Old-fashioned Mushroom Croquettes

Mushroom Croquettes on plate

Now that we’re in 2020, I’ve set aside the 1919 cookbooks and magazines that I got recipes from last year, and have been gathering 1920 cookbooks and magazines. (EBay is wonderful source of old cookbooks.) As I shift to 1920, I am really enjoying browsing through a whole “new” set of old recipes.

One recipe that piqued my interest was a recipe for Mushroom Croquettes. The coquettes are made by combining mashed potatoes, and chopped mushrooms. They are then browned in a skillet.

The Mushroom Croquettes were crispy on the outside, and filled with a delectable creamy mashed potato and mushroom mixture on the inside.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Mushroom Croquettes
Source: The Cook Book of Left-Overs (1920) compiled by The More Nurses in Training Movement from Recipes Contributed by Illinois Ladies

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Mushroom Croquettes

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 cup mashed potatoes

1 pint mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

vegetable oil (shortening or lard would also work)

Mashed potatoes should be at room temperature when making this recipe. Either allow hot mashed potatoes to cool, or remove cold mashed potatoes from refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature.

In the meantime, chop the mushrooms into small pieces. There should be approximately two cups of chopped mushrooms. Melt butter in a skillet, then add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté  for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat.

Place the mashed potatoes into a mixing bowl, stir in the salt and eggs; then add sautéed mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Then drop heaping spoonfuls of the mushroom and potato mixture into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, then gently turn to brown the other side. When browned, remove croquettes from the skillet with a fork or slotted spoon. Drain the croquettes on paper towels, then serve.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Sausage with Apple Rings

Sausage link and apple rings on plateSausage and apples are a classic combination, so I was thrilled when I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Sausage and Apple Slices. It is a simple recipe that brings out the best of both foods.

Old-fashioned classic peppery sausage links such as country sausage, farmer’s sausage, or breakfast sausage work well in this recipe. And, the apples are cooked in a simple sugar syrup which enhances their natural tart-sweetness.

I can’t decide whether this dish was originally intended to be a breakfast or dinner dish. I served it at dinner, but it would work well for either meal.

Here is the original recipe:

sausage links and apple rings on plate
Source: American Cookery (January, 1920)
Recipe for Sausage with Apple Rings
Source: American Cookery (January, 1920)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Sausage with Apple Rings

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 pound sausage links (This is excellent with old-fashioned peppery sausage such as country sausage, farmer’s sausage, or breakfast sausage.)

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

4-5 tart apples which hold their shape when cooked (I used Braeburn apples; Rome or Granny Smith would also work well.)

Prick each sausage link several times with a fork. Put in a large saucepan, and cover with water; bring to boil using high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. While cooking sausage, preheat oven to 400° F. Put sausage links in an oven-proof skillet (I used a cast iron skillet), place in oven and brown (about 10 – 20 minutes). The sausage should be turned several times so that they brown evenly.

In the meantime, peel and core apples, then cut into slices about 1/3 inch thick. Put the sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture using medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the apple slices. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the apple slices are soft. Using a large spoon, gently rearrange the slices once or twice, so that they all soften at about the same time. Remove from the heat, and gently remove the slices from the syrup.

To serve, arrange links on plates, and place apple slices to the side.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned White Bread

two loaves white bread with butter and knife on cutting boardOne of the simple joys of life is the aroma of warm homemade bread when it first comes out of the oven. And, when the bread is thickly sliced and smothered with butter, it is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Though I’ve been making hundred-year-old recipes for years, I recently realized that I’ve never made a hundred-year-old recipe for White Bread, so when I came across a White Bread recipe in a 1920 cookbook, I just had to give it a try.

The bread did not disappoint. This classic white bread has golden crust, and a light and fluffy texture.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for white bread
Source: Balanced Daily Diet (1920) by Janet McKenzie Hill

When, I made the recipe, I substituted a packet of dry yeast for each cake of yeast.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

White Bread

  • Servings: 4 loaves
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 packets dry active yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 quart (4 cups) lukewarm water (110 – 115° F.)

