Hundred-Year-Old Cheese Straws Recipe

chees-straws

“What hundred-year-old food are you making for the Super Bowl party?”

My jaw dropped. . . umm. . . Do the words “Super Bowl” and “hundred-year-old foods” even belong in the same sentence?

But, being one who is always ready for a new challenge (and who is thrilled when friends actually ask for hundred-year-old foods), the search was on.  I began scanning old cookbooks looking for the perfect Super Bowl recipe.

And, I think that I’ve succeeded. I found an easy-to-make, awesome hundred-year-old recipe for Cheese Straws. The Cheese Straws will be perfect for nibbling while dissecting the Super Bowls ads and plays with family and friends.

cheese-straws-recipe-blue-grass-cook-book
Source: The Blue Grass Cook Book by Minnie C. Fox (1917)

Here’s the original recipe:

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cheese Straws

  • Servings: approximately 35 straws
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1/4 cup butter softened

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Put the butter, cheese, egg, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl, then beat to combine. Add the flour and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick and 5 inches wide. Cut the dough into strips that are approximately 1/3 inch wide. Put the strips on a lightly greased baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 9-11 minutes or until the strips are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then remove from the baking sheet with a spatula and place on a cooling rack to complete cooling.

When Potatoes Are Expensive, Substitute Rice

potatoes

In 1917, food prices were rising rapidly in the U.S. because of World War I and the demand for food in Europe. Magazines were filled with articles about how to cope with the high food prices. One article encouraged readers to substitute rice for potatoes. Here’s a few excerpts:

Who Cares for Potatoes?

When there are cheaper foods that can take the place of Irish potatoes, why do we worry over their increasing cost? Besides, mankind has not always had potatoes to eat. The potato became widely popular only about one hundred years ago. It was the middle of the sixteenth century that the Spaniards found the potato in Peru and took it back to the Continent where it was cultivated as a curiosity.

In our own country we know the potato was cultivated in the temperate sections, for we have record of Sir Walter Raleigh’s taking it in 1585 from North Carolina to Ireland, to be cultivated on his estate near Cork. Its cultivation first became general in Ireland (whence its name) and not until a little more than a century ago did it come into widespread popular usage.

Certainly  we are not wholly dependent upon the potato for a well-balanced dietary since our ancestors thrived without it. To be sure, the potato has justly soared its popularity because of its cheapness, its food-value, its palatability, the convenience with which it can be shipped and stored, and the ease with which it can be prepared in a surprisingly large variety of attractive ways.

Source: Good Housekeeping (March, 1917)
Source: Good Housekeeping (March, 1917)

It is true that men and women are largely creatures of habit, but the time has come when the women, as controllers of at  least seventy-five percent of the incomes of the men of the nation, must look to our habits to see whether they are expensive and whether they need to be altered.

Starch is not the only necessary constituent of a substitute for potatoes. The potato is rich in vitamins. This property, however, is possessed by most fruits and vegetables, and by milk.

Rice would more than fit the bill, as it contains nearly three times as much energy-building material as the potato. If we substitute it for potatoes, me must have at the same meal vegetables or fruits that will supply the needed potassium and bulk. Such vegetables and fruits are: Cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, celery, string beans, parsnips, rhubarb, rutabagas, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, bananas, apricots, lemons, oranges, peaches pineapple, strawberries.

In purchasing rice we have a chance to economize by buying the broken kernels, which sell for several cents a pound cheaper than the whole grain, and have exactly the same food value.

Not that we wish to taboo potatoes–far be it from that–but since their price is relatively high we can save money by using potato-less menus.

Good Housekeeping (March, 1917)

Hundred-Year-Old Marshmallows Recipe

homemade-marshmallows

Did you know that it’s easy to make homemade Marshmallows? I didn’t until recently.

When browsing through a hundred-year-old cookbook, I saw a recipe for Marshmallows. I was intrigued, and decided to give the recipe a try. The Marshmallows were fun and easy to make.  They were  light and fluffy (and so much fresher and tastier than store-bought marshmallows) – and would be perfect in cocoa, in s’mores, or roasted over a fire.

Another plus- So many modern candy recipes call for corn syrup, so I was thrilled that sugar was the only sweetener in this recipe.

marshmallow-in-cocoa

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe:

Source: Larkin Housewives Cook Book (1915)
Source: Larkin Housewives Cook Book (1915)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Marshmallows

  • Servings: approximately 60 marshmallows
  • Time: 1 hour active prep time
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons water + 6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (3 packets)

2 teaspoons vanilla

confectioners’ sugar

Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch pan by thickly covering the bottom of the pan with confectioner’s sugar.

Combine the sugar and 6 tablespoons water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil using medium heat while stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved; then reduce heat and continue to gently boil until it reaches the soft ball stage (245° F.).  Do not stir. In the meantime put 6 tablespoons of water in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin.  Let sit for about 10 minutes or until the sugar mixture reaches the soft ball stage.

Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and pour into the bowl with the dissolved gelatin while beating rapidly. Continue beating. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the vanilla, then continue beating until the mixture is very thick and sticky.  The beating process will take 10-15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. This mixture is extremely sticky. A mixing spoon that has been coated with butter or shortening can be used to spread the mixture in the pan.

