Monday, June 30, 2014

Breaking out With Cake.

In the category of Random Interesting Food Stories I have for you today a short piece from an Australian newspaper in 1934 concerning a cake with a rather unusual filling. To give the context, ‘In Paramatta Gaol the most desperate criminals are housed. They include “lifers” and long sentence men who would not stop at murder to gain their liberty or pay off a grudge.’

SYDNEY, Saturday.
An attempt to smuggle a revolver and a packet of cartridges, which had been cunningly hidden in the middle of a high iced cake posted to a prisoner, has been discovered by officials at Parramatta Gaol. A State-wide search is being made for the responsible person. Officials are convinced that had the revolver been smuggled into the prison either an organised attempt to escape would have been made by men willing to take any risks, or a warder, recently threatened, would have been shot. Every article of food received at the prison is tested to see if it contains tools or weapons. In examining a cake the officials pierce it with a thin steel wire, which causes no damage. In this case the wire struck something hard, and when the cake was opened the weapon and ammunition were found.
It is believed by detectives that the smuggling is associated with a recent attempt to stir up trouble in the gaol, following the appointment of a new warder. The police state that a number of prisoners tried to bluff the warder into granting many requests. These requests were refused, and six ringleaders, who had planned to secure the support of 200 gaol inmates to create trouble, were taken away at night and sent to various gaols.
News (Adelaide SA) 22 December 1934

Well, Thank Goodness for X-Ray equipment in such places nowadays, I say.

The reporter of the above story completely omitted the very important information on the exact type of cake involved. I feel sure that it would be a complete research dead-end to attempt to find this out, so instead I have chosen a random interesting recipe from another Australian newspaper of 1934.

With Filling and Icing
One of the most delightful and easy to-make of modern confections is orange cake. It has an orangey sweet frosting, light tender layers, a fluffy creamy filling, all delicately flavoured with orange. Here is the recipe for a cake large enough to serve eight people:

Beat together until thick two egg yolks, four tablespoonfuls of orange juice, the grated rind of one orange, and half a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Gradually add three-quarters of a cupful of sugar, beating with an egg-beater. Fold in the whites of two eggs beaten until stiff. Then fold in lightly one cupful of flour, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, and quarter of a teaspoonful of salt which have been sifted together four times. Put into a greased, deep round pan and bake for half an hour in a moderate oven. Split and put the cream filling between the layers and cover the top and sides with orange icing.
To make orange cream filling, melt two tablespoonfuls of butter. Add four tablespoonfuls of cornflour, the grated rind of one orange, one cupful of orange juice, and one cupful of sugar. Bring to boiling point and stir occasionally. Cook for 15 minutes over boiling water (in a double saucepan). Add half a teaspoonful of lemon juice. Cool and fold in half a cupful of whipped cream.
Orange Icing: Boil one cupful of sugar and one-third of a cupful of 'water without stirring until the syrup spins a thread when dropped from a spoon, Pour slowly on to one egg white which has been beaten until stiff. Beat constantly with an egg beater until the mixture holds its shape. Then gradually fold in one egg yolk, half a teaspoonful of orange juice, and a little orange rind. Spread this on the cake. In making the icing, add the egg yolk very slowly until the right colour and consistency is obtained.

The Courier Mail , 1 February 1934

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Frosty Morning Drink.

I have seen references, here and there on the web, to a “Frosty Morning Drink” - essentially a curried milk beverage - which is sometimes attributed to the famous Isabella Mrs. Beeton herself. I can assure you there is no such beverage in any of Mrs Beeton’s works. The drink is, in other sources, quite authoritatively said to be the invention of a certain Reverend Robert Hunt, who was a founding member of the first English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. This is, to say the least, highly improbable. I can think of no recipes in the English repertoire of the very early seventeenth century which use ‘curry powder,’ but am ready to stand corrected.

Here is the recipe for the Reverend’s drink, as it is repeated and repeated on the web.

Rev. Robert Hunt's Frosty Morning Drink.
Boil one pint of good milk, add a teaspoonful of curry powder and sugar to taste. Drink the mixture whilst hot.
I don’t know when the idea of curried milk as a cold-morning beverage was developed, nor indeed if it should ever have been developed, but I do know that there is a recipe in Chamber's Information for the People, published in London in 1874, for curried milk:

Curried Milk.
In cold weather, a wholesome and very palatable form  of using milk is as follows:
Boil the milk, and add a little salt, sugar, and curry-powder. Use this with bread cut thin and toasted hard, cut in small pieces.

