Friday, October 24, 2014

Wartime Food Advice, South Africa, 1945


One of the most popular topics on this blog – if I am to judge by your comments – is that of wartime food and rationing. I have fairly frequently given you the information contained in the World War II British Ministry of Food’s Food Facts leaflets, and of similar government advice from the U.S.A, but I have not to date used anything from South Africa.

Today I give you in its entirety, a display advertisement from the Sunday Times (Johannesburg, Transvaal) of October 14, 1945, and hope you enjoy the advice.

NO GENERAL SHORTAGES OF FOOD.
South African housewives have indeed been fortunate in that such food shortages as have occurred have been “staggered.” Thus for each item in short supply there have always been nutriment satisfactory substitutes available. Appetising, health-promoting meals can be achieved through wise marketing, clever menu-planning, and good cooking.

SPECIMEN MENU.

BREAKFAST.
Fruit juice or Whole Fruit
Kipper or Haddock (small portions)
Potato Patties
Toast                Jam                  Marmalade
Coffee             Milk Beverage

LUNCH OR SUPPER
*Cream of Spinach Soup
Raw Tomato Stuffed with Salad of Meat
and Vegetable Leftovers
Salad Greens
Hot Rolls                     Cream Cheese
Cocoa                          Milk

DINNER.
Clear Soup
**Creole Meat Pie
Baked Potatoes
Baked Gem or Hubbard Squash
Cabbage Salad with Grated Carrot Garnish
Baked Custard with Dehydrated Pears
Coffee Cocoa              Fruit Beverage.

*Two cups medium white sauce combined with 2 ½ cups spinach puree (liquid and pulp)

** Heat 4 tablespoonsful vegetable fat, lightly brown 1 medium onion (diced), ½ green pepper (optional) and 2 cups left-over or tinned cold meat (cubed). Add 2 cups cooked cubed vegetables, 2 cups peeled tomatoes cut small, 1 cup water or stock, 1 teaspoonful salt, ¼ teaspoonful pepper. Thicken with 3 tablespoonfuls flour mixed to smooth cream with water. Pour into round casserole. Cover with short pastry rolled into ¼ inch thickness and cut into circles with medium-sized scone cutter. Arrange circles around edge of casserole with slight overlapping, leaving centre uncovered. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until top is brown.

Issued on behalf of the Food Control Organisation in co-operation with the

National Nutrition Council by the Regional Food Committee.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Burdwan Stew: 1806 and Beyond.

In my recent digging around in nineteenth century English texts covering the topics of Indian and ‘Oriental’ cookery, I was reminded of the topic of ‘Burdwan’ or ‘Birdwan’ stew, which has been on my list of things to tell you about for some time, so here goes!
It is clear from the references that Burdwan (or Birdwan) stew is an Anglo-Indian dish. The name presumably indicates some connection with Bardhaman (Burdwan or Barddhaman,) a city and district in West Bengal.

The earliest recipe I have come across to date is from Culina Famulatrix Medicinæ: Or, Receipts in Modern Cookery, with a Medical Commentary (1806) by Alexander Hunter, and it is a wonderfully opinionated piece:

An Indian Burdwan Stew.
A half-grown fowl being ready boiled, let it be cut up and put into a stew-pan with three table spoonfuls of essence of anchovy, three table spoonfuls of Madeira wine, a little water, a lump of butter rolled in flour, some shred onion, and Cayenne pepper to the taste. Stew over a slow fire till the onions are become tender. When poured into the dish, take a fresh Lime, and squeeze a little of the juice into the stew. Cold boiled or roasted lamb, or kid, are equally good when dressed in this manner.
OBS.
This dish is frequently introduced in the East Indies, when the appetite begins to flag, after eating heartily of two courses; and being often dressed by the master or mistress, in the presence of the company, it is generally paid great attention to. The French have a saying, “L'appetit vient en mangeant.”[appetite comes with eating]. Hamlet says,

As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it feeds on.
                                                Shakesp.

