Concordia Pineapple Salad

Concordia Pineapple Salad

Concordia Pineapple Salad is a lovely old-fashioned individually-served salad that makes a nice presentation. A slice of canned pineapple is put on a bed of lettuce. The center of the pineapple is filled with a mixture of diced cucumber and mayonnaise. The mounded cucumber mixture is then garnished with crossed pieces of green pepper or pimento. The pineapple and cucumber combination is unusual, but surprisingly tasty.

I came across this recipe in a 1922 cookbook. A hundred-years-ago, an attractive presentation was an important aspect of many salads. And, they were often served on individual salad plates on a bed of lettuce.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Concordia Pineapple Salad
Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Concordia Pineapple Salad

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup diced cucumber (peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces)

1/4 cup mayonnaise

8 slices of canned pineapple

16 canned pimento strips  or narrow green pepper strips (each approximately 1 1/2 inches long) (I used green pepper strips.)


additional mayonnaise, if desired

Put the diced cucumber and 1/4 cup mayonnaise in a bowl, gently stir to coat the cucumber pieces with the mayonnaise. Set aside.

To assemble salad: Each serving should be put on a separate plate. Arrange a serving of lettuce on plate, then lay a slice of pineapple on top of the lettuce. Fill the cavity in the center of each pineapple slice with a spoonful of the diced cucumber and mayonnaise mixture. Cross two strips of pimento or green pepper on top of the mounded cucumber and mayonnaise mixture.  If desired, may be served with additional mayonnaise.

Old-fashioned Raised Doughnuts

Doughnuts on plate

When I was a child growing up in Pennsylvania, Fasnacht Day (the day before Ash Wednesday) was always a day when we ate doughnuts. Fasnacht Day was supposed to be a day to eat indulgent foods before the beginning of Lent – and doughnuts with their sugar and fat were considered the ultimate in indulgent foods. It is also known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

Some churches in Pennsylvania made doughnuts on Fasnacht Day as a fundraiser, and students at my school who attended those churches took orders for the doughnuts, and then brought the them to school on Fasnacht Day.  I always looked forward to buying (and eating) those incredible doughnuts.

Now, every year as Lent approaches, I remember those sweet, flavorful, light, yet slightly chewy, doughnuts of my childhood (they are nothing like modern cake-like doughnuts), and think that I should try making doughnuts, but I never actually did  – until this year. I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Raised Doughnuts and decided it was time to give doughnut-making a try.

It took me about six hours from start to finish to make the doughnuts since I had to let the dough rise three times – but it was worth it. The doughnuts were just like I’d remembered (and my husband kept saying, “These are a lot better than store-bought doughnuts”).

Recipe for Raised Doughnuts
Source: Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

And, here’s the coffee cake foundation recipe:

Recipe for Coffee Cake
Source: Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Raised Doughnuts

  • Servings: approximately 20 doughnuts
  • Difficulty: difficult
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1 cup milk

1 packet (0.25 ounce) active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm (110 – 115° F.) water

1 1/2 cups flour + approximately 3 cups flour

1/4 cup butter melted + a small amount of additonal melted butter to brush on top of dough

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

fat or cooking oil (I used shortening.)

powdered sugar

Put the milk in a saucepan, and scald (180-185° F.) using medium heat. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm (110-115° F.). In the meantime, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.

Put the 1 1/2 cups flour, lukewarm scalded milk, and dissolved yeast in a mixing bowl, and beat until smooth. Cover and put in a warm spot until the mixture is light and spongy (about 1 hour). Add the melted butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and salt. Gradually add approximately 3 cups flour until the dough reaches a consistency where it can be handled.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Put in a large greased bowl, brush top with melted butter, cover and place in a warm spot until the dough is about 2 1/2 times its original  size (about 2 hours).

Put dough on a lightly floured surface and roll dough to 1/4 inch thick, and cut doughnuts with a doughnut cutter. (If thicker doughnuts are desired, don’t roll quite so thin.) Put the cut doughnuts on a baking sheet, and let rise until light and doubled in size (about 45 minutes).

