Some Old Southern Dishes (continued)

This is the final article in April of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on April 25, 1909, and is a continuation of the previous article on Southern recipes. I particularly like the mention of how peacocks were raised more to be eaten than for decoration!

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Some Old Southern Dishes (continued)

I SPOKE last week of the prominence given to pork—fresh and corned and smoked—by the Southern cooks of ye olden time. Next to this staple stood poultry of all kinds. The reason for the extensive use of these two kinds of flesh-food is obvious, when we recall that there were no country markets in the South in the middle of the last century. Nor could what we style vaguely “butcher’s meat” be brought outside of the cities. Consequently, it was esteemed a luxury.

I well recollect that on the occasion of my first dinner part in my married home, which was in a country village, I sent 80 miles to Richmond to get a nice roast of beef to set forth the feast well and honorably. Poultry was a surfeit. Turkeys were raised upon every plantation, as were ducks, geese, chicken and pigeons, not to mention the guinea fowls, now sold at delicacies by fashionable market men and at exorbitant prices. Peacocks were likewise reared for eating, more than for ornament. A young peacock was tender and luscious, and often served at table in summer when turkey and geese were out of fashion.

“Ram, Lamb, Sheep and Mutton.”

Chickens never “Went out” from Christmas to Christmas. They were fabulously cheap. The negroes raised them in and about their own quarters, and were allowed to peddle them and eggs in the neighborhood on Saturday nights. They brought them into the village at all seasons, and in all weathers, on that, their holiday night.

I bought as many as I wanted for 25 cents a piece; eggs for 10 cents a dozen, and full-grown turkeys at 75 cents for gobblers, 50 cents for hens.

Amid all this abundance we longed for the flesh-pots of the shambles—veal, lamb and beef. The contemptuous summary of boarding-school fare familiar to every boy and girl, “ram, lamb, sheep and mutton,” would have been meaningless to us. When a sheep, a lamb, a calf or beef was slaughtered upon a plantation, portions were freely distributed as neighborly gifts within an area of ten miles, as we, the donor’s descendants, would send choice fruit and flowers. Otherwise it would have been impossible to get rid of it before it spoiled in a climate where the contents of the icehouse seldom lasted later than the middle of July, and it was not unusual for the winter to be so “open” that the icehouses were filled with snow, or perhaps went empty for the year.

The Oily Possum.

I digress slightly at this point to enter a housewifely protest, upon the authority of one who was born and brought up in the old South, against the prevalent belief, now raging into an absurd fad, that “possum” was ever a favorite dish with the whites of a former generation. In my own experience it appeared but once upon any table at which the “white folks” sat down to eat. That was when I, a petted child of ten, strolled into the kitchen in quest of chance tidbits, espied a possum cooked for the servants’ dinner and begged what I called “a ham” of the unctuous animal for myself. This I bore in triumph to the dining room upon a china dish from my doll’s tea set, and placed by my plate. The shout of derision from brothers and sisters and the fine disdain of my mother’s face fixed the scene in my memory. To this day I feel the mental and physical nausea that filled my small being as my father said quietly: “If you are going to eat that, my child, you must take it out upon the back porch.”

Where the dogs were fed! I eyed the greasy, rank, steaming and streaming morsel with loathing appreciation of the fact that it was part of an unclean beast. Nothing I ever heard or saw in Southern homes tended to alter the impression. The creature was no more the white man’s food than a muskrat would have been. The negroes caught and caged them for their private delectation, fattening them upon offal, such as the entrails of poultry, which the possum devoured by night. The flesh was pulpy, oily and redolent of the odor peculiar to the nocturnal prowler when alive. That I should live to see the day when it would bear a distinguished part in civic banquets held in honor of the chief magistrate-elect would have been an impossible imagination.

It is a curious characteristic of the lower classes in every country that they especially gloat upon fats and sweets. With the “colored people” of those bygone days (we were never allowed to call them “negroes”), the taste went with a barbaric love of bright colors and highly emotional religion. I do not pretend to explain the peculiarity. I state it as a fact and an idiosyncrasy in dismissing the unsavory “possum.”

Fried Chicken.

Fried chicken stook high and constantly upon the Southern housemother’s bill-of-fare.

Cut a pound of fat salt pork into small piece and fry until the grease is extracted, but not until to browns. Strain out the pork and set the frying pan with the fat in it on the fire. Have ready a young “broiler” which has been soaked for half an hour in salted water, then dried between two towels, seasoned with pepper and dredged with flour. Fry these pieces of chicken in the hot fat until brown on both sides. Turn twice. Take up the chicken, rain free of fat and set aside to keep hot in a covered dish over hot water. Pour into the gravy left in the frying pan a cup of rich milk (half cream, if you can get it ) into which you have stirred a pinch of baking soda; as it heats, stir in a tablespoonful of butter roiled in one of flour; cook to thickening, stirring all the time, add a tablespoonful of minced parsley, cook for one minute longer and pour over the dished chicken.

This is the genuine ancient and honorable recipe for “Virginia Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy,” popular upon hotel and restaurant menus as “Maryland Fried Chicken,” a palpable misnomer. The dish is delicious under either name.

The cream gravy is sometimes omitted and the chicken, prepared as above directed, is served up dry, with bunches of parsley dropped upon it and garnished with slices of fried bacon.

Chicken Batter Pudding.

Cut up a fat fowl as for fricassee, severing every joint; season well with salt and pepper and a tablespoonful of butter for each chicken, adding a teaspoonful of onion juice when the fowl is half done. Stew very slowly in just enough water to keep them from scorching before the juices of the fowl begin to make their own gravy. When tender, strain off the gravy and keep it hot.

Lay the pieces of chicken in a deep bakedish, arranging neatly in layers; thicken the gravy with browned flour and minced parsley and pour over the chicken.

Have the batter ready, but do not make it too long before the chicken is in the dish. Sift a pint of flour with a teaspoonful of cream of tartar, half as much soda and a saltspoonful of salt. Beat two eggs very light, yolks and whites together, stir into a large coffee cupful of milk, add two tablespoonfuls of melted butter; make a hole in the middle of the sifted flour and mix quickly to a rather stiff batter.

Pour this upon the hot chicken and gravy, and make in a steady, yet brisk, oven. The batter fills the interstices of the meat and absorbs the gravy in cooking.

If you have plenty of gravy, add to what is left the minced liver of the fowl, a dash of onion juice and chopped parsley, and send around with the pudding in a boat.

