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Hundred-Year-Old Recipes for Cold Winter Days

Published: February 2, 2018

Back in 1917, The Country Gentleman — a sister publication of the Post — paired two warm winter meals with a frozen pineapple pudding. The dessert chef promises “although it is rich and takes some time for its concoction, it pays!” But if frozen treats sound like a bad follow-up to a warm winter meal, don’t worry. The editors also threw in a hot option for dessert: a yummy squash pie.

Recipes to Use on Cold Winter Days

Originally published in The Country Gentleman, January 6, 1917

Perfection Halibut

  • 3 pounds halibut, thick slice
  • 4 or 5 slices of onion
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 4 or 5 thin slices of salt pork
  • cracker crumbs
  • minced parsley, for garnish

For sauce

  • butter
  • flour
  • milk or cream
  • salt, pepper, cayenne

Put the fish in a baking pan with two or three tablespoonfuls of water. Put the pork, and the onion chopped fine, the half bay leaf, and a few cracker crumbs on the fish. Bake for three-quarters of an hour.

Make a white sauce of one heaping tablespoon of butter and the same amount of flour melted together, and one large cupful of hot milk or cream; stir until it bubbles, season with salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne.

After the fish is cooked, push the flavorings off into the pan. Put the fish on a hot platter. Add one hot cupful of water to the contents of the pan, stir all together and let boil up; strain into the white sauce and pour round the fish. Sprinkle finely with minced parsley all over.

Meat Loaf

  • 2 pounds of lean beef
  • ½ pound of pork
  • 1 tablespoonful of chopped parsley
  • ½ cupful of bread crumbs
  • ½ cupful of strained tomato
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of salt
  • ½ teaspoonful of onion
  • ½ teaspoonful of pepper
  • butter
  • tomato sauce

Grind the meat very fine. Add the other ingredients and press into a firm roll. Bake 30 minutes. Have a hot oven to sear the surface, then cook more slowly. Baste with a liquid of one tablespoonful butter and half a cupful of hot water. Serve with tomato sauce.

Squash Pie

  • 1 ½ cupfuls of squash, steamed or boiled soft
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 1 cupful of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated rind of half a lemon
  • 2 level tablespoonfuls of cornstarch, moistened with milk
  • 1 cupful of shredded coconut

This recipe is sufficient for two pies. The crusts should be baked separately, first pricking them with a fork to prevent puffing. Mash the squash smooth; add the milk, hot; stir in the sugar, grated lemon rind, cornstarch and yolks of eggs, and boil 4 minutes, stirring slowly. When nearly cool, fill the baked crusts and sprinkle with shredded coconut.

A Family Favorite: Mrs. Wood’s Frozen Pudding

  • 2 cupfuls of sugar
  • 1 cupful of chopped pineapple
  • 1 cupful of Sultana raisins or mixed candied fruit, chopped
  • 1 pint of cream, whipped
  • 1 pint of milk
  • yolks of 8 eggs

Mix all but the fruit, and freeze [i.e., chill]; then open and stir the fruit in carefully; let it stand an hour, and then pack in molds if wished. This rule makes enough for a 2-quart freezer. The whites of the eggs may be used in angel cake; or use half the number of whole eggs, made with the milk and sugar into a custard.

I have used this recipe for frozen pudding ever since it was given to me by a notable housekeeper when I was just beginning to keep house. I serve it on most company occasions and for family festivities. Although it is rich and takes some time for its concoction, it pays! —Florence Spring

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