Scalloped Turnips

Scalloped Turnips

I wanted to prepare one last root vegetable recipe before the greens & herbs start popping up here in Ontario, and I thought I'd turn to a local 1898 cookbook: The New Galt Cook Book. Galt is a town which is now part of Cambridge, Ontario and it's also close to where I grew up and where I live now in Hamilton. Scalloped Turnips is an interesting twist on scalloped potatoes. The turnips provide additional flavour to the dish, and it is creamy but also light because the sauce uses a butter & flour roux and the cooking water from the turnips instead of a white bechamel sauce.

Coincidentally, I had this recipe selected and the turnips purchased before I knew that cooking at an event using recipes from The New Galt Cook Book was even a possibility! I'll be preparing food from this cookbook for a Victorian Tea at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario on May 18th, and Food Historian Carolyn Blackstock will be speaking about her year-old journey making a recipe a day from The New Galt Cook Book.

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Piquant Beets

Piquant Beets

I'm not a fan of the taste of beets, although I have evolved enough to abide roasted and pickled beets on occasion. I liked Piquant Beets, though, and I can't say that I've ever thought that about a recipe made with boiled beets! This recipe takes those (in my mind at least) repulsive boiled beets and jazzes them up with horseradish, honey, lemon juice and...wait for it...bacon. Steve's response to tasting this dish was, "I don't even mind the beets", which is probably the highest praise he could give to this recipe. We can thank Elaine Collett and Mary-Etta Macpherson, who compiled the 1965 Canadian classic The Chatelaine Cookbook, for this culinary miracle.

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Squash Puff

Squash Puff

If you asked anyone in my family about our traditional family recipes, probably the first dish listed by everyone would be Squash Puff. I'd describe Squash Puff as a cross between squash pudding and soufflé. It is light, fluffy and very flavourful considering it doesn't contain any onions or herbs. My Mom cut the recipe out of a newspaper at some point and it's been in her giant binder of recipe clippings ever since I can remember. Give Squash Puff a try at your next Thanksgiving, potluck or family gathering...or when you've got a hankering for some satisfying comfort food.

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To boil green Peas

To boil green Peas

I agree, the name of this recipe doesn't sound very exciting. To boil green Peas? Really, what you end up with is green peas, with a touch of fresh mint, butter and salt. It's a simple, yet flavourful recipe that you'll find in American Cookery from 1796. Our authoress is Amelia Simmons (who has the tagline "An American Orphan" added to her name on the title page) and American Cookery is the first cookbook that was both written and published in the United States.

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Italian White Bean Salad

Italian White Bean Salad

I made Italian White Bean Salad along with Mushroom Rolls to take along to a potluck picnic. Both of these recipes are found in The White House Chef Cookbook, written by René Verdon in 1967 after spending 4 years as the White House Executive Chef. Verdon was appointed the first Executive Chef of the White House in 1961, a position created by the Kennedys. My version of this salad features green garlic instead of the red onion listed in the recipe (a shopping list oversight on my part), and I really like the green garlic's blend of onion and garlic flavours.

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Potato Carrot Salad

Potato Carrot Salad

With only three chopped ingredients in the salad, this is a fairly simple but delicious recipe to prepare. The dressing is also rather easy to put together, but is subtly flavourful. This recipe is found in The Modern Family Cook Book from 1953, which was written by Meta Given, who probably has the best cookbook author name in history! When I was growing up, my Mom had her own copy of this cookbook in our kitchen, and I remember loving its design even as a kid. I think it's the most gorgeously designed cookbook in my collection today. Each time I open it, I marvel at the care that went into designing the layout, the illustrations and the attention paid to the tiny details.

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To Dress Cucumbers Raw

To Dress Cucumbers Raw

Miss Leslie would be appalled, and perhaps stupefied, that I made this recipe today. In April. In Canada. She put forth a very strong opinion about cucumbers and their longevity in Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery, stating that "few vegetables being more unwholesome when long gathered". Who knows when my grocery store cucumber was harvested, but I still found this recipe to be delicious. It's fresh-tasting, subtly flavoured by the salt, pepper & onion.


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German Cabbage

German Cabbage

Before I began speaking to people about trying out Fannie Farmer's German Cabbage recipe from 1896, I never knew how many people had a passionate love affair with cabbage! I really like how the flavours are balanced in the German Cabbage: some tang thanks to the vinegar, a bit of sweetness from the nutmeg & sugar, and a hint of spice from the cayenne pepper. And of course, if a dish is fried in butter, it's got to be delicious.

 

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