When the stew is dressed on a small chafing dish, in the room where the company dine, it sends forth such a savoury smell, that it reminds us of what Eve felt when the apple was presented to her, during her disturbed dream.
       
-          The pleasant savoury smell
So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought,.
Could not but taste it.
Milton.

When Chilly can be procured instead of the Cayenne pepper, and the mild Bombay onions, the Burdwan becomes a dish that few can resist. But being too rich a mess to make a meal of, and being only eat when the stomach is satiated, Ignotus is of opinion that Archæus will enter his protest against the introduction of this eastern luxury.

An English Burdwan Stew.
TAKE a rabbit, or well fed fowl, and after being cut up, put it into a stew-pan with some slices of veal, and as much strong beef gravy as will cover the meat. Roll a piece of butter in flour, and add some shred onion, anchovy liquor, Cayenne pepper, salt, and port wine, to the taste. Stew over a slow fire for the space of twenty minutes, shaking the pan two or three times. Cold veal, rabbit or fowl, will make a good Burdwan.
OBS.
Archæus is always indulgent to those men whose change of climate and modes of living have created a second nature; but he constantly shows his displeasure when he sees plain eaters suffering themselves to be led astray by dishes, that never were intended for them.

And a slightly simpler version, sans commentary, from the same era:

Oriental Dish, called a Birdwan Slew.
The following is a genuine and original receipt for making a bird wan stew, as practised in the East Indies, &c.—Let a fowl be first half boiled in a little water: then, cutting it up, put it to a pint of the water in which it was boiled, with two dozen anchovies, a glass-of white wine, a little butter and flour, boiled onions, pickled oysters, and Cayenne pepper, and stew it over a gentle heat. This, in India, is commonly done over what they call a lamp table.
The Family receipt-book, or, Universal repository of useful knowledge and experience
in all the various branches of domestic œconomy (London, 1810)

The actual dish was known before the first published recipe, as is the usual situation. The Calcutta Review in 1860 included an article on Calcutta in the Olden Time in which it quoted Lord Valentia on ‘Calcutta people’ in 1803:

 

They partook much of highly seasoned grills and stews; a particularly favourite one was the Burdwan stew, made of flesh, fish, and fowl, a sort of Irish stew, it was considered not very good unless prepared in a silver sauce-pan.

The importance of the silver saucepan is also mentioned in Original Letters from India (1817) by Eliza Fay.

The Doctor’s Lady is a native of Jamaica and like those “children of the sun,” frank and hospitable to a degree - fond of social parties in the old style “where the song and merry jest circulate round the festive board" particularly after supper. Dinner parties they seldom give; but I have been present at several elsewhere since the commencement of the cold season. The dinner hour as I mentioned before is two, and it is customary to sit a long while at table; particularly during the cold season; for people here are mighty fond of grills and stews, which they season themselves, and generally make very hot. The Burdwan stew takes a deal of time; it is composed of every thing at table, fish, flesh and fowl; - somewhat like the Spanish Olla Podrida. Many suppose that unless prepared in a silver saucepan it cannot be good; on this point I must not presume to give an opinion, being satisfied with plain food; and never tasting any of these incentives to luxurious indulgence.

In The Cook and Housewife's Manual (1829), by Meg Dods( pseudonym of Christian Isobel Johnstone) the author manages to give both an English and a French spin to her version of the recipe. She also leaves no doubt as to her real feelings about ‘Asiatic’ cookery.

Indian Burdwan.
This eastern preparation is of the English genus, devil, or French Salmi. It is made of cold poultry, rabbits, venison, kid, game, but is best of the latter. Make a sauce of melted butter with cayenne, or a fresh Chili if possible; a bit of garlic, essence of anchovy, and a sliced Spanish onion. Stew over a spirit-lamp till the onion is pulpy, when the Burdwan will be ready. Squeeze in a lime or Seville orange. Serve round very hot.*
*It would be very may to swell this section of the Manual with a formidable array of uncouth dishes and strange names, with Indian, Syrian, Turkish, and Persian Yaughs, Kabaubs, and Cuscussuies, &c., as modern travellers, and particularly the French, have paid considerable attention to Asiatic cooker; but this we consider a mere waste of space, which may be more usefully employed.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Things to do with Pineapple in 1808-19


I am keeping my offering very simple today, folks, and offering you a few early nineteenth century ideas for pineapple.

