Friday, March 2, 2018

Old becomes new

Couple of videos from a short-lived band called Foxes and Fossils.

Here's a vintage recipe from a 1967 cookbook called “The Poll-Ette Hostess.” Turns out that all the cool kids are rediscovering vintage recipes.

If I understand the story, the Poll-Ettes were the ladies branch of the Polled Hereford Association here in the U.S. As many of you doubtless know, ladies organizations have produced cookbooks for years, and the Poll-Ettes were no exception. They seem to have revised and published a number of cookbooks throughout the 60’s and 70’s.

Anyway, the recipe is for -- get this -- Roast Beef Fudge!

Being a cattleman type person, I had to give it a try.

One of the first steps of the recipe is to bring sugar, butter, and evaporated milk to a boil, then cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage at about 230 degrees. Now here’s an interesting sciency tidbit. If you’ve ever made candy, you’ve probably noticed that the temperature will quickly rise to boiling, but then it seems to stick there at the boiling point forever. This is because the liquid water in the mixture cannot exceed its boiling point (212 degrees at sea level) at normal atmospheric pressure. Once the water boils off (most of it anyway) the temperature will begin to rise again and the mixture will quickly reach (or exceed!) your target temperature.

The recipe says to bring the mixture to soft ball stage, remove from the heat, and then stir in chocolate, marshmallow, vanilla, and -- finally -- roast beef. The hot, sugary mixture retains more than enough heat to melt the chocolate and marshmallow.

As for the beef, the recipe calls for a cup of ground up roast beef. I ground mine in the food processor and that worked fine. The beef came from a top round roast I’d prepared earlier to make sandwiches with. So winner-winner, roast beef dinner!

I have to admit that I was a bit curious about whether I’d like this fudge or not. I’m not big on desserts and sugary stuff, and overly sweet things tend to put me off. Adding roast beef to fudge seemed to be a bit of a stretch, and I thought I might not find it palatable at all.

As it turned out though, it wasn't bad. The fudge is sweet, but not overly sweet (in small doses anyway), and the beef seems to add texture and savor without adding a strong beefy flavor. It's odd, but it seems to work.

The addition of beef also adds protein and vitamins to the fudge. There are certainly easier ways to get protein and vitamins into your diet, but that doesn’t mean that this fudge recipe doesn’t bring them to the table.

Finally, I think it’s really interesting and charming that young people all over the world are rediscovering these ‘ancient’ recipes from a half-century ago. We did the same thing when we were their age, and in a time when people seem to be frightened of the way things seem to change so rapidly these days, it’s nice to be reminded that people are still people, and there’s nothing new under the sun.

Here’s the recipe

Roast Beef Fudge

Author: Mrs. Florence E. Weist - Poll-Ette Hostess Cookbook, 1967
Serves: 50 small squares
½ lb (2 sticks) butter
1 large can of evaporated milk
4 cups sugar
12 oz chocolate chips
2 cups marshmallow fluff
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup cooked ground roast beef

Cook butter, milk and sugar to soft ball stage (about 230 degrees), stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff until melted. Stir in vanilla and ground beef roast. Beat until firm and pour into a well-greased 9x13 pan.


  1. Those music videos are good. It's nice to see and hear some old guys who are still rocking. Do you know if their CDs are still available?

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Their website ( is still active though the band less so.

    2. Thanks OAFS.


    3. What Sarge said. Looks like they'll still sell you a couple of CD's, but I didn't follow the links all the way through.

  2. Great music and an interesting recipe.

    Something to read while watching the rain and the wind. We're in the middle of a Nor'easter, fortunately it's too warm to snow!

    1. It's a really good fudge recipe if you omit the roast beef!

      La Niña is making her presence known. We've been getting freight-trained with alternating warmth and snow/cold, and it looks like the rest of the country is seeing interesting weather as well.

    2. Naught but Oregon sunshine here ( the liquid kind ).