Sunday, November 4, 2012

Food for The Traveler

The title of this cookbook puzzled me, as it is a short work dedicated to what was known one hundred years ago as “rational eating,” a movement dedicated to breaking the Americans and British from their heavy Victorian diets.

I was hoping to find information on preserved and desiccated foods, emergency rations for travelers and others, but instead was presented with a set of recommended diets, broken down for the aged, students at college, brain workers, etc.   Here are some recommended dinners for young children and although I myself am childless, all I can say is good luck getting kids to eat this.  The author must have hated children.


One-half orange, one ounce boiled fish, one-half of an apple, toast.
One half of an apple, one or two eggs, one to two tablespooons raw rylax*.
Cereal salad with carrots and fish.
Legume soup, butter and bread, raw carrots.
Well boiled macaroni, two tablespoons of cold grated cheese.
Light rice with cold grated Swiss cheese
Cereal salad with apple and eggs.
Lettuce, baked potatoes, beechnut bacon and one egg.
Mashed carrots, two tablespoons of young peas, bacon.
String beans with stale bread and butter, bacon and egg.

There’s more, much more, here at Project Gutenberg.

*I have been unable to find out what raw rylax is but I am hoping it is not a laxative compound made of rye flour.


Joyce said...

Cereal salad with carrots and fish? And what's with all the cold grated cheese?

Shay said...

Joyce, there's a certain brutality about these menus that disturbs me.

Anonymous said...

A potato salad with bacon and egg on a bed of lettuce would have been OK, but deadly by themselves. I think this was probably an overreaction to the Victorians' excesses. I have a recipe book that my grandfather got from a cook on board a ship he worked on. It has more recipes for oysters than I've ever seen, and recipes that go: take a pound of butter and fry a dozen eggs in it until yolks are set. Serve with a mixture of kidney, sausage and bacon fried in butter and bacon fat.
Before antibiotics, mothers used to purge everyone. Perhaps rylax was kinder than sulphur and molasses?


I think I would rather have gone hungry than eat boiled fish. If there was a dog around, it would have been well fed.

GDad said...

According to a book on Google Books, "RYLAX FLAKES is a cereal food made from western grown Rye, slected, screend, scoured, given a steam bath, then rolled thing as a wafer."

Source: This link (I hope it works)

Shay said...

GDad. Sounds ghastly, especially without milk or something else to wash it down.

Anon. Yeah, I've seen those menus as well. No wonder so many Edwardians had gout.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a revolt against the heavy cuisine and of the times, aiming for purity and nutrition.
What that menu really illustrates is the limited selections or grains and produce availabale when that was written. Just look at the components and it's quite healthy.
But use some imagination, especially with the wider choices and more efficient stoves available now and one could eat well ...

Beech-nut bacon was regular bacon very thinly sliced & vacuum packed.

I suspect the "cold grated cheese" just means a simple nutritious grated cheese as opposed to a heavy cheese sauce.

For example, "Cereal salad" Tabouleh, wheat berries, brown rice, quinoa, barley. I can think of plenty of tasty things to make.

Boiled fish - poached, steamed, grilled. baked, broiled. Anyway, I'm no nutrition nazi - sautee in butter and olive oil with garlic!

Legume soup - there are a hundred delicious soup recipes for beans, lentils, etc. And a small ham hock will flavor a lot of soup. Roast veggies before adding to soup to intensify the flavor of the veggies.

Lettuce: there are a hundred lovely salad greens these days.

mashed carrots - there are many root vegetables that can used here. Bake instead of steaming or boiling for more instense flavor. Again, no reason why it couldn't be sauteed or fried with a dab of butter or bacon fat and finished off with a touch of brown susgar.

Raw carrots and other raw vegetables- mix yogurt and mayo together, season with curry powder and some garlic for a dip, want to keep it light? Use mostly yogurt, but some mayo makes it nicer.
Home made mayonaise tastes so good, you will use a lot less of it.

As for what kids will eat, I loved savory food, anchivies and lots of garlic when I was a kid. I thought mashed veggies was for babies. I liked it in identifiable pieces. A lot of kids who are picky eaters do it for attention. Most of the kids I know couldn't get away with that junk and they eat like adults, with the usual kid fondness for purple candy and sugar treats when they can get it.