When I copied Maria Rundell’s instructions for making the ‘Oriental’ dish of polao (pillaw, or pillau) for yesterday’s post, I noticed that the recipe which followed it was for another pillau which included pineapple. I thought this sounded rather interesting. In 1808, when A New System of Domestic Cookery was published, this must have been an uncommon and expensive dish. No wonder she suggested apple as a substitute for the exotic and rare hothouse-grown pineapple.

Pineapple, or Apple Polao.
Boil twelve ounces of rice in water, and when only a quarter of the grain remains hard, pour off half the hot water, fill the pan up with cold water, shake it, and then pour off all the water, and set the pan, covered, near the fire. When dry, add a pound of preserved pineapples with some of the syrup; or, should pineapples not be attainable, slices of apple boiled with sugar. Fry two sliced onions in a quarter of a pound of fresh butter. When the onions are browned, take them out, as they will be no longer wanted: put six whole cloves into the butter, and pour it over the rice. Stir it well, but cautiously, so as not to bruise the rice: put the apples on the top, and set the whole near the fire to swell; keep it covered, but stir it occasionally. Plain curry should always accompany this dish, and be eaten with it. The reader may judge of the excellence of this polao by the observation of a gastronome of celebrity, who, partaking of it for the first time, expressed his conviction, that if the host would go to England, and cook it for his late majesty George the Fourth, he would obtain a baronetage for his reward.

For those cooks of the time who had access to the fresh fruit, it was, of course, possible to preserve it oneself. I love the idea of a whole pineapple being preserved in syrup, instead of the more usual slices or chunks. Here is how to do it:

Pine Apples, Whole, Wet.
Take the pine apple, chip off all the small pieces of leaves from the bottom of the pine, take the top and stalk, and have a preserving pan on the fire with water, and to every two quarts of water put half a pint of syrup, so as to make it very fine thin syrup, and only just sweet; be sure that it boils before you put the pine in, and let it simmer an hour over the fire; the next day let them boil gently another hour, take them off and cover them carefully; the next day let them boil gently about half an hour; put some syrup as thick as you use to other fruits; the next day drain this syrup off and boil it, repeating the same seven or eight days; then put them into an earthen pan, and cover them up very carefully from the dust, and be very careful that your pans are very dry.
The Complete Confectioner: Or, The Whole Art of Confectionary Made Easy (1819)
by Frederick Nutt.

With any syrup remaining from your Pineapple Polao, you could make pineapple ice-cream (in a pineapple shape!) from the recipe from the same book.

Pine-Apple Ice Cream.
Take one gill and a half of pine-apple syrup, put it into a bason, and squeeze in one lemon and a half; add one pint of cream, make it palatable; then put it in your freezing pot, and freeze it till it is as thick as butter; if you would have it in the shape of a pine, take the shape and fill it; then lay half a sheet of brown paper over the mould before you put it into the ice, and let it remain some time, and be careful no water gets into the shape.

Very little need be wasted in the kitchen, so when you pare your pineapple for preserving or other use, please be sure to keep the rind. It apparently adds a very good flavour to rum.

Rum.
Jamaica is the best.—An excellent flavour may be given to it by putting into the cask some pineapple rinds. The longer rum is kept, the more valuable it becomes. If your rum wants a head, whisk some clarified honey with a little of the liquor, and pour the whole into the cask. Three pounds of honey is sufficient for sixty gallons.
   Modern domestic cookery, and useful receipt book (1819)

by Elizabeth Hammond.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Genuine Afghan Dinner, Kandahar 1871.

