Applesauce Shortcake Stacks

80/87111110 GOOD FOR TEA.
NEW things are not always the freshest nor the most novel. and everybody knows they are not by any means invariably the best. It is a good plan to heed the Scriptural counsel to “prove all things and hold fast that which is good, but the latter part of the injunction is too often forgotten, and things that have been proven and found good are too frequently permitted to lapse into desuetude in the feverish hunger for totally new sensations.

I have In mind an oldfashioned tea dish which I have seen on no table besides my own for many a year. Perhaps it is not quite correct to call this ‘old-fashioned, for even in that remote period when I first made its acquaintance, I do not recall that it was in any sense a fashionable dish, though I am sure it was very much more widely known in that generation than in this.

I do not know its proper name. In my father’s house it was indiscriminately called “fried apple pie” and “fried apple pancakes.” The latter seemed the more appropriate title, though both were homely enough. At a somewhat later time, my mother was surprised one day at the discovery, in an agricultural monthly, of a recipe for our favorite family tea dish, heralded as a new thing and dignified with the decidedly unique title of Momaters!” This etymological mystery attracted us at once, and the new name was immediately installed in place of the time-honored compounds. To this day “momaters” hold the place of honor on our table many times a year, and in the hope of introducing them-or it-to a wider appreciation, these lines are written.

The dish is easily prepared and offers on frequent sessions a welcome solution of an often perplexing problem, ” what to get for tea.” Its distinguishing ingredient is an applesauce prepared by stewing either dried or green apples-the former are much better to my taste-with lemon if desired, sweetening and seasoning with plenty of nutmeg and some cinnamon.

Then make a dough with baking.powder, the same as for biscuit, or with soda and cream of tartar or sour milk, if that is your habit. Make it stiffer than for biscuit, however, and do not put in so much shortening. Put into a frying pan or “spider” enough lard to cover the bottom and a little more. Roll the dough into very thin round sheets, a trifle smaller than the bottom of the frying pan, put the cakes into the lard and fry them, turning over and cooking both aides. When done, lay the cake on a plate and spread applesauce over it as thick as you think best. Take another cake and lay it on the layer of applesauce, and so build up the stack as high as you please. Three cakes is a convenient size, though two will do. Serve ti hot.

We often made Momaters the principle and sometimes the only dish at tea, and though our family was not large, very little was ever left for cold lunches- for which Momaters serve an excellent purpose. Those who know this fine old dish will agree to all that is said in its praise, and those who try it for the first time will make haste to endorse it.

My interpretation:

Have some apple butter or stewed apples on hand. Make a stiff biscuit dough, using slightly less butter or lard than usual. Put down a shallow layer of oil in a skillet, heat on medium heat. Roll some of the biscuit dough out to make a large pancake sized disc that will just about fit in the hot skillet and cook, browning on both sides. Put on plate and start browning another pancake sized disc of biscuit dough, while it’s cooking, spread the first one with the apple butter or stewed apples (or try some other fruit), top with another cooked biscuit dough disc, and either serve, or make a third disc of dough to make a three layer stack.

It sounds like it would be good sprinkled with powdered sugar or with cinnamon and sugar.

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Vintage Salad Receipts

Italian Sauce

Put the yolk of an egg into a basin, work in a teaspoonful of powdered sugar, a teaspoonful of garlic vinegar (one or two drops only for English taste), two tablespoonfuls of oil (this to be added slowly drop by drop). then a large tablespoonful of vinegar: pour over the salad, and serve at once.

Vermicelli Salad.

Cook the vermicelli in boiling water, drain, and lay on a flat dish. Poor over it oiled butter (or salad oil) into which the juice of a lemon. one drop of garlic or two of shallot vinegar, and half a teaspoonful of white pepper has been mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar: then lay cold, boiled carrot sliced, asparagus tops cut into peas, beetroots sliced, and hardboiled egg. Shake over the top grated parmesan cheese. garnish with cress, and serve when the vermicelli is quite cold: vinegar, sugar and oil dressing in a boat.

– – Egyptian or Pulse Salads.

