Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce

 

cubed squash in brown sauce in serving dish

Each Fall I buy a Delicata squash and roast it, but until I came across a hundred-year-old Delicata squash recipe, I never gave any thought to other ways that it might be prepared. It was fun to try a “new” way of serving this old-time squash.

The century-old recipe was for Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce. The recipe called for cubed squash that is served in a delightful classic brown sauce.

Here is the original recipe:

recipe for delicata squash in brown sauce
Source: American Cookery (January, 1919)

I made several adaptions and assumptions when making this recipe. I used fresh Delicata squash rather than canned. And, I used butter rather than “fat.”

I was a bit foggy about what was meant by three slices of carrot and five of celery. Does the recipe really mean just a few small pieces of sliced carrot and celery – or was it referring to larger chunks? I made the assumption that the recipe was calling for one carrot and two stalks of celery – but this may not be what the recipe writer intended.

And, have you ever heard of mushroom ketchup? Since I didn’t have any idea what it was, I went with the Worcestershire sauce option.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 Delicata squash

3 tablespoons butter

2 slices of a large onion

1 carrot, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 tablespoons rye or barley flour (I used rye flour.)

1 1/4 cups beef broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Peel squash, halve and remove seeds and membranes; then cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Put on the stove and bring to a boil using high heat; then reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.

In the meantime, melt butter in a skillet. Add onion, carrot and celery; sauté until tender using medium heat. Stir in the flour, and continue stirring until the flour just begins to brown. Gradually add beef broth while stirring constantly; continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and strain; reserve the strained sauce. (If desired, the cooked vegetables may be served separately; otherwise discard.) Return the strained sauce to the saucepan; stir in salt, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Reheat until hot.

To serve, place cooked squash in serving dish. Pour brown sauce over the squash.

Old-fashioned Chicken, Rice, and Celery Salad

I’m sometimes asked how I decide which hundred-year-old recipes to make. Often I make recipes that sound like something I think I might like; other times I select recipes because I’m intrigued by an unusual combination of ingredients or preparation methods.

This week, was a first. Another blogger’s post inspired me to select a particular hundred-year-old recipe.

I recently read Automatic Gardening and Real Gluten Free Food’s recipe for Cold Chicken Rice Salad – and thought, “I think that I’ve seen a similar recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook.” Next thing I knew, I was making a 1919 recipe for Chicken, Rice, and Celery Salad.

Chicken, Rice, and Celery Salad has a nice texture, and is packed with flavor. Both a hundred years ago and now, this salad is perfect for a summer lunch or picnic.

Recipe for Chicken, Rice, and Celery Salad
Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

Here is the original recipe:

When I made the recipe, I used some lettuce, but not an entire head. Similarly I used less mayonnaise than the old recipe called for.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Chicken, Rice, and Celery Salad

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 cup cold long-grain cooked rice

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup lettuce, shredded

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Put chicken, rice, celery, and lettuce in a bowl, then gently mix together.

In a separate small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, salt, and paprika, then add to the chicken mixture and gently stir to combine.

Revisiting the Diary Years: Grandma’s Sunbeam Mixmaster Mixer and her Molasses Cookie Recipe

molasses cookiesIf you are looking for a hundred-year-old recipe, come back next week. This week, I’m revisiting the early days of this blog – and including a 70-year-old recipe for Soft Molasses Cookies to boot.

I began A Hundred Years Ago in 2011 to post my grandmother’s diary entries a hundred years to the day after she wrote them. My grandmother, Helena Muffly [Swartz] kept the diary from 1911 to 1914 when she was a teen living on a farm near McEwensville in central Pennsylvania. After I posted all the diary entries, I reinvented A Hundred Years Ago to its current focus on food. Today I’m going to go back to those diary years —

When I was a child, I lived about a mile from Grandma – and most of her other grandchildren also lived nearby. But one of Grandma’s daughters lived in the Philadelphia area with her husband and three children. It was always a special occasion when those cousins visited.

I recently received a comment on a post I did about Grandma’s cookies from Pat Donaldson, one of my “Philadelphia” cousins. She then followed up with an email. She wrote:

I too remember Grandma’s cookies fondly. We’d come to visit, and her cookie jar would always be full, with either Molasses or Peanut Butter cookies. The Molasses cookies were soft, with a dark crinkly top, and the Peanut Butter cookies had the trademark cross-hatching on them. We’d eat the cookies as we ran in and out of the house playing tag.

Later, when we were grown and attending a wedding we talked about those cookies and found how scarcely they were given out to our cousins, who would have to ask for just one very politely. They were scandalized that we just reached in and ate them! But we were only there one weekend a month, and Grandma never said a word about our cookie habit – just kept the cookie jar full for us.

After her funeral, we were all given a chance to take home one item to remember Grandma by. I chose her Sunbeam mixer, which came with a little cookbook. The mixer was a Sunbeam Mixmaster 10, which was sold around 1950. Since I was in college and needed a mixer, that’s what I chose.  It lasted quite a while – decades at least.  The recipe book came with the mixer

Inside the cookbook I found recipes for molasses and peanut butter cookies. I’m not sure about the peanut butter cookies – but the molasses cookies have an “X” next to the recipe, and I’m fairly sure they’re the ones Grandma baked. I’ve scanned the pages from the recipe book. The Sunbeam cookbook is still a bit recent for your food blog – but the cookies can be eaten any time.

p.s.: One year when we were visiting we went exploring in the attic, and found Grandma’s cookie stash. She must have baked dozens and dozens of them, and they were all sitting in a box waiting to go into the cookie jar as soon as we emptied it. That solved the mystery of how Grandma’s cookie jar could always be full, when we never saw her baking cookies!

