May 12, 2019

WWII Era Sauerkraut Viennese Recipe

WWII Era Sauerkraut Viennese Recipe


When I was younger, my grandmother made cabbage weekly. Cabbage fried in soy sauce and topped with ketchup or cabbage stuffed with ground beef, cabbage soups, and coleslaw. Always with that particular smell that accompanied a hot, steamy kitchen.

Everytime I see I recipe that calls for cabbage, I remember how much I like it and wonder why I don't cook it. In fact, I couldn't even remember the last time I had cabbage short of coleslaw. It was something that fell off my food radar as an adult. My diet has gotten bland, relying heavily on foods flavored with sugar and salt.  Many fermented foods were dropped so I'm now making a more conscious attempt to add them back in again because they're delicious and provide good health benefits.

Fermented foods can improve digestion, boost immune systems and have inflammatory properties among other benefits. For this recipe, I replaced the sour cream with plain yogurt to really up the probiotic count (okay, so I just happened to have a ton in the fridge I needed to use up.). Any kind of sausage would go good in this but kielbasa is amazing, I used Field Roast Italian with good results. This recipe is from 500 Delicious Dishes from Leftovers, 1940.

Sauerkraut Viennese 


Ingredients:

- 3 Cups Sauerkraut
- 1 Pound Link Sausage
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 Cloves
- 1 Bay Leaf

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sausage in a casserole dish and make until browned.

While the sausage is baking, add sauerkraut, bay leaf, and cloves to a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir periodically to avoid burning. Remove from heat when the water from the sauerkraut has cooked off.

Remove the bay leaf and the cloves and stir in the sour cream. Serve on a platter, topped with the sausage.


May 2, 2019

Cottage Cheese Tutorial, WWI Meat Substitute Recipe



This basic cottage cheese or farm cheese recipe has been used for centuries. Leftover buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar can be used to separate the curds and the whey. I used vinegar because I like the idea of being able to make this with stuff already in your refrigerator. I have an 18th century recipe that uses lemon juice for the purpose.

During WWI, the government encouraged Americans to make and use cottage cheese to reduce meat consumption. I've included some recipes from Cottage-Cheese Dishes, a pamphlet by the US Department of Agriculture, printed in August 1918.



Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One


Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One


Cottage Cheese


Ingredients:

- 8 Cups Whole Milk
- 6 Tablespoons Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Splash of milk (optional for serving)

Instructions:

Pour milk into large pan. 

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

Heat the milk and salt until simmering (don't let it boil.) 

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

Stir constantly so the milk doesn't scald. Once simmering, remove from heat.

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

Add the vinegar or lemon juice and stir until curds and whey form.

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

Cover pot and let sit for 15 minutes off the heat.

Place a bowl under a colander or sieve and place quadruple folded cheese cloth or a linen cloth in it. 14" x 14" square should be enough.

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

Skim off the curds with a slotted spoon and place into the colander, pour the remains of the pot little by little, allowing it to drain.

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

Collect the corners of the cloth together to form a sack.

Cottage Cheese How to Tutorial WWI World War One

If you want cottage cheese, tie a string around the top of the bag and hang over a bowl overnight. When serving, add salt and a couple tablespoons of fresh milk.

 If you want meat substitute, sliceable cheese, squeeze the water out and let sit for an hour. Pack the cottage cheese into a bowl to form a loaf, refrigerate for 2 hours, then invert it on a plate and serve.

The Department of Agriculture pamphlet recommend adding chopped peppers, cucumbers, nuts, pimentos, and/or horseradish before serving, which all sound delicious. 



I froze the whey in ice cube trays until i figured out what I wanted to do with it. Whey honey sounds like a good topping for cottage cheese, especially since I'm out of honey. (I have to go pester the bees and their housekeeping staff.) The lemonade punch also sounds good. I'll keep you updated if I get to either of them.


WWI Honey Lemonade Recipe World War One

April 17, 2019

WWI Era Maple Fudge Recipe 1905, 1916



This morning my friend Eva sent me this video, from Imbrandonferris on Youtube called "Making Fudge from the 1900's!" with the caption "I started a fire!"


