Historical Recipes: Novice Cooks Need Not Apply
Recall that last week, I left you hanging with the Cannelon recipe, so it only makes sense to lead with this question: What is a cannelon?
I’m ashamed to admit this, but even after typing up these recipes I still didn’t have a clear picture in my head . . . so I let Dictionary.com bail me out again. Cannelon is just another word for a cannelloni, or a “tubular or rolled piece of pasta, usually filled with a mixture of meat or poultry and often cheese and baked in a cream or tomato sauce.”
In my defense, that isn’t exactly what these recipes describe. Instead, they call for a biscuit crust and meat gravy. I’m pretty certain I’ve said so before, but the contributors to this cookbook definitely assumed a minimum level of skill. Still, “like a cannelloni” helps me to visualize what these recipes are aiming for!
Quick reminder: the coupon code Top Hat Photo Repair gave us is only good through the end of August, so if you wanted to take advantage of that, seize the day! :)
Please remember to use 2014 food handling safety practices when attempting to make 1909 recipes!
[Note: For convenience's sake, of course I'm including the first part of the recipe from page 24!]
One pound of round steak, chopped fine, yolk of 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful of melted butter, 1 tablespoonful of stale break crumbs, 1 tablespoonful of chopped
parsley, 1 scant teaspoonful of salt, ¼ teaspoonful of pepper. Mix well and form into a solid roll. Butter a paper and tie the roll up in it, place in a pan and bake 30 minutes. Serve on a hot platter with tomato sauce.
Sauce for above: Take a pint of strained stewed tomatoes, place on the fire until it comes to a boil; then stir in 1 tablespoonful of flour mixed with water, a small lump of butter, 1 teaspoonful of onion juice. Take off and season with salt and pepper to suit the taste.
–Cadiz Cook Book
Six ounces fine bread crumbs, ½ teaspoonful salt, ½ cup milk, a seasoning of sage or thyme, and 2 tablespoonsful chopped parsley; add 1 cup of mixed nuts, chopped fine. Fry one small onion in 3 tablespoonsful butter until slightly colored, and strain into other ingredients. Stir over fire for five minutes, then add 2 well-beaten eggs and stir until mixture leaves bottom and sides of kettle; cool then form into roll. Bake in rich biscuit dough and serve with brown gravy.
Put one pound of round steak through a meat chopper, then add to it one-fourth teaspoonful of salt, one-eight teaspoonful of pepper, one-half teaspo[o]nful of onion juice and a level tablespo[o]nful of chopped parsley. Form into six steaks, being careful not to have the edges thinner than the center of the steak. Broil or saute, and serve with tomato sauce.
Place half a can of tomatoes over the fire; add to them one small onion, one small bay leaf, a sprig of parsley and a blade of mace, and simmer gently for ten minutes, then remove from the fire; press through a sieve to remove the seeds; melt one tablespoonful of butter in a saucepan; add one tablespoonful of flour, rub together until well mixed; add the strained tomatoes and stir a moment; season with half a teaspoonful of salt and four shakes of pepper, and serve at once.
–R. H. M.
Beat a large tender steak thoroughly. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper, sage, minced onion, minced parsley and bits of butter. Have ready some mealy Irish potatoes, mashed fine and seasoned with a little butter and salt. Spread it all over the steak, roll it lightly and fasten with skewer pins, place in a pan with two teacups of boiling water, place on top a few slices of pork. Baste and roast as you would a duck; sift over it browned crackers, pounded fine. Very nice.
–Mrs. J. W. Heavner.
CANNELON OF BEEF.
Mix well together the following: One pound chopped beef, two ounces butter, one-half teaspoonful salt, one-fourth teaspoonful white pepper, yolk of one egg, ten drops onion juice, one teaspoonful chopped parsley and the grated rind of half a lemon. Form into roll and bake in a rich biscuit crust. Serve with brown gravy.
Draw, wash well, wipe dry and turn the pinions under; press the wings close to the body and tie to keep in place; make slits each side of the body and force the ends of the legs in; fill with stuffing of bread–
[Note: Yep, leaving you hanging again. Sorry . . . !]
Who (or what) were they?
Cadiz Cook Book: I couldn’t find any information about the Cadiz Cook Book, and I’m disappointed. I’d hoped to find references to a contemporary cookbook–or even a digital copy online–so I could compare dates and see if this recipe was lifted word-for-word from another book. Oh well . . .
R. H. M.: This is the second recipe offered by our mystery contributor, but I’ll tell you a secret: when I scanned upcoming pages, I figured out who she was! So we won’t be in suspense forever as to her identity.
Mrs. J. W. Heavner: When we first met Leeann E. Reger Heavner, we learned that her parents were John W. and Rebecca Reger (1). I noted that there was likely a relationship between her and cookbook contributor Anna Lee Hurst Post’s mother, Mary C./Marion Reger. They were next door neighbors on Main Street of Buckhannon WV in 1880 (3), which quickly shows that Leeann’s and Mary’s ages are eight years apart (with Leeann as the elder at 38). Sisters?
Yep! (Source, and a note: Mollie is a nickname for Marion.)
So, this gives an adorable connection between two cookbook contributors: Anna Lee Hurst Post is the niece and namesake of Leeann Reger Heavner!
(Numbered sources are cited in the index.)
Having fun? :)
Next week we’ll take a look at three (!) Chicken Pie Recipes. Maybe if I get brave, I’ll try one out . . .
I’m hoping to have an update about my novel for you soon, too. Exciting stuff!
If you are researching one of the ladies credited here, email me! I’d love to hear your story!