The left-over of fricasseed chicken may be utilized in this way, and most satisfactorily to the eaters thereof. I often do this, filling up the dish, with stewed fresh mushrooms, which I have never before known to be so plentiful and cheap as they are just now.

Smothered Chicken.

Split a pair of broilers—or tender fullgrown fowls—down the back, as for broiling. Lay them flat in the dripping pan, skin side up, and cover the pan with another of the same size, if you have not a covered roaster. (I hope you have!) Set in a hot oven, and at the end of five minutes baste with melted butter. Turn the chicken in half an hour, having basted them twice meanwhile with the butter. In ten minutes more they should be ready for the dredging. Sift heated flour over them on both sides, and wash once more with butter. Brown the flour. Test the joints with a fork, and if they are tender and no red juice flows out, take them up. Keep hot in a heated dish set over boiling water; thicken the gravy in the pan with browned flour, adding boiling water if there is not enough liquid; boil up once and pour into a gravy boat.

If the chickens be very large, gash each joint before putting down to cook. The “smothering” consists in keeping the fowls closely covered while in the oven, and imparts a pleasant flavor to the meat, besides retaining all the juices far better than in broiling.

Barbequed Chicken.

Broil the chickens in the usual way, and when they are dished pour over them this sauce:

Met two tablespoonfuls of butter in a saucepan, add the same quantity of vinegar, a teaspoonful of made mustard, a teaspoonful of sugar, a saltspoonful of salt and half as much pepper. Heat to a boil, mixing with a very little hot water should the ingredients not blend well, and pour over the chickens. Cover and leave over boiling water for five minutes before serving.

A most appetizing dish, and particularly welcome in the spring.

Barbecued “Old Hare.”

We call them “Rabbits” in the Northern and Middle States, in Virginia they were “old hares,” from their birth to their appearance upon the breakfast table as “barbecued.” They were usually steamed tender, then broiled and treated just as I have described the process of barbequing chicken. Barbequed ham was also in frequent request as a breakfast dish.

Transparent Pudding.

We called it a “pudding.” In reality it was a pie, being invariably baked in an open crust of fine pastry. It was often baked in small pastry shells. Then it was “transparent puddings.” It—or they—were ever delicious and were reckoned by unhappy dyspeptics as indigestible. Popular they were, and they will always be.

Cream half a pound of butter light, beat into the creamy mixture the yolks of six eggs, the juice of a lemon (strained), the grated rind of a lemon, a grated nutmeg and half a glass of good French brandy. Beat for three minutes—hard! and whip in the whites of six eggs.

Sometimes we reserved the whites of three eggs in the general mixing, and when the pies (or puddings) were “Set” in the baking, spread the meringue of the whipped whites, beaten up with three tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar and a little lemon juice, over the hot pies while in the oven. Then they were shut up again in the oven to brown the meringue slightly.

The pastry shells in which the transparent mixture was baked were the best the old-fashioned housemother could make. The puddings were eaten cold, by which time the puff-paste was almost translucent.

Yet the martyrs to a love of “good eating” were fewer then than now! Dyspeptics were few and far between, and the form of the unpleasant visitation diagnosed by twentieth century doctors as “nervous dyspepsia” was utterly unknown.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange
Advertisement

Under My Foreign Vine and Fig Tree – In Merrie England

This is the third article in January of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on January 20, 1907, and is a continuation of the talk on keeping house in foreign countries.

This talk is on lodging in England.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of Boston Sunday Post.

Under My Foreign Vine and Fig Tree

In Merrie England

“O, the homes of Merrie England!
How beautiful are they!”

LODGING-HOUSE life in England is a kind of semi-housekeeping that appeals most strongly to Americans who have been traveling far enough to long for a touch of home seclusion and domestic comfort. We “went into lodgings” for the first time during the second year of exile. For six months we had—as the slangiest member of the party put it—“cropped the promiscuous vegetation” of pensions and hotels, and were a-weary of printed menus, of ambiguous entrees, of ubiquitous national dishes, of questionable beds and unequivocal impositions upon the strangers within foreign gateways. We yearned for food we need not analyze; for plain, wholesome living and the right of free speech, if not of high thinking.

We sought—and found—our pleasant pastures, and what the marginal reading of the Shepherd Psalm translates as “the waters of quietness,” in Brighton, just an easy run from London by railway.

We lived in lodgings subsequently in Leamington, and in the Isle of Wight, and in comfort. The Brighton experiment was so triumphantly satisfactory that the memory is an abiding delight.

The personnel of our landlord and his wife interested us from the beginning to the end of our sojourn in the famous old town—a fashionable and expensive resort of royalty and nobility 200 years ago. It is highly respectable still, but modern modes of travel have brought it so near to town that the charm of exclusiveness beloved by fashion has departed.

LUXURY WITHOUT FASHION

“Arry” and “Arriet,” taking advantage of cheap holiday excursions, make love with the frank, matter-of-course audacity of the British cockney, in the forsaken haunts of fop and coquette of the olden time. Shopmen do a fair, but not a brisk trade; parks with high-sounding titles are bordered by buildings that were once grand, and are now described by agents as “genteel and roomy.”

In such a house and upon Regent Park (a name that must have dated back to the youth of George IV, of scapegracish memory) a retired butler, who had lived for thirty years as boy and man in the family of Lord Somebody, had taken up his abode ten years before we were recommended to his good graces by a real estate agent. True to the traditions of his order, he had wedded the cook and drawn her, and the tidy sum she had saved in the same “service” as himself, into his honorable retirement. That is the way they do things in sensible old England. Upon the foundations of their united savings the mature couple leased the “genteel-roomy” house that had out lived its mansion days, and took lodgers.

The business is so little known in America (a more’s the pity!) that I will explain what the term means.

They furnished the house, dividing it into suites and flats for the accommodation of a certain number of individuals and families, for whom, when domiciled they kept house, the lodgers purchasing food and other requisites for daily living, and the proprietors doing the rest. The retired cook had but changed her scene of labors, but she was the nominal mistress of the house. The retired butler transplanted his dignity and dress coat in new soil, of which he was the owner. Both worked harder than ever before, but under conditions more honorable, from their point of view.

Let the report of one day set the case more distinctly before the mind of the reader who has never lived in lodgings.

