1880’s Minced Cabbage

cooked minced cabbage

Gold Medal Flour, Betty Crocker and Miss Parloa all had their beginnings in Washburn-Crosby Co.  Along with last week’s post on escalloped salmon, I discovered this elegant minced cabbage in Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book, which was originally published in 1880 by Washburn-Crosby Co.

Its successor General Mills reprinted this same worthy account in the twentieth century.  This latter company, however, is better known for publishing recipe books under the pseudonym Betty Crocker, who never existed, unlike our illustrious 19th century writer Maria Parloa.

In 1921, before the above transfer of title, Washburn-Crosby was first to use the name “Betty Crocker”.  This came as a result of their being inundated with 30,000 entries, in a contest promoting their Gold Medal flour.

Many of these participants asked questions concerning baking.  Washburn-Crosby discerned that the replies would hold more influence if signed by a woman; thus, the inspiration for this sham Betty Crocker, which was derived from the surname of a retired company director.

General Mills continued in this tradition, after it was created in 1928, when it began merging Washburn-Crosby with 26 other U.S. flour-milling companies.  This, then the world’s largest flour mill, initially portrayed this fictitious authority photographically, in 1936, as a gray-haired home-maker.  Her image was frequently revised throughout the last century, as Betty Crocker was used as a major brand name for their various products.  (See more history at my 1880’s Clam Chowder-2017/01/30-1880’s Escalloped Salmon-2017/04/17-and 1880’s Ozark Honey-Oatmeal Cookies-2017/10/30.)

It is jarring when we learn the falsehood of long accepted traditions, like the authenticity of this established person, for truth is fundamental to our stability.  We implicitly search for verity in all things, cooking included.

Rejoicing occurs when a good source for teaching the basics is found, such as those required for food preparation, as well as the execution of life; I hope you will discover these fundamentals present in my writings.

May you come to rely on my receipts, preparing them with the ease with which they are intended.  They may look lengthy at times; this is because I spell out shortcuts with care, for in a sense my blog is like going to cooking school.  Quickly you learn my simple, creative techniques, thus gaining the ability to follow my recipes adeptly.

This effortless minced cabbage comes with the height of freedom.  Enjoy!

References:

  1. Silver Dollar City Edition of Maria Parloa’s Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book (Boston: Estes and Laurait, 1880); this facsimile was published at an unknown date during the 20th century.
  2. James Trager, The Food Chronology (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995), pp. 434, 456, 488.
  3. http://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/who-was-betty-crocker/
  4. https://foodimentary.com/2012/03/24/a-history-of-betty-crocker-the-woman-who-never-was/
  5. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/general-mills-inc-history/

chopping cabbage in a food processor

1880’s Minced Cabbage  Yields: 4 servings.  Total prep time: 25 min.  This is adapted from a recipe in General Mills’ Special Silver Dollar City Edition (copyright date unknown) of Maria Parloa’s Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book, (Boston: Estes and Laurait, 1880).

Note: this can be made ahead and reheated just before serving.

1 1/2 lb green cabbage

2 tbsp oil  (Coconut oil is ideal for quality and flavor here; avocado oil is also good; olive oil is carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures.)

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp salt, or to taste  (I prefer a coarse salt here, such as a kosher salt or Trader Joe’s coarse sea salt. )

  1. Chop cabbage either by hand, or more quickly, by using the slicing attachment to a food processor.  If using a food processor, cut cabbage in pieces that will fit in its feeder tube (see above photo).  Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan, in which you have placed a small piece of cabbage.  When it sizzles, add rest of cabbage, and stir well to evenly distribute oil; cook until vegetable is limp, stirring frequently.  Meanwhile go to next step.
  3. cooking roux

    Make roux in a small sauté pan: melt butter over medium heat, add flour, and stir with a wire whisk.  Cook  until mixture is a light brown, about 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside (see photo).

