Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category


Housewives Recipes

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The Fort Dodge Messenger & Chronicle: March 31, 1916

Housewives Recipes

Fort Dodge Women Contribute Tested Receipes in the Culinary Art.


Lamb Chops
Sweet Potato au Gratin
Cole Slaw
Brown Bread
Brown Betty

Sweet potato au gratin

5 medium sized cold boiled sweet potatoes, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper, milk, one cup breadcrumbs. Cut the potatoes in to 1-3 inch slices. Put a layer in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Dot over with butter. Add second layer of sweet potatoes, add milk to cover. Add buttered crumbs and bake until brown.

Fish Balls With Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 cups fish flakes, 3 cups potatoes, 2 tablespoonfuls butter, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/2 can tomatoes, 1/2 onion, 3 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoonful butter, 1 tablespoonful flour.

Put the potatoes (cut in small pieces) and fish in a stew pan, cover with boiling water and cook until the potatoes are done. Drain off the water, then mash and beat until very light. Add the milk and butter and season with pepper and salt. Next the unbeaten egg and whip until light. Shape into balls, roll in egg and sifted bread crumbs, then fry in smoking-hot fat for just a moment. Drain on soft paper.

Tomato sauce – Stew the tomatoes, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf ten minutes, then rub through a sieve. Cook the flour and butter in a saucepan until bubbly; add the tomatoes slowly. Season with salt and pepper and pour around fish balls. The entire cost of fish balls and sauce enough for a family of four will not exceed twenty-five cents. (Editor’s note: The twenty-five cent meal would be around $4.95 today. Remember this was wartime, and economizing and saving meat were important. In addition, this was published during Lent, so that was another reason to save meat.)

Lentil Cropuettes

1 cup lentils, 1/2 cup water, 1 stalk celery, 1/2 onion, 3 sprigs parsley, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoonfuls flour, 2 tablespoonfuls butter, 2-3 cup milk, 1 egg. (Editor’s note: I’m honestly not sure if the milk is 2 to 3 cups or 2/3 cup, since there is a hyphen in the original article. I lean toward 2/3 cup because it’s not plural.)

Soak over night the lentils, celery, onion and parsley. In the morning cook to a pulp, strain through a sieve, add bread crumbs, egg and salt and pepper to taste. Make a sauce by creaming together the flour and butter and pouring on gradually the milk. Bring to the boiling point, add the lentils mixture and mix thoroughly. When cool, form into balls, dip in egg and crumbs and fry in deep, hot fat. The recipe should serve at least three people. This dish is a splendid substitute for meat.

(Editor’s note: There are more recipes, which I will add later and then remove this note.)


Thanksgiving Day Without Turkeys

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 26, 1903

Thanksgiving Day Without Turkeys

To Take Place in Fort Dodge This Year if Present Scarcity Continues.

The Price Will Be High

Scarcity Due to Wet Weather – Other Items of Interest in Markets.

Thanksgiving turkeys will be scarce and high this year, dealers saying that they look for an unwonted famine in the supply of the birds which are the primary requisite to every well ordered Thanksgiving dinner table.

The wet, rainy, chilly weather this summer has been responsible for so much mischief already, it is said to have well nigh exterminated the young turkeys, who are unable to make much headway in dampness. For this reason not near as many as usual of the popular birds are roaming the fields and woods this fall.

Twenty cents a pound was the average price last season but housewives cannot expect to buy them for that figure this fall. Fortunately this condition of affairs is only local, that is in Iowa. The eastern states where the country’s chief supply is raised, has had fine turkey weather this summer, so that the American people in general will not on Thanksgiving have to forego the delights of  the fowl which when placed in a platter on the festive board makes such a harmonious companion piece to cranberry sauce.


Household Recipes

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The Webster County Gazette: May 9, 1878

Household Recipes

Rice Pudding. – To each quart of milk one tablespoon of rice, sugar to taste; bake three hours. Frequent stirring makes the pudding creamy.

Boiled Batter Pudding. – One pint of milk, two eggs, one ounce of butter, one teaspoonful salt, eight heaping tablespoonfuls flour; boil one and a quarter hours.

Macaroons. – One and one-quarter pounds powdered sugar, one pound sweet almonds bleached and pounded to a paste, whites of six eggs, grated peel of two lemons.