Let sit for at least four hours (or overnight), then cut into squares using a knife that has been coated with butter or shortening (or that has been dipped in boiling water). Coat the cut edges of the marshmallows by tossing in a bowl that contains powdered sugar.

Hundred-Year-Old Bean Chowder Recipe

bean-chowder-e

It’s cold and blustery here – and time to make a  hearty soup. I searched though my hundred-year-old recipes and came up with the perfect soup for a cold winter day – Bean Chowder.

This savory, comforting, filling and nutritious chowder is made with dried navy beans, salt pork, onions and tomatoes; and it hit the spot perfectly. This recipe is a keeper (though if I made it again I might shorten the prep time by using canned navy beans).

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (April, 1916)
Source: Good Housekeeping (April, 1916)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Bean Chowder

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 30 minutes active prep time; actual time=15+ hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 quart (4 cups) water + approximately 2 quarts water

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups dried navy beans

1/2 pound salt pork, diced into small pieces

2 medium onions, thinly sized

1 quart (28 oz. can) canned tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a large saucepan bring 1 quart water and the baking soda to a boil using high heat. Remove from the heat, then stir in the navy beans, and cover. Let sit overnight (10-12 hours).  Then drain the beans. Rinse thoroughly and then put into a large dutch oven or soup pot. Add one quart water, the diced salt pork, and the onions. Bring to a boil on high heat, and then reduce heat and let gently simmer for four hours. Add additional water as needed (approximately one additional quart of water will need to be added).

At the end of the four hours, add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook for an additional hour, and then serve.

Creamed Celery with Poached Eggs

creamed-celery-with-poached-eggs

When I saw a delightful picture illustrating a Creamed Celery with Poached Eggs recipe in a hundred-year-old magazine, I knew that I needed to give it a try.

Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine, June/July, 1915)
Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine,) (June/July, 1915)

The recipe did not disappoint. My rendition of Creamed Celery with Poached Eggs was lovely. The presentation was just a tad dramatic, and it turned an ordinary meal into a special one.

This vegetable and egg dish is perfect for breakfast . . . or lunch. The slight tang and bite of the celery combines with the cream sauce and eggs to create lovely taste sensation.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine, June/July, 1915)
Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine) ( June/July, 1915)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Creamed Celery with Poached Eggs

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 1/2 cups celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup milk (preferably whole)

2 eggs

salt and pepper

celery leaves, optional (for garnish)

Put the celery in a medium sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil using high heat; then reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 10 minutes).  Drain well.

In another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually, add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Gently stir in the cooked celery, and remove from heat.

In the meantime, bring 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a skillet, then reduce to a simmer. Break each egg into a small bowl or cup, then slip into the water. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the poached eggs from the water using a slotted spatula, and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To assemble the dish: Put the creamed celery in the serving dish, then gently place the poached eggs on top of the celery. If desired, garnish with celery leaves.

 

Hundred-Year-Old Spiced Sweet Potato Balls Recipe

spiced-sweet-potato-balls-b

I’m always on the outlook for hundred-year-old winter vegetable recipes, so I was thrilled to find a recipe for Spiced Sweet Potato Balls.

The outside of the Spiced Sweet Potato balls were crisp and browned, while the inside was nutty, rich, and spicy with the warm blend of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. The balls contained ground nuts, which added a nice texture and flavor dimension when combined with sweet potatoes.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (April, 1917)
Source: Good Housekeeping (April, 1917)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Spiced Sweet Potato Balls

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

3 large sweet potatoes (approximately 3 1/2 cups mashed)

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup nuts, ground (I used walnuts.)

flour

shortening

Place whole sweet potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender (30-45 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Remove the skins from the potatoes then mash until smooth; mix in butter, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Add ground nuts, and stir to combine. Shape into 1-inch balls, then gently roll in flour.

Melt 1/2 inch of shortening in a large skillet.  Slip the sweet potato balls into the hot shortening, then gently roll the balls with a fork until all sides are a light brown. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

Cook’s note: The mashed sweet potato mixture is very sticky. The key to success with this recipe  is shaping the balls, and then gently rolling the balls in the flour while continuing to shape.

Old-time Peanut Butter Griddle Cakes (Pancakes)

peanutbutter-griddle-cakes

What’s a cross between peanut butter cookies and pancakes? . . . answer: Peanut Butter Griddle Cakes.

I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Peanut Butter Griddle Cakes, and decided to give it a try. The recipe was incredibly easy. I whipped the batter up in a couple minutes–and in a couple more minutes I had beautiful golden brown griddle cakes. They were light and fluffy, and a hit at my house. My husband said, as he polished off the last griddle cake, “You should make these again.”

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Larkin Housewives Cook Book
Source: Larkin Housewives Cook Book

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Peanut Butter Griddle Cakes (Pancakes)

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

4 tablespoons peanut butter

2 cups milk

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, beat until smooth. Heat a lightly greased griddle or skillet to a medium temperature, then pour or scoop batter onto the hot surface to make individual griddle cakes.  Cook until the top surface is hot and bubbly, and then flip and cook other side.