WOMEN AND THE HOME
M. FRANCES HUCKS of Chatelaine Institute staff
THE MAN of the house cuts short his interviews. “We can discuss that later. It must be nearly supper time.” The children appear from play. “Mom, isn’t it nearly supper time?” One of the grown-up “children” back for a week-end suggests: “Supper time? Let’s set the
table in the kitchen.” And so it’s supper time—the very phrase is intimate and homey. It’s the happiest hour of a winter’s day, and it takes no very great perception to see how readily the family reacts to its lure.
If anyone finds it an effort to make the supper hour attractive, it is probably the one who has made it her job to provide interesting menus, night after night and month after month. And it does look like quite a problem when the garden and orchard are bare, when the budget still needs watching, when the growing family must have the proper food, when social and community activities are taking up a good proportion of the housekeeper’s time. In fact, there are moments when it appears that there are no new answers to the sometimes distracted question: “What shall we have for
When readers come to us with this question or with any other which deals with meal planning, our first reply is, “Plan your menus ahead.” With this done, one grocery order will look after the necessary staples for a week or more, one day’s baking will serve several meals, one hour’s concentration will save many hours of work and worry.
So, taking it for granted that the enquirer will sit down and plan her meals, our next duty is to offer some supperdish suggestions—of which there are really quite a few, in spite of the harassed housewife’s ideas to the contrary. It is a good stunt to have a card or cards in the recipe box listing the possibilities for supper dishes; then, in the planning, select one which fits in with the other meals already arranged for the day.
For example, you might decide that frankfurters are just the thing for supper on Thursday, forgetting until the ordering is done that there were pork chops for dinner and bacon for breakfast, and it doesn’t seem quite sensible to have all the pork on one day, does it? Or again, the breakfast main dish is a plain omelet, the dinner dessert a baked custard, and you decide to serve creamed eggs on toast for supper. Think of the eggs ! But it may happen very easily if three meals are put together haphazardly without a thought for their relation to each other.
All very good advice, you say, but still it doesn’t tell us what to have for supper. I think the best way to do that is first to list the foods which serve as starting points for supper dishes, give a general idea of the variety of dishes that may be prepared from each basis—we can’t give particulars about them all, the book isn’t big enough— then suggest menus using a main dish from each class, and if we still have room give the recipes for some of them. Here are the starting points:
Meat—hot, cold, left-over Fish—hot, cold, left-over
Poultry—cold, left-over Eggs—hot or cold
Cheese—hot or cold Vegetables—hot or cold
Waffles, pancakes, etc. Soups Sandwiches Rice, macaroni, noodles, cereals, etc.
Here are a few of the hot meat dishes that make excellent supper main courses, cooked in the simple, well-known ways: Bacon, sausages, frankfurters, liver, kidney, sweetbreads, hamburg steak, chipped or dried beef.
Cold sliced meats of all varieties do a great deal to keep the menu interesting—beef, veal, pork, lamb, ham, tongue, bologna and the many kinds of pork products that the butcher keeps on hand. Many people like dried beef just as it is. Canned comed beef, chilled in the tin and sliced in thin slices, is as good to look at as it is to eat. A meat loaf made from one kind of meat or a combination of two or more kinds, is as welcome cold for supper as it was hot for dinner.
IN MANY a menu plan, supper time gives an opportunity to use up left-over meat, and what grand combinations can result if the cook is resourceful! Some of them are: Meat pie, family size or individual writh a baking powder biscuit crust, savory hash, slices or cubes of cooked meat heated in a fiavorful sauce and served on toast or split hot biscuits, croquettes and timbales, and a host of casserole dishes made with diced or ground cooked meat in combination with vegetables, rice, macaroni, etc. Under the latter head come shepherd’s pie, scalloped veal with hard-cooked eggs, ham and macaroni en casserole, baked stuffed onions, peppers, potatoes and other vegetables. Under the class of cooked meats heated in a fiavorful sauce are found the “à la kings,” the curries, the chop sueys. Diced cooked meat makes a substantial salad too, combined with vegetables
and served on crisp lettuce with a favorite dressing. Or cooked meat with other foods, set in a carefully seasoned aspic, may be molded in individual dishes or in a family size loaf and be ready to serve with no trouble at all for a Sunday night supiier.