Boil quarter pint of Egyptian or red lentils, quarter pint of German or blue green lentils, quarter pint of small white haricots and  quarter pint of the black…  half pint of gray peas, half pint of green peas. Let the waters be salted in which they are cooked, and boil each kind separately: drain. and dress them each with half a tablespoonful of salad oil seasoned with white pepper, cayenne, three drops each of shallot, tarragon. and mint vinegar: place them In a round dish, lay each kind by itself, so as to form a kind of chartreuse pattern; sprinkle good malt vinegar 0ver, decorate with olives, barberries, lemons, or any other pickle.

– Marigold vinegar for salad {This recipe is the one that interested me most}. The petals of the marigold. with their peculiar aromatic and somewhat hot taste. are much used for incorporation with salads. In some parts of England they are quite commonly used for salads, soups, and stews, just as we use it and the flowers of the nasturtium , and gourds (vegetable marrow, cucumber, etc.) in salad mixtures. The vinegar is more used on the Continent. however, and is particularly liked with fowl or mushroom salads. It is taken, too, like violet vinegar for skin complaints or measles, and administered with hot water and sugar. In salads it is supposed to counteract and avert all the “ills that flesh is heir to.”

Pick of the petals, and press them into a pint measure to get the proper quantity: lay them in the sun for four or fire hours, then put them into a quart bottle with a teaspoonful of fine salt and the same quantity of sugar: fill up with white-wine vinegar. In a fortnight,  it will be ready, and it will keep twelve months or longer.


Corn Salad: Shred up one white cos [Romaine] lettuce, one mild Spanish onion (about two ounces), pick a quarter pound of watercress, put them into a bowl with four tablespoonfuls (half a can) of sweet green mountain corn; when ready to serve, dress with Tartar sauce.
Tartar Sauce. Put into a basin the yolks of two large or three small eggs; blend the yolks, and work in drop by drop quarter pint (four tablespoons, full) Of salad oil ; when quite thick add one teaspoonful each of made mustard, tarragon, shallot, and mint vinegars, also one table spoonful of chopped capers; mix with a wooden or silver spoon, or the sauce may be served In a separate tureen, and oil, vinegar, and sugar handed round with it. Garnish the salad with tomatoes, cooked beetroot, hardboiled eggs, etc.  according to fancy.
Horseradish Vinegar for Salads. Scrape a quarter of a pound of horseradish (or save the ends from time to time and mince them finely), put them into a clean dry quart bottle with one teaspoonful bruised whole whole white peppers, twelve redpepper (chilli) pods; fill up with white-wine vinegar, stand for fourteen days In a warm place. Strain into a clean bottle. pour malt vinegar on the horse radish, and add any small end of horseradish you may have left from time to time.  The first infusion is for salad use. the second for hot sauce, stews, or any brown dish where horseradish vinegar may be required.

Good Housekeeping, Volume 9, from the London Hotels and Caterers Journal (late 1800s)

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Good Parenting means being flexible

“Let” children engage in forming their own opinions: Forming their own opinions: Parents should be careful about passing on their own strong opinions to their children as though they are a required belief.  As Miss Mason says, they may share your opinions for a time, “But a reaction comes, and the swinging of the pendulum is apt to carry them to a point of thought painfully remote from our own.”  See previous post on being over-earnest.  It backfires.  Be strong on principles, flexible on opinions.

Actually, you’re going to have to be flexible on a lot of things that you believe aren’t merely opinion.  I know it’s hard, at least for some of us.  In my heart of hearts, I cannot accept that being opposed to white flour in my children’s diet was merely a matter of opinion. It seems to me a rather obvious stance of firm principle based on sound logic and facts.  I suppose this goes back to letting children make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences.  You might as well be flexible, though, becuase in some cases this flexibility is making a virtue of necessity.

In other words, you can just relax your standards and be flexible nicely and your kids will do stuff you wish they wouldn’t but will love and respect you and come back and tell you you were right or at least still think you are worth talking to, or you can stand firmly in place, arms akimbo and tell the children “you shall not pass” and your kids will do stuff you wish they wouldn’t, and resent you and think you’re a crank not worth talking to because you’re fairly insane and have far too many soapboxes and hobby horses.

