Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bettina's Hallowe'en recipes

If you're still wincing from last night's Halloween Countdown post featuring Ring-Around-The-Tuna1, I will try to make it up to you this morning with some interesting old Halloween-themed recipes from "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband."2

Chapter LXXVII of the book is titled "Hallowe'en Revels." Here's a partial description of the Halloween party that takes place:
"The supper, decorative as well as delicious, was all upon the table. Little individual pumpkin pies on paper doilies stood beside each place. The salad caused much delight among the guests, who at the invitation of witches, had now removed their masks. A large red apple with a face cut on the outside, had been hollowed out, and the salad was within. On the top of the apple was a round wafer with a marshmallow to represent a hat. The hat was further decorated with a 'stick-up' of sticky candy on one side. The apple stood on a leaf of lettuce, with a yellow salad dressing necktie. The favor boxes, which were under the witches, were filled with candy corn, while the popcorn balls, placed on a platter, had features of chocolate fudge, and bonnets of frilled paper."
The book lays out the following menu for the Halloween party:
  • Oyster Patties
  • Bettina's Surprise Salad
  • Hallowe'en Sandwiches
  • Pickles
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Cider
  • Doughnuts
  • Jumbles
  • Popcorn Balls
The Hallowe'en Sandwiches sound a bit odd. They are described as: "When the bread is a day old, cut in slices one-third inch thick. Match in pairs. Cream the butter and spread one side. Place the other side on top. Press firmly. With a thimble cut out circles on one piece of the bread, cut nose and mouth with a knife. The butter showing through gives the resemblance to features."

Here are the recipes for Oyster Patties and Jumbles:
Oyster Patties (Six portions)
3 T-butter
4 T-flour
1 C-milk
½ t-salt
⅛ t-paprika
½ pint of oysters

Clean the oysters by removing any shells, and drain off the liquor. Melt the butter, add the flour and salt, and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook until very thick. Place the oysters in a pan and heat one minute. This "plumps" them. Do not cook too long. Add the oysters to the white sauce, and serve immediately in patty shells which have been freshened in a hot oven.

Jumbles (Twenty-four jumbles)
½ C-butter
1 C-sugar
1 egg
½ t-soda
½ C-sour milk
¼ t-salt
About 2 C-flour
Grape jelly

Cream the butter, add the sugar, and gradually add the egg, the soda mixed with the sour milk, the salt, and the flour to make a soft dough. (One which will roll easily.) Cut into shape with a round cooky cutter. On the centers of one-half the pieces, place a spoonful of grape jelly. Make features on the rest, using a thimble3 to cut out the eyes. Press the two together, and bake 12 minutes in a moderate oven.
1. As an addendum to Ring-Around-The-Tuna, I must add that I am by no means the first blogger to rant about what a nightmarish recipe that is. Among those who have previously pointed out how disgusting it is are Chef Andy and Will You Look At That.
2. The "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband" post, by the way, received thousands of page views earlier this week when it was a featured post on StumbleUpon. Epic win for Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles Le Cron!
3. I never knew thimbles were used so often in the kitchen!