2 tablespoons shortening

3 quarts (12 cups) bread flour

1 tablespoon salt

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Add shortening and half the flour;  until smooth beat.  Add salt and then gradually add the remaining flour until the dough reaches a consistency where it can be handled. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Put in a large greased bowl, cover and place in a warm spot that is free from drafts until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down, then divide dough into four equal parts and shape into loaves. Place in four greased loaf pans, and cover. Let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Bake loaves in 375° F. oven for 35 -45 minutes or until lightly browned.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Coffee and Tapioca Trifle (Coffee Tapioca Pudding)

glass dish with coffee tapioca pudding

Tapioca can be used to make some wonderful old-fashioned desserts. We’re all familiar with tapioca pudding, but there are also some other fun recipes that call for tapioca in hundred-year-old cookbooks and magazines. I recently was intrigued by an old recipe for Coffee and Tapioca Trifle (Coffee Tapioca Pudding), and decided to give it a try.

Anyone who likes both coffee and tapioca will enjoy this dessert. Since the Coffee and Tapioca Trifle is made using coffee rather than milk, it was lighter than many tapioca desserts. It was delightfully refreshing, and had just the right amount of sweetness.

4 single servings of coffee and tapioca trifle in cups
Source: American Cookery (June/July, 1919)
recipe for coffee and tapioca trifle
Source: American Cookery (June/July, 1919)

I used small pearl tapioca when I made the recipe.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Coffee and Tapioca Trifle (Coffee Tapioca Pudding)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1/2 cup small pearl tapioca

2 cups coffee

1/2 cup sugar

whipped cream

Soak tapioca in room temperature water overnight. Drain.

Heat coffee (preferably in double boiler) until warm, add drained tapioca. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook until mixture thickens, and the tapioca pearls have plumped and are tender (5 – 45 minutes) depending upon the brand of tapioca used. Stir occasionally. (It will boil over very easily—and also has a tendency to burn on the pan bottom if care is not used). Stir in the sugar, and cook just a bit longer to allow the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat, and put in serving dishes. Chill at least 3 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream.

Old-fashioned Lima Bean en Casserole (Baked Lima Beans)

Casserole dish filled with Lima Beans en Casserole

Christmas dinner is a time for tradition; a time when we often make the foods that our mothers and grandmothers once prepared. Often these dishes bring back warm food memories; other times they bring back less warm memories of foods that might be family traditions, but weren’t personal favorites. Well, I had the latter reaction when I saw a photo and recipe in a hundred-year-old magazine for Lima Beans en Casserole (Baked Lima Beans).

Recipe for Lima Beans En Casserole
Source: Advertisement by the California Lima Bean Growers Association in Good Housekeeping; December, 1919)

Memories flooded back of this lima bean dish that my mother made every Christmas. I usually managed to avoid eating it during the holiday festivities – but I always had to eat it during the week following Christmas when my mother served the left-overs (and there always seemed to be lots of left-over lima beans).

Each year, I hopefully suggested that maybe we didn’t need to make Baked Lima Beans; and every year, my suggestion would be vetoed by my father (which seemed very strange because he didn’t generally get involved in menu planning). But he always insisted that it wouldn’t be Christmas without lima beans.

When I saw the old recipe for Lima Beans en Casserole (Baked Lima Beans), I just had to give it a try. Was it really the bland tasteless dish of my memories, or was it a food worthy of the Christmas dinner table?

I’m pleased to say that Lima Beans en Casserole tasted like I remember, but in a much better way. Across the years (and as my taste buds have matured), Lima Beans en Casserole have morphed into a tasty comfort food that has the added bonus of being a great source of fiber and protein.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Lima Beans en Casserole (Baked Lima Beans)

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups dried lima beans

cold water to cover

hot water to cover

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 cup milk (more may be needed)

Rinse the lima beans, put in a bowl and cover with water (water should be about 1-inch about the top of the beans); then cover bowl, and soak overnight. Drain beans, then put in a sauce pan, and cover with hot water. Bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce to very low heat and cover pan. Gently simmer until the beans are tender and the water absorbed (about 1- 1 1/2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Remove from heat, and put beans in a large casserole dish (1 1/2 quart). Dot with butter.