(more here)

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Cooking Tongue

I have looked through an 1897 Good Housekeeping and found an article on the proper ways to cook tongue.  I’m not sharing the how to cook part, because my method is simply to put it in the crockpot with a small bit of water and whatever herbs you want to smell- bay leaf, garlic, pepper, garlic… and cook it all day.  But this next bit comes from the GH:

When a fork pierces the meat without effort the tongue is done. Remove and peel off the skin but never cut this off, it gives the tongue a blotchy appearance, and if the cooking be attended to as directed is wholly unnecessary.  Simply cut a sharp slit in the thick rind; in this insert the fingers of the right hand wrapped in a clean cloth. With the left hand hold the tongue securely, pull, and the skin (unless perhaps a little on the under side which may require some coaxing) will pare off as clean and easy as the rind of an orange.


Tongue with mushroom gravy

Cook an dpeel tnoue, slice it and return to washed crockpot to keep warm (or slice and cover in foil and put it in the oven to keep warm)


Take two tablespoonfuls of butter and stir in a saucepan to a bright brown, then stir in two tablespoonfuls of flour and keep on stirring till it all bubbles. Now, if made with stock or strong soup the sauce will be doubly delicious. If stock or soup are not at hand, use some of the water in which the tongue was boiled.  Add one pint of the liquor if you use fresh mushrooms, two thirds of a pint if the mushrooms are canned,  as the juice in the latter will make up for the additional liquor. Pour in all the liquid at once and stir till all boils,  put in salt and pepper to taste, a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of sugar , a dash of celery salt,  and the mushrooms.

If the latter are fresh, set the saucepan into one of boiling water and let all cook for at least twenty minutes but if they are canned it will be sufficient to bring all to the boiling point.

Pour into a gravy boat. Serve the tongue on a hot platter  with a bit of the gravy ladled over it and garnished with a border of small white celery tips and slices of beet root.


Jellied Tongue:

Cook, and peel a tongue, chill.  Meanwhile…

Chop small a knuckle of veal and wash and slice a medium sized carrot, half a turnip, and a large onion. Take a stalk of celery, two sprigs of parsley, 2 small bay leaf, three cloves, and a ripe tomato; cover all with soft cold water and let it simmer slowly for five hours. Skim frequently and when the meat looks ragged and falls from the bone at the pressure of a fork remove and strain. Return the liquor to the pot and half beat the whites of two eggs with a little cold water. Just as the veal stock reaches a boiling point pour in the white of eggs and the water. Remove when it is once more at the boiling point and carefully skim again. Taste to see if it is seasoned to suit and then pour into a square or oblong tureen about half an inch of the liquor.  Now let this harden on the ice. Set the chilled tonue in on the firm layer of jelly.  Over this pour the remainder of the jelly which should just cover the tongue then set this on the ice and in a few hours it will be ready to serve.  When ready to do so dip the tureen in boiling hot water for a minute and reverse on a chilled platter. Before you will lie a mould of clear and savory jelly with the rich round tongue imbedded therein. Garnish generously with nasturtium leaves,  sliced lemon and little mounds of red currant or wild plum jelly.

Reminder: provide a sharp carving knife.


Oh, please.  Won’t somebody try that one and send me a picture?  I’d love to hear about it.

Tongue with Tomato Sauce: This is an excellent dish and should be served hot. In the evening before your crockpot tongue is finished,  put a pint and a half of tomatoes down separately to cook. Add to this one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a small bay leaf, and a medium sized onion -sliced. When these have boiled for twenty minutes, melt in another saucepan one heaping tablespoonful each of butter and flour. Stir till they bubble, and remove. Strain into this saucepan the tomatoes through a Henis press (note- this is a sort of hand held ricer),  return to the fire and stir again till all is thick and smooth.  Add pepper, salt, and celery salt to taste, and put the tongue on a platter,  pour the sauce on, sprinkle over all tiny sprays of parsley, and quartered slices of lemon and serve at once.

Baked Tongue with Green Pease.

