Today we travel from yesterday’s sublime delights of pilau, kebabs, and sherbet in seventeenth century Persia to the day-to-day reality of the early twentieth century housewife with a family to cook for. Luckily there were publications such as McCall’s Magazine to help. In 1922, a book on Time-Saving Cookery by Sarah Field Splint was issued by the magazine, and I think you will find some of its suggestions …. interesting.
Before we get to the actual recipes, let us read the introduction, and get some sense of the philosophy of the author and the editors of McCall’s:
To the HOMEMAKER WHO BELIEVES in the GOSPEL of
REST and RECREATION as WELL as in the
GOSPEL of WORK
TO reduce cookery to the least possible amount of work is not the sign of a lazy
or shiftless housekeeper. A woman must take short-cuts to those necessary "three
meals-a-day" if she wants time to enjoy friends, books, music and clubs, an occasional motor ride, an hour or two in the open. So plan to serve a last-minute meal to your family on certain days.
Time-saving cookery has another use. In every home, no matter how well it is run, emergencies arise necessitating a quick change of menu. Perhaps one's husband brings home an unexpected guest, or at the busiest time of the morning a neighbor drops in "for a minute" and stays an hour, or small son is sent home ill from school and must be put to bed and dosed. At such moments as these, quick catering is thrice blessed.
The chapter on cooking vegetables begins with four especially speedy ideas. How much appetizing veggie goodness is there here?
Four Appetizing Ways of Serving Vegetables.
Recipe 16— CREAMED VEGETABLES ON TOAST:— Make a White Sauce (for
method see recipe 9) with 5 tablespoons Fat, 5 tablespoons Flour, 1 cup Milk
and 1 cup Water. Add 2 cans Vegetable Soup. Season to taste with Onion and Celery Flavor, Worcestershire Sauce or Catsup. If necessary, color to an appetizing brown with a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet. Serve on hot toast. Tomato, pea, celery and corn soups can be thickened and served as above. Left-over vegetables can also be used by flavoring with meat extract.
Recipe 17— CORN PUDDING: Empty 1 can Corn (No. 2) into a dish. Add 2 Eggs, 1 teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Onion Salt, ⅛ teaspoon Pepper, 1 ½ tablespoons Fat melted. Beat with egg-beater until well mixed. Add 1 pint Milk and mix thoroughly. Pour into large or individual baking dishes, sprinkle with paprika and bake in a very slow oven until firm. A layer of coarsely chopped
ham on the bottom of the dish gives a delightful flavor.
Recipe 18— SPAGHETTI RAGOUT: Empty 1 can of Spaghetti (medium size) and
1 can Thick Meat Soup (oxtail, mulligatawny or mock turtle) into a baking dish.
Add seasoning if necessary. Cover with crumbs and brown in oven.
Recipe 10— BAKED BEANS AND BACON: Empty 1 large can Baked Beans into
a baking dish, seasoning if necessary. Cover the top with slices of Bacon. Cook in
the oven until bacon is crisp. Serve with a relish. A few very thin slices of onion added before covering with the bacon gives a fine, savory flavor.