Tuesday, Dec. 4th

Today’s Menu:

Breakfast:

freshly sliced oranges

Cooked Whole Wheat Cereal 170 with top milk

toast with butter

coffee for adults (and milk for hypothetical children)

Luncheon:

Corn and Cheese Rarebit 185

toast with butter

celery

Baked Pears 295

tea for adults (milk for children)

Dinner:

Escalloped Potatoes and Ham 539  *edit accidently made 540, Ham and Potato Casserole instead

Buttered Cabbage 1008

bread and butter

Crab Apple Pickles 721

Cocoanut Fingers 219

coffee for adults (milk for children)

I was so excited about doing this today, I actually woke up 1/2 hour early. Holy crap; I’m nerdy.

Breakfast was quick and filling.  I’ve never made cracked wheat cereal before, but it only took about 10 minutes on the stove top.  I  used the salt indicated in the recipe even though I usually avoid adding salt in cooking.  (Good thing my blood pressure and cholesterol are low because this project is going to up my butter and salt consumption quite a bit).

The top milk wording was a bit of a mystery to me (at first I thought it was just an indication that I needed to pour the milk on top of the cereal, but that seemed a bit too specific).  Google to the rescue.  Evidently before milk was routinely homogenized, the milk at the top of the bottom contained more cream since it rose to the top.  I used half and half to substitute.

In keeping with the time period that “The Modern Family Cook Book” was written in at the tail end of the depression, I used leftover condensed milk in my coffee.  It was a bit odd (I usually use Splenda), but not bad.  I’d like to think that Meta would have been proud.  All in all, a satisfactory breakfast.

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I have an hour for lunch and I’m fortunate enough to only live a couple of minutes away from work but I still had to rush home to get started on lunch since 295, Baked Pears, required a minimum of 30 minutes in the oven.  I was able to finish preparing lunch by 12:40 giving me about 15 minutes to eat before heading back to work.  Meta clearly expected her audience (“Mrs. Homemaker” as she charmingly refers to them) to be stay at home wives.

The results were actually quite worthwhile.  I was expecting the Corn and Cheese Rarebit to be bland since the seasoning seemed a bit paltry for five servings (pinch of pepper, 1/2 tsp. of onion along with a small amount of paprika and Worcestershire sauce).  However, it was pretty darn flavorful.  My only criticism was that it was a bit runny.  You can see it flooding the celery mountain on the side.  Overall I’m looking forward to leftovers which is fortunate since I’m going to be the only one consuming the five servings worth that it made.  (*note: This didn’t make the most attractive leftovers, in fact, it looked a bit like cat yak, but it was still pretty edible).

The warm baked pear was very pleasant (just a bit of butter, sugar and lemon juice on top); the baking really emphasized the pear flavor.  The tea and celery would good accompaniments.  I really enjoyed having a home-cooked hot meal at lunch.  Overall, a tasty and satisfying menu.

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Dinner didn’t go quite as well as breakfast and lunch.

I rushed home to get started on dinner since the timing was tight.  My husband likes dinner on the table right when he gets home (look at me-practically radiating “Mrs. Homemaker”)

Unfortunately, I accidentally made recipe 540, Ham and Potato Casserole instead of 539, Escalloped Potatoes and Ham.  (Very similar recipes, but dang! There went my short lived perfection-streak).  540 didn’t work out that well for me.  I was a little hazy on the directions.  The recipe indicated that the potatoes should be “sliced thin.”  Evidently thin is relative.  My slices were about a 1/4 inch thick and after the one hour cooking time in the recipe they were still WAY undercooked.  I let them go longer but since my husband was really hungry we ended up eating it while it was still undercooked.  Meh.  I could tell it had potential to be tasty, but it didn’t work out for me.  Next time Meta calls for potatoes sliced thin, I’ll pull out a mandolin.

The side of 1008, Buttered Cabbage was fairly decent for cooked cabbage, but it made a huge amount.  Meta called for 2 lbs to feed 5 people.  I had about 1 lb, 10 oz and after my husband and I ate a fairly good portion, we still have 6 cups left of the stuff.  I guess Meta really wants me to eat my veggies.

The Crab Apple Pickles (721) were another problem.  I clearly wasn’t going to make them due to my canning exception.  Of course, it wasn’t available in stores (I didn’t even realize crab apples were edible).  I subbed a fresh apple, but was a little disappointed that I had to make a substitution on my very first menu.

Oh well!  At least I have the incredibly delicious Cocoanut Fingers  and coffee to look forward to for dessert.  (I already sneaked one after lunch and it was even more amazing than yesterday!)

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