Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Sundays - Easter

From 1927; Chicken en Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Buttered New Carrots, Hot Biscuits, Perfection Salad with Mayonnaise, Angel Sponge Cake, Strawberries and Cream, Coffee. Easter was on April 17th, that year. If you lived in the North or Midwest, your strawberries would have to be imported from warmer climates, and consequently rather dear. The rest of the menu is surprisingly subdued, without the ham or lamb that is traditionally part of American Easter feasts. The directions for Angel Sponge Cake are a little alarming.

“Beat 2 whole eggs so that they will hold sugar, then add 1 cup granulated sugar and beat for 20 minutes, adding the sugar a little at a time. Add with more beating ½ cup boiling water. Sift, then measure 1 cup fine cake flour, and sift 3 times more with 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar; add to the egg mixture. Flavor to suit the taste, lemon is usually preferred, and bake for 40 minutes in an ungreased pan, an angel cake pan is good. Place cake in a very slow oven until it has raised, then increase the heat gradually until it has browned. Be sure to leave it in the oven for the time limit, for it must be turned upside down on 2 supports and the cake allowed to hang until it is cold. If batter is not properly baked at bottom cake will fall out.”

From 1953; Fruit Cup, Baked Ham, Potatoes and Peas in Cream, Cucumber Pinapple Aspic Salad, Frozen Apricot Shortcake, Coffee, Milk.

My copy of 250 Delectable Desserts is missing the Frozen Apricot Shortcake recipe, but here is one for Apricot Angel Cream.

1 cup cooked sieved dried apricots
2/3 cup sugar
Grated rind of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
¼ cup water
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

“Combine apricots, sugar and lemon rind. Soften gelatin in water and dissolve over hot water. Add to apricot mixture and blend. Pour into refrigerator tray and chill until slightly thickened. Remove, beat until light and fold in whipped cream. Continue freezing until firm.”

I like both menus, except for the gelatin salads. It’s a little early for asparagus, but it would be worth looking for. Steamed asparagus, chilled, tossed with a vinaigrette dressing and chopped hard-boiled egg, would make a lovely salad.

(Free vintage ecards here).


Packrat said...

New carrots would have been rather difficult to come by, too.

Our grandmothers would have waved a hand in the oven to tell the temperature of it. Aren't we spoiled?

Packrat said...

PS - (I'm out of it!) Happy Easter.