  4. When cabbage is soft, add salt, and stir well.
  5. Blend roux into vegetable, cook until consistency of cabbage is somewhat thickened, stir continually.
  6. When done, remove from heat.  May serve immediately, or better yet, make ahead, and reheat just before serving.  When it sits, cabbage juices form in pan; as you reheat it, stir in juices and loosened fond, which is obtained by scraping these caramelized pan drippings and browned bits off bottom of pan, using a wooden or plastic cooking spatula.  This adds great flavor!  (See top photo for finished product.)

1880’s Escalloped Salmon

ingredients for escalloped salmon

Maria Parloa blessed us with a recipe for escalloped fish in Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book, which Washburn-Crosby Co. published in 1880.  This company’s successor General Mills brought her proven receipts back to America, by republishing them in their Special Silver Dollar City Edition of this book, at an unknown date during the twentieth century.

Both these companies are known for their production of Gold Medal flour, which they successively produced; thus, this product has been on the market for nearly two and a half centuries.  (For more details on Miss Parloa, Washburn-Crosby Co., General Mills, and 19th century American cooking, see 1880’s Clam Chowder-2017/01/30, 1880’s Minced Cabbage-2017/04/24, and 1880’s Ozark Honey-Oatmeal Cookies-2017/10/30.)

This 19th century cook book was one of many written by Maria Parloa, who was an important figure in the gastronomical world of her day.  She taught an abundance of classes at her own two schools, as well as the Boston Cooking School, the home of Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cook Book, which was forerunner to the renowned Fanny Farmer Cook Book.

In Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book, Parloa shared modern techniques and included 93 “essential” utensils for the kitchen, which boasted of such items as an apple corer, melon mold, and squash strainer.  Her writings catered to the affluent, for she recommended that a dinner for twelve need cost no more than $25, this at a time when an unskilled worker made about $1 per day.

In this book’s preface, the author’s desire for clear, complete, and concise directions is set forth, but these are vague compared to our present standards.  Her instructions, however, have far greater detail than those in many of the contemporary cook books of her day.

This recipe called for five pounds of fish, that which was normally required to sustain a family of six at the main, mid-day meal; by contrast, this same amount provided for twelve guests at a dinner party, as these hospitable affairs were always profuse in delectable dishes.  My directive only calls for one pound of salmon for four people in this creamy recipe, because this is a rich food for our relatively sedentary bodies; in these former days people were highly active, requiring many more calories than we do today.

As with this outmoded receipt, things call for adaptation; we must learn to adjust to the essential needs of any given time.  Our living God perpetually covers us in all instances of unforeseen change, bringing healthy modification, if we ask believing.  At times this process is slow; thus, patience is critical for success.

This is a joyful race we are running; nothing is too difficult for us!  We simply align our hearts to the “recipe” our Father is dictating at each turn, purposing to not be alarmed when our five pounds of fish becomes one pound, or with equal intention, staying calm when it reverses back to five pounds.

Recently I enjoyed escalloped salmon with friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time; our reunion was marked with excellence in both fellowship and food.  This dish is a winner for special occasions, especially when served with next week’s entry, teaching Miss Parloa’s minced cabbage.

References:

Special Silver Dollar City Edition of Maria Parloa’s Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1880); this was published by General Mills at an unknown date during the 20th century.

James Trager, The Food Chronology (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995), p. 310.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Parloa

https://www.lib.umich.edu/blogs/beyond-reading-room/happy-172nd-birthday-miss-parloa

http://www.nber.org/chapters/c2500.pdf

 

baked escalloped salmon

1880’s Escalloped Salmon  Yields: 4 servings.  Total prep time: 1 hr & 15 min/  active prep time: 45 min/  baking time: 30 min.  This is adapted from a recipe in General Mills’, 20th century Silver Dollar City Edition of Maria Parloa’s Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1880).

Note: this may be prepared ahead of time following steps 1-8; when doing so, reheat this refrigerated dish for a total of 1 hr before serving.  The original recipe calls for white fish; I, however, find this exceedingly bland in flavor, where salmon is perfect.

