Side Dishes

Escalloped Potatoes Hungarian Style

Today’s recipe is from the 1942 edition of Short Cuts and Left-Overs by Hannah W. Schloss. Schloss felt that there had been enough attention on recipe books and household hints, but not enough on using leftovers in an easy and appetizing way. She wrote that the secret of leftovers was to make them taste better and use them in filling dishes. She also thought that combining fresh foods and canned foods was the ticket to using leftovers in a way that would appeal to the family while filling them up.

The cookbook is aimed at new cooks. I can imagine this book being a terrific gift for a new bride in the early 1940s. It includes a long list of kitchen vocabulary ranging from appetizer to zest. There is a weights and measures chapter, and a chapter with kitchen hints that help a housewife choose spices, utensils, food staples, and more. My favorite chapter is a separate index in the front of the book that is really helpful when you are trying to use up specific foods. For example, if you have leftover apples, this index lists all the recipes in the book that use apples. The index in the back of the book is not near as detailed.

One last thing I want to mention before I get to the recipe—none of these recipes have directions for oven temperature and many don’t include cooking times. Less than half actually have a list of ingredients. There is a lot of guess work involved in cooking these recipes, but I think that allows for more flexibility when using a variety of leftovers. In fact, we adapted today’s recipe. More on that in a minute.

Escalloped Potatoes Hungarian Style

Our version of this recipe is tweaked a little to fit the meal we were having. We placed the ingredients on a cookie sheet, dotted it with sour cream, and baked it at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Results

I would describe these as a cut up baked potato. Your typical baked potato ingredients are all here—salt, pepper, sour cream. The eggs were a nice, mild tasting addition. You definitely could add things like pickles or cheese to make the dish have more flavor and color. It’s a good way to use up potatoes and it will go with almost any meal. Recipes like this would help home front housewives use up every last bit of food in their kitchens.

Do you have a favorite leftover recipe?

First Monday Menu: Luncheon Ham with Cottage Cheese and Peach (Nectarine) Salad

This month’s menu is a June option from Modern Meal Menu by Martha Meade, a fabulous 1939 cookbook with 1115 menus and 744 recipes.

Menu

  • Luncheon Ham
  • Bread
  • Cottage Cheese and Peach Salad
  • Fruit Mayonnaise
  • Coffee, Tea, or Milk

This luncheon menu has three different recipes. I’ll start with the luncheon ham.

Luncheon Ham

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 lb diced boiled ham
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil
  • 1 1/2 c cooked peas

Cook diced boiled ham in butter or oil. Beat 3 eggs well and add the peas before pouring over the ham in the frying pan. Cook gently without stirring until eggs are set. Roll and cut in serving pieces.

Note: We couldn’t get this to roll. It fell apart, so we cut it into pieces to serve.

Peach and Cottage Cheese Salad

  • 1 c creamy cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 4 peaches (8 halves)
  • lettuce
  • chopped nuts
  • fruit mayonnaise (see recipe)

Mix cottage cheese with salt and paprika. Fill 8 fresh peach halves with cottage cheese mixture and place two halves on a cup of lettuce. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the salad and place a spoonful of fruit mayonnaise on the side.

Notes: We are still having problems getting certain foods at our local grocery store. We didn’t have lettuce or chopped nuts, and we could only get nectarines. I still wanted to try this, though, because the recipe sounded so interesting.

Fruit Mayonnaise

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c orange juice
  • 1/2 c unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash cayenne
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 c olive oil

Melt butter, add flour and blend thoroughly. Add fruit juices slowly, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened. Place all remaining ingredients together in a bowl and beat with a rotary egg beater until slightly mixed. Add the hot mixture slowly and beat until thick enough to hold its shape. Makes 1 pint.

Results

I’m glad I chose this menu. I picked it for the peach salad, but the luncheon ham ended up being the star of the show.

The luncheon ham really was just an omelet with ham and peas. I’ve never had an omelet with peas before, and let me tell you, I’ll definately add peas in the future. Peas were unexpected, but at the same time blended well with the other flavors. I think adding a little bit of finely chopped onion would also be good in this recipe. My entire family really enjoyed the luncheon ham and I know we’ll eat it again in the future. It’s quick and easy in addition to being super tasty.

Do you add peas to your omelets? I wish I had thought of this earlier.

On to the peach salad. We can’t buy peaches here right now, so we used nectarines instead. I was unsure about the combination of ingredients in these recipes. I didn’t know what to expect. I tried both with and without the fruit mayonnaise.