And here is a more familiar concept using milk and curry powder – a sort of sauce  suitable for meat or fish.

Milk Curry.
Take a dessertspoonful of salt, and a teaspoonful of spices, a tablespoonful of flour, and four spoonfuls of cream. Cut four onions and two shalots into slices, and fry them in butter till tender; then take any kind of meat or fish, cut into small pieces, flour and fry them brown; then take the meat out of the frying pan, dredge it with curry powder, put it into a stewpan with the onions, cream, &c., and stew it for half an hour, adding a pint of milk, and, before it is served up, two spoonfuls of lemon pickle.

A New System of Domestic Cookery (1808) by Maria Rundell

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Helping of Hippo.

It is some considerable time since I gave you a story on exotic meat, so I hope you enjoy today’s little offering.
The Times of London of August 20, 1930 carried a rather tongue-in-cheek article on the suggestion, by “an American with vision,” that a hippopotamus-meat industry be established in the United States. I give you the article in its entirety:-

A Helping of Hippo.
An American with vision is suggesting that more use might profitably be made of the hippopotamus. He sees no reason why the Great Lakes and the Mississippi should not house their share of such commodious monsters, and thinks any initial difficulties about temperature could be overcome with a little science on man’s part and a little forbearance from the hippopotami. The great advantage claimed is the amount of meat that will be available. There is a lot on a hippopotamus, and housewives who have long ago decided that chickens yield too little meat for the price and that cheese is the best value will have to revise their views about the butcher’s shop. The part of the hippopotamus which would make crackling if he were roasted like his relative the sucking pig might present some difficulties had not the chewing gum habit fortunately prepared the way and spread through the States a habit of patient mastication. Those who have delighted to jeer at the narrow lives that were spent with a single flavour in the mouth must regret their abuse today and recognize that the chewers were pioneers. America may not be able to spread westward any longer, but there is still the call for the pioneering spirit, and nowhere more than in the field of dietetics.
The time has come to change gears and move into a stronger and more spacious range of foods. -Something better suited to be food for record-breaking men than the mediocre sheep or cow can surely be devised with the help of modern science. In every direction of human achievement – be it tree-sitting or remaining in the air in an aeroplane – the records that have been set up seem to be about as much as human endurance can stand. There does not seem to be very much room for advance, at the present level of human capacity. If it is really desired that these records shall be broken as repeatedly as possible – and there can be no two opinions about that – more care will have to be given to food. Men are proverbially what they eat, and the present records might in fairness to their holders be classified as the records for men reared on the present meats and vegetables. But there is nothing to suggest that a general movement towards a stronger menu will not yield exceedingly rich rewards in the record field. Nor does any creature suggest brighter hopes in this direction than the hippo. So many animals which might make powerful vicarious contributions to the world’s records do not get any chance to do so. They are only eaten during emergencies, by people accustomed to other meats just because they are not available. But it is plainly no valid test. The besieged citizen who eats a rat or a cat, the explorer who eats a hyena or a crocodile, do not come with fresh minds to their meals and do not make sufficient allowance for the deadening influence of habit. It is probable that a new start were made and children were given a new animal diet from infancy there would be few complaints. At any rate the complaints would be no louder than are habitually produced and disregarded in the manner of rice pudding and its near relatives. The gain would be one to make all cooks glad, for the truth is that our present meats do not satisfactorily fill the week. All the cunning in the world cannot disguise the way the sheep, the cow, and the pig troop round and round the stage like a Roman army and double and treble their parts. Putting to one side the great scientific interest and athletic value of new foods in making new and perhaps amazing men, the harassed housewife will hail the hippopotamus as her deliver from the monotony and deceit that a restricted choice imposes on her today.

There is one outstanding, comprehensive historical source of information on the eating of exotic animals - The Curiosities of Food: Or, The Dainties and Delicacies of Different Nations Obtained from the Animal Kingdom, (1859) by Peter Lund Simmonds. There are two instances of reference to hippo flesh in Simmond’s book:

“The flesh of the hippopotamus used also to be eaten on the east coast of Africa, roasted or boiled, and fetched a high price as a delicacy. The fat was used in making puddings, instead of butter. The Portuguese settlers were permitted by the priests to eat the flesh of this animal in Lent, passing it off as fish from its amphibious habits, and hence their consciences were at ease.”

