Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gourmet Steaks, Sweet Peas di Florencia, Orange Pineapple Salad, Chocolate Easy Loaf Cake, Milk

A lovely lovely reader [thanks, iamspartan!] sent me a cookbook! It is a collection of meal plans produced by Safeway in the 1960's, by Jane Ross, Home Economist. It is pretty sweet. It may be my new favorite.

Also, I wonder if I can start adding H.E. after my name. This merits investigation*.

Gourmet Steaks
Sweet Peas di Florencia
Orange Pineapple Salad
Chocolate Easy Loaf Cake
Milk, Coffee

Gourmet Steaks
1 pound ground round
1/2 bulk pork sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon CROWN COLONY parsley flakes
1 teaspoon CROWN COLONY ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup SAFEWAY grated parmesan cheese
1/4 loaf, 15 oz., day old French bread, soak, squeeze dry
1 package, 4 oz., Birds Eye frozen French fried onion rings, baked

Combine all the ingredients except the onion rings in a mixing bowl. Mix with wooden spoon until well blended [and then smoosh with your hand because that spoon is never going to get the job done properly]. Form into four steaks. Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a shallow skillet or griddle. Fry steaks as you would hamburgers [probably 'cause they are]. Remove steaks to a warm serving platter. Garnish with French fried onion rings.

I did not make this, but I provide the recipe so that you may. As of course you will.

Sweet Peas di Florencia (Serves 4 to 6)
1/2 cube LUCERNE butter
1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
1 can, buffet, TOWN HOUSE tomato sauce
1 medium potato, cubed
2 tablespoons cooking or olive oil

Melt butter in a 1 1/2 quart size saucepan. Stir in onions. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce becomes thick. Meanwhile heat cooking oil in small skillet. Stir in cubed potatoes. Cook on low heat until half done and remove from heat. To the tomato sauce mixture add 1 can, No. 303, TOWN HOUSE sweet peas, undrained and the half-way cooked potatoes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Orange Pineapple Salad (Serves 6)
1 cup boiling water
1 package, 3 oz., orange-pineapple gelatin
1 can, No. 211, LALANI crushed pineapple, drained
1 can, buffet, TOWN HOUSE mandarin orange segments, drained
1 cup combined drained pineapple and orange syrup
1 firm banana, sliced thin
1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup cold water

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in drained fruit syrup. Chill until slightly thickened. Pour lemon juice and water over banana slices to keep slices from discoloring. FOld drained orange segments, crushed pineapple, and banana slices into the slightly thickened gelatin. Pour into 6 x 10-inch shallow dish. Chill until set. Cut into squares and serve on chilled salad plates garnished with crisp lettuce leaves.

Chocolate Easy Loaf Cake
Sift 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt into mixing bowl, cut in 2/3 cup shortening.

Add 1 cup buttermilk or thick sour milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat 200 strokes (2 minutes by hand or low speed of electric mixer). Add 2 unbeaten eggs; beat for 2 minutes more.

Bake in greased and floured 9x5x3-inch pan at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes.

Remove from pan; cool and frost with a mocha or a fudge frosting. Serve with plenty of LUCERNE vanilla ice cream.


Gourmet Steaks: "Guess what, Husband! This week for time travelly meal, I am making you Gourmet Steaks!"

"...They aren't steaks, are they."

"The recipe's name is 'Gourmet Steaks.', honey. Gourmet Steaks."

"I am filled with suspicion."

Indeed, they are by no means steaks (unless you hail from Salisbury), but they are certainly an above-average hamburger. Husband, once he got over the disappointment caused by the recipe name, felt that this recipe should be used to make grilled hamburgers this summer. The French bread was a little fussy, and a little much. When I make this again (Yes, "when." It's always a pleasant surprise on this blog, isn't it?), I'm going to use a smaller amount of pre-packaged bread crumbs. Future Jana said it turned out great anyway, but she could be lying just to mess with me. If this turns out to be the case, I'm eating an entire carton of ice cream to pay her back.

Sweet Peas di Florencia: I hate canned peas. We had frozen green beans. I used the excuse of not knowing what a "buffet size" can is, but that didn't stop me from making the salad recipe below. I think it is just a regular sized can. If one of you wants to make this recipe and send me a picture and review, I will happily fill in this gap. I would be disappointed in Italy for this, but I did make (and yes, enjoy) those pizza potatoes, so I guess I shouldn't cast stones. They probably aren't responsible anyway. Sadly.

Orange Pineapple Salad: Jello is a traditional dish of my people, and oh my heck, this one is pretty good as Jello goes. I really love mandarin oranges. If you don't have a time machine, you probably won't be able to find orange-pineapple Jello. That is okay. Just use orange. It will be all right.

Chocolate Easy Loaf Cake: Either I failed, or the recipe did. For the sake of the shreds of dignity I have left, I will say it was the recipe. The piece of cake in the picture above was the end piece. The piece of cake in the picture below came from the middle.