IN COMMODIOUS QUARTERS

It was early in the summer, and the London “season” was not over. In consequence, Brighton was not full, and we had no difficulty in securing the best lodgings in the whilom mansion. We had the “drawing-room floor.” The English drawing-room is always gained by mounting stairs. Hence, our “English basement houses.” On this floor was the drawing-room entered through a smaller ante-chamber, which we, receiving no visitors, used as a library and writing room. Back of the spacious drawing-room, which looked out upon the Park, was one nearly as large, in which our meals were served. On the floor above were four bedrooms, of fair dimensions. All were clean and airy, and those in the front of the house gave us glimpses of the sea.

Even in summer we never breakfasted earlier than 8 o ’clock, and the “R.B.”—thus christened by our irreverent youngsters, and spoken of by no other name out of his hearing—made known, by a sort of plaintive patronage unattainable by any but a cidevant chief butler, that the meal was spread at that ghostly hour out of deference to our “colonial” prejudices. He was too well bred, or too wary, to quote “the quality” to us, then or ever. I have observed that those who have the offensive trick are usually people who have the least acquaintanceship with the authorities they cite. If there were mild protest in the R.B.’s shining morning face, clean shaven daily—as he passed muffins, toast and bacon, coffee, chocolate and tea—it went no further. He was a shade graver, perhaps, than after the world was better aired. More respectful he could not be. His deportment was of the best brand, and ripened by years. His spouse never, even by accident, gave us a brew of tolerable coffee. In this she was not unlike the chefs of the best hotels in London. She did make excellent chocolate, and the tea was delicious in flavor, although costing just half what we pay for inferior quality in our own country.

ADMIRED A TEA MAKER

The R.B.’s respect for me mounted visibly when he found that I expected to make tea at table. It was “uncommon to see a lady from the States do that,” he informed me. And when, kettle, tea-caddy and urn in place, I measured the dried leaves into the heated pot, poured a little boiling water over them and slipped the cozy into place, he was moved out of his habitual calm.

“Ah, madam, you do macerate your tea!” was an outburst of surprised admiration.

He was addicted to polysyllables, and they went well with the brand of deportment I mentioned just now.

The Continental breakfast does not take with the English. We had oatmeal and cream, bacon and eggs, or fish and bacon. Always bacon—the English breakfast variety we never get out of England, and which we ordered seven mornings in the week. About twice a week we had stewed, or deviled kidneys, muffins almost everyday and toast as invariably as bacon. Another inevitable adjunct of the morning repast, as it was of luncheon, afternoon tea and the Sunday night supper, was marmalade.

It is the Briton’s piece de resistance at three of his daily meals. Dundee marmalade; apple marmalade; marmalade based upon apricots green and apricots ripe; damson marmalade—marmalade named for every berry that grows—are native species of the genus. Besides these we had occasional treats of East Indian guava and preserved ginger.

After breakfast was cleared away, the R.B. presented himself, paper and pencil in hand and professional responsibility upon his brow, to receive my orders for the day. He was to do the marketing; he was familiar with shops, supplies and prices. I knew as well as he, that the programme for the next twenty-four hours and week was settled in his long head before be appeared in “Madame’s” presence. His manner of consulting me as to the least detail of the memoranda he jotted down, as from my dictation and his deferential attention to every suggestion, were inimitable. He was there for my “commands” and he went through the form of taking them. In reality, I had little to do with catering beyond paying the bills on Saturday night. I do not think I was cheated, albeit I was fully aware that my major-domo got his little commission from the tradesmen favored by our orders. He shopped to better advantage than a foreigner could hope to do. His show of protecting me against my lavish self was as good as a play.

“Strawberries, Madame!” in plaintive reluctance. “I am afraid you would hardly care to pay the market price for strawberries today. The recent rains have curtailed the supply, I grieve to say. I could not reconcile it with my conscience to let you order them without telling you that they are two shillings per quart. Uncommon fine berries, of course, but really, two shillings in the height of the season is extortionate!”

The English strawberries were as he said, uncommon of their kind. I have never seen finer, or tasted any that were more delicious, and when we could not get them for less, we smothered the R.B.’s conscience and our own, and paid the extortionate 2 shillings (50 cents) per quart.

When it came to paying six pence (12 1/2 cents) apiece for peaches in the Leamington market, we hesitated, and thought longingly of the basketfuls of the luscious fruit rotting at the week’s end on New York docks.

The weak point in the cuisine managed by the thrifty pair was the 1 o’clock luncheon. The retired cook had evidently lived out her term of service in a family that had the true British contempt for made dishes.

The distaste is as old as the reign of “Good George the King,” whose favorite dish was boiled mutton and turnips. Mrs. R.B. could compass a mince on toast. Her ignorance of croquettes, salmis, scallops and the like matched her ineptitude for all manner of salads. Her lord looked upon luncheon as a stop-gap for appetites that had been satisfied with breakfast and were reserving their best energies for dinner.

This, the fourth meal of the eating day, was to him a serious luncheon. A meaty soup—sometimes rather heavy for our taste—was succeeded in due and solemn procession by fish, a roast with vegetables, pudding or tarts, crackers and cheese and black coffee. Fruits and nuts were brought on with the crackers and cheese. These were the “dessert.” Tarts, custards, puddings and ices were “sweets.”

The main defect in the average English cuisine is sameness. We were painfully conscious of this during a fortnight’s stay at one of the largest and most expensive of London hotels. We did not weary of juicy Southdown mutton, unequaled in savoriness by any we had eaten in any other part of the world, unless it were the small roasts of lamb we used to get in Italy. Charles Lamb said of roasting pig: “He is a weakling; he is a flower.” The Italian lamb is a gentle bud—a very exquisite in his way. And his English cousin South down is a larger edition in flavor and tenderness. The “roast beef of Old England” was a lasting disappointment, and, with all deference to the native cooks, it was killed in the kitchen. We ate none that was not overdone until what gravy followed the carver’s knife was almost colorless. Sometimes it was boiled while fresh, an unheard-of method with us. The liquor in which it was boiled made good soup. The meat was insipid and fibrous.

In roasting poultry Mrs. R.B. was an adept. Her “fowls,” which she never called “chickens,” were done to a turn, pleasant to the sight and eminently satisfactory to the palate. If we did not learn to appreciate the “liver-wing” as the choicest morceau of the goodly bird, we approved of the jaunty touch lent to a plump young cook, or a capon, by tucking the brown liver under one wing—“like an opera hat”—said a saucy girl of the party.

