Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crab Imperial Quickie

I chose this one because the story mentions a dinner for President Eisenhower.

Plus I love that she advises us all to roll our own cracker crumbs.

Not to mention the name.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Cookbook Day! Who Says We Can't Cook!

Hip hip hooray, it's new cookbook day! In coming weeks I will be posting recipes from Who Says We Can't Cook!, published in 1955 by the Women's National Press Club.

Many of the stories are about interesting historical events, others are more personal or familial in nature.

Hope you enjoy them!

The inscription below states that the book was given following the ASNE Week in Washington DC in 1972. ASNE stands for the American Society of News Editors.

Here's the title page.

Check out a closeup of the picture:

I love how this little lady is typing away industriously, pertly perched atop her travel worn trunk.
The Foreword opens:
This Women's National Press Club Cook Book is not so much a defense of the culinary talents of newspaper women as it is a profit-making venture. We want a clubhouse of our own. With the help of this book, we expect to have a clubhouse, sooner.
Who Says We Can't Cook!" bears the trademark of our profession--a story accompanies each recipe. This joint journalistic venture, a cook book with more than 140 authors, reflects the kaleidoscopic personalities of our profession."
(In fact, this book may indeed include more famous by-lines--over more exclusive copy--than any other volume in history.)

Many of the stories describe significant historical or cultural events, others are more personal or familial in nature.

Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pork Cake. Let Mikey Try It.

In case the Sea Moss Pudding didn't cut it for you, perhaps you'll be a bigger fan of this recipe.

Just look at all the prettily decorated petit fours on the adjacent picture! Don't they look yummy?

Surely the recipes must be delicious. Surely.

Where the heck is Mikey when we need him???

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Potency Pudding: the Sea Moss Advantage

I know that I've been advocating for homemade puddings, but I think I might have to draw the line at this one:

I like the part about removing discolored pieces. No one wants wrongfully colored moss bits in their parfait dish.

Sea moss must have a gelatinous quality, given that their are no eggs, corn starch, or other thickeners in the pudding.

Here's a delicious looking picture. It does look pretty gelatinous to me.

I wanted to know more about sea moss desserts, and so I Googled it. (Viva la Google!)

This provider's page includes a puzzling comment. It says that when rinsing the moss you shouldn't leave it in water too long or it will lose nutrients. Think about it. The stuff GROWS in water. How could rinsing it remove nutrients?

Another online article says "Most Caribbean men are not afraid to admit that sea moss is one of their secrets to sexual potency and virility."

Apparently there's more to this recipe than meets the eye...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tricky Stuffing

I'll be honest with you. I don't know why this stuffing is tricky.

Granted, it doesn't include cooking directions. Maybe that's the tricky part: figuring out what it goes well with, and how to cook it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Got Milk?

Since we are on the topic of beverages, let's talk milk.

Turns out it's not just for mustaches anymore.

Here's what The New American Cook Book had to say:
In spending the food money, milk should be considered first, as it is necessary for every one and is the best building food for children. It also supplies the body with fuel, minerals, and Vitamins A, B, and G.

Pasteurized milk is safer than raw milk, because complete pasteurization kills germs that might be present, such as those that cause tuberculosis, infantile diarrhea, septic sore throat, typhoid fever, diphtheria, and scarlet fever. If raw milk is used or advised, it should, of course, be certified.

Milk should be covered and kept cold; that will keep it clean, sweet, and free from strange flavors and odors.

If there is no ice in the home, it may be necessary in hot weather to buy milk twice a day, letting the dealer keep it cold. A temperature between 45-50 degrees F. keeps milk from spoiling.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thirsty yet?

Summertime, and the living is thirsty.

In case you've been sweating and need a bevvie, here are some options you may not have noodled through on your own.

My personal favorites?
  • Albumen Beverages
  • Toast Water
  • Raw Beef Tea

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fear Not, Intrepid Reader!

One of my faithful readers recently called Cookbook Love "frightening", Tuna Jello having pushed her over the edge. I suppose that for some, peptonized milk, beet and tuna salad, and pig's foot jelly could be off putting.

I confess to having a bit of a macabre streak when it comes to these old books. In my view, the weirder the recipe, the better. But take heart! For those of you with less intestinal fortitude than mine, not to mention a more easily triggered gag reflex, change is coming!

In a few days posts will be pulled from Who Says We Can't Cook!, containing recipes from members of the Women's National Press Club in the 1950s. Each of the recipes in this book is accompanied by an interesting story about a press event related to the dish. Some of the recipes are weird, but mostly they are simply interesting.