This is also an epicurean dish. Boil—simmer rather—a large fresh tongue for three hours, remove and skin; put on a pan and place in the oven, and let bake for an hour and a half, basting profusely every fifteen minutes with butter and water. If fresh green pease are used, put them down In barely enough water to cover, and stir to-gether in a separate saucepan one tablespoonful of butter and one of flour. When these are bubbling throughout, add to them half a pint of cream, and stir till thick and smooth. If cream cannot be had, use rich milk, with a teaspoonful of butter in it. If the pease have been boiling fifteen minutes, they are probably done. Drain, and turn them into the sauce, bring all quickly to boiling point, and add pepper and salt to taste.  If using canned pease—and the French are the only desirable canned pease for fine sauce—drain and turn them into the white sauce without previous cook-ing, just giving them one rapid boil of a minute or two; put the tongue on a platter, pour the thick pea sauce over, and cover all with a delicate network of wee sprays of curly parsley.

Tongue with sauce Tartar..

For this a corned tongue is preferable. It should be cooked as directed for tongue with mushrooms, except that, being salt. it must be put down in cold, not boiling, water… When done, cut off downwards about three inches of the tip of the tongue. Chop this fine, and mix with it a cupful of Mayonnaise,or any rich salad dressing to which has been added two stoned and chopped olives, two chopped gherkins, one minced slice of onion, and a dessert spoonful of capers. In a salad dish make a flat rosette of crisp lettuce leaves, and i nthe center of this make a little mound of the sauce Tartare. Slice downward very thinly the balance of the tongue, and surround the rosette with these, arranged in overlapping slices. Half peel a dozen small red radishes, and turn back the rind till they look like half-open rose-buds. Place each on a small lettuce leaf, set around the broad edge of the platter, and set on the ice till ready to Serve.


Moulded Tongue. This may be of either fresh or salt beef tongue. Simmer as directed, till quite tender, and put a package of Cox’s gelatine to soak for a couple of hours, in just enough water to cover; then pour over one teacupful of boiling water, and stir; add four teacupfuls of bouillon or strong stock, and bring to the boiling point. Clarify by stirring into it the white of one egg, which has been beaten with a tablespoonful of cold water; skim, and strain through a cloth or jelly bag. and season this to suit individual tastes, with Worcestershire sauce, mushroom catsup, salt and pepper. Pour a little into a mould—any shape desired. Of course good taste will prevent you using one figured with fruit or flowers, which are designed expressly for sweets. Put the mould on ice till the jelly is firm, and then cover with a thick layer of the tongue cut in small dicelike blocks. Over this put a layer of finely-chopped parsley, and over that a layer of hard-boiled eggs,
sliced. Over these pour more of the jelly. which has been kept in a warm place, and when quite firm, repeat the previous operation until the materials are used up. When firm and required for use, dip the mould for a moment in hot water, and reverse on a bed of water cress. Pour mayonnaise dressing around the base, garnish with stars of beet root and sliced lemon, and serve. A delightful supper dish.

Curried Tongue with Rice. Wash thoroughly a cupful of rice, and put down to boil in a large kettle full of boiling salted water. While this is cooking. make the sauce. First fry a minced onion in one tablespoonful of butter, add one tablespoonful of flour, stir till it bubbles, and then pour in half a pint of stock ; add pepper and salt to taste, and stir in also one teaspoonful of Worcestershire, and one teaspoonful of mushroom catsup. Set where it will keep hot while cutting any cold cooked tongue at hand into pieces about an inch square. Then add these to the sauce. The rice, which has boiled twenty minutes, will now be done. Drain it in a colander and set the latter back where the rice can dry without scorching. Give the colander an occasional shake. stir into the rice curry powder to taste, and form it into a border around the platter. In the center make a lake of the thick sauce and the tongue. Against the inner wall of the rice place a standing row of slices of hard•boiled eggs. Scatter finely.shredded parsley over all, and serve at once.

Deviled Tongue. • A very appetizing breakfast dish is deviled tongue. Cut tongue which has been cooked as advised in the primary directions, or any that may be left over cold, into thick, even fillets. Blend smoothly together one teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoonful (level) Of mustard, one teaspoonful of vinegar. one pinch of sugar, a couple of dashes of cayenne, and one tablespoonful of melted butter. Slash each fillet in three or four places. rub the mixture well into them. and leave all soaking over night. When required, remove and broil over a brisk fire, turning frequently, and serve in a bed of parsley, with any desired sauce. This is excellent also when egged, covered with rolled and sifted bread crumbs. fried a gold-en rows in deep fat. just as one would fry a cruller, and served in a little lake of tomato sauce.

