Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A German Vintage Recipe - Spaetzle

Here's a vintage recipe that reflects the German heritage of the Wisconsin area in which I live. I figured everyone needed a break from my "antique" recipes. Spaetzle is best described, in my opinion, as German noodle dumplings. I've taken this recipe from a "new" local cookbook called, "Recipes to Die For." Proceeds from the book support our tiny cemetary in our township. This recipe was submitted by a lady by the name of Ingrid Bradford.

Spaetzle (makes 5 cups)

2 C flour
3 medium eggs
1/2 t. salt
2/3 C of cold milk or water

  • Using a wooden spoon, mix everything together to make a smooth dough. If dough seems to thick add more liquid and if to thin add a bit more flour.
  • Have a boiling pot of water, not more than half full, ready and add a touch of salt as you would when preparing pasta.
  • Take a strainer with big holes and set on top of the pot of boiling water.
  • Press dough through the holes of the strainer with a big spoon.
  • As the dough drops into the water it makes little dumplings.
  • When all dough has been pushed through, stir once and bring back to a boil.
  • Once boiling, you can drain them and you are done
  • You can make these ahead of time and just warm in the microwave or with butter.
  • Fresh herbs added to the dough spices these up.
  • Some kitchen specialty stores have spaetle makers.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Great Grandma Got High Doing Laundry?

This vintage recipe is another non-food recipe, but when I saw it in the household section of the A&P book, I was hoping for a sure-fire cure for my husband's greasy clothes. The paragraph was titled "Cleaning Oil or Grease from Men's clothing."

An excellent way to remove grease spots from boys' and men's clothing particularly, is made of four parts alcohol to one part ammonia and about half as much ether as amonia. Apply the liquid to the grease spot and rub diligently with a sponge and clear water. The chemistry of the operation seems to be that the alcohol and ether dissolve the grease and the ammonia forms a soap with it which is washed away with the water. The result is much more than when something is used which only seems to spread the spot and make it fainter, but does not actually remove it. If oil is spilt on the carpet and you immediately scatter corn meal over it, the oil will be absorbed by it. Oil may also be removed from carpets on which you do not dare put ether and ammonia, by laying thick blotting paper over it and pressing a hot flatiron on it. Repeat the operation several times, using a clean paper each time.

I cannot wonder how many women tried this little trick and ended up passed out cold? Ether? You could buy ether? My goodness!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vintage Recipe - Cosmetiques

I'll share another vintage recipe from the A & P cookbook. Lets explore 19th century beauty...Should we discover how to clear a tanned skin? Or how about a recipe for Pearl Dentifrice? No, I think we will look at the recipe for removing wrinkles. Looking at my mother at age 77, I may need to try this recipe.

Wrinkles in the skin

* White wax, one ounce

* Strained honey, two ounces

* Juice of lily bulbs, two ounces

"The foregoing, melted and stirred together, will remove wrinkles."

Now, I wonder if I should dig up my lilies...

Vintage Recipe - 19th Century Indian Chetney

When I'm buying and selling antiques, I often come across and enjoyable vintage recipe or two. A few weeks ago, I came across a fun very old cookbook, that I just haven't had the heart to part with yet. It's certainly not a beauty, but this ugly book has made my mouth water, caused me to guffaw out loud, and has amazed me. It's entitled The A & P Every Day Cook Book.

I've not found a copyright date, but it is definitely before the use of the modern stove or standard cooking measures.

What's so fascinating about this book? It has amazing recipes (and many quite bizarre recipes) of which I've never heard the like. It also has recipes for 'cometiques' and household hints.

With my passion for all things Victorian & Edwardian, this silly little book will just have to stay with me for a bit longer.

It contains many fascinating recipes, and some pretty gross recipes including the recipe for headcheese. I'll share some of the recipes and helpful hints in this blog as well as other fun vintage recipes I've collected through the years.

Now, what to share first...Something funny or a recipe? Or a funny recipe?

I'll start with a recipe that maybe a good cook could easily adapt to modern methods. I've taken the liberty of making it look a little more like a modern recipe.

Indian Chetney

8 oz sharp, sour apples - pared and cored
8 oz Tomatoes
8 oz salt
8 oz browned sugar
8 oz Stoned Raisins
4 oz cayenne pepper
4 oz powdered ginger
2 oz garlic
2 oz shallots
3 quarts vinegar
1 quart lemon juice

  1. Chop the apples in small square pieces and add to them the other ingredients.
  2. Mix the whole well together, and put in a well-covered jar.
  3. Keep jar in a warm place, and stir every day for a month, taking care to put on the lid after this operation.
  4. Strain, but do not squeeze it dry. Reserve liquor as it will serve as an excellent sauce for meat or fish.
  5. Store the chetney away in clean jars or bottles for use.
I would definitely not recommend preparing this recipe as the written, but I may try to make it like I would a salsa and can it.