EMOH@HOME – Food & Drink

Pumpkin Pie

by Chase Dermott, Education & Public Programs Manager

When I first considered a Thanksgiving blog post, I dreamed of an entire feast gleaned from historical cookbooks. Then I came to my senses. It took a little soul searching to realize I don’t have an entire meal in me (unless I’m ordering it from a menu), so instead of torturing myself, I set out to find the most perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

I found this pumpkin pie recipe in Any one can Bake, a Royal Baking Powder Company cookbook published in 1927, on loan to us from Museum volunteer Sherry Steele. My kids giggled at the title because “not everyone can bake, MOM.” I think they meant me.

Let’s do this.

Let me begin by addressing the most distressing part of the filling: stewed pumpkin. While roasting pumpkins doesn’t make me nervous, I’m definitely a little wary of the results and how they will translate to pumpkin pie filling. I did a little light reading and found that people are split over whether to use fresh pumpkin or canned. Some say the flavor of the fresh is better, but the texture of the canned is worth the sacrifice. A little research reveals that Libby didn’t come out with canned pumpkin until in 1929 so it looks like my method has been chosen for me.  

I have had very little success with pie, so my first thought was that I could probably get away with pre-made pie crust, since the challenge of this recipe lies in making the filling from scratch. Then I saw this on the same page as the pie recipe…

I no longer make the rules.

I can’t even pretend I didn’t see it. Looks like this entire pie will be a labor of love. And lard.

The first step was finding pie pumpkins. As lovely as it would have been to reuse the wonderful haunted walking tour pumpkins donated by Sno-Isle Food Co-op, they weren’t the right type. I found pie pumpkins at a grocery store near me and bought three just in case, knowing I’d probably have extra.

Oh my gourd.

Pastry flour was next on my list but the grocery store didn’t have any. Instead, I opted for bread flour as noted in the pie crust recipe, with the intention of replacing two tablespoons of flour with one tablespoon of cornstarch,

Back in the kitchen, our first step in preparation is to make my kids roll their eyes ALLLLLLLL the way back in their heads by playing my favorite Christmas carol of all time, AGAIN.

I began the pumpkin roasting operation by searching for a roasted pumpkin recipe to get the correct temperature and bake time. To prep them, I split them in half, cleaned out the seeds, gave the fleshy part a light coating of oil, put them split side down on parchment paper, poked them with a knife like they owe me money, and put them in the oven to roast.

It’s like Martha Stewart was here.

With the pumpkin portion well in hand, I started working on the pie crust. I’ve made one (I repeat, one) successful from-scratch pie crust in my life so I’m thinking my chances are pretty bad. I’ve never used lard before so instead of resorting to the shortening I had on hand, I actually purchased some out of sheer curiosity. I mixed and rolled out the dough, putting dots of lard on it before folding it as the recipe instructed.

Dotted lard. There’s something I never thought I’d say.

To be honest, I was a little suspicious of the “dotted lard” thing they told me to do, but I tried to trust the process. Like… I’m not supposed to mix in? It’s just gonna be in the middle when I roll it? Maybe it will harden when it chills, I thought.

Mixing the pie filling was simple. The roasted pumpkin broke down nicely and the filling smelled amazing. The dough was chilling and life was good. In hindsight, I think I got a little cocky bragging on the phone to my husband because the universe decided enough was enough. It was time to roll out the pie crust.

Rolling out a pouch of dough that was essentially filled with lard resulted in what can only be described as “person stepping on a cream-filled donut.” Lard shot out and coated the countertop, covered the rolling pin, and caused the dough to separate and stick to everything it touched. I desperately tried to salvage it as it was, but it wouldn’t come off the counter and it was all piece-y and sticky.

Why tho

I scraped it all off the counter and went to work kneading it into a consistent dough ball, with the help of some more flour. I cleaned everything off, re-coated the surface with a dusting of flour, and successfully rolled the dough out. Wrapping it carefully around the rolling pin, I was able to transfer it easily into the pie pan.



I popped the crust in the oven for 5 minutes to prepare it for the filling and turned around the survey the damage. Lard and flour coated every surface of the kitchen, there were lard-covered measuring spoons and cups everywhere, and there were pumpkin seeds on my laptop and the floor. I took a deep breath and thought “It’s okay. The crust is in, what else could go wrong?”




Evidently, my oven does not appreciate 500 degrees AT ALL. Smoked filled the kitchen as the alarm threatened to tell all my neighbors what a terrible cook I am. I managed to get the crust out and quiet the alarm thanks to my mom’s tried and true panicky kitchen towel fanning method. After clearing the smoke, I filled the pie crust with the beautiful filling (which was the only good thing I had left) and put it in the oven at 475 degrees for 15 minutes while I tried to mop up the disaster that was my kitchen.