1/4 c bread crumbs  (May purchase ready-made, or grind 2 slices of stale bread in a dry food processor.  Make extra, as these freeze well; for stale bread, leave pieces out for about 8 hours.)

1-1 1/2 lb salmon fillet  (A minimum of 1 lb is needed if fillet is boneless and skinless, more if there are bones and skin.)

1 tsp salt, or to taste  (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is best for optimum health; a fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco for $4.95/1b.)

1 c whipping cream  (Heavy whipping cream is best health wise.)

1/8 c water

1 tbsp flour

1/8 tsp white pepper, or to taste

Steamed rice, cooked according to directions on package

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. If salmon fillet is large, cut in pieces that will fit in a 3-quart saucepan.  Place in pan and cover with salted water (add 1/2 tsp salt); bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook until center of thickest part of salmon is opaque, when pierced with a fork.  Saving broth, remove fish from liquid and cool.  Reduce broth to about 1/4 c over high heat.
  3. If preparing your own bread crumbs, grind 2 pieces or more of stale bread in dry food processor, pressing pulse button repeatedly until crumbs are fine.  Set aside 1/4 c-freeze extras.
  4. Heat cream over medium heat in a small saucepan, only until a soft boil is formed, stirring frequently; watch carefully.  As soon as it comes to a bare boil, reduce heat to med/low.
  5. While heating cream, dissolve flour in water.  With a wire whisk, stir flour mixture into softly boiling cream, to which you have added 2 tbsp of reduced broth; cook until sauce is thick, beating frequently.  Season with 1/2 tsp salt and white pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings; set aside.
  6. Start rice, following directions on package (wait if you are preparing salmon ahead).
  7. Butter a small, 1-quart baking dish; place a light layer of sauce in bottom of dish.
  8. Skin and carefully debone fish, placing bite-size pieces in baking dish on top of layer of cream, as you debone it.  When all the salmon is thus prepared, press down on fish to make compact; cover the top with the remaining cream sauce.  (If you are making this ahead of time, place dish in refrigerator; in which case an hour-twice as long- will be needed to bake cold fish; start rice when you place refrigerated salmon in oven.)
  9. Just before placing this in oven, spread bread crumbs on top of sauce.  If a skim has formed on top of cream, gently break apart with a spoon; this makes surface wet again, so crumbs can stick.  Then bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven; all the flavors will meld.
  10. Serve with 1880’s Minced Cabbage, which is next week’s entry.

Red Sauce for Pasta or Spaghetti Squash

simmering red sauce with splash shield

A beloved friend gave me a Valentine’s present of heart-shaped pasta; immediately I created this red sauce so I could enjoy my new treasure, resulting in this excellent covering for either pasta or spaghetti squash.

Follow these easy instructions for substituting the squash, if your dietary needs call for a vegetable rather than a starch with this piquant accompaniment.

Gifts promote well-being in both the giver and receiver.  My mother’s favorite language of love was that of gift giving; thus, I learned at an early age the power of contributions from the heart.  As a result I love to shower favor upon others, as well as graciously receive their inspired kindnesses.

This same act of generous sacrifice plays a lively part in my relationship with my Father in heaven, for I constantly seek to offer myself to him.  In doing so, it is important to slow down, move forward cautiously, relax, and especially, trust the process.  In this way, we proffer our lives to our Maker moment by moment.  However this process often brings tension, for resistance arises.

We see an explicit example of this opposition in our practice of eating: here polarity is experienced between a desire to quietly absorb pleasure and a friction arising out of our need to resolve storms present in our beings.

Taut emotions can result as we struggle to calm overactive minds, so we can enjoy our food; this dichotomy in our bodies can be countered with prayer.  Great grace is needed, however, if heightened feelings cause us even to miss the opening blessing over our nutriments.

When the above happens to me while eating, I immediately search my heart for honest moves of gratitude, which usually include my two favorite gifts from God: I have vibrant health, with my acquired ability to eat sanely, and an immense supply of resources, including the highest quality of food.

