Tuesday, November 19th

Breakfast:

grapefruit

Hot Rolled Oats 168 with top milk

toast with butter

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Luncheon:

Cream of Spinach Soup 959

Spoon Cornbread 35 with butter

Apple Sauce 261

tea for adults (milk for children)

Dinner:

Kidney Stew 617 (substituted Broiled Fish 417 with Tartar Sauce 915)

Parsley Buttered Potatoes 1069

Buttered Carrots 1012

bread and butter

lettuce wedges with Mayonnaise 843

Banana Grape Mold 315

coffee for adults (milk for children)

11.19.13 Breakfast

Breakfast.  Once again, it’s hard to complain about such a nice way to start the day.  Meta is fond of hot cereal, as am I.  Also, I’m sorry this picture was crap.  I, clearly, had not yet had my coffee.

11.19.13 Lunc h

Lunch.  I loved everything about this lunch.  959 Cream of Spinach Soup was quick (really!), delicious and pretty close to modernly healthy (salty, maybe, but still).  I’m going to make it again with low-sodium broth, skim milk and skip the salt.

261 Apple Sauce was all kinds of tasty, but my execution was a bit of a fail.  Meta suggests apples that turn to mush when cooked such as Red Junes, Early Transparents or Duchess.  I’ve never heard of any of these varieties (and I question their continued commercial availability due to modern farming methods) so I went with my tried and true method of picking apples; the one on sale. In this case: Braeburn.  It turns out Braeburn most certainly do not fall apart when cooked.  Even when cooked for a long time.    However a quick spin the old food processor took care of the problem.

Meta has a little pithy quote at the bottom each page of menus.  35 Spoon Cornbread is mentioned in this page’s quote:

IMG_0404

I’m not entirely sure it was a surprise, in that it tasted pretty close to standard cornbread, but it was yummy with a pleasant texture.  Yay carbs!  The next page’s quote is even better, “Milkless, eggless, butterless cake is a nutritional flop” (205).  Because, really, otherwise cake is a nutritional powerhouse?

Dinner featured 617 Kidney Stew, which was out due to my weird meat exclusion rule.  417 Broiled Fish was in.  The switch also made this a relatively quick dinner.  Since I work full time and am 35 week pregnant, I really appreciated this (also, the old-fashioned home-style, buttery and carb-y food is totally appreciated by the baby).

11.19.13 Dinner

I also made 915 Tartar Sauce to go with the fish and it was lovely.  It worked much better than the glob of mayo next to the lettuce wedge.  It wasn’t bad, but mayo by itself just isn’t a salad dressing in my book (but it comes up a lot in Meta’s, including the next day I have to post about.  Sigh!)  Otherwise, this dinner was a complete win.

Dessert was actually my first use of Knox gelatine thus far!  Previously, all of the gelled items have called for a flavored jello mix.  315 Banana Grape Mold gelatinized grape juice.  I had this awesome clover-shaped bowl that I molded it in, but my de-molding skills need some work.

IMG_0413

It was pretty good, but a little too sweet for my taste.  I don’t think it needed the added sugar.  It was nice and light, however.  Another satisfying menu overall.

959 Cream of Spinach Soup

1 medium onion, sliced

2 TBSP butter

3 cups meat stock, or 3 bouillon cubes in 3 cups hot water

3/4 tsp salt

pepper

1 1/2 tsp flour

3 TBSP cold water

2 cups drained cooked spinach

1 1/4 cups evaporated milk

Saute the spinach in butter until soft.  Blend the flour with the cold water into a smooth paste and add it to the pot along with stock, salt and pepper.  Cook until mixture boils, stirring constantly.  Finely chop the cook spinach and add it to the soup along with the milk.   Cook just until milk and spinach are hot.  Makes 5 servings.

35 Spoon Cornbread

2 cups milk

1 TBSP butter

1 tsp salt

1 cup cornmeal

3 eggs, separated

Scald milk.  Add butter and salt.  Slowly stir in cornmeal.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form while cornmeal mixture cools for a few minutes.  Stir the egg yolks into the cooled cornmeal mixture and then fold in the egg whites.  Spread into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.  Serve with plenty of butter.  Makes 5 servings.

