1904: “Some Dainty Luncheon Dishes” by Madame Jule De Ryther

New York Press, 31 Jul 1904 (Credit: Fulton History dot com)

New York Press, 31 Jul 1904 (Credit: Fulton History dot com)

As promised last Monday, here is one of Madame De Ryther’s numerous food columns; this one from 1904 features “Dainty Luncheon Dishes.” She offers recipes for items with which most of us are probably familiar: chicken croquettes, turkey hash, minced ham with poached eggs, and a club sandwich which she insists must be served hot. Of those, I lean towards the croquettes (anyone remember Howard Johnson’s shrimp croquettes from the 70s?—loved them), but, as I am trying to watch my waistline, Madame momentarily lost me at “heaping tablespoon of butter” and “gill of cream.”

But once I learned that a gill of cream is only four fluid ounces, I felt I could give Madame’s recipe a try. With no chicken on hand, I opted for ground turkey. (The recipe calls for 1 pint which is about 1 lb.) And I used canola oil in a deep-fryer set to 350 degrees F. instead of “a kettle half full of fat over the fire.” I served them with some cranberry jelly, mashed potato & vegetable, and I must say, they turned out pretty well—everyone at the table thought they were tasty in spite of their truly unphotogenic appearance; and it was only after dinner that I showed them where I got the recipe.

Image from The Fun of Cooking (1915)

Image from The Fun of Cooking (1915) by Caroline F. Benton

I would definitely make these croquettes again (I’d never tried making them before this), but next time I would make my two heaping tablespoonfuls of flour more heaping than I did this time around. And, while I did let the mixture cool down, next time I would refrigerate it for a bit after it cooled down to make it easier to handle.  I might also spice it up a bit with a dash of chili flakes, or use a bit more red pepper.

So there you have it. All in all—a winner for dinner, but definitely too time-consuming for today’s world of ‘grab-and-go’ lunches.

Have a good Monday!

P.S. I would say that the recipe feeds 4-6 depending on how hungry everyone is.

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Categories: Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Madame Jule de Ryther | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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