Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fresh Fruits, Rolled Oats in Cream, Baked Sweet Apples, Macaroni with Cream Sauce, Whole-Wheat Puffs, Stewed Peaches, Caramel Coffee

Once upon a time, there was a man named John Harvey Kellogg. He was a big fan of vegetarianism. He ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium, where one of the treatment methods was feeding patients an all-vegetarian diet. Another method was giving patients yogurt enemas. But let us dwell instead on the fact that he invented Kellogg's Cornflakes there. Meanwhile, his wife wrote a whole cookbook based on the foods they served to the patients.

A Scientific Treatise on Food Substances and their Dietetic Properties, Together with a Practical Explanation of the Principles of Healthful Cookery, and a Large Number of Original, Palatable, and Wholesome Recipes
, by Mrs. E[lla]. E[rvilla]. Kellogg, A.M. [1893], Superintendent of the Sanitarium School of Cookery and of the Bay View Assembly School of Cookery, and Chairman of the World's Fair Committee on Food Supplies, for Michigan

Her titles, they could be a little more snappy.

A little less than ten years ago the Sanitarium at Battle Creek Mich., established an experimental kitchen and a school of cookery under the supervision of Mrs. Dr. Kellogg, since which time, researches in the various lines of cookery and dietetics have been in constant progress in the experimental kitchen, and regular sessions of the school of cookery have been held. . . . During this time, Mrs. Kellogg has had constant oversight of the cuisine of both the Sanitarium and the Sanitarium Hospital, preparing bills of fare for the general and diet tables, and supplying constantly new methods and original recipes to meet the changing and growing demands of an institution numbering always from 500 to 700 inmates.

Baked Sweet Apple Dessert.—Wash and remove the cores from a dozen medium-sized sweet apples, and one third as many sour ones, and bake until well done. Mash through a colander to make smooth and remove the skins. Put into a granite-ware dish, smooth the top with a knife, return to the oven and bake very slowly until dry enough to keep its shape when cut. Add if desired a meringue made by beating the white of one egg with a tablespoonful of sugar. Cut into squares, and serve in individual dishes. The meringue may be flavored with lemon or dotted with bits of colored sugar.

Macaroni with Cream Sauce.—Cook the macaroni as directed in the proceeding [1 C. macaroni] , and serve with a cream sauce prepared by heating a scant pint of rich milk to boiling, in a double boiler. When boiling, add a heaping tablespoonful of flour, rubbed smoothed in a little milk and one fourth teaspoonful of salt. If desired, the sauce may be flavored by steeping in the milk before thickening for ten or fifteen minutes, a slice of onion or a few bits of celery, and then removing with a fork.

Whole-Wheat Puffs.—Put the yolk of an egg into a basin, and beat the white in a separate dish to a stiff froth. Add to the yolk, one half a cupful of rather thin sweet cream and one cupful of skim milk. Beat the egg, cream, and milk together until perfectly mingled and foamy with air bubbles; then add, gradually, beating well at the same time, one pint of wheat berry flour. Continue the beating vigorously and without interruption for eight or ten minutes; then stir in, lightly, the white of the egg. Do not beat again after the white of the egg is added, but turn at once into heated, shallow irons, and bake for an hour in a moderately quick oven. If properly made and carefully baked, these puffs will be of a fine, even texture throughout, and as light as bread raised by fermentation.

Caramel Coffee.—Take three quarts best bran, one quart corn meal, three tablespoonfuls of molasses; mix and brown in the oven like ordinary coffee. For every cup of coffee required, use one heaping tablespoonful of the caramel. Pour boiling water over it, and steep, not boil, for fifteen or twenty minutes.


Fresh Fruits: They were pears.

Baked Sweet Apples: Gahhhhhhh. It is like eating leathery gloop. It was almost inedible. Eventually, we discovered that the trick to eating it is to put a massive scoop of ice cream on top that completely overshadows the apple gloop.

Then, you scrape the ice cream to the side and eat the ice cream, then skoosh the apple flavored leather gloop a little bit so the melted on ice cream drips off and eat that, then toss the apple gloop in the garbage.

After scraping the excess leathery apple gloop up, we then timed it to see how long it would cling to the spatula. It was a full minute and a half. How we laughed! Ladies, gentlemen, this is how we spent Friday night. Donations of moving picture tickets accepted.

Macaroni with Cream Sauce: SO BLAND. Notice there is no salt or seasoning of any kind, just milk (with a bit of onion simmered in it and then removed because that might have flavor), then flavored with paste. And put on another flavorless thing. So... bland blandy bland blanding bland bland blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand.

Whole-Wheat Puffs: In theory, these work kind of like whole wheat cream puffs. In practice... let me illustrate this with an informational picture.

We tipped them in the garbage. They clanked.

Stewed Peaches: Well, canned peaches.