“In all the large rivers of Southern Africa, and especially towards the mouths, the hippopotami abound. The colonists give them the name of sea-cows. The capture of one of these huge beasts, weighing, as they sometimes do, as much as four or five large oxen, is an immense prize to the hungry Bushman or Koranna, as the flesh is by no means unpalatable; and the fat, with which these animals are always covered, is considered delicious. When salted it is called zee-koe speck, is very much like excellent fat bacon, and is greatly prized by the Dutch colonists, not only for the table, but for the reputed medicinal qualities which are attributed to it. In Abyssinia, hippopotamus meat is commonly eaten.”

The famous explorer, Dr David Livingstone also wrote of eating hippopotamus flesh in his account of his expedition to the Zambesi in 1856-1864:-

“…. Next day one of the men crawled over the black rocks to within ten yards of a sleeping hippopotamus, and shot him through the brain. The weather being warm the body floated in a few hours, and some of us had our first trial of hippopotamus flesh. It is a cross-grained meat, something between pork and beef, - pretty good food when one is hungry and can get nothing better.”

Sadly, I have not been able to find explicit instructions on the cooking of hippopotamus flesh. I feel sure that it could be substituted in any recipe for beef or pork or chicken stew. As compensation, I give you a completely unrelated dish – a cake using very little butter:-

Poor Man's Cake.
A cake that requires very little butter is the following : 2 ozs. Butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup sweet milk, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons cream tartar, and a little citron.

The Queenslander, 28 November, 1874

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anyone for Welsh Eggs?

Yesterday’s post was about the availability of dried egg in Britain during World War II, and I was tempted to give you the Ministry of Food’s recipe for “Welsh Eggs” (which used dried eggs of course) as the finale to the story. I decided on reflection however to hold it over until today so that I could explore the concept further, as I presumed the recipe was a variation of the theme of Welsh Rabbit. As most of you know, Welsh Rabbit is one of my favourite topics (see previous posts here and here) and I hoped to add something to my appreciation of the dish.  As it turns out, the recipe is a variation on the theme of scrambled eggs -  the Welsh connection being the inclusion of leeks.

Welsh Eggs.
A new supper dish that tastes as good as it looks.
Here’s a new egg dish, made with dried eggs, that you’ll find a delightful change. It’s made with “hard boiled” eggs – that is, dried eggs reconstituted and steamed in greased egg-cups or moulds for 15 minutes.
For Welsh Eggs you need: 1 oz. margarine (or dripping); 3 level tablespoons plain flour; ½ pint milk (or milk and water); 2 level tablespoons coarsely chopped leek or spring onion;  1 level teaspoon salt; ½ level  teaspoon pepper; 4 dried eggs, hard-boiled and chopped; 4 pieces toast.
Melt the margarine and stir in the flour to absorb the fat. Then add the milk gradually and bring to the boil, add the leek or onion, and seasoning, and stir until cooked – about five minutes. Finally, add the chopped egg and serve on hot toast. (Sufficient for four.)
One of the main secrets of success, when using dried eggs for scrambled eggs and omelettes, is to be very careful about reconstituting. Measure the dried eggs exactly – one level tablespoon to two of water, and be sure to get out all the lumps before you start. Season generously. A pinch of dry mustard (added before reconstituting) is a good addition to scrambled eggs; it brings out the real egg flavour.
Dried eggs are shell eggs with only water and shell taken away. You need never go short of delicious egg dishes with a packet of dried eggs in the house.
Ministry of Food’s Food Facts leaflet, as published in
The Times [London, England] 24 May 1945

I did find a couple of other recipes also called Welsh Eggs in other sources. The first one below does have an element of Welsh Rabbit about it in that it contains cheese. The second recipe has a creamy scrambled egg with cheese, so has the best of both concepts perhaps.

Welsh Eggs
Two or more eggs, butter, seasoning, a few slices of cheese.
Well butter some scallop shells and line each with some very thin slices of cheese. Break an egg carefully into each, and put a few more shreds of cheese on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in a moderate oven for a few minutes, until the egg is lightly set, and the cheese is lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Worker (Brisbane, Qld) 31 May 1938

Welsh Shirred Eggs.
Place in a skillet 3 tablespoons butter, and when melted add ½ cup cream and 4 well-beaten eggs, seasoning with salt, pepper, and a little grated onion. Stir as for the scrambled eggs while cooking, and when just ready to serve add ½ cup grated cheese, and as soon as the cheese is melted, serve.

Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW) 16 July 1922

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dried Egg off the Ration!