The list of vegetables was pitifully short. Potatoes, that were perfect in their way, miracles of mealiness and magnitude; broad beans, a sort of overgrown lima; vegetable marrow, to which we inclined favorably, and Brussels sprouts, were the chief of our diet, so far a stable vegetables went. Day after day the round was repeated, with an occasional and most welcome interpolation of delicious green peas, when ducks took the place of the “regulation” fowl. Those who hankered for coarser esculents might regale plebeian tastes with cabbage and turnips. The finer vegetables that make our home markets beautiful and enticing throughout the year are unknown luxuries to the untraveled Briton.

I should be ungrateful and unjust if I failed to descant briefly upon the chaste joys of afternoon tea in the country that gave birth to the fascinating function.

AFTERNOON TEA’S JOYS

At 5 o’clock P.M., England, from palace to hut, “puts the kettle on and they all have tea.” It is the hour sacred to domestic tranquility and social comfort. We had the habit before we went into lodgings. It was confirmed for the rest of our lives by our two summers in the tight little island. And, verily, the teas spread in our sight by the Turveydropian R.B. were something to remember. However far we might have wandered afield, Londonward or into the country rich in downs, dykes, castles and historic ruins, we were sure to bring up at tea time in the quiet drawing room, and as sure to find the round table, covered with a snowy cloth, drawn to the corner of the hearth. The late afternoon was sometimes chill with sea-fogs, and in England the least suspicion of dampness and falling temperature is seized upon as an excuse for lighting a fire. Sometimes we came in wet, but cheerily, for we knew what awaited us. Then the sea-coal was a glow in the grate; the tea-urn bubbled in unison with it, and the cloth was hidden by plates of thin bread and butter, sandwiches, the toast rack, cake basket, a plate of hot scones or tea cakes shrouded in a napkin, always marmalade, and, not infrequently, a delicacy with which we became acquainted—and zestfully during that halcyon summer at Brighton—to wit, Devonshire cream! It was eaten with brown bread and butter and jam, otherwise marmalade.

At 10 o’clock we might have had supper if we had wanted it. I think the R.B. and his spouse never failed to eat their bread and cheese with, maybe, a bit of cold beef or pork, and to wash the food down with a “pint of bitter” at this ungainly hour. The poorest cottager must have his supper, if there be a crust of bread or a wheel of cheese in the cupboard.

How the better classes keep up the national custom, when they have breakfasted at 9, lunched at 1, had tea at 5 and a heavy family dinner at 7.30, or a dinner party at 8, passed our comprehension then, and is not yet quite clear.

ENGLISH RECIPES

Tea Cake.

Sift four capfuls of dried flour into a bowl and chop into it a scant cupful of butter. Dissolve half a yeast cake in four tablespoonfuls of warm water and stir it into two cupfuls of milk, or enough to make a soft dough. Roll this out into a sheet and cut into cakes as large as a tea plate and less than half an inch thick. Set them, covered lightly, in a warm dark place until they have nearly trebled in thickness. Bake in a floured pan. Keep them covered for twenty minutes, then brown.

Run a sharp knife around the edge, tear the cake open, butter and serve upon a plate lined and covered with a heated napkin.

Yorkshire Pudding.

Two cupfuls of flour, into which have been stirred, and then sifted with the flour a teaspoonful of baking powder and one of salt. Mix to a soft batter with two cupfuls of milk. Beat four eggs light and whip into the batter with quick, upward strokes.

This is always served with roast beef. When the beef is done, transfer it to a heated dish and keep hot over boiling water. Pour off the fat from the top of the gravy left in the dripping pan; turn the batter into the pan, set back in the oven and bake quickly to a delicate brown. Dish the meat and lay the pudding, cut into squares, about it in the platter.

Jam Pudding.

Line a buttered bake dish with a good puff paste. For a batter allow two eggs and their weight in butter and in dried and sifted flour. Cream the butter and sugar, whip in the yolks beaten smooth, and then the frothed whites, alternately with the flour, which has been sifted twice with a tablespoonful of baking powder.

Now spread the puff paste in the bake dish with peach jam, or with preserved peaches, mixed with a tablespoonful of preserved ginger, cut fine. Pour the batter upon this prepared bed and bake in a steady oven. Cover with paper as you would cake, removing to brown after the pudding has puffed up well.

It is really very nice when properly made, although un-American in construction.

Castle Pudding.

Two eggs, the weight of the eggs in granulated sugar, dried flour and in butter. Sift the flour twice with half a teaspoonful of baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar, working in the juice and grated peel of half a lemon. Add the beaten yolks; beat hard and whip in the stiffened whites, alternately with the flour. Bake in buttered pate pans as you would small cakes; turn out and eat hot with sauce.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Plum Puddings and Fruit Cakes for the Holidays

This is the first article in December of the School for Housewives 1906 series published on December 2, 1906, and is a discussion on puddings and cakes for the holidays.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of Boston Sunday Post.

Plum Puddings and Fruit Cakes for the Holidays

HE who doubts that fashions come and fashions go in the culinary world as truly, if not as fast, as the modes of gowns and hats in another sphere, should read up in cookbooks the history of cakes for the last half century.

As the nominal chaperon of a small granddaughter, I was permitted to attend a children’s lawn party last summer. While the babies of assorted sizes were regaled with sponge cake and ice cream upon the turf below us, we seniors, sitting on the veranda, sipped “afternoon tea” and were served with cake adjudged to be too rich for young stomachs. It was as yellow as gold; it was tender, yet firm; it was as sweet as honey and yet so spicy that it was fragrant.

The Rapture of Reminiscence

As the palate appreciated the ineffable deliciousness of the dainty, two of us uttered in delight not far removed from ecstasy—

“Real poundcake!”

Both of the speakers were grandmothers. Women of the second generation shared our pleasure, but not the rapture of reminiscence. When one granddame sighed, “I do not think I have eaten genuine poundcake before in thirty years,” the juniors confessed that they had never tasted it before.

It transpired, presently, that the mother of the hostess, a Southern woman, had compounded the delicacy, assisted by her colored maid.

Like the “venerable men” eulogized by Webster at the inauguration of Bunker Hill Monument, it had “come down to us from a former generation”—a generation that had time to take pains in whatever it undertook. A pound of loaf sugar, crushed and sifted through muslin; three quarters of a pound of washed butter; a pound of flour dried in the oven; a pound of eggs; one nutmeg, grated; a teaspoonful of mace, and a glass of pure old brandy went into that peerless loaf. The mixing was done as carefully as the weighing. Then came half an hour of steady beating (think of that, ye hustlers of the twentieth century!) that left it velvety in consistency and in color like molten gold.

This sounds like bathos to our up-to-date cook. I forgive her, if she has never known real poundcake.

