Vintage Food

December 7, 2010

“I wanted my daughter to know her past, to eat what I had eaten in my
childhood. . .”
     — Laura Esquivel, Between Two Fires

My 1972 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Cranberries

I think of Pineapple Upside Down Cake as “vintage” food, something I ate in my childhood.  My mom seemed drawn to recipes with canned pineapple in them.  Dole and Del Monte have been canning pineapple since the early 1900s, so this must have been one exotic fruit that my mother ate as a child.  Perhaps it was considered a rare treat back then. 

When I was growing up, my mom had many different recipes for jello-based salads that included crushed pineapple, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Cool Whip. My mom would pour the drained pineapple juice into juice glasses for us kids — it was evenly shared, so we each got just a swallow or two. I never make these salads in my household, but I do occasionally like to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

I use an old standby recipe from my 1972 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  However, for this most recent baking, I substituted fresh cranberries for the cherries.  It was a festive holiday dessert.  And delicious, too!

Preparing the patterned bottom of my Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Cooling on the kitchen counter