261 Apple Sauce

2 lbs tart apples (6 to 8), peeled and sliced

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar, or to suit taste

cinnamon, if desired

Add apples and water to a pan and cover tightly.  Cook over moderate heat without stirring until apples are mushy.  Add sugar and cook for 2 minutes longer (add cinnamon if desired at this point).  Remove from heat and whip with a spoon.  Serve warm or cold.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

315 Banana Grape Mold

1 TBSP gelatine

1/4 cup cold water

1 cup hot water

1 cup grape juice (if using “bought” grape juice, omit water and use 2 cups grape juice)

1 tsp lemon juice

3 TBSP sugar

3 bananas, sliced

Soften the gelatine in the 1/4 cup cold water.  Stir together soften gelatine with juices and sugar until sugar is dissolved (or I would recommend leaving out the sugar, especially if using 2 cups of grape juice).  Arrange one of the sliced bananas at the bottom of the mold and pour a small amount of the mixture on top.  Refrigerate the mold and the rest of the mixture until it becomes syrupy.  Stir the rest of the bananas into the mixture and pour the remainder in the mold.  Refrigerate until set and unmold.

915 Tartar Sauce

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp grated onion

2 tsp chopped chives

1 tsp chopped parsley

2 drops Tabasco sauce (may be omitted)

1 tsp chopped sweet pickle

1 tsp capers (may be omitted)

Mix all ingredients.  Makes about 3/4 cup of sauce.  Also, this recipe features Tabasco!  Two whole drops.  I wonder what Meta did with the rest of the bottle?

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Saturday, November 17th

Breakfast:

Puffed Raisins 306 on

Hot Rolled Oats 168 with top milk

toast with butter, jelly (Crab Apple Jelly) 704 (substituted apple jelly)

Luncheon:

Escalloped Cabbage 1010 with

Broiled Bacon 544

bread and butter

Gingersnaps 199 (save some for Sunday)

tea for adults (milk for children)

Dinner:

Chicken Rice Soup 940

Croutons 61

Pea and Potato Casserole 1061

Carrot and Cabbage Salad 780

bread and butter

Lemon Chiffon Pudding 359

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Have I mentioned yet how much I love breakfast?  This is pretty close to my standard breakfast fare anyway, except for the puffing the raisins (actually quite moist and tasty, but another pan to wash).

11.17.13 Breakfast

I would have cropped out the cat feet, but honestly, this is a pretty standard sight at breakfast.  Boma wakes up very needy and clingy.

Lunch was quite pleasing as well (excuse the upside-downness of the picture since it was either upside-down or sideways; Word Press doesn’t play nicely with my iPhone).

11.17. 13 Lunch

Here’s a close up of the real star anyway, 1010 Escalloped Cabbage:

1010 Escalloped Cabbage

Look how toasty those breadcrumb are!  Mmmmm….  The only downside was that this did take five pans to make (one to toast the breadcrumbs in butter, one to cook the bacon, one to boil the cabbage, one to make the white sauce and one to bake the whole casserole in).  How much time did Meta spend washing dishes?  Thank god for my dishwasher.  Anywho, it was super tasty.

756 Orange Waldorf Salad was a bit odd in that Meta called for slicing the orange into fifths and putting the Waldorf Salad portion on top of it.  This seemed like an odd step instead of mixing it in with the rest (which I did with the leftovers).  However, 199 Gingersnaps was a home-run so I declare lunch a success.

Dinner featured another casserole, 1061 Pea and Potato Casserole (who doesn’t love a nice butter and cheese-laden casserole?)

1061 Pea and Potato Casserole

And here’s Meta’s version:

IMG_0393

Mine didn’t look quite as nice.  The cheesy pea mixture overran my potato mountain and I ran out of potato topping to finish the lattice topping.  Ah well.  I never suspected I’d use a cake decorating set to pipe potatoes anyway.

Here is dinner after plating:

11.17.13 Dinner

940 Chicken Rice Soup was pretty basic but pleasing. I’ve stashed the rest in the freezer in preparation for the onset of a winter cold.  780 Carrot and Cabbage Salad had the unexpected addition of sweet pickle relish. The first bite was a bit jarring but the odd flavor grew on me with each bite.  I dare say I would even make it again.

Confession:  I didn’t feel like making dessert so I skipped it.  Otherwise a rather tasty Meta day.

1010 Escalloped Cabbage

1 small head cabbage (2 to 2 1/2 lbs)

2 cups thin white sauce (919)

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1 cup grated sharp cheese

1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs (1118)

3 slices half-cooked bacon

Trim cabbage, cut into eights and remove the core.  Cook, uncovered, in boiling, salted water for eight minutes.  Drain.  Layer half of each item in a buttered casserole dish:  cabbage, white sauce, green pepper and cheese.  Repeat with other half.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bacon.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Makes 5 servings.

