Sunday, December 9, 2012

What To Serve For Dinner on the Second Sunday of December, 1913

There are at least two versions of Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners, and this one, printed in 1913, is available for download from Project Gutenberg.  It is a promotional cookbook, touting the virtues of a Crisco-like product called "Cottolene," which kind of makes one wonder what it's made from.

(Leaving aside the dubious antecedents, I'm not a fan of food cooked exclusively in vegetable shortening although there are dishes where it has it's place).

My 1920's copy has shed such tawdry associations, but the type of dinner considered suitable for Sunday fare changes remarkably little in the fifteen years between the two books -- the 20's version uses a few more convenience products but for the most part, everything was lovingly and laboriously produced "from scratch."

Three vegetables, plus the leg of mutton and the rice, after a delicious-sounding but heavy soup that would make an entire meal for a modern diner.  And Fig Pudding for afters, perhaps as a nod to the season.


1 cup chopped washed figs
1/3 cup Cottolene 
3 eggs well-beaten
2 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Grated rind of half an orange.

PROCESS:  Cover bread crumbs with milk.  Mix Cottolene with figs.  To the milk mixture add eggs, sugar, salt and orange rind; combine mixtures.  Beat thoroughly and turn into a well-greased tube mold; cover and steam three hours.  Serve with Brandy or Vanilla Sauce.


Joyce said...

I just looked Cottolene up on Wikipedia: cottonseed oil and beef tallow.

Another reason to be happy I didn't live a hundred years ago...

Bunnykins said...

So, updated figgy pudding with the smart, new Cottolene instead of suet and without the raisins. I didn't think cottonseed oil was edible. Wiki says it's the primary ingredient in Crisco. Who knew?

As for the oysters, anyone else see news about the problems the growers in Washington state are having with the more acidic ocean waters killing the oyster seed? Enjoy them now, if you like them.

Shay said...

Fortunately I'm not fond of oysters, but once the oysters are killed off the rest of the shellfish will start to go and that will make me very sad.

Anonymous said...

Just substitute Crisco, margarine or old fashioned beef suet and the pudding is fine.
Now a days, crisco shortening is made of Soybean and palm oils.