When timer went off telling me it was time to reduce the temperature, I took the opportunity to check the pie. I noticed that the crust was getting too dark too quickly, so I popped the pie out to put a foil ring around the edge to keep it from browning any further.




At this point, both of my children are screaming because they can’t hear Netflix and Perry Como is taunting me with a guy from Tennessee going to Pennsylvania for some homemade pumpkin pie (NOT NOW, PERRY). I get the pie back in the oven with its haphazardly constructed foil ring thinking I’ll just be lucky if this works at all.

45 minutes pass and then the moment of truth. Did it burn to a crisp? Is my oven going to burst into flames the second I open the door? Was it a good idea to leave my parents house and do adult things?

Look at my fancy leaves, y’all!

It’s not the most beautiful pie I’ve ever seen, but the fact that it didn’t bubble over or catch on fire thrills me to my very core.

But is it done in the middle? Does it even taste good? After a quick trip to the store to get whipped cream, we dug in.

We added more whipped cream after this picture, obvi.

Okay, this is the best damned pumpkin pie I’ve ever had in my life. I’ll admit the crust is standard and nothing to write home about, but the filling is a creamy, flavorful delight. The younglings devoured it and requested pie for breakfast the next morning. 10/10 would eat it straight out of the pie pan with a fork.

What I’d keep: The filling was legit. I’d keep everything about it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

What I’d change: The crust outcome was not worth the trouble, so I’d use a different recipe next time.

Cost: Pie pumpkins were 3 for $5.00 at Fred Meyer, the lard was $1.00, and everything else was a pantry staple. Not bad!

If this pie graces your table this Thanksgiving, be sure to post all about it and tag us on social media with #emohathome. We’d love to see it! And don’t forget to share this gem with your friends so more people can watch us embarrass ourselves for the sake of history.

emoh@home – Food & Drink

Peanut Butter Cookies

by Melissa Slager, Guest Contributor

Peanut butter cookies are made of peanut butter. But what are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything…

“Hee, hee,” giggled Little Sister. “I burped on it.”


OK, so the old rhyme may not fit anymore. But since it’s in the dedication of “Fun with Cooking: Easy Recipes for Beginners” by Mae Blacker Freeman, it’s where we’ll start today for this episode of emoh@home.

My older daughter wanted to volunteer with the Everett Museum of History. Our first assignment? Recreate the recipe for “Peanut Butter Cookies” from this 1947 cookbook.  Museum volunteer Sherry Steele graciously loaned the cookbook to the Museum, noting the cookie recipe was one of her favorites.

A classic.

*sigh* Well. It’s a tough assignment. But we can do it – you know, in the name of history.

My history-buff daughter, who took the lead, was excited for the assignment.

“It is very historical,” she noted, eying the recipe pages. “I think it was done in the early 1900s … judging by the black and white pictures, and the pages are a bit yellowed, and the girl on the front cover.” (And, yes, she considers 1947 to be part of the early 1900s.)

True to the era, this cookbook has a particular audience in mind.

As the introduction puts it: A girl who makes the things in this book, following carefully all instructions, gains enough experience to go on to more complicated dishes.

But the recipes are good for all young cooks. So we donned aprons (part of the instructions, you know) and got started.

We first assembled our ingredients. We decided to recreate some of the cookbook’s how-to photos, which feature a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl.

There was a lot of product placement back then. All familiar names: Morton’s salt, Calumet baking powder, Arm & Hammer baking soda. We did some product placement of our own, sharing the cookbook’s taste in salt at least. Otherwise, we’re more the type to grab whatever’s in the WinCo bulk bins (seriously, so much cheaper).


It used to be Kroger brand baking powder. Now… who knows.

But we were more deliberate with the peanut butter. It’s the key ingredient, after all. In the spirit of things, we sought peanut butter that looked old — not past its best-by date, mind you, but, like, vintage old… Eyeing the options in Winco, we settled on Adams peanut butter. We later discovered that Adams Peanut Butter Company was started in 1916 by Rex F. Adams, a Tacoma football coach. Well, hi-de-ho, that’s killer-diller!

After measuring out the peanut butter, the girls decided to lick the spoon. Obviously.

Not being nut-butter girls, typically, I was surprised by the smiles.

“It tastes like ballgame peanut butter peanut shells,” Big Sister said.

Is that a good thing?

“Uh-huh. They taste really good.”

