Friday, June 10, 2016

British Picnic Foods of the 1930s: or, A Book of Cookrye goes out in public!

Lovely summer weather makes you want to spend long days in the country. But does your husband grouse because the picnic food you give him isn't as appetizing as the meals prepared in your kitchen? If he does, perhaps it's your own fault. Today, we at A Book of Cookrye present picnic dishes guaranteed to make the most hardened gourmet's mouth water!
Don't blame us for the cook-bashing. We're only quoting the source material for today's recipes.
We at A Book of Cookrye did something that always seems to make the public stare at us: we went out in public! Yes indeed. We're taking weird and old recipes and we're going out in full view of unsuspecting people to eat them! Two friends volunteered to go with us on this expedition against all better judgement and previous evidence: Marcus (who has often joined us in culinary perpetrations) and T (who was last seen eating the still-shuddered-over canned chicken pie). And just what are we making? Everything in this film!
Picnic Days, British Pathé, 1935

That's right-  we are making a picnic, going to a park, and eating it. Though in full disclosure, we actually did this in early March. Summer picnics may be all right for the UK from whence comes today's educational film, but we are in the American South where spending such lengths of time outside leave someone as well-done as the steaks they forgot were cooking.
But let's get back to the newsreel from whence our allegedly delicious recipes come! This helpful advice column on film starts off by insulting the audience. One might think they graciously implied that you are better at making dinners than picnics, but please not the phrasing: they refer to "the meals prepared in your kitchen" and not to "the meals you prepare in your kitchen." When you keep in mind the fact that a lot more people hired cooks than do today, one realizes that the shade has been thrown at housewives whose delicate feminine brains can't handle operating a stove or managing the help.
As for the foods themselves: We observe that there's an awful lot of encasing things in pie crust. This is not surprising- starting in the middle ages if not before, British cooks were known throughout Europe for pies. There's an awful lot of olives, and overall the food looks kind of grim. With that in mind, let's see our first shot of the happy homemaker we should all aspire to be!
For the sake of this woman's back, get her a higher countertop.

Today's modern happy homemaker doesn't look happy. She looks grimly worn out despite not yet being thirty seconds into the film. We'll give Pathé points for being realistic. As people who call bullshit on all those women in cute outfits who look so peppy and seem to adore mopping and eating yogurt, it's nice to see a housewife who doesn't have a bolt-on smile.
So, what might she be making? Sausage rolls! Heck yes. Everyone likes sausage rolls. We at A Book of Cookrye couldn't wait to get started on these. We decided to use half shortening and half butter for the pie crust. We know that in the UK it is customary to use lard, but here in Glorious America lard is surprisingly hard to get. Using butter which we forgot to leave out to soften necessitated dredging up this thing from the deep recesses of the kitchen drawers:
On the bright side, we now know how to do individual butter slices if for some reason we need to.

We have to admit, when we mounted this project, we were super excited. We invited friends to taste this with us, gleefully sending the video to a lot of online friends with notes like "I'm totally going to make all of this!!!!!" We've never actually made a full menu of stuff before, and in some perverse way, making a bunch of Depression-era British food just seemed like a wonderfully scary and masochistic choice for our first time.
Since pie crust has to sit for about thirty minutes, we moved that out of the way to work on...
Hooray, hooves!

Yep. We got to making the fruit gelatins. Here we must admit we diverged from 1930s recipes. We vaguely suspect that she's putting gelatin over peas in that video, and there are some things we at A Book of Cookrye refuse to do. But a Facebook post promised us that tea gelatins are delightfully refreshing in a new way, and this is as good a time as any to disprove that idiotic idea. On the idea that mint is really good in fruit salads, that mint has been in English gardens since well before today's source material first showed up in British theaters, and that tea has been part of English culture since before they had tea timers, we decided to gelatinize mint tea and pour the result over grapes and blueberries.
For those of you unfamiliar with gelatin, you don't just dump it into water. No, you sprinkle it over cold water and leave it for a few minutes before adding boiling water. When you're making a large batch of the stuff, you'll get this.
BRAAAAAINS!

