In 1952, I was working at Procter & Gamble’s corporate offices in downtown Cincinnati. I was a secretary in the Radio/TV Advertising Department and worked for the two department heads plus three young members of the staff. On May 31, 1952, early in the morning of the day I was to be married, a special delivery letter arrived. It contained a cute page made up by my co-worker, Bert Berman, had the signatures of the rest of the men in the department and informed me that I was going to be receiving a SUNBEAM ELECTRIC MIXER.
I was completely surprised since Mr. Smith and Mr. Craig had already sent beautiful sterling silver pieces, but there was nothing I wanted more than an electric mixer. The manual/cookbook that came with the mixer was my baking bible for the next ten years at least. It’s in tatters now with the cover and a couple of pages missing.
I made a lot of good food with that Sunbeam and manual. This is a picture of my older daughter and son, waiting for me to start mixing his first birthday cake in 1957.
One of the family’s favorites was an easy recipe for brownies. I named them my “Best Brownies”, copied from my recipe binder below.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Beat one minute, then add the cocoa and nuts. Pour into greased 8×8 pan. Bake @ 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cut while still warm.
¾ cup sifted flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup shortening or margarine (started using Imperial margarine in 1989)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, unbeaten
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups chopped nuts
Add shortening, vanilla and eggs.
Beat ½ minute longer.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar.
Beat one minute, then add the cocoa and nuts.
Pour into greased 8×8 pan. Bake @ 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cut while still warm.
Old 1950s recipe from original Sunbeam mixer cookbook. Have made a thousand times.
Saying that I have baked these brownies 1,000 times over the past 60 plus years isn’t too much of an exaggeration. I made up a batch today just for old time’s sake.
My Sunbeam mixer lasted 30 years until 1982. By that time, I was doing a lot of bread baking and wanted a very strong unit along with dough hooks. I chose a Kitchen Aid mixer which is still working beautifully 33 years later. It has served me well, but has never given me the surprise and thrill of that first old Sunbeam.