Tuesday, August 2, 2011
As I search for recipes that don't include allergens or unnatural substitutes, I'm finding that vintage cookbooks are a great source. Not only were home cooks often called upon to "do without" and create meals without the expensive ingredients of meat, butter or eggs, but there was no such thing as hydrolyzed soy protein or any of those other modern "healthy" ingredients.
The Good Housekeeping Book of Menus, Recipes and Household Discoveries, published in 1922, includes these useful hints:
Mrs. C. C. N. from the great state of New York writes, "A very easy and very delicious frosting for cake is made by adding maple-sirup to confectioner's sugar until it is of the right consistency to spread on cake."
Mrs. L. A. C. from Massachusetts tells us of her specialty mashed potato recipe: "When preparing mashed potatoes, season them in the usual way with salt, pepper, and butter (ed note: you can substitute oil), then add onion juice and grated nutmeg, allowing one teaspoonful of onion juice and one-quarter teaspoonful of grated nutmeg to each quart of mashed potatoes. It is surprising how this little addition lifts this familiar dish out of the ranks of the commonplace."
And just for fun, think about this thrifty household hint from Mrs. A. C. W., also from Massachusetts: "It is often a great annoyance to the busy housewife to accomplish the necessary household tasks and still keep a watchful eye for the ice man's arrival in order to tell him the amount of ice desired. I have eliminated this inconvenience in the following manner: I cut out the figures ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, etc., from a large-typed calendar, and when I need ice, I attach the necessary figure to the ice card with a clip."
Whenever I start to groan about how much work this new diet process is, I just think about Mrs. W. and her ice cards, and I sigh with relief that at least I have modern conveniences to help me out :)