Now we are supposed to do this thing in "a number of baby molds." A lot of people who are seriously into old recipes collect gelatin molds and might have enough small ones to pull this off. We at A Book of Cookrye do not. Fortunately, we had a disposable solution.
Whatever. We'd have had to wash the fricken molds anyway.

All right, we've got the pie crust that needed to refrigerate set away in the refrigerator and the jellies that need to gel also in the refrigerator. Now, we at A Book of Cookrye are about to get our Pinterest on. That's right, bring on the cucumber baskets!

Now, we at A Book of Cookrye have a few questions about this film. We must have rewatched those five or seven seconds of her cutting the cucumbers over and over again to see how the hell you're supposed to do it. Any ladies in 1935 watching this in a theater supposed to figure it out? Furthermore, we were watching this as we were cooking, not when we were out to see a movie during which we'd probably forget a lot of the things in the happy housewife hints reel that ran before it. Therefore, how the heck did this film help anyone make a damn cucumber basket? Did they go to the library to get cookbooks with diagrams? Were they a popular demonstration topic in music-hall cooking classes (which were a thing at the time) so women already knew how to do them?

Furthermore, why does it have to be baskets? What's the point of the handles? They're not even good for picking the cucumbers up to hand out to everyone- you just know there's going to be that one person who's like OH EW EW YOU'RE TOUCHING IT EWWWW if you do.

We'll be thoroughly honest here: we dreaded making these more than anything else. We're so bad at knifework that we carve chicken with scissors. And now we're supposed to make a basket? Actually, it's worse. We have to make multiple baskets. You're looking at about 5 or 6 minutes' worth of careful attempts not to accidentally de-handle the fricken basket while removing the inside of the all-important basket handle. That little semicircle of cucumber would not come out. And if we accidentally cut or snapped off the handle, it wouldn't be a basket anymore, would it?

All right! We fucking did it! What was once a cucumber piece is now a fricken basket! Because our friendly friends at Pathé felt it necessary, we at A Book of Cookrye will warn you that this basket is not suited for carrying your groceries in. We repeat, do not attempt to do your grocery shopping using these baskets. We at A Book of Cookrye will accept no responsibility for whatever befalls you.

All right, we have not one but five more of these things to do. Believe it or not, we actually got passably good at this by the time we finished.


At this point, we at A Book of Cookrye would like to point out our biggest grievance with doing a bunch of fricken cucumber baskets. It's not the tedium, it's not the pointless effort, it's the waste. We could have just cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and gotten twice as many cucumber boats out of it. But no, we had to have that stupid handle on each one- meaning all of this was cut off and wasted.
Yes, we lined up all of the pieces for emphasis.

It's not even like these were iffy cucumbers and we just happened to cut off the squishy bits. Isn't this video from 1935? Wasn't Britain in the middle of a depression? Is this really the time to throw nearly half of your vegetables away just so the remaining half has allegedly cute handles? We have only one thing to say about recipes that waste perfectly good, freshly-paid-for vegetables:

Apparently there's a tremendous scope for imagination with regards to the filling for our cucumber baskets. However, apparently British ladies' imaginations can't handle going farther than gluing cheese shreds together with mayo. They didn't even suggest chopping up the cucumber pieces pushed to the side of the cutting board.
"...with perhaps a little flavoring."

Whatever, let's get these things filled and out of the way.
There- we're fricken done.