Heat  3 – 4 inches of fat or cooking oil in a deep fat fryer or kettle to 350 – 375° F. Drop doughnuts (a few at a time) into the hot fat or oil. Turn as they rise to the surface. Gently turn and fry 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from fat and drain on paper towels.

Put powdered sugar in a bag. (I used a brown paper lunch bag.) While the doughnuts are still warm, put one doughnut at a time in the bag and gently shake to coat with the sugar.

Old-fashioned Grated Cheese Canapes

grated cheese canapes on plate

Canapes made using bread as the base were a popular appetizer a hundred years ago. I was intrigued by a recipe for Grated Cheese Canapes in a 1922 cookbook. Rounds of thin-sliced bread were spread with mustard then topped with grated cheese and chopped olives. The tangy mustard combined nicely with the slight saltiness of the cheese and olives to make a lovely  hors d’oeuvre.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Grate Cheese Canapes
Source: Mrs. De Graf’s Cook Book (1922)

A hundred years ago did  the term “French mustard” refer to a yellow mustard or a dijon-style mustard? I googled it discovered that French’s Mustard was introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair – but that is a brand and not exactly a type of mustard. In the end, I decided to use a dijon-style mustard, but am not sure that was commonly available in the United States in 1922.

Here’s the updated recipe for modern cooks:

Grated Cheese Canapes

  • Servings: 12 canapes
  • Difficulty: easy
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6 slices of thinly sliced bread (assumes 2 rounds per slice) (I used white bread.)

approximately 2 tablespoons French mustard (I used a Dijon mustard.)

approximately 3/4 cup finely grated cheese (I used cheddar cheese.)

approximately 1/2 cup stuffed olives, finely chopped


Cut the bread into rounds that are 2 – 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Thinly spread French mustard on the rounds. Top with grated cheese and chopped olives; sprinkle with paprika.

Old-fashioned Trilbies (Date-Filled Cookies)

Trilbies (Date-filled Cookies) on baking sheet

My holiday cookie baking has begun. Today I made a hundred-year-old recipe for Trilbies. They are a lovely date-filled cookie that brings back warm memories of day gone by.

Here’s the original recipe:

recipe of Trilbies Cookies
Source: Ladies’ Union Cook Book compiled by the Ladies of the West Concord Union Church, Concord Junction, Massachusetts (1921}

A hundred years ago recipes sometimes called for sour milk. Back then much milk was not pasteurized and it soured after a few days. This sour milk was sometimes used in recipes. Today milk can be soured by adding a little vinegar to it.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Trilbies (Data-Filled Cookies)

  • Servings: Approximately 40 Cookies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1/2 cup sour milk (Make milk sour by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar to the milk)

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put the milk in a cup or small bowl. Stir in the vinegar to sour the milk. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in the sour milk, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Then add the flour and rolled oats; stir until combined. On well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or small glass. (The cookie cutter I used was 2 inches in diameter.)  Place half the circles on greased baking sheets.  Place a heaping teaspoon of date filling (see recipe below) on each circle and spread to the edges of the cookies; put a second cookie on top of each date-filling topped cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.


1 pound chopped dates

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

Put the chopped dates, sugar, and water into a saucepan and stir to mix; put on medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently until the dates are soft and the filling a nice consistency for the cookie filling (5-10 minutes). Cool slightly before using as a filling.

Steamed Ginger Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Slice of Steamed Ginger Pudding on Plaste

Steamed puddings and small holiday gatherings just seem to go together. So each year, as the holidays approach, I look at the steamed pudding recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks and find one to try. Steamed puddings served with a sweet sauce were much more popular back then than they are now.

Steamed puddings typically require several hours of steaming – and often are considered too time consuming (and energy consuming) to be worth making. But back in the days when homes had wood or coal cook stoves that were always lit, steamed pudding were considered easy. The large pot with water that the molded pudding was put into could be put on the back burner of the stove. The cook could then move on to other activities, and come back several hours later and the pudding would be done.