The London Times of this day (June 24) in 1942 gave up considerable space to an important announcement about a development in the wartime food supply:

Home News
Nineteen million tins, each containing 12 dried eggs, will be on sale at grocers’ shops and dairies today at 1s.9d. a tin. Within the next three weeks another 15,000,000 tins will reach retailers, and after that a further distribution will ensure that sufficient have been sent out to provide a tin for each registered consumer of eggs within a space of five weeks.
In other words, the Ministry of Food will be placing on the market before the end of July the equivalent of 540,000,000 eggs.
Actually , it Is doing far more, for caterers are receiving the generous allowance of 1lb. of dried egg (or nearly 40 eggs) for each 100 meals served, and other large supplies are going to bakers. The Minister yesterday emphasized that this new product was not an egg substitute but entirely egg, with all its nutritive value, minus only water and shell, which was profiles the transport over thousands of miles of water.
Before the war 55 per cent of our eggs came from the Continent of Europe; this new dried egg will more than compensate for that loss. It occupies only one sixth of the shipping space needed for eggs in shell, and refrigerated shipping is not needed. The dried egg, which will supersede imports of eggs in shell except from Eire, will come from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina.

The Ministry of Food of course stepped up its production of advice on the use of dried eggs over the ensuing months. The following recipe appeared in The Times of 21 August, 1942:

Savoury Bake.
Cooking time: ½ hour.
Ingredients: 4 slices of stale bread, 4 tablespoons grated cheese, 2 tablespoonfuls milk, 1 dried egg (1 level tablespoonful dried egg, 2 tablespoonfuls water), 1 tablespoonful chopped onion or shallot or 1 teaspoonful mixed herbs, salt, pepper, 1 ½ level tablespoonfuls fat.
Quantity: 4 helpings.
Method: Soak bread in water until soft, squeeze out water and beat bread with a fork until smooth. Add grated cheese, onion or herbs, egg, milk, pepper, salt. Beat mixture well. Heat fat in baking tin. Spread in the mixture, bake in a moderate oven for half an hour.
If you don’t want to use the oven, melt the fat in a pan, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture in and fry both sides until golden brown. Serve at once with a green vegetable.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Supplies for Travelling Persons.

I leave tomorrow for three weeks in the UK to attend the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, where I will catch up with a few of you - and very excited I am about it too. I travel light, when I travel, and I am aiming this trip to beat my own record for minimal suitcase weight. Once upon a time it was impossible to travel light, of course. Travelers had to be much more self-sufficient when journeys were slower and less predictable, particularly if a certain level of comfort was desired. An advertisement in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser of Saturday 6 May, 1826 gives some idea of the provisions available for voyages and journeys into the interior of the continent, as well as a glimpse of the sorts of foods popular at the time.

J.Tawell. No. 18, Pitt-street, has just received, from the House of Cooper and Co. London, FRESH SALMON in 4 lb. cases, Pickled Tripe in kegs, Mock Turtle Soup, Ox-tail Soup, Vegetable ditto, Soup and Bouille. Also, Preserved Fruits from Hoffman, Hale, and Fennings; consisting of

Gooseberries, cherries, damsons, red currants, white currants, and cranberries.
Ivory and lamp black
Fuller’s earth
Raspberry jam, gooseberry ditto.
Yellow ochre
Red and black currant jelly
English starch
Orange marmalade
Thumb and fig blue
China preserved ginger, citron, dried oranges, and citron in small tubs
Shoe brushes in sets
Hair brooms
Table and pudding raisins
Scrubbing, dusting, painting, and white wash brushes
Jordan and soft shell almonds
Whisks for bed furniture
Figs, prunes
Camel hair pencils
Currants in 14 lb. cannisters
Hair, nail, tooth, and shaving brushes in great variety
Ditto retail per pound
Perfumery, consisting of Lavender water, of excellent quality.
Candied peels
Honey water, and a variety of essences
Spanish and hazle nuts
Macassar and Russia oil
Vermacelli, macaroni
Pomatums, cold cream
Isinglass, currie powder
Fancy soaps in variety
Mustard, warranted
White and brown Windsor soap
Vinegar for pickling in bottle and draught
Tooth powder
Capers, salad oil
Smelling salts in cut bottles
Fish sauces, various
Shaving boxes, with glass, soap, and brush
Pickles, in variety
Aromatic vinegar
Lemon acid to answer the purpose of lemons
Aromatic pastilles
Black, white, and long pepper
Salt of lemons
Fine white West India ginger
Marking ink
Mace, cinnamon
Cloves, nutmegs
Allspice, ground spices
A quantity of improved fire boxes, well adapted for travelling, offices, bed-rooms, &c. &c and not attended with danger in the use.
Carraway seeds
Sponges, &c .&c
Saltpetre, Prunella treacle
Peppermint, and a great variety of other lozenges
Tapioca, sago
Carraway and various other comfits
Arrow root, grits
Various lozenges for coughs and colds
Oatmeal, pearl barley
Spice nuts and a variety of English confectionary
Table rice, ground ditto
Ornaments for cakes
Split peas, celery seed
Mottoes, &c. &c.
Gum arabic and dragon

