With a little forethought the housewife's Sabbath can be made a real day of rest
KATHERINE M. CALDWELLJune151929
No Cooking on Summer Sundays
WOMEN AND THEIR WORK
With a little forethought the housewife's Sabbath can be made a real day of rest
KATHERINE M. CALDWELL
THE week end which releases the paterfamilias from business and frees the student members of the family from classes, should permit the mother of the household at least sufficient leisure to enjoy the spirit of freedom with the others. Too often she is so imbued with the idea of making something of an occasion of the family Sunday, that she gives herself more work than ever, instead of finding a greater opportunity for companionship and rest.
Hospitality, too, makes its Sunday demands frequently on the average household—with, perhaps, more of the burden than the pleasure falling upon the hostess.
A satisfactory compromise between the desire to do well by family and guests, and the need to deal fairly by herself is fortunately possible, but the homemaker herself must effect it. She must plan well ahead and with an eye to as much forehandedness as possible in the matter ofactual preparation. Every food on the Sunday menu should qualify for its position by a readiness to be all or partially prepared well in advance.
You may not hold a brief for the entirely cold meal — too much cold food is undoubtedly a mistake, even in the hottest weather—but an occasional cold meal can do no harm and may be exceedingly tempting. And, of course, it is very easy to introduce one or two hot items, choosing those that are easiest of preparation. A hot soup, preceding a cold main course, will stimulate digestion and is an ideal menu for any but the very hottest day. Perhaps you will get the meat cookery out of the way on Saturday, but will prefer to serve hot vegetables along with your cold cuts. A hot beverage, too, helps to equalize the balance when most of the dishes are cold.
Suggestions for Sunday
HPHERE are several types of Sunday menus, then, which will meet the necessities of the case in various ways—the all-cold courses, the hot accompaniments or minor courses planned around a cold main dish, or if a genuine hot dinner is preferred, the menu that features things that may be almost ready, and others that are quickly and easily cooked.
Three such menus, one to illustrate the Sunday dinner belonging to each of these types, are offered as examples. The first is the kind of meal that can be prepared completely by Saturday noon. It is a delicate gelatine mold, attractive to the eye, zestful in flavor and entirely satisfying.
A salad of cucumber and tomato almost automatically suggests itself for service with the fish. The cucumbers, when peeled, are thinly sliced, tossed into cold water and placed in the refrigerator. Small, even-sized tomatoes should be plunged into boiling water for a couple of minutes, then into very cold water; after which the skins will come off very easily. The small whole tomatoes are very attractive served this way with the border of cucumber slices, if nicely chilled. The lettuce can be washed as soon as it comes from market, rolled up in waxed paper or a fresh tea towel and put in a cold place—it will become delightfully crisp, ready for use at a moment’s notice.
A jar of your favorite salad dressing, made perhaps a day or two earlier, will usually be wanted for the week end—it is so helpful with sandwiches for the outdoor meal or for Sunday’s tea or supper.
The whole wheat biscuits can be made on Saturday and served cold, or they can be very lightly brushed with milk and re-heated in the oven. Or still again, they may be mixed early on Sunday, during breakfast preparations if you like, shaped and put in their pans ready for baking, placed where they will be kept very cold; they may be popped into the oven about twelve minutes before serving time.
Ice box cake must be given twenty-four hours to set, so it is an ideal sweet to plan for the day-before preparation. Stuffed dates give a festive touch and are very good food as well; they are more interesting if two or three fillings are used in them.
A hot beverage might be very welcome when it fitted into the general scheme of things, but a fruit punch might supplant it or be offered as an alternative.
The second is the compromise meal. A cold beef loaf is most appetizing, if well made; it could be used very nicely as a substitute for the fish mousse in menu number I, with a salad accompaniment. In number II menu, I have suggested the use of hot vegetables with it, and either a hot or cold soup as a preface. Canned soup, turned out, diluted and left in the refrigerator until required, is heated in a very few minutes; or if you would serve it cold, you can still use canned soup, if you choose one of the clear stock soups, diluted, seasoned a little more highly—because the thorough chilling given a soup of this kind nullifies some of the flavor—
and enough gelatine added to set the soup very delicately. It can be served in chilled bouillon cups, or is very attractive if served in the double glasses employed for fruits, the inner glass filled with the delicate soup jelly being surrounded by cracked ice in the larger grapefruit glass.
Instead of a sweet in this menu, I have suggested the use of a pineapple salad accompanied by crackers and cream cheese. A mayonnaise dressing, preferably with a little whipped cream folded into it, or a sweet fruit dressing or simple French dressing, might accompany the salad. A good cup of coffee and some walnuts to crack seem to add just the final touch to this pleasant meal.
The third menu suggests a hot main dish that carries with it that atmosphere of “something special for Sunday” which many homemakers feel is essential. It is not an exacting dish to prepare, however; most of the work can be done ahead and less than an hour should put dinner on the table.
The melon cocktail is merely a matter of small balls scooped out of ripe melons with a little French potato ball cutter, or you can use a small coffee spoon. The melon should be well chilled and a few drops of lemon juice will improve it for most tastes.