Without: The sweetness of the nectarine was nicely balanced by the cottage cheese and paprika mixture. I was surprised at how much I liked it. I like cottage cheese, but I typically don’t eat it with sweet foods. This was pleasant, and the soft textures of the nectarine and the cottage cheese worked together nicely.

With the fruit mayonnaise: I really don’t know what to think of this. The fruit mayonnaise by itself was oily and lumpy and I didn’t like it at all, but when I added it to the nectarine and cottage cheese mixture, it transformed itself into a slightly citrusy topping that wasn’t at all as strong as I expected it to be. The whole thing worked out well. The fruit mayonnaise isn’t really necessary, I suppose, but I think I would miss it if I made this dish again without it.

In all, this was a fun menu with some great new recipes that I think would work well in our modern meals. Hope your June is a healthy and happy one.

Baked String Beans

I got a bunch of new cookbooks and I’m so excited to start trying some of the recipes. Today I’m using the Assistance League’s Pleasing Food cookbook from Long Beach, California. Published in 1941, it’s full of local advertisements and handwritten recipes. The first page reads “Members of the Assistance League of Long Beach present Favorite Recipes and Tea Room Delicacies”. I’ve looked though most of the book, and I’ve only found a single recipe that is signed with the contributor’s name. They are all signed Mrs. Husband’s First and Last Name. It’s definitely an interesting look at how women saw themselves during that time. The Assistance League of Long Beach still exists. They are a volunteer organization that has numerous programs to help those in need.

Baked String Beans

  • 1 large can green beans
  • 3 tbsp bacon drippings
  • 1/4 small green pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (or more) onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 c mushrooms, sliced and browned in butter
  • grated cheese

Mix in order given, minus cheese. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. This dish may be left in the oven for 1 hour or longer at a lower temperature. Serves 6. Mrs. William Brayton

Note: I cut the bacon up and added it to the mixture. I also doubled the recipe, and used grated parmesan cheese as the topping.

Results

What a delicious green bean dish! The different colors, textures, and tastes complimented each other very well. I would definitely add the bacon if I make this again. You can taste a very slight bit of vinegar, but not enough to be off-putting. I like this type of side dish because it goes with everything. We had it with parmesan chicken, but I can see it being a perfect side to a hamburger, fried chicken or meatloaf. It would be an easy, flavorful potluck dish. Bring the recipe with you. People will ask for it. It’s that good.

Corn Pudding or Deviled Corn

This is from my trusty 1940 edition of The American Woman’s Cook Book. I’m always trying to find new side dishes to add to our meals. Corn is one of my family’s favorite vegetables, and I’ve never tried deviled corn before, so this seemed like a good choice.

Corn Pudding or Deviled Corn

  • 2 tbsp fat
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • Paprika
  • 2 c corn pulp
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Buttered crumbs

Make a sauce of fat, flour, milk, and seasonings. Add the corn, egg slightly beaten, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour into a baking dish, cover with buttered crumbs, and bake in a moderate oven at 350° to 400°F for fifteen to thirty minutes.

Results

This had the potential to be really good. I’m going to have to play around with it a little. I think it’s supposed to be a breaded pudding-type dish, but it was so runny. The flavor was nice, though. You could taste the paprika and I think if the breaded part was cooked more this would have been delicious. I’ll play with the cooking time and the ingredients a little and I’ll report back to you.

WW2 Ration Cook-in: Victory Lunch Box

I took today’s Victory Lunch Box menu from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book. They have a section with lunch box menus, and today’s menu was created specifically for a business girl. Almost all of the cookbooks and other materials I have separate lunch box menus into categories. There are usually sections for hard workers, working girls, housewives, and school children. I’ll be writing about some of those differences when I finish up my lunch box series later this month.

I don’t have a lunch box to show how all the items would be packed, so I put them on a regular plate. This is the exact lunch box menu, though, and would have been packed in a thermos, paper cups, and waxed paper.

Menu

  • Corn Chowder
  • Cream Cheese and Olive Sandwiches
  • Fruit Salad
  • Saltines

I’m amazed at how much food is included in the menus. Almost all that I’ve seen have called for more than one sandwich. Sometimes the menu includes several sandwiches with different fillings on different breads. Sandwich fillings range from complex mixtures to plain butter.

Corn Chowder

  • 1 2”sq fat salt pork (we used bacon)
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 2 lbs pared white potatoes (4 c diced)
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 12oz can whole grain corn
  • 4 c bottled milk, scalded OR 2 evaporated milk and 2 c water, scalded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Cut salt pork into 1/2” cubes and brown well in large sauce pan. Add onion and cook tender. Add diced potatoes and water, cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Add corn, milk, and seasonings. Heat and serve. Serves 6 as a main dish.