So good, in fact, she decides to go with the handwritten note in the cookbook and add more peanut butter.

The recipe’s directions are well-written. For the most part, the girls don’t have a problem following them on their own.


It was a close call.

Until it got to the part about sifting the dry ingredients onto a piece of wax paper.

“What does ‘sift’ mean?”

I know enough about baking to know the recipe envisioned using an actual sifter, a metal contraption common to the 1940s kitchen. We do not own one. (Is a sifter still a part of the modern kitchen?) But in a similar situation some years ago, I read that using a fork accomplishes roughly the same goal. So we did that. Since the wax paper was already out, they mixed everything directly on the paper. In hindsight, that was fairly silly. But oh well. Little Sister carefully folded the paper and poured in the dry ingredients while Big Sister whirled the wooden spoon.

The directions note at this step: You will have to use your muscles as this is a fairly hard mixture.

No kidding.

“It makes me pant,” Big Sister said. “Baking is now a new sport!”

“Can I do it? I’m strong!” Little Sister chimed in.

No chance.

Turns out it wasn’t even as stiff as it was supposed to be. (Remember that added peanut butter?) Big Sister’s first attempt to roll a spoonful of batter more closely resembled a Frisbee than a beach ball.


Totally like the cookbook photo. OK, maybe not.

No problem. The handy handwritten note at the bottom of the page just says to add more flour.

Scoop, scoop. Scoop again. “That looks about right,” she said.

(There’s no measuring happening here.)

She didn’t really follow the whole “peaks” forming part. But close enough. The dough rolled right up.

Take two… Success! (Or close enough anyway.)

After a while, the girls seemed to get bored rolling dough balls, even though the recipe *only makes 24 cookies*… So we end up with a range of cookie balls, from golf ball size to softball size. Hmm…

I think they were eager to get to the fork part: Make a criss-cross pattern by pressing with a fork. Indeed, they spent a lot of time on this part. Some cookies were fork-tonged flat against the cookie sheet, in fact. Hmm…


It’s like criss-cross and you don’t stop. No, really, you can stop now.

Final step: Bake for 12 minutes in a medium oven, 375 degrees.

Oh, right… Apparently, we are the reason modern recipe writers now put “Preheat oven to…” for Step 1. The wait for cookies would be a bit longer as we waited for the slowpoke oven to warm up. I looked around at piles of dirty baking implements. “What can we do while we wait…?” *hint, hint*

“Umm… Lick batter?” Big Sister guessed.


“Who wants to lick the spoon?” she asked.

I literally started jumping up and down. (I am not ashamed.) “Oo! Me! Me! I helped! I helped! Well, sort of…”

Big Sister handed the spoon to Little Sister. “She helped more.”

It’s true.

After helping our baker-in-chief with the hot scary oven, we waited for the last “ding” of the timer…

Nailed it. No, seriously, it’s hard as nails…

The mismatched size of cookies made for some uneven baking. The thin ones burnt to a crisp. As final proof, one fell off the spatula on its way to the cooling rack and shattered like china.

“Everyone say goodbye to the cookie,” said Little Sister as she held the dustpan over the garbage can.

“Goodbye, cookie.”

Two seconds later…

“Mom, she hit me with the broom.”

Sugar and spice, people. It’s all sugar and spice here.

Aw, look. They’re kissing!

On the other end of the cookie spectrum was a gigantic cookie that very nearly baked its way off the cookie sheet.

“You might need the pancake flipper for that one,” Little Sister noted.

“This one is mine,” Big Sister said, a greedy look in her eye.

“We should share it,” Little Sister scolded.

“It is mine,” Big Sister said, ignoring her completely. “All mine!” *evil laughter*

What about the burnt ones?

Big Sister averted her eyes and threw up her palm in disgust. “It’s a disgrace to human-baking-kind.”

But we probably should keep them, I noted. Daddy, the Human Garbage Disposal, will probably eat them. (Postscript: He did.)

All in all, our attempt was less perfect than the cookbook envisioned. Vanilla down! Hair stuck on the butter. Drippy egg white.

“Eww! Eww! Egg yolk is my weakness,” whined Little Sister.

But we called it a success. The proof was in that peanut buttery taste.

As the girls said, with mouths full: “Can we make them again some time?”

Please, go right ahead.

(A mom could get used to this…)

The final take from Big Sister: “Pretty good.” Her one change would be to add less flour when she added more. The cookies were a bit dry, and that might be why. She said this is a good recipe for kids — “and adults.” She gave it 4-1/2 stars out of 5.