"And of course, every housewife's standby in hot weather should be the green salad." 
We at A Book of Cookrye felt a great sense of relief. We had not one but two things finished! Granted, neither one of them sounded very good. But now we could move on to making a salad out of a lot of things we really don't like- starting with olives. We've tried to like olives. They show up in classy places and on pizza. But so help me, they taste like bitterness and soap. Like the last time we used them, we got a tiny tub of loose olives because we did not want to have the remains of a big jar lurking in the refrigerator until it finally rotted. However, it turns out that they left the pits in them. We wondered if there was some trick to getting them out while leaving the olives whole. An internet search turned up this page which, using charming illustrations, alleged we could press the olives with the flat of a knife and the pit would pop out. This was a lie. We tried to make it work with each olive, and each time we got this.


Muttering to ourselves that at least we wouldn't have endure people who think olive fingers are funny, we picked the pieces off the olive pits and wondered if our failure to successfully pit olives while leaving them intact was a sign we had failed at housewifery.
At least we succeeded at tearing off lettuce leaves and pressing them into the bowl.

Right- let's move on to the next thing the prissy narrator listed:
 
All right- we get that enough people like radishes that the store feels they're worth stocking. But to us, they taste like watery dirt. We kept rerinsing them because every time we tried a piece, it still tasted like dirt and we were afraid that our friends whom we invited would have to not only eat 1930's British food, but also sand their teeth trying to eat the salad.

They may not list them in the film, but we really hated wasting the cucumber pieces from earlier.

At this point, we at A Book of Cookrye were getting fed up with that prissy narrator lady. We'd had to replay the same five or so seconds of video some fifteen times to get all the salad ingredients. Fortunately, the next thing to go into this salad was something we actually like.

At this point, we got a very lucky break. We were about to once again raise the knife in an ever-wearier wrist and cut up the eggs. But what should turn up in the back recesses of the drawers, still in its original packaging, but this!
I don't care if I'll have to wash it later. I'm happy now.

The randomly buried egg slicer made up for the fact that boiled eggs smell like farts.

"And don't forget to cover the whole thing lettuce leaves. It keeps it moist and fresh for a journey in the car."

We cannot in good conscience quote the word moist from today's source material without adding this:
You know who you are.

I have to admit that by this point, the fun had drained right out of this. One can only spend so long preparing things that you don't even like before it's no longer amusing. Fricken cucumber baskets! Fricken olives that had to be de-pitted one at a time! Furthermore, the kitchen looked like this.
As a side note, that one pot of paperwhite narcissus made the entire front half of the house smell delightfully of flowers.

If you rewatch that video, you'll notice that the lady doing all the cooking never has this problem. Just like those Pinterest tutorials that also involve turning produce into baskets, no mess at all appears in the kitchen. We challenge you to go back, watch it, and look for the sink where she puts all the dirty dishes between each recipe.
Making a lot of stuffy old recipes you're certain will be at best underwhelming and seeing all the things you'll have to wash keep piling up on the counters smudged with things you've already forgotten what they were can definitely put a droop to one's feathers. But you know what? Things were looking up! The pie crust had spent its requisite time resting in the refrigerator, and now we could make sausage rolls!!!!!!! Finally, we're getting to things we like! Granted, we had some misgivings that the crust wound end up soggy from all the fat that would melt out of the sausage meat as it baked, but who doesn't like sausage rolls?

This was the easiest pie crust we've ever rolled out. We didn't have to try to make it into a sheet big enough to line a pie pan with! We just kept rolling in the same direction and had it ready for the meat in about a minute. It was such a relief to have something for once go quickly. At this point we will inform those making these for themselves that your sausage meat should be about a quarter the width of the crust you're laying it on. We had to take some of the meat off after taking the above photograph and re-form the remainder into skinnier snakes so we could pinch the crust closed.
You may also notice that not all of these rolls are fated to contain sausage. Indeed, we've an allegedly tasty alternative filling ready to be foisted on guests.
"And of course, they needn't all be filled with sausage meat. Boiled herring or cheese and anchovy make tasty alternatives."