May we suggest that, for the purpose of making leftovers into the delicious dishes that they should be, you keep on hand such supplies as onion, canned tomato, lemons, cheese, bacon, dried bread crumbs, canned soups, a good selection of seasonings, tomato catsup and spicy sauces. One or other of these or a green pepper or a bit of parsley when you can get them, seems invaluable when it comes to achieving that certain something which makes all the difference between a culinary masterpiece and just a “left-over” dish.
There is as much or more variety in supper dishes based on fish. Smoked, pickled and salt fish, cooked in the customary ways, include broiled ciscoes, finnan haddies cooked in milk, broiled herring, codfish cakes and many others which are just right for supper. Canned fish, too, makes many an appetizing hot dish—salmon loaf with tomato or egg sauce, creamed salmon and peas, creamed tuna and egg, grilled sardines, and the creamed dishes and casseroles that can be made from lobster, shrimps, crab. Oysters and clams served in any of the ways that you like best need no advertising. Left-over fish is used in much the same way as canned fish. In the hot dishes mentioned, many varieties, when chilled and flaked, combine perfectly with vegetables, eggs or fruits in main course salads. Mashed and seasoned, the leftover fish is often made into sandwiches, particularly good for a fireside supper.
Cold fowl, sliced or made into a salad or used with other foods to make a substantial sandwich, is a supper dish that any one would be glad to serve even when guests are present, and everybody knows the grand things that are made from canned or diced left-over chicken—filling for pattie shells, chicken à la king, chicken shortcake, creamed chicken alone or in combination with mushrooms, almonds, celery or other foods that you like. Besides, there are croquettes made from left-over fowl, casserole dishes, individual molds of diced fowl combined with suitable vegetables or fruit and set in a fiavorful jelly. And chicken pie! With its bits of meat floating in a thick savory gravy and covered with a golden brown, light biscuit crust, it would win the prize in a ix>pularity contest for supper dishes.
Eggs are almost as well suited for supper dishes as they are for breakfast. There's all manner of variety, ranging from plain boiled or poached right through to the most elaborate of omelets or soufflés. Scrambled eggs, plain or with additions of vegetables such as mushrooms, canned tomatoes and others, are quickly prepared, well liked and good for the family. The omelets include the plain or French omelet and the puffy omelet, and variations made by adding cheese, cooked or raw vegetables, cooked rice, bread crumbs, or by serving with jelly, jam or a sweet or savory sauce. Soufflés may come at the first or the last of the meal; and combine eggs with such foods as cheese, cooked or canned fish, cooked chicken and the fruits and flavorings that are popular in desserts.
Baked eggs are good; try them baked in ramekins or dropped into the hollow made in a hot baked potato or a scooped-out tomato. Or put a layer of thickened tomato sauce or rich cream sauce to which chopped onion has been added in the bottom of a casserole and break eggs carefully into it. Sprinkle with crumbs and bake in a moderate oven until the eggs are set. Hard-cooked eggs, chopped and served in a cream sauce on sections of toast, give us another easy supper dish; or, cut in halves, the yolks mixed with diced ham and mayonnaise and piled back into the whites, they provide the main ingredient of a delightful salad.
Cheese we have mentioned along with some of the other foods. It is a great mixer and an excellent food which should be included more often in the menus. The cheese soufflé which we mentioned earlier combines cheese with milk and eggs in one of the most attractive and appetizing ways there are. Cheese fondu is a baked dish which has stale bread as a basis, contains milk and eggs also, and is almost a meal in itself. A rarebit is often a satisfactory answer to the supper problem, plain or with tomatoes, wdth various seasonings and sometimes with oysters. If you are fond of foods fried in deep fat, make cheese croquettes and serve them wdth a savory sauce or with a bit of bright jelly. A nippy cheese
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sauce transforms cooked vegetables into very satisfying supper dishes, particularly when served in a casserole with a topping of nicely browned crumbs. Everybody knows what a cheese sauce does to macaroni, spaghetti, noodles or rice, and most of us have served this same sauce spread over toast and accompanied by a few curls of j bacon. Cheese sandwiches, plain or toasted,
1 are substantial enough, and certainly sufficiently popular to warrant their appearance at the supper table. Many main course salads of fruit or vegetable get their quota of protein and much of their tang from cheese. But enough for cheese; we have other foods to talk about.
