Julie Rothman / The Baltimore Sun

Mary Kilby from Timonium, Md., was in search of the recipe for the delicious banana cream pie that used to be served at Toddle House restaurants in the 1950s. Toddle House was a national quick-service restaurant chain with locations throughout the United States. It specialized in breakfast but was open 24/7. Even though the chain has been closed for years it still has quite a devoted fan base, including its own Facebook page. While there are copycat recipes for some of the chain’s other famous dishes, unfortunately, I had no luck finding any recipes for their banana cream pie.

However, Patsy Schlemmer from Bremen, Ind., saw Kilby’s request and shared a recipe for a banana cream pie that she said came from one of her mother’s cookbooks from the 1950s. She thinks it should fit the bill nicely. This is a recipe from before Cool Whip and instant pudding were around and it is made the old-fashioned way with basic ingredients you most likely will have in your pantry. The filling is creamy and delicately flavored. It is also very adaptable, if you leave out the bananas, you have vanilla cream pie. If you add 1 cup of shredded coconut to milk as it’s being heated, you have coconut cream pie. No matter what, this pie is a winner. Serve it topped with sliced bananas and whipped cream or meringue and perhaps even a drizzle of chocolate and you will have a slice of good old-fashioned comfort food at its very best.


Cindy Mosier from Dowagiac, Mich., is looking for a recipe for a Cinnamon Loaf, like the one made by a bakery in Dowagiac that she enjoyed growing up in the 1950s and ’60s. She says that it was moist yet firm and baked in a loaf pan. When it was turned upside down after baking, it had a caramel topping that was firm yet gooey. You could see the cinnamon swirled in the loaf.

Sherri Trilling from North Chicago, Ill., said that many years ago there was a restaurant chain called the Indian Trial in Winnetka, Ill. It closed in the 1980s. The entrees would change daily, however, she said many people would come in for their special Cranberry Chicken, which she remembers was sweet but tart and had the cranberry flavor all through the chicken. She would love to know how they made it.