Pearl ashes, soft soap

Logwood, alum

Indigo, and the various articles for dyeing

Turpentine, bees’ wax
Black lead
 Two Cases of Normandy Pippins

 Many of these items are intriguing and worthy of more comment, but today I want to look at Salt of Lemons and Lemon Acid.

To make Essential Salt of Lemons.
The expressed juice of wood-sorrel, depurated, properly evaporated, and set in a cool place, affords a crystalline acid salt, in considerable quantity, which may be used whenever vegetable acids are wanted. It is sold under the name of Essential Salt of Lemons, and is employed to take ink stains and iron moulds out of linen.
The new family receipt-book: containing eight hundred truly valuable receipts
in various branches of domestic economy, by J Murray (1810))

Essential Salt of Lemons (Binoxalate of potash.)
The substance whose properties we are now going to describe, is known in commerce as the salt of sorrel; a name which is far more significant than that it more commonly but very improperly bears, namely, essential salt of lemons. ...... With sugar and water the salt of sorrel forms a pleasant beverage, and, in consequence of its having been substituted for lemons for purposes of this kind, it obtained the very absurd name of essential salt of lemons. However agreeable our acidulated drink, may be which has been thus prepared, we by no means recommend it to those who have any regard for their health. Almost all the alkaline salts of oxalic acid are more or less poisonous. That to which we are now directing attention, is so in an eminent degree; and in any cases where it has been ignorantly employed for making a refreshing beverage, or for imparting an acid flavour to punch, if it has not proved fatal, that result has depended more upon its quantity than its quality.
The Saturday magazine (1837)

Lemon Acid is citric acid, and it is useful in making refreshing beverages, as the following recipes from A new supplement to the pharmacopæias of London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Paris, (1826) by James Rennie (surgeon.)
Pound ¼ ounce of citric acid with a few drops of essence of lemon-peel, and mix it with a pint of clarified syrup or capillaire.

Lemonade Powders may be made by pounding citric acid and essence of lemon-peel, as in the last [recipe], with one ounce or more of lump sugar. This will make half a dozen papers, and each will make with water a glass of lemonade.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Things to Do With Watermelon.

Mark Twain was a great fan of the watermelon, as is clear from his famous words:

“It is the chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented.”

The Oxford English Dictionary’s words on watermelon are, as to be expected, rather more prosaic. It gives the definition of the watermelon as “A kind of gourd, Citrullus vulgaris (formerly Cucumis citrullus), and explains that they “are so called from the abundance of watery juice.”

The first reference in English is given by the OED as occurring in 1615, but I particularly like the description given in The History of the Caribby-islands by John Davies, published in 1666. He says:

There grows in these Countries another kind of Melons which are common in Italy, but must needs be incomparably better in Egypt and the Levant … they are called Water-Melons, because they are full of a sugar’d water, intermingled with their meat, which ordinarily is of a Vermilion colour, and red as blood about the heart, wherein are consained their feed, which is also of the same colour, and sometimes black: their rind continues always green, and without any scent, so that it is rather by the stalk then the fruit that their ripeness is to be discover'd: they are sometimes bigger then a man’s head, either round, or oval: they are eaten without Salt, and though a man feed liberally on them, yet do they not offend the stomack: but in those hot Countries they are very cooling, and cause appetite.

As I am sure Mark Twain would agree, without doubt the best way to eat watermelon is the simplest, messiest, way – in the form of freshly-cut, thick, juicy, smiley-shaped slices. But we are always tempted to fiddle even with perfection, are we not? And also, sometimes nature and gardeners provide a huge surplus for us, which we must use, must we not? And we cannot not waste the rind from those freshly-cut, thick, juicy, smiley-shaped slices, can we? So we must create recipes to cope with this abundance, and first and foremost and best-known and most popularly, we can make pickles with the rind.