1118 Buttered Bread Crumbs

Melt 1 1/2 to 2 TBSP of butter in a saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup of dry bread crumbs and stir until crumbs are coated in butter and slightly toasted.

199 Gingersnaps

2 1/2 cups AP flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp soda

1 TBSP water

1 tsp vinegar

Cream shortening.  Add in sugar and then molasses and egg.  Beat thoroughly.  Mix spices with soda, hot water and vinegar (I wish I knew what this step was for other than feeling like a mini-mad scientist since I’ve never seen it in modern recipes!)  Stir into butter mixture then mix in flour until smooth.  Drop by teaspoon onto a buttered baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 4 to 5 dozen (Really? I made 2 dozen, but I did use a one ounce cookie scoop).

1061 Pea and Potato Casserole

2 lbs potatoes

1/4 cup butter

1 cup hot milk, divided

3/4 tsp salt

1 No. 2 tin peas (1 lb, 4 oz or 2 1/2 cups)

3 TBSP butter

5 TBSP four

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 lb sharp cheese, diced

1 egg yolk

1 TBSP milk

Scrub and peel potatoes.  Cook in boiling water salted with the 3/4 tsp of salt.  Drain (saving liquid).  Mash and whip the potatoes with 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.  Drain peas (saving liquid).  Make a white sauce with the 3 TBSP of butter, flour, 1/2 cup of hot milk, 1/4 tsp salt and the liquid from the peas and potatoes.  Stir in the cheese until melted and smooth and add the peas.  Spread 2/3 of the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish and pour the pea mixture in the center.  Pipe the remaining potatoes in a lattice (or drop by tablespoon in puffs).  Beat the egg yolk and one tablespoon milk and brush on top of the potatoes.  Brown in a 400 degree oven.  5 generous servings.

780 Carrot and Cabbage Salad

5 medium carrots

2 cups shredded cabbage, firmly packed

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 TBSP sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles

lettuce

Grate the carrots and combine with the cabbage, pepper, mayo and relish.  Serve on lettuce.  Makes 5 servings.

Sandwich Recipes

It tickles me to read through the sandwich recipes in this book and imagine the home cook who needed instructions on making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  That being said, a lot of Meta’s sandwich recipes are surprisingly inventive and tasty despite their simplicity.  Here are a few I’ve tried over the past couple of months:

852 Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches

This sandwich recipe is a new favorite.  I never would have considered this combo, but it’s addictive.  It’s like a magic trick.  The bacon cooks on top the bread and the grease magically disappears!  Good thing I have had low cholesterol.

852 Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches

10 slices bread

10 thin slices American cheese

3 TBSP prepared mustard

10 slices bacon (about 1/2 lb)

Lightly toast the bread.  Top each piece of bread with a slice of cheese.  Spread mustard on top of the cheese.  Cut each piece of bacon in half and the two halves on top of the cheese (while still raw).  Broil in the oven until the bacon is cooked through (this should only take a few minutes).  This makes 10 open-face sandwiches.

After the rousing success of such a succulent sandwich, I tried another broiled beauty:

883 Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

883 Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

4 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled

10 slices buttered toast

10 thin slices American cheese

Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and lay on the toast.  Put cheese on top of sandwiches and broil until the cheese melts.  Makes 10 open-faced sandwiches.

Bacon would have made this better, as with most foods, but it was still quite tasty.  American cheese has no business being that good.

In the non-broiled category:

892 Olive Nut Spread

894 Olive Nut Spread

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup finely chopped stuffed olives

mayonnaise, enough to bind

Mix together.  Makes 5 sandwiches

How weird is this one?  I wasn’t expecting a lot, but I figured pregnancy would be a good time to try this one out.  It was surprisingly good, if a bit salty.  I wonder if I’ll enjoy this in a non-pregnant state?  Also, why are stuffed olives so prominent in mid-century recipes?