To Cure • Beef Tongue. There Is no better method of curing beef tongue than the following : Make a brine by adding to three gallops of water four and a half pounds of salt, three quarters of a pound of dark.brown sugar. and three ounces of saltpetre. Let all boil together, and skim ; then remove the brine from the fire, add one fourth of a teaspoonful of cayenne, and when quite cold put in the tongues. They will be fit to use in a week, and will be found of a color and flavor to satisfy the most experienced and fastidious. — Kate M. Cleary

The above comes from a Good Housekeeping 1897 edition. I do not know if it is the same Kate Cleary as this one, but the timing could be hers:

CLEARY, KATE M. (1863-1905)

Detailing the life of small-town pioneers, Kate M. Cleary wrote novels, stories, sketches, and poems about Nebraska in the late 1800s. Born on August 22, 1863, in Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada, she moved with her mother and two brothers in 1880 to Chicago, where the whole family wrote to support themselves. In 1884 she married Michael Cleary, and the couple moved to the newly founded village of Hubbell, Nebraska. While in Hubbell, the Clearys had six children, losing two daughters within a year of each other. The family moved back to Chicago in 1898.

After nearly dying from childbirth fever in 1894, Cleary became dependent on the morphine that her doctor had given her to relieve the pain. She battled ill health as well as addiction throughout her life, finally admitting herself to the Elgin Asylum for the Insane for drug treatment. After her treatment she separated from her husband and dedicated herself to writing, insisting on supporting the children’s private schooling. She died of heart failure in Chicago on July 16, 1905, at age forty-one, just as she had begun negotiating with publisher Houghton Mifflin on a collection of her short stories. It was never published.

Throughout her lifetime Cleary wrote hundreds of stories, which appeared in such diverse outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and McClure’s. The best of them are about early Plains settlers, especially the men and women in rural villages. Many of them are realistic or naturalistic depictions of the hardships of western pioneers. Others, however, are humorous and satirical portrayals, gently mocking social pretensions and the idealized Cult of True Womanhood.

Susanne K. George University of Nebraska at Kearney

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Copywork phrases

Anger punishes Itself.
All is not lost that Is in peril.
Blind men’s wives need no paint.
As is the workman, so is the work.
Abundance, like want, ruins many.
Use pastime so as not to lose time.
Trip broth is better than no porridge. (I have no idea what this means)
Try the ice before you venture upon it.
Better cut the shoe than pinch the foot.
As long lives the merry life as the sad.
A good word is as soon said as a bad one.
An old cat laps as much as a young kitten.
Better one word in time than two afterwards.
Two fools in a house are too many by a couple.
Better fare hard with good men than feast with bad.
Affairs that are done by due degree are soon ended. (I’m not sure what this one means, either)
Better go to Heaven in rags than to hell in embroidery.
An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes.—Cato.
He merits no thanks that does a kindness for his own end.
He that is needy when be is married, shall be rich when he is buried.
He that is poor all his kindred scorn him; he that is rich all are kin to him.
An ape’s an ape; a varlet’s a varlet, though they be clad in silk or scarlet.

From an 1898 Good Housekeeping

To use for copywork for an older child- year 4 or so, I would think, copy and paste to a word document, doublespace them, adjust the font to suit you and print them out. Let a smaller child get some practie with scissors in by cutting them into strips. Put them in a jar or other container and occasionally let your student pull one out to use for copywork.
Most of the time copywork should come from the books the students are reading, and the children should choose the passage to copy themselves.* But occasionally it’s nice to take a break from the work of choosing, to pick something with a touch of novelty. One of these might prompt some interesting discussions.

*(At other times when you have noticed your student is rather lax about apostrophes or capitalizing proper names or some other mechanics of grammar issue, you would choose copywork from their reading which includes examples of the little point you want your student to notice.)

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