“Snowball” Sponge Cake

I spoke, just now, of the sponge cake served to the children. I did not see it or taste it. I am, nevertheless, as sure as if I had done both that it was as little like the “snowballs” that were the joy of my childhood as cup cake resembles the luscious pound loaf I have described but feebly. Sponge cake (the real thing) was guiltless of butter. So is the modern plagiarism. I could run over the original recipe backward—so familiar was it to my charmed ears:

Twelve eggs; the weight of the eggs in sugar, half their weight in flour; one lemon—juice and rind. Beat yolks and whites separately and very light, the sugar into the yolks when they are perfectly smooth: next the juice and grated lemon peel, then the stiffened whites; lastly the sifted flour, very lightly and rapidly.

As with the poundcake, the rest was skill.

The perfect product was never tough. It melted in the mouth like butter, never sticking to the teeth, and although most delicious when freshly baked, did not desiccate into sweetish dust when cold.

What might be called “the sponge cake of commerce”—most often sold in the shape of lady fingers (save the mark!) and jumbles—better befitting the name—is coaxed into lightness by ammonia and baking powders. It is always either tough or sawdusty.

In all the changes and chances, the downfalls and upheavals, in the realm of cake-making, the queen holds her own. Fruit cake has never been superseded by angel or by devil cake, by any of the countless varieties of cup or layer cake. She smiles serene indifference upon Lady Baltimore, while French, lady, marble, caramel, Washington, Lincoln and Lee “win no regard from her calm eyes.” She is empress, and her dynasty is perpetual. Two hundred years ago fruit cake was an indispensable feature in every feast of note. The reveler of today holds it in equal esteem with his great-great-grandfather.

“Indigestible,” say our diet dictators. “Horribly expensive!” cry frugal housewives. All the same, children cry for it, and the four-dollars-a-week housemother pinches in here and overruns there to have that on Christmas Day which will set the younglings to singing—

“Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum cake and sent them out of town.”

To the maker of the immemorial ballad “plum cake” stood for the most costly bribe in the gift of the harassed townspeople. Before coming to recipes for the royal loaf, let me remind the maker thereof of a few important preliminaries to the ceremony.

Collect and weigh all the ingredients before you begin to mix the cake. Appropriate a table of fair size and settle yourself in a corner where you are not likely to be interrupted. Neglect not the least detail of spoon, or spice sifter, or grater. Pay especial attention to the fruit. The currants may be labeled “Cleaned.” See that you wash them in three waters. The third may be clear. The first and second will justify my caution and your obedience. Drain and dry them when they are clean, drying in the open oven and in a heated colander lest they should sweat. Rinse the raisins in clear water, and dry them. Do not chop nuts if they are to go into the cake. Cut them small with a sharp knife, or shave them thin with the same.

All must be perfectly dry when they are dredged or the fruit will make the cake heavy. Shred the citron fine with keen clean scissors.

Thirty odd years ago I italicized a sentence in a paper upon this subject, which I shall now set up in capitals:

“THERE IS NO ROYAL ROAD TO SUCCESS IN CAKE-MAKING.”

Every step must be as carefully taken as if upon it depended the fate of the undertaking.

Pound Fruit Cake.

One pound of butter; one pound of powdered sugar; one pound of flour; one pound of seeded raisins; one pound of currants; half a pound of shredded citron; twelve eggs; one even teaspoonful of cinnamon; two teaspoonfuls of nutmeg; one teaspoonful of cloves; one wineglass of best brandy. (Cooking brandy will not do.)

Rub the butter and sugar to a smooth cream; heat in the whipped eggs and stir hard for two whole minutes before adding half of the flour. Beat the flour in with long, even strokes; add the spices, and when these are well incorporated with the other ingredients “fold in” the whites, i.e., with long, almost horizontal, sweeps of the spoon, alternately with there served flour. The brandy goes in last, and this must be with as few strokes as will suffice to blend it completely with the batter.

This is a large quantity. For a family of ordinary size half as much of each ingredient will do.

The whole will make two large loaves. Cover with thick paper when you put it into a steady oven, and do not remove the paper under an hour. It will require nearly, if not quite, two hours’ baking.

The novice would best commit the baking to an experienced cook.

A Cup Fruit Cake.

One cupful of washed butter; two cupfuls of powdered sugar; two and a half cupfuls of sifted flour; half a pound each of currants and seeded raisins; a quarter of a pound of shredded citron; a teaspoonful each of cinnamon and grated nutmeg; six eggs.

Cream butter and sugar, add the beaten yolks of the eggs, next the flour and the well-dredged fruit and citron, the spices, and whip upward for one minute before adding the whites of the eggs whipped to a standing froth. Fold them in lightly and quickly.

Half-Pound Christmas Cake.

Half a pound of butter and the same of sugar; half a pound each of currants, raisins and shredded nuts; a quarter pound of clipped citron; one teaspoonful each of powdered nutmeg, mace and cinnamon; one heaping cupful of flour; seven eggs, whites and yolks whipped separately.

Mix as directed in the preceding recipe, being careful to dredge the fruit well. A pleasant flavor is imparted to the cake by mixing a tablespoonful of rosewater with the nuts while mincing them.

Raised Fruit Cake.

Set aside on baking day a cupful of dough that has had the second rising. Work it into a cream made by stirring together a cupful of butter with one of brown sugar. Have at hand half a cupful of raisins and currants dredged with flour and an equal quantity of shredded citron. Mix through the half cupful of fruit half a teaspoonful of cinnamon and half as much powdered mace, and work it well into the dough. This done, beat two eggs very light, yolks and whites together, and knead them into the mass until it is very light. Five minutes should be enough. Finally, mould in to two loaves, throw a cloth over them and set in a rather warm place for twenty minutes before baking.

This is a popular cake with English children, and is sometimes called “Twelfth Night Cake.”

White Fruit Cake.

The following formula for an excellent white fruit cake was contributed by a member of the Exchange:

Put three-quarters of a pound of fresh butter into a basin, and beat until white and creamy. Add by degrees three-quarters of a pound of sifted powdered sugar and beat this mixture for a few minutes. Separate the yolks from the whites of eight eggs; add yolks to butter and sugar and beat again ten minutes. Then stir in half a pound of sultanas, half a pound of raisins seeded and cut into halves; six ounces of glace cherries and candied pineapple, also cut in pieces; a quarter of a pound of almonds (sweet), blanched and baked to a golden brown; the grated rind of a lemon; a saltspoonful of cinnamon (ground) or a wineglassful of brandy.

