Colorful Foods for Springtime
WOMEN AND THE HOME
Spring is the time to put color into the menu and give it new freshness and charm
M. FRANCES HUCKS
Of The Chatelaine Institute Staff
A FEW years ago, there was no mistaking the signs of the changing seasons. Spring was unfailingly heralded—straw hats in shop windows, a bottle of tonic on the pantry shelf, and the glad news, “Sap’s runnin’,” after the first few warm days and clear, crisp nights.
Nowadays, the new hats are worn with fur coats in -midwinter, the spring tonic has been put to rout by a more varied diet, and Mother Nature has shown so mild a mood that March usually does not provide much contrast to the preceding months.
Neither are our springtime menus so different from those of other seasons, for garden products are available all the year round and are included in all our meals.
But the clever hostess has a trick or two up her sleeve. She know's how to express the spirit of the occasion and make her table a sign of the times. Color does it. Color and a distinctive motif or two are the charms with which she holds our interest.
This month two festive days present an opportunity to show our skill in this regard. Green in its varying shades is appropriate when we do honor to Saint Patrick on or about March 17, and surely it is no tax on our wits to find innumerable ways of using it.
This timely holiday is the inspiration to do something different, to liven up this business of housekeeping and give fresh-
ness and charm to the springtime menus. And around its ever present green is built the color plan of the whole spring season.
The markets offer a pleasant and comparatively simple solution to the problem of brightening March meals. Now here is color more pronounced than in the display of the greengrocer's wares. There we find patterns of yellow, orange, pinky reds and other vivid shades against a fresh, crisp background of green. What a simple matter it should be to make a selection from these and transfer some of this freshness to our tables! New vegetables, tender and tasty, accompany the meat course; deliciously fresh salads provide a main course or an accessory; and a novel dessert idea, using various seasonal foods, will tempt almost any flagging appetite.
We need not depend on the greengrocer for all our color. Garnishing is an art by which any woman may achieve novelty, and for the ones who are far distant from the markets it is doubly valuable. Pickles, cut in fancy shapes, dress up a plate most suitably; canned greens supply the desired color when fresh ones cannot be procured, and a prepared mint jelly may fittingly accompany the meat course. Green cherries are a charming garnish, canned greengage plums njay be used in making or garnishing a dessert. Angelica and pistachio nuts are less common “trimmings” w'hich add novelty in flavor and the desired touch of color, and as very little will serve this purpose they need not be classed as expensive.
A few drops of pure food coloring, carefully used, will transform an ordinary dish into a springtime delicacy. But don’t overdo it.
As the Easter season approaches, the bright green becomes tinged with yellow and we find this sunny color popular for Easter decorating. Pastels, however, are all popular, and any delicate shade may quite appropriately be chosen, depending on the surroundings or the linen and china. The yellow and green combination seems peculiarly suited to foods; and when accented by flowers and accessories in pale mauve or delicate pink, no choice is more picturesque.
Coupled with the greens which we have mentioned, we serve such vegetables as young carrots, tender and golden, yellowy green cabbage, and crisp celery curls with their yellow leaves. Fruits are available in varying shades of this color. Oranges, grapefruit, bananas, peaches, pears, apricots, pineapple, are all delicious and all available, either fresh or in tins. For salads and desserts, garnishes, meat
Lettuce, curly endive, cress, pepper grass, parsley, used as salad greens or garnishes.
Cucumbers, green peppers, green onions, used in salads or as garnishes. Peas, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, used as hot vegetables or in salads. Pickles, olives, green cherries, angelica, pistachio nuts, mint jelly, used as garnishes.
Grapefruit, pineapple, pear or banana, used in fruit cups, salads or desserts.
Juices used in cocktails or jellies.
Cream cheese, and hard cooked egg yolk, used in sandwiches and salads and as a garnish.
Lemon slices, celery curls, used as garnishes.
Oranges, peaches, apricots, used as suggested above.
Carrots as a hot vegetable or raw in salads.
Marmalade, peach or apricot jam, in sandwiches or desserts, or as a biscuit accompaniment.
Cheddar cheese in sauces, salads,and as a garnish.
Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, rhubarb, in desserts or the juices in cocktails.
Salmon, shrimp, lobster, ham, used as main dishes or sandwich fillings. Tomatoes in soup, sauce or salad.
