Nutrition and Growth in Children: 1922 Book Review

Title page: Nutrition and Growth in Children
Source: Nutrition and Growth in Children (1922)

The June/July, 1922 issue of American Cookery magazine had a book review for a book called Nutrition and Growth in Children by William R.P. Emerson that piqued my interest, so I googled it. I was please to discover that the book is available online:

Nutrition and Growth in Children

Here’s the hundred-year-old book review that was in American Cookery:

One-third of all the children in the United States are underweight or under-nourished or malnourished. This condition is limited to no locality, and to no social class. It is as prevalent in the North, as in the South, in the country as in the city, in the homes of the rich as in the slums. It is a condition baneful of the well-being of our children and dangerous to the health of our future men and women. Malnutrition in children is now recognized as the greatest single problem affecting our national health. 

Dr. Emerson, nationally known as a pioneer in nutrition work, and the first to lay proper emphasis on the other important factors because besides diet, here offers to parents, teachers, social workers, and physicians the results of his rich and successful experience. In simple, practical terms he describes the causes of malnutrition in growing children and shows how the condition may be detected. He describes fully the methods of cure, which involve problems of physical defects, fatigue, home control and health habit, as well as diet and good habits. Finally, he outlines a complete and practical nutrition program for the home, the school, and the community. 

This is a thoroughly practical and scientific treatment of a subject of far reaching importance. 

American Cookery (June/July, 1922)

Here is part of the book’s preface:

Preface: Nutrition and Growth in Children
Source: Nutrition and Growth in Children (1922)

And, here is a chart in the book showing why one girl’s growth was off-track for a short time:

Growth Chart
Source: Nutrition and Growth in Children (1922)

Green Peas Maitre d’Hotel Recipe

Green Peas Maitre d'Hotel

Green peas are a vegetable I often cook when I’m uninspired, so I was intrigued when I came across a recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook for Green Peas Maitre d’Hotel. It sounded so fancy – and suggested that a boring vegetable could be really special. So I decided to give the recipe a try. The peas are immersed in butter, chopped mint leaves, and lemon juice.

The verdict: Green Peas Maitre d’Hotel were nice with a hint of mint, but the mint taste was very mild and nuanced; and I was a little disappointed that the peas in this recipe seemed very similar to just plain peas.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Green Peas Maitre d'Hotel
Source: Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Green Peas Maitre d'Hotel

  • Servings: 3- 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups green peas

1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper

In a small bowl mix butter, chopped mint, lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper.

In the meantime, cook the peas in a small amount of boiling salted water until tender; drain. Then gently stir in the butter mixture. Return to heat until the butter melts, then serve.

1922 Chase and Sanborn’s Advertisement

Chase and Sanborn Advertisement
Source: Cement City Cook Book (1922) published by the First Baptist Church, Alpena, Michigan

Chase and Sanborn Coffee has been around for a long time – though I’m a little confused about why the advertisement refers to the “Seal Brand” or who C. H. McKim was.  Since I found this advertisement in an Alpena, Michigan church cookbook, one thought is that maybe C. H. McKim was the proprietor of a store in that town.

Old-Fashioned Asparagus with Orange Sauce

Asparagus with Orange Sauce
I was surprised to recently discover a hundred-year-old recipe for Asparagus with Orange Sauce that called for blood orange. I don’t think that I’ve ever previously seen a recipe for blood orange. The recipe turned out nicely. The sauce had a lovely sunny citrus flavor that nicely complemented the asparagus.

Asparagus with Orange Sauce
Source: American Cookery (April, 1922)
Recipe for Asparagus with Orange Sauce
Source: American Cookery (April, 1922)

Until I read this old recipe, I had never realized that blood oranges were considered a spring citrus fruit a hundred years ago.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Asparagus with Orange Sauce

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

grated rind of 1/2 blood orange

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons lemon juicee

Juice of 1/2 blood orange

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup butter, softened

`Wash and trim asparagus. Put in steamer pan. Add water to bottom, and steam for about 5 minutes or until tender.

In the meantime to make the sauce, combine paprika, salt, grated orange rind, lemon juice, and water in a pan.  Bring to a boil using medium heat, boil for several minutes until the volume is reduced by half.  Remove from heat.

In a separate pan beat butter until creamy, then add to the grated orange rind and lemon mixture. Next add the egg yolks, one at a time, while beating into the mixture. Set pan with mixture into a pan with hot water. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens, then stir in the juice from the blood orange. To heat, put on medium heat for a few seconds while continuing to stir. Remove from heat and serve over the asparagus.


Old-Fashioned Marshmallow Strawberry Pudding

Marshmallow Strawberry Pudding

At potluck dinners when I was young, someone always seemed to bring a salad (or maybe it was a dessert) made with whipped topping, fruit, and marshmallows, so I was intrigued by a hundred-year-old recipe for Marshmallow Strawberry Pudding. It looked similar to more modern renditions – but called for real whipped cream.

I tend to think that a dessert made with lots of whipped cream, marshmallows, and sugar may not be particularly healthy, but that said, the Marshmallow Strawberry Pudding was delicious.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Marshmallow Strawberry Pudding
Source: Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Marshmallow Strawberry Pudding

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup strawberries, sliced (or if small cut in half) + several additional whole strawberries for garnish

1/3 cup small marshmallows, cut in half

1 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream until stiff peaks form, then gradually add the sugar and vanilla while continuing to beat. Gently fold in the marshmallows and strawberries. Either put in a large bowl to serve or in individual dishes or cups. Garnish with whole strawberries.

A Place for the Dishpan

large old-fashioned kitchen sink
Source: School and Home Cooking (1920) by Carlotta Greer

The 1922 edition of Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries has a chapter titled “Kitchen Discoveries.” One of the Discoveries was a suggestion for storing the dishpan:

A Place for the Dishpan

To save reaching under the drainboard to get my dishpan from a nail, which is the usual place for putting it, I have had a shelf built under the drainboard just low enough to take the dishpan. There I keep the dishpan, rinsing pan, and drainer where they may be reached without any effort. 

K.S.C., Mass.

This tip left me scratching my head. I couldn’t quite picture how dishpans, rinsing pans, and drainers were stored a hundred years ago. Clearly the typical kitchen sink back then was different from modern ones. And, I’m guessing that many of us don’t regularly use dishpans, rinsing pans, and drainers, which makes it even harder to understand the tip (or the need for it).

Then I remembered a post that I did several years ago where I included a picture of a sink. I found that picture, and though not exactly the same set-up described in the Discovery tip, I think that I have a better understanding of what the author described.