Yesterday’s topic was an ‘Afghan war-themed’ dinner attended by British military and diplomats in India in 1880. The dishes themselves, as we saw, were indisputably British nineteenth century style, with the names of the dishes being the only concession to the conflict in question.

Less than a decade earlier, Henry Walter Bellew described a quite different meal taken in Afghanistan. Bellew was a surgeon in the Bengal Staff Corps during the British Raj, and had previously written of his experiences in Afghanistan in 1857-8. In 1871-2 he again travelled there, and on his return he published From the Indus to the Tigris: A Narrative of a Journey through the Countries of Balochistan, Afghanistan, Khorassan and Iran, in 1872.

In his introduction, Bellew has some rather prophetic words to say on the relevance of Afhanistan to Europe:

But as it is seldom than Europeans have an opportunity of visiting much of the country embraced within the limits of the journey of this mission, I have thought that a popular account of our experiences would not be unacceptable to the British public; particularly since the region covered by our travels, apart from its own special claims upon our interest, is, I believe, destined ere very long to attract the most serious attention of European politicians and statesmen.

In Chapter V he discusses a stay in Kandahar, during which he and his colleagues were entertained in very fine style:

We halted four days at Kandahar to recruit our cattle, and replace the broken-down ones by new purchases. Our entertainment all this time was most hospitable, and was really more than we could conveniently endure. The apartments were luxuriously furnished with Persian carpets, Herat felts, and Kashmir embroideries. Several coloured glass globes were suspended from the ceiling, and every niche that was not already occupied by an American clock - and there were some ten or twelve such -was ornamented with a glass lamp. The clocks were all of the same pattern, and brightly gilded all over, and, together with the globes and lamps, appeared to form
part of an investment ventured in this yet barbarous region by some enterprising merchant with a partiality for "Yankee notions."

We had hardly been left alone in our palatial quarters when a succession of huge trays of all sorts of sweetmeats began to arrive. Each was borne in by two servants, one supporting each end, and deposited one after the other on the floor. The array was quite alarming, for I knew they would go to our servants for disposal, and was certain they would exceed the bounds of prudence and
moderation ; a surmise in which I was not far wrong, for nearly all of them had to undergo a physicking before we set out on our onward journey. One of the trays in particular attracted our attention, on account of the variety of zoological forms its surface was crowded with. We dubbed it " Noah's Ark," and kept it till our departure, partly from a suspicion that the different species of animals might not all be good for the food of man, and partly as an amusing specimen of the artistic skill of the confectioners of Kandahar. Much cannot be said for their proficiency in the art of moulding. Their figures generally left a good deal for the imagination to supplement before their identity could be satisfactorily brought home to the mind; but some, with even the most liberal allowance of fancy, were altogether beyond recognition ….

