Front Cover: “Meals For A Day”

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Damn. I can only hope this article reflects lofty aspirations rather than cultural norms/expectations. Not to judge (too harshly) however, if the author of TotUG really wanted or actually succeeded in cooking and serving  three multi-course meals in a single day.

Anyway, enough gawking. The inclusion of this article not only suggests culinary ambition, but also the existence of a household that comprised more than just the author herself.  I am assuming, perhaps foolishly, that she would be less interested in preparing such an elaborate feast for just herself. But, if you were, m’dear, God bless ya!

Among the dishes listed, “black butter,” “Radnor potatoes” and “Swish Chocolate Bread” particularly intrigued me.  Recipes for two of the items posted below the menu provide instructions and ingredients but no history. [Break for cursory internet research].

I was familiar with beurre blanc, but happy to learn that “black butter” (beurre noir) is a sauce of butter and lemon juice or vinegar that is typically served with fish.

Another version of “black butter” finds its origins in England, specifically Jersey, where it is used as sweet spackle for carbohydrates, sort of like jam.

Author of TotUG seems to be following a recipe for the former version:

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There is no recipe for “Radnor Potatoes” pasted in the scrapbook, which makes me wonder if the author was not interested in making them or the recipe was self-evident/familiar she didn’t need to memorialize it. The former is probably the more likely explanation considering I had trouble finding any recipes, except a few for different potato dishes that just happened to be contributed by home cooks living in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

Note the final line of the recipe: “A slice of shallot infused with the vinegar is an improvement for some”…but, WHO, Mrs. G. D. Harrington? For philistines? For gourmands? For garlic-lovers? God forgive you for that orphan modifier. 

“Swiss Chocolate Bread” sounds delicious and I though it might even qualify as a wonderful alternative starch base for French toast.  Not so much.

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I’m not entirely clear on these “long narrow strips of bread free from crust.” I am doubtful of the availability of French or Italian bread in the early twentieth-century suburban Midwest, though of course, it’s entirely possible the author made her own. But neither of those long-loaf forms resemble wafers, or at least not the wafers with which I’m familiar. Perhaps the Bread Maiden has more insight. 

The structure described in the instructions sounds like a sweet version of garlic bread, with chocolate replacing the butter and almond bits standing in for garlic bits. 

“Less than the entire recipe may be tried.” Eh, why not just do the whole thing?

 

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