Some desserts which were eaten a hundred years ago are seldom seen today. One of those desserts is Blueberries and Boulettes. Boulettes are homemade drop dumplings that are made by dropping heaping teaspoons of dough into rapidly boiling water. Warm boulettes are topped with a little butter, and smothered with blueberries, and a generous sprinkling of sugar.
The Boulettes were fun and easy to make. They only take a few minutes to cook, rising to the top of the water when done. When served with sweetened blueberries, they made a nice old-fashioned summer dessert.
Combine melted butter and sour cream in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each in. Stir in salt, then gradually add and stir in the flour.
In the meantime bring 3-4 quarts of water to a bowl in a large pan. When the water is rapidly boiling, drop heaping teaspoons of the dough into the water, and let it remain until it rises to the top; then remove with a slotted spoon. Serve warm.
To serve, put boulettes in serving dish(es), top with dabs of butter, blueberries, and sugar.
Tomato and Cauliflower Salad is a tasty, attractive salad – though it seems very old-fashioned. A hundred years ago salads were frequently arranged on a plate on a bed of lettuce, and this salad is a nice example of that type of salad.
For this salad, tomato slices are arranged in a circle on top of the lettuce. A dab of mayonnaise is spread around the center of the plate. The mayonnaise is then topped with the small cauliflower florets that have been marinated in French salad dressing. I made homemade French dressing using an old recipe that I previously posted. A hundred years ago French dressing was a vinaigrette with paprika rather than the typical orange bottled dressing that is common today.
When I served this salad, my daughter asked if she should eat the lettuce. I said that I don’t think that lettuce beds are typically eaten, but that she should go ahead and eat it if she wanted. I wonder why lettuce is generally left uneaten with this type of salad.
Here’s the original recipe:
I made several minor adaptions to this recipe. I skipped peeling the tomatoes. A hundred-years-ago tomatoes were often peeled, but today almost never. (And, I know from previous experiences doing various tomato salad posts that -at least by modern standards – that peeled tomatoes don’t look very good in a photo.)
I used less mayonnaise than the original recipe called for. I just thickly spread a dab of mayonnaise on the lettuce in the center of the plate.
Put the cauliflower in a small bowl. Pour French dressing over the cauliflower and stir gently to coat. Set aside. Arrange the lettuce on plate(s). Core tomatoes and cut into sixths. Arrange in a the tomato slices on the plate(s). Place dollop of mayonnaise in the center; spread over the lettuce in the center of the plate with the back of a spoon. Drain cauliflower, and put on top of the mayonnaise.
I recently made a hundred-year-old recipe for Sliced Beets in Lemon. They taste similar to pickled beets – though typically vinegar is used to pickle beets. This recipe instead called for lemon juice. This recipe is quite healthy with only 2 tablespoons of added sugar. .
The Sliced Beets in Lemon were lovely, and tasted very similar to the pre-packaged pickled beets sold in the produce section of my local store.
Here’s the original recipe:
It seems odd that the recipe called for optionally adding one hard-boiled egg to the pickling liquid. The recipe only makes enough liquid to cover one -or maybe two – hard boiled eggs. It seems like the recipe author either would have skipped the egg or used larger qualities of the ingredients so several eggs could be added. Maybe only one person in her family liked eggs in beets.
I was also a bit foggy on how to serve the Sliced Beets with Lemon “with a sprig of green leaves stuck into one end for garniture.” I interpreted it to mean that parley was to be used as a garnish.
sprigs of parsley or other green for garnishing, optional (I used flat leafed Italian parsley.)
Cut the greens off the beets, and place in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the beets are tender when poked with a knife (30 – 40 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Allow beets to cool slightly so they can be handled, then rub the skins off and slice beets into a bowl. Set aside.
Put water, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan; stir to mix. Then bring to a boil using high heat. Remove from heat; add bay leaf and then gently pour over the sliced beets. Chill.
If desired, a hard-boiled egg can be added to the liquid before chilling.
If desired, garnish with parsley or other greens before serving.
Summer is the perfect time to make chilled desserts, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Chocolate Mint Blancmange.
Chocolate Mint Blancmange is smooth and chocolaty with the essence of mint. It is made with milk and thickened with gelatin, and topped with whipped cream.
This molded dessert seemed old-fashioned, but the taste and texture reminded me of some of the small individual- serving chocolate desserts that I’ve had at restaurants or hotels. I think that Chocolate Mint Blancmange would seem much more trendy and modern if put into individual serving cups.
3 ounces grated chocolate or 5 tablespoons cocoa (I used cocoa.)
1 quart (4 cups) milk
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
3 or 4 drops of peppermint extract
Place the cold water in a small bowl; then sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let the gelatin absorb the water and soften for a few minutes.