The final take from Little Sister: “Some got burnt, but it worked out good. I enjoyed it, even though she never let me get a chance to stir. It’s a fun recipe.”

The final take from Mom: This is pretty close to two other recipes for peanut butter cookies I have in cookbooks on my shelf (but have never made). Both of those recipes don’t bother with baking powder. One changes the ratio of butter (less) to peanut butter (more), which may be worth trying with this recipe.

What they’d keep:

  • MORE PEANUT BUTTER! The cookbook owner was spot on with those handwritten thoughts.

What they’d change:

  • Find a way to make the cookies all the same size, like with an ice cream scoop. This will prevent fights about who gets what cookie.
  • Be careful not to burn your fingers when you put them in the oven. You might want to ask a grown-up for help.

Things Googled during this episode: Adams peanut butter, 1940s slang, peanut butter ingredients

Cost: A 16-ounce jar of Adams peanut butter will run you about $3.50 to $5.50.

For now, the jury’s still out on which method is better: adding more flour or swapping some butters. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Ooo… Or maybe I put the girls on that one, too… You know. In the name of science.


Thank you to Melissa Slager and family for this amazing guest post!

If you decide to try this recipe be sure to post all about it and tag us on social media with #emohathome. We’d love to see it! And don’t forget to share this gem with your friends so more people can watch us embarrass ourselves for the sake of history.

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emoh@home – Food & Drink

Green Olive and Bacon Sandwich

by Chase Dermott, Education & Public Programs Manager

This looks… interesting.

Browsing “Pull Together” for our first ever EMOH@HOME post gave us more than just stuffed tomatoes. 

I’ll be honest, when I saw the title of the recipe I thought it sounded salty and delicious. If you know me at all, you know I salt my salt. Additionally, sandwiches are my second favorite food group (you’ll likely experience my love for potatoes in the future, I’ll just warn you now). Seeing both bacon and green olives in one recipe was intriguing; this sounded like something that pretty much only I would like. That is, until I looked a little closer. Mayonnaise.

Oy vey.

“Green Olive and Bacon Sandwich

1/2 c. stoned green olives, chopped
1/2 c. chopped fried bacon
1/4 c. mayonnaise

Mix the chopped olives, bacon and mayonnaise; add salt to taste. Butter bread slightly, using either brown or white bread, and spread with the olive mixture.”

To be fair, I don’t hate mayonnaise. I really do like it smeared lightly on bread, creating a tangy moisture barrier and adding a little zest to my sandwiches. However, what I couldn’t fathom is eating 1/4 cup of it in one sitting, let alone in one sandwich. But I knew there would be a time when I’d have to make something that, upon closer inspection, didn’t appeal to me. It’s safe to say we have arrived.

Knowing this recipe was coming, I saved 1/2 cup of chopped bacon from breakfast a few days ago. I already had mayo and sourdough bread in my kitchen, so I picked up some sliced manzanilla olives from the store and I was ready to go.

Look at that mayo. So innocent. Or so it would seem.

My first step was to pick every piece of stupid pimiento out of the sliced olives. This was time consuming but I wasn’t about to let even one of those slide. Gross. After ridding the olives of every shred of red, I gave them a course chop. 

Not a pimiento in sight.

The rest of this process was simple. Add all three ingredients, mix together, pile on bread. Now, this is the point where I really started to question my decision. Am I really about to put 1/4 cup of mayo in this? Is it going to distribute itself nicely between the olives and the bacon so I don’t actually have to *feel* it? Grooooossss. I can’t even think about it.

Deep breath. 


Cheese and rice, you guys, look at it. LOOK AT IT.

At this point I think maybe I could just skim a big glob of it off the top and avoid this whole fiasco. “No,” I tell myself. “You can’t change the recipe to suit your taste until after you’ve tried the original.”  


Duuuuuude. How do you undo this though? Like, how do I get this mayo out? This is it, people. I’ve made my bed and now I have to eat it for lunch.

*quietly sobs*

To dress this nightmare up, I paired the green olive bacon monstrosity with Doritos because I don’t care about historical accuracy anymore. I just need to get through this.

Doritos, not invented until 1968.

Oh, dear Lorde here we go.

The first bite revealed the crunchiness and I distracted myself by trying to remember if I’ve ever had a crunchy sandwich before (the answer is no). I could taste the olives, as well, but the mayo was instantly overwhelming. The only way to get through this was  with Doritos chasers between each bite.

The second bite was worse than the first. So much mayo, squishing around and obscuring all (okay, both) other flavors. Once again I managed to choke it down and  slam Doritos like it was my job.

