Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Party: Bouillon de Jolly Boys, Celery, Crackers, Turtle Sandwiches, Orange Jelly, Olives a la Natural History, Lemonade

Are there not many cooks who act upon the supposition that the greater the number of ingredients crowded into one dish, the more remarkable the achievement and the more creditable the ingenuity displayed? This is plainly an error, for all right-thinking persons must admit that the cook deserving the highest praise is the one who can prepare the most appetizing, and at the same time, the most wholesome and nourishing dishes from the scantiest and plainest material.

Now that is a woman. Beefy biceps, fluttery apron, no-nonsense expression, and a jaunty bow tie. Bow ties are cool.

My friends, Halloween is coming up! It is one of my most favorite holidays, because there is the opportunity for dressing up. If you are lucky, you may see our costumes for this year.

Click to enbiggen

IMG_4429.jpg picture by seshet27

The cookbook guarantees that if one makes these foods, boys will not carry off the clothes-posts, unhinge the gates, and make night hideous upon Halloween. Consequently, you should give due consideration to the menu, so you may prevent these occurrences. As a bonus, it will apparently please your African-American hired help . . . less said about that, the better.

IMG_4432.jpg picture by seshet27

Jolly Boys [served with bouillon, I guess?]
Mix together thoroughly while dry one and one-half pints of rye-meal, one-half of a pint of flour, one-half of a teacupful of corn-meal, two pinches of cinnamon, a little salt and two teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. Add one egg, well beaten; two tablespoonfuls each of molasses and sugar, and cold water enough to make a thick batter. Fry in hot lard a heaping tablespoonful at a time and cook until well browned. -Anna Bigsby.

Kindergarten Crackers
I have no idea what these are. There was no recipe for them. Frustrating. We ate saltines.

IMG_4439.jpg picture by seshet27


IMG_4441.jpg picture by seshet27

Turtle Sandwiches (For Halloween and Children's parties).
Cut as many thin slices of brown and white bread as are desired for sandwiches, trim off the crust and shape into three and one-half inch squares. Butter lightly and spread carefully between two slices any filling desired--meat, cheese, nut or fruit. Now slice lengthwise into halfs some small cucumber pickles (sweet or sour), and stick one of these in each cormer of the sandwich for the feet of the turtle, and a tiny one for the tail. Run a toothpick through a narrow and short piece of bread and stick it on the opposite end of the sandwich from the tail. On the end of the toothpick put a thin piece of a small carrot cut crosswise. Behold! you have the turtle. Serve singly on individual plates with olives made after the fashion of Natural History Objects. -Mrs. A.E. Fowler.

Little Pigs in Blankets
(Try them.) [It actually says this, this isn't an insert of mine. I didn't make these because I don't like whole oysters.]
Take one quart of good-sized oysters, wash and drain. Now beat up an egg, add to it a little milk and salt. Dip each oyster separately into the egg and roll in cracker or bread crumbs, then roll up in a thin slice of bacon. Hold in shape by sticking a toothpick through it. Drop in hot pan and fry brown. (Fine for special suppers.) -Mrs. A. E. Fowler

IMG_4440.jpg picture by seshet27

Orange Jelly
No recipe. But when they say jelly, they mean gelatin. I got some Knox gelatin and followed the directions using orange juice.

IMG_4437.jpg picture by seshet27
This is an ant-eater. ???

Olives a la Natural History
Take the desired number of olives and into one side stick four cloves and at the end another and you have a partially constructed animal representing an ant-eater. Now add another clove for the head, and on the end put a bit of another olive, and you have the animal complete and standing on his feet. The back can be decorated as fancy dictates. According to the arrangement and length of the feet, head and tail, other animals, and even birds, can be made. (Fine for children's parties.) -Mrs. A.E. Fowler

Sugar-off, with Maple Syrup
This is making maple syrup out of sap. I have no sugar maple trees, alas.

4928332005_934c774597.jpg picture by seshet27
These are not mine. I did not make these cute Nut Cartoons. There were no nuts. And also I didn't want to.

