Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Attention housewives: Here are 5 of the 219 ways to a man's heart

This staplebound recipe book, 219 New Ways to a Man's Heart, was published around 1929 by True Story magazine.1 It was a followup to 161 New Ways to a Man's Heart, which sold 125,000 copies at 10 cents apiece, according to this second edition's preface.

This edition contains the 161 recipes from the first edition, plus 58 new recipes.2 (A few years later, True Story published a third edition — 333 New Ways to a Man's Heart.)

The cost of the second edition remained 10 cents, even with the additional recipes.

The recipe books were compiled by True Story's resident cook, Phoebe Dane. In the foreword, she writes:
"Men certainly like good substantial home cooking, the kind of things Mother used to make, as they usually express it. And while we may have a lot of good simple dishes that we make for the children, and some dainty and elaborate recipes clipped from magazine articles that we like to try on our women friends — after all, it's for the man of the house that we put forth our noblest culinary efforts. Why not admit it? ... My good wishes for a happy home, a smiling family and above all, a contented husband, go with this little book."

Here are five recipes from the book, which I chose more for their entertainment value than their potential for satisfying a spouse.

Eggs and Spaghetti
Cook ½ pound spaghetti in boiling salted water until tender — about 20 minutes — and drain in colander. Hard cook as many eggs as desired, slice them them and warm in tomato sauce thickened with flour and butter and seasoned with grated cheese. Arrange the spaghetti in a circle on a hot dish, with eggs and tomato sauce in center, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Sweet and Sour Tongue
Boil tongue in salted cold water, almost covered, until tender. Skin, strain water, and skim fat. Boil together until thick (1 hour) a Lepkuchen (fish cake)3, a slice of lemon, 1 white onion, sliced, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup vinegar, with stock from tongue. Boil tongue in this sauce ten minutes, leaving pot uncovered.

Chicken Gelatine
Pull off the thick skin from chicken feet and remove the toes.4 Add just enough water to cover them and simmer for 2 hours. Strain off liquid, add 4 white eggs to the jelly and boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes then strain through 2 thicknesses of cheesecloth. Leave in a cool place overnight. Remove any fat that has solidified on the surface and combine with fruit juices or flavoring.

Gesetze Boney Soup (A Favorite Jewish Dish)
Clean and wash 1 quart white beans and put in a large pot or kettle. Lay in this ½ pound smoked breast of beef, and 1½ pounds brisket with the bones. Add 5 pieces of garlic cut small, salt and 2 tablespoons flour. Fill with water to an inch over the meat, and boil all day long.

War Cake5
Boil together for five minutes 2 cups water, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cloves and cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 pound small seedless raisins. When cold, add 3 cups sifted flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a little warm water. Bake 50 minutes in a modern oven.

Footnotes
1. Related post: "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband"
2. The booklet also contains a number of neat old advertisements, including ones for Thompson's "Double Malted" Malted Milk, Lux, French's Mustard, Chicos Spanish peanuts, Jell-O, Ovaltine, Kellogg's and Mazola-Mayonnaise.
3. I'm a bit confused by this, because the only Lepkuchen references I can find online are for lebkuchen/lepkuchen, which is a Pennsylvania Dutch dessert that has nothing to do with fish. Help?
4. This marks the first time that sentence has been used on the Internet. I am beaming with pride.
5. War Cake is also known as Depression Cake.

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