Old-fashioned Ginger Ale Gelatin Salad

Molded Gelatin Salad with PearsWhen I was a child, there was always lots of food at Labor Day picnics – including multiple gelatin salads. So I was thrilled when I came across a recipe in a 1919 American Cookery magazine for Ginger Ale Gelatin Salad just in time for this long holiday week-end.

The sparkling Ginger Ale Gelatin Salad was sweet and tangy, with a mild lemony undertone. The gelatin can be made with or without fruit.  A hundred years ago canned fruit was often added to gelatin, so I added canned pear halves – though other fruits could be used (or none at all).

The old magazine included a section where readers could ask questions, and this recipe was provided as a response to a request for a Ginger Ale Salad recipe. The reader making the request indicated that the desired recipe should be for a gelatin salad that could be made with or without fruit.

Recipe for Ginger Ale Salad
Source: American Cookery (October, 1919)

When I made the gelatin, I used an entire packet of gelatin since this recipe called for a total of 2 cups of liquid – and the gelatin box indicated that each individual packet should be used with 2 cups of liquid. Since the old recipe called for using 1/4 packet, I assume that gelatin packets were larger back then. I ignored the serving suggestion, and passed on the French or mayonnaise dressing with cocktail sauce. I also did not use small molds – and instead put all the gelatin into one mold. (I used a 1-quart bowl as the mold).

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Ginger Ale Gelatin Salad

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

1 packet gelatin (0.25 ounce)

1/4 cup cold water

1 3/4 cups ginger ale

grated lemon peel from 1 lemon

fruit (optional) – I used 4 canned pear halves.

Put the water in a bowl; sprinkle the gelatin on the water. Set the bowl in hot water; let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in ginger ale. Put in refrigerator until the gelatin just begins to thicken (about an hour), then remove from refrigerator and stir in grated lemon peel and, if desired, add the fruit.  Pour into bowl or mold, and return to refrigerator. Chill until set.

Old-fashioned Fried Corn

fried corn in bowl with spoon

August is my favorite month when it comes to cooking and eating. Gardens and farmers markets are filled with a bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits at their prime – and, to me, corn on the cob is the quintessential August vegetable.  But, I also am always looking for different ways to serve corn. So I was pleased to find a classic, very easy, hundred-year-old recipe for Fried Corn.

The corn is fried in a little butter, then seasoned with just a bit of cream, salt and pepper. Frying the corn, removes some of the liquid and brings out its natural sweetness Sometimes simple is best.

Here’s the original recipe:

fried corn in bowl
Source: The Old Reliable Farm and Home Cook Book (1919)

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

Fried Corn

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

1 tablespoon butter

4 ears of corn (about 2 cups after cut off cobs)

1 tablespoon cream

salt and pepper

Cut corn off the cob. Melt butter in a skillet. Add corn then, using medium heat, fry the corn until browned, while stirring frequently (approximately 8-10 minutes). Add cream, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to season; stir. Remove from heat and serve.

Old-fashioned Deviled Tomatoes

Fried tomato slices with deviled egg topping

I recently found a delightful hundred-year-old recipe for Deviled Tomatoes. Tomato slices sautéed in butter are topped with a lively deviled egg mixture.

Here is the original recipe:

recipe for deviled tomatoes
Source: American Cookery (November, 1919)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Deviled Tomatoes

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

4 medium tomatoes, sliced

1/3 cup flour

3 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

2 teaspoons dried mustard

dash salt

dash cayenne pepper

yolk of 1 hard-boiled egg, mashed

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons green pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Coat the tomato slices with flour. Then, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet, and sauté the flour-coated tomato slices for two minutes on each slide or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.

In the meantime, in a small bowl cream together 1 tablespoon butter, powdered sugar, dried mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, and mashed hard-boiled egg yolk. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Stir in green pepper, onion, and parsley. Heat until warm (on stove or in microwave).

To serve, put a heaping teaspoonful of the egg mixture on top of each tomato slice.

Old-fashioned Blueberry Pie with Meringue

slice of pie

I recently found a 1919 recipe for Blueberry Pie with Meringue that made my mouth water – yet it called for canned blueberries (which didn’t seem very appealing to me). A hundred years ago blueberries were available only a few weeks a year, and to preserve the goodness of the berries for later use, many were canned. As a result, cooks needed recipes that called canned blueberries.

recipe for blueberry pie with meringue
Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

I generally permit myself to make only minimal changes when making old recipes, but there exceptions to every rule.  Since I just couldn’t bring myself to use canned blueberries – and since I really wanted to try this recipe, I decided to substitute fresh berries for the canned ones.

The recipe turned out well – though the baking time was longer when fresh blueberries are used. The blueberries in the filling were embedded in a lovely, almost custard-like sauce; and, when topped with an airy meringue, it created an irresistible pie.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks.

Blueberry Pie with Meringue

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 cups blueberries

2 egg yolks

1tablespoon lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour or 2 tablespoons corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 8-inch (small) pie shell

Meringue

2 egg whites

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) sugar

Preheat oven to 425° F. Put egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, flour (or corn starch) and salt in a mixing bowl; beat until thoroughly combined.  Crush about a quarter of the blueberries with a fork or your fingers, then stir all the blueberries into the sugar mixture. Pour the blueberry mixture into the pie shell. Place in oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F. Cook an additional 35 minutes or until the filling thickens. (As the filling cooks, it will first be very juicy; and then will become thicker.)