Here’s the first page of the little cookbook that came with the mixer::First page of cookbook with photo of a Sunbeam Mixmaster Mixer

And, here’s the recipe in the cookbook (with Grandma’s “X” marking it as a recipe she had made):

molasses cookie recipe
Source: Cookbook included with Sunbeam Mixmaster (circa 1950)

Of course, I had to try Grandma’s (i.e., the Sunbeam Mixmaster Cookbook) Soft Molasses Cookie recipe. The cookies turned out wonderfully. They were soft and chewy with just the right mixture of spices and raisins. Making the cookies with a mixer was very 1950’s, but the cookies are definitely a wonderful, traditional, soft molasses cookie that brought back fond memories of Grandma, her kitchen, and wonderful times playing with my cousins.

Old-fashioned Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters are a wonderful comfort food, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for them. The fritters were crispy; and, when served with a little confectioners sugar sprinkled on top, had just the right amount of sweetness. The fritters are made using banana slices or chunks, and when I bit into them, the embedded fruit was pure delight. This recipe is a keeper.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (March, 1919)

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

Banana Fritters

  • Servings: approximately 24 fritters
  • Difficulty: medium
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1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

2 medium bananas, sliced or cut into small chunks (I sliced the bananas.)

shortening or lard

confectioners sugar (optional)

Put flour, baking powder, salt, egg, and milk in a mixing bowl; beat until combined. Add sliced or cubed bananas, and gently stir until the bananas are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Heat 1/2 inch of shortening or lard until hot in large frying pan. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of batter into hot shortening. Fry for about 2 minutes. Flip fritters and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve immediately.

Butterfly Salad Recipe

It’s always a challenge to get kids to eat healthy foods, but one trick that parents have been using for a long time is to dress foods up so they look like animals or other creatures. I recently came across a fun hundred-year-old recipe for Butterfly Salad that is quick and easy to make.

The recipe called for asparagus, lettuce, pineapple slices, olives, and pimento strips. This combination of ingredients sounded a bit unusual to me, but it actually was very tasty. The olives added a nuanced saltiness to the other ingredients, but did not overwhelm them.

Here’s the original recipe:

 

Source: American Cookery (January, 1919)

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

Butterfly Salad

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

2 flat lettuce leaves (I used the top portion of the outer leaves from a head of Romaine lettuce.)

1 slice canned pineapple

1 spear cooked asparagus (chilled)

2 – 3 stuffed green olives

2 strips pimento

2 tablespoons French dressing or mayonnaise (optional)

To make a butterfly set the asparagus spear in the center of the plate to represent the body.  To make the wings place the lettuce leaves on either side of the asparagus spear. To make the head, set an olive at the base of the asparagus spear. Cut the pineapple slice in half, and symmetrically set each half on a lettuce leaf.  Slice the other olive(s), and place slices on the pineapple to decorate the leaf “wings”. Put the strips of pimento above the olive head to represent the butterfly’s antennas. If desired, serve with French dressing or mayonnaise.

Eggs, Grand Duc Recipe

toast topped with asparagus, cheese sauce and poached eggAsparagus and eggs pair beautifully, and hum of spring, so I was thrilled to come across a hundred-year-old recipe for Eggs, Grand Duc which is a delightful, surprisingly modern, egg and asparagus recipe.

Toast is topped with long, graceful spears of asparagus, which is immersed in a creamy cheese sauce. And, it all is topped with a perfectly poached egg.

The presentation is lovely, and would be perfect for a small Spring brunch.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (March, 1919)

Here’s the recipe updated modern cooks. To make this dish more visually appealing, I used whole slices of toast instead of the toast squares called for in the original recipe. I also assembled the ingredients in a different order than called for in the original recipe.

Eggs Grand Duc

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1/2 pound asparagus

4 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/3 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar.)

4 slices of bread, toasted

Asparagus

Trim asparagus spears to remove the tough sections at the bottom of the stalks. Place asparagus in a pan with a steamer. Put water in the bottom of the steamer, and cover. Heat to a boil; then reduce heat until the water simmers. Steam for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. (If preferred the asparagus can be roasted instead of steamed.)

Poached Egg Directions

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.

Cheese Sauce Directions

Using medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan; then stir in the flour and salt. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly. Then add the cheese; continue stirring until the sauce thickens.

To Assemble

On the top of each slice of toast, arrange one-fourth of the cooked asparagus. Spoon cheese sauce on top of the asparagus, and top with a poached egg.

Old-fashioned Flemish Carrots

Carrots are one of the most nutrient-packed vegetables. They contain lots of vitamins A, K, and B6, as well as potassium and other minerals, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Flemish Carrots. This dish contains a mixture of carrots and onions that is served in a lovely beef-broth sauce which brought out the natural sweetness of the carrots.

I always find March to be a difficult month for cooking. I like to serve locally-grown, seasonally-appropriate food – yet I’m tiring of the same-old, same-old winter vegetable dishes. This recipe is a nice twist on sautéed carrots.

Here is the original recipe:

Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Flemish Carrots

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 cups carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 tablespoon parsley

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup beef broth

Using medium-low heat, melt butter in a skillet that has a lid. Add carrots, onion, and parsley; cover skillet. Stir occasionally and cook until tender (about 20 minutes). Add flour, salt, sugar, and pepper; stir gently until blended. Increase heat to medium. Gradually add beef broth while stirring constantly; heat until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

When I made this dish,  I substituted butter for the Crisco shortening that was listed in the original recipe.