There’s starting to be a nip in the air; a few trees are turning lovely hues of red and yellow, and the days are getting shorter. Autumn is here – and I had a sudden urge to make soup.
I found a lovely hundred-year-old recipe for Cream of Onion Soup. The soup was rich and creamy with flecks of onions. The recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of pepper which gave the Cream of Onion Soup a delightful peppery undertone.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in large saucepan, add sliced onions and saute until the onions are soft and semi-transparent (but not browned). Add water and parsley, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until onions are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor.
Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, using medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter; then stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly; then add the pureed onion mixture.
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks; add cream and stir to blend. Add a small amount (approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons) of onion mixture and stir quickly to prevent the egg from coagulating. Then stir the egg and cream mixture into the onion mixture in the dutch oven. Bring to a simmer and then serve.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the next couple weeks I have several picnics on my calendar. Potato Salad is the quintessential picnic food, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old Potato Salad recipe.
At first I wasn’t quite sure about the recipe. It didn’t contain the usual Potato Salad ingredients like celery and mayonnaise, but rather was a vinaigrette dressing. Yet, the recipe was so easy that I decided to give it a try.
The Potato Salad was lovely, and the vinaigrette dressing with a hint of pepper was just right. It added a delightful flavor to the potatoes, but didn’t overwhelm them. This recipe is a keeper.
The old recipe made a lot of dressing relative to the potatoes, so I divided it by three when I revised it. Here’s the updated recipe for modern cooks:
Peel and dice potatoes into 3/4 inch chunks. Put into a sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are just barely tender (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Chill in refrigerator for several hours, then add onions.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour this dressing over the potatoes and onions. Gently toss to coat the potatoes with the dressing. Put in serving bowl; and, if desired, garnish with parsley sprigs.
Eggs and tomatoes make a nice pairing, so I was excited when I saw a new way to make eggs and tomatoes in a hundred-year-old cookbook – Poached Egg in Tomato.
Preparing the tomato shell for the egg reminded me of scooping a pumpkin but on a much smaller scale. And, it was fun to slide the egg into the tomato shell, and cover it with a circle of parchment paper that I’d cut out.
The Poached Egg in Tomato was delightful with toast. The one downside – it took longer to bake than I anticipated. I had to delay breakfast because it took about 45 minutes for the egg white to fully set.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut the top of the tomato and gently scoop out the pulp, then set the tomato in a ramekin or custard cup. Break the egg into a small bowl, then slide the egg into the tomato shell, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut circles from a piece of parchment paper that is the same size as the ramekin; then cover the filled tomato with the parchment paper circle.
Place the ramekin into a small cake pan or other oven-proof dish or pan. Gently pour hot water (approximately 125° F.) into the pan until it is about 1 inch deep. (I use the hottest water that comes out of my tap.). Place into the oven and cook until the egg is desired firmness (approximately 45 minutes).
2 cups sliced purple plums (plums that are still somewhat firm work best)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
Pastry for 8 inch (small) 2-crust pie
Heat oven to 425° F. In a bowl combine the plum slices and the lemon juice. Add the sugar and flour, stir gently to combine . Turn into pastry-lined pie pan, and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and flute edges. Brush crust with a small amount of milk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake in oven for 10 minutes; then reduce heat to 350° F. Bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and juice just begins to bubble.