Caramel Coffee: I don't drink coffee, so I have no basis of comparison. So, if coffee smells of burned popcorn and tastes like licking rusty iron bars, it's perfect!

All together: Husband feels that, contrary to Mrs. E.E. Kellogg's claims, this menu was specifically formulated to make him insane. He rated this meal as the worst ever. He was right. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with a meal in which you carefully hoard your last bite of oatmeal.


Nonna said...

Now I bow in awe to your greatness, courage and intestinal fortitude...good job cooking such a list of so called dishes and making me laugh with your clever remarks.

I also find it amusing Dr. Mrs. K, had so many obscure titles, ( DR.? no way ) that yogurt enemas were administered to the "inmates"... that the place was called a "sanitorium" so darn creepy ! Now they are called specialty spas, everyone gets a pedicure, rock massage and mud bath, learns to live on berries, greens and tofu ( love when you said " butter makes tofu easier to slide right into the garbage" ) You go girl!

I just saw a show about this craze to go away and lose weight around that time Mr. & Mrs. K. were in business...and there is a movie "The Road to Wellville" that shows just how crazy it really was...and I'll never look at any Kelloggs cereals the same way again !!!

Bethany said...

What is crazy is that this *sounds* like it should be good! I vote that you recreate this meal and modernize it and make it actually yummy! It could be a new feature: Old gross meal versus New and Improved Meal. It'd be great.

Nonna said...

Good idea Bethany !

Jenny Jo said...

Your description of the "coffee" sounds pretty close to the real thing, actually. ;-)

Jana said...

NB: Ah no, what they ran was not a health spa, they ran a mental health facility. The vegetarian diet (and the yogurt enemas) were supposed to make people less crazy. Meat and spicy spices and things, they felt, stirred people up too much. Husband feels this particular meal would be counterproductive in the "making people LESS crazy" department." And yeah, there's a certain type of person that reeeeeeaaally likes their titles! E.E. Kellogg may have been one of them.

Bethany: Well, I've got an easy fix for the macaroni with cream sauce! Three guesses on what dairy product it involves. ;)

Jenny Jo: Good! There you go guys, we have a homemade coffee substitute. But without all the things that make people want to drink it. Hoorayyyyy

Linda said...

I have to say I didn't think it was possible that macaroni and cheese could ever be matter what. But since the cheese is missing that would probably do it.

jaimilyn said...

I agree with Bethany. I read the title of the article and thought "Jana has lost it, this meal sounds great!" And then I read the article and was glad that Ron had to eat the food and not me. Great reviews :)

Nonna said...

My Bad...I was on the phone, reading/referring to your post and typing at the same time. My reading comp has diminished with age, especially when I was multitasking ! ( and now I'm making excuses LOL )

Nonna said...

Looked it up:

Jana said...

Linda: I believe this dish was referred to in the Sanitarium lunch line as "Macaroni and mumblemumblecough".

Amy: Maybe the point of the meal is that you can only enjoy it if you HAVE "lost it." Sad.

Karen K. said...

Again, I admire your commitment and fortitude -- I couldn't have cooked this meal, much less eaten it! And very strange that you mention Kellogg, I just finished reading a biography of Lady Bird Johnson and apparently she spent some time there as a teenager with a hypochondriac aunt. No mention of yogurt enemas, thankfully.

And there's actually a pretty funny movie about Kellogg starring Anthony Hopkins called The Road to Wellville. Might give you a little insight.

Jana said...

I'll have to check that out, thanks Karen. :)

Anonymous said...

"Just... just give me a moment. Okay. All right. Don't make this. Really, really don't make this. Rice... was not meant to be boiled for 3 hours. It is an abomination."

I'm laughing till tears reading you verdict, and I've remembered
something wrote from Carlo Goldoni in the dialect of Venise
more than 100 years ago:
"I risi i se mete suso a bonora, accio' che i fassa fazion.
Son sta' a Fiorenza, e ho impara' la' come se cusina i risi.
I li fa boger tre ore: e mezza lira de risi basta per otto
o nove persone" (sior Todero, "Sior Todero Brontolon")
my poor translation:
"The rice need to put on fire early, to make many serve.
I've been in Florence, and I've learned here how to cook rice.
They boil it for 3 hours: then 5 cents of rice suffit for
8 to 9 people" (mister Todero, "The Grumpy Mister Todero")

best regards ;-)


Jana said...

Sior Todero must have been a very, very grumpy man indeed! I would not want to go to dinner at his house. *shiver*

SometimesKate said...

The Kelloggs believed that anything stimulating would increase sexual desire, and therefore bland foods would keep people from feeling lust.

If you really dig into what they wrote, they were far more interested in keeping people from sexual desire than they were in making people bodily healthy.

Jana said...

The results on that account will have to remain behind a veil of mystery.