17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, May 25, 1912: Today was clean-up and get things ready for an expected guest who didn’t come after all. That seems to be the luck.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Who might the anticipated guest have been? . . . Relatives? . . . Friends of Grandma’s parents? No-shows with no explanation probably were much more common in the days before cell phones and text messages. (And, the Muffly’s didn’t even have a landline phone.)
I wonder if they made any desserts in anticipation of the guests. Old-fashioned Water Ice would have been good on a hot spring day. I’m going to share a recipe for Lemon Water Ice that I found in a hundred-year-old cookbook.
Lemon Water Ice
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 egg whites
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons
Boil sugar and water; cool. Add egg whites beaten until stiff, grated lemon rind, lemon juice. Freeze in ice cream freezer.
(Just to be safe, I used pasteurized egg whites.)
Adapted from Lowneys’ Cook Book, Revised (1912)
The Lemon Water Ice was refreshingly tart and wonderful on a hot day. I’ll make it again—though will double the recipe because it didn’t make very much.
Hand-cranked ice cream freezers were popular a hundred-years and there are lots of delicious-looking frozen dessert recipes in old cookbooks. I plan to try a few more this summer.