Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother's Day Breakfast: Strawberries in Cream, Pop's Quick Pancakes, Hot Orange Sauce, Milk

Safeway meal plan pamphlet collection, 1960's

This is one holiday that will not catch me unawares! I am fairly awful at dates, possibly as a result of frequent time travel. Or general oblivious silliness. You know what, let's go with the first one. Besides, even if it's still a while until Mother's Day, it isn't too early to start gestating in preparation. At least for me. Anyway, a lovely menu for Mother's Day, presumably perfect for serving in bed!

Mother's Day Breakfast
Strawberries in Cream
Pop's Quick Pancakes
Hot Orange Sauce
Milk, Coffee

Strawberries in Cream
No recipe given. Drizzle cream on strawberries, sprinkle with sugar.

Pop's Quick Pancakes (Serves 4)
In a medium size mixing bowl combine 1 cup sifted KITCHEN CRAFT flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup LUCERNE milk, 2 egg yolks. Mix slightly. Beat 2 egg whites until stiff and gently fold into flour mixture until smooth. Ladle onto hot greased griddle. Serve with Hot Orange Sauce or heated maple syrup and plenty of LUCERNE butter. Good!

Hot Orange Sauce (Makes about 3/4 cup)
Cream 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) LUCERNE butter in small bowl until soft; add 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar gradually, creaming after each addition until well blended. Combine grated rind of 1 orange, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and cointreau or Curacao, if desired in small saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Stir hot orange mixture into creamed butter and sugar. Serve hot.

No recipe given. Pour milk in glass. Drink milk.


Strawberries in Cream: I love cream. I just... I just love cream. Have I told you this before? Because I do. So much.

Pop's Quick Pancakes: Gah! Weirdly salty! There are faster and more delicious pancake recipes that don't require whipping egg whites. Make one of those. I do love how the recipe declares its alleged goodness at the end, though. More recipes should do this. "Zucchini/Canned Tomato/Onion/Soggy Saltine Casserole. blah blah instructions blah. Nasty!" Perhaps they are trying to convince us?

Hot Orange Sauce: Mmmm. Orangey. Kind of buttery, but who am I to complain? Butter is basically concentrated cream, you know.

Milk: An especially appropriate beverage for the day. Now you feel a little weird, don't you?

Thanks, mom! I am glad you are my mom, and that you gave birth to me and raised me to adulthood. Also, thank you for not allowing me to switch to eating my breakfast cereal with 100% heavy cream after I got back from grandma's house that one time and was under the impression that it was some kind of super-fantastic milk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1914: Opera singers cook too!

Original at

This is Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Margarete Ober, with a rib roast. I like rib roast, especially if it has got Yorkshire pudding with it. Her apron looks super effective.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salmon, Roast Pigeons, Vegetables, Macaroni Pudding

Things a Lady Would Like to Know [1876]


Remember this book? Oh yes. The one with the edifying quotes. Today's menu is for July 25, with this accompanying quote:

Consider everlasting consequences, contemplate approaching judgment. -Rev. James Fordyce, D.D.

Oh, Reverend Fordyce. You are as cheery as ever. You may remember this fellow from such books as Pride and Prejudice, where he is mentioned as a favorite author of Mr. Collins.

Roast Pigeons
Macaroni Pudding

Salmon.—Take 2 slices of salmon, and lay them in a baking-dish; put some pieces of butter over them; add salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg, half a tea-spoonful of chopped parsley, 1 shalot, rubbing a little of it into the fish. Baste frequently. Take out when done (in about three-quarters of an hour); drain it; lay it on a hot dish, and pour over it either tomato or caper sauce.

Roast Pigeons.—Pick, draw, and truss them, keeping on the feet. Chop the liver with some parsley; add crumbs of bread, pepper, salt, and a little butter; put this stuffing inside. Slit one of the legs, and slip the other through it; skewer and roast them for half an hour; baste them well with butter. Serve with brown gravy in a boat, and bread sauce.

4. Maccaroni Pudding.—Simmer 1 or 2 oz. of the pipe sort in a pint of milk and a bit of lemon and cinnamon till tender; put it into a dish with milk, 2 or 3 eggs, but only 1 white; sugar, nutmeg, and a half glass of raisin wine, or table-spoonful of brandy. Bake with a paste round the edges. A layer of orange marmalade or raspberry jam in this pudding, for change, is a great improvement; in which case omit the almond water, or ratifia, which you would otherwise flavour it with.


