Old-fashioned Asparagus Salad

Asparagus Salad on Plate

Spring has sprung – and I’m enjoying spring foods like asparagus. I found a hundred-old-recipe for Asparagus Salad, and decided to give it a try. Chilled asparagus stalks and red pepper rings are arranged on a bed of lettuce. The salad was tasty, and made a lovely presentation in an old-fashioned way.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Asparagus Salad
Source: The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book

In order to authentically replicate the original recipe, I suppose that I could have used canned asparagus, but somehow fresh asparagus just seemed like it would taste better, so that I what is used.

And, I skipped the French dressing that was enhanced with ketchup. It probably would be wonderful, but somehow it didn’t sound good to me.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Asparagus Salad

  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Difficulty: easy
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For each serving:

3 – 4 stalks asparagus

2 1/3-inch wide rings of red pepper

lettuce leaves

French salad dressing, if desired

Steam asparagus for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and chill.

To assemble salad, arrange lettuce leaves on plate. Place the chilled asparagus in the rings, and place on the lettuce leaves. If desired, serve with French salad dressing.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Spinach Soup

bowl of spinach soup

I have warm memories of Popeye the Sailor Man eating spinach to grow strong. Spinach is chockful of nutrients, and is an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin C, as well as being one of the best sources of plant-based iron. What’s not to like?

As a result, I’m always on the lookout for good spinach recipes. So when I came across a hundred-year-old for Spinach Soup, I decided to give it a try.

The creamy Spinach Soup was delicious with a slight peppery undertone which added interest.

Here’s the original recipe:

Spinach Soup Recipe
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (Revised Edition, 1921)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Spinach Soup

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 quarts spinach (I used a 10 ounce package of spinach.)

6 cups water

1/2 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1 clove garlic or 2 tablespoons chopped onion (I used the chopped onion.)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 cup cream, if desired

Put spinach and water into a large pan, and bring to a boil using high heat; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Removed from heat, and puree or press through a sieve. (I used a Foley mill.)

In the meantime, put milk, garlic or onion, and bay leaf in a saucepan. Using medium heat, scald the milk, while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and strain. (Discard the garlic or onion and bay leaf.)

Put butter in large pan or dutch oven. Melt using low heat; then stir in the flour. Slowly add scalded milk while stirring constantly. Then stir in the spinach mixture, salt, cayenne pepper, and celery salt. Heat until steamy, then serve.

If desired whip the cream, and put a dollop of the whipped cream on top of each bowl of soup.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

 

“A Good Dish for the Meatless Meal” Recipe

A Good Dish for a Meatless Meal

Sometimes the names of dishes in old cookbooks make me smile. The recipe I made for today is called “A Good Dish for the Meatless Meal.” It was one of several recipes in a section on Lenten recipes in an old newspaper recipe supplement.

The recipe made a delightful rice, tomato, and onion casserole topped with creamy melted cheese, and garnished with parsley and paprika. The recipe author was right. It was a good dish. The recipe is a keeper.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Recipe for "A Good Dish for a Meatless Meal"
Source: Source: Mrs. Scott’s Seasonal Cook Books (The North American Newspaper, Philadelphia, Winter, 1921)

I assume that “drippings” refer to the fat created when cooking beef or pork – though I am a bit foggy why meat drippings would be called for in a recipe for a meatless dish. Maybe a hundred years ago “meatless” just meant that there were no chunks of meat. In any case I substituted olive oil for the drippings, but any oil or fat could be used.

A Good Dish for a Meatless Meal

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

2 cups stewed tomatoes (1 14.5 ounce can)

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup grated American cheese

parsley, chopped

paprika

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cook the rice according to package directions.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a skillet and then add the chopped onion. Using medium heat, sauté until the onion is transparent. Stir in the tomatoes and salt, then add the rice. Cook until hot and bubbly then transfer to a casserole dish. Top with the grated cheese. Place in oven and heat until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and paprika.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Cherry Fritters with Maraschino Sauce

Cherry Fritter on Plate

I recently made a hundred-year-old recipe for Cherry Fritters with Maraschino Sauce. This recipe was delicious, but set aside all preconceptions about what a Cherry Fritter might taste like. These fritters are nothing like modern cake- or doughnut-like fritters. Rather they are a sweet, slightly wiggly, taste treat.

The consistency of the Cherry Fritters is a bit like the consistency of Fried Brie (but the taste is totally different, so it isn’t a good comparison). The recipe calls for a relatively large amount of cornstarch, and only a small amount of flour which results in the unique consistency.