Grape juice or jelly and grape jam, used in desserts and drinks. Chopped red cabbage mixed with mayonnaise, as a salad.
Pure food colorings may be used in any color scheme to color icings, whipped cream, jellies, candy mints, ice cubes, sugar cubes, cocoanut, almonds, and many other foods or food combinations.
I accompaniments, fruit cups and cocktails, ' we make generous use of these fruits or their ! tonic juices. Lemon slices color a fish platter ¡ or a salad and garnish a beverage, and the ¡candied peel of this and other fruits is a decorative and edible garnish for many dishes.
¡ Cheese, ranging in color from the palest ; cream to deep orange, appears in almost any course. Grated, it is sprinkled over cream soup. It colors sauce for vegetables, is part 1 of many salads, accompanies a dessert or climaxes a colorful meal.
Eggs, symbolic of Easter, are probably ! responsible for the popularity of yellow in j the season’s colors. They are the main ingredient in many nourishing and delicious dishes. The yolks, hard cooked and forced through a sieve, garnish vegetables and salads most effectively; or for the same purpose they may be cooked in a very thin ; sheet and cut in long strips.
Here again, a few drops of food coloring will color a jelly or tint an icing to complete a decorative menu or to introduce this shade in the color scheme. •
The pink of young rhubarb or the deeper ! shade of radishes is often used to enliven the yellow and green. Frequently, too, it provides the dominating note in the spring meal. Ham, popular as an Easter meat, carries out this theme, as do shellfish and salmon, which make colorful main course salads.
Paprika and pimento, typical and fiavorj ful garnishes, impart a pink tinge to many I cooked combinations.
The juices of such canned fruits as raspberries, strawberries or cherries are used with delightful results in Bavarian creams, fruit jellies and frozen dishes.
Mauve is less easily included in foods, so we depend on flowers and decorations to a greater extent if we use this color. However, grape juice or jelly and grape jam give a lavender tint and a distinctive flavor to puddings and other made desserts.
So, whetheryou are planning a party ! menu or a simple family meal, it is a good thing to show your true colors, to let your 'table herald the springtime and celebrate the glad season of the earth’s awakening.
Spicy Baked Ham
10 to 12 lb. Ham.
1 Teaspoonful of mustard Y Teaspoonful of paprika Yi Cupful of vinegar
Fz Cupful of ham stock Fz Cupful of brown sugar Whole cloves
Scrub the ham thoroughly with a small brush, and place skin side down in a kettle of water. Bring to boiling point and boil for j five minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer ! for about two hours. A well-smoked and ! salty ham should have previous soaking.
Remove the rind, place any superfluous j fat in a baking pan, and sprinkle the fat ! surface with the mustard and paprika. Pour j the vinegar and stock mixture over the meat and bake in a fairly slow oven for one hour, basting frequently with the liquid in the pan. Score diagonally and sprinkle the fat surface with the brown sugar, dot with j cloves, and continue baking, this time with! out basting, for another hour. Serve hot or cold.
Jellied Lettuce Salad
2 Tablespoon fuis of gelatine Yz Cupful of cold water
Yx Cupful of mild vinegar \i Cupful lemon juice 2 Cupfuls of boiling water 1 Teaspoonful of salt Fz Cupful of sugar
1 Teaspoon ful of grated onion
2 Cupfuls of leaf lettuce,
finely shredded Yx Cupful of pimento, finely chopped
Soak the gelatine in the cold water for five minutes. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, salt, sugar and grated onion.
Stir until dissolved, strain and cool. Arrange the lettuce and pimento in a cold wet mold, pour the cooled gelatine mixture carefully over it, and set aside to chill. Serve on crisp lettuce leaves with mayonnaise.
Lime Green Salad
1 y Tablespoonfuls of gelatine Yi Cupful of cold water Yi Cupful of lime juice Yi Cupful of boiling water y Cupful of sugar
1 Teaspoonful of lemon juice % Teaspoonful of salt
2 Teaspoon fuis of mild vinegar Green coloring
Yx Cupful of diced cucumber Yx Cupful of thinly sliced radishes
Yx Cupful of thinly sliced onions
Soften the gelatine in the cold water. Add the lime juice to the boiling water and the sugar. Combine with the softened gelatine and dissolve over hot water. Cool and add the lemon juice, salt and vinegar. Color the mixture a pale green when it begins to set, stir in the prepared vegetables and turn into a cold wet mold. Serve unmolded on crisp lettuce or watercress with mayonnaise.