Salmon: Wayyyyyy overcooked. I pulled it out of the oven at 20 minutes, and it was still overcooked. Three-quarters of an hour would render it into salmon jerky. Other than that, I really liked it. The preparation and ingredients were very simple. I didn't do a tomato or caper sauce, and I don't think it needed it. I can recommend this recipe, as long as you don't cook it as long as I did.

Roast Pigeons: Pigeons were unavailable, but luckily a couple cornish game hens were happy to step in as stunt doubles. And they were delicious. I now love cornish game hens. Not a very interesting preparation, but it is pretty fun to eat an entire bird in one go, especially with some fantastic gravy made with the drippings. Husband made the stuffing, using a slice of bread per bird, and also tried really hard to attach the legs together as instructed. This did not succeed. Probably because some thoughtless butcher had cut its feet off. The same butcher also failed to include the tiny wee livers. Shucks!

Macaroni Pudding: The original menu had tapioca pudding on this day, but this looked more entertaining. In place of raisin wine, brandy, or ratafia, I used vanilla and a little orange flower water. I thought it was lovely! Think of it sort of like a custardy rice pudding, but with macaroni instead of rice and also in a pie shell. The marmalade was an excellent touch. Husband thought the flavor was good, but couldn't get over the bouncy texture of the macaroni, so unexpected in a sweet application. Boo sucks to him, that means I get to eat the rest!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Step-Saving Kitchen of 1949

The Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics demonstrates a space-saving, efficient U-shaped kitchen. What features would you like in your kitchen? Would you rather have a large but inefficient kitchen, or a small but efficient and organized kitchen?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oven meal: Company Chicken, Oven-Fried Potatoes, Buttered Carrots, Chocolate Brownie Pie

It is 1959, and Indianapolis Power & Light wants to make sure you can cook... electrically. Thus, The Electric Cook Book, "your complete guide to cooking electrically." During the 40's and 50's, with the rise of larger and better-equipped ovens, came The Oven Meal. Oven meals are menus wherein all the dishes are put in the oven at the same time. Genius. Plus, I got to use the divided dish I borrowed from the 50's.

Company Chicken
Oven-Fried Potatoes
Buttered Carrots
Chocolate Brownie Pie
Temperature: 350 degrees F.
Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

Company Chicken
1 package EACH frozen chicken breasts and thighs
Flour, salt, and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms

Flour and season chicken. In skillet, brown thoroughly on all sides in shortening on SECOND to THIRD heat. Place chicken in large casserole. Add soup to pan in which chicken was fried; stir to pick up drippings. Add curry and mushrooms. Pour over chicken; cover and bake.

Oven-Fried Potatoes
Pare 6 potatoes; slice 1/4 inch thick; toss in 1/2 cup melted butter to coat thoroughly. Put in baking dish; salt and pepper; pour remaining butter over potatoes. Bake.

Buttered Carrots
Peel and slice carrots into casserole. Salt and pepper, top with butter, add 1/4 cup water. Cover, and bake.

Chocolate Brownie Pie
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup pecans
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell

Melt chocolate and butter [I used a microwave, about 15 seconds at a time]. Add eggs, sugar, and corn syrup, beating thoroughly. Mix in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell. Bake with oven meal.



Company Chicken: Ehhhh. The sauce is really not great. Canned mushrooms are rubbery and horrible and they JUST TASTE BAD. That, combined with undiluted, curried cream of chicken soup was just overwhelming and gloppy. It's okay, certainly entirely edible, but not something I'd serve to company. Or again. Husband thought it was reasonably tasty.

Oven-Fried Potatoes: Quite nice! Very simple ingredients, tasty result. The butter was a little excessive (not that I mind...), and I think you could get good results from halving the butter, using olive oil, or going 50/50. They were cooked perfectly.

Buttered Carrots: Also cooked perfectly. Yum. I think I liked these the best, actually, with the exception of...

Chocolate Brownie Pie: Golly. I thought this was going to turn out like a chocolate pecan pie as there is no flour in the filling, but I was wrong. This is like... brownies distilled. Husband felt that it was more like brownies than brownies. I would not go quite that far, but it is not "brownies in a superfluous pastry crust", as you are thinking. It is essence of brownie contained by pastry for easier transport to your face. Warm from the oven, thanks to your skillful time management made easier by the wonders of electricity, vanilla ice cream melting in slowly trickling rivulets. ggghgghhhhrrrrrghhh.