Sometimes I get distraught that no one reads my posts or that no one cooks anything I post. I wonder why I bother. Old recipes and foodways are so important to me and I believe it's a skill that needs to be passed onto future generations, especially in an era where meals come frozen and vegetables are unrecognizable to many.

 I started posting when I was young as a way to share the things I was learning. Every dish I cooked was an experiment. Maybe it would come out, maybe it wouldn't. I had a heck of a time transcribing measurements that sounded ridiculous. Pick the walnuts when they're the size of a squirrel's ear? Okay.

So many of the ingredients were foreign and needed research to decipher and effort to obtain. But now that I've been over 10 years into it, am a buttload of books more familiar with foodways over last 300 years and have studied under some of the best, some of that excitement when trying a new recipe has waned.     


This video made me laugh so much. It brought me right back to the days when I didn't have any clue. It's a great reminder of why I started cooking old recipes in the first place. I made a lot of friends along the way and I love running into people who love reading my blog.

So without further ado, here is "Fudge from the 1900s"  The recipe from a book called "A Little Cookbook for a Little Girl." First published in 1905, it was reprinted in 1916 and still being advertised in newspapers in 1921.



WWI Era Maple Fudge Recipe 1905, 1916


Ingredients:

- 3 Cups Brown Sugar
- 2 Cups 100% Maple Syrup
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 Tablespoons Butter (the size of an egg which is actually a very common measurement)
- 1 Cup Walnuts or Hickory nuts, chopped

Instructions:

In a large pot, combine brown sugar and maple syrup. You can stir it at this stage. Heat until boiling. Once boiling add the milk and water. Boil for 2 minutes with the lid on.

Do not stir. Butter your thermometer and stick in the mixture, making sure it is not touching the bottom of the pan. Keep the mixture boiling until it reaches the soft ball stage (112 to 116 °C (234 to 241 °F). This will take about 10 minutes but can be longer.

Take an 8 x 8" pan and line with aluminum foil. Grease the foil with butter.

Do not stir. Remove from the heat. Add the butter. Let sit until it cools down to 230°C, 110°F. This will take about an hour. Do not stir. You want to move the fudge as little as possible during this time to prevent sugar crystals from forming too early and giving your fudge a gritty taste.

Once it has reached 230°C, 110°F it is time to stir. You will be stirring until it turns a lighter shade. It can take up to 30 minutes. Add the crushed nuts. Quickly pour it into your pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Let look for 3- 24 hours. It's easier to cut the next day. Cut in 1/2 inch pieces.



Instructions with pictures:

In a large pot, combine brown sugar and maple syrup. You can stir it at this stage. Heat until boiling. Once boiling add the milk and water. Boil for 2 minutes with the lid on.



Do not stir. Butter your thermometer and stick in the mixture, making sure it is not touching the bottom of the pan. Keep the mixture boiling until it reaches the soft ball stage (112 to 116 °C (234 to 241 °F). This will take about 10 minutes but can be longer.


Take an 8 x 8" pan and line with aluminum foil. Grease the foil with butter.


Do not stir. Remove from the heat. Add the butter. Let sit until it cools down to 230°C, 110°F. This will take about an hour. Do not stir. You want to move the fudge as little as possible during this time to prevent sugar crystals from forming too early and giving your fudge a gritty taste.



Once it has reached 230°C, 110°F it is time to stir. You will be stirring until it turns a lighter shade. It can take up to 30 minutes. Add the crushed nuts.


Quickly pour it into your pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Let set for 3- 24 hours. It's easier to cut the next day.


Cut in 1/2 inch pieces.


Hope you enjoy! If you liked this post, please share it!

April 11, 2019

18th Century Wash-Balls: Scented Body Soap

Colonial Era Wash-Balls Soap

Bathing in colonial times evokes images of dirty rags and lard soap. In reality is there were many scented, colored, and augmented soaps available at perfumers and many receipts (recipes) to scent pre-made soap at home. 

I made these wash-balls with castile soap that I made over a full year ago so it has had plenty of time to cure. If you're interested in knowing more about castile soap, I've written quite a bit about it here.  All you need to know for this is that castile is an olive oil based soap, used in the 18th century for shaving and washing as is has a decent lather (for the time period.)

