Old-fashioned Rice Ressetto (Risotto?)

Rice Ressetto (Risotto)

I occasionally see recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks where the name of the recipe doesn’t seem quite right – and I think that either the spelling of the name has changed across the years, the recipe author didn’t know how to spell, or that  there was a typo. This is one of the times. The recipe is for Rice Ressetto, but I think that it is really a tomato risotto recipe.

This dish contained rice, tomatoes, and green peppers. It turned out okay, but was much less spicy than similar recipes typically would be today.

Rice Ressetto (Risotto)
Source: Cement City Cook Book (1922) published by First Baptist Church, Alpena, Michigan

I’m not sure how Spanish sweet pepper differs from green pepper, so I only used green pepper when I made the recipe. The ratio of rice to water is less than typical for cooking rice which means that the rice was still semi-firm when prepared. It was quite dry, and did not need to be drained. This semi-cooked rice then absorbed juice from the tomatoes and softened while baking.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Rice Ressetto (Risotto)

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 cup rice

1 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 pint tomatoes, diced (14.5 ounce can)

1 medium green pepper,  chopped

Preheat oven to 350° F. Put water in a large saucepan; bring to boil. Stir in rice, butter, salt, and pepper, then put cover on pan and reduce heat to low. Cook for five minutes, then turn off heat. Let rice sit for at least 10 minutes. (The rice will still be somewhat firm.) In the meantime put the tomatoes and green pepper in another saucepan. Heat until hot and bubbly, then stir in the rice. Put into a casserole dish and cover. Heat in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove and serve.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Chives Salad Dressing

Chives Salad Dressing and Lettuce on Plate

I’m always looking for recipes for healthy, easy-to-make homemade salad dressing, so was pleased to find a recipe for Chives Salad Dressing in a hundred-year-old cookbook.

Chives Salad Dressing was a lovely vinaigrette with chopped chives and chopped hard-boiled egg.

Here’s the original recipe:

Chives Salad Dressing
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

I used olive oil when I made this dressing.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Chives Salad Dressing

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped

Put vegetable oil or olive oil, vinegar, salt, paprika, and white pepper in a small bowl; stir to combine. Add chives and chopped egg. Serve on tomato, lettuce, or other similar salads.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Quick Creamed Potatoes

Quick Creamed Potatoes

Creamed Potatoes are a delightful comfort food, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Quick Creamed Potatoes.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Quick Creamed Potatoes
Source: Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

I am unclear whether this recipe calls for raw potato slices or previously cooked potato slices. When I made this recipe, I used raw potato slices and had issues with the milk scorching on the bottom of the pan. I tried to gently stir the potato mixture while it was cooking, but it took about 15 minutes for the potatoes to soften and it was really difficult to stir well enough to prevent scorching.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Quick Creamed Potatoes

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups potatoes, sliced

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoons salt

dash pepper

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (fresh or dried)

Put potato slices in a bowl; dredge with flour and toss until the potato slices are partially coated with flour. Put in a saucepan and add milk. Gently cook using medium heat until the milk is hot; reduce heat to medium low and continue cook until the potato slices are soft while frequently gently lifting the potato slices and stirring. (Be sure to stir to the very bottom of the pan, since the milk will easily scorch). Remove from heat.  Add butter, salt, and pepper; gentry stir to combine. Put in serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Oatmeal Waffles

Oatmeal Waffle on Plate

I often get requests for gluten-free recipes, so I was excited to find a hundred-year old recipe for Oatmeal Waffles. The waffles are made with oatmeal and cornmeal. The Oatmeal Waffles were hearty, and delightful with syrup.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Oatmeal Waffles
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Oatmeal Waffles

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 1/2 cups finely ground oatmeal (about 1 3/4 cups minute oatmeal or old-fashioned oatmeal)

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 1/2 cups milk

1 egg

Finely grind the oatmeal. (I used a blender.) Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat until thoroughly combined. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken a little as the oatmeal absorbs the liquids, then bake in a hot waffle grill.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Grape Punch Beverage

grape punchin glass

There are very few pictures in hundred-year-old cookbooks and magazines. As a result, the few photos suggest which recipes the authors or editors considered the most enticing. So when I saw a photo with a pitcher of Grape Punch in a 1922 magazine that looked awesome, I decided to give it a try.

ingredients to make grape punch
Source: American Cookery (August/September, 1922)

The Grape Punch contains grape juice, lemon juice, and orange juice with cucumber peel (rind). I’ve previously had cucumber infused water which I associate with spas and hotel lobbies (and healthy eating), so was intrigued by the inclusion of cucumber in this recipe – though it called for the use of the peel rather than slices of cucumber which seemed a bit odd.