After these encouraging signs of a peaceable division of the spoils, we were glad to see the trays removed, fortheir size and number incommoded our movements. On their removal, an excellent zujáfat or cooked dinner, was served up Afghan fashion, and with the profusion of Afghan hospitality. The principal dish, as a matter of course, was the puláo — a whole sheep stuffed with a rich and savoury store of pistacio and almond kernels, with raisins, dried apricots, and preserved plums, &c., and concealed under a tumulus of rice mixed with pomegranate seeds, caraways, cardamums, and other aids to digestion, and reeking with appetising perfumes. Around it were placed, in crowded confusion, a most substantial array of comestibles, the variety and excellence of which were rather puzzling to inquiring foreigners with only limited powers of digestion. There was the yakhni, the mattanjan, and the corma, the kabáb, the cuímá, and the cúrút, with the phirín, and falúda, and the nucl by way of dessert, together with sherbets of sorts, sweet preserves and sour preserves, and bread in the forms of the nán, paráta, bákir-kháni, and tuakí. Our host, the Saggid, with an inviting bismillah ("In the name of God,"used as an invitation to commence any act), stretched forth his hand against the puláo, and we followed suit, but without making the smallest impression on the savoury heap before us. With this as a secure foundation, we dipped from dish to dish to make acquaintance with their contents. Each had particular merits of its own, but as only an Afghan palate can distinguish them, of course they were not appreciated by us. The Saggid, who had seen a good deal of the English in India, and was familiar with our mode of living, was careful to point out the dishes most resembling our own; but alas! for the prejudice of human nature, I could trace no points of similarity, and would have preferred a good mutton-chop and some mealy potatoes to all the rich chef d'œuvres of the Afghan culinary science that loaded the table. As a nation the Afghans are gross feeders. They eat largely and consume astonishing quantities of fatty matter. The merit of any particular dish with them depends more upon the quantity and quality of the melted butter or fat in which it swims than on the tenderness or flavour of the flesh, and the more rancid the fatty matter is, the more highly is it esteemed. This is particularly the case amongst the peasantry and the nomads, amongst whom it is an ordinary occurrence to dispose of the tail of a dumba sheep between three or four mouths at a single meal. The tail of this variety of sheep is a mass of pure fat, and weighs from six to eighteen pounds. The hardy out-door life they lead requires that they should have a certain amount of carbonaceous pabulum in their food; and as by their religion they are debarred from the use of fermented liquors, the deficiency is very probably supplied by the abundant use of fat and butter. At all events, they lay great stress on a liberal supply of roghan, or grease, in all their food, and to its plentiful use, I believe, is to be attributed their physical superiority, combined, of course, with the influences of climate, which, taken alone, are not sufficient to account for their large limbs and robust frames.

As the recipe for the day I give you an English interpretation of puláo from the chapter on Oriental Cookery from A New System of Domestic Cookery (1808) by Maria Rundell.

Polao or Pillaw.
Wash a pound of rice, and boil it in a quart of white broth; when about a quarter of the grains remain hard, strain it. Rub smooth in a mortar half an ounce of coriander-seed, three onions, six peppercorns and four cloves; six ounces of salt butter in a saucepan on the fire; add the coriander-seed, spices, &c, with two ounces of curds; then put in a whole fowl, or two chickens, a rabbit, or half a dozen quails; fry of a nice brown, sprinkling water, if necessary, to keep the meat from burning, and keep it on the fire until the meat is tender; then add the rice; stir the whole gently so as not to break the grains, and place the pan near the fire to allow the rice to swell. In dishing up, surround the fowl with the rice. The broth in which the rice has been boiled may be used to moisten this polao: a vegetable curry is a good accompaniment.

P.S. I have previously given another version of pillau here.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Afghan War Dinner of 1880.


On this day in 1880, a dinner was given in honour of Lord Frederick Roberts, to commemorate his actions as commander in the second Anglo-Afghan War. The Treaty of Gandamak which officially ended the first phase of the war was signed on 26 May 1879. Major-General Roberts had taken possession of Kabul by mid-October of that year, and by the end of August 1880 he had reached and successfully taken Kandahar. Roberts, who had been born in India, was, in 1881, appointed as commander-in-chief of the Madras army (1881)

The event – which became known as ‘the Afghan War Dinner’ - was held on October 20 1880, at Government House in Calcutta. This is the bill of fare:

GOVERNMENT HOUSE
Diner du 20 Octobre.

Potages.
Consommé au soldat victorieux.
Purée a la Kurrum.

Hors d’Œuvres.
Petites Bombes à la Peiwar Kotal, sauce Goorkha.

Relevée.
Mouton rôti a l'Afghan.
Poules de Charasiab à la blanc.

Entrées.
Le Hachis de Sherpur à la Mahomed Jan.
Galantine a la General Roberts.
Côtelettes sans culottes à la quatre-vingt-douze.

Rôtis.
Faisans et Perdreaux rôtis à la Ayoub.
Asperges en branches.

Entremets.
Pudding de Marza.
Pains de Kandahar à la Ghazi blanc.
Officiers Russes en paille.