Such shame I feel. Perhaps it is better to think of it as a trencher of cake to hold large amounts of chocolate whipped cream. There are no mistakes, only discoveries.

Milk: Lots of meal plans include beverages, for some reason.

*Oh hey, I forgot, I'm a B.H.E.! Awesome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Country Kitchen: 1936

Original at

This woman is making butter. And lucky her, she's got a crank butter churn! The butter I churned in the 1870's took a lot longer. I churned butter on a farm in WWI, and they had an awesome butter churn with a gear ratio of 3:1, thus making the chore 3x faster than the effort I had to expend.

Next time: A full-meal post, to include cake. Hooray!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Picnics and Luncheons.

Woman's Favorite Cook Book [1900's]

Some of these foods look tasty. Some do not. Pressed beef... and eggs. Jellied veal. I... I... look how happy that family is in the top left-hand corner! I want to live in that picture.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tarte of strawberyes

Another fantastic guest post! This time from Anje of Kitchen Historic.


I have a good friend who went on a summer trip to England a few years ago and she brought me back this wonderful book, A Recipe Book in the Tudor Fashion. In this book is a Tudor recipe for a strawberry tart, taken from the cookbook A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye. Books dating this far back can be a little difficult to decipher, but luckily the book did all the work for me. I halved this recipe because it's just me and Mr. Man and I didn't want to make too much, however this recipe only makes enough for two 18-inch pans, so it's really not a lot to begin with.

To make short paest for tarte.

Take fyne floure and a cursey of
fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and
a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges
and make it thynne and as tender as ye

To make a tarte of strawberyes.

Take and strayne theym wyth the yolkes
of foure egges, and a lyttle whyte breade
grated, then season it up wyth suger and
swete butter and so bake it.

The Verdict:
The taste was not necessarily bad, however the texture of the strawberries inside was a little strange for me. I also think I should've baked my tart a bit longer, so that may be part of it. I much prefer my strawberries at least partially intact. This tart was not very sweet either, but I've come to find that a lot of historical recipes are not very sweet. Probably due to changing tastes, I imagine. Anyway, this is okay, but I would not make it again. I'd rather eat a strawberry pie.

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye)

Pastry Crust
250 grams PLAIN FLOUR
100 grams UNSALTED BUTTER, softened
pinch of SAFFRON (for color, omit if desired)
2 EGG YOLKS, beaten
4 tablespoons COLD WATER

1. Grind the saffron to powder (use the back of a spoon if you don't have a mortar and pestle) and add to the flour.
2. Add the flour to the soft butter and rub it between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolks and some water if necessary to create a dough which sticks together.
4. Roll out thin and use to line a greased 18cm flan tin.

Strawberry Tart
3 EGG YOLKS, beaten
3 tablespoons SUGAR
25 grams UNSALTED BUTTER, softened

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Puree the strawberries in a blender and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
2. Pour strawberry mixture into the prepared (unbaked) tart crust and decorate the top with the trimmings.
3. Use milk or egg yolk as a glaze and bake until the pastry is golden.


That is a fine looking tart, is it not? Also a very attractive picture.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chicken a la King

Today's guest post is from Alison, The Domestic Engineer. I have found that the 1970's has a mysterious allure. Alison is not immune, and her recipe comes from the 1974 edition of the Campbell's Soup cookbook.

Chicken a la King
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken, ham, or turkey
2 tablespoons diced pimiento
Dash pepper

Cook onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Blend in soup and milk; add chicken, pimento, and pepper. Heat slowly; stir often. Serve over toast. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

The recipe is called Chicken a la King and sounds fancy even though it's just a mixture of cream of chicken soup with chicken, onions, and green peppers and served over toast. Not too daring of a recipe really but it was out of an old cookbook and a big hit with the family that my husband wants it again! I should be more daring next time though and try something even older or bizarre sounding.

Also, now that I think of it, this recipe really is pretty much like Hawaiian haystacks but on toast rather than rice and without the extra toppings. I'm going to try and branch out further next time because this is kinda fun! I'll also keep my eye out for some cool old cookbooks at Goodwill!

That is some nice looking Chicken a la King, Alison! I would eat it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Food Furnished by the Sea, Lakes, and Rivers

Woman's Favorite Cook Book [1900's]

All right, I'm usually first in line to say how fab these pictures are... but... I'm just not feeling it on this one. I'm just happy for the urchin brat at the top. She looks really pleased that she gets fed tonight.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WWII Rationing: Chocolate Cream

It is WWII! And you know what that means. Rationing. If you're in Britain, each person gets 1 fresh egg a week* OR one packet of dried eggs a month. Since a packet makes 12 eggs, the dry eggs may be a wiser choice. Furthermore, the Ministry of Food is here to give you helpful suggestions on how to use them!


I love custard.

