In the forward of her delightful book, The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, Margaret Ruskin writes:
“Few things are more rewarding to a woman than that happy feeling she has when she knows that the food she has prepared with love and interest brings pleasure to her family, served in a setting more important than any glamorous restaurant “dinner at home!”
As you know, I couldn’t agree more! This old fashioned sentiment written in 1963 speaks to women today, no less than if it were written decades later. Margaret Ruskin was a remarkable woman, an energetic mother of three, who managed to turn a loaf of bread into multi-million dollar business. I never thought about a face behind the Pepperidge Farm Brand until I found this charming cookbook at a rummage sale just yesterday. So I did not realize how much I had in common with the woman behind Pepperidge Farm! (Though I have yet to turn a single empanada or pot pie or vegetable soup into a multi-million dollar business!) For now, I relate to her humble and timeless qualities as a mother and energetic woman who balanced it all “work, passion, children and relationships!
Like many people, I grew up with Pepperidge Farm products, so I find Margaret’s story particularly endearing. From Puff Pastry shells to stuffing and Goldfish to Milano cookies, I grew up with and now my children are growing up with Pepperidge Farm products. There’s no stuffing other than Pepperidge Farm which has ever been served at our Thanksgiving table. We may make it our own but always use the seasoned bread cubes as the starting point. Like Land O’Lakes butter, Pepperidge Farm provokes fond childhood memories cooking with my father, the genesis of my love of and passion for communal cooking.
As I read through the pages of this book, I am captivated by her story as a young city girl in Manhattan to a country woman in Connecticut on Pepperidge Farm. Hidden among the pages are her recipes, which as she put it “come out of her head” since her family never followed a recipe. I’m planning to get creative with some of her recipes and am intrigued by this one I’m posting today. Please join me and get a bag of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing and use this recipe to make it your own. Right off the top of my head, I’m thinking of adding some garlic, onions or shallots, and some parmesan shredded cheese. Maybe I’ll use ground turkey or make a vegetarian version! I’ll tune back shortly with my modernized version and have a feeling it’ll be a winner! Please share yours if you come up with something good!
From The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook
1963, page 282
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
3 acorn squash
1/2 pound lean beef, ground
1/2 pound fresh pork, ground
1 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing
1 cup consomme
melted butter or margerine
Combine the ground beef, ground pork, stuffing and consommé and mix well.
Cut the squash in half and discard the seeds.
Parboil the squash, cut side down, a little boiling water for about five minutes and brush it generously with melted butter or margarine.
Divide the stuffing mixture among the squash shells and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) for about one hour, or until the squash is tender.