Whisk the whites of the eight eggs to a stiff froth and mix lightly with the other ingredients. Have ready a pound of flour, sifted, and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder added to it. Scatter it in by degrees, stirring in one handful before the next is added. Bake in a paper lined, buttered tin from two and a half to three hours. Cover the cake with boiled icing. It may be made quite fanciful by pipings of colored icing, glace cherries or other fruit to correspond with the colors used.

T. V. (Lockport, N. Y.).

We are indebted to another—a Massachusetts housemother—for a tested family recipe for what may be ranked as a cousin-german of our empress—to wit, PLUM PUDDING.

Christmas Plum Pudding.

One pound of butter; one pound of suet freed from string and chopped fine; one pound of sugar; two and a half pounds of flour; two pounds of currants, picked over carefully after they are washed; two pounds of raisins seeded, chopped and dredged with flour; one quarter of a pound of citron shredded fine; twelve eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately; one pint of milk; one cup of brandy; one ounce of cloves, one-half ounce of mace; two grated nutmegs. Cream butter and sugar, beat in the yolks when you have whipped them smooth and light; next, put in the milk, then the flour, alternately with the beaten whites; then the brandy and spices; lastly the fruit well dredged with flour.

Mix all thoroughly, wring out your pudding cloth in hot water, flour well inside, pour in the mixture and boil five hours.

MRS. J.O.D. (Hyde Park, Mass.).

After a long vacation the Private Secretary is heard from again, and with a baker’s dozen of practical household hints. Although he persists in calling himself “ a mere man,” it is obvious that he has sowed beside all waters to which housemothers do resort.

Quere: Does his wife prompt him?

“Do you know—

1. That if you will make a strong suds of silicon and very hot water, and wash your silver in it, then pass through another pan of boiling water, and wipe piece by piece, you need never scrub it with powders, that / will, eventually, wear it thin?

2. That if the inside of a silver teapot is darkened by much brewing of mixed tea (it’s the green that does the mischief), you may clean it by putting a teaspoon fill of baking soda into it, filling it with boiling water, and setting it over the fire in a pan of boiling water for five or ten minutes—you may wipe it out clean and bright?

3. That you may clean the pewter-ware bequeathed to you by your great-grand aunt by washing it in boiling water, covering it with a thick paste of woodashes, sifted through mosquito-netting, then mixed with kerosene, and after six or eight hours polishing it with old, soft flannel?

4. That delicate stomachs that cannot digest ham, much less fresh pork, can assimilate thin slices of breakfast bacon?

5. That, while creamed coffee is rank poison to some dyspeptics, nearly everybody is the better for a small cup of black coffee taken after the heaviest meal of the day?

6. That this same black coffee, drunk as hot as one can swallow it, is a prime remedy for nausea, from whatever cause?

7. That matches should never be left in closed houses in paper boxes, since mice are passionately fond of the tips, and often play the incendiary unintentionally?

8. That bananas, peeled, dipped in egg, then rolled in cracker-dust and baked in the oven, are more palatable and far more wholesome than when they are fried in the usual way?

9. That the same may be said of croquettes?

10. That if, in putting away papers and books which are not to be used for some months, you will put camphor balls or gum camphor among them, the mice will not touch them?

11. That silver may be protected from tarnish in like manner?

12. That almost any scorch may be removed from cloths (linen or cotton) by simply washing and boiling in the usual way, and hanging in the hot sun while wet?

13. That, when the fat takes fire on the stove, it is better to sacrifice a kitchen rug by throwing it upon the flame than to try to put it out by throwing water on it? The burning grease will float farther, and blaze more fiercely from the water.

THE PRIVATE SECRETARY,
Camden, N. J.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Caring for Oilcloth
Decorating Closets
A Happy Solution of a Hard Problem
Recipes by Request
Sink Knowledge

Pretty Centrepieces for Thanksgiving Tables & Winter Desserts of Preserved and Canned Fruits

These are the fourth articles in November of the School for Housewives 1906 series published on November 25, 1906. I have transcribed two articles as I did not know which one was the more prominent of the two and thought them both to be interesting.

One article, the shorter, is on dressing a Thanksgiving table while the other is on desserts made of canned fruits.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of Boston Sunday Post.

Pretty Centrepieces for Thanksgiving Tables

WE AMERICANS are little given to sentiment, and we are apt to take our national holidays too much as a matter of course to bestow much thought upon their origin. It seems fitting, however, that in this time of plenty, we should pay some little tribute to the memory of those stern Pilgrim fathers, who nearly 300 years ago set aside a day in which to give thanks for the gathering in of the first harvest in their new country.

There is a pretty custom prevalent in some families on Thanksgiving Day which is worthy of more followers. This is to bring the guests into a table bare of food, decorations, even of a cloth, and with only five grains of corn (for it was for this tiny individual portion that the first Thanksgiving Day was held) lying at each plate. Afterward, of course, the table is spread with all the luxuries and beauties that modern custom demands, and the little lesson in contrasts plants in each heart another note in the swelling song of thanks.

A good dinner is a good thing, but a good dinner daintily served, with charming accessories, is even better, and the successful hostess is she who puts almost as much thought and skill into the arrangement of her table as she does into the planning of her menu.

Fruits and Nuts in Decorations

Fruit, nuts, vegetables and grains form the basis of the true Thanksgiving decorations. If flowers are used, chrysanthemums are the most appropriate, and if you live in a section of the country where the autumn leaves retain their rich coloring until late November, you will find them a charming addition to your table.

A novel centrepiece can be made of a huge yellow pumpkin, to which are fastened great clusters of purple grapes, each bunch concealing a tiny favor. Stick pins, silver bookmarks, any trifle that the grapes will hide, will do for these gifts. Or the pumpkin may be hollowed out and filled with fruit, with candles set at intervals about the edge.

This matter of fastening the candles to the pumpkin is simple enough if you leave a broad rim after you have scooped out the seed and pulp. A sharp knife will cut little sockets, and the candles are made a trifle more secure if the ends are softened by holding them to a lighted match just before they are set into place.

When you don’t care for the candle-trimmed pumpkin, you may scallop the edges, and it is rather effective to suspend a similar pumpkin, scalloped and fruit filled, from the ceiling to a little distance above the one on the table. The cord by which this second pumpkin is hung should be concealed by a clinging green vine, and this vine brought down, twined about the lower pumpkin and across the cloth to each plate, then circling the table, is not to be despised as an aid to beauty.