As can easily be seen, many of the dishes on the menu paid homage to significant names and places of the war. I will leave a full explanation to a military historian, if one of them sees fit to comment, but a few examples are:

Ayoub: the leader of the Afghan forces in Kandahar.
Peiwar Kotal: site of a battle fought on December 2, 1879.
Mahomed Jan: a Wardak ([Pashtun) general.
            Charasiab: site of a battle fought on October 6, 1879.

These names of course tell us nothing about the actual food, but they were almost certainly classic British Victorian-era dishes tweaked slightly (or not) and re-named for the occasion. Generally speaking, innovation in cookery was not a highly valued attribute at the time, – a fine cook was expected to reproduce and garnish the classic dishes well. And in any case –  to invent so many new dishes would have been a huge task.

The dish named for Roberts himself is a galantine, so that is what I will give you today – and a very fine and elegant one it is too.

Turkey Galantine
Pick, draw, and singe a fat hen-turkey; cut off the legs, pinions, and neck, leaving the crop skin whole; bone it entirely, and remove almost all the meat from the fillets and legs, and free the leg parts of all sinew;
Make some forcemeat, with:
4 lbs. of fillet of veal, well freed from skin and gristle;
4 lbs. of fat bacon, freed from rind and gristle;
Season with 2 ½ oz. of spiced salt;
Chop and pound both together in a mortar;
Make a salpicon of 1 ½ lb. of tongue, 1 ½ lb. of peeled truffles, and 1 ½ lb. of blanched fat bacon;
Cut the whole in ¾ inch dice;
Spread the turkey-skin on the board; on it make a 1-inch layer of the forcemeat; then a layer of the meat cut from the turkey; sprinkle over some spiced salt, and make a layer of salpicon, another layer of forcemeat; spread on it the remainder of the turkey-meat; season with spiced salt; make another layer of salpicon, and lastly a layer of forcemeat; fold over the skin to enclose the whole, and sew it together with a trussing needle and fine twine;
Wrap the galantine in a napkin, and tie each end securely; tie it across in two places, to keep the galantine of an oval shape with round ends; put it in a braizing stewpan; cover it well with Mirepoix;
Close the stewpan, and boil and simmer gently for four hours; when the galantine is done, take the stewpan off the fire; let the galantine cool in the liquor for an hour;
Drain and untie it; tie it up again in a clean napkin; and put it on a dish with a 7 lbs. weight on the top; when cold, take the galantine out of the napkin; put it on a baking-sheet in front of the open oven for two minutes to melt the fat; wipe it off with a cloth, and glaze the galantine with Chicken Glaze;
Make a rice socle 2 inches high, and of the size and shape of the galantine; spread some Montpellier Butter on it, and put it on a dish; place the galantine on it, and garnish the top of the galantine and round the bottom of the socle with croutons of Meat Jelly.
Three silver skewers, garnished with cocks' combs and truffles, may be stuck in the galantine, and will improve its appearance.


The Royal Cookery Book (1869) BY Jules Gouffé.

Friday, October 17, 2014

“Butter is a Health Safeguard”: advice from 1923.

In view of the recent apparent reversal of long-standing advice about the dangers of saturated fats in the diet, I thought some opinion and advice from the National Dairy Council of America in 1923 might be interesting.

The National Dairy Council published a small booklet in 1923 with the rather benign title of Better Recipes, and which appears to have been sponsored by the Blue Valley Creamery Company.  The purpose of the booklet becomes clear just inside the front cover:


                          BUTTER MAKES THE ROAD TO HEALTH SMOOTH
                    BUTTER INSURANCE INCREASES YOUR HEALTH DIVIDENDS
                         BUTTER, “A GOLD NUGGET” = 22-KARAT HEALTH
                “BUTTER” – BE SAFE THAN SORRY.


The butter industry was certainly suffering under the competition from the margarine industry at the time, and what better way to promote the real thing than by giving away a free cookery book – unless it is a free cookery book with appeals to both maternal responsibilities and patriotic sentiment? 