We at A Book of Cookrye have never spent so long making so many things containing foods we do not like. Cooking has never been so drawn-out (we were coming into the four hour mark here) and so futile. Anchovies? We're about to make people eat cheese and anchovies??? We already suspect the food quality has caused the declining attendance to these Book of Cookrye gatherings.  Per the film's instruction, we fingerpainted the edges with a beaten egg (using a brush would mean washing one). It did, as the narrator lady said, help them stay closed.

We had some serious internal debate on whether it was worth dabbing more egg on top of them. On the one hand, the raw sausage was sure to soak these in melted fat from the inside out and turn them into grease bombs that no one would eat anyway. On the other, the lady in the film did this, and we are attempting to be historical here. Besides, we already had a beaten egg in a cup from when we glued the pie crust closed. We rather reluctantly took the time to, as they say in that film, "get that nice professional-looking brown crust" by way of painting egg on top of each one. This made us wonder: why the heck do we care if it looks professional? The last shot is of the lady having a picnic not with a bunch of neighbors she needs to impress but with two boys (who presumably are her children and not someone else's who she fears will insult her cooking when their parents come to take them home). Whatever. Behold our professional sausage rolls!

By now, we were fricken ecstatic over being nearly done. We had only one thing left, which allegedly is "guaranteed to soften the heart of a hungry man."
Actually, let's digress a bit and analyze that statement (it's at 1:18 in the video). Old recipes talking about how the food will please the men in your life like that's your only objective as a cook are routine. We're not going to go into the sexism involved in cookbooks telling addressed only to women (because what man would ever set foot in a kitchen?) which then tell their lady audience that they should always serve and please men. We think anyone who wishes to complain about sexism in eighty-year-old recipes should either invent a time machine and inform the people who said it of their thoughts or drop their complaints so they can focus on the present day.
That said, the claim that our next picnic item is "guaranteed to soften the heart of a hungry man" is very strange  if you stop to think about it. If the man in question is hungry, surely (according to period thinking) we don't need to work hard to please him. According to 1930's humor, a hungry man is so easily satisfied that we can just put mechanically separated squirrel in front of him and consider our wifely duty dispensed. Why didn't the film say "guaranteed to soften the heart of a picky man"? Or "the heart man who is not very hungry but you're trying to feed anyway"?
Back to today's picnic menu, we are guaranteed to soften hungry hearts with a "tasty little patty" filled with chopped olives. We had set aside the more badly mangled olives after attempting to remove the pits because we occasionally manage to plan ahead. The narrator doesn't elaborate on what the patty is made of, but the ones in the film look like mini pie shells. We got out the pie dough we had also planned ahead and--- shit.
We forgot to make enough pie dough and used all of what we had on the sausage rolls. We hastily made more and got it in the refrigerator to get its requisite resting time in (we're still not sure why, but it does seem to make pie crust actually work rather than crumbling under the rolling pin). Fortunately, we had plenty to do while we waited for the sausage rolls to bake and the crust to do its refrigerator time. There was an ominous pile of dishes in the sink and no one appearing to wash everything for us.
We refused to wash the cupcake pan.

The film says the sausage rolls will take about 10 minutes to bake at gas mark 6 (that's 400°F- we looked it up). Leery of serving raw sausage at a picnic, we tested them with a meat thermometer after the time elapsed and the sausage was barely warmed. They took about 20 minutes to bake. Also, much to our surprise, the cheese did not melt and drain out of the cheese-anchovy rolls. When we removed them from the oven, we thought to ourselves that maybe taking the time to get the "nice, professional-looking brown crust" was worth it after all.

Heck, since we still had the cup of eggs, we fingerpainted the edges of what was going to be the tasty little patties. We'd like to think it made them look better.

Now, the film's first suggestion with which to fill these is prawns. We've never eaten prawns before, but since we don't live on an island like they do in Britain, they're too expensive to get unless we know damn well we're going to like the recipe. So we went with option two- the chopped olives which we conveniently had left over from making the salad.
In a weird way, they look really pretty.