In the meantime, make the meringue. Place egg whites in a bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat. Then spoon on top of the pie and swirl. Reduce oven temperature to 325 ° F. Place pie back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.

Old-fashioned Escalloped Squash

escalloped squash in baking dishAugust means a plethora of zucchini, so I’m always looking for new ideas (hmmm. . . I think that I really mean old ideas) for using zucchini and other summer squash. And, I lucked out. I found a nice hundred-year-old recipe for Escalloped Squash that is made with mashed squash, egg, and milk – and topped with crispy bread crumbs. If you are looking for a recipe that is a little different from the typical modern summer squash recipe, yet still tasty, this recipe is for you.

The Escalloped Squash has a custard-like texture, and a delightful, mild squash flavor. I used small zucchini when I made this dish, and I peeled the zucchini very thinly with a vegetable peeler. This left a greenish tinge to the zucchini flesh and resulted in Escalloped Squash that had a lovely pale green color.

Here is the original recipe:

Escalloped squash recipe
Source; The Old Reliable Farm and Home Cook Book (1919)

The original recipe is not clear whether it calls for summer or winter squash. I interpreted it to mean summer squash, but winter squash would probably also work.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Escalloped Squash

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

5 cups summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash), peeled with seeds removed, and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup bread crumbs

butter

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put squash in a saucepan and barely cover with water. Using high heat bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until squash is tender. Remove from heat and drain. Mash squash and set aside.

Put eggs, milk, butter, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl, beat to combine. Place a small amount (approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons) of mashed squash into bowl with the beaten egg mixture, stir quickly. Then add and stir in the remainder of the mashed squash. (The egg is first combined with a little of the hot mixture to prevent it from turning into scrambled eggs when introduced into the hot combination.) Pour into ungreased 1 quart casserole. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the top. Dot with butter. Bake in oven uncovered until hot and bubbly (approximately 35-45 minutes.)

Old-time Coffee Ginger Cream Recipe

glass filled with Ginger Coffee Cream

During these dog days of summer, there’s nothing better than an iced coffee drink. Coffee Ginger Cream is made using a hundred-year-old recipe, and contains coffee, cream, and ginger ale. The coffee and cream combine perfectly with the fizzy, sweetness of the ginger ale to create a refreshing summer drink.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Coffee Ginger Cream
Source: American Cookery (May, 1919)
Recipe for Sugar Syrup
Source: American Cookery (May, 1919)

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

Coffee Ginger Cream

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 tablespoons strong cold coffee

1 tablespoon sugar syrup (see recipe below)

1 tablespoon heavy cream

enough ginger ale to fill glass

ice

Put coffee, sugar syrup, and cream in a glass; stir to combine. Fill glass with ginger ale and stir. If desired, add ice.

Sugar Syrup

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup warm water

Put the sugar in a sauce pan. Pour the warm water over the sugar, and stir. Let sit a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved, then using medium heat bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Store in a covered jar for use when needed.

Raspberry Patties en Surprise

Raspberries on round puff pastries

I’m always intrigued by hundred-year-old recipes that include drawings of the finished product since such recipes are few and far between. So when I recently came across a drawing of a beautifully presented recipe for a raspberry dessert called Patties en Surprise in a 1919 advertisement for Minute Tapioca, I decided to give it a try. This dessert is basically puff pastry cut into rounds, and filled with a raspberry and tapioca filling.

Here’s the picture and original recipe:

Picture of, and recipe for, Raspberry Patties en Surprise
Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1919)

The verdict: Raspberries Patties en Surprise is a very pretty dessert. The filling is delightfully refreshing with a vibrant, fruity flavor. I had left-over filling after I used all the puff pastry rounds, so I spooned the left-overs into a small dishes – and it was even better than when served with the pastries. I will definitely make the filling again – I may (or may not) make the pastry portion of this recipe again.

Since the original recipe did not provide directions for making puff pastry, I bought a package of puff pastry at the store when I made this dessert rather than making puff pastry from scratch (though I realize this is not a fully authentic way to approach this recipe).  Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Raspberry Patties en Surprise

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 cups water

1/2 cup Minute Tapioca

1 pint (2 half-pint boxes) red raspberries, crushed (approximately 1 cup pulp)

1/2 cup sugar

1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)

Raspberry Filling:  Using high heat, bring water to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium and stir in tapioca. Continue cooking while stirring constantly until the tapioca is clear (about 5 minutes); stir in raspberry pulp (including juice) and sugar. Continue cooking and stirring an additional two minutes, then remove from heat and put the mixture into a bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Pastry Shells: Preheat oven to 400° F. Unroll puff pastry sheets, and cut rounds (approximately 4-inches in diameter) using a cookie cutter (or an inverted water glass can be used as a cutter). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Using a smaller round cutter (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) cut another circle in the center of the large circles of puff pastry dough. (Press firmly when cutting the small circles. It is okay if it goes all the way through. It is more problematic when assembling this recipe if the small circles aren’t cut deeply enough than if they are cut all the way through.). Bake 20 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Remove pastries from baking sheet. Allow to cool before serving.

To Assemble: For each pastry, gently remove the top portion of the small pastry circle. Spoon the chilled raspberry tapioca mixture into the center of the pastry. Put the circular “cap” back on the pastry.