Imperial Cake. – One pound of flour, one of sugar, one of butter, one of raisins, blanched almonds, split, ten eggs, three-quarters of a ound of citron, one wine-glass of brandy, and one of rose-water.

Snow Sponge Cake. – One cupful of flour, a little heated, one and one-half cupfuls sugar, two teaspoonfuls cream tartar, mixed with flour (no soda), whites of ten eggs. This makes a very white, beautiful cake.

Dried Apple Jelly. – To one quart of apples put four quarts of water; let them stand all night; boil till the goodness is out of hte apples; add a pint of sugar to every quart of juice, and boil till it comes to a jelly.

Indian Pudding. – One flat cup yellow Indian meal, one quart boiling milk poured upon it; allow it to cool; add two eggs, well beaten, and one teaspoon baking powder; a metingue (sic) top, if liked, bake twenty minutes.

Baked Suet Pudding. – One-half pound beef suet, chopped fine; one pint milk, three eggs; salt to taste, flour enough to make thin batter. Bake half an hour and serve hot. Sauce: One and a half cups powdered sugar; tablespoonful butter, white of one egg, one teaspoonful vanilla.

Molasses Fruit Cake. – One large cup sugar, one of molasses, one small cup sour milk, one teaspoonful soda dissolved in the milk, one-half pound butter, three eggs, one and a half pounds raising and currants, one-quarter pound citron, one nutmeg, one tablespoonful cloves.

Blanc Mange. – One package gelatin, two quarts of milk poured boiling hot on the gelatine (sic), which must previously have been soaked one hour in a pint of water; add twelve teaspoonfuls crushed sugar. Stir all until quite dissolved; then pour into molds and stand in a cool place.

Yorkshire Pudding. – One quart of milk, six eggs, a little salt, and as much flour as will make a stiff batter; pour into a dripping pan (meat pan), putting a few pieces of dripping on it here and there; bake for an hour. In Yorkshire, where the meat turns on a spit in front of the fire, the pudding is placed underneath the beef and receives the gravy as it drips.

Beef Sandwich. – Scrape a little raw beef from a tender, juicy piece, and spread it on a thin slice of buttered bread; season with pepper and salt, and cover it with another slice of buttered bread; divide it into small pieces of equal shape and size, and strip off the crust. Raw beef is very nutritious, and easily digested, and if scraped very fine, is exceedingly nutritious.


Household Recipes

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The Webster County Gazette: April 26, 1878

Household Recipes

Lemon Jelly Cake

Two cups sugar, two thirds cup butter, half cup of water cold, three and a half cups flour, two teaspoonsful baking powder, whites of seven eggs. For jelly between each layer, two eggs, two grated lemons, one cup sugar, small piece of butter. If the rind of your lemon is bitter, do not use the rind. Cook and stir.

To Prepare Lard to Keep Through the Summer

To one gallon of lard put one ounce of sal soda dissolved in a gill of water. Do not fill your kettles more than half full, for it will foam and perhaps boil over. No other water is required than what the soda is dissolved in. When it is done it will be very clear, and will keep two years. Strain through a coarse cloth and set away.

A Cheap Pudding

Select two deep earthen dishes, fill one with tart apples cut fine and half a pint of water or less. Cover the apples with a tender crust, then turn the empty dish over it and cook fifteen or twenty minutes in a hot oven. Do not remove the cover until the moment the pudding is to be eaten, and have it done at the right time. Serve with cream and sugar, or other sauce.

Baked Ham

Make a thick paste of flour and water (not boiled) and cover the entire ham with it, bone and all, put in a pan, on a spider or two muffin rings or anything that will keep it an inch from the bottom and bake in a hot oven. If a small ham, fifteen minutes to a pound, if large twenty minutes. The oven should be hot when put in. The paste forms a hard crust around the ham, and the skin comes off with it. Try this and you will never cook a ham in any other way. (Editor’s note: The words in italics are my best guess, as the copy was obscured.)