These two endowments were not always present with me, for I knew excessive physical and financial poverty in the past.  At one point I had a 226 pound body, that couldn’t stop eating compulsively; now it is clothed better than Solomon in size petite.

All devouring of my economic supply has likewise ended.  An apt example of this is the recent demolition of my computer, at which juncture I stood, looked out my window at the river below, and spoke the word: all things come together for good for those that love God and are called according to his purpose.  Joyful faith rose in me, I was convinced that increase was on its way.

Indeed it was!  For after waiting patiently six weeks, I now publish my blog with the fastest of computers, an I-7 laptop equipped with a new wireless keyboard, mouse, printer, and monitor setup.

In addition to the outstanding quality of these, I have a fiber optic internet connection-instead of DSL-with 90 times more power and a monthly fee that is slightly less!

This unheard of upgrade-a sign of the Father’s immense love-was further outdone by the monetary provision for this loss.  First, great deals gave me $700 worth of equipment for $280.  Next, three separate parties were moved to help me with this.  This was outdone even further, however, with this full amount being exceeded by half again as much, or $140 was left over in gift monies!

This is just one simple example of how my needs are always met today.  God, who owns the cattle on a 1000 hills, indeed showers us with blessings, if we but believe.

He loves each and every one of us!  Right now, his heart is reaching out, to set us free from all wounds that hinder his glory from manifesting in our lives.  He is only about goodness, as my testimony proves.  Let’s receive his blessings; begin by enjoying this red sauce recipe.

sweating onions

Simple Red Sauce for Pasta or Spaghetti Squash  Yields: 2 qt.  Total prep time: 1 hour/  active prep time: 30 minutes/  cooking time: 30 minutes.   (Spaghetti squash requires approximately 1 1/2 hr to bake.)

4 tbsp oil  (Coconut oil is best for flavor and quality here; avocado oil will also do; olive oil is carcinogenic, when heated to high temperatures.)

1 med/lg yellow onion, chopped

1 lb ground beef

1 lb romanesco or 3/4 lb mushrooms  (I like to use romanesco for variety’s sake; it is a green variant of cauliflower, which is available in the organic section at better supermarkets; may also use a combination of both.)

3 tbsp butter, if using mushrooms

2-15-oz cans of tomato sauce  (Hunt’s and Simple Truth-at our local Fred Meyer’s-make inexpensive organic tomato sauces.)

1-15-oz can of water

2 tsp dried oregano  (Trader Joe’s carries a superb, organic dried oregano for $1.99!)

1 tbsp dried basil  (Also available inexpensively at Trader’s.)

1 tsp sugar  (I prefer organic; available at Trader’s and also in a more economical 10 lb bag at Costco.)

2 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste  (Real Salt is important for optimum health, available in nutrition section at local supermarket.)

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper, more to taste

5 extra-large garlic cloves, minced  (3 cubes of Trader’s frozen garlic is better here.)

1/4 c tomato paste  (Open a 6-oz can and freeze individual 1/4 cup servings in small plastic bags, to be thawed as needed.)

Pasta or 4.5 lbs spaghetti squash  (This spaghetti squash yields 4-6 servings.)

Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved

  1. If using spaghetti squash, preheat oven to 375 degrees; pierce squash with a fork multiple times; place on side on foil-covered cookie sheet, and bake for approximately 1 1/2 hour, turning halfway through, at 3/4 hour.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before handling, cut lengthwise, take out seeds, and scrape out “noodles” with a fork, when ready to serve.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat; add a small piece of onion; when it sizzles, add rest of onions and sweat (cook until translucent); see photo.
  3. Fry beef in sauté pan; salt and pepper generously before cooking; drain fat if there is a great deal of excess, when finished.  Proceed to next step, while meat is cooking.
  4. If using romanesco, clean and cut into very small pieces, add to translucent onions, and cook until somewhat soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the cooked beef to onion mixture, along with tomato sauce, water, herbs, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and garlic.  Blend well.  Set aside sauté pan.
  6. Cover saucepan with a splash shield, which is available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (see top photo); bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to med/low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Go to next step.
  7. If you are using mushrooms instead of the romanesco, clean them by brushing off dirt with a mushroom brush, cut into small chunks.  Heat butter in the sauté pan, cook mushrooms in hot butter for several minutes, until slightly limp, stirring constantly.  Add mushrooms and juices to sauce.
  8. Meanwhile if serving with pasta, boil a large pot of water, to which 2 tbsp oil and 2 tsp salt are added.
  9. When sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, blend in tomato paste; cook for several minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly.
  10. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  11. Boil pasta 10 minutes before serving, or if using spaghetti squash, split baked squash in half lengthwise, take out seeds, and scoop out noodle-like membrane with a fork.
  12. Pour hot sauce over noodles and top with Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.
  13. Note: may freeze small individual containers of leftover sauce, to be conveniently thawed for future use.  This is dynamite!

