Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chicken Croquettes

Mrs. Curtis's Cook Book cira. 1908

Note: The recipe has "good" written in old script with a pencil in my book.

Chicken Croquettes.

1 1/2 cupfuls chopped chicken,
3/4 cupful chopped ham,
6 chopped mushrooms,
4 tablespoonfuls flour,
2 tablespoonfuls butter,
1 cupful chicken stock,
1 tablespoonful cream,
Pepper and salt,
1 teaspoonful lemon juice.

Put in a saucepan the flour and butter. Mix till the butter absorbs the flour, then add stock made from boiling up the bones of the chicken, and stir till it becomes a thick paste.

Add cream, pepper and salt enough to season, a little nutmeg and lemon juice.

Stir in the chopped chicken and mushrooms.And the ham

Mix well and turn on a plate to cool.

When cold, roll a tablespoonful of the mixture into an oblong shape, dip in egg and bread crumbs, and fry in hot fat.

-Margaret Bailey

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Almond Milk

The Century Cook Book cira 1894

Needed: Two ounces of sweet almonds, one-half ounce of bitter almonds, two ounces of loaf sugar, one tablespoonful of orange flower water, one pint of spring water.

Blanch the almonds and pound them with the sugar orange flower water, in a mortar, adding a few drops of water occasionally whilst pounding, to prevent too much oiliness.

When mixture looks creamy and smooth, pour it into a clean basin, add cold spring water, and stir it with a silver or thin wooden spoon.

Leave it for two hours, then strain and keep it either on ice or in a very cool place, as it is likely otherwise to turn sour.

Almond milk is served with an equal quantity of water.

Monday, November 7, 2011

how to cook eels

The Century Cook Book circa: 1894

To cook eels. Skin and cleanse the eels and cut in two inch lengths. Slice half a pound of fat pork and fry to a crisp; take out pork and put the eel in the pan; if small set the lengths up on end, but if large you can put them in the pan lengthwise;

Sprinkle with salt and a very little pepper, add half a cup of water, cover lightly so that part of the steam can escape, put on the fire and cook until the water has all boiled away and one side of the eel is fried to a nice brown, then turn over carefully and fry the other side.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Black Cake (very rich)

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

Stir together a pound of sugar and a pound of butter for fifteen minutes, then stir in two wineglassfuls of brandy and two of wine, then beat in the beaten yolks of twelve eggs; put in two wineglassfuls of sour cream, one teaspoonful of soda, four grated nutmegs, one tablespoonful of cinnamon, one of mace, one of clove, three pounds of raisins, stoned and chopped, three pounds of currents, washed and dried; and three pounds of citron or two citron, and one-half each of orange and lemon peel;

When these are well mixed in, stir in a pound of flour, and last of all the beaten whites of twelve eggs.

Bake in a moderate oven for about four hours.

This cake is very rich; is nice enough for any entertainment, and will keep for months. It should be made at least two or three weeks before using.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Word About Baking Powder

Mrs. Curtis's Cookbook circa 1909

Every Housekeeper should understand the nature of Baking Powder. This is important for two reasons; first, to insure perfect bakings and second, to avoid danger to health.

Baking Powder is not a food; it is a preparer of food only, and is used only for the leavening gas it produces to make the food light and sweet.

The perfect Baking Powder is the one which will evolve the most leavening gas and leave the smallest and most nearly neutral residue in the food.

A chemical examination of the many brands of baking powder on the market will show an enormous majority of them to be not only weak in gas, but either strongly acid or alkaline in reaction Sweet palatable food cannot be prepared with these powders.

The bread will be bleached and bitter on the one hand and yellow and alkaline on the other. This condition results from manufacturers working with a fixed formula year in and year out, regardless of the strength of their material.

An example of a perfect powder is the brand called Calumet Baking Powder. The makers use the very latest methods and employ competent chemists who analyze all ingredients. The result is a baking powder which gives the maximum of leavening gas and the minimum of residue, and that neutral left in the food.

The cream of tartar baking powders cannot be classed as modern powders, for they are made in the same way now as they were forty years ago. We cannot recommend them to our readers for two reasons; first the outrageously high price; Second, the residue of Rochelle salts they leave in the food.

Rochelle salts is the active principle of seidlitz powders and is harmful if its use is continued.

As authority, we quote the following:
The United States Department of Agriculture has declared in substance that: "A loaf of bread made from a quart of flour leavened with cream of tartar baking powder, contains 43 grains more of Rochelle salts that is contained in Seidlitz powder"
(see bulletin 13)

Dr. Moreau Morris, of the New York Board of Health, says: "It may be that I am a little prejudiced but I think I express the consensus of the medical profession when I say that Rochelle salts should never be used by a person except by a physicians advice. Its continued use induces a very unhealthy condition of the stomach and especially the bowels, and finally produces constipation of an aggravated type."

Dr. A, Warner Shepard, formerly Health Officer in Brooklyn, said: "I have not the slightest doubt that the mental and physical health of thousands is permanently injured by the excessive use of Rochelle salts in impure beers, bread and other forms of food and drink. It is certainly a factor in the alarming increase of Bright's disease of the kidneys, and similar complaints. It irritates the kidneys, bowels, and stomach and may therefore produce most unfortunate results."

Unfortunately a great deal of misinformation has been disseminated by interested manufacturers, and it is said upon good authority that $500,000 are now being spent every year by a single firm, to advertise the "pure" qualities of cream of tartar.