Castile soap can be bought online or in grocery stores. You can also use whatever you have lying around. They did have different color wash-balls but the coloring agents are not something I feel safe putting on my skin in modern times.  I'll update this post with how to color your wash-balls in a safe manner. I'm thinking "melt and pour colorant" is the best bet.   


Colonial Era Wash-Balls Soap


18th Century Wash-Balls


Ingredients:

- Pre-made Soap
- Rose or other Flower Water (Other recipes from the time period suggest lavender, coriander, cloves, jasmine, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel, lemon juice, orange flower water, musk.)

1. Shred, grate, bash, crush, buy pre-masticated or take up the relaxing art of soap shaving. A large mortar and pestle would work best.

Colonial Era Wash-Balls Soap

3. Heat up your soap in a double boiler, in the hot sun or just use the heat from your hands. You want the soap soft but not melted.  Add your scent liquid or water if you don't want to add a scent. (Don't do this with essential oils they will burn your skin.) Stir until well mixed. I did not heat mine, but heated up my rose water. 

Colonial Era Wash-Balls Soap

4. Wet your hands and grab a handful and squeeze it into a ball. Add as much liquid as you need to get it to stick together. You want the balls as compacted as possible. 

Colonial Era Wash-Balls Soap

I was going to make a video of this then realized I had no hands left to hold the camera so this one will have to make do. Making Soap from Soap Flakes

Colonial Era Wash-Balls Soap

5. Let them dry in ball form for a week. You can scrape the outsides with a knife or peeler to make them smoother.

Castile really is great for shaving. I'm excited to try it out now that it's scented. This is a great activity to do with kids, unlike soapmaking which can be dangerous. 

March 30, 2019

Depression Era Chinese-American Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe

Depression Era Chinese Fried Rice Recipe WWII

It's no secret that I love historical cookbooks and Asian food. I was ecstatic to find The Chinese Cook Book printed in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1936.

Historical Cookbook? Asian Food? Local Food History? Take my money! 

This book was in print from 1934 all the way until the 1970s. Man Sing Au was a Chinese-American born in 1910. She married Kam Chow Tom in 1928. In 1940s she was living in Honolulu, Hawaii with her brother in law Major, Man Sing Au. Not much is known about her life but she was widowed by 1940.


The Chinese Cook Book Man Sing Au


Depression Era Chinese-American Shrimp Fried Rice


Ingredients:

- 5 Cups leftover White Rice
- 1 Pound Shrimp, washed and peeled
- 1 medium sized Onion, diced
- 1 stalk of Celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup White Mushrooms
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 5 Eggs
- 3 Tablespoons Peanut or Cooking Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Pepper to taste.

Instructions:

Clean and wash your shrimp.  Heat your cooking oil in a large frying pan on wok on high heat. Fry your protein until half done. Add the onions and celery until and fry about 5 minutes. Add the rice, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden turner until well mixed. Crack 5 eggs over the rice and stir until firm. Serve warm.

Depression Era Chinese Fried Rice Recipe WWII


Breaking eggs directly over rice has been a point of contention in my family for years. My dad did this when he made Kao Pad (Thai fried rice) a recipe he became accustomed to during the Vietnam War. He insisted he cooked it perfectly, 15 year old me was sure he was doing it wrong. It definitely couldn't be the "authentic" way. It coated the rice and made it all sticky and didn't taste anything like any fried rice I got from restaurants.


I preferred to wait until the rice was cooked, make a divot in the center of the rice in the frying pan, add a little oil and scramble the egg in the divot in the pan until it was done, then quickly incorporating it into the rice. I've asked around to see which way is "most authentic" and, as you'd imagine, people do both.  But I was so sure as a kid that a separate egg must be the more authentic way. I cooked this while my family was away and have seemed to have forgotten to mention this discovery to my dad. :) 

 For this recipe, I ended up using some fake crab that I had on hand instead of the shrimp. The book mentions you can use bacon, ham, "Chicken, beef, pork, lobster or crab.. Also, any left-over meats, cut up in small pieces, can be utilized in the same manner and will make a very appetizing dish." It's a great way to use up leftover onion, celery, mushrooms and proteins that would otherwise go to waste. I will probably be cooking and sharing a few more recipes from this book. I've been eyeing up the Chop Suey and some of the tofu recipes.