Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Tale Of Two Sundays - February

From 52 Sunday Dinners, on the first Sunday in February, 1927, the following menu was suggested: Cream of Pea Soup with Toasted Crackers, Cold Roast Leg of Lamb with Heated Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Mashed Yellow Turnips, Tomato Sauce, Celery, Cucumber Pickles and Apple Tapioca Pudding with Whipped Cream.

Cream of Pea Soup

“Rinse a can of peas with cold water and keep out ¼ cup. Simmer the remainder of the can with a slice of onion, small bay leaf, a little parsley, teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, 2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes, then put through strainer, mashing through as much of the pulp as possible. Bring a pint of milk to scald in double boiler, thicken with tablespoon butter blended with 1 ½ tablespoons flour, and when the milk is creamy add the peas, etc. Stir well, and just before serving add the whole peas.”

Apple Tapioca Pudding with Whipped Cream

“Pare, core and quarter 3 or 4 tart apples and put in a deep dish to bake. To a pint of milk allow 2 tablespoons tapioca that does not need soaking, and cook in double boiler until tapioca looks clear. Break 2 eggs into a bowl, add ½ cup sugar, a pinch of salt, and beat until foamy, then add a teaspoon of lemon extract, and stir into the cooked tapioca. When the apples are tender turn over them the tapioca mixture, and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Serve cold with the whipped cream, which may be slightly sweetened and flavored with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.”

Mrs Berolzheimer's recommended menu for Sunday the 1st of February 1953 offers a Lincoln’s Birthday Dinner consisting of a Grapefruit, Pomegranate and Blueberry Appetizer Salad, Fried Chicken, Buttered Steamed Barley, Harvard Beets, Pumpkin Pie, Coffee and Milk. I think the appetizer was the closest thing to a red-white-and-blue salad she and her myrmidons could devise. They offer no recipe with that title in the accompanying 500 Salads book; perhaps the hostess was supposed to sprinkle this grapefruit salad with blueberries and pomegranate seeds?

Grapefruit Appetizer Salad

“Remove seeds from halves of grapefruit. Cut around inside edge as close to shell as possible. Separate grapefruit segments from membrane, cut out remaining membrane and arrange romaine, escarole or chicory around inside of shell. Cut grapefruit segments into pieces and heap up in shell. Serve with French dressing.”

Note: French dressing, at this time in American culinary history, referred not to the red ketchup-like stuff we know today, but rather a plain oil and vinegar dressing.

Of the two menus, I think I’d go with 1927 again, although my leg of lamb would be served hot and without the tomato sauce.


Packrat said...

Again, thanks! I wonder if tomato sauce is like apple sauce or rhubarb sauce - basically meaning stewed tomatoes? That makes more sense, doesn't it?

Shay said...

Stewed or scalloped tomatoes would make sense from a nutritional point of view!

Judith said...

French Dressing is still the oil/vinegar/salt/sugar/mustard powder mix here in the UK, but what on earth is the red ketchup like version?
I know ketchup but I'm intrigued by the french dressing version.

Shay said...

Judith; scroll down to Interpretations for explanation of U.S.-style French dressing.

Judith said...

Thanks for the explanation, sounds quite odd to me but then if it was all that was offered you would accept it as normal.