At this point, we surveyed the kitchen wreckage and considered all we'd made. Only the fruit gelatin and the sausage rolls seemed promising. We had invited friends who'd cleared their schedules to come try this and did not want them to regret the visit. Therefore, we veered right off of period-correct and made a Book of Cookrye favorite, cheesecake dip.

We were finished! Now, at the end of these two and a half minutes of film, the lady looks like this after having made everything.
"No wonder our cook looks pleased! She's made a really appetizing picnic lunch! And so can you, if you try."

We don't think she looks pleased- the smile appears more forced than anything else. We at A Book of Cookrye didn't look pleased- nor did we have it in us to force a fake smile. We looked like we wanted to go to bed for the rest of the year.
Seeing what we just spent so long making fit into one plastic tub was existentially wrenching.

Well you know what? After spending all that time cooking that which will in theory be eaten in haste, it's time to go picnicking!
We have to report that this park is right across the street from an elementary school (you'll see it in the background). While one would think setting a tablecloth would mark us as elevated to the finest decorum, the parents who had brought their children here after school got very leery of us once we put it on the table. (Book of Cookrye picnic tip: Use a fitted sheet instead of a flat one. That way if the tables are vacant and you needn't sit out on the grass, there will be no wind strong enough to blow it away.)
We look happy because we know there's cold cuts at home in case this tastes like 1930's British food.

The weather really was perfect. It was just cloudy enough to take out the glare of the sun and the air was ever-so-slightly cool. The only problem was the wind which blew the plates everywhere and made ⅔ of those present wish they'd tied their hair back.Maybe summer in the UK from whence the film came is ideal, but we were so glad we didn't wait until June and get roasted and sunburnt in the name of eating 1930's British food.
Seriously, we spent all that time last night and it fits into two tubs and a mixing bowl? Literally everything we made is in this picture.

When you see this plate, please think of all the long hours of work that went into all those things.
Don't try to tell me paper plates aren't period-correct. They clearly show her putting one on the salad she's making in the film.

All right, let's get to eating! We'll start with the salad.
At this point we have to note that the film was correct about something in a way even they likely did not anticipate. They told us that instead of tossing a salad, we should line a bowl with whole lettuce leaves and layer everything inside it. We had no idea how this was supposed to make it easier to serve as we made it. But what should we forget to bring but our forks! And so, we ended up jumping forward about eighty years to the gluten-free craze and making lettuce wraps.

Do you know what? This salad was actually not too bad! I don't like olives, boiled eggs, or radishes. T does not like radishes, and Marcus has had way too many of my weirder creations to trust me to make a salad. However, this was actually good! We each got second helpings of it. Somehow, everything in the salad cancels out what's bad about everything else. Those at table who like olives and boiled eggs liked it more than I did, but yeah- this salad is really good!
Next up, cuke baskets!
Otherwise known as "trying way too damn hard to make people want to eat their vegetables."

Would all our time spent slaving over a paring knife be rewarded?


"Did you put pimiento cheese in these?"

"You know what? Not bad!"
The mayo, cheddar, and cayenne did, as everyone at table said, taste a lot like pimiento cheese. To our surprise, it was actually really good on the cucumbers! We'd do these again too! However, the stupid basket handles made these awkward to bite into.
Let's move on to the other sketchy thing on today's menu: cheese-anchovy rolls! Because we respect our friends who came despite our telling them it's 1930's British recipes, we forewarned them that they were about to eat cheese and anchovy.
T has never eaten an anchovy before.

 "These things are really salty."
"It tastes fishy, but not bad."

To my astonishment, this was my cousin's response to "How much do you like it?"

Indeed, they were salty and tasted fishy. But honestly, somehow the cheese and anchovy actually worked. Don't ask me why.
As for the plain sausage rolls: "Tastes like breakfast."
After that surprising success, let's see if, as alleged in the film, a miniature pie shell with chopped olives in it successfully softens the heart of a hungry man.