861a Hot Roast Meat Sandwiches

861a Hot Roast Meat Sandwiches

This “recipe” is actually a narrative instead of listing ingredients, but Meta suggest buttering two slices of bread per sandwich, placing one in the center of the plate, cutting the second into triangles and placing each triangle on one side of the whole slice.  (This didn’t happen for me since my bread was much too rectangular and resulted in a bizarre geometry problem when I tried).  Then arrange the meat on the bread and pour hot meat gravy over the top.  For a full luncheon, Meta suggest serving this with mashed potatoes (advice I was happy to comply with) and jelly or fruit pickles (apple sauce with pork, mint jelly with lamb or apple jelly with roast beef).  I was a little dubious about the apple jelly (this being beef) so it’s the gelatinous substance in the bowl on the side.  The apple jelly was pretty tasty though; akin to cranberry sauce with turkey.

Someday, I’m going to find an occasion to make this extravaganza of sandwiches:

Sandwich Bar

900 Sandwich Bar!  Meta calls it “A new idea for summer refreshments or Sunday night supper” (748).  It’s nine weird and wonderful sandwich combinations that “provides everyone with an unusual opportunity to compose his own sandwich to suit his own taste and appetite” (749).  Alas, most of my friends are vegetarian, so this won’t fit the bill for much of my entertaining.  But a girl can dream.

November 6th

Breakfast:

Baked Apple 267

Broiled Bacon 544

toast with butter, jelly (Grape Jelly) 709

Coffee for adults (milk for children)

Luncheon:

Onion Soup 968

toast

Molded Peach Salad 759

Cocoa for All 4

Dinner:

Beef Pot Roast 498

Mashed Potatoes 1077

Buttered Broccoli 1007

whole wheat bread and butter (used 100% Whole Wheat Bread 89)

Ambrosia 257

Brownies 194

Coffee for adults (milk for children)

Breakfast featured 267 Baked Apple, Meta’s quick version of a baked apple.  It was a bit sweet for my taste, but it was pretty quick and easy.  Bacon, toast and coffee rounded out the meal nicely.

11.10.13 Breakfast 2

968 Onion Soup for lunch was super easy and delicious.  It called for a tablespoon of cheese per serving, which I couldn’t really taste, but was otherwise a great recipe.  I floated my toast on top.  Yummy.

759 Molded Peach Salad consisted of canned peach halves in lemon gelatine perched on top of lettuce with mayo.  Combing the dessert and salad portions of a menu will never seem quite right to me, but it seems to come up pretty frequently in mid-century cooking.  I’m fairly convinced that mayo should be quarantined away from gelatine, but this was decently edible.  The lemon flavor was almost convincing. Almost.

11.10.13 Lunch

Dinner was a very satisfying home run.  A classic meat and potato meal.  I would eat this any day.

11.10.13 Dinner

Dessert was pretty good, but I’m not sold on 194 Brownies recipe.  The baking time was only 15 minutes but I ended up leaving it in for 25.  Even then, the middle was not quite set.  It was pretty fudge-y though.  I have to admit that I’ve never made a brownie that tops the boxed variety.

11.10.13 dessert

89 100% Whole Wheat Bread

(recipe is halved from original and altered slightly for a bread machine)

1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 cup milk

1 TBSP butter, melted

1/2 TBSP salt

1/4 cup plus 1/2 TBSP brown sugar

2 1/2 cups unsifted whole wheat flour

1 package fast granular yeast (used 2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast)

So, I didn’t follow Meta’s instructions at all on this.  I just dumped the ingredients in my bread machine in this order and turned it on.  But it turned out so yummy!  Nice and soft with a great texture. I’ll definitely make this often.

968 Onion Soup

2 1/2 cups sliced onions (about 1 large onion)

2 cups vegetable or meat stock

water

2 cups fresh milk or 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup water

salt to suit taste

5 TBSP grated cheese (I would consider cheese optional)

Add sliced onions and stock to a soup pan.  Add additional water if needed to cover onions.  Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until the onions are tender.  Add the milk (or evaporated milk and water) and salt and heat to scalding.  Serve with shredded cheese.  Meta also suggest serving it with hot crisp crackers, Croutons (61) or Melba Toast (58).

498 Beef Pot Roast

4lbs beef chuck, round or rump

3 tsp salt

pepper, if desired

3 TBSP shortening

1/2 cup hot water

Rub the meat with salt and sprinkle with pepper (why would you skip pepper?)  Heat shortening in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven and brown meat on all sides.  Add water, cover and simmer about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (or transfer to the oven at 300 degrees).  Add water along the way if needed.  Serve with the remaining liquid (which can be thickened with a flour/water paste).  I found that a 1 1/2 hour cook time made a really nice medium-rare.