Bite three did me in. I was on the brink of an actual gag when I decided that this was not worth it. It was at this point that I cut my losses, got in the car, and went to Taco Bell.

What I’d keep: If you really love olives and bacon, you could probably chop them a little finer and mix them with something else entirely, like cream cheese or something. But seriously, I won’t be trying any other version of this. I’m traumatized.

What I’d change: Lose the mayo. For real. I guess if you love mayo with your whole heart you can go right ahead, but 12/10 would not recommend. 

Cost: If you can snag 1/2 c. of bacon from another morning’s breakfast, you can make this for pretty cheap. Also, don’t forget to factor in the lunch you’ll have to buy after you throw this in the trash where it belongs.

If you decide to try this recipe (I highly recommend you don’t), be sure to post all about it and tag us on social media with #emohathome. We’d love to see it! And don’t forget to share this gem with your friends so more people can watch us embarrass ourselves for the sake of history.

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emoh@home – Food & Drink

Minted Grapefruit-Juice Cocktail

by Chase Dermott, Education & Public Programs Manager

If you’re anything like me, this summer heat has you asking yourself how hungry you really are. Is it worth firing up the oven? Could we just eat sandwiches?

The idea of spending a couple hours in the kitchen during the summer is daunting. So, for this episode I set out to find something refreshing–and wouldn’t you know it, I found a whole cookbook about summer food!

Good Housekeeping’s Summertime Cook Book, ca. 1958

Tucked in there among the deviled eggs and potato salads was a whole section of fruity, summery drinks. Since the whole idea of this blog is to try new things, I decided to give the Minted Grapefruit-Juice Cocktail a try because I’ve never tried grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

Minted Grapefruit-Juice Cocktail

Minted Grapefruit-Juice Cocktail

1 1/2 cups of canned, fresh, or frozen grapefruit juice
3/4 cup fresh, canned, or frozen orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons bottled or fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup chilled ginger ale or sparkling water
1 1/2 teasp. snipped fresh mint

Combine grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, and confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate. Just before serving, add ginger ale. Pour over 1/4 teasp. chopped mint arranged in each cocktail glass. Makes 6 servings”

The first thing I noticed was all the choices I was given for how to acquire the fruit juice. I figured buying canned or frozen juice would be the easiest, so naturally I decided to squeeze the juice myself because I’m a glutton for punishment. 

It’s like abstract art.

I’ve juiced lemons before (because whiskey sours) but I’ve never had to extract this much juice from fruit, so I made sure to get extras just in case. I got out my tiny, pathetic little juicer and got to work. 

We might have a problem…

The grapefruits were bigger than my juicer. It took a lot of careful squeezing and squishing to make sure I didn’t have grapefruit juice running down the sides of this thing. Everything was sticky. Everything.

The oranges and the lime were exponentially easier to juice. It only took two oranges to get the required juice (good thing I bought six, eh?) and I finally had all the juice mixed.

In a mason jar because I’m so hipster.

Now here’s the part that weirds me out. Every sweet beverage I’ve ever mixed called for granulated sugar or a drink sweetener of some sort. They dissolve, they sweeten, they do the things. However, this recipe calls for confectioners sugar which I associate solely with baking. I had visions of the powdery stuff clumping and ruining my freshly squeezed juice. I decided that I would put the lid on the jar and shake it vigorously to avoid this.

It worked! There was no clumping and the confectioners sugar dissolved nicely in the juice. My husband and I tried a spoonful to make sure this wasn’t some sour abomination before sticking it in the fridge. 

We let our juice get super chilled for several hours while we went to an Everett Aquasox game (because they promised us Robinson Cano would be rehabbing and HE WASN’T).

Arriving home in the evening, it was time to mix our drinks! I put our fresh mint and ice in our glasses, added the juice and Diet Ginger Ale (because calories) and voila!

It’s like we’re on a beach, except we’re not.

Everyone loved it! And no fruity cocktail is complete without umbrellas, amirite?

Now, full disclosure: it was my intention all along to add my own special ingredient to my beverage after the recipe was complete. 

Let’s make these interesting…

Heritage Distilling Co’s Blood Orange vodka made a perfect addition to this cocktail. The whole thing was delicious and the effort of squeezing fresh juice was well worth it. I try to stay away from drinks that are super sweet, but the confectioner’s sugar did a great job of offsetting the tart fruit juice. It was just right.



What I’d keep: Everything. I didn’t embarrass myself at all this time so I would change NOTHING.

What I’d change: Make it a double?

Cost: Depending on produce prices, it’s fairly inexpensive! The oranges were $1.59/lb, the grapefruits were $1.29/lb, and the lime was $0.50.

