Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Bloodless Feast.

Today, March 15th …

Two hundred members of the New York Vegetarian Society attended a banquet on this day in 1892. A slightly mystified journalist from the New York Times noted that wine and toothpicks were, like meat, absent from the “bloodless feast”, and gave the menu.

Corn muffins.
Cream of celery soup.
Oyster-plant patties with slices of lemon.
Potato cakes and macaroni stewed with parmesan cheese.
Stewed parsnips and baked tomatoes.
Sorbet “Le Favre”.
Mushrooms broiled, on toast, Saratoga chips, boiled rice, lettuce salad.
Dessert: tapioca pudding with whipped cream sauce; vari-colored ice-cream; cakes; candies; oranges.

The President, Mrs Le Favre, spoke on “The sanctity of the home is disturbed by the presence of meats. Those who eat flesh keep themselves in a condition of brutality”.

Oyster plant and tapioca hold no mysteries or fears for OldFoodie readers, so today we will consider a couple of other vegetarian delights.

From the very English (note the comment on garlic) Cassell’s Vegetarian Cookery (1891):

Macaroni - Italian Fashion.
This is very similar to sparghetti (sic), only ordinary pipe macaroni is used. Take, say, a teacupful of macaroni, wash it, break it up into two-inch pieces, and throw it into boiling water that has been salted. Strain it of off, put it in the stew-pan for a few minutes, with a little piece of butter and some pepper and salt. Add a tablespoonful of tomato conserve, and serve it with some grated Parmesan cheese, served separate in a dish.
Some rub the stew-pan with a head of garlic. This gives it what may be called a more foreign flavour, but this should not be done unless you know your guests like garlic. Unfortunately, the proper use of garlic is very little understood in this country.

From the very American “Science in the Kitchen” (1893) by the very vegetarian Ella Kellogg, something similar to corn muffins.

Corn Puffs.
Mingle the yolk of one egg with one cupful of rich milk. Add to the liquid one cupful of flour, one-half cupful of fine, yellow corn meal, and one-fourth cupful of sugar, all of which have previously been well mixed together. Place the batter on ice for an hour, or until very cold. Then beat it vigorously five or ten minutes, till full of air bubbles; stir in lightly the stiffly beaten white of the egg, and put at once into heated irons. Bake in a moderately quick oven, thirty or forty minutes.

Tomorrow: The Muse and the Murder.

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