Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast Prescriptions.

I love the idea of a ‘Breakfast Prescription.’ Choose your breakfast according to your mood or circumstances – or according to the amusing names on the menu.  The hotel with a menu like the one following deserve the business.

From The Practical Hotel Steward (Chicago, 1913) by John Tellman, published for The Hotel Monthly, I give you:

Breakfast Prescriptions.
The newest idea in club breakfasts comes from Hotel Casey, Scranton, Pa. It is in booklet form, and gives eighteen selections ranging from thirty-five to eighty cents. Each breakfast is given a special head in large type, to suggest the meal suited to inclination. In this reproduction we omit, to save repetition, the lines “Served to one person only’ and “Cereal with cream 15 cents extra.”
In the book the cards are displayed in the customary fashion:

A Breakfast "Fit for the Gods" (80c):
Grape fruit; Small sirloin with rasher of bacon; Hashed brown potatoes; Cream toast ;
Pot of tea or coffee; (or instead of Steak have Lamb chops or half a broiled chicken).

A Substantial Breakfast (75c):
Fruit in season; Combination chop; Potatoes Julienne; Hot rolls; Tea or coffee; (or Pork
chops or Lamb chops or Veal cutlet).

A Breakfast for any Kind of a Morning (65c):
Fruit in season; Veal steak fried plain in butter; Hashed in cream potatoes; Hot waffles;
Maple syrup or honey; Pot of tea or coffee.

A Breakfast for the Blase "Who Don't Know What to Eat”(65c):
Fruit in season; Boiled salt mackered swimming in hot milk and butter; Hot fresh baked potatoes; Crisp brown toast; (or Hotel Casey perfection rolls); Tea or coffee.

A Breakfast from the Old Farm (60c):
Baked apples with cream; Fried salt pork; Hot baked potatoes; Shirred eggs; Perfection rolls;
Tea or coffee.

A Satisfying Breakfast (60c):
Fruit; English mutton chop split and broiled with kidney; Potatoes au gratin; Perfection rolls;
Tea or coffee.

Breakfast Hashes (60c):
Grape fruit ; Chicken hash with poached eggs or (Lamb hash with green peppers), or (Roast
beef hash with chopped onions), or (Hamburger steak), or (Chopped fresh porterhouse saute) ;
Baked potatoes; Hot Rolls; Tea or coffee.

A Breakfast for the Epicure (50c):
Baked apple; Genuine (country) sausage; Baked potatoes; buckwheat cakes and New Orleans molasses; Tea or coffee.

A Breakfast for the Morning When You Don't Feel Like Eating Much (50c):
Sliced pineapple; Spanish omelette (or Omelette with chicken livers); Saute potatoes; Perfection
rolls; Pot of tea or coffee.

A Breakfast Always Good (50c):
Orange; Genuine corned beef hash; Poached eggs; Toasted muffins; (or Calf's liver and bacon
or Codfish cakes).

A Dainty Breakfast (50c):
Fruit ; Veal kidneys, stewed or saute; (or Chicken livers, en brochette)  Saute potatoes ; Dipped toast ; Tea or coffee ; (or Chicken hash or Codfish and cream).

A Breakfast for Friday or Any Day (50c):
Baked potatoes ; Perfection rolls ; Tea or coffee.

Omelette Breakfast (50c):
Fruit; Eggs Benedictine; (or Plain omelette); Hashed brown potatoes  Waffles and honey; Tea
or coffee; (or Ham omelette or Parsley omelette).

Breakfast — Out of the Ordinary (50c):
Fruit; Finnan haddie, Epicure; Baked potatoes; Perfection rolls: Tea or coffee; (or Yarmouth
bloaters or Kippered herring).

A Breakfast That is Always Palatable (60c):
Fruit; Ham fried nice and brown with eggs fried in ham gravy; Grilled sweet potatoes; Toasted corn bread  (or Perfection rolls); Tea or coffee.

An English Breakfast (50c):
Orange marmalade; Cream toast; Eggs any style, with Crisp bacon;  Baked potatoes; Rolls; Coffee or English breakfast tea.

A Breakfast — And That's All (40c):
Prunes; Broiled, fried or scrambled eggs; Perfection rolls ; Tea or coffee.

A Hurry-Up Breakfast (35c):
Boiled eggs; Hot rolls; Cup of coffee or tea.

I was very uncertain about the cream toast and the dipped toast, neither of these things ever being offered to me. If they ever are, I will pass, in favour of hot fresh toast with lashings of butter and Seville Orange Marmalade.

Cream Toast.
Cut six slices of bread in halves, toast slowly, or put into a moderate oven until light brown and crisp, dip each piece into Sauce for Cream Toast, and put into a covered serving dish; pour over
remaining sauce, and cover for two or three minutes before serving.
Sauce For Cream Toast.
  2 cups milk                   ½ teaspoon salt
  3 tablespoons flour       1 tablespoon butter
  ¼ cup cold water
Scald the milk; mix the flour to a smooth paste with water, add to milk and stir until thickened; cook over hot water fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally; add salt and butter, and pour over toast.
Better Meals for Less Money (New York, 1917.)

Dipped Toast.
Have ready some milk boiled and thickened with a very little flour; add butter according as you wish your toast rich or otherwise; into which dip the toasted bread. Serve hot. This should not be dipped until sent to table, as by standing it becomes sodden. If cream is used instead of milk, no thickening is necessary, and a very little butter.
The American Matron (Boston, 1851)


Anonymous said...

I'm curious about what a "perfection roll" is; lots of the breakfasts offer them, but I don't think I've heard of that name before.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Sandra. I have managed to find one recipe, in a Good Housekeeping mag. They were very soft white breadrolls, cooked close together to reduce the crust. Will send it if you like.

Anonymous said...

I suspect I have a recipe for something similar, even if not under that name.