallow pan. Bake in 350° oven for 20 min., stirring occasionally. Sprinkle 2/3 of these crumbs in 9″ x 13″ pan. Cool completely.
Beat at high-speed to form stiff peaks the egg whites, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. This sometimes takes 10 minutes or more. Don’t give up! Fold whipped cream into the stiff peaks. Spoon over crumbs in 9″ x 13″ pan and top with remaining crumbs. Freeze. Can be garnished with fresh strawberries when ready to serve.
Makes 15 servings.
“I find this a winner, but don’t make it on a hot, humid day! It will not form the stiff peaks. ” -Mrs. Richard Rosane, Middlebury