This year the steamed pudding recipe that intrigued me was one for Ginger Pudding, so I decided to give it a try. It was lovely when served warm with Vanilla Sauce. The pudding texture was lovely, and the sweet warmth of the ginger created a taste treat.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Ginger Pudding
Source: Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1921 Edition)

Here’s the recipe for the Vanilla Sauce:

Recipe for Vanilla Sauce
Source: Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1921 Edition)

And, here’s the Lemon Sauce II recipe (and not the Lemon Sauce I or the Lemon Sauce III recipe) that the Vanilla Sauce recipe refers to:

Recipe for Lemon Sauce
Source: Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1921 Edition)

It always seems a little odd how old cookbooks often refer cooks to multiple recipes scattered throughout the cookbook rather than just placing the entire recipe in the correct format in one spot – but I guess that it saved a little space (though, in my opinion, it tends to make the original recipe that I was trying to make a bit more confusing).

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Steamed Ginger Pudding

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Steamed Ginger Pudding

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar


1 cup milk

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons powdered ginger

2 1/4 cups flour

Put the butter in a bowl and then cream; gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat. Add egg and beat; then add the milk, baking powder, salt, ginger, and flour. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased pudding mold, cover, and steam for two hours. Remove from the steaming water, wait a few minutes, then remove from mold. Serve warm with Vanilla Sauce. (This pudding is also excellent cold without the Vanilla Sauce.)

*Notes: I used a 2 liter mold, but had some extra space at the top. One slightly smaller could be used. Historically coffee cans were often used as molds.  Cooks Info describes how to steam a pudding (or follow the directions that come with the mold).

Vanilla Sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon cornstarch or 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash salt

Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a sauce pan; add the water gradually while stirring constantly using medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt. Serve warm; may be reheated.

Old-fashioned Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a holiday classic, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Glazed Sweet Potatoes. The sweet potatoes are glazed with a sugar sauce and baked until tender. The glaze is made with white sugar (not the brown sugar or maple syrup that is more typically used today). The Glazed Sweet Potatoes were tender and sweet, but they were not immersed in a thick sauce – rather (as the recipe title says) they had a sugar glaze.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Source: The New Cookery (1921) by Lenna Frances Cooper

The old recipe called for boiling the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes to make it easy to slip the skins off them, however, the skins  didn’t come off very easily. I don’t think that they were boiled for quite long enough, so when I updated the recipe, I indicated that they should be boiled by 15 minutes.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 9 - 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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6 medium sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Wash sweet potatoes and then place in a Dutch oven or other large pan. Cover with water and add the salt to the water; bring to a boil using high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle. Remove skins from the sweet potatoes. They should slip off easily. Then cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and arrange in a large rectangular casserole dish.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 375° F.  And, make the sauce that will be used to glaze the sweet potatoes by putting the sugar and water in a saucepan; stir. Using medium heat, bring to a boil while continuing to stir. Boil for 3 minutes then remove from heat and stir butter into the sauce.

Using a basting brush, spread sugar syrup on the arranged sweet potato halves. Put in oven and bake until tender and the syrup begins to brown (about 30 – 40 minutes). While baking, baste several times with the syrup.

Chicken à la Crème

Chicken a la Creme on Toast

As the days get shorter and the evenings cooler, I find that I crave comfort foods. So when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Chicken à la Crème, I decided to give it a try. Chicken, sliced mushrooms, and chopped red pepper are embedded in a rich, creamy sauce that is served over toast.

This recipe is a keeper. I’ll definitely make Chicken à la Crème again. It is quick and easy to make, and very tasty.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Chicken a la Creme
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1921 Edition)

Is Chicken à la Crème another name for Chicken à la King? A few years ago I made a recipe for Chicken à la King that was similar to this one. Both recipes called for chicken and mushrooms. This recipe called for red pepper; Chicken à la King called for green pepper as well as for a small amount of onion. For this recipe, the sauce was a white sauce; the sauce for Chicken à la King was made using cream, chicken broth, and lemon juice.

Here’s the Chicken à la Crème recipe updated for modern cooks:

Chicken a la Creme

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper, finely chopped

2 cup milk

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir the flour into the butter; stir in salt and pepper. While stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, mushrooms, and red pepper. Bring back to a boil; remove from heat. Serve over toast.