Algona Cook Book, Circa 1910: Part Three

Image Credit Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Welcome back to the third week of the “Algona Cook Book, Circa 1910”. I hope you are enjoying reading some interesting cooking and baking “history”. I have spared you, for now, the section on “Reptiles” and will present to you at a later date. Bill Sandbulte gave me a dandy recipe to share, and that can be filed with the reptile section as well.


We begin this section with some “Medicinal Value of Vegetables”.

  • Tomatoes rouse torpid liver and do the work, ordinarily, of the doctor’s prescription. – I am sure you are very curious as to what a “torpid liver” might be. I was very tempted to take you on a detour, but you can read to your hearts content about torpid liver here. Dr. Kellogg will explain this malady from the way back year 1881. Enjoy!-M
  • Lettuce has a soothing, quieting effect upon the nerves and is an insomnia remedy.- I can’t imagine eating lettuce at midnight or during a panic attack.-M
  • Celery is an acknowledged nerve tonic and is more and more used in medical prescriptions.- E.C.D.-

Baked Cabbage with Cheese

Image by stanbalik from Pixabay

-This sounds very interesting! The cheese part got my attention.-M

Boil half a cabbage in boiling salted water until tender; drain and chop; bake in the alternating layer of cabbage and white sauce, with top layer of sauce and grated cheese and cracker crumbs, season with salt, pepper, and a little butter.- Bertha Hall, Cedar Rapids.- Sorry, she doesn’t mention a recipe for a white sauce. -M

Astorian Potatoes

Whip mealy potatoes to a powder with a fork; add one teaspoon of butter and a half cup of hot cream or milk, or more if needed, to make a creamy paste, then the beaten yolks of two eggs, one teaspoon salt, half saltspoon* pepper, and at last whip in the stiffly frothed whites. Heap on a buttered pie plate awash over with a little melted butter and brown lightly in oven.-Mrs. Geo. E. Clarke.

*Saltspoon! Yes, you read that correctly, before the day of free-flowing salt, salt was stored in a block. A piece of salt was broken off a larger block and then placed in small amounts in “salt-cellars” where the head of the house would dispense to you a small amount of precious salt with a saltspoon. Salt was expensive, and it easily absorbed moisture. Great care was taken not to waste salt. A saltspoon held a 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Fried Cucumbers

Cut off the skins from three good-sized cucumbers, slice lengthwise, in rather thick slices, lay in cold water one hour; wipe dry, dip in one beaten egg, then in fine cracker crumbs; season with salt and half saltspoon pepper; fry in deep fat until an ice light brown, drain, dray and serve at once. Delicious with fish.

Boston Baked Beans

Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

Soak one quart of beans in cold water overnight. In the morning put them into fresh cold water and simmer until soft enough to pierce with a pin, being careful not to let them get soft enough to break; then turn them into a colander and pour cold water through to rinse them. Pour boiling water over half a pound of salt pork, part fat, and part lean; scrape the rind until white. Place the beans in a bean pot, cut the rind into half-inch squares, bury the pork in the beans, leaving the rind only exposed. Mix in a cup one teaspoonful of mustard with one dessertspoon of molasses; fill the cup with cold water and when well-mixed pour over the beans and add enough more cold water to cover them. As the water boils away add more boiling water to keep them covered, until the last hour. Then remove the cover and let the pork crisp. Bake in a moderate oven for eight hours. Cold water should always be poured on at first to keep the beans whole. Many add half a teaspoon of soda to the water in which the beans are parboiled to destroy the acid in the skin of the bean. The mustard gives the beans a delicious flavor and also renders them more wholesome. – Mrs. George E. Clarke.

That’s it for this week. Next week we will begin in “Salads” and work our way down to the “Scrap Basket”. Till next time here is to good food, good friends and a good life.

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