194 Brownies

3/4 c AP flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter or other shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

2 squares bitter chocolate, melted and cooled (1124) (according to my package, 2 squares equaled 2 oz)

2 TBSP evaporated milk

2 TBSP water

3/4 cup chopped nuts

Prepare a 8 inch square baking dish with butter and wax paper.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Sift and measure flour and combine with salt in a small bowl.  Cream butter and gradually add in sugar.  Add beaten eggs and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate.  Combine water and evaporated milk.  Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, stirring well with each addition.  Stir in nuts with last few stirs.  Spread in the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.  (I found this cooking time to be way too low.  I baked it for 25 minutes and it was still a bit underdone in the middle).  Cut while warm.  Makes 2 1/2 dozen brownies of 1 x 2 inches.

257 Ambrosia

3 large bananas

3 large oranges, chilled

sugar to suit taste

1/2 cup grated moist cocoanut

Peel and slice bananas and oranges.  Combine (adding any sugar if preferred).  Sprinkle with cocoanut and serve.  5 servings.

Friday, October 5th

Breakfast:

Stewed Prunes 301

Cooked Whole Wheat Cereal 168 or 170 with top milk

toast with butter

Jelly (Crab Apple Jelly) 704

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Lunch(eon):

Shrimp Salad 836

potato chips

bread and butter

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding 366

milk for all

Dinner:

Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 486

Buttered Parsnips 1057

(substituted Buttered Celery 1020)

Orange and Raisin Salad 755

bread and butter

tokay grapes

coffee for adults (milk for children)

Breakfast was pleasing (as breakfast foods nearly inevitable are).  I enjoyed 301 Stewed Prunes more than I feel someone my age should.  Along with the cracked wheat cereal and whole grain bread, breakfast was filling (and fiber-rific).  I used apple jam instead of the elusive crab apple jelly (I’m going to be very excited if I ever see it in a store).

10.6 Breakfast

Lunch was the surprisingly good 836 Shrimp Salad which was pretty tasty with a surprisingly almost-spicy chili sauce.  Also a non-homemade item on a Meta menu:  behold the potato chip!  If only I could find some fried in lard, I would be period specific.  Lunch was rounded out by bread and butter, milk (I made 18a Hot Milk since it was such a cold day) and grapes (switching desserts with dinner).  Purple grapes that is; no idea where where one would find tokay grapes

10.5.13 lunch 2

For dinner, I’ve really been looking forward to trying Meta’s 486 Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (in fact, I feel a little thrill every time I see an “ethnic” dish).  I felt a strange glee that the recipe contained nary a single herb or clove of garlic and called for 20 minutes of cooking time for the pasta.  The results was decidedly un-Italian but still pretty good.  My husband described it as “Manwich on pasta.”   Fair enough.  Also, the recipe called for 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings and never mentioned draining off fat so I assumed that she didn’t intend for me to do so.  It made for a hearty dish.

Since I’ve made 1057 Buttered Parsnips before, I went with 1020 Buttered Celery instead.  Shockingly tasty.  I’ve never considered celery to be a cooking vegetable, but it was covered in butter…

10.5.13 Dinner 2

Dessert, 366 Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding wasn’t bad.  I’m not a big fan of it myself (who says rice in a puddle of milk constitutes dessert?), but my husband is a big fan so I gave it a whirl.  I have to say that it wasn’t really worth the 3 hour cooking time though.

IMG_0325

486 Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

3 TBSP bacon drippings

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 lb. hamburger

1 tsp salt

1 No. 2 1/2 tin tomatoes (28 oz)

2 TBSP flour

3/4 lb spaghetti

1/8 lb sharp cheese, grated

Heat the bacon drippings and brown the onion.  Add the hamburger and brown, crumbling well.  Run the tomatoes through a sieve and add then to the pan along with the salt.  Simmer 15-20 minutes.  Blend the flour with 1/4 c. cold water and add to the sauce about 5 minutes before it’s done to thicken.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in 4 quarts of boiling water with 4 tsp of salt for about 20 minutes (or as long as you can stand it before shouting “al dente!”) Top the pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Buon appetito!

1020 Buttered Celery

2 1/2 cups celery (serves 5)

melted butter to taste

Meta recommends using the outside branches after consuming the tasty hearts raw.  Clean, cut away blemishes and cut lengthwise into two or three strips.  Cut into 1/2 in pieces.  Cover with boiling, salted water and cook about 10-15 minutes.  Drain and add butter.  Be sure to save your cooking water to add to another recipe.