Sunday, July 14, 2013

Potato Soup for the Sick

    You may have been surprised in the "1907 Chicken Broth" recipe in my first blog entry that the cook discussed how to use the broth for a patient with a fever. What a rarity to have the cookbook talk about treating medical conditions. That is not the only "medical recipe" in "The Roanoke Cookbook".  So, in this entry, I give you another example of the "flavor" of the early part of the 20th century recipes referring to treating the ill with a food.  

Potato Soup for the Sick

    "Cut into cubes, after carefully peeling, 2 medium sized potatoes and let remain in cold water 1 1/2 hours or more.  Then place in saucepan over a quick fire, and barely cover with cold water, adding a pinch of salt. When done enough to pierce through  with a fork, add a 1/2 pint of rich, sweet milk and 1 teaspoon of butter with more salt and pepper to taste. Let all boil a few minutes and serve:  enough for one person.  Great care must be taken in pairing the potatoes, as one particle of eye may spoil the flavor or cause nausea. A carefully cleaned pan will do much toward making the soup a success. - Mrs Dr. Keister" - Woman's Civic Betterment Club of Roanoke, "The Roanoke CookBook", Stone Publishing and Manufacturing Company, Roanoke, Virginia, 1907.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Oatmeal in the Hay Box

    The first recipe,"1907 Chicken Broth" raised a lot of questions for me, like why does "one pen- feather injure the flavor"? If the pieces are "as small as possible" how much chicken is "4-6 pieces" that go into the broth? How do you maintain a consistency of taste?  If you found the "flavor of the times" in the first recipe interesting, you'll probably find the next one even more so.  So get your "Hay Box" ready so that you can make a great oatmeal. Even if you are not an oatmeal enthusiast, you'll enjoy the read.

Oatmeal in the Hay Box

     "At 11 or 11:30 o'clock a.m. Put on your oatmeal flakes, the usual way, only instead of using the farina kettle, put in a bucket with a close fitting lid.  Boil hard for 5 minutes (not necessary to boil inside of water), set on the stove, then take up the bucket with the lid fastened tight, set in a box of hay; pack hay closely around, underneath and on top: cover with a thick quilt and leave undisturbed until 6 o'clock supper, when you will have the most deliciously cooked dish of oatmeal. Any cereal can be cooked the same way, and dried fruits, only they have a to be soaked overnight first; so can many vegetables and meats; they have to boil a little longer so as to get heated through and through. 
You can go anywhere you please during the afternoon, while the hay is at home doing your cooking.
Mrs. Dr. Luck."  -  Women's Civic Betterment Club, "The Roanoke Cook Book", The Stone Publishing and Manufacturing Company, 1907.


1907 Chicken Broth

     While cleaning out my mother-in-law's house and looking through her 100s of cookbooks we ran across something very special, a 106 year old cookbook. It was published in 1907 by the Woman's Civic Betterment Club of Roanoke, VA.  The recipes are so unique, not necessarily in the ingredients, but in the descriptions and the "flavor" of the times that is given. I don't know about the taste of the food if you choose to follow the recipes, but I'm sure you will enjoy reading them.  Stay tuned for some fun. The following is a great example of what you will find in this blog. The recipes are quoted and punctuated exactly as written.

Chicken Broth

     "First select a nice fat, young chicken, and then carefully pick (getting out every pen-feather, as one will injure the flavor), then wash foul well in cold water before cutting it up but never allow the meat to remain in water after it is cut. When drawn, and all the joints separated into as small pieces as possible, let it cool thoroughly, then place from 4 to 6 pieces in 1 quart of cold water, and let simmer for 4 hours, or  until ready to fall from the bones, keeping as much as 1 pint for broth, adding a little salt when partly done.  Should the broth boil down below 1 pint replenish it with that amount of hot water. When done remove chicken,  and season to taste with salt and pepper. If patient has a fever or is very ill, set the broth aside until cold, and then remove the grease, after which heat and serve."
-Woman's Civic Betterment Club of Roanoke,The Roanoke Cookbook, The Stone Printing and Manufacturing Company, Roanoke Virginia, 1907.