If you decide to try this recipe, be sure to post all about it and tag us on social media with #emohathome. We’d love to see it! And don’t forget to share this gem with your friends so more people can watch us embarrass ourselves for the sake of history.

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emoh@home – Food & Drink

Buckeye Caramel Cake

by Chase Dermott, Education & Public Programs Manager

After the savory baked tomatoes we started with, our series was begging for a dessert! I returned to my muse, Pull Together: A Gift from the Merchants of Everett to the Newlyweds to find something sweet for Sunday. I found the advertisement for Buckeye products I admired last week and giggled because the girl in the ad looks like she’s up to something. This appeals to me.

This might be bourbon.

I chose a recipe from the Buckeye section and read through it to make sure I knew what I was in for. Let’s ignore the devious intro line and the all-caps directions (which I read in a yelling voice) and look at our task at hand:

“Try this on your family…”

“Buckeye Caramel Cake

Try this on your family: Cream ½ cup butter with 1½ cups sugar; add yolks of two eggs and one cup of cold water, two cups of flour, two teaspoonfuls BUCKEYE BAKING POWDER, and beat three minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of BUCKEYE CARAMEL FLAVOR and 1 teaspoon of BUCKEYE VANILLA, and the well beaten whites of the two eggs.

Bake in two or three layers. Use boiled icing, flavored with caramel flavor and vanilla.”

I thought it might be fun to explore (and possibly locate) the exact brand of products the recipe called for, so I set out to learn about the Buckeye Extract Company, owned by J.B. Stentz out of Olympia, WA.

According to the Historic Property Inventory Report for the Stentz House, the Ohio native “started the manufacture of flavoring extracts, toilet supplies and medicinal preparations in Olympia. He also dealt in spices, baking powder, teas, coffees, mustard, vinegar, ammonia bluing and soda under the Buckeye Extract Label. His plant was located first at Capitol Way north of the fire station… During World War II alcohol and spices were difficult to obtain which ended the business.”

I guess it’s safe to say I will not be able to use Buckeye brand products.

Grocery shopping proved to be quite an adventure. If, like me, you thought caramel was a pretty standard flavor in the baking section, you would be wrong. I went to six stores before I found it in stock, and four of those stores don’t carry it at all. Guys, they carry anise and Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, but not caramel. I know, I was outraged, too.

Like our last recipe, there are no baking times or temperatures included in this recipe. Evidently, people in the 1920s instinctively knew what they were doing. I did some searching for similar recipes which made me realize how heavily I rely on the internet to provide supplementary instructions. I did so many Googles. How did people successfully make this stuff 100 years ago?

*Deep breath*

Let’s do this.

I decided on baking directions from this recipe and preheated the oven to 350 degrees. I figured we’d check the layers at 20 minutes and adjust from there. 

While the oven was preheating, I prepped the ingredients. I cheated right off the bat, softening the butter in a microwave which our 1920s friends didn’t have. My bad, y’all. However, since electric mixers were invented in 1908, I got to use mine guilt-free (see how well I Google?). 

After the butter I move on to the rest of the ingredients. I’ve never beaten egg whites before and let me tell you that was a wild ride. They got all fluffy and poofy, you guys!


Mixing the batter was easy. Initially I thought 3 minutes was way too long to beat the batter, but after the egg whites and flavorings were added, the batter consistency was perfect. *kisses fingers like an Italian chef*


My pans are both square but have different degrees of roundness on the corners, so layering this cake will be, uh, interesting.  I did see a seashell shaped baking mold at Goodwill and BELIEVE ME I was tempted to make this the most extra caramel cake you’ve ever seen. Maybe next time.

Oh boy.

I checked the layers after 20 minutes of baking and it was pretty clear that they were not ready . I added 10 minutes to the timer and hoped baking both layers at the same time was not a mistake (it probably was).

30 minutes did the trick. I let them cool enough to handle and attempted to flip them onto a wire rack. Despite the fact that I coated the pans with nonstick spray before pouring in the batter, the cake layers really put up a fight.




After a little damage control, I’m ready for icing. Now, I’m a canned buttercream frosting kind of girl, so making icing from scratch already has me worried. I looked through my cookbooks at home before doing a quick internet search. There were lots of recipes available, but the deciding factor was the caption for this one from our new friend, Carol (who doesn’t know she’s our new friend):

“This recipe is quite old, and belonged to my mother.”

I imagine Carol’s mom would not like the “old” comment, but hopefully we can make her proud.