Nut Cartoons
Take the desired number of English walnuts, Brazilian nuts, hickory nuts and peanuts and with gold and colored paints decorate the shells in fantastic styles. With a little color they can be converted into all sorts of men and women--white, black and mongolian, wearing all sorts of costumes, from gold lace, beads and jewels, to silks, feathers, furs, etc. (Very pretty for parties. -Mrs. D.Z. Brooks

IMG_4434.jpg picture by seshet27

Lemonade
Lemonade should be made in the proportion of one lemon to each large goblet. Squeeze the lemons and take out any seeds. If you do not like the pulp strain the juice. Sweeten the drink well though that is a matter of taste. The pleasant tart taste should be preserved. Add water to the juice and when serving put cracked ice and a think slice of lemon into each glass. -E.J.C.

Phew.

Verdict:

Bouillon de Jolly Boys: There was no recipe for Bouillon de Jolly Boys, just for Jolly Boys. They came out like tasty small donuts. Husband ate most of the entire batch, and seemed jolly. He remarked that if I made these every day, he would be as jolly as Santa. They were really good! For an imprecise recipe, these were pretty easy to figure out. As for eating them with bouillon...? No idea what is going on there.

Turtle Sandwiches: Ha ha, you thought it'd be made of turtles, didn't you? I took a stab at following the directions but... read those directions again. Can you get a solid handle on what it is supposed to look like? I only figured out the carrot bit (I hope) by looking at the fairly inaccurate little illustration on the page. I also did not trim the crusts, nor did I cut the bread to a precise 3.5" square. Also, more evidence that sandwich recipes until fairly recently were made with pastes instead of chunks of stuff in the middle. "Spread carefully between two slices any filling desired--meat, cheese, nut or fruit." See?

Do you have an idea of how this sandwich is supposed to work?

Orange Jelly: It tasted just like solidified orange juice. Not in a bad way. Or a good way. It was fine.

Olives a la Natural History: Okay, so, olives made "after the manner of Natural History objects." What... what is a natural history object? What does that mean? And why on earth did she choose an ant-eater? Again, some slightly shaky directions. I did my best, but my Natural History Object remains looking rather markedly not like an ant-eater. Failure! Can you think of a way this would be more ant-eatery?

For reference, here is an ant-eater.
Giant-anteater-40591.jpg picture by seshet27

Aaaaaaaand here is my olive ant-eater.
IMG_4437.jpg picture by seshet27

Yeah.

Lemonade: Lemonade is tasty!

IMG_4443.jpg picture by seshet27
Happy Halloween, everybody!

8 comments:

Nonna Beach said...

In the face of hardly any recipes/directions, you did an amazing job !

I think the "Natural history" refers to exhibits in museums of dino bones and other stuffed creatures. For the nose of your cute ant eater, I would use a grated down baby carrot dipped in chocolate. Weird combo but it somehow fits the general profile of the whole meal.

Jana said...

Thanks! Chocolate and olives....yeeeeek! ;D And yet, not the strangest combination I've seen.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say how much I enjoy your columns. They are inspiring and show how much ingenuity you have. No doubt you are a brilliant person and a very accomplished cook. Your husband must be a great guy to be willing to sample your concoctions and always give rave reviews. I look forward every day to reading your latest. Excellent work and you should be very proud.

Roger said...

I absolutely agree with Anonymous!!

Ron said...

My rave reviews bespeak more of Jana's excellent culinary abilities than any greatness on my part. Who but my Jana could take something from an old, rotten-paged cookbook and make a delicious meal out of it, in spite of the dubious nature of the recipe itself?

Jana said...

Thanks Dad! ;D

Dad, I'm glad you agree. :D

Husband, you will now get kisses.

jillz said...

Love your blog, I'm reading back through you archives thanks to a link from Facebook :)

As for the turtle sandwiches, you really should have used squares instead of halves. The pickle legs go in each corner (90 degree angle) of the square and the tail goes on one side, the carrot head opposite the tail :)

Jana said...

Thank you for visiting! You are probably right. If you make such a sandwich and take a picture, I will post a correction. :D