Breakfast

First Monday Menu: Hot Prem/Spam Sandwich and Orange Lily

World War II era magazine advertisers often used recipes featuring their products to entice housewives to buy their brands. I wanted to use a recipe from one of those magazine ads this month. I chose a hot sandwich made with canned meat that looked versatile, quick, and filling. Canned meats were popular because they were not rationed, they lasted a long time, and didn’t need refrigeration. They could also be eaten cold or hot, and they could be added to a variety of recipes. Since you can eat Spam and other meats straight out of the can, it was a handy food for soldiers, too.

This recipe is from a 1942 Prem ad. Prem is still being made, but I couldn’t find it anywhere near me. After some research, I found that Spam would make a good substitute. Does your grocery store have Prem? Have you tried it? I’m curious how it compares to Spam.

The other recipe in this menu is from the 1940 edition of The American Woman’s Cook Book. It is a drink that I think would be refreshing with any meal. Since this menu could also be a breakfast menu, I thought that the juice was a nice option.

Hot Prem/Spam Sandwich

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

2 tbsp chopped celery

1/2 tbsp green pepper

1/4 tbsp grated onion

salt

pepper

canned meat like Prem or Spam

toast

Beat two eggs slightly. Add milk, celery, green pepper, and onion. Add salt and pepper. Scramble over low heat, stirring constantly. Pan fry 2 slices of Spam or Prem. Serve on slices of toast. Makes 1 sandwich.

Note: This recipe truly only makes one sandwich. It’s easy to increase amounts to make enough for more.

Orange Lily

1/2 cup white grape juice

2 tbsp orange juice

1 tsp sugar

Fill glass half full of shaved ice. Add juices and sugar. Fill with chilled water. The cookbook suggests serving with two straws poked through a thin slice of orange.

Results

I think a lot of people are a bit apprehensive about eating Spam. It honestly is not bad at all. This sandwich was very similar to eating eggs on toast with some sausage or bacon. I added hashbrowns as a side. The meal was very filling. This is a nice choice for breakfast or a quick lunch.

I can definitely see the appeal of canned meats to the home front housewife. When ration points were running low, canned meats could help stretch what a housewife had and could add flavor to meals when food supplies were limited. This meal is a good option for people in a hurry or on a budget, as well. It’s hearty and quick to get on the table.

The Orange Lily drink was delicious. I did have to tweak the recipe a bit for my family’s tastes, though. When you add water and ice, the drink becomes more water than juice. I made a big batch of it in a pitcher and didn’t add any water. We just added ice in the individual glasses and that made it perfect for us. I also found that ice cubes worked better than shaved ice. The shaved ice we tried melted immediately. I also recommend stirring the mixture occasionally so the sugar doesn’t gather at the bottom of your glass or pitcher.

Let me know if you try either of these recipes. Have a great week!

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Baking without…Milk: Coffee Spice Cake

The second recipe in the “Baking without…Milk” series is this delicious coffee cake. It’s from an article in the January 1945 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. I also have a 1941 recipe booklet called The Bread Basket that I’ve been wanting to use for a while. The booklet is full of bread recipes using Fleischmann’s Yeast. There are pastries, cakes, rolls, and a variety of other breads. I had my teenage daughter help me since she makes wonderful bread from scratch. We decided to add a cinnamon topping from The Bread Basket since it also doesn’t call for milk and would have been a recipe housewives in 1945 might have chosen to add themselves.

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Coffee Spice Cake

1/2 c lard

1 c sugar

2 eggs, grade B

3 tbsp molasses

1/2 c cold strong coffee

2 c sifted cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ginger

Cream lard, add sugar and cream until fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time and add molasses. Beat well. Add coffee alternately with mixed and sifted dry ingredients. Bake in greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan in a moderate oven (375°) for 40 minutes. You can also bake in two 8-inch layers for 25 minutes.

Cinnamon Topping

6 tbsp butter

3/4 c sugar

6 tbsp sifted flour

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

Cream the butter, add sugar gradually, mixing well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed well and crumbly.

Results

After having the past few cakes turn out dry, I was expecting the same from this coffee spice cake. I was very wrong. It was moist and delicious. The cinnamon topping disappeared into the cake while it baked and added a really nice cinnamon flavor. This is a great cake for a brunch or breakfast, and it would be perfect for an afternoon tea or coffee get together. Try adding some vanilla ice cream! The recipe does have coffee in it, but we mainly tasted the molasses and the cinnamon from the topping we added.  The cake is quick and easy to make and I heartily recommend it.

Here is another from this baking without milk series: Baking without…Milk: Orange Marmalade Cake

The “Baking without…” series begins here: Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Breakfast Cocoa

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is sit in front of a roaring fire and sip a cup of hot chocolate. I found a few cocoa recipes in my collection, and I thought I’d test one for you. I’m also including a couple of variations that you can try at home. Let me know if you do.

Breakfast Cocoa

This recipe comes from Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. I have the 1941 edition. You can read more about this cookbook here.

Though not quite as quick as opening a package of hot cocoa and stirring it into milk or water, this recipe is an easy way to whip up a homemade batch of hot cocoa in a hurry. The recipe says it will serve six, but we found we needed to pour small servings. I’d double this if you have several people who would enjoy a mug of this breakfast cocoa.

3 tbsp cocoa

4 tbsp sugar

1/2 c. boiling water

1 1/2 c. boiling water

2 c. hot milk

dash of salt

Mix the cocoa, sugar, and 1/2 c. boiling water to make a smooth paste. Then add 1 1/2 c. boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Add the salt and 2 c. hot milk. Beat with a Dover egg beater to prevent scum from forming. Serve.

Results

This makes a smooth cocoa drink. It isn’t overly sweet, but it isn’t bitter either. I wish I had doubled the recipe because everyone wanted a second serving.

The first part of the recipe suggests that the consistancey should be more of a paste. Mine was a bit more runny than that, but it still worked well.

The recipe called for using a Dover egg beater to beat the cocoa mixture. I don’t have one so I mixed it well. I like recipes that suggest vintage or vintage-style tools to add to my collection. I try to keep the recipes as close as possible to the originals, but sometimes I need to modernize it a bit to include tools and gadgets that we are more likely to have on hand in today’s kitchens.

South American Chocolate

This is from the same cookbook as the above, but adds coffee to the mix.

7 oz bar Nestle’s Semi-sweet chocolate bar

1 c. strong hot coffee

6 c. scalded milk

Melt the chocolate bar over hot water. Add the coffee slowly. Boil 1 minute. Add to the scalded milk. Beat until thick froth forms on top and then leave it over the water for 10 minutes. You can serve it hot with whipped cream, sweetened and flavored, or you can pour it into tall glasses with ice to enjoy cold. Serves 8.

Hot Chocolate

This recipe is from the 1944 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book. It’s interesting to note that this cookbook also includes a recipe for basic hot cocoa that mentions packaged ready-to-serve cocoa.

2 squares (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate, cut in pieces

1 c. water

speck salt

3 tbsp granulated sugar (1/2 c. corn syrup may be substituted)

3 c. bottled milk OR 1 1/2 c. evaporated milk and 1 1/2 c. water

Place the chocolate and the water in the top of a double boiler over the direct heat and cook while stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the salt and sugar. Boil 4 min., stirring constantly. Place over hot water, add milk gradually while stirring constantly, and heat. Beat with an egg beater until light and frothy, then serve. This recipe suggests serving with a marshmallow or whipped cream. Serves 6.

Happy New Year!