Friday, June 11, 2010

Melon or Fruit, Graham Cakes, Maple Syrup, New Pickles, Broiled Steak, Corn Oysters, and Cocoa

There can never be too many helps for those who, three times a day, must meet and answer the imperative question, "What shall we eat?" -Recipes Tried and True, by the Presbyterian Ladies' Aid [1894].

The first meal of the day is breakfast. And what a breakfast this is! After eating all of this, I felt ready to go work in the fields for several hours. Unfortunately, I have no fields. Alas. The cookbook was also short on the recipes for the menu items, so I drew from our old friend Fannie Farmer, whose cookbook came out two years later.

I visited my parents and made this meal there, and was granted access to Great-Grandma's Really Sweet China.

IMG_2870.jpg picture by seshet27
The plate is not part of Great-Grandma's Really Sweet China. It is part of Mom's Adequate Correlle.

Melon or Fruit
IMG_2857.jpg picture by seshet27

Graham Cakes/Entire Wheat Griddle-Cakes
1/2 cup entire wheat flour.
1 cup flour.
3 teaspoons baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
3 tablespoons sugar.
1 egg.
1 1/4 cups milk.
1 tablespoon melted butter.

Prepare and cook as Sweet Milk Griddle-Cakes.*

IMG_2866.jpg picture by seshet27

*Sweet Milk Griddle-Cakes ...Mix and sift dry ingredients; beat egg, add milk, and pour slowly on first mixture. Beat thoroughly, and add butter. Cook as Sour Milk Griddle-Cakes.**

**Sour Milk Griddle-Cakes ...Drop by spoonfuls on a greased hot griddle; cook on one side. When puffed, full of bubbles, and cooked on edges, turn, and cook other side. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

New Pickles
No recipe for this one in either cookbook, so I went with the one in my family for fresh pickles. It is as follows:

Fresh Cucumber Pickles
sliced cucumber
sliced onion
white vinegar

Make a solution of one part vinegar, one part water. Add a couple teaspoons of sugar and one of salt. Do not worry. More or less will be fine. Put in the cucumbers and onions and refrigerate for an hour or two. Or 15 minutes. I don't care. Eat them.

IMG_2859.jpg picture by seshet27

If you want to be fancy, score the sides of the cucumber with a fork before you cut it. Then when you slice it, the slices will have an attractive edge like these ones. If you use red onions, after a couple days the solution will turn an attractive pink. You can also reuse the vinegar/water stuff, just throw in more cucumbers.

Broiled Steak
IMG_2861.jpg picture by seshet27

Corn Oysters
Grate raw corn from cobs. To one cup pulp add one well beaten egg, one-fourth cup flour, and season highly with salt and pepper. Drop by spoonfuls and fry in deep fat, or cook on a hot, well greased griddle. They should be made about the size of large oyster.

IMG_2863.jpg picture by seshet27

Breakfast Cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared cocoa.
2 tablespoons sugar.
2 cups boiling water.
2 cups milk.
Few grains salt.

Scald milk. Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt, dilute with one-half cup boiling water to make smooth paste, add remaining water and boil one minute; turn into scalded milk and beat two minutes, using Dover egg-beater.

IMG_2867.jpg picture by seshet27


Melon or Fruit: It is cantaloupe. And cherries. These and the new pickles really went well with the other, heavier items. This meal had a good contrast of flavors and textures.

IMG_2868.jpg picture by seshet27

Graham Cakes: The batter for these was reeeeeeeeeeaaaally thick. We had to add more milk so it would come off the spoon. Much like partially set concrete. We didn't add too much though, so as to be true to the recipe. As a result, these turned out medium-rare, with a seared outside and raw middle. The middle bite of mine oozed onto the plate. My dad said he liked them...

New Pickles: These are always good. They're a good old-fashioned recipe that is easy and refreshing. Try it out this summer!

Broiled Steak: You may notice the timing of steak being on the menu this week happens to coincide with the day I have access to my parent's freezer. Take no notice.

Corn Oysters: I thought these actually were oddly fishy. Which is weird, because there is no fish. Perhaps I was thinking too hard about the name as I was eating them. My mom liked them, and might make them again, although she likes regular corn better. She also hates seafood and doesn't think these taste anything like fish, so go figure.

Cocoa: I believe "prepared cocoa" here means baking cocoa. This was a lot less sweet and chocolaty than modern hot chocolate. It is more a light chocolate flavored beverage than liquid chocolate. Once you get past the fact that it is different, it is good. I think this would be less cloying in the morning than Swiss Miss.


Kathleen said...

Glad to see dad eating the fruit. No fried foods for him!

Do you think the graham cakes would be better/lighter if they were graham, not whole wheat?

Also, I like to eat dinner at Grandma's in the summer just so I get cucumbers in this style.

Jana said...

Well, graham flour and whole wheat flour are close to the same thing. I suppose I could have done graham gems again...

Grandma does a good fresh cucumber pickle.

Nonna said...

Wow, what an interesting and pretty meal !
I find it weird that the corn oysters tasted fishy to you...maybe it is the name that contributes ? I would also chock it up to someone with a really good imagination which I think is a must for a great cook and baker.

Oh, now I just love that cucumber salad too...perfect for us since we are going to be up to our eyeballs in cucumbers from our garden soon !

Jana said...

NB- Thanks! Tell you what, try out the corn oysters and cast the deciding vote. :D