A more conventional centrepiece is an ordinary flat fruit dish filled with fruit and banked with chrysanthemums. A number of chrysanthemums with very long stems extend from this banking, one ending in front of each guest’s plate. This fruit dish remains in place during the entire meal, the fruit is eaten as a final course, and each guest carries away the chrysanthemum that touched his plate as a souvenir of the occasion.

Corn in the ear makes a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration. If you can get unhusked ears of corn in both yellow and red, lay them about the centerpiece of fruit, flat on the cloth. Strip the husk back from one side so that the gleaming kernels are revealed, then draw the husk over the fruit so that the rich colors of the apples, oranges and grapes gleam through its pale yellow.

The woman who is fortunate enough to be able to get hold of a shock of wheat for her Thanksgiving table has wonderful possibilities at her command. The wheat, loosely bound, with a profusion of fruits apparently falling from it, certainly suggests the richest sort of a harvest. Then she can make her candle shades like miniature shocks of wheat, and she can conceal favors in wheat shocks beside each plate.

Where the autumn leaves are “getable,” a charming effect can be gained by a background of grown leaves, strewn with nuts, from which rises a centerpiece of the usual fruit, banked about with corn and wheat. The dull browns and the pale tints of the grain bring the deeper coloring of the fruits out into unusual beauty.

Candle shades for this table of autumn leaves can be made in the semblance of several richly tinted maple leaves, out of paper, or, what is far more economical and quite as effective, the hostess may make them herself of the real leaves. All she needs forth is purpose are the tiny wire frames, which are sold at a trifling cost, and which, when covered with thin white paper, may be decorated in any manner that falls in with the proposed dinner scheme.

Yellow chrysanthemum shades are pretty, but by no means novel. Tissue-paper pumpkin shades are a delight if they are not beyond the skill of the amateur shademaker, and clusters of grapes twined over green tissue-paper shades are good to look at, but a trifle top-heavy and therefore keep you on the lookout to guard against fires.

If you want something novel in candlesticks, use carrots that have been cut off at one end to make a substantial base, and hollowed out at the other to form a socket; or pumpkins, or even apples, if you can get the big, rosy ones. Candles set in these fancy sticks are better without shades.

Of course, the hostess who is tireless in her ambition need not stop at decorations which are for the table alone. She can carry out her Thanksgiving idea in her salads, in the garnishing of her dishes and in her ices. Her time, strength and pocketbook are the only limitations to her possibilities.

Winter Desserts of Preserved and Canned Fruits

THERE are more possibilities in preserved and canned fruits than are dreamed of in our housewife’s philosophy.

Of course, she knows that the fruits put up last summer during the torrid days, when, perhaps, the flesh groaned under the effort, will be of use for Sunday night teas and for the luncheon on washday or ironing day, when the exigencies of must-be-dones allow little time for the dessert that is only a may-be-done. But on these occasions the fruit is simply “turned out” into a glass bowl and served with sweet crackers, biscuit, or cake. The children may like it, although they soon weary of the cloying sweetness of too many conserves; but John, remembering his mother’s frugalities, suspects a makeshift in the hastily and easily prepared dessert, and does not ask for a second supply—unless he be that rarity among the masculine sex, a man with an inordinately sweet tooth.

In retrospection, those hot July, August and September days (in which she literally won her metaphorical bread in shape of preserved fruits by the sweat of her brow) will seem better worth while to our housewife if she appreciates that at that time she prepared the nucleus of many a delicious winter dessert-—a dessert in which the boys and girls will revel, and of which John will show his approval by that most convincing of phrases, “A little more, if you please, mv dear!” Pies are expensive and indigestible articles—

“Too rich and good
for human nature’s daily food,”

in a family where digestions are delicate and purses even more slender. Pastry of all kinds is to be taken very sparingly by the child one would have escape American dyspepsia. One mother insists that a diet of apple pie makes the small boy’s complexion of the hue of the soggy pastry and his temper and stomach of the acidity of the not-too liberally-sweetened contents of the crust. Occasionally, however, the pie may be introduced into the bill-of-fare, but only as a stranger with whom one has a mere speaking acquaintance, but is not on terms of intimacy. And when it is thus brought forward, it may consist largely of one of the fruits from last summer prepared by the housemother herself.

For this same housemother, remembering with qualms of the diaphragm and indigestion of soul, recent “pure food” investigations, does not often set before her family the tin-can product from the corner grocery. The amber lobes that were once fresh plums, the carefully halved peaches, translucent and shining; the wax-like Bartlett pears, perfect in contour and firm of texture, are, to her, one and all objects of suspicion. They may be pure, and yet, again, they may not—and in her cautious mind the “nots” carry the day. Looking well after the ways of her household, she fears to introduce some deleterious acid into the stomachs of her family, and so does not trust the wares offered by the salesman as “the finest thing in fruit to be found anywhere, 15 cents a can—two for a quarter.”

Our housemother prefers to know just what she gets for her money, and knows that sweet, firm fruit and pure sugar went to the preparation of her preserves which are, let us hope, as sweet now as they were the day she parboiled herself and cooked them against the time when heat and fruit would be expensive luxuries. And just here is it well to remind this same housekeeper that, if her fruits show signs of fermentation, they should not be used, even in pies and puddings. Turn them back into the preserve kettle, add sugar and “cook them over” before serving them in any shape. The little acrid taste that leaves a “tang” on the tongue may leave a worse reminder upon the sensitive mucous membrane lining the stomach.

In the following recipes there are often directions for draining the fruit from the liquor in which it is canned or preserved. Our housewife may save this liquid and make of it excellent pudding sauces.

Plum Batter Pudding.

Drain the liquor from a can of plums and set in an open bowl for an hour. Remove the stones carefully, not to break the fruit.

Sift three teacupfuls of flour with a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder. Beat four eggs very light, add a generous tablespoonful of melted butter, a quart of sweet milk into which a saltspoonful of salt has been stirred, and, lastly, stir in lightly the flour. Have two dozen stoned plums arranged in layers in the bottom of a deep, greased pudding dish, pour in the batter and bake at once in a hot, but steady, oven. While baking, make a hard sauce, flavoring it with vanilla. Serve the pudding with this sauce as soon as baked.

Small Plum Puddings.

Drain and stone the plums as in the last recipe. Put four plums in the bottom of a very deep greased patty pan or very small pie plates. Work into a large cup of flour a scant tablespoonful of butter, add a gill of milk and a little, salt. Work smooth, then spread over the top of the plums. Bake in a quick oven. When ready to serve, loosen the edge of the crust on each tin, and turn upside down on a broad platter. Serve with rich cream.