Due to shortages at our small local grocery store, we had to use red potatoes instead of white, and we used the evaporated milk and water option listed above.

Results

This was a wonderful, filling meal. The corn chowder was warm and flavorful. I think it would be perfect in a thermos tucked into a fall or winter lunch box. It was very hearty with ingredients that complimented each other. With the addition of one or two sandwiches, this probably would have been too much for me to eat. The fruit salad I have shown in the photos is a favorite family concoction made with fruit and whipped cream.

There’s one themed day left in the WW2 Ration Cook-in challenge. It’s not too late to join us! Check out your other hosts over on Instagram. Use #ww2rationcookin so we can see what you make!

Carrots Baked in Milk

This recipe is from the February 1943 issue of Woman’s Day. I mentioned earlier this month that I wanted to explore this issue a bit more because of the recipes and articles explaining rationing or offering suggestions for meals that used available foods. These carrots are from an article about using winter vegetables when many popular fresh vegetables weren’t available. Plus, carrots baked in milk added not only vegetables but dairy to the home front family’s diet. In 1943, this recipe cost 14 cents to make for a family of four.

Carrots Baked in Milk

  • 4 c ground or shredded raw carrots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1/2 c evaporated milk
  • hot water
  • 1 tbsp margarine

Place carrots in greased 1 1/2 qt casserole. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and flour. Add onion and milk. Add just enough water to cover. Bake in moderate oven at 350°F for 45 minutes. Five minutes before removing from oven, dot top with margarine.

Results

I’ll admit that I was a little worried about what this recipe would turn out like. I like carrots, but I had never eaten them this way. I was pleasantly surprised. The carrots were still crisp, and the other ingredients had combined to create a thick gravy that had a constancy similar to slightly runny mashed potatoes. I wasn’t sure that I would like the combination of textures and flavors, but they complimented each other very well. Most of my testers liked the dish. The only one who didn’t was the one who doesn’t like carrots.

I recommend this carrot recipe as an interesting accompaniment to meat dishes on your menu. It’s easy to make, and at least for my family, is a fresh way to cook carrots whether you buy them at the supermarket or grow them in your Victory Garden. Let me know if you try these out and enjoy your bonus day tomorrow. See you in March.

Green Beans Tossed in Brown Sauce

The Carnation Company published a small booklet-size cookbook during the war that contained recipes made with evaporated milk. They stressed the importance of milk in the diet and reminded the home front housewife that milk had proteins that would take the place of meat proteins when meat was scarce or when rationing points were running low. Carnation also wrote that their milk provided “valuable minerals and vitamins, and through irradiation, contributes extra ‘sunshine’ vitamin D”. Carnation suggested substituting evaporated milk for cream and diluting it with water to use in place of regular bottled milk.

Green Beans Tossed in Brown Sauce

  • 1 1/2 its green beans or 1 No. 2 can
  • 1/2 c finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 c enriched flour
  • 2 tbsp butter or other fat
  • 3/4 c liquid from beans
  • 2/3 c Carnation Milk
  • Salt to taste

String the beans and wash them. Cut diagonally. Boil with onion, covered, in 2 c salted water until tender. (If canned beans, use their liquid.) Drain, saving 3/4 c liquid. Slowly brown flour in heavy pan, stirring constantly. Add butter, stirring to blend. Add bean liquid. Cook until sauce begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and cook until thickened. Lightly toss in the beans. Salt to taste. Heat but do not boil. Serves 6.

Results

We used French cut canned green beans because that’s what we had in our pantry. The resulting dish was green beans in a mildly flavored, creamy gravy. It was rather bland, but not unpleasant. It would compliment many different main dishes, but would not be the most memorable part of the meal. Sometimes, though, that’s exactly what you want for a specific meal. We ate this with our favorite cheesy mini-meatloves. It did not distract from the taste of the meatloaf at all and provided a filling side dish. If you are looking for a more flavorful green bean side dish, try Green Beans in Mustard Sauce.

Let me know if you try this recipe. What did you think?

St. Valentine’s Luncheon

This is a quick post to give you a menu from the Wyandotte County Gas Company’s Home Service Department’s 1940 cookbook, Your Gas Range Cook Book. I’ve included three of the recipes.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tuna Fish Loaf with Mushroom Sauce

Note that the mushroom sauce is included in the recipe but needs additional ingredients. This makes 6 servings.

Heart Beet Salad

The “heart” in this salad comes from a cookie cutter. The recipe makes 6 servings.