Onion Bread

the grinding of flour, with an attachment for a Kitchen Aid mixer

Bread is proverbially known as the staff of life.  Indeed, my onion bread promotes vitality in body and soul; how it nourishes.

Words, as well as bread, establish the life force in each of us.  As my blog unfolds each week, I passionately look up even the simplest definitions; thus, I am able to best express my vision to you.

I see maxims, succinct formulations of principles or rules of conduct, in cooking which subsequently transfer over to our everyday existence.  My specific choice of terms defining food preparation displays concise truth that releases liberty to our total person.

Each written expression must have the precise force to propel that which is being born in my thoughts.  My broad scope for this website is to set captives free from all hindrances to receiving healthy nutriments.  My salutary insights first change our natural physiques; then, invigorate our minds; last, heal our emotions and spirits.

It has been spoken that the word of God is the bread of life.  We find freedom with it, as it produces needed change, which sheds light on the hidden fractures in our being.  May you be rejuvenated in God’s word, my life-sustaining English meanings, and this good onion loaf.

To gain this we must rise to action by taking courage; one must purpose to step into the unknown.  Read on, to grasp how the fundamentals of bread baking transfer to indefatigable living.

Let’s start with the practical first: may I encourage us to take a leap of faith by nimbly making bread with a food processor?  Blessings follow immediately with the remarkable ease which replaces this otherwise messy/time-consuming work.  Quickly we master making homemade bread using my simple, detailed directions; these comprehensive steps will circumvent all mistakes.  Let us allow ourselves the luxury of a little practice, which guarantees ultimate perfection.

There will always be new horizons, with greater challenges to overcome, as we walk through life.  Our proper attitude about this allows us to approach necessary growth with unspeakable joy and confidence.  It is critical, however, to learn the power of patience-needed in times of trouble-and equally important, the calm endurance required, while quietly waiting for our promised good.

Faith is critical in learning this great process of baking bread, as well as achieving tireless living; take my pledge that simple, better bread is fool-proof, if you honor my comfortable instructions.  Likewise effortless patterns of existence are more readily obtainable, as we draw upon the maxims found between cooking and living.  We dare to reach out for superlatives.

Now for the final stretch: when the time is right, invest in a wheat grinder for optimum health-giving bread, with a long shelf life.  Grinding our own wheat is a quick, one-step process: merely place the mixing bowl under the wheat grinding attachment on a Kitchen Aid, turn the machine on, and  the purest of flours is produced minutes later. (See top photo.)  If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid, it is possible to buy less expensive appliances that grind grains.  Trust, you won’t be sorry that you made this investment!

easy mincing of onion

Onion Bread Yields: 1 loaf.  Total prep time: 3 1/4 hr/  active prep time: 45 min/  inactive prep time: 2 hr/  baking time: 30 min.  Note: these steps are detailed, making this process easy to learn.  Also see Cocoa Bread (2016/05/30), Rosemary Bread (2017/10/16), and “Cuban” Holiday Rolls (2017/11/20).

1 1/4-1 1/2 c tepid water, 105 to 115 degrees

1  individual packet of yeast  (May use 3 tsp of Red Star Active Dry Yeast from an inexpensive 2-lb package, available at Costco, which may be frozen in a sealed container for long-term use.)