Cherry Turnovers.

Drain canned or preserved cherries into a pound of flour, and rub a cup of butter. When like a coarse powder, moisten with a teacupful, or less, of iced water, and work to a paste, handling as little as possible. Roll out upon a floured board, fold up and roll out again, and yet once more. If very cold still, use at once. If not, set in the ice chest until chilled. Chop the cherries (from which the pits must have been removed, unless this was done before canning them), add two beaten eggs and the juice of one lemon. Roll out the paste, and cut into rounds the size of a large biscuit. Put a tablespoonful of the mixture on one-half of the round, and turn the other half over upon the fruit and itself, pinching the edges together. Lay these half-circles in a floured baking pan and bake to a golden brown. These are good, hot or cold. Sift powdered sugar over them before serving.

Cherry Bread Pudding.

Drain the liquor from a can of stoned cherries, and chop these small. Cut the crust from a loaf of bread, and slice thin, then spread each slice with the chopped cherries. Pack all into a deep dish, and pour slowly over the bread—allowing time for it to soak in well—the liquor from the cherries. Set aside in the ice-box for some hours, or until the juice is thoroughly absorbed by the bread. Make a custard of three eggs, a pint of milk and sugar to taste, and pour this over the bread. If this quantity does not fill the dish, add more milk, for the bread must be entirely covered with the custard. Put a plate or cover on the bread to keep it under the custard, and bake until the custard is set. Serve with powdered sugar and cream.

Steamed Cherry Pudding.

Make a batter of a pint of milk, a tablespoonful of melted butter and two well-beaten eggs. Add three cups of flour that has been sifted with a teaspoonful of baking powder and a pint of cherries that have been drained from the liquor in the can. Dredge the fruit well with flour and stir it in lightly. Turn into a greased mould and steam for three hours. Eat with a hard sauce flavored with the cherry liquor.

Raspberry Pudding.

Open a can of canned or preserved raspberries, and drain off the liquor, saving it for sauce for the pudding. Make a rich biscuit dough: roll this into a sheet a half inch thick, spread thickly with the berries, sprinkle bits of butter over these and roll up the sheet of dough as you would a sheet of music. Put into a floured cloth and boil for three hours. Add to the raspberry liquor a little sugar and boil up once. Take the pudding from the cloth, lay on a dish and pour the steaming sauce over it.

Rhubarb Pie.

Drain the liquor from a can of rhubarb and chop this. Add to it a half cup of sugar, the yolk of an egg, a piece of butter the size of a walnut and a tablespoonful of flour. Moisten with three tablespoonfuls of the rhubarb liquor and bake in an open piecrust. When done, make a meringue of the white of the egg and sugar, spread this on the pie and return it to the oven just long enough to “set” the meringue. Eat cold.

Rhubarb Pudding.

Drain the canned rhubarb and put a layer of it in the bottom of a greased pudding dish. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, add a few drops of lemon juice and dot with bits of butter. Now put in a layer of crumbs and moisten these with the liquor from the can of rhubarb. Put in more rhubarb, sugar and butter and more moistened crumbs. Continue in this way until the dish is full, having the top layer of dried and buttered crumbs. Cover and bake for fifteen minutes in a hot oven, then uncover and brown. Serve hot with hard sauce.

Huckleberry Shortcake.

Into a quart of flour chop a tablespoonful of butter and work in a half cup of powdered sugar. Add three cups of milk and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Mix to a soft dough, handling as little as possible. Roll out, and cut into rounds that will fit in two layer-cake tins. Bake in a quick oven. When these two biscuits are done, turn out, split open and spread with butter. Have ready the contents of a can of huckleberries, drained and heated, and spread each layer thickly with these. Place the rounds on top of each other, pour the remaining berries and liquid over the top round and serve at once.

Dutch Peach Cake.

Drain the liquor from a can of peaches, and, if not already stoned, stone them, cut into strips or eighths, and set in the colander to drain well while you make the cake.

Sift with a pint of flour two teaspoonfuls of baking powder and a half teaspoonful of salt. Into this stir a beaten egg and a teacupful of milk. Grease a loaf tin and put in the dough, then press the pieces of peaches into the top of the loaf, laying them close together. Sprinkle with bits of butter, and dust all with sugar, adding but a little of this, as the peaches are already sweetened. Bake until done, and serve with whipped cream or, alone, as a cake.

Peach Tapioca.

Soak a cup of pearl tapioca until clear and soft. Cut up canned peaches into bits. There should be eight or ten of these peaches if large in size and a cup of their liquor. Boil the tapioca in a pint of water. When tender, add the peaches and liquor, and stir while the mixture comes to a boil, then remove immediately from the fire. When cold, set in the ice until wanted. Serve with cream.

Peaches and Cream.

Drain the liquor from halved preserved or brandied peaches, and set on the ice until very cold. Beat a pint of cream very light, sweetening it as you do so, and whipping into it a half cup of blanched and chopped almonds. Arrange the halves of the peaches on a chilled platter, and fill the cavity left by the stone in each half with the whipped- cream mixture, heaping this high.

Keep in the fire until ready to serve. Pass fresh sponge cake with this dessert. This makes an attractive and delicious company dessert. It is still prettier if a Maraschino cherry top each mound of whipped cream.

Apple Whip.

Chop canned apples very small, or, better still, if you have canned apple sauce, use that. Rub through a colander. Beat the whites of four eggs to a stiff meringue, and add gradually to this a pint of the minced apples, adding, also, a dash of lemon juice and a little sugar, if needed. Line a glass bowl with ladyfingers and fill the bowl with this mixture. When serving, put a great spoonful of cream on each portion.

Strawberry Souffle.

Drain the liquor from a can of preserved or canned strawberries. Beat the whites of seven eggs to a stiff froth, adding the berries gradually. Turn into greased pudding dish and bake for a half hour in a steady oven. Serve at once with whipped cream.

Strawberry Jelly.

Soak a half box of gelatine in a little water, and, when the gelatine is dissolved, add a cup of the liquid in which strawberries were canned, and the berries themselves. Stir for a moment, pour into a wet mould, and set aside until cold, then put in the icebox. When turned out, the berries will be at the top of the form, the pink jelly at the bottom. Turn upon a platter and heap whipped cream about the base of the form.

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
The Housemothers’ Exchange