Dry Egg Custard
2 T. dried eggs**
1 T. sugar
2 C. milk

Mix the dry ingredients together, taking care to get all the lumps out of the dried eggs at this stage. Press them through a fine sieve, if you have one, or rub the powder between the finger-tips till all the lumps have gone. Blend the dry mixture with a little of the milk to make a smooth cream. Boil the rest of the milk and pour slowly on the mixture, stirring well all the time. Then return to pan, and boil very gently for five minutes. It's important not to boil hard. Finally add the nutmeg.

You can use this custard recipe in a great variety of ways. It's excellent for a trifle, or for a fool made with whatever fruit is available. Or you can use it to make a lemon or orange "cream" by adding the grated rind of a lemon or orange and serving in individual glass dishes. Another idea is to add four level tablespoons of cocoa (and possibly a little more sugar) to the mixture; this make a lovely Chocolate Cream.

Verdict: I mixed the dry ingredients together, added cold milk, and whisked it all together until it was smooth before cooking. It worked fine. Since I was using sweet ground chocolate instead of unsweetened cocoa powder, I did not add more sugar. That would be unpatriotic.

It was really not good. Mainly because of the absurdly small amount of sugar. Seriously, 1 T. for 2 C. of milk? I would rather save up my sugar ration and use it at once on something good. It also tastes weirdly eggy. The non-chocolated version might be all right with a little vanilla and used as suggested in a fool***.

*Unless you are me. I get two.

**If you do not have access to a time machine, dried eggs are available at emergency supply stores and online. If you do have access to a time machine, it is best to trade fresh eggs for dried ones, so you do not drain the local resources and disrupt the economy. Shopkeepers will be confused; just tell them you're doing it for King and country.

***Fold together the custard and stewed or fresh fruit. My grandma makes a fantastic version from her dairy farming days in Alaska involving heavy cream, sugar, and lowbush cranberries. Oh man. I wish I had that instead.

Thanks to
The Midnight Watch

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Delights For the Old and Young

Woman's Favorite Cook Book [1900's]

Look at this! Oh my golly but these pictures are beautiful. Even the jelly mold that suspends what appears to be a whole cluster of grapes looks appetizing. What I really really want, though, is the cornstarch pudding with candied cherries. The little girl in the top left corner has been left on her own, and has therefore determined that of all the sneaky, naughty things she could do, she shall make a pastry.

This is a much better idea than playing with matches. She probably read this cautionary tale and found pastry a wiser alternative.

Die gar traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug

The Dreadful Story of Harriet and the Matches

Victorians didn't mess around with cautionary tales.

Friday, March 4, 2011

TV Dinner

As you may recall, the time machine has been malfunctioning lately. I thought for a while the dampers might be the problem, as there were some very inconvenient problems with queasiness. That seems to be getting a bit better, but now the automatic wardrobe adjustment circuit is having increasing issues with fit, especially around my midriff. I believe I have found out the underlying cause of all this, but it should still take some time for matters to resolve themselves. Anyway, the call for guest posts is still open!

On to TV dinners! Hey, give me a break, here.

TV dinners were developed in 1953 by Swanson, but really hit their stride in the 60's and 70's. The original TV dinner was $0.98, and consisted of turkey, cornbread dressing, peas, and sweet potatoes.*

When I told Husband of the plan for this post, he was understandably wary. Upon arrival in the frozen foods section, we were both surprised and disconcerted to discover that Banquet frozen dinners are still $1. He chose chicken fried steak, I chose Salisbury steak. We both avoided the "boneless pork ribs" made of "shaped meat patty."

Chicken Fried Steak Meal
Microwave 3 minutes. Stir potatoes around. Microwave 2 1/2 minutes.

Salisbury Steak Meal
Microwave 3 minutes. Stir potatoes around. Microwave 2 1/2 minutes.


Chicken Fried Steak meal: I think the chicken fried steak is mainly Things That Are Not Meat, but it was okay. Husband was dubious, but claimed the mashed potatoes were several steps above MRE mashed potatoes. So that's something! He also said that although the meal wasn't great, when it was finished he kept wanting to eat more if it.

Salisbury Steak meal: On the box, the Salisbury steak has grill marks and there is a small mountain of corn. These were lies. The corn was the best part, followed distantly by the mashed potatoes. I've had worse instant mashed potatoes. The Salisbury steak was like a meat-flavored sponge in a sea of oddly glutinous, glistening gravy. Every bite of it filled me with a great sadness.

*Thanks, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fresh Fruits and How to Serve Them

Woman's Favorite Cook Book [1900]

Click to embiggen

Do you remember that part of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where they see the beautifully colored wallpaper that you can lick and it tastes like fruit? One of my sisters has a thing for a particular shade of yellow paint. It makes her think of lemon pudding and she wants to lick it. This is how I feel about this page. I want to lick it.

I also like to think about how in 5 seconds, this little girl is going to cram that banana into the doll baby's face.