In the meantime, put the milk in a bowl, and stir in the salt and pepper. Gently add the milk mixture to partially cover the beans. (Add additional milk if needed).  Put in oven and bake until hot and bubbly, and the top is just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and serve.

Old-fashioned Mock Maple Kisses

Mock maple kisses on plate

I always try to make a wide variety of holiday cookies, including a gluten-free option. Meringue cookies are a personal favorite, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Mock Maple Kisses. They are a light and airy meringue cookie. When I bite into them, they take me back to a summer evening, and remind of marshmallows delicately toasted over a campfire.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Mock Maple Kisses
Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1919)

I found this recipe to be a little challenging. Since very little liquid is called for, the boiled brown sugar mixture quickly moves past the “thread’ stage to the “soft ball” stage. I added a little additional water to get the temperature and stage right. But, the meringues ended up not having the classic “kiss” shape.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Mock Maple Kisses

  • Servings: approximately 40 kisses
  • Difficulty: difficult
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2 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg white

Put sugar, water, and vanilla in a sauce pan; stir, and then using medium-low heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook until the mixture reaches the “thread” stage (223° – 234° F.). Since there is very little liquid, the mixture will reach this stage very quickly after it comes to a boil. A little additional water may need to be added if the mixture inadvertently moves beyond the “thread” stage.) Remove from heat.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 250° F. Put the egg white into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar sauce, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat. Drop by rounded teaspoons two inches apart on greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the kisses can easily be removed from the parchment paper.

Old-fashioned Lemon Star Cookies

frosted star-shaped cookies on plate

Cut-out cookies are so much fun to make, and it’s a wonderful family activity, so I’m always on the look-out for hundred-year-old recipes for cut-out cookies. I recently found a wonderful recipe in a 1919 magazine for Lemon Star Cookies. The frosted cookies are sprinkled with chopped walnuts, and have a delicate lemon flavor.

I used buttercream frosting, though other types of frosting could be used. Any type of walnuts would work well in this recipe, but I had some black walnuts so used them. The bold, richness of the black walnuts combined perfectly with the sweetness of the frosting and the lemon in the cookies. This cookie is a winner – whether the cookies are cut into stars or some other shape.

Here’s photo of the cookies in the old magazine:

Frosted star-shaped cookies on plate
Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1919)

All was good. The cookies tasted wonderful, and they looked similar to the photo of Lemon Star Cookies in the old magazine. Then the Saturday newspaper arrived on my doorstep. There was a beautiful feature showing how to make decorated cut-out cookies. It included directions for making royal icing, piping the icing to make an outline around the edge of the cookie, and then “flooding” the cookie with additional icing.

I suddenly realized that my cookies weren’t as awesome and picture-perfect as I’d thought a few minutes earlier. That said, the buttercream frosting I smeared on the top of the cookies with a knife is probably very similar to what cooks did a hundred years ago – so I keep telling myself that at least my cookies are authentic even if they aren’t Instagram perfect.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Lemon Star Cookies
Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1919)

Lemon Star Cookies

  • Servings: 50 - 60 cookies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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3/4 cup butter or margarine (I used butter.)

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 cups pastry flour (all-purpose flour can be substituted)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon lemon extract

white frosting (I used buttercream frosting.)

chopped walnuts (I used black walnuts, but the typical walnuts that are sold in stores also would work well.)

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a mixing bowl, cream the  butter (or margarine) together. Stir in the eggs, then add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon extract. Stir until well-mixed. Refrigerate dough 1/2 hour or until chilled.

On well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes using a star cookie cutter (or use other shaped cutters, if preferred). Place on greased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven, and cool on wire racks. Ice the cookies with the frosting, and then sprinkle chopped walnuts in the center of each cookie.