Until then, hang on to your airsick bag because the ride ain't over quite yet!

Rollmops I say

Today's recipe may also leave you feeling ripped off. I'm sorry about that, but if your Mama hasn't broken it to you yet, let me do her dirty work:

Life isn't fair.

The "recipe" comes from the Appetizer section. Not sure why the editors thought a recipe was called for, but who am I to judge?


What is a rollmop you may well ask?

Here's a pic:

Roly Poly fish mops, eat them up, yum!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Switched at Birth. Or at Least at Editing.

It's BOGO Monday, though you may feel a bit gypped by this set.

Orange Date Dumplings

Orange Date Rolls

Near as I can figure, there are only two differences between these recipes:

1) The first uses homemade Bisquick rather than listing the biscuit ingredients.
2) The second produces a much more substantial amount of syrup.

Item 2 leads me to believe that the recipes were switched at birth. The "Orange Date Rolls" which include about a cup of syrup must actually be the dumplings.

And vice versa.

Can't pull a sweater over MY face. Oh no you can't.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

There's Always Room for Tuna Jello

Caption: "A real treat for lunch. For guests--jellied tuna fish."
I suppose it's safer to feed it to guests than to the children of the house.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mechanically Frozen Fruit Salad

The evolution of salads over the last century is interesting to study. Jellied salads were common, both sweet and savory, containing fruit, vegetables, and meats. Some of these concoctions sound delicious, others faintly (or even overtly) disgusting.

The New American Cook Book contains many of these recipes, such as the one below, titled Frozen Fruit Salad:

The caption for this photo reads "A loaf salad to feature your finest dinner."

Here's the recipe. I love that it refers to a "mechanical refrigerator." Similar recipes in the book refer to the "automatic refrigerator". Obviously refrigerators were still relatively newfangled even in the early 1940s.

Frozen Fruit Salad

6 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise (recipe No. 701)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 cups canned fruit cocktail
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Few grains salt

Mash cheese. Add mayonnaise. Whip cream. Fold into cheese mixture. Drain fruit cocktail. Fold fruit, nuts, and salt into first mixture. Pack into freezing tray of mechanical refrigerator. Freeze firm. Serve on lettuce. Serves 8.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cream of Cucumber Soup

I typically think of cucumbers as cool, crisp, and refreshing. Very summery.

But this rich preparation speaks more to cold weather, with it's white sauce, egg yolks, and butter.

Not my cup of soup, but interesting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mock Turtle Soup

At first I thought one might make mock turtle soup to protect the poor little guys. That's what we do in 2011; we think about protecting species such as green turtles. But of course this was a different day and age. Turtle soup was prestigious; turtles were expensive. The thrifty cook did what she could to imitate the upper crust without having to dip into her pin money.

So I started out thinking that making this soup verged on saving the ecosystem, or was at the very least a random act of turtle kindness. But then I actually read the recipe.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about mock turtle soup:
Mock turtle soup is an English soup that was created in the mid-18th century as a cheaper imitation of green turtle soup. It often uses brains and organ meats such as calf's head or a calf's foot to duplicate the texture and flavour of the original's turtle meat.

Mrs. Fowle's Mock Turtle Soup: "Take a large calf's head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender, then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop't very small. A ¼ of a pint of oysters chop't very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chop't. Stand all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the forcemeat balls made small and the yolks of hard eggs."
Now I'm no vegetarian. Beef is good food. I love steak, and burgers, and roast beef, and shepherd's pie. But there is something about taking the head of a poor little cow tyke and boiling it until the meat falls off that makes me feel worse for it than I might for a turtle.

I think I'll have a veggie burger for lunch...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Always Peptonize Before You Enema-ize

So many mysterious things can be found in old cook books. Take this "recipe" for example:

What the heck is peptonizing powder? you might well ask.

Or Why might one wish to drink milk once it has been added?

Good questions.

Here's what I discovered after a bit of judicious Googling:
"Peptonized milk is used in many conditions in which it is thought that the gastric digestion is too feeble to digest ordinary milk, or in which it is desired, as sometimes, in typhoid fever, for instance, to avoid the curdling of milk in the stomach. Milk should always be peptonized before being introduced into an enema."
(From "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White, 1911)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Silencing Solution for Critical Guests: Gaily Colored Ice Cubes

One of the interesting things in this introduction is the mention of people flocking to soda fountains. If it were written today I suppose it would talk about coffee shops, and the resurgence in popularity of tea.