The verdict: The Grape Punch was tasty with lovely citrus undertones and the added smoothness of cucumber.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Grape Punch
Source: American Cookery (August/September, 1922)

I thought that 1 cup of sugar seemed like a lot, so used less. And, I was surprised how attractive thin slices of cucumber peel looked in the punch.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Grape Punch

  • Servings: 10 - 14
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 quart (4 cups) grape juice

1 cup sugar (If desired, use less sugar.)

juice of 4 lemons (about 1 cup lemon juice)

juice of 6 oranges (about 1 1/2 cups orange juice)

1 quart (4 cups) water

1 large cucumber (peel only)

Mix grape juice and sugar together. Add lemon juice, orange juice, and water; stir.

Peel cucumber thinly. (I used a vegetable peeler.) Cut peel into 2-4 inch pieces, then add to the Grape Punch. Chill, then serve.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

 

Black Plum Soup (with Cheese Balls)

Black Plum Soup in Bowl

I love plums so was excited to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Black Plum Soup. I was slightly less excited after I read the recipe and realized that it called for putting cheese balls into the soup before serving (which sounded very strange to me), But, nevertheless, I decided to give the recipe a try.

The Black Plum Soup is served hot. It tasted like plums with a hint of cinnamon though was quite tart. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually really liked the cheese balls in the soup. The cheese balls added some texture to the otherwise clear soup – and sharpness of the cheese was a nice contrast to the tartness of the soup.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Black Plum Soup
Source: American Cookery (June/July, 1922)

This recipe makes a lot of soup, so I divided it in half when I updated it.  The smaller amount I made still makes enough soup to for about 6 cups of soup or three bowls.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Black Plum Soup with Cheese Balls

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Soup

1 dozen (12)  black plums

3 cups water or chicken broth (I used water.)

grated rind of 1/2 lemon

small piece of stick cinnamon (about 1 1/2 inches long – or longer if a very thin stick)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

juice from 1/2 lemon

Remove pits from plums and quarter. Put in a Dutch oven or large saucepan; add water or chicken broth, stick of cinnamon, sugar, salt, and white pepper. Put on the stove and bring to a boil using high heat; then reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour.  Remove from heat and strain. (Discard the plum pulp.) Add the lemon juice to the plum soup. Reheat then serve. Add cheese balls (see recipe below) right before serving.

Cheese Balls

1/2 cup grated hard cheese (I used cheddar cheese)

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon salt

dash cayenne (red) pepper

1/2 egg, beaten

1/2 cup fine plain breadcrumbs

shortening or cooking oil

Put grated hard cheese, parmesen cheese, salt, cayenne pepper, and beaten egg in a bowl, then mix to combine all ingredients. Shape the mixture into small balls, each about 1/2 – 3/4 inch in diameter. Roll each ball in the breadcrumbs. Put about 1/2 inch of shortening or cooking oil in a skillet, then heat until hot using medium heat. Place the cheese balls in the hot fat or oil, and fry until the bread crumbs are lightly browned (about 20-30 seconds). Using a fork roll the balls to fry on the other side.  Remove from skillet using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Mashed Summer Squash

 

Mashed Summer Squash in dish

Squash, squash everywhere – zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, yellow straightneck squash, pattypan squash. What should I do with all of them?

A hundred years ago people had similar concerns. This is what an article said about summer squash in a 1922 magazine:

 Summer Squash

Is summer squash one of your favorite vegetables, or do you consider it a rather tasteless thing, to be used as Hobson’s choice, but not to be hailed with joy? . . .

Few vegetables repay so amply for the small amount of garden-plot, fertilizer, and cultivation they require. They bear heavily though the season, and do not, like so many vegetables, require to be cooked immediately after picking in order catch the finest flavor. They are delicious when properly seasoned. They are also amongst the easiest vegetable to prepare for cooking.

American Cookery (August/September, 1922)

The article also includes a recipe for Mashed Summer Squash. I seasoned the squash with butter and celery salt, and it made a delightful side. dish.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Mashed Summer Squash
Source: American Cookery (August/September, 1922)

This recipe has so many options and permutations that I didn’t know where to began: Boil the squash or steam it; Season with salt or celery salt; peel the squash or don’t.

In the end. I cut the squash into chunks, but didn’t peel, and I used a Foley mill to mash (and remove the squash skin and seeds). The resulting mashed squash was very juicy, so I then partially strained the mashed squash.

Here’s how I made the recipe:

Mashed Summer Squash

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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5 cups, diced or sliced summer squash

1/2 teaspoons celery salt

1/8 pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Put squash in saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil using high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.  Press through a strainer or sieve. (I used a Foley mill.)

If the mashed squash is too juicy, partially strain until squash is the desired consistency. Then put in a dish and serve.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com