All together: A meal well worth making for the novelty and convenience of making it all at the same time in the oven, if you alter the chicken recipe. If I did this again, I'd either rub some chicken thighs with a tasty seasoning mix or figure out a sauce that didn't involve cream of chicken soup. An actual curry sauce, perhaps.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Gentleman's Lunch

Original BYU Special Collections

This is J. Stanley Anderson, enjoying lunch al fresco in 1900. This is also the very place where he was bumped out of a flying meat wagon on his neck. Poor guy. Nice lunch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Imperial Roman: Aliter Offellae, Aliter Porros, Patina de Cucurbitis, Mel et Caseum, Dulcia Domestica

Apicii librorum X qui dicuntur De re coquinaria quae extant, by Apicius [app. 400]
Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, by Apicius

Aliter Offellae: recte friguntur ut paene assae reddantur. Liquaminis sumis cyathum, aquae cyathum, aceti cyasothum, olei cyathum. simul mixtis et immissis in patellam fictilem, frigis et inferes.

Revised: The balls or cutlets are properly fried in the pan, nearly done. Next prepare the following: one whole glass broth, a glass of water, a glass of vinegar, and a glass of oil, properly mixed; put this in an earthen baking dish. Immerse meat pieces, finish on the fire, and serve.

Further revised: Pan-fry pork cutlets until they are nearly done, and place in a baking dish. Whisk together equal amounts broth, water, vinegar, and oil. Pour this over the pork cutlets and bake until meat is done.

Aliter Porros: opertos foliis cauliculorum [et] in prunis coques, ut supra, et inferes.

Revised: After having boiled the leeks in water, [green string] beans which have not yet been prepared otherwise, may be boiled [in the leek water] principally on account of the good taste they will acquire; and may then be served with the leeks.

Further revised: Boil leeks in water until done. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon, and boil fresh green beans in the water the leeks have so recently vacated. When done, drain beans and toss with leeks.

Patina de Cucurbitis: cucurbitas elixas et frictas in patina compones, cuminatum superfundes, modico oleo super adiecto, fervere facias et inferes.

Revised: Squash pie is made thus; stewed and mashed squash is placed in the pan, seasoned with a little cumin essence. Add a little oil; heat, and serve.

Further revised: Cook and mash some winter squash. Smoosh it into the pan, sprinkle with cumin, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until heated through.

Mel et Caseum: Prepare cottage cheese either with honey and brine, or with salt, oil, and chopped coriander.

Revised: Drizzle some honey on cottage cheese.

Dulcia domestica: palmulas vel dactylos excepto semine, nuce vel nucleis vel pipere trito infercies. sale foris contingis, frigis in melle cocto, et inferes.

Revised: dates are stuffed, after the seeds have been removed, with a nut or with nuts and ground pepper, sprinkled with salt on the outside and are candied in honey and served.

Revised: Stuff pre-seeded dates with walnut fouths. Cover the bottom of a pan with honey and heat slowly until honey liquifies. Dump dates in, turn up the heat to medium, and toss them with the honey. When the honey is foamy and the dates are coated, take the dates out and let them cool separately. Don't let them touch, or they'll be bonded together forever.


Aliter Offelae: The vinegar is pretty strong, which is good if you are trying to cover up the taste of meat that has gone off because you don't have a refrigerator and you live in the Mediterranean. It's not bad though, and one member of our party really liked it. Apple cider vinegar was used here, but I imagine red wine vinegar would be really good, and probably much better as it has a lower acidity. I encourage someone to try this and report.

Aliter Porros: The beans did not absorb a detectable amount of leek flavor. They might absorb more if, as some cultures prefer, the beans were cooked for several hours. It did look bright and springy, but I didn't enjoy eating forkfuls of leeks.

Patina de Cucurbitis: It tastes about like you'd expect, like squash with cumin and olive oil. The cumin and olive oil on top reminded me of hummus.

Mel et Caseum: Mm. I like cottage cheese. I prefer mine savory, but this was tasty. Brine was not used, as the cottage cheese was already salted.

Dulcia Domestica: These... these were fantastic. Really, really good. I don't like dates. I'm ambivalent towards walnuts. But together, and then candied in honey, they somehow combine to be fantastically delicious. I recommend this recipe without reservation! One diabetic member of the party abstained, but the rest of us ate every single last one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1911: 143 Hudson Street

Original at

New York, December 1911. 143 Hudson Street, ground floor. Mrs. Salvia; Joe, 10 years old; Josephine, 14 years old; Camille, 7 years old. Picking nuts in a dirty tenement home. The bag of cracked nuts (on chair) had been standing open all day waiting for the children to get home from school. The mangy cat (under table) roamed about over everything. Baby is sleeping in the dark inner bedroom (three yrs. old).

Geeeez. Judgemental, much? Perhaps the author's purebred cat spends its days sitting primly on a satin pillow, and his baby sleeps in a brightly lit window.

To me, they just look like a happy family.


Next time: Traveling back farther than ever before!