Soup is the perfect comfort food on these cold winter days. I recently found a wonderful hundred-year-old recipe for Pearl Barley Soup with Cabbage. The soup was delightful – but the recipe name is misleading. The recipe only calls for two tablespoons of barley – and it is not a predominate ingredient in the soup. This soup is really a hearty, rustic Cabbage and Bacon soup.
Here’s the original recipe:
Since modern pearled barley does not need pre-soaking, I skipped that step. Also, I didn’t think that three green onions were very many, so I used all the green onions in the bunch that I purchased. Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Pearl Barley Soup with Cabbage (Cabbage and Bacon Soup)
Put water in a dutch oven; bring to a boil using high heat, then add barley, bacon, cabbage, and green onions. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 1 hour. Add half and half, salt, and pepper. Heat until steamy hot, then serve.
This photo was the February, 1918 issue of Good Housekeeping. The caption beneath the picture says:
This very young old lady of ninety-five did all the work in her garden last year and then put up enough canned goods to supply herself, her grandsons, and her great-grandsons. She is already planning this year’s garden. Her recipe for long life and happiness is, “”Take good care of nature, and she will take good care of you.”
Hundred-year-old Christmas menus sometimes included Mashed Turnips as a vegetable side dish, so I was pleased to find a 1918 recipe for Mashed Turnips. This rustic side dish has a delightful earthly, sweet, yet slightly bitter, flavor.
Wash and peel turnips; cut into slices or quarters. Put in a saucepan and cover with water; add salt. Using high heat bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer until turnips are tender (approximately 35 – 45 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Mash the cooked turnips, then stir in pepper and butter. Serve immediately.
Holiday baking often requires melting chocolate so I was thrilled to see advice in a hundred-year-old magazine for an easy way to melt chocolate without waste.The Discoveries column in Good Housekeeping invited readers to send in their “discoveries” for possible publication Readers whose submissions were published received $1 from the magazine. This is what a reader wrote:
To have chocolate already at hand for melting without waste, keep your chocolate in a pint jar. To melt it simply place it in hot water. Any amount desired may be taken out. Seal the jar and keep it in the kitchen cabinet when you are not using it. –Mrs. F.M.F., N.Y.
Good Housekeeping (September, 1917)
It took a really long time to melt the chocolate. Perhaps chocolate a hundred years ago melted at lower temperatures than modern chocolate. A better approach today would be to melt in the microwave.
Food makes a wonderful gift, and is sure to please friends and family – both now and a hundred years ago. But, I must admit that some gift suggestions on a hundred-year-old list of edible gift ideas don’t work for me. Why the heck would someone want edible moss for desserts?
The article suggests wrapping the edible gift in tissue paper. The food could also be put in boxes. When giving a gift of candy a century ago, people often made decorative gift boxes. Several years ago, back when I was posting my grandmother’s diary, I did a post on how to make a triangular candy box. The directions originally appeared in the December, 1912 issue of School Arts Magazine.