The other thing that strikes me is how worried the author is about critics. Personally I don't believe in inviting critical people for dinner and drinks. But that's just me. If you like the kind of sniping criticism that these people bring to the table, be my guest. Just consider your ice cubes, as advised below:
Beverages probably furnish more pleasure at meals or between meals than any other single course. The early morning aroma of fine coffee makes a day start right. Beautifully colored and delightfully flavored cold drinks bring joy and happiness to meals served in hot weather. It is the punch bowl that forms one of the chief attractions at parties. The large numbers of men and women--old and young--who swarm into the soda bars in every part of the world provide ample testimony to the craving of everyone for fine drinks. The clever homemaker can serve in her home as delicious and refreshing drinks as can be found at the best-equipped fountains.
A good general rule to follow in serving beverages is, "Serve hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold." Never serve lukewarm hot drinks nor slightly cool cold drinks.

Make all beverages as lovely and colorful as possible. Select garnishes and ingredients in beverages for color as well as taste. Your critical guests will remember the beauty of your punch bowl long after the flavor of the punch is forgotten. Particularly study the possibilities of gaily-colored and garnished ice cubes as an accompaniment of cold drinks.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bread-free Banana French Toast

Apparently it's banana week here at Cookbook Love, so here's your second banana post in as many days.

I'm not sure what to think about this recipe. I'm used to omelets that are savory rather than sweet, though apparently sweet versions are not unusual in this era. The opposite page contains a recipe for a jelly omelet, in which 1/2 cup of jelly is spread on top of a cooked omelet prior to folding.

Maybe if I think of it as a flour-less crepe it will sound better.

Or a fried torte.

Or a bread-less banana french toast.

Hey, that almost sounds good! Let me know if you try it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The New American Cook Book: Greatest of All References on the Art of Proper Feeding

Time for a new cook book! Yay!

This one is a real beauty. It is The New American Cook Book, published in 1942 by the American Publisher's Alliance.

Check out a closeup of the pretty, happy little homemaker on the front cover.

Also the tempting photo inside the front cover:

The lobster photo opposite the title page is somewhat less appetizing. Not to mention sideways.

The Introduction to the book reads (in part):
Good meals, attractively served, go a long way toward keeping the family together. Those with a tendency to stray will spend more time in homes where every meal is an event to look forward to. Fine family dinners, where exquisite aroma and savor bring a general feeling of content and good humor, provide exactly the right background for the younger members of the family who are at the age when they are seeking partners with whom to make new homes. And, when those homes are made, the new homemakers will naturally emulate, as far as possible, the finest things in the homes they left. It is unquestionably true that the manner of living of many persons today has been directly influenced by the well-prepared and properly served meals in the homes of ancestors, long forgotten. And, traveling with time in the other direction, it is highly probably that the lives of children, whose grandparents may be yet unborn, will be influenced by the meals being served in many homes today.

Thus the modern cook must learn about or take guidance upon The Art of Modern Feeding and Cooking; must know how to prepare food more than ever inviting, palatable, and beyond question conducive to health and efficiency.


There is pleasure and profit in the achievement of good cooking and right feeding. The pleasure comes in the form of the good-fellowship at table in the enjoyment of tasty food; the profit in the exuberance and energy manifested through normal or robust health; the escape from illness, with its cost of medical treatment; the enthusiasm of living, that results from proper feeding.

The cost of all this potential success and satisfaction in pursuance of one of the most important duties of life, need not exceed the employment of a few minutes a day in exploration of the contents of this greatest of all Cook Books.
I'm thinking about employing this technique myself some day. To heck with hubris. I'll call my first children's book "The Greatest of All Picture Books".

The cook book is modeled after a catechism, with each recipe numbered, and the sections divided by indented tabs:

I love the black line drawings that open each section, such as this one:

and this:

And particularly the three that follow.

This one looks more like a drawing from the 1920s or 1930s to me:

And this one is just plain funny. If only my cheese monger looked like these guys:

If only I HAD a cheese monger.

Stay tuned for recipes which can help you too master the Art of Proper Feeding.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stasia's Pig's Foot Jelly

My cat's name is Anastasia Butterscotch. She used to be called Stasia for short, or Stasia-Ann when she was in trouble. For a few weeks she was known as Adventure Cat.

(Now she mostly goes by "Chicken", but that's beside the point.)

Regardless of her name, I think Stasia the Adventure Chicken would love this recipe, especially if I held off on the vermouth and the peppercorns.