As a matter of fact, most of the cream of tartar used in the manufacture of baking powder is made from the dregs of wine vats, and the residue left after the chemical action in the process of baking take place, is unhealthful.

Calumet Baking Powder leaves little or no residue, while high price cream of tartar powders leave about 70 per cent of their weight in the food in the form of Rochelle salts.

Baking powder may be pure in the can and unwholesome in the bread. A reaction takes place in the process of baking, so that the substance left in the bread is entirely different that the material that entered the can, because of chemical processes in the baking.

The statement that a powder contains this or that substance may be misleading, for the reason that the consumer wants to know what goes into his stomach, and not what goes into the can.

Brands of baking powder put up with the private firm name of a local merchant are usually found to be of inferior quality at least. The local dealer's name is generally injured by this custom, since his own reputation, not that of the manufacturer, goes behind the powder, and the merchant is usually not competent to judge the quality of the product.

The cheap or big-can baking powders have but one recommendation; they certainly give the purchaser plenty of powder for her money. These powders are so carelessly made from inferior materials that they will not make light, wholesome food, as they have a very small percentage of leavening gas.

Cheap baking powders leave the bread sometimes bleached and acid, sometimes yellow and alkaline, and often unpalatable. They are never of uniform strength and quality.

There are in other words, two extremes that should be avoided by the careful housewife. On the one hand, the so-called trust made goods, sold at fabulous prices in order to pay the trust dividends of some ten million of dollars a year on a sale of something like ten millions of pounds a year, and on the other hand, the cheap, big-can powders just mentioned.

A first class powder may be sold at a fair profit for about twenty five cents a pound. Of course, this cannot be done if the manufacturer must pay five hundred thousand dollars a year for advertising, and also pay dividends of two millions of dollars a year on twenty millions of dollars of watered stock.

It has been estimated that it costs one company something like thirty cents a pound to sustain its business policy, before beginning to manufacture its powder. Obviously, the public must pay these huge bills and this fact would of itself account for fifty cents a pound price.

A careful study of the various brands of baking powder before the public has led us to believe that the powder which received the "highest award" at the World's Pure Food Exposition at Chicago- Calumet Baking Powder- embodies all the points desired in a perfect baking powder.

1st. Greatest leavening power.
2nd. Moderateness in price.
3rd. Absolute uniformity.
4th. Small amount of harmless residue in the food.

The makers of Calumet Baking Powder offer a reward of $1,000.00 to anyone who can find in food prepared with Calumet any substance injurious to health. This reward has never been claimed and because of this fact, and our belief in the goods after a very rigid examination, together with the moderate price, this powder has been especially recommended in the recipes in Mrs. Curtis's Cook Book.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Horseradish Sauce

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

(To serve with roast beef)

You need four tablespoonfuls of grated horseradish, 1 teaspoonful of pounded(powdered) sugar, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 1/2 teaspoonful of pepper, 2 teaspoonfuls of made mustard, vinegar.

Grate the horseradish, and mix it well with the sugar, salt, pepper and mustard; moisten it with sufficient vinegar to give it the consistency of cream, and serve in a tureen; 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of cream added to the above, very much improve (sic) the appearance and flavor of this sauce.

To heat it to serve with hot roast beef, put it in a Bain Marie(double boiler), or a jar, which place (sic) in a saucepan of boiling water; make it hot, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle.

NOTE- This sauce is a great improvement on the old fashioned way of serving cold scraped horseradish with hot roast beef. The mixing of the cold vinegar with the warm gravy cools and spoils everything on the plate. Of course, with cold meat, the sauce should be served cold.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to wash silk

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

The idea of washing silk dresses, and other articles of wearing apparel or furniture made of silk, will be novel to most of our readers.

For a dress to be washed, the seams of a skirt do not require to be ripped apart, though it must be removed from the band at the waist, and the lining taken from the bottom.

Trimmings or drapings, where there are deep folds, the bottom of which is very difficult to reach, should be undone so as to remain flat.

A black silk dress, without being previously washed, may be refreshed by being soaked during twenty-four hours in soft, clear water; clearness in water being indispensable. If dirty the black dress may be previously washed.

When very old and rusty, a pint of gin or whisky (sic) should be mixed with each gallon of water. This addition is an improvement under any circumstances, whether the silk be previously washed or not. After soaking, the dress should be hung up to drain dry without being wrung.

The mode of washing silk is this: The article should be laid upon a clean smooth table. A flannel should be well soaped, just made wet with lukewarm water, and the surface of the silk rubbed one way with it, care taken that this rubbing is quite even.

When dirt has disappeared, the soap must be washed off with a sponge and plenty of cold water, of which the sponge must be made to imbibe as much as possible. As soon as one side is finished, the other must be washed precisely in the same manner.

Let it be understood that not more of either surface must be done at a time than can be spread perfectly flat upon the table, and the hand can conveniently reach; likewise the soap must be quite sponged off one portion before the soaped flannel is applied to another portion.

Silks when washed should always be dried in the shade, on a linen horse, and alone.

If black or dark blue, they will be improved if, when dry, they are placed on a table and well sponged with gin or whisky , and again dried. Either of these spirits alone will remove, without washing, the dirt and grease from a black necktie or handkerchief of the same color, which will be so renovated by the application as to appear almost new.