The chicken pie can be at least three-quarters ready on Saturday. The chicken should be simmered until tender and cooled in the soup; the pastry—a rich flaky paste—can be mixed and left rolled up in the ice box, where it will be improved by a thorough overnight chilling. It will only remain to make the sauce to cover the chicken, add the pastry top and bake the pie.
The vegetables are designed to be finished in the oven, since it will have to be lighted anyway for the chicken pie; but they too, can be well on the way toward readiness; the celery can be stewed, only needing to be mixed with white sauce and covered with buttered crumbs from the jar of dry crumbs that should always be in readiness. The potatoes should be baked on Saturday, scooped out and filled.
The salad is easily assembled and the pudding is a very delicious one which, although it may be eaten hot, is also a treat when served cold.
You can use either cold cooked fish, or canned fish for this gelatine mold; a number I can of salmon answers very well.
Make a boiled dressing first, using:
bí cupful milk
2 teaspoonfuls sugar
1 teaspoonful salt
2 teaspoonfuls flour
1 teaspoonful mustard Few grains cayenne
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoonfuls melted butter bíi cupful vinegar
1 tablespoonful gelatine
2 tablespoonfuls cold water
2 cupfuls fish
Scald the milk in a double boiler; mix well the sugar, salt, flour and seasonings and stir the milk into them, then return to double boiler and stir until smoothly thickened. Beat egg yolks slightly, stir some of hot mixture into them, return to double boiler and cook a moment longer, adding the melted butter. Lastly, add the vinegar
9 Have ready the gelatine soaked in the cold water. Dissolve this in the hot dressing, then strain the mixture, combine with the fish, which has been carefully flaked with a silver fork and freed from all skin and bone. Let mixture stand near at hand so that it can be conveniently stirred occasionally until it begins to set; then turn into mold wet with cold water and chill.
Whole Wheat Biscuits
1 bí cupfuls whole wheat flour % cupfuls white flour H teaspoonful salt
4 teaspoonfuls baking powder
3 tablespoonfuls shortening
% cupful milk
Mix dry ingredients well together, cut in cold hard shortening with a knife and add the liquid, mixing quickly and lightly. Turn out on floured board and press or roll to bí inch thickness; shape with small cutter. Bake in hot oven, 450 deg. Fahr, for about twelve minutes. If desired, dough may be mixed early and kept well chilled in coldest compartment
of refrigerator until just before serving, when pans are put into hot oven.
Chocolate Ice Box Cake
8 ounees sweet chocolate
3 tablespoonfuls sugar
J4 cupful water
2 dozen lady fingers
34 teaspoonful vanilla
Put the chocolate, water and sugar in double boiler and cook until melted. Beat egg yolks well and stir into them a little of the hot syrup, then return to rest of syrup and cook a few minutes more, stirring constantly, to thicken egg. Cool. Beat egg whites stiff, add vanilla and fold into cooked mixture. Have ready a serving dish lined with split lady fingers; turn half of the custard mixture into the dish, lay a layer of lady fingers on the surface, then pour in rest of mixture. Chill over night.
Cold Jellied Soup
Dilute one can soup, adding equal quantity of water, or for a very concentrated soup, twice as much water. To three cupfuls of liquid, allow 34 of a teaspoonful of salt, 34 °f a teaspoonful of pepper, one teaspoonful of minced onion.
Add these seasonings to soup and water and bring to boil. Have ready one tablespoonful of gelatine soaked in a little cold water; dissolve in the hot soup. Strain. When mixture has cooled, put in cold place to set.
1 pound freshly minced round
2 cupfuls fresh bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped fine
34 teaspoonful salt
34 teaspoonful pepper
1 teaspoonful grated lemon rind
1 tablespoonful chopped parsley
Mix all ingredients thoroughly and if not quite moist enough, sprinkle with a
spoonful or so of milk or water. Shape into a loaf, put in roasting pan with plenty of dripping, and put into hot oven for ten minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and allow about thirty to forty minutes more, basting frequently.
Deep Chicken Pie
Simmer chicken until tender, adding a stalk or two of celery, a sprig of parsley and if desired, a slice of onion, while cooking; add pepper and salt to taste.
When the chicken is tender enough to come apart easily at the joints, let it cool in the soup.
When it is time to make the pie, separate chicken in neat pieces and arrange in a deep baking dish. Make a sauce, using equal quantities of chicken stock and milk, thickened with butter and flour blended together; season to taste and pour sufficient sauce over the chicken to cover it. Roll out flaky pie crust, cover dish with it, add a fluted rim, gash pastry top to allow steam to escape and put into a hot oven, reducing the heat a little after first fifteen minutes.
Baked Lemon Pudding
1 tablespoonful butter
-§ cupful sugar
3 tablespoonfuls flour Grated rind of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon
1 cupful milk
Cream the butter and work in the sugar and flour thoroughly. Add the grated lemon rind and the juice. Beat the egg yolks until they are very light and add them to the mixture; add the milk. Beat the egg whites very stiff and fold them into the mixture. Turn into a buttered baking dish, set this in a pan containing some hot water and bake in a moderate oven for about twenty minutes. The pudding separates of its own accord into an upper layer which is light and puffy and a lower layer that resembles a lemon cream. The pudding may be served plain or with cream.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.