Hundred-Year-Old Advice for Getting Multiple Foods Ready to Serve at the Same Time

Image source: Reliable Recipes (published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)
Image source: Reliable Recipes (published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)

When cooking a meal do you struggle to get all the dishes ready to serve at the same time? Here’s some hundred-year-old advice that might help:

A menu being decided upon, it needs an accurate sense of time, forethought, and promptness, to have a number of dishes ready at the same time, or in proper sequence if several courses are served. Such questions as the following must be answered:

  1. What steps in preparation can be taken ahead of times, as washing, paring, cutting, etc.?
  2. What dishes take the longest to cook?
  3. Which must be served the moment they are done?
  4. Which can be kept hot for some time without injury?
  5. Which can be finished and cooled perhaps several hours before?
  6. What is the order of serving?

The fact is obvious that in preparing a meal you cannot finish the dishes one at a time, but that steps individual to each dish must be interwoven with each other, and the cook must have them all “on her mind,” and is often doing half a dozen things at once.

The woman at home will devise many ways of easing and shortening the labor just before the meal is served, avoiding haste, and anxiety in this way. A dessert can be prepared and be cooking as breakfast dishes are washed, and at the time left overs are put away they can be arranged ready for serving, as in the case of poultry or meat to be served cold.

Foods and Household Management: A Textbook of the Household Arts (1913)

Hundred-Year-Old Walnut Brownies Recipe

brownies

Old-fashioned Brownies with Walnuts are an ultimate comfort dessert, and I found a delightful recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook. They were moist and  chewy. The top of the Brownies was less crusty than many modern brownies – but the Brownies were wonderful. And, my husband and I devoured the entire pan  within 24 hours.

This recipe was in one of my favorite hundred-year-old cookbooks, Lowney’s Cookbook. It is a general cookbook (though it was published by a chocolate manufacturer), and I tend to think of it as being an old-time equivalent of the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe:

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

This recipe was one of the signature recipes in the old cookbook. Of course Lowney’s  Premium Chocolate is long gone, so I substituted unsweetened baking chocolate. I was also surprised that the recipe didn’t call for baking powder or baking soda – but the recipe turned out just fine without it.  I baked the brownies at 350° F. and it took longer than 15 minutes for them bake.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Walnut Brownies

  • Servings: 36 brownies
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter in a mixing bowl; stir in sugar and chocolate. Add eggs, flour, and salt, and stir until combined.; then stir in walnuts. Spread in greased 8-inch square pan.  Bake for  approximately 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cut into 36 squares.

 

Hundred-Year-Old Oatmeal Muffins Recipe

oatmeal-muffins

A hundred-year-old small promotional cookbook published by the Calumet Baking Powder Company has lots of intriguing recipes. I decided to try the Oatmeal Muffins recipe.

The muffins were easy to make, and lovely  – though I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t really tell that they contained any oatmeal. Instead the seemed very similar to muffins made using only all-purpose flour. The bottom line – if you are looking for a nice basic muffin, you’ll like this recipe.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Reliable Recipes (Published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)
Source: Reliable Recipes (Published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Oatmeal Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 24 regular-sized muffins
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup water

1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 cups milk

3 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease muffin pans (or use paper liners).

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan, then stir in oatmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk..

In the meantime in a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oatmeal mixture, egg, and butter; then stir just enough to combine. Spoon batter into muffin cups; fill each cup about 3/4ths full. Place in oven. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned and the muffins spring back when lightly touched.

Hundred-Year-Old Silver (25th) Wedding Anniversary Tablescape

Source: Ladies Home Journal (November, 1911)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (November, 1911)

Milestone wedding anniversaries are a cause for celebration both now and a hundred year ago. Here’s an old-time suggestion for a lovely silver (25th) wedding anniversary tablescape:

Inverted in a fern dish of the same metal a silver vase forms the fountain, the falling water being strands of silver tinsel. Feathery moss, violets, and lilies-of-the-valley are arranged in the top of the fountain; also border the “pool” which is a mirror. The silver dishes contain bonbons in violet, white, and pistachio.

Ladies Home Journal (November, 1911)

Old-Fashioned Apple Pudding

Apple Pudding

I generally like old-fashioned fruit puddings, so I was pleased when I saw a recipe for Apple Pudding in a hundred-year-old cookbook.

Apple Pudding Recipe
Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church, Trout Run, PA (1907)

Most modern apple recipes call for cinnamon and other spices, so I was surprised that this recipe didn’t use any spices. But they weren’t needed–the Apple Pudding was pure apple and delightful.  The apples were embedded in a lovely moist cake pudding.

In general the directions in this old recipe are a little vague. It provides no clue how many apples should be used;  and I was left to decide what a moderate oven meant. However, the recipe was very specific that Cleveland’s Superior Baking Powder should be used. Of course, I’ve never heard of Cleveland’s and it’s probably not been made for decades. So I  had to make due with a modern baking powder brand, which worked just fine. This recipe may have been originally published by the Cleveland Baking Powder Company. Perhaps Mrs. Wm. Mock liked it, and submitted the same exact recipe for the church cookbook.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Apple Pudding

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 cups sliced apples

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place sliced apples into a 7 1/2  X  12  X  2 inch rectangular casserole dish, or other similarly-sized dish.

Put butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, egg, and milk into a mixing bowl; beat until smooth.  Pour the batter over the apples. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hr, 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm or cool. If desired, may be served with whipped cream or milk.

Wallpapered Dining Rooms a Hundred Years Ago

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1911)
Ladies Home Journal (October, 1911)

Wallpaper was very popular a hundred years ago – and there were lots of lovely papers that worked perfectly in dining rooms. Here’s some advice for using striped wallpapers:

French-striped papers come under the head of plain papers. They look well and are particularly appropriate in Colonial homes. They may be used in the bedroom, dining room, hall or reception room, and look equally well with either plain or figured hangings. They look better, however, with white woodwork than any other kind.

Dining Room LHJ 10 1911