Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chafing Dish Possibilities

“The chafing dish of to-day has accomplished much as a civilizer, seeming to rekindle the flames of hospitality and to elevate the standard of cookery.  Who can doubt its permanent stay!

The broader and more valuable use of the chafing dish has asserted itself, and now it is found in the well-conducted home, where it’s appearance at the breakfast table means the cooking of eggs to perfection; at the lunch table, the savory rechauffé.  The chafing dish should not find a place on the table when a ceremonial dinner is served; but in the household where but one maid is kept, the Thursday night meal is often anticipated on account of its use.

The best grade of alcohol,known as high proof spirits, is recommended for chafing dish use.  It gives more heat, burns without an odor, and proves less expensive than an inferior qulity.  It is taken for granted that alcohol is to furnish the fuel, for the days of live coals and oil have passed away, and the days of gas and electricity are not yet at hand for those of moderate means.”

Scotch Woodcock.  Melt three tablespoons butter, and one and one-half tablespoons flour, and pour on gradually one cup milk.  Add one-foruth teaspoon salt, a few grains of cayenne and anchovy essence.  Add four hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped, and serve on slices of toast.

Oyster Fricassee.  Clean one pint oysters, reserve liquor, heat to boiling point, and strain through double thickness of cheese-cloth.  Add oysters to liquor, and cook until plump, then remove with a skimmer.  Add enough cream to liquor to make one cup.  Melt two tablespoons butter, add two tablespoons flour, and pour on gradually the liquid.  Add one-fourth teaspoon salt, a few grains cayenne, one teaspoon finely chopped parsley, the oysters, and one egg slightly beaten.  Serve on toast.

Shrimp Wiggle.  Melt four tablespoons butter, and add three tablespoons flour mixed with one-half teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper.  Pour on gradually one and one-half cups milk.  As soon as sauce thickens, add one cup shrimps, broken in pieces, and one cup canned peas, drained from their liquor and thoroughly rinsed.

Hash Balls.  Chop cold cooked, corned beef from which the skin, gristle, and most of the fat have been removed.  Add an equal quantity of cold boiled potatoes, chopped and seasoned with salt, pepper, and onion juice.  Moisten with milk or cream, make into small flat cakes, and cook in a hot buttered blazer.  Brown on one side, turn, and brown other side.

Chafing Dish Possibilities, by Fannie Merrit Farmer, published 1904.  Free download in various formats available at

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