Pig's Foot Jelly

2 pair pigs feet
2 onions
2 carrots
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup celery
1 leek
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns
Dash marjoram, thyme, nutmeg, salt
2 egg whites
2 oz. dry Vermouth

Blanch pigs feet. Bring meat and vegetables to boil in 3 quarts cold water. Skim, simmer four hours or until meat falls away from bones. Season. Discard bones. Chop meat into mold, add some carrots. Clear stock with egg whites by boiling up once. Allow to stand until clear. Add Vermouth. Strain over meat. Chill until firm. Unmold. Serve with green salad, olive oil and vinegar.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Haul!

Check out my finds from this afternoon!

It includes:
  • Two Better Homes and Gardens magazines from the 1940s
  • A trippily illustrated "fast food" book from the 1970s
  • A hardcover book of "Electric Refrigerator Recipes and Menus" from the late 1920s
  • A 1955 community cookbook published by members of the Women's National Press Club
  • 2 pamphlet's from the 1930s published for Calumet Baking Powder.
  • A campy 1950s cookbook
  • A gold covered, index tabbed general cook book from the 1960s
Can't wait to start going through them!

Get-out-of-Purgatory-Free Sunday Night Salad

Eating this salad of a Sunday evening must result in a partial indulgence at the very least.

Sunday Night Salad
4 good size, cold, cooked beets, chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 cup celery, diced into small pieces
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 can tuna fish (seven ounce size)

Mix and blend with mayonnaise to taste - about 2/3 cup.

Serve on crisp lettuce cups or circled with sliced cucumbers.

Garnish with a ring of green pepper and a dab of mayonnaise. This amount serves four.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mother's Citrus Orange Cake

I love all orange flavored baked goods, so this one caught my eye even before I realized it was a family treasure.

I also liked that it is not merely an Orange Cake, but a Citrus one to boot.

The artist bio reads "Has worked extensively designing and creating Party Table Decorations for Elizabeth Arden, of the famous Fifth Avenue cosmetic firm".

What a plum gig!

Where do I sign up?

Mother's Citrus Orange Cake
(A Family Treasure)
3/4 cups butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup fresh buttermilk
1 cup walnuts, chopped very fine
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1 whole orange (put through food chopper)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped dates

Method: Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add well-beaten eggs. Add nuts, dates and ground orange. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Turn into well-greased, floured long loaf cake pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours in 325 degree oven.

When baked and still hot from oven, pour over top the following mixture:
Juice of 1 1/2 oranges (3/4 cups) plus grated rind mixed with 3/4 cups sugar -- mix thoroughly.
Allow cake to age 24 hours before cutting. Will keep moist for days.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spanish Cabbage Frankfurter Rolls

Nothing says the 4th of July like the smell of cabbage in the morning.

This recipe is it's very own melting pot of nationalities, and is sure to bring a smile to your yankee doodle faces.

Cabbage Frankfurter Rolls

Core a head of cabbage. Boil cabbage, remove leaves, put a frankfurter in the center of each leaf. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Prepare packaged Spanish rice, top with cabbage rolls, bake at 350 degrees F about 15 minutes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cannes Seafood Casserole

This artist says "I try to turn out a painting that will speak for itself."

If the statement also holds true for recipes, I'd say that this one deserves a spot in the Cannes Food Festival.

(Get it? Cannes? Oh never mind.)

It's another fine example of the heavy reliance on canned food products during the sixties. With all that white sauce, butter, and cheese it might be rather good using fresh ingredients. I'd probably hold off on the hardboiled eggs, which also seems to be sixties thing.

Have a look.

Seafood Casserole

3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
2 cups medium white sauce
1 can shrimp cut in halves
1 can tuna, well drained
1 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1/2 stick melted butter
1 2-oz can sliced mushrooms
1 can crabmeat
1/4 lb. grated cheddar cheese

Place in buttered baking dish, layers of sliced egg, shrimp, tuna, mushrooms and crabmeat, pouring white sauce over each layer. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover top with buttered crumbs. Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Charlie Chaplan's Missing Nephew's Fear-free Swiss Apple Pie

The first thing that struck me about this page is the artist's resemblance to Charlie Chaplan:

Mere coincidence? I don't think so.

The second thing I noticed is that this pie is crustless!


Mom, we are saved!

Swiss Apple Pie

1 large egg, 3/4 cup sugar, beat well and add the following: 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg or cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, mix all together. Add 1 heaping cup of apple (chopped fine), pour into greased pie plate, bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Forms own crust, serve warm or cold.