Sphere Magazine, January 1974

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Sphere Jan 74

It’s the beginning of a whole new year of monthly features of vintage Sphere magazine!  January’s issue begins with a dinner menu with family recipes from a Serbian dentist that features a cheese pudding with feta, cottage cheese, and phyllo sheets.  The entrée includes pork, a leek moussaka, lima bean casserole, and a raw salad of onions, peppers, and tomatoes.  Dessert is a luscious pecan and chocolate torte.

An article on the cabbage family features recipes using cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, with a cauliflower and potato curry that sounds like something I want to make right now.  There are four pages of economical recipe ideas, one using fish sticks, which I remember loving in my youth.  My palate has matured since then!

There is a stuffed mushroom recipe that sounds perfect for a party, or even for the Super Bowl coming up soon. The mushrooms are filled with crabmeat  mixed with green onion, Parmesan, and lots of fresh herbs.  This issue also has quite a few patterns for afghans and needlepoint which were very popular in the early ’70’s.

The recipe I decided to try for this month is from an article titled “Dried Fruit:  A Winter Winner.”  The recipes include a roast chicken with prunes and apples, a port-raisin sauce for ham, Scandinavian Fruit Soup, apple-honey date bread, rice and fig cream, sweet and sour beef with fruit, fruit and nut chutney, ham hocks with dried apples and dumplings, sesame pear muffins, date appetizers, prune fritters, and these honey fruit balls.

Honey Fruit Balls 4

First a mixture of prunes, dates, golden and dark raisins, and coconut are ground in a food processor.  Wheat germ, honey, orange zest and juice, and chopped nuts are added.  The mixture is formed into bite-sized balls and then rolled in your choice of coating:  chopped nuts, sesame seeds, cocoa mix or chocolate milk powder, or coconut.  Or use your imagination.  The finished treats can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks, making them a great after school snack or even a breakfast to grab when you have no time to make anything.

Honey Fruit Balls 1

Honey Fruit Balls
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice or apple juice
  • ½ cup chopped nuts of choice
  • For rolling in balls: toasted coconut, cocoa mix, chopped nuts, sesame seeds, crushed granola, etc.
  1. Grind prunes, dates, raisins, coconut, and salt in food processor until mixture is thick and holds firmly together. Remove ingredients to a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except for what the balls will be rolled in. Mix with a spatula or spoon to combine, but after mixture is combined, use your hands to form into a ball and knead gently to blend ingredients well.
  2. Form mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in desired coatings. Store in an airtight container or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 5 dozen bite-sized balls.
  3. Note: The amount of moisture in dried fruit can vary. If mixture is too sticky to hold a shape, add a small amount of wheat germ. If it is too stiff and dry, add a small amount of fruit juice.

Honey Fruit Balls 3


And now for the lucky winner in the random drawing for the Year of Yes book by Shonda Rhimes.

The lucky winner is….

Kim Rollings!

Congratulations, Kim!  I sent you an email to get your address and I’ll mail it as soon as I can.  I hope you enjoy it.  Thanks to everyone who entered and I still hope you will all read the book.  It’s great!




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6 Responses to Sphere Magazine, January 1974

  1. January 22, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    My palate has also improved, but I still get an occasional craving for fish sticks served with mac & cheese from a box. At least I buy organic frozen fish sticks and Annie’s Naturals mac & cheese now.

    • January 22, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      Yes, fish sticks have improved a lot since the ’50’s! Trader Joe’s has some good ones. By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!

  2. January 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

    Are the fish sticks in the recipe prepared with a mustard topping?

    • January 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Emma! The recipe is called “Fancy Fish Sticks,” where the sticks are baked by themselves then covered with a white sauce topping and broiled. The white sauce is combined with a little salad dressing (I think they mean Miracle Whip), horseradish, salt, cayenne pepper, chopped cucumber, and sour cream, then spread over the fish, sprinkled with paprika and broiled. No mention of mustard, dry or prepared. I did a quick search and didn’t find any other fish stick recipes with mustard. If I come across one, I will let you know. I love how you remember so many of the Sphere recipes!

  3. February 8, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    I love the sound of this recipe. I so appreciate you sharing recipes for periodicals of the early-to-mid 70’s. I was in high school then. My love of reading recipes began during that era.

    • February 8, 2016 at 11:20 am #

      You’re welcome, Karen! I love recipes from that era, which is exactly when Sphere was published, from 1972 to 1979. I’ll be doing the monthly reports until I hit the end of the line!

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