Another lady showed how to make a fabulous (and easy) chocolate-strawberry trifle. She gave a really good tip that I will use. When you are making layers out of a cake, after you slice it horizontally and before you separate the layers, put a toothpick in the side of each layer one right above the other. After you frost the lower layer you can put the layers together exactly how they were by matching up the toothpicks! Pretty neat, huh?
The show went on to talk about the 3 very first cookbooks in the US. I was disappointed to learn Mrs. Rorer was not one of them, but she had to be one of the early ones for sure. My dad had his grandmother's Mrs. Rorer's cookbook and used it often. The real name of the book was The Philadelphia Cookbook. My brother, Tip, has that book. He made copies for Lynn and I and I love to refer to it. According to the TV show, these old cookbooks were really manuals for being a good housekeeper as well as how to cook. Mrs. Rorer even explains how to boil water! I tried to find a date in my copy of the book but I think some pages were missing. Mrs. Rorer was the principal of the Philadelphia Cooking School.
Another book my mom used a lot was The Settlement Cookbook. I think it is another one like Joy of Cooking and has many editions. Tip and Lynn , I think, both have copies of it. I didn't get any cookbooks from Mom but I did get her whole box of standardized recipes! I always have to check with Tip if I can't find one of Mom's favorite recipes. Shortly before she died I did call her and ask for a lot of the recipes I really liked so I do have some of her spoken recipes.
I was going through a huge pile of hand written recipes I have from all the years I've been married and even some from when I was in college ( more than 50 years ago). I found this recipe of Mom's for Candy Crust Pudding--a favorite when we were kids. I even submitted it to a radio show where ladies called in and gave hints, tips and recipes. The moderator always read one recipe each day and we all would copy them down. That's how I got so many hand written recipes! Anyway, at the end of the year the radio station printed a cookbook with all those recipes in it and Candy Crust Pudding made the cut! It was read on the radio and then printed in the book, too.
Here's Mom's (Pug's) recipe:
Pug's Candy Crust Pudding
1 Cup fine bread crumbs (I put dry bread in blender or food processor and grate it up)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp. white sugar
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind (when did they change this to lemon zest, by the way?)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
Soak crumbs in milk, set aside. Combine egg yolks, sugar,salt, lemon juice and lemon rind in another bowl. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Combine egg yolk mixture and milk mixture together and then gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top and then dot with the butter or margarine (Mom loved to dot all kinds of things with butter!). Place baking dish in a pan of water and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until set. To test put a knife in the center and if it comes out clean it is set.
My fine bread crumbs
Sprinkled with brown sugar and dotted with butter
Set empty pan on oven shelf. Set the baking dish in the pan and pour in water for best results.
Ready to bake
Set timer for 1 hour
Dip knife in center of the pudding to see if it is done
The knife came out clean so it is done
All baked and ready to serve warm or cold. Store leftovers in the refrigerator
Afternoon coffee with another set of my dishes. Enjoy this sweet, crusty, custardy, with a hint of lemon bread pudding!
Not fine china but I still like them a lot!