Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quantity Cookery; Menu Planning And Cooking For Large Numbers, 1922

"Well-balanced and appropriate menus are absolutely necessary to the success of any establishment serving food. Given the best of raw materials and the most competent cooks, the institutional manager will fail to please his patrons if his menus show lack of careful planning. The truth of this assertion is verified by the analysis of many failures...The age, sex, nationality, economic condition and occupation of the patrons must be kept in mind. The adult demands a freedom of choice which may be denied children. For this reason the content of the grade school lunch may be fixed in an arbitrary way, while this will not do when one is dealing with adults of any class. For instance, grade school children are satisfied with the morning bowl of bread and milk and the noon lunch of bread and soup. Adults, even in a charitable home, would undoubtedly complain of the simplicity of such meals. The high school lunchroom may eliminate coffee from its menu and have frequent "pieless" days. Any such attempts to regulate the diet of adults, except for patriotic reasons such as were the incentive to denial during the war, are highly inadvisable."


Though it may be necessary to offer slightly more choice in foods in the commercial cafeteria, some cafeterias offer such a wide variety of choice that the patron is confused and has difficulty in choosing his meal. Furthermore too much variety makes for sameness from day to day. In all cafeterias where the same group is served each day, and where there is little or no competition, a simpler menu may be used. The following menu outline is suggested for use in the average cafeteria.

A Standard Form for Cafeteria Menu

1 soup
2 meats
(1 meat substitute)
1 kind of potatoes
2-3 vegetables
1-2 hot breads
1-2 sandwiches
2-3 salads
2-3 relishes
6-8 desserts
4 beverages

One inexpensive meat should be served in each meal.
 Two made-over meats should not be served in the same meal.
Two kinds of beef or pork or two kinds of any other variety of meat should not be served in the same meal.
Creamed potatoes may be served with meat lacking gravy or sauce.
It is seldom advisable to serve mashed potatoes unless there is a meat gravy to offer with them.

When possible one vegetable should be starchy and one should be succulent.
Two creamed or two fried or two buttered vegetables should not be served in the same meal.

Raised breads and quick breads give a good variety.

There should be at least one inexpensive salad.
The variety in salads may consist of one fruit salad, one vegetable salad and one salad in which protein predominates, such as cottage cheese, meat or fish.
Head lettuce salad is universally popular and may appear at every meal.
In salad dressings, there should always be a cooked dressing, French dressing and mayonnaise. Other varieties may be added as desired.

Variety in desserts includes:
Fruit in some form.
A pudding with a dough or bread foundation.
Two cold puddings.
One kind of ice cream.
One kind of cake.
One kind of pie.

One-crust and two-crust pies should so far as possible be alternated in successive menus.
Two or more kinds of pie may be demanded, but when possible patrons should be educated to other choices in desserts.

Milk should be served in bottles (with provision for opening).

(Recommended menus for cafeterias, tearooms, and special events, along with planning charts and recipes, can be found at Project Gutenberg).


Packrat said...

This was interesting. Thanks. :)

H J Hess said...

Having seen the offerings during my children's school years, I can say only that the 1922 cafeteria menus were far more splendid and appetizing. I am sure my children would agree.

Packrat said...

I agree with HJ. The lunches served at the schools here are a travesty.