In the meantime put the milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil using medium heat; stir constantly. Stir in sugar, chocolate (or cocoa), and salt. Add the softened gelatin while continuing to stir constantly. Once the gelatin has dissolved, remove from heat. Strain and let partially cool for a few minutes, then add the peppermint extract and stir. Put into a 5 or 6 cup mold (or put into individual serving dishes or cups). Chill until firm (at least 4 hours).
To serve (if molded): Quickly dip the mold in hot water, then unmold onto serving plate.
Sometimes old cookbooks contain recipes for very basic foods that barely seem to need a recipe. For example, I recently came across this recipe for String Beans in a hundred-year-old cookbook.
But, when I look more closely, I realize that the directions are very different than how the beans would be made today. Boiled string bean recipes today often call for leaving the beans whole and merely breaking the tips off the beans; other modern recipes call for breaking the beans into 2- 3 inch pieces. The hundred-year-old recipe, however, called for breaking or cutting the beans into small 1-inch pieces.
Modern recipes for boiled string beans also call for cooking them just a few minutes – 5 minutes or maybe 10 max. However the old recipe directs cooks to boil the string beans for 1-to 3 hours!!!
What the heck? But, next thing I knew I was boiling string beans for 1 hour. (I couldn’t bring myself to boil them for more than that).
The verdict – The beans were very soft, but still maintained their shape. My daughter said, “Why did you ruin some perfectly good green beans? They taste like frozen or canned beans.”
Break the tips off the string beans. Cut or break into 1-inch pieces. Wash beans, then put into a sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil using high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 3 hours. Add salt for last 1/2 hour of cooking. If most of the water boils away, add additional water. Remove from heat and drain. Put in serving bowl and top with a dab of butter.
Sweet, juicy, local peaches are just beginning to appear at farm stands, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Peach Shortcake. The recipe turned out well – and was perfect for a hot summer day.
Here’s the original recipe:
This recipe made a little less shortcake than I was expecting. I used a 10-inch round cake pan when I made the recipe. (There wasn’t enough dough to make two layers.) If I made this recipe again, I think that 8-inch cake pans would work better, so that is the pan size that I listed in the updated recipe.
Combine sliced peaches, sugar, and lemon juice; stir gently. Spoon some of the sweetened peaches between the layers of shortcake (see recipe below). Put additional peaches and the whipped cream on the top layer of shortcake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons lard
1 cup milk
butter, if desired
Preheat oven to 425° F. Put flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl; stir to combine. Cut in butter and lard using a pastry blender. Add milk and mix using a fork until dough starts to cling together. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, then divide dough in half and put into the pans. Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly, then remove from pans. Split each layer using a fork. If desired butter layers, Arrange layers with fruit filling in the middle and on top.
I often see sandwich recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks. They often contain different ingredients from modern sandwiches, and don’t pique my interest. But. I was intrigued by a recipe for Cucumber Sandwiches. There’s a bumper crop of cucumbers this year, so decided to give the recipe a try. The sandwiches contain lettuce and cucumber slices coated with a sweet-sour Boiled Dressing.
The lettuce and cucumber slices were crisp and the sandwich was tasty – though it seemed very old-fashioned and made me think about old novels where the heroine eats dainty sandwiches similar to this.
The bread is buttered for this recipe. I haven’t buttered bread when making sandwiches in years. Which made the sandwich seem even more old-fashioned.
I probably won’t make this recipe again, but it was fun to make one time.
Here’s the original recipe:
And, here’s the old recipe for Boiled Dressing:
One loaf of bread would make 8 or 10 sandwiches. There was no way that my husband and I were doing to eat that many. So when I made this recipe, I really scaled the Cucumber Sandwiches Recipe down, and gave directions for one sandwich. The Cucumber Sandwich recipe calls for Boiled Dressing. I made the full Boiled Dressing recipe and used the left-over dressing on other salads. It kept well in the refrigerator.
1 1/2 teaspoons boiled dressing (see recipe below)
1/8 teaspoon grated onion
2 slices bread (preferably thinly sliced)
Put boiled dressing and grated onion in a small bowl; stir to combine. Add cucumber slices. Gently roll and stir the slices to coat with the dressing. Set aside.
Butter the bread slices. Put the lettuce leaf on one slice. Top with the cucumber slices that are coated with dressing. Put the second butter slice of bread on top. Serve immediately.
2 egg yolks, well beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Put beaten egg yolks, salt, sugar and flour in a small bowl; stir until blended. Add milk, lemon juice, and butter or olive oil. Put in a saucepan, and heat using medium heat while stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and refrigerate. If the mixture begins to curdle place the pan in a larger pan of cold water and beat vigorously using a mixer.
The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days.