I started the icing process feeling hopeful, beating the egg whites while my lovely little pot of sugar boiled pleasantly on the stove. Little did I know, it held such potential for destruction.

You saucy wench.

What one minute was clear, glassy bubbles of sweetness instantly turned into a brown, burnt tar of sadness that enveloped my delightfully fluffy eggs and turned them into a thick, sticky lava, instantly adhering to everything it touched. Spoons were covered with a permanent, crystalline glaze. Hard droplets of devastation rained down upon my unsuspecting countertops like a sugary Blitzkrieg. A baby cries. Sirens sound in the distance. Tell my family I love them.

I have few photos of these moments as I was desperately trying to salvage what I could but it was no use. The tar of death coated everything. Carol’s mom judges me.

Whomp, whomp, whooooomp.

It’s a good thing we live in a world where a perfect frosting exists already and is readily available.

Don’t judge me.

With a workable frosting in hand, I was able to finish the cake. I trimmed the bottom layer so the shapes would match and slapped on some delicious canned buttercream and caramel drizzle.

It’s like I’m an artist.

Perfecto! The cake itself was moist with great flavor and we didn’t miss the caramel frosting (which tasted as bad as it behaved). My whole family agreed the cake recipe is a keeper.

What I’d keep: The 350 degree oven and 30 minute bake time were perfect and making a cake from scratch was highly satisfying. Angels were singing, birds were chirping. My children followed the wafting smell of baked goodness into the daylight, blinking in disbelief.

What I’d change: I would not use Carol’s mom’s recipe. Sorry, Carol. Save yourself the trouble and make a simpler icing recipe, or buy some you already know you like (buttercream gives me life).

Things I Googled during this episode:

“How to cream butter”
“When were microwaves invented?”
“How to remove mascara from apron”
“Waterproof mascara”

Cost: It’s hard to say since many of these ingredients are pantry staples. The caramel flavoring was $3 and the buttercream was less than $2. The icing will cost you your soul.

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emoh@home – Food & Drink

Baked Tomatoes and Green Olives

by Chase Dermott, Education & Public Programs Manager

If you take a walk through the archives of the Everett Museum of History, you’ll find thousands of artifacts that grab your attention and teach you something about Everett’s dynamic history. From photographs to furniture, you can find an artifact to represent every aspect of life in Everett. Possibly the most entertaining part of this process is finding relatable, everyday items; the most mundane things are often the most fascinating. And what could be more fun than taking these tidbits of advice and trying them in a modern-day setting?

In our new blog series, emoh@home, we’ll be trying out recipes, household tricks, beauty tips and more for the amusement of the masses. You won’t want to miss the ridiculousness solid historical research we’re about to dive into.

With that being said, we’re starting this series off with one of our favorite things: food. In this episode, I try a recipe that had my mouth watering when I read the title: Baked Tomatoes and Green Olives from Pull Together: A Gift from the Merchants of Everett to the Newlyweds. This cookbook is the muse that inspired emoh@home, so it’s fitting that our first experience comes from its pages. We know very little about where the book came from, but we’re excited about how much information it gives us about Everett in the 1920s!

Pull Together: A Gift from the Merchants of Everett to the Newlyweds, ca. 1920

Check out the cool advertisement for The Everett Trunk Co!

The recipe… we’ll pass on the sardine thing below it.

“Baked Tomatoes and Green Olives

6 ripe tomatoes
½ c. stoned green olives
½ c. bread crumbs
¼ t. pepper
1 tb. grated onion
2 tb. butter
½ t. salt

Cut a slice from the stem ends of tomatoes; remove the seeds. Mix all the ingredients, fill into the tomatoes, heaping it up in the center. Dot the top with butter and stand them in a baking pan with ½ c. water and bake in hot oven 35 to 40 minutes, basting once at (sic) twice. This makes a good luncheon or supper dish.”

I had to plan this dish for a night when I already had something else on the menu for my kids because let’s be honest… tomatoes. Also, I couldn’t imagine having to answer the question “what’s that green stuff?” one more time this week.

I headed to Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op on Grand Ave. to pick up supplies and spent a moment appreciating the wonderful organic tomatoes.

Tomatoes, amirite?

I had to be particular about tomato shape because I knew these guys would need to sit up straight, so I chose the six most beautiful tomatoes I could find. They were so ripe, I was afraid they’d burst in my hands. After failing to locate butter made locally, I settled for butter in a fancy box. I did a quick search on what exactly they meant by “stoned green olives” (FYI, they just mean pitted) and gathered the rest of my missing ingredients.

Obligatory ingredients shot.