Raw Carrot and Cabbage Salad
2 Cupfuls of raw carrots 2 Cupfuls of raw cabbage Half a green pepper 6 Tablespoonfuls of vinegar y Cupful of mayonnaise y Cupful of whipped cream
Cut the carrots in fine strips, shred the cabbage as finely as possible and cut the green pepper in fine slivers. Crisp the vegetables by allowing them to stand in ice water. Drain the cabbage, add the vinegar, and allow to stand in a cool place for fifteen minutes. Drain all the vegetables and dry thoroughly. Fold the whipped cream into the mayonnaise, add to the vegetables, and toss all lightly together. Serve in a salad bowl lined with crisp lettuce leaves, and garnish with watercress or pepper grass. Additional mayonnaise may be served with the salad.
2 Yeast cakes
1 Teaspoonful of sugar
Yx Cupful of lukewarm water YÏ Cupful of sugar
3 Tablespoonfuls of butter
2 Cupfuls of scalded milk
1 Teaspoonful of salt
6 Cupfuls of bread flour, approximately
Dissolve the yeast cakes and a teaspoon ful of sugar in the lukewarm water. Mix the half cupful of sugar and the butter with the scalded milk and the salt. Cool to lukewarm and add the yeast mixture and enough flour to make a sponge—about two cupfuls. Beat until smooth, cover and let rise until full of bubbles, add the beaten eggs and enough more flour to make a dough that can be handled—about four cupfuls. Knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into small balls about one inch in diameter, and drop three balls into each greased muffin tin. Cover and let rise until light, brush with melted butter and bake for twenty minutes in a hot oven, 400 to 425 degrees Fahr. This dough will keep in the refrigerator, to be shaped and baked as needed.
Rhubarb Bavarian Cream
1 Yi Cupfuls of sweetened cooked rhubarb
2 Tablespoonfuls of gelatine Yi Cupful of cold water 1 Tablespoonful of lemon juice
1 Cupful of whipped cream
Select tender red rhubarb, wash and cut in half-inch pieces. Place in a baking dish,
sprinkle with sugar and add from a half to three-quarters of a cupful of water. Bake in a moderate oven until very soft—about one hour.
Soften the gelatine in the cold water, combine with the hot rhubarb, add the lemon juice and additional sugar if necessary. Chill, stirring frequently, and when it begins to thicken fold in the stiffly whipped cream. Turn into a cold wet mold and allow to set and chill.
Fresh Pineapple Ice Box Cake
34 Cupful of shredded fresh pineapple 34 Cupful of sugar 34 Cupful of water 2 Eggs
>4 Cupful of butter Í Cupful of icing sugar 34 Teaspoonful of vanilla Lady fingers
Dissolve the sugar in the water and add to the Reaten egg yolks. Cook in a double boiler until the mixture is smooth and thick. Cream the butter until light, add the icing sugar gradually and continue creaming. Add the cooled egg mixture and the pineapple. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and the vanilla. Turn the mixture into a straight-sided pan, the bottom and sides of which are lined with split lady fingers; or line the bottom and sides of a pudding dish with split lady fingers and fill the centre with alternate layers of the pineapple mixture and split lady fingers, having the latter on top. Leave in the refrigerator over night,
turn out, decorate with whipped cream and green cherries or angelica.
34 Cupful of granulated sugar 34 Cupful of water 2 Egg whites
1 Cupful of whipping cream 34 Teaspoonful of almond flavoring
34 Cupful of chopped pistachio nuts
Boil the sugar and water together until it spins a thread when a little is dropped from a spoon. Add this syrup gradually to the stiffly beaten egg whites, and continue beating until the mass is light and fluffy. Chill, add to the whipped cream, and fold in the nuts. Add the flavoring and enough green coloring to produce a delicate green tint. Pour into the tray of a mechanical refrigerator and freeze without stirring for about three hours.
Pastel Jelly Squares
To make a colorful appetizer, salad or dessert, make lemon, orange, and mint jelly in flat pans, having the jelly a half to three-quarters of an inch thick. When firm, cut and serve chilled squares of each in cocktail glasses as an appetizer, or arrange the cubes on a bed of watercress and serve with cream dressing, or add diced fruits— orange, grapefruit, pineapple—to the jelly before it is set, and serve as a dessert with whipped cream.