“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, Behave!

I couldn't help but think of the phrase "Oh, Behave" from the Mike Myers movie Austin Powers, while reading a cookbook. Let me explain, while photographing the The New Minute Tapioca (1934), for my shop, I ran across the following heading -- MAKES RUNNY FRUIT PIE BEHAVE.  Well of course I had to stop and read the rest of the paragraph, now remember, this was written in the 1930's....

If you've ever opened your oven door on a fruit or berry pie to find that most of the juice had run out of the pie and into the oven . . . if you've ever been embarrassed at serving a juicy pie with its crust all bedraggled and soggy . . . or if you've found the ingredient you used as a thickener made the fruit juice look cloudy . . . 
Just put Minute Tapioca right in with your fruit, and as your pie cooks you'll see a miracle happen.  Every snowy little granule of tapioca will take up and hold the fruit juice.

                             From The New Minute Tapioca Cookbook.

Pretty dramatic isn't it? This is pie you know, not some world tragedy, but this was still the era when women stayed home and ... well they baked pies, scrubbed the floor and took care of the kids.  No, wait, don't most of us still do that while also working full or part-time jobs? OK that is another subject left for another more adventurous blogger.

What I was really drawn to, were the gorgeous watercolor images of the food.  I think they are so pretty! I looked for an artist credit but none could be found. There are many more illustrations inside the book, I'm am featuring just a few here.

Since this started with making your pie behave, I thought I better share a recipe with you. I have not personally made this recipe. If you try it, please share!

Apricot Pie

1 1/2 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
1/3    cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups cooked dried apricots, drained
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup apricot juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 recipe pie crust for a double crust pie

Combine Minute Tapioca, sugar, salt, butter, fruit, and fruit juices; let stand 15 minutes.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie crust , allowing pastry to extend 1 inch beyond edge.  Fold edge inward, even with rim of plate.  Fill with apricot mixture.  Moisten edge of the bottom crust. Fold top pastry round back on itself.  With sharp knife make several slits to permit escape of steam. Place upper crust on filled lower one, opening out folded half after it is placed on pie. Press edges together.  Trim off surplus pastry, being careful not to cut folded edge of lower crust.  Bake in hot oven (425 degrees F) for 10 minutes; then decrease heat to moderate (350 degrees F) and bake 30 minutes longer. Cool before slicing. Serve with whipped or ice cream.

Recipe adapted from Easy Triumphs with the New Minute Tapioca - 1934 - General Foods Corporation, available at CraveCute.

If you're wondering.... The theme song of the movie is Soul Bossa Nova, an instrumental song composed by and first performed by jazz composer, arranger and record producer Quincy Jones in 1962. My husband loves jazz and actually has the CD with this song on it. And he does love those goofy Austin Powers movies... so I've heard this song a few hundred times. Now it's going to be stuck in your head all day!! Haha!!!   Oh, just Behave!


  1. Don't you just love old cookbooks??? Mom always used tapioca and that's what she taught me to use. I just wish I could make the thin crusted black raspberry pies like my grandma used to make!

  2. OOps! It was red raspberry...oooh yummmm

  3. Oh, where to start?

    First of all, that theme song was used as the theme song of a Canadian quiz show called "Definition" that was big here in Canada in the 70s. It's probably where Mike Meyers first heard it, LOL! I never knew its name though so thanks to your hubz for that info!

    Secondly, My Rare One just made a fruit pie a couple of weeks ago and the recipe called for instant tapioca to be mixed in with the fruit. First I'd ever heard of such a thing but -- it does work! The recipe came from an old "Joy of Cooking" cookbook.

    And thirdly, I'm intrigued by that illustration of peach meringue pie. I've never seen meringue used on any pie but lemon pie. My Mom made the best lemon meringue pies in the world, incidentally. I rarely see or taste meringue as light and fluffy as hers was.

    1. Yes the Peach Meringue is different! My Mom also made delicious lemon meringue pies. My Grandmother made chocolate cream pies with meringue and in Florida the Golden Giraffe Pie Factory has a meringue topped Key Lime Pie that is out of this world good. Thanks for the tidbit about the song used on the game show!

  4. It’s so pretty it makes me want to start collecting cook books. As for baking a pie – maybe not! I love eating them (especially with custard), but my baking skills are not so good.
    Your Etsy shop is so pretty, I love the way you display and describe everything.

    1. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! As far as pie goes, my Mom and her Mom, where the best bakers and cooks in the world (sorry Debra)! They both had lots of practice as farm wives. Simple, but delicious food! I am happy to say that many people collect the old cookbooks, some fetch really good prices too.

  5. If my memory serves me right, I have at some point in the past (many moons ago) used tapioca. And remember it working very well. It's been awhile since I made any type of pie and this is the time of year when I get the urge to do so. I'm sure the family will be happy about that!

    I laughed with the part about women doing all the things they used to do plus work. Yup, you got that right!

  6. Love those old recipe books! they're always so good, though usually use generous amounts of butter, lol. Thanks for the recipe.

    I'm having a giveaway for my anniversary, so come sign up. My dog came over to my laptop to check out your music, he likes it! :)

  7. My mamaw had an old cookbook that she used all the way up until her later years. She passed it on to my sister, who will pass it on to her daughter :)

  8. I love vintage recipe books, especially the vibrant colours! :)

  9. Love the song! I am dancing away ;o) Oh, and I also love tapioca ;o) Thanks for the recipe ;o)

  10. Runny pies?! Mon dieu! How did they cope? :) Thanks for sharing, this is hilarious!

    1. Exactly! I love the way the book describes it as "a miracle"!

  11. Fabulous post..so fun looking at old books..they are always so lovely and had such a special way about them..fantastic tip...yummy recipes..thanks so much.
    Oh behave..made me giggle too!
    Wishing you beautiful wkd ahead!

  12. Diane - I love those old cookbooks. They just don't make them like they used too. As for pie - mine can be cloudy or soggy or juicy - but for heaven's sake that is the nature of that particular dessert. Thanks for sharing the apricot recipe - that is a pie I have never made that I think I must. Take care and have a wonderful day.

  13. I love vintage cookbooks, that pie recipe looks yummy! By the way, did the double crust recipe call for lard?

    1. No mention of lard.... but it did have baking powder, which I've never heard of using in pie crust.....

      Here's the recipe:
      2 1/2 cups sifted flour
      1/4 tsp baking powder
      1/2 tsp salt
      2/3 cup cold shortening
      1/3 cup cold water (about)
      Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut in the shortening until pieces are about the size of peas. Gradually add the water and mix with a fork. Wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly before rolling out. Roll out on a lightly floured board. Makes enough for a double crust 9" pie.

  14. Great post. Loved how you tied it in with Austin Powers and your husband's love for jazz. :D Fruit pies were a must at Grandma's house (I think she used a little corn starch to thicken). Her favorite was apple but I would love to taste her blackberry cobbler again...such fond memories.


Thank you for leaving a comment! I do read them all and will try to respond if I'm able. Please know that all comments are appreciated, I love to hear your thoughts on my posts! ~ Diane