2 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp sugar

1 c unbleached white flour  (Bob’s Red Mill is high quality.)

3 c whole wheat flour  (Optional: grind 2 2/3 c organic hard red spring wheat berries to make the total 4 c of flour.)

1 1/4 tsp salt  (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is important for optimum health; a fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco for $4.95/5 lbs.)

1 c yellow onion, minced  (1 med/large yellow onion needed, refer to step 3 and above photo for easy mincing.)

4 tbsp dried chopped onion  (Available in bulk and in jars in the spice section; save all jars and refill yearly with fresh, inexpensive bulk spices-place adhesive tape, with date of purchase on each jar.)

1-13-gallon plastic bag

3-4 tbsp oil  (Any kind will do for oiling the bag.)

Spray oil  (Coconut spray oil is best; PAM is available at most stores; our local Winco brand, however, is far cheaper.)

  1. If grinding your own flour, begin to do so now (see top photo).
  2. Place 1/4 c lukewarm water in a small bowl; stir in yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar.  Let rest in a warm place for about 10 min, or until it becomes creamy, foams, and is nearly doubled in size.  (When using yeast directly from the freezer, it will take a little longer to proof.)
  3. Meantime mince the onion the easy way (see photo).  Peel it, leaving the root on; next, score this by cutting slices close together across the top one way, going three quarters of the way down into the onion; then, turn it and cut slices the opposite direction.  When onion is prepared thus, shave the minced pieces off the end with a sharp knife.  Measure and set aside chopped onion; save leftovers for other cooking.
  4. In an 11-cup (or larger) food processor blend well: flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt, minced fresh onion, and dried onion.
  5. When yeast mixture is doubled, add it and 1 1/4 c of water to flour mixture in food processor (only 1 c will be needed for fresh-ground flour, which has a coarser grind, not absorbing water as readily).
  6. Knead for 35 seconds; let cool by resting for 4 minutes; be aware that processing heats dough, which kills the yeast, if cooling is not allowed.
  7. After dough has cooled, knead again for 35 seconds; let rest for 4 minutes; take out and knead by hand for 5 minutes.  As you start kneading, it will feel somewhat moist to the touch-a lot of moisture is absorbed with kneading by hand.  (This is especially true when you grind your own flour.)  Refer to next step.
  8. Lightly flour hands and counter top IF needed, while kneading dough.  (When it sticks to hands, it helps to regularly wash and dry them.)  Dough should be firm, not sticky, and rather smooth, with the exception of the onion bumps, when finished.  Though highly unlikely, if dough becomes too stiff to knead easily, place back in food processor, kneading in 1 tbsp of water. Repeat if necessary, until severe stiffness is gone, it is flexible, and kneading by hand is facile, carefully resting dough so as not to overheat.  Again, dough will be firm, not sticky, elastic, and smooth to the touch (minus the onion bumps) when kneading is complete.
  9. Place in a 13-gallon plastic bag, in which you have evenly distributed 3-4 tbsp of oil.  Let rise in a warm place for 50-60 minutes, or until doubled.  (Only with freshly ground flour, will dough need to be punched down at this point and be allowed to rise for an additional 30 minutes.)
  10. Punch dough down, form it into a loaf, place in a bread pan sprayed with oil.  Also spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil; drape this loosely in and around the loaf.  Let rise for 50-60 minutes, or until doubled.
  11. 30 minutes into this last proofing time, be sure to preheat the oven to 400 degrees; this insures oven is ready when dough has risen.
  12. Remove plastic wrap when loaf is doubled; bake 27-30 minutes, or until it sounds hallow when tapped on bottom with fingers.  (Temperatures vary slightly from oven to oven-my oven takes 27 minutes.)
  13. Cool thoroughly on rack.  This keeps well in refrigerator, when wrapped in paper towel and sealed in a storage bag.  This process becomes extremely easy and quick with practice!  Enjoy.