July: Cookbook of the Month
Welcome to 1931, the George Washington Bridge connecting New York & New Jersey has just opened, a loaf of bread is 8 cents, The Star Spangled Banner has been officially adopted as our national anthem, and Dracula and Frankenstein are premiering in movie theaters across America!
At home food is the foundation for healthy living and you’d better believe mom is the one cooking it.
I chose to use the Pictorial Review Standard Cook Book : A Sure Guide for Every Bride, as our first cookbook of month because I love exploring vintage recipes! Also, this book is very special to me because it has the family favorite raisin sauce for Easter Ham! My mom gifted me this book as one of my wedding gifts and I am going to treasure it for a long time!
While sifting through some recipes that I wanted to cover this month I uncovered items that frankly scare me, jellied chicken, ham mousse, roast squirrel, I may be getting myself in too deep with this one… but how fun is it going to be to explore these culinary creations of years past!
I cannot imagine the mass public eating these types of meals daily and I would love to go back in time just to spend a week eating meals with American families. Since I have not yet invented time travel it will be up to me to recreate some of the more intriguing, yet still palatable, recipes of yesteryear!
Before I get into our first dinner I wanted to transpose the menu guidelines set forth in the back of this book, I find them such an interesting insight into the views of nutrition and food from the early 1930’s:
RULES FOR MENU MAKING
If the following plan for making menus is used the essential nutritive elements, in amounts adequate for the normal individual, will be provided.
- Use a pint of milk a day for every adult in the family, a quart for each child.
- Serve two vegetables other than potato every day, one of them a raw or leafy vegetable as often as possible.
- Serve at least one fruit, preferably two, every day. Use fresh, raw fruit frequently.
- Allow a moderate serving of meat or fish and egg daily.
- Use fat in moderate amounts.
- Serve enough starchy food and simple sweets to satisfy the appetite after the other requirements have been met.
With those guidelines now set, let us explore our first dinner!
Roast Chicken with a Noodle Ring
Prepare yourselves for a bunch of molded food. I seriously have no idea what got into people in the 30’s – 50’s but molded food was mod.
*Sidenote* I am playing with my whole video set-up so I don’t have in progress pictures of these recipes, hopefully we will have a video at some point!
Let me tell you about this noodle ring . . . it definitely left something to be desired in terms of taste. . . and looks . . . and texture . . . and yanno, it kinda grows on you . . . no, not really, probably don’t make this one at home.
Roast chicken is always a tasty a delicious Sunday dinner, so let’s start with that part first!
Here is the Pictorial Review version of Roast Chicken
Stuff and dress the chicken and place on its back in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with flour or rub with a paste of fat and flour. The latter treatment will make the skin especially crisp and delicious. Put into a very hot oven (500). After fifteen or twenty minutes, when the skin is well seared, reduce the temperature to 375 and put the cover on the roaster or add half a cup of water to the pan. Cook until tender, basting often with the liquid if an open container is used. Allow twenty to twenty-five minutes to the pound.
** Here is how I always stuff & dress my poultry roasts:
Rinse and pat your bird dry, never throw away the giblets people, save them for your gravy later.
Stuff your bird with aromatics, onion, celery, carrots, garlic salt & pepper. A sprig of rosemary or thyme if you have it.
Take softened butter and smear it between the breast meat and the skin. Yup, stick your fingers up under the skin of that bird and make a little pocket for more butter than you think is necessary. There is no better way to get crispy gorgeous brown skin and moist delicate white meat.
Season the top of your bird with your desired flavors, always salt & pepper at the least.
Now onto the molded beast.
I had not even heard of noodle rings until I found the recipe in this book, I did a quick google search to make sure I had the concept correct and I am actually pleased that it stayed molded once out of the oven and baking dish. I am not pleased with the taste and texture, I can however see how it might work with some tweaks. Maybe I will revisit it down the line but for now i’ll just drop the recipe here and move on.
The Noodle Ring
1 package of noodles (6 ounces) * I used three packages of Ramen Noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Cook the noodles in boiling salted water until tender and then drain. Mic the flour to a smooth paste with a little of the milk. Add the rest of the milk and cook untl thickened, stirring constantly. Add beaten eggs and seasonings. Combine with the noodles and turn into a greased ring mold. Set the mold in a pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven. Turn out on to a serving dish and fill the center with creamed fish or meats.
Time in baking 40 minutes. Temperature 350 serves 10.
I may try to slice it thinly an pan fry the slices, maybe pan frying congealed Ramen noodles in ALL the butter will make them a tasty treat again.
Bookmarking this recipe for the next time I need to make a life like brain sculpture though!
Hope you enjoyed this week’s adventure into 1930 cuisine, until next time!