To Boil Rice

Rice to be used as a vegetable, should never be served mushy. The grains should be separate. Wash the rice in two or three waters until it is perfectly white and clean. To every cupful of rice add one and one half cupsful of water and a little salt. Boil until you see little dimples on the top; take off the cover and push the pipkin (in which it should be boiled) one side on the range or stove, where it will keep hot but not cook, until the moisture evaporates. Don’t stir it unless you wish to use it as a poultice.

Selecting Flour

First look to the color; if it is white, with a yellowish colored tint, buy it; If it is white with a bluish cast, or with white specs in it, refuse it. Second examine its adhesiveness – wet and knead a little of it between your fingers – it is works soft an sticky it is poor. Third, throw a little lump of dried flour against a smooth surface; if it falls like powder it is bad. Fourth, squeeze some of the flour tightly in your hand, if it retains the shape given by the pressure, that, too, is a good sign. It is safe to buy flour that will stand these tests.

Recipe for Preserving Eggs

Take of good salt one half pint; unslacked (sic) lime a piece the size of a tea cup; put both in a jar or tub; pour into the vessel two gallons of boiling water; let it stand  till perfectly cool then put in your eggs. Be sure they are  fresh and clean. Care must be taken not to crack any of them in putting them in, as they will spoil immediately, and spoil the others. Keep the eggs entirely covered with the brine and keep in a cool place, the cooler the better, if they don’t freeze. Two much salt will harden the yolkes. I have heard of eggs being kept good for two years in this way, by a commission merchant. – Mrs. G.A.D.

(Editor’s note:

  • Sal soda is sodium carbonite.
  • A gill is about 4 ounces.
  • According to Wikipedia, a pipkin is an earthenware cooking pot used for cooking over direct heat from coals or a wood fire. It has a handle and three feet.
  • I don’t recommend using the four methods for testing flour before buying – it won’t make  you popular in the local grocery stores.
  • Unslaked lime is calcium oxide.)

Household Recipes

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The Webster County Gazette: April 19, 1878

Household Recipes

For Scotch cake, take one pound brown sugar, one pound flour, half pound butter, two eggs, one teaspoonful cinnamon; roll very thing, and bake.

“Apaquinimies” are made as follows: Yolks of two eggs, one pint flour, one-half pint milk, two teaspoonfuls butter, a little salt; roll very thin, like wafers, and bake.

Sauces should possess decided character and whether sharp or sweet, savory or plain, they should carry out their (indecipherable word) in a distinct manner, although, of course, not so much flavored as to make them too piquant on the one hand, or too mawkish on the other.

brown sauces, generally speaking, should scarcely be so thick as white sauces; and it is well to bear in mind that all those which are intended to mask the various dishes of poultry or meat should be of a sufficient consistency to slightly adhere to to (sic) the fowls or joints over which they are poured. for browning and thickening sauces, etc., browned flour nay (sic) be properly employed.

To use up cold meat: I. Prepare your meat as for has; fill a deep dish with maccaroni (sic); on top of that place the hash; cover it with tomatoes, over which sprinkle with bread crumbs, with a little butter; bake until nicely browned. II. Prepare meat as for hash; make it in rolls (like a sausage) by binding it with raw egg; tie each roll carefully in cabbage leaf, and boil one-half to three-quarters of an hour in weak stock.

Eggs form an important article of food among all known races. The English, the great egg eaters, receive annually from Ireland one hundred and thirty millions of eggs, and from France over one hundred and thirty millions. The great object is to get fresh ones, and many modes are resorted to, to ascertain this important point. some dealers place them in water, when, if fresh, they will lie on their sides; if bad, they will stand on one end.

Gravies and sauces should be sent to table very hot, and there is all the more necessity for the cook to see to this point, as, from their being usually serve din small quantities, they are more liable to cool quickly than if they were in a larger body. Those sauces of which cream or eggs form a component part, should be well stirred as soon as these ingredients are added to them, and must never be allowed to boil, as in that case they would instantly curdle.

If coffee, after roasting, were made as fine as flour by pounding in a mortar, it could be extracted so much better as to require no more than two-fifths as much as if it were only coarsely ground. An equally strong extract can be made by allowing water to stand on the grounds, as by giving it a boil or by filtering through it. The latter method is the true one for retaining all of the aroma. When coffee beans are roasted, an empyreumatic oil is produced, which being very volatile, is expelled if the coffee extract be boiled. It is better to make the grounds as fine as flour, and to extract by filtration, and never to boil.

