Saturday, August 12, 2017

1940 Murder Mystery Party

I found a murder mystery game at the thrift store!  And that means an opportunity to inflict period food on friends and loved ones. "Last Train from Paris" takes place in 1940, on the last train... uh... leaving... Paris.  Fortunately for me, my grandma was a home ec major in 1940, and I have all her books.  Oh yes.

This is the face that will feed you ham and peanut butter sandwiches with 0 guilt or regret

I'm going to kick myself now, because once the party started rolling, I was having too much fun to remember to take pictures of all the food!

 "There are so many responsibilities on a person's mind when they're keeping house, isn't there?"

*Cucumber water (I felt a palate cleanser was the humane thing to do)
*Sandwiches
     -Ham and peanut butter
     -Cottage cheese and watercress
     -Beet and egg
     -Chipped beef and cream cheese
     -Vegetable bean
*Stuffed cabbage head
*Cheese carrots
*Watercress
*Deviled eggs (no recipe)
*Peach Macaroon Mold
*Sharlotka with Never-Fail Caramel Icing (I just really like this cake, recipe is not period that I know of.)
*Husband cake with cream cheese frosting filling




Ham and Peanut Butter [[500 Tasty Sandwiches, 1941, Culinary Arts Institute)]
1/2 cup Smithfield ham paste
1/3 cup peanut butter

Blend ingredients or spread separately on buttered bread.  Serves 4 to 6.


Cottage Cheese and Watercress  [500 Tasty Sandwiches, 1941, Culinary Arts Institute)]
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup chopped watercress



Beet and Egg  [500 Tasty Sandwiches, 1941, Culinary Arts Institute)]
Combine 1/2 cup chopped cooked beets and 4 chopped hard-cooked eggs with mayonnaise or salad dressing.



Chipped Beef and Cream Cheese  [500 Tasty Sandwiches, 1941, Culinary Arts Institute)]
1/3 cup chipped beef, chopped
3 oz. cream cheese

Vegetable Bean  [500 Tasty Sandwiches, 1941, Culinary Arts Institute)]
1 (16 oz.) can pork and beans
1 can condensed vegetable soup
6 tablespoons mayonnaise

Mash pork and beans.  Add vegetable soup and mayonnaise.  Mix thoroughly.  Makes 2 3/4 cups.

I'm the most sad about not getting a good picture of this!  It was like a beautiful cabbage sputnik.

Stuffed Cabbage Head  [500 Tasty Snacks, 1940, Culinary Arts Institute]
1 head cabbage
Sour cream dressing
16 gherkins
16 cocktail frankfurters

Wash cabbage and remove outside leaves.  Cut a slice from top and remove center leaving a shell.  Shred cabbage from center, mix thoroughly with cream dressing, and chill.  WHen ready to serve fill center with shredded cabbage.  Spear gherkins and sausages on hors d'oeuvres picks and stick pics on outside of cabbage head, alternating gherkins and frankfurters.  Serve with butter crackers or salted wafers.
Use cooked shrimp marinated in French dressing instead of frankfurters.
Fill centger with chicken, shrimp, or crab-meat salad, saving center cabbage to be served creamed or fried.  Garnish with stuffed or ripe olives on picks.



Cheese Carrots  [500 Tasty Snacks, 1940, Culinary Arts Institute]
3 ounces cream cheese [full fat!]
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne
4 drops Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped chives or onion
Parsley sprigs

Mix cream cheese and carrot, season with salt, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, and chives.  Roll into miniature carrot shapes.  Chill until firm.  Stick a tiny sprig of parsley into each "carrot" to resemble tops.  Makes 8 "carrots."



Watercress
A large glass bowl of well washed and dried watercress to be picked up and eaten with the fingers should be on every hors d-oeuvre table.



Peach Macaroon Mold/Apricot Macaroon Pudding   [Lunching and Dining at Home, by Jeanne Owen.  1942]
Use 1 can of apricots--2 1/2 size.  Drain juice and set aside.  Mash apricots and mix 3/4 cup of macaroon crumbs with the fruit.
Soften 2 tablespoons of gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water.  Then heat the juice from the fruit and add to the softened gelatin.  When well dissolved and blended, cool a little and add the fruit.  Allow to set a little, then fold in 1 cup of cream which has been whipped.
Pour in a mold and place in refrigerator to set.
Just before using, turn out of the mold, dipping the mold carefully in hot water and removing quickly.



Sharlotka with Never-Fail Caramel Icing  [High Altitude Recipes: Presented by the Millers of Pikes Peak All Purpose Flour, 1948, Colorado Milling & Elevator Company]
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put all ingredients into sauce pan and cook until forms soft ball, then beat till of spreading consistency.



Husband Cake  [High Altitude Recipes: Presented by the Millers of Pikes Peak All Purpose Flour, 1948, Colorado Milling & Elevator Company]
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup tomato soup
3/4 cup water
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
3 cups sifted PIKES PEAK ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup seeded raisins
1 cup nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the shortening and sugar well.  Combine the soup, soda, and water. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the dry ingredients.  Add raisins and nuts and bake in layers or loaf pan as desired about 45 minutes in moderate oven (350 F.).  Frost with your favorite icing.


Verdict:

Ham and peanut butter: So horrific.  It tastes of salty tears and a cat's breath.  It was easily the least popular thing on the table.  One person liked it, though.  I don't think a single other person finished their tiny tea sandwich.  The weird thing for me was that the combo of canned ham and peanut butter confused my mouth so much, I was able to get it down before my brain caught up.

Cottage cheese and watercress: Second most popular.  Because it tasted of nothing.  Watercress on its own is kind of spicy.  Watercress mixed with cottage cheese tastes of... cottage cheese.  A mystery.
Beet and egg:  It's a pretty color! I thought it was okay.  I like egg salad and beets.  Also not terribly popular.  

Chipped beef and cream cheese:  A surprise hit!  Everyone liked these.  One person claimed it was her new favorite sandwich.

Vegetable bean:  It looked like diarrhea, and tasted of... uh... mushed up pork and beans and condensed vegetable soup.  Second least popular.

Stuffed cabbage head:  So beautiful.  So strange.  Like an alien spacecraft that has landed on a buffet table by accident.  So many regrets that I did not capture its full glory.  Magnificent.

Cheese carrots:  Another surprise hit.  These were really good.  The next day, I used the leftover mix as a sandwich filling, and it was delightful.  This would make a good bagel schmear, too.  Yum.  We made the carrot shape by using two spoons to form rough quenelles.

Watercress: Look, it's watercress.  Yup.  There it is.

Peach Macaroon Mold:  Harmless.  I substituted apricots with peaches, because that is what I had.  It was fine.  Not much personality.

Sharlotka with Never-Fail Caramel Icing:  This caramel icing is amazing. It kind of melted into the cake overnight because the cake had so much moisture, but still good.

Husband cake with cream cheese frosting filling:  Yes, it has tomato soup!  My expectations were low.  But it was really nice.  It doesn't taste like tomato, it tastes like spice cake.  Which makes me wonder about the purpose of the tomato soup in the first place.  Extra leavening from when you mix the acidic tomato soup with baking soda?  It gave the cake a nice color, I suppose.


4 comments:

Nancy said...

I hope none of your guests went away hungry!

S. S. said...

My sister craved ham and peanut butter while carrying her first child. Mind you, she used real ham. It actually was not that bad.

Jana said...

My sister craved gasoline, permanent markers, and laundry soap.

Jana said...

Nope! There was enough edible stuff to keep everyone happy.