A full-page advertisement in a 1923 issue of Ladies Home Journal for Kraft Cheese piqued my interest. It contained a recipe for Spinach Timbales. From time to time I see timbale recipes in hundred-year-old magazines and cookbooks. Timbales back then were creamy vegetable or meat mixtures that were put into individual molds and baked.
The advertisement made the claim that Spinach Timbales were tasty and so nutritious they they could be considered a prescription. With a claim like that – and, an attention-grabbing image of the timbales – I decided this was a must-try recipe.
My Spinach Timbales didn’t look like the ones in the old advertisement, though I tend to think that they were more visually appealing than the ones in the old drawing (but I could be prejudiced since I made them). The Timbales were tasty, and reminded me a little of Spinach Souffle.
I used custard cups as the mold when I made this recipe since I don’t have timbale molds. I’m actually not even sure what a timbale mold is — though based on the drawing in the advertisement, I think that it may be narrower and higher than a custard cup.
I finely chopped the cheddar cheese when I made this recipe to try to get a similar look to the drawing – though the cheese melted when I baked the timbales and didn’t stay as small chunks, so shredded or grated cheese would work just fine.
The old recipe didn’t include a recipe for the cheese sauce, so to make it, I just made a white sauce and added cheese to it.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
2 cups cooked spinach, chopped (I used 2 cups frozen spinach that I briefly cooked.)
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded, grated, or cut fine
cheese sauce (see below)
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
Preheat oven to 375° F. Put egg yolks, milk, butter, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl; beat until combined. Stir in the cheddar cheese and spinach.
In the meantime, put the egg whites in another bowl and beat until soft peaks form.
Fold the beaten egg whites into the spinach and cheese mixture. Spoon into greased custard cups. Place the custard cups in a pan with hot water that comes to about an inch below the top of the cups. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of the mixture comes out clean.
Remove Spinach Timbales from custard cups after baking.
To serve: Spoon some of the cheese sauce onto plate. Set timbales in the cheese sauce. Top each timbale with an slice of the hard-boiled egg.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
In a saucepan , melt butter using medium heat; then stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually, add the milk while stirring constantly. Add cheese, and continue stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
13 thoughts on “1923 Kraft Cheese Advertisement (with Recipe for Spinach Timbales)”
I see the advert has the cheese coming in tins. How odd! That didn’t last! However would you get it out of the tin? Nevertheless, it looks a tasty recipe.
Not sure how they’d get the cheese out of the can. It’s different, but somehow this makes me think of the old Spam and ham cans where they were opened by using a “key” to peel away a strip of metal.
Oh yes! I remember those. Maybe then …
I think if I was selling cheese, I would pick a recipe that used a lot more cheese.
It does seem odd. Maybe they thought the people who made this recipe would use a lot of cheese in the cheese sauce – though for some strange reason, no recipe was provided for the cheese sauce.
This is perfect for Lent!! Guess what’s for dinner next Friday!
I thought the same thing as automatic gardener, why not more cheese!
Agree – you’d think they’d select a recipe that called for lots of cheese.
That does sound good to me. I agree it does not sound like much cheese in the spinach but clearly they expect you to use the cheese sauce which everyone obviously knows how to make (or you would send for free recipe book J-5(?) which might include it). I think custard cups are fine here and I will do cheese sauce over and skip the extra egg.
It seems really strange that an advertisement for cheese doesn’t include a recipe for cheese sauce when it is required for the recipe included the ad. Think how long you’d have to wait to make this recipe if you ordered free recipe book J-5 to figure out how to make cheese sauce. In the best of circumstances it probably would take three or four days for the request to get to Kraft, a day or two for them to package and address the envelop with the recipe book, and another 3 or 4 days to arrive at the home of the individual who requested the recipe book.
I think these sounds quite tasty, and I agree yours look better, Sheryl. The ones on the ad look like green jello!
Nice description of the ugly timbales in the advertisement. 🙂