As T noted between these and the salad: "They put olives on everything, didn't they?" And it indeed seems to be so, which is why we're just eating olives in pie crust.
Is it a good sign if the hungry man whose heart this recipe will theoretically soften is wincing?

We at A Book of Cookrye weren't sure if a buttered-carbohydrate saucer of straight olives wasn't a bit much- even for someone who said he liked olives.

When you're this unsure about whether someone likes what you spent forever making, you start to understand those wives in old movies who berate their husbands for failing to sufficiently praise them for all the time they spent over a stove.

We have success! The hungry man's heart has been softened!

And this is him when he caught me muttering under my breath that he damn well better like it, I was up all night rolling out fricken pie crusts.

All right, so far literally everything on the menu has been a success! Our astonishment with the fish rolls and the boiled-egg-and-olive-salad not causing regret made us giddy about having actually been good. Carried over on a wave of surprise and delight at the fruit of our extensive kitchen labor, we served the one thing guaranteed not to be sketchy and weird: fruits in gelatin!
This is when we began to have reservations.

It turns out that gelatin is oddly resilient. For the record, all we did was buy a box of gelatin and use the liquid-to-gelatin-powder proportions printed on the back. While we had worried that it might melt after sitting on the table a while, it had not.

Here, have a look at this. We would like to ask Britons of the 1930's why we couldn't have just done a fruit salad.

It's not that I'm getting older, but part of me I wish didn't exist wanted to shout "Will you stop playing with your food and eat it!" The other part of me was bewildered at how unnervingly firm the nearly-room-temperature gelatin was.

"Wait, I'm supposed to eat this?"

In order to fully experience this, he decided to scoop up straight gelatin.
"It looks like pee!"

Carefully sniffing this to measure how much regret will come of eating this.

Sniffing complete, this is how much regret is now anticipated.

Marcus: "It's so hard!"
T: "You made ballistic gelatin!"

Changed his mind, decided that the fruits might distract from the gelatin.

He tried it and would like to know if he has to eat the rest.

And now, we present a Book of Cookrye first... video! Yes, my cousin elected to go on camera eating fruit gelatin!

Let us now pause to appreciate her endurance. Really, we should have stopped before serving the fruit gelatin. I mean, everything had gone so well. We had agreed that this was actually good. No one regretting driving out to go to some park and eat 1930's British food. Then, literally the last thing we serve was terrible. It couldn't have been the olive things or the fish rolls or something else early on in the picnic. Nope, it's the last thing, the taste that stays in your mouth as you're going to the car. Well, that's one picnic ruined!
We hastily brought out the cheesecake dip to quell all the kvetching at table.

The cheesecake dip didn't stop Marcus from shooting gelatin at the children in the playground.
Tragically, he kept missing.

But, for the record, if you ignore all the gelatins, the rest was so good that only this much remained. And that was because we decided to save some leftovers for Our Mom of Cookrye.

In all seriousness, literally all the food that remained fit on one tiny tray. That should tell you how good it was. I also asked everyone what they'd voluntarily eat again out of all the things we ate today. The answer: Everything. Even the fish rolls. Everything except the gelatin.
I think he's trying to look like a British butler.

But, in a curious jellied postscript, my sister visited two days later. We sent her home with all the remaining gelatin ("No one here wants it, so if you don't like it either you can throw it away!") and within two nights received the following message:
At least someone appreciated our gelatin-related efforts.