THE VEGETABLE kingdom offers almost unlimited suggestions for supper dishes—the old favorite, baked beans, and dishes like chili con came which use beans, com with its appetizing recipes for com pudding, com à la Southern, escalloped com, com fritters and many others; potatoes, scalloped with onion or cheese, baked and stuffed, made into croquettes, or served in a host of ways as the accompaniment to some other dish.
Almost any vegetable can be scalloped, and a great many of them can be creamed and served on toast or toasted biscuits. We need only mention a few of the favorites to start the housekeeper’s mind working— creamed mushrooms, creamed peas and carrots, creamed asparagus, and so on. Vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, onions and some others take kindly to stuffing, either with a seasoned dressing, with leftover chopped meat or fish, or maybe with a medley of other vegetables.
Salads of raw or cooked vegetables, or combinations of these with other materials, are as good in the fall and winter as they are in the spring, if they are carefully made and attractively served. There are, too, a number of well-known combinations such as spinach and poached egg, sauerkraut and frankfurters, scalloped tomatoes and bacon, candied sweet potatoes with ham, which will fill in blanks on the menu page in a very acceptable manner.
Waffles and pancakes served with maple syrup, honey, lemon or other fruit sauce, will meet with approval for the occasional winter supper. Waffles, by the way, make an excellent substitute for toast, or may be used as patty shells on which to serve tasty creamed mixtures at supper parties.
A substantial soup is often the main dish at a winter’s supper. Thick cream-of-vegetable soups, a cheese soup, broth with such additions as diced or slivered vegetables, barley, rice or macaroni, a fish or vegetable chowder or oyster soup, taste grand when the wind is howling outside. A sandwich, a salad or fruit dessert with a piece of cake, maybe a bit of cheese and a cracker, and with your chosen beverage you have a supper that is hard to beat.
You will notice that our dishes overlap to a certain extent, and when it comes to sandwiches we have to draw from most of the other classes. For a supper sandwich you can have most any kind you like, but make it big and substantial. Hot meat or chicken sandwiches with gravy are good. The famous club sandwich, grilled open sandwiches using such toppings as cheese, bacon, tomatoes, sardines and many others and served with a garnish of pickles or relishes, are popular with young people— and wre’re not saying that the older members of the family don’t like them. Fried egg sandwiches, toasted cheese, ham and tomato, egg and onion, salmon and celery—oh, there are far too many to try to mention here.
And finally, in the last class, rice, macaroni, noodles and various cereal products. Here we find favorites like Spanish rice, rice en casserole with vegetables, left-over meat and a savory sauce, rice croquettes, rice omelets, old-fashioned macaroni and cheese, Italian spaghetti, macaroni or spaghetti with mushrooms and tomatoes or any other tasty accompaniments, noodle ring, noodle and fish scallop, and all the original
dishes that the imaginative housewife can concoct with these products.
Fried mush with syrup and bacon is easy; all you need to do is cook too much cereal for breakfast in the morning. Make it pretty thick, spread it in a pan to cool, then cut it in squares and sauté it in hot fat. Are you one of those persons who sometimes want a big bowl of steaming porridge for supper on a cold evening? If you are, you know how good it tastes. Prepared cereal, too, is not out of place at the supper table, particularly when there are young children to eat it and plenty of milk to put on it—hot milk, if you like, and maybe a bit of stewed or fresh fruit over the top.
But if there is to be room for menus and recipes, I’ll have to get at them. Suppose you make a list of the suggestions you find in this article—I could have done it for you, but you wouldn’t have read the article— and add to it your own ideas, then file it in your recipe or suggestion box, and there won’t be half the stir over what to have for supper if you have something to refer to when you plan your menus.
