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Thursday, January 10, 2013

63

How to Make a "Jelly Sandwich"

Seriously, if this is how the Girl's Own Paper was telling Laura Ingalls to prepare "afternoon-tea dainties" in 1895, she should have just thrown chunks of salt pork at Almanzo and his terrible decision-making skills and told him to deal:

A quarter of a pound of butter, half a pound of fine sugar, three-quarters of a pound of flour, three eggs, three-quarters of a teacupful of milk and a heaped teaspoonful of baking powder.

Beat the butter and sugar to a cream, put in the eggs, one by one, beating between each, then add the milk, flour and powder. Spread on well-buttered jelly cake tins and bake ten minutes in a good oven.

When half cool, spread between either jam or lemon preserve, lay together, press gently, and with a sharp knife cut into neat pieces, and ice on top or not as desired. Plain icing is most suitable, made with icing sugar and water. The lemon preserve is made by stirring in a pan two ounces of butter, half a pound of fine sugar, three eggs, beaten, the juice and grated rind of two small lemons; let it boil slowly a minute or two, turn into a jelly mould and use when cold. This preserve keeps some little time, and delicious lemon cheesecakes are made, by lining tartlet tins with puff paste or short crust, putting a spoonful of the preserve in the centre and baking till the crust is ready.

Source: an old, old wooden book from the post-Civil War era.

63 Comments / Post A Comment

PatatasBravas

That shit would be expensive for a little house on the prairie!

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas Right? Lemons and sugar = not cheap.

maybe partying will help

Ma Ingalls would not fuck with this. Green pumpkin pie, anyone?

par_parenthese

@maybe partying will help "Well I'll be switched. You always could beat the nation cooking."

noReally

Vanity cakes. The treat with a moral lesson baked right in.

maybe partying will help

@noReally

I was so confused by vanity cakes as a kid. I was like BUT WHAT ARE THEY?? to my mom.

This recipe here is something the Olesons would've concocted.

lasso tabasco

Why is there no cheese in the cheescake?

Lesliepop

Almanzo! "The First Four Years" was such a downer. One disaster after another. Going into debt buying farm equipment, then losing one crop after another? Check. Loss of the baby? Check. Super cool hand-made house burned down? Check. Almanzo gets diphtheria and suffers neurotoxicity and is permanently semi-disabled? Check. It's hard to keep turning those pages.

Nicole Cliffe

@Lesliepop Almanzo HESITATES when rando farmer asks if he can trade him "his best horse" for Laura's newborn baby. DTMFA.

maybe partying will help

@Lesliepop

I had such a crush on Almanzo as a youngster and I didn't read The First Four Years until high school, and yeah, had a hard time with the DESPAIR.

Ophelia

@maybe partying will help Seriously. Also, isn't there a fire, just when things start going OK? Urgh, never mind, read @lesliepop's comment too fast.

loren smith

@Nicole Cliffe annnnd I can't believe I'm saying this, but was it a rando farmer, or was it the poor childless Boasts who had been close friends of the Ingalls since they settled on Silver Lake?

Verity

@loren smith It was the poor childless Boasts. I wonder if they were ever welcome at the Ingalls/Wilder homes after that.

loren smith

@Verity I know, right? I also wondered that - the description of Mrs. Boast's NYE party in her claim shanty was always one of my favorite scenes.

Lesliepop

@Verity It's hard to know what was real and what wasn't. Rose Wilder helped Laura edit her books to make them more appealing to children so some of the events in the earlier books are glossed over, or otherwise changed (two characters squashed into one, that kind of thing-- also did you know that during the Big Winter, an unmarried couple with a baby LIVED with the INgalls family? and apparently the dude ate more than anyone else and didn't contribute to the survival effort much? That didn't make it into the childrens book). But the First Four Years came later and was not heavily edited, which I think accounts for the really terrible sequence of events. You don't tell children about how your newborn son had a fever and the next day he was dead. I bet something like the offer of the swap did occur, though.

OhMarie

@Lesliepop Yeah, there was that time where they skipped the whole winter and it was like "so then it was spring and we all had scarlet fever and Mary's blind now." Buh-what?

Judith Slutler

But think of the arm muscles you'd have from whipping butter into cream, by hand! Seriously, my pioneer woman ancestors had some Michelle Obama arms, at least judging from the pictures we have.

fondue with cheddar

@Emmanuelle Cunt Not to mention all the butter-churning and clothes-washing!

ghost with the most

@fondue with cheddar but imagine your skin after all the lye soap......

and you'd just put some petroleum jelly shit on to fix it

fondue with cheddar

@ghost with the most And here in the present day we complain about our dishpan hands. Man...we're such wimps.

Scandyhoovian

Cue diabetic coma in 3... 2... 1...

queenofbithynia

@Scandyhoovian but they're just plain old basic jam tarts! Or regular old sugar cookies with jam in the middle but same thing. Old timey cookbooks really did not know how to write themselves though, that is for sure.

Scandyhoovian

@queenofbithynia Haha I was just like "add sugar and then more sugar and mix in some other sugar and more sugar!" I've been trying to cut down on sugar intake so it sort of stands out to me like a big red light of delicious sugary goodness.

par_parenthese

@queenofbithynia It's a jelly roll? Maybe? But yeah, good grief, use a numeral FFS.

Pyxis

@Scandyhoovian I've been trying to eat better in general, so I totally understand. For the past few days I have been going to bed early because if I stay up I know I'm just going to eat hot pockets and fritos.

fabel

@queenofbithynia haha, I actually like the way this is written. It's somehow easier to follow?

