Since I love to try interesting meat toppers and relishes, I was excited to see a hundred-year-old Apple Relish recipe in a 1915 Ladies Home Journal.
This recipe is a winner. The Apple Relish was easy to make, and is one of the best tasting relishes I’ve ever eaten. Its sweat-sour, spicy, fruitiness perfectly complements grilled or roasted beef or pork.
7 cups apples (chopped and peeled)
2 cup raisins
1 cup vinegar
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a large plan. Bring to a boil, then stir occasionally and boil steadily for half an hour.
Ladle into hot half-pint or pint jars. Wipe jar rim, and adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Makes approximately 8 half-pints (4 pints)
Adapted from Recipe in Ladies Home Journal (September, 1915)
Double boilers apparently were extremely popular a hundred years ago. I’m intrigued that the Quaker Oats Company apparently considered them so desirable that they were part of the company’s marketing initiative. Customers were given double boilers when they sent in a dollar plus several trademark pictures cut off the oatmeal packages.
When I made the Coffee Pudding recipe earlier this week, the hundred-year-old recipe stated that it should be cooked in a double boiler.
Since many people today don’t own double boiIers, I adjusted the recipe to say that it should be cooked “in a saucepan (use a double boiler if available)”.
Double boilers reduce the likelihood that food in contact with the bottom surface of a pan will be scorched. If a double boiler isn’t used when making puddings, and other easy-to-burn foods, it is important to stir constantly, and ensure the spoon goes to the very bottom of the pan and regularly touches every single millimeter of the bottom surface.
Lattes, coffee-flavored candy, coffee ice cream. . . I like them all, so when I saw a recipe for Coffee Pudding in a hundred-year-old Ladies Home Journal I had to try it.
The verdict — I loved the Coffee Pudding. This delightful dessert was easy to make, and it sort of reminded me of a Frappuccino, but smoother and deceptively light. I thoroughly enjoyed the Coffee Pudding — and tried not to think about the hefty amounts of cream and sugar in it. (I’ll worry about that tomorrow.)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold coffee
3/4 heavy whipping cream
Combine eggs, sugar, coffee, and salt; then put through a strainer to remove any clumps of egg white. Put the strained liquid into a sauce pan (use double boiler if available), and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat and chill.
After the mixture has chilled, put the whipping cream in a separate bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled coffee mixture. If desired, put the pudding in individual serving cups or bowls.
Adapted from a recipe in Ladies Home Journal (February, 1915)
Six old ladies were in the habit of visiting a certain tea house once a week—all interesting women, and one of the number was soon to celebrate her ninety-fourth birthday. She confided to the proprietress that she wanted to give a party, and it was to be as jolly as she could make it.
There were to be no peppermints and no weak tea. She had had peppermints given to her every birthday since she was seventy.
The party was a luncheon carried out in yellow and white. The daisies in the centerpiece were made into six bunches, one for each of the party. The favor at each place was a Dresden pincushion, and the place cards were symbolic of the Fountain of Youth.
I know that the drawing and text do not refer to a real woman, but the fact that this picture was in a mass-circulation magazine suggests that lots of hale and hearty women in their eighties and nineties were reading the magazine a hundred years ago — and thinking about how to celebrate their birthdays.
This brings to mind a post I did several years ago when I speculated that there were some incorrect dates in a genealogical resource I was using because the materials indicated that an extremely old woman was very engaged in family and community activities. A reader commented, “I think the dates are correct. Women were strong back then.”
When I saw a recipe in a hundred-year-old issue of National Food Magazine for sweet potato waffles, I was intrigued—but I seldom make waffles. I then wondered if the same recipe would work to make pancakes.
Well, I gave it a try, and the Sweet Potato Pancakes were awesome. The recipe called for separating the eggs, and beating the egg whites until stiff. It definitely was worth the extra effort. The pancakes were incredibly fluffy and light.
I served the pancakes with maple syrup. The vivid, yet delicate, sweet potato flavor worked perfectly with the maple syrup to create a lovely taste experience.
Sweet Potato Pancakes would be perfect for an autumn brunch. This seasonal dish will impress even your most discerning foodie friends.
Sweet Potato Pancakes (Waffles)
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Combine the mashed sweet potatoes*, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, egg yolks, milk, and butter. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the sweet potato mixture.
To make pancakes: For each pancake, put two heaping tablespoons of the batter on a hot, lightly-greased griddle. Using the back of the spoon gently spread the batter to make a 3-inch pancake. Lightly brown on both sides. Serve with butter and honey or maple syrup.
Makes 12-15 3-inch pancakes
Note: Batter may also be used to make waffles.
*Mash cooked sweet potatoes with a fork until smooth.
Adapted from recipe in National Food Magazine (September, 1914)
Sometimes I worry that my cooking might be boring, and was recently relieved to learn that I am not unique. People have had similar concerns for at least a hundred years. According to the July, 1915 issue of Ladies Home Journal:
Is Your Cooking in a Rut?
Sometimes an apparently good meal leaves a person in a dissatisfied condition that invariably leads to longing for an elusive something or other that had not been provided.
Conservatism too often stands in the way of the average woman, with many housewives serving the same dishes, year in and year out, that their mothers provided before them.
Another reason that women get into “ruts” is because too many men seem to like monotony, appearing to be satisfied with frequent repetitions of a few good dishes, and often ridiculing any attempt toward growth and betterment in the family menu. The man who growls over the “high cost of living” is too often the one who demands the same old foods.
As appetite craves change, the essential in planning appealing meals is to combine a variety of foods so that they will harmonize.
To evolve meals that taste good, look well, and are digestible, it is a good plan to follow the infallible rule of “enough but not too much” as well as to consider the aesthetic beauty and appearance of the combination.
hmm. . . that sounds easy enough. I just need to balance variety with nutrition and aesthetics (though the devil is always in the details).
P.S. – I like the simpler life style of the early 1900s — but life wasn’t perfect. The gendered nature of these quotes–with women cooking and men “growling” — really bothers me. In 1915 women did not yet even have the right to vote. (They won’t get that right for another 5 years).
Tomatoes, tomatoes everywhere. The tomato plants are heavily laden with tomatoes–many still green.
When I wake up in the mornings I’m starting to feel a slight chill in the air. It won’t be long until there is frost. It’s time to make Green Tomato Mincemeat.
This traditional “mock” mincemeat has been made by frugal cooks for countless years. And, no wonder–it tastes as good, if not better, than real mincemeat and make the perfect mincemeat pie.
For my husband and me, Green Tomato Mincemeat Pie is an Autumn comfort food. We remember our mothers’ and grandmothers’ (and the church ladies) making this scrumptious pleasantly sweet, yet tart, traditional pie with its tangy blend of spices.
Green Tomato Mincemeat
6 cups green tomatoes
2 cups tart apples
1 cup raisins
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup strong coffee
1 lemon (grated peel and juice)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Core and quarter tomatoes and apples; put through food processor or chopper. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally. May be canned or frozen.
Amount: This recipe makes enough mincemeat for 2 9-inch pies.
Green Tomato Mincemeat Pie
1 quart (approx. 4 cups) green tomato mincemeat
1/4 cup flour
9-inch double-crust pie shell
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir the flour into the mincemeat; place in pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with top crust. Seal and crimp. Cut slits in top crust (or poke top crust several times with a fork). If desired, brush with a small amount of milk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake in oven for 10 minutes; then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is browned and juice just begins to bubble through slits in crust.