(Editor’s note: I have no idea what “apaquinimies” were. Google was useless in this case. Empyreumatic oil is “oils obtained by distilling various organic substances at high temperatures.” I also thought it was interesting to describe sauces as being potentially “mawkish.”)


For The Housewife

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 2, 1906

For The Housewife

Melted butter will not make a good cake.

Veal should be white, dry and close grained.

The colder eggs are the quicker they will froth.

To make good pastry the ingredients must be ice cold.

Nutmegs should be grated at the blossom end first.

A brush dipped in sale water should be used in cleaning bamboo furniture.

Good macaroni is of a yellowish ting, does not break readily in cooking and swells to two or three times its bulk.


A Few for the Housewife

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 8, 1906

A Few for the Housewife

Speaking of Cooking and Dishes – How About These?

A Few New Ones Peculiarly Fitted For the Monotony of the Lenten Repasts

There is no season of the year more difficult for the housekeeper than the extreme end of winter and the very first spring days,when fresh vegetables are still expensive, everyone is tired of canned vegetables, and meats have grown monotonous. As a result of the rich, heavy foods of the winter the systems are clogged and cry for a change and rest, even as do tired brains and hands. To keep Lent is doubtless a good and safe way to clean one’s system, by eating less meat and ctting (sic) off all rich desserts. However, there are a great many appetizing rules for Lenten dishes which go also a long way towards breaking away from the monotonous diet of the fag end of winter. A few new ones are given which have been obtained from various reliable sources.

Lenten Dishes.

French Potato Soup – For an average sized family take four good-sized potatoes to two quarts of water. let the potatoes cook away in the water, and this forms the stock for the soup. When this is done, add two large potatoes, three for four onions, and a heaping tablespoonful of butter to each puart (sic) of liquid. Let all this cook together until the potatoes and onions are thoroughly done. Season well with salt, black pepper and a dash of red.

Sardines on Toast – This makes an excellent luncheon dish. Put the sardines on a hot riddle and just heat through, an (sic) then place on hot toast. Serve with raw onion chopped very fine. The onion may be put in lettuce leaves arranged around the platter.

Boston Baked Apples – Wipe and core the apples and cut out the blossom but in coring be careful to cut entirely through the apple. Fill the center with heavy brown sugar, pressed down lightly and heaped up. Put a little water in the pan with the apples. Prick them and bake carefully until done. The sugar should form a thick syrup, which in serving should be poured around the apples. Eat with cream.

Rice and Tomatoes – Cold boiled rice will make a good foundation for a Lenton luncheon dish. To one large cupful of stewed tomatoes add two small or one large onion cut fine. let these cook with a little butter until the onion is thoroughly done. Put the rice into a buttered pudding dish, pour over it the onions, tomatoes and mix all together. Cover with bread crumbs and bake only a few minutes or ia (sic) will be too dry.

Orange Marmalade – This is the season of the year when orange marmalade can be made quite cheaply. Peel one dozen oranges, cutting the peel in little strips with a pair of every pound of sliced fruit and peel add three pints of cold water. Let this stand over night and in the morning  boil about two hours or  until tender. Then weigh and to every pound of fruit add one and a half pounds of granulated sugar (scant weight) and the juice of two lemons. An addition of the peel of four grapefruit, cut in strips and previously boiled in several waters until the very bitter taste is extracted is an improvement. The grapefruit peel should be weight with the other fruit with the same proportion of sugar.

Prune Tapioca – Wash one-half cupful of tapioca and soak it over night in three cupfuls of cold water. In the morning put both the water and tapioca in the double boiler and cook for one hour. Before this, wash the prunes and put them in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them. Let them simmer gently until they absorb the water. Turn out to cool and remove the stones. When the tapioca has cooked an hour, stir in one-half teaspoonful of salt, one tablespoonful of lemon juice, and one-half cupful of sugar. Spread a layer of it in the bottom of a baking dish, sprinkle with prunes, next with another layer of tapioca, and so on, leaving the last tapioca. Bake an our and serve partially cold.

(Editor’s note: In the [very unlikely] event that I get the ambition to try any of these recipes, I will post a picture of the result and give a review of the experience.)