We at A Book of Cookrye feel oddly compelled to add what we learned from this experience. For one, there was a lot more emphasis on presentation than we imagine there would be today for a picnic. The film had us worrying about "professional-looking brown crusts" on the sausage rolls and properly presenting a salad. We even had to cut fricken basket handles on the cucumbers because even eighty years before Pinterest, people already thought it was cute. If the final shot showing the housewife eating with two children are any indication, we weren't doing any of this to impress guests or those neighbors we're apparently always trying to one-up. This is just for the same family we'd be serving every night. Apparently people used to fuss a lot more about presentation than we do today. When we were growing up, Our Mom of Cookrye would just set the cooking pots right on the table. Apparently in the 1930's, dinner every night was supposed to be served with more visual effort. To make food like this all the time instead of for just one day, one would have to either spend most of every day in the kitchen or hire a cook to do so for you.
Also, this called for a lot more advance notice of who's coming than a modern-day picnic were you just buy things like sandwich bread and cold cuts. Since everything but the salad was in individual portions, we had to think of how many sausage rolls we thought each person would eat, how many olive tartlets there should be to ensure everyone got one, etc.
More than anything, this was a lot of work. Anyone who wanted to make all of this for a picnic would have to either spend a couple of days making everything ahead or do as we did and prepare to spend a long time in the kitchen the night before.

1935 British Picnic


Sausage Rolls
Two pie crusts' worth of dough
6 oz raw sausage meat
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400°. Make the pie crust with half butter.
Roll the crust into a rectangle, then cut it in half lengthwise. Roll little snakes of sausage meat about ½ inch across and lay them in the center of each strip. You don't need to join them, but be sure there are no gaps. Brush or fingerpaint the edges of the crust with the egg, then press it closed around the crust. (It may turn out you need to take meat off the crust and re-form the sausage thinner to close it right.) Cut it into 2"-3" lengths, then place each one on a cookie sheet. Bake 10-20 minutes, or until the meat is done. Remove from the pan immediately or they will likely stick.
Variation: Instead of sausage, make a mixture of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese and chopped anchovies, using 1 or 2 anchovies to ⅓ c cheese. Shape it on the crust dough as you would the sausage meat. These are better cut to about 1½" size.

Stuffed Patties
Crust for 1 pie
⅔ c chopped olives
1 egg, beaten

Make the pie crust with all butter and no shortening. Leave some lumps of butter when cutting it in- they will melt as it bakes and make the crust flakier.
Roll the crust out about 4" wide, then cut it into squares. Line a cupcake pan with foil, then press the dough into the bottom of each cup. You should end up with about ¼-½ inches of raised rim around the edge. Prick the bottom of each once or twice with a fork. Brush the rims with beaten egg (which you already have from doing the sausage rolls) and bake at 350° until done.
When done, put a spoonful of chopped olives in each.

Cucumber Baskets
2 cucumbers
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
Mayonnaise
Cayenne pepper

Cut off the ends of the cucumbers, then divide them into thirds. Cut each one into a basket somehow. Mix the cheese with just enough mayonnaise to hold it together, adding cayenne to taste. Fill the cucumbers with the cheese.

Green Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
¾ c olives
5 or 6 radishes, sliced
½ c cucumber scraps left over from cutting out baskets, sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Line a bowl with the larger lettuce leaves. Layer the remaining ingredients in the order given. Put more lettuce leaves on top.

Individual Jellies
Gelatin in the flavor of your choice
Fruits of your choice

Make the gelatin according to directions. Put the fruit in individual molds (we used disposable cups). Pour the gelatin over the fruit, adding just enough to cover. Refrigerate to set.

Source: "Picnic Days," Pathé Special Pictorial Section for the Ladies, 1935

4 comments:

  1. "So this is what hell tastes like!"

    It's kind of a bit of a bummer the gelatin turned out to be a bust. The idea of tea-flavored gummies sounds good to me... but maybe that's something for pectin and not hooves!

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    1. Yeah, I had higher hopes for that than I got. I was actually kinda annoyed- despite using plain mint teabags, it wasn't at all minty.

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  2. Laaaaaahve it. Well done. Lard comes from the Hispanic section/store, btw.

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    1. Really? Given how some people swear that lard makes the best pie crusts, I'm tempted to get some and see.

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