Valentine Meringues

There’s a lot going on in this recipe. Additional supplies are listed in the directions.

Baking without…Milk: Yeast Rolls

A warm homemade roll is a welcome addition to almost any meal. My seventeen-year-old daughter has been baking homemade bread almost daily, so I gave her this recipe to try out. My two oldest daughters are tremendous bakers and I love when they bake for me. This recipe makes about 2 dozen rolls.

This is from the January 1945 issue of Woman’s Day. To learn more about this series, you can start with Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze.

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Yeast Rolls

1 cake yeast

1/4 c warm water

1/2 c boiling water

3 tbsp margarine

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar

1/2 c cold water

1 egg, grade B

4 1/2 c sifted flour

melted margarine

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Pour boiling water over margarine, salt, and sugar. Stir until dissolved and add the cold water. Add the yeast and the well-beaten egg and mix well. Add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour, turn on a floured board and knead a few minutes. Place in a greased bowl, brush the top with melted margarine, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Knead lightly. Return to the greased bowl. When double in bulk, shape, and place in greased muffin tins. Brush with margarine, allow to rise again until doubled. Bake in a hot oven, 400°F for about 15 minutes.

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Results

These were moist and soft with a slightly crispy outer layer. My daughter said the dough looked dry while she was working with it, but the rolls were nice and moist when they were finished. My personal favorite way to eat them was fresh from the oven slathered with margarine and peach preserves. I have a 20-month-old whose favorite food is bread and she gave these the toddler seal of approval.

Of the twelve recipes in the Woman’s Day  “You can Bake without…” article, this was the only recipe that wasn’t for a cake, cookies, or other dessert. I’m glad they chose to include yeast rolls.  Rolls and breads were a large part of a person’s diet and rationing and shortages affected those foods, too. Plus, rolls were useful and versatile. Last night’s rolls could be included in today’s lunch box or this afternoon’s after-school snack. Rolls go with meats, soups, salads, and pastas. There aren’t many other foods that go with everything like a roll does.

Speaking of the Woman’s Day article, there are three recipes left. I’ll probably make those in March. There are several other topics I want to visit before I return to “Baking without…Shortening”. I also got some really interesting new cookbooks that I’d like to show you.

Let me know if you try these delicious rolls. I think you’ll like them.

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Victory Lunch Box: Split Pea Soup

One of a home front housewife’s jobs was to pack lunches for her family. Her husband, if not at war, would need a lunch for work. Her children needed packed lunches for school. If she was part of the growing number of women working outside the home, she would need a lunch herself. Of course, packed lunches weren’t the only option Americans had for lunch, but they were a great way to save money, stretch food, and make sure every member of the family had a nutritious meal three times a day.

Many magazines and cookbooks included menus that provided leftovers to be used the following day in a lunch box. This soup could be part of an evening meal and then put in a small vacuum container the next day and tucked next to a sandwich or some fruit in a lunch box. This kind of soup was especially good for lunch boxes because it was hearty and filling. Add some bread and you had a meal that could get you through an afternoon at the factory or at school.

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Split Pea Soup

1 lb split peas (you can also use Navy beans)

2 qt boiling water

ham hock or leftover pieces of ham

3-4 cloves

1 onion

1/2 bay leaf

a piece of red pepper pod

3 1/2 c irradiated evaporated milk

salt to taste

Pick over peas, wash, cover with cold water, and soak overnight. Drain, add the boiling water, ham, cloves, onion, bay leaf, and red paper. Bring to a boil. Cook slowly until the peas are tender. Add milk and salt to taste. Makes about 3 1/4 quarts.

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Results

I used red pepper flakes instead of the red pepper pod. I also only used about half of an onion. We all peppered our individual bowls of soup. I also made the soup one night and then reheated and put it in a small thermos the next day to see how it would be in a lunch box.

The first night the soup was delicious. It was thick and warm and made a filling meal with the addition of bread.  Having had a chance for the flavors to mingle overnight, the second-day soup in the thermos was even better. I added some homemade bread that my teenage daughter baked, and had a satisfying lunch. I think that adding some fruit, a sandwich or a dessert would help anyone get through their afternoon without a need for a snack.

This recipe comes from a 50-page booklet that was specifically written for housewives who needed ideas for packing and planning lunches. It’s from 1943 and is part of a series of “Hook-up” cookbooks. There is a hole in the middle of each page that allows the housewife to hang the booklet at eye level. This helps keep the booklet clean and makes it easier to read the recipe. The picture on the front of the booklet shows the soups packaged for lunch boxes in waxed paper cups.