The Cherry Fritters are served with a lovely Maraschino Sauce which contains both Maraschino cherries and the liquid from the cherry jar.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipes for Cherry Fritters and Maraschino Sauce
Source: The Boston Cooking School Cook Book (1921 Edition)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cherry Fritters with Maraschino Sauce

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Cherry Fritters

2 cups milk + 1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold milk

3 egg yolks (reserve whites)

1/4 cup cold milk

1/2 cup Maraschino cherries, cut into halves (Make sure the cherries are thoroughly drained.)

1/2 cup flour

1 egg + reserved egg whites, beaten

1 cup fine plain breadcrumbs (I put 2 bread slices, that I tore into several pieces, into the blender to make the breadcrumbs.)

shortening or vegetable oil

Mix cornstarch, 1/4 cup flour, sugar, and salt together. Slowly add 1/4 cup cold milk while stirring, then stir in egg yolks. Continue stirring until smooth. Set aside.

Put 2 cups milk in saucepan, and heat using medium heat while stirring constantly until the milk is scalded (180° F.). Slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture, and cook until very thick while stirring constantly (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the Maraschino cherries. Pour into a buttered 8X8 inch pan. Chill in refrigerate until cold (at least 2 hours).

In the meantime, place flour on a plate or in a small bowl, and place the bread crumbs on another plate or small bowl. Put the beaten egg in a small bowl.

Remove the chilled cherry mixture from the refrigerator and cut into squares. Roll each square in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs.

Heat about 1/2 inch of shortening or vegetable oil in a skillet, then put the breaded squares in the hot shortening or oil. Fry until lightly browned on the bottom, then gently turn to brown the other side. When browned, remove from the skillet. Drain on paper towels, then serve with Maraschino Sauce.

Maraschino Sauce 

2/3 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup Maraschino cherries, cut into halves

1/2 cup Maraschino cherry syrup

Put water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, mix sugar and cornstarch; then gradually add to the boiling water while stirring constantly. Using medium heat, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Maraschino cherry syrup; then stir in the Maraschino cherry halves.

Cherry Fritters with Maracshino Saucehttp://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Lyonnaise Potatoes

Lyonnaise Potatoes in BowlI recently made a hundred-year-old recipe for Lyonnaise Potatoes. Diced potatoes are coated with butter, chopped onion, and parsley. This classic comfort food makes a nice side dish.

This recipe also brought back food memories of a similar dish from my childhood that we called Parsley Potatoes. I don’t think that Parsley Potatoes contained any onion, but otherwise it was the same as Lyonnaise Potatoes.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Lyonnaise Potatoes
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (Revised Edition, 1921)

Some Lyonnaise Potato recipes call for browning the potatoes, but since this one didn’t; I didn’t brown the potatoes.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Lyonnaise Potatoes

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 cups boiled potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper

Melt butter in a skillet; stir in the onion. Cook until the onion is transparent while stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley. Add potatoes, and season with salt and pepper; stir gently to coat with butter, onion, and parsley. When hot, remove from heat and serve,

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Hurry-Up Cake Recipe

 

piece of cake on plateYesterday was hectic, and I hadn’t even selected a recipe to make for this post by mid-afternoon – let alone made it. So when I flipped through a hundred-year-old church cookbook, and saw a recipe for Hurry-Up Cake, I immediately knew that it was just the recipe I needed.

Hurry-up Cake is a moist and tender spice cake – and it’s easy to make (of course). It contains a delightful mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s the perfect cake to make when you’re in a hurry – or when you’re not.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Hurry-Up Cake
Source: Ladies’ Union Cook Book by the Ladies of the West Concord Union Church (Concord Junction, Massachusetts, 1921)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Hurry-Up Cake

  • Servings: 8 -10
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/3 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat for 3 minutes. Put in a greased and floured 8-inch square pan. Bake until a wooden pick comes out clean (approximately 45 minutes). Frost if desired.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Coconut Pie

slice of coconut pie on plateSometimes I crave classic old-fashioned cream pies.  I recently came across a lovely recipe for Coconut Pie in a hundred-year-old cookbook. This pie differs from many modern coconut pies because, in addition to the usual milk, egg yolks, and coconut, the recipe calls for grated lemon rind and lemon juice. The lemon adds a lovely sunny note to this rich creamy pie.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Coconut Pie
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book, Revised Edition (1921)

When I updated the recipe I updated the spelling of coconut. “Cocoanut” is an archaic way of spelling coconut that I sometimes see in old recipes and cookbooks.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Coconut Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter melted

grated rind and juice from 1 lemon

1 cup grated coconut

1 10-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 425° F. Put milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, salt, butter, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in grated lemon rind and coconut. Pour into pie shell.  Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F.. Bake additional 60 minutes or until knife inserted into center of pie comes out clean.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com