Old-Fashioned Creamed Celery and Green Peppers

Creamed vegetables on toast are one of my favorite comfort foods, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for a combination that was new to me. Creamed Celery and Green Pepper is delightful. The celery and the green pepper complement each other perfectly. The chunks of green pepper add flavor and reduce any bitterness in the celery.  This quick and easy recipe is a keeper.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (October, 1917)

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

Creamed Celery and Green Pepper

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2 cups celery, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 small green pepper (1/2 of a typical large supermarket green pepper), cut into vertical slices 3/4 inch wide, then halved

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash pepper

1 1/2 cups milk

toast

Put celery in a saucepan, and cover with water. Using high heat bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and drain.  Stir green pepper pieces into the celery.

In the meantime, in a skillet, melt butter using low heat. Stir the flour into the butter; add salt and pepper. While stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the celery and green pepper pieces, and bring back to a boil; remove from heat. Serve over toast.

Classic Pear and Celery Salad Recipe

Food presentation is an art. I occasionally see lovely food designs in hundred-year-old magazines that may not quite work a century later. Then again, maybe they do. As food fads wax and wane over time, these old presentations sometimes almost seem refreshingly cutting edge.  Pear and Celery Salad definitely is dramatic, and is sure to be a conversation item at any party; however,I have mixed feelings about whether it is a fun but quirky recipe, or just a bit odd.

Source: Libby’s Advertisement in Ladies Home Journal (February, 1918)

The Pear and Celery Salad is placed on a bed of celery leaves, which creates a beautiful foundation for the salad. Celery slices are heaped into a large mound in the center of the plate, and then surrounded by canned pear halves (poached fresh pear halves would also work well). The mounded celery is topped with a mayonnaise, chili sauce, and nut dressing.

This recipe definitely turned out better than I thought it might. The tender pears melted in my mouth and  their delicate flavor was nicely balanced by the crunchy celery and nuts. The dressing reminded me a little of French salad dressing, except that it was nutty instead of smooth. The dressing worked well with the celery – and was intriguing with the pears.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pear and Celery Salad

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chili sauce

1/2 cut walnuts or other nuts, chopped

celery leaves from 1 head of celery

approximately 2 1/2 cups celery, cut into 1/2 – inch slices

1 29-ounce can of pear halves, drained

To make the dressing, place the mayonnaise and chili sauce in a small bowl; stir until combined. Add nuts, and stir. Set aside.

Arrange celery leaves on serving plate, then place the sliced celery in a pile in the center of the plate. Surround the heaped celery with the pear halves which are stood on their edge. Gently spoon the dressing on top of the celery. There may be more dressing than needed. Reserve and extra dressing and serve separately.

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
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

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.

 

Old Scalloped Celery and Eggs Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, February 18, 1913: Please excuse me for today. I haven’t much material to write about.

DSC07184

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a hundred-year-old recipe for Scalloped Celery and Eggs.

 Scalloped Celery and Eggs

2 cups diced celery

1/4 cup diced onion

4 hard-cooked eggs

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

1/2 cup celery stock

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Dice celery and onion, then simmer until tender in water to cover. Reserve one-half cup of the liquid (celery stock). Melt butter in a frying pan, stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually stir in reserved celery stock and milk to make a sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the cooked celery and onions, and put a layer in a buttered baking-dish (I used a 1 1/2 quart dish–it might have fit into a 1 quart dish, but I was worried that it would boil over.); chop the eggs, sprinkle on a light layer, add more celery, continuing until the dish is filled. Cover with the buttered crumbs, and bake in a moderate oven (375°) until browned.

Makes 4-5 servings

Adapted from recipe in the November, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal

I’ve enjoying rediscovering celery this winter. Celery was a popular winter vegetable a hundred years ago. It was easy to transport and store.

I’ve also discovered that celery and egg combinations were very popular years ago. You might enjoy this previous post:

Old-Fashioned Celery Chowder Recipe

Old-fashioned Celery Chowder Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, January 29, 1913: <<no entry>>

DSC07174

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is one of the few days between January, 1911 and December, 1914 when Grandma wrote nothing. The previous day she wrote that a friend, Margaret G., was visiting and planned to stay overnight. Maybe the girls stayed up all night talking and Grandma was too tired to write anything.

Since there’s no diary entry to guide the direction this post takes, I’ll share a recipe for an old-time winter food—Celery Chowder.

It’s an excellent celery soup and I make it one or twice each winter.

 Old-fashioned Celery Chowder

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 cups celery, chopped

2 medium potatoes, diced

water

4 cups milk

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in large saucepan; add onion and cook until tender. Add chopped celery and potatoes; just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; then simmer (15-20 minutes) until vegetables are soft. Add milk and chopped eggs; season with salt and pepper. Reheat until hot; serve.