Sunday, November 2, 2014

"A Foretaste of Winter"

Cosy fire a-burning bright, ----
Cosy tables robed in white, ----
Dainty dishes smoking hot, ----
Home! and cold and snow forgot!

"Say, but it's cold today!" called Bob at the door.  "Frost tonight all right!  I was glad I took my overcoat this morning.  Have you had a fire all day?"

"Yes, indeed," said Bettina, "And I've spent most of the afternoon cleaning my furs with cornmeal, and fixing those new comforters for the sleeping porch, and putting away some of the summer clothing."

"I believe we will need those new comforters tonight.  How are you fixing them?"

"I was basting a white cheese-cloth edge, about twelve inches wide, along the width that goes at the head of the bed, you know.  It's so easy to rip off and wash, and I like to have all my comforters fixed that way.  I was cleaning my old furs, too, to cut them up.  I'm planning to have a fur edge on my suit this winter.  I don't believe you'll know the furs, the suit, or Bettina when you see the combination we will make together!  Fur is the thing this year, you know."

"Couldn't you spare me a little to transform my overcoat?  I'd like to look different, too!"

"Silly!  Come along to the kitchen!  There's beefsteak tonight (won't it taste good?) and I want you to cook it, while I'm getting the other things on the table.  I didn't expect you quite so soon."

That night for dinner they had:

Beefsteak       Creamed Potatoes
Devilled Tomatoes
Rolls               Butter
Plum Sauce
Bettina's Drop Cookies

Bettina's Recipes
(All measurements are level)

Creamed Potatoes  (Two portions)

1 c. diced cooked potatoes
1 T green pepper, chopped fine
1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/4 t. salt

Melt the butter, add the flour and salt, mix well, and add the milk slowly.  Cook until creamy, and add the potatoes and the chopped green pepper.  Serve very hot.

Devilled Tomatoes (Two portions)

2 tomatoes
2 T. flour
1 T. lard
1/8 t. salt
1 T. butter
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. mustard
1/8 t. salt
A pinch of paprika
1 hard-cooked egg
1/2 t. flour
2 T. vinegar
1 T. water

Peel the tomatoes, cut in half and sprinkle with flour.  Place the lard in the frying-pan, and when hot, add the tomatoes.  Brown nicely on both sides, and sprinkle with salt.  When brown, place on a hot platter and pour over them the following sauce:  Sauce -- place the butter in a pan, add the sugar, mustard, salt and paprika, the egg cut fine, and the flour.  Mix well, add the vinegar and water.  Heat, allow to boil one minute, and then pour over the tomatoes.  (If the sauce seems too thick when it has boiled one minute, add a little more water).

Drop Cookies (Twenty-four cookies)

1/3 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. sour milk
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped raisins
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t.  baking powder

Cream the butter, add the sugar, then the whole egg.  Mix well. Add the sour milk and the vanilla.  Mix the baking powder, soda and flour well, add the raisins and add to the first mixture.  Beat well.  Drop from a spoon onto a buttered and floured pan, leaving three inches between the cookies.  Bake fifteen minutes in a moderate oven.

Thrifty Bettina!  She's not only found a way to recycle last year's furs and keep from having to wash heavy comforters in cold weather, she's also using up the last of the leftover spuds and some milk that has gone off. 

That sauce ought to perk up limp. tasteless late fall tomatoes, too (although if she were really thrifty she'd make a scallop using stale bread-crumbs and the canned tomatoes she put up in August).

From A Thousand Ways To Please A Husband; the Romance of Cookery and Housekeeping, by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles leCron, 1917.

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