I already had bread crumbs at home and debated between traditional and panko. In the end, I decided on traditional because I thought the lovely crispiness of panko bread crumbs would be wasted inside a juicy tomato. It was a good call.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Assembling the tomatoes was easy. Instead of including the olives whole, I tore them a little as though I’d pitted them myself (you know, just in case) and to make sure there was plenty of surface area for the bread crumbs to stick to. Also, in case you’re ever instructed to grate onion, I’m telling you right now you might as well just mince it with a knife. Grating it reduced the onion to a watery paste.

I filled the tomato cups and lamented the fact that that they were only ¾ full and I didn’t get to heap anything. It’s the little things, guys. However, I did get an immense amount of pleasure putting a pat of butter on each one because butter.



I did a little research to determine an appropriate temperature for the tomatoes to bake because “hot oven” doesn’t tell me much. Deciding on 350 degrees, I put the tomatoes in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. Now at this point I have half a can of green olives taunting me from the other side of the kitchen and I’m not one to ignore such things. Predictably, I grab a handful of the salty morsels, pop them in my mouth, and quickly realize they taste exactly like black olives. Imposters! I realize that I’m not going to get the salty, savory stuffed tomatoes I’ve been looking forward to for weeks, but I’m nothing if not hungry so down the hatch they go.


The final product was surprisingly good! The bread crumbs did get a little soggy inside the tomatoes (called it), emphasizing the importance of really cleaning the seeds out of the tomato shells, but mixed with butter they gave the whole thing a wonderful flavor. To make up for the lack of cardiac episode-inducing sodium levels I was craving, I added salt. The tomatoes themselves were perfect and the olives had great texture and flavor. Overall it was a success, although neither of my children would even give me a no-thank-you bite. One of them hid from me. Baby steps.

What I’d keep: I’d definitely spring for good tomatoes again and the bake time and temperature were right on the mark.

What I’d change: I’d replace the canned imposters with jarred green olives, double the olive and onion quantities, and include only enough bread crumbs to coat the rest of the ingredients, leaving any loose bread crumbs behind.

Cost: About $20 if you have bread crumbs, salt, and pepper at home and you splurge on organic tomatoes!

If you decide to try this recipe, be sure to post all about it and tag us on social media. We’d love to see it! And don’t forget to share this gem with your friends so more people can watch us embarrass ourselves for the sake of history.


Come see us tomorrow!

Come join the EMOH team down at Everett Station tomorrow for an amazing city-wide birthday party and participate in our scavenger hunt! Drop by on your way in and pick up a form and head out to find the answers! Complete it and be entered to win this EMOH bag full of Everett-themed goodies, pictured in front of our new home at 2939 Colby Avenue! Stay tuned for updates!

Look at all this great stuff!

Thank you to our sponsors Live in Everett, Escape Scene, Brooklyn Bros. Pizzeria, Sno-Isle Food Co-op, and Elizabeth Person Art & Design for making this possible!

See you tomorrow!

David Dilgard, Historian & Everett History Advocate Passes

We are so sad to hear of the passing of David Dilgard, Everett historian, advocate, and founder of Everett Public Library’s Northwest Room with Margaret Riddle. He will be much missed.


Happy 125th Birthday, Everett!

We’re only three weeks away from joining the city to celebrate Everett’s 125th Birthday!

The Everett Museum of History will be at Everett Station on June 2nd from 10am-1pm with a fun, interactive Scavenger Hunt for all ages.

Grab your form on the way in, find the answers, and be entered to win a prize bag full of Everett-themed swag and other amazing goodies! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing our sponsors and their amazing gifts, so stay tuned and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! We are so excited to introduce ourselves to all of you and celebrate in such a fun way! Everett125


A Special Message from Author Aileen Langhans

 The new book, including signed copies, “Random Facts from the Founding Days of Everett, Washington” has been restocked and is available at J. Mathesons Gift shop on Colby Avenue in downtown Everett.  
All revenue from the book sale will be donated to “Friends of the Everett Public Library” to fund a special Northwest History Room project: the framing and digitizing of their collection of historic panoramic photographs.  Once they are archivally framed, these important historical photographs will be displayed outside the Northwest History Room, making them available to the entire community.  
This is a wonderful opportunity to support the work of our library’s archivists and historians and to learn interesting facts about Everett’s very beginnings.
If you wish to purchase a book directly, please contact Aileen M. Langhans at randomfactsofeverett@outlook.com (email address) or 206-522-0203

Happy New Year!!

Wishing Everyone a Happy New Year!

Thank you for all your support throughout the years and as we look forward to a bright and successful future for the museum in our future home.