You and your children have plenty to eat three times a day. Do you fill your stomachs with “The Average American Diet?” Are you fed or just filled?

Scientists and Nutrition Experts remind us that one-third of our young men were physically unfit for service in the World War. They point to “The Average American Diet” as the chief cause. It needs careful watching.

Why? Because the modern diet is lacking in growth and health promoting elements which, in the natural foods of our grandfathers, insured good health and long life.

The remedy? Scientists and Nutrition Experts say – Eat Natural Foods. Chief among these are milk, fruit, vegetables, and butter.

Mrs. Homemaker, you can safeguard the family diet. Give your family plenty of these natural foods and build husky Americans for tomorrow.

Mothers, it’s up to you!

-          BUTTER IS A HEALTH SAFEGUARD -




I do like that phrase “Are you fed or just filled?”

It is interesting, that almost a hundred years ago, concerns were already being expressed about the quality of the American diet, and the concept of “natural food” was also apparently well established.

Standard Cake Recipe
¾ cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
3 cups pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt.
Cream butter, add sugar and yolks of eggs well beaten. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Fold in stiffly beaten egg white.  Flavor. Fill a well-buttered and floured pan one-half full and bake in a moderate oven.
This recipe makes two medium loaves, one three-layer cake, or about eighteen individual cakes.
The eggs may be reduced to three, but the grain is not so fine. To use ordinary flour in a cake recipe, from each cup of sifted flour remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch; sift twice.
[several ways of varying the above cake mixture then follow.]

Another lovable feature of the book is epigram which appears at the bottom of each page. My favourite is the one which appears on the page from which this recipe was taken:


-          SHE WHO COOKS WITH BUTTER ALWAYS “TAKES THE CAKE” -

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Famous Chefs used Marshmallows in 1930.

We have had a couple of days of heavy-duty information on historical methods of preserving meat and fish, and of how to make decomposing meat edible, so today I want to give you something sweet and frivolous. 

I have been having fun exploring promotional cookbooks and pamphlets, and one from an American marshmallow-manufacturing company caught my eye. It is called How Famous Chefs use Campfire Marshmallows, and it was published in 1930.  There are many recipes of course for the obvious – cakes and frostings and frozen desserts, but I want to share with you today a few of the less obvious choices (in name at least.)

Teddy Bear Cave Salad.
Pit and stuff each of two large dates with half marshmallows. Into each of three marshmallows press a nut meat and toast in the oven. Arrange lettuce leaves to resemble an open cave. Place stuffed dates and toasted Campfire Marshmallows inside the cave. Dress with fresh orange juice.
From Chef Charles of the Embassy Club, New York.

Cheese and Marshmallow Salad.
Mix Cottage Cheese with cream and a little salt. Put a good spoonful on a piece of lettuce. Make a border of Campfire Marshmallows cut in half. On top place half a walnut. Decorate with small pieces of pimento. Any dressing can be served with it.
From Chef Kircher of the Raquet Club of Philadelphia.

Paradise Toast.
2 ounces of cream
3 eggs
1 grated lemon peel
6 Campfire Marshmallows
12 slices of thin cut bread
Whip the cream into the eggs until quite light.
Cut each Campfire Marshmallow into four slices. Spread these on 6 slices of bread. Divide the grated lemon peel over the marshmallow then cover with the remaining 6 slices of bread.
To hold this together insert a toothpick from each side, dip this into the cream and eggs, and fry slowly in butter. Remove toothpicks and serve.
From Chef Amiet of the Palmer House, Chicago.

The final recipe is not credited to a famous chef, but is in a general recipe section of the book, but I thought the name was intriguing enough to warrant its entry.

Wermeil Globules a la Sue.

Roll Campfire Marshmallows into the shape of strawberries and cover with strawberry icing. With a pastry bag make a stem of chocolate icing. Decorate with small flowers and green leaves made of red and green cherries.