Ophelia

@queenofbithynia Some of the really old ones (like, 1500s) are hilarious. Trying to decipher what the recipe is telling you to do is pretty much impossible.

fondue with cheddar

@Pyxis I love Fritos, but one of my cats' feet have started to smell like Fritos all the time, so I don't know if I can eat them anymore. :(

Fritos dipped in chili are the best.

queenofbithynia

@fabel My favorite baking cookbook is old enough to be a little like this (Lilly Joss Reich, The Viennese Pastry Cookbook, RECOMMENDED) in that it seems totally straightforward except then at the end of the second page it is like oh, get these six ingredients I did not list on the first page and do this thing with them that has no connection to the torte you just made, and also if you do not like tortes you could make like a walnut rum paste thing instead, why not. It is fine if you were taught to bake as a child by a demonic math major of a mother who shouted at you to ALWAYS READ THE WHOLE RECIPE FIRST and ASSEMBLE ALL THE INGREDIENTS BEFORE BEGINNING but maybe very frustrating if you were not.

Ophelia

@fondue with cheddar Fritos used as scoops for tunafish are also really good.

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia Ooh, I never would have thought of that!

frigwiggin

@Ophelia My coworker was just doing that yesterday! (Well, it was tortilla chips, but same idea.)

Valley Girl

@fondue with cheddar I just want to put it out into the universe that I would love to understand the science behind the pet feet/corn chips connection. Why? How???

fondue with cheddar

@Valley Girl I didn't know animals could get it! I thought it was just people. Maybe I should try washing her feet. Maybe now that she's gotten older she'll be more relaxed about it (probably not).

Valley Girl

@frigwiggin OMGGGGGG grosssssss what was I thinking wanting to know

fondue with cheddar

"...and bake ten minutes in a good oven."

What? No shitty-oven directions? Psssh.

queenofbithynia

ugh remember when Laura forgot the sugar out of the rhubarb pie (it was rhubarb, right?) and the kindly farm dude pretends to believe she did it on purpose so that a feller can just spoon on as much sugar as he likes and every man his own piemaker, right, how ingenious of you, Mrs. Wilder, WHICH HE OBVIOUSLY DID NOT THINK AND EVERYBODY KNEW IT, how did she not die of shame, I would have.

Brunhilde

@queenofbithynia Pieplant?

fondue with cheddar

@Brunhilde I wanted to post a picture of someone hitting themselves in the face with a pie but I could not find one, so pretend I did and you thought it was funny.

par_parenthese

@queenofbithynia Gooseberry?

stonefruit

@Brunhilde YES! I just looked this up on my like 154037th re-read of Little Town On The Prairie and was like, well foxed my tail, you really do learn something new every day.

BlueberryFranklin

@Brunhilde Pieplant is rhubarb! Everyone wins! Wikipedia says: "This common use has led to the slang term for rhubarb, "pie plant", by which name it was more commonly known in the United States in the late 19th century."

fondue with cheddar

@BlueberryFranklin MAGICAL

Brunhilde

@BlueberryFranklin I always imagined an eggplant-like fruit that they only used in pies, never bothered to look it up! I did fall down the rabbit hole of looking up everything that Pollyanna took to Mrs. Snow (Calf's foot jelly, y'all!)

BlueberryFranklin

@Brunhilde Whoa!! I've spent some time researching Pollyanna's song (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_One_Morning) but never gotten into the food. Side note: Have you read the book? Or better yet, the sequel? Some crazy stuff there...

ghost with the most

@queenofbithynia i remembered that immediately too!!! maybe kind of cool to be able to put on the amt of sugar you want though, if ladies were putting in like heaps and heaps of butter and sugar (and lard ohhh the lard)

lavender gooms

Looking back, I think that Farmer Boy might be my favorite book because of all the food. All the food, all the time.

lavender gooms

@lavender gooms Err, favorite Little House book.

madge

@lavender gooms yes and i love the descriptions of how much almanzo could put away!

Lesliepop

@madge Can't you just imagine Almanzo exchanging all this food talk with Laura during long winter nights? She didn't make all that up in such detail. He had to have had some powerful food-related memories, don't you think?

stonefruit

I know I'm supposed to find them charming, but recipes like these make my toenails itch with frustration. I cannot stand imprecise recipes. I am entirely too type-A (the A is for anal) for this nonsense.

aubrey!

@stonefruit Yes! You cannot just fling sugar and flour about willy-nilly. There has to be some standards. (Although, this recipe at least has weight measurements.)

Lesliepop

Can we please just have one really long Little House thread with a sticky that keeps it on top and makes it go on forever?

M'fly

@Lesliepop YES PLEASE can this be a thing please please please?

Also this recipe looked really familiar, and sure nuff, it's almost identical to one of my favorite recipes, my maternal grandmother's maternal grandmother's Washington Pie (pronounced WAR-shington, natch). Although using lemon preserve instead of raspberry or strawberry jam would just be a sin.

Lesliepop

@M'fly Ever had crow pie? I hear it tastes just like chicken! But seriously if I had seen the crows lay waste to the crop my family depended on, I would enjoy the everloving crap out of eating as many of them as possible.

I'd love to try your family's pie recipe!

PS there is a cookbook that contains many of the Little House recipes. I read some of the recipes and was not enthusiastic about trying them. It's on Amazon-- The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker

Lesliepop

@M'fly Cornmeal Mush, Bean Porridge and Corn Dodgers Potato Cakes, Creamed Carrots, Fried Parsnips and Succotash.

CinnamonSwirls

@Lesliepop
I'm coming late to this but when I was younger, Little House on the Prairie was my FAVORITE and I dressed up like her for a school project and I actually made the Cornmeal Mush or whatever it was for people to try. It was TERRIBLE! My fellow fifth-graders were like "hell, no, GTFO. We want [some other girl]'s cupcakes."

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