Watermelon Pickle
Do not throw away the rind of melons. It can be preserved and will make a delicious relish. Remove the green rind of watermelon and the inside pink portion that is left on after eating it. Cut it into two-inch pieces and pour over it a weak brine made in proportion of one cup of salt to a gallon of hot water. Let this stand overnight, then drain and add clear water and one level tablespoon of alum. Boil in this water until the rind has a clear appearance. Drain and pour ice water over the rind and allow it to stand a short time. In a bag put one teaspoon each of cloves, allspice, cinnamon and ginger and place this in the preserve kettle with the vinegar and sugar. Allow one cup of sugar and one cup of vinegar  (dilute this with water if too strong) to every pound of rind. Thin slices of lemon will give it a pleasant flavor--allow one lemon to about four pounds of rind. Bring this syrup to the boiling point and skim. Add the melon and cook until tender. It is done when it becomes perfectly transparent and can be easily pierced with a broom straw. A peach kernel in the cooking syrup will improve the flavor. Housewives who object to the use of alum can omit this and merely wash the rind after removing from brine to free it from all salt and then cook it slowly as per directions given above. The alum keeps the rind firm and retains its color. In this case the rind will require long and steady cooking, say three-quarters of an hour or longer. As soon as rinds are cooked they should be put into the containers and covered with the syrup.
The International Jewish Cook Book (New York, 1919)
by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum.

If not pickle, why not jam? Or a variation on a marmalade theme?

Watermelon Jam.
Take 41b. watermelon, 41b. white sugar, 4 large fresh lemons.
Mode: Peel and remove seeds from melon, cut into pieces about l in. diameter, place in preserving pan, and sprinkle with half the sugar. Let stand all night. In morning wipe lemons with damp cloth, but do not wash them. Put them in preserving pan or enamel saucepan. Just cover them with boiling water, and boil them slowly for two hours, changing the water three or four times during this process (in each case the clean water must be boiling). Cool the lemons slightly, then cut them into thin slices, removing all the pips and about half of the pulp.
If all the pulp is used the jam will be too sour. Start the melon boiling, and when about half done add the lemon and the remaining 2 lb.sugar. Let all boil up quickly, and boil altogether for two hours. The syrup should be jelly. Well worth, the trouble of making.
Sunday Times (Perth, WA.) 11 April 1920

Watermelon Marmalade.
6 cups ground watermelon rind
6 cups sugar
2 oranges
Remove green and pink portions from rind. Grind, drain off the liquid; measure, add sugar, and allow to stand 30 minutes. Slice entire oranges as thinly as possible, add to rind and sugar, and cook until think and clear about 45 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
The Washington Post (1923-1954); Aug 18, 1934.

If you still prefer to keep it fresh and raw, salad is an excellent idea too:

Watermelon Salad.
Fill a bowl with pieces of ripe water melon, broken off with a fork. Pour over it a good salad dressing, and put in cool place for 20 minutes before serving. A good dressing is made with 1 dessertspoonful of sugar, ½ a teapoonful each of dry mustard and salt, 3 teaspoonfuls of vinegar, and 2 teaspoonfuls of thick cream or condensed milk. If using condensed milk, leave out the sugar.
Advocate (Burnie, Tasmania) 8 February 1930.

Fresh Pear, Watermelon and Ginger Salad.
Arrange thin slices of fresh pear in lettuce cups with balls of watermelon. Sprinkle finely chopped candied ginger over the top and serve with cream. French or honey fruit dressing. Enlarged, this salad is appropriate for a hot weather supper dish.
The Washington Post July 8, 1938.

Finally, I give you watermelon ice:

Water Melon Velvet
Three cupfuls pureed melon, pulp and juice; 1 cupful sugar; dash of salt, 2 tablespoonfuls lemon Juice; 1 ½ teaspoonfuls gelatine.
Add sugar, salt, lemon juice to melon puree. Add water to gelatine and place over boiling water and heat until gelatine is dissolved. Add to melon mixture and blend thoroughly. Pour into refrigerator tray, setting control at coldest point, and freeze until almost firm. Then turn into chilled bowl and beat quickly with rotary beater until thick and fluffy. Return immediately to freezing tray and continue freezing until firm.
If it is a hand freezer you have, place mixture in scalded, chilled freezer, freeze until firm, using one part salt to eight parts crushed ice. Remove dasher, pack down, cover with a mixture of one part salt to four parts ice and let ripen one hour or until serving time.
Yield: one and one-fourth quarts.

Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld.) Monday 30 December 1946.