Curry of Pork with
Boiled or Steamed Rice Green Tomato Pickle Pear and Otange Compote Cereal Ice-box Cookies Beverage
Tomato Bouillon Whitefish Salad Brown Bread or Rolls Fresh Gingerbread with
Cinnamon Flavored Whipped Cream Beverage
Chicken Rizotto Bread Sticks or Crusty Rolls Apple Grape Date and Nut Salad Pound Cake Beverage
Mexican Poached Eggs on Toast
Grated Raw Cabbage and Carrot Salad Canned Fruit
Spice Cake or Spanish Bun Beverage
Cheese and Com Soufflé Brown and White Bread
Head Lettuce with Vinaigrette Dressing Baked Apple with Raisins Drop Cookies Beverage
Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Nuts and Bacon Tomato Jelly with Diced Celery on Lettuce
Lemon Meringue Tarts Beverage
with Butter and Syrup Orange, Grapefruit and Mint Salad Whole Wheat Wafers Beverage
Bean Soup Crackers
Dill Pickles Celery
Johnny Cake and Syrup Beverage
Oyster Club Sandwich Cole Slaw
Apple Sauce Layer Cake Beverage
Scalloped Macaroni and Sausage Whole Wheat Muffins
Canned Pear and Chopped Nut Salad with
Cranberry Mayonnaise Beverage
Curry of Pork
2 Tablespoonfuls of pork dripping or bacon fat 2 Medium sized onions
4 Cupfuls of diced tart apples 2 Cupfuls of diced, lean, cooked pork
1 Cupful of thin pork gravy
1 Teaspoon ful of curry powder
2 Tablespoonfuls of lemon
Salt to taste
Peel and slice the onions in thin slices, add to the pork dripping and cook gently until lightly browned. Add the diced apples, cover the pan and cook slowly until the apples are tender. Add the diced pork and the gravy, the curry powder, lemon juice and salt to taste. Stir and heat until the mixture is piping hot. Serve with hot boiled or steamed rice.
2 Cupfuls of flaked, cooked whitefish
1 Cupful of finely minced
Juice of one lemon
Salt and paprika
2 Hard-cooked eggs 2 Tablespoonfuls of capers
Combine the fish and celery lightly, add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and paprika. Add sufficient mayonnaise to bind the ingredients, and pile lightly into a salad bowl lined with crisp lettuce leaves. Sprinkle the capers over the salad and garnish with slices or sections of hard-cooked egg.
1 Cupful or more of chopped cooked chicken 4 Cupfuls of chicken broth
1 Medium onion, minced
2 Tablespoon fuis of butter % Cupful of washed rice
Grated nippy cheese
Cut the meat from the bones of left-over, stewed or roast chicken, and cut in small dice. Add enough water to the bones to make four cupfuls of broth, and add any left-over chicken gravy. Simmer together until reduced to four cupfuls. Add the minced onion to the butter in a heavy frying pan and cook until lightly browned, add the chicken broth and when boiling vigorously, sprinkle in the rice slowly so as not to stop the boiling action. Cover the pan and simmer until the rice is tender—about twentyfive minutes—shaking occasionally to prevent sticking and if necessary stirring carefully with a fork. When the rice is tender and the liquid practically all absorbed, add the diced chicken and season to taste with salt. When thoroughly heated, turn on to a large, hot platter and sprinkle generously with grated nippy cheese.
Cheese and Corn Souffle
3 Tablespoon fuis of butter 3 Tablespoonfuls of flour 1 Cupful of milk
Salt and pepper 1 Cupful of com pulp y¿ Cupful of grated nippy cheese 3 Egg yolks 3 Egg whites
Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Add the milk gradually, and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix the com pulp, the grated cheese and the egg yolks, which have been beaten until light. Combine with the cream sauce, and lastly fold in the egg whites which have been beaten until stiff. Turn into a greased baking dish, set in a pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven— 350 degrees Fahr.—until firm and nicely browned—about fifty minutes.
Mexican Poached Eggs
1 Can of tomatoes, No. 3 6 or 8 Eggs
Salt and pepper Squares of buttered toast Coarsely chopped parsley
Press the tomatoes through a sieve and heat the juice to boiling point. Drop the eggs into the boiling juice just as you would poach them in water, lower the heat, and keep below the boiling point until the eggs are cooked. Remove from the liquid, place on squares of buttered toast and keep hot. Thicken the tomato juice, season with salt and pepper and serve over the eggs. Garnish with coarsely chopped parsley.
Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
With Nuts and Bacon
4 Large sweet potatoes Salt and paprika Butter
Rich milk or cream y¿ Cupful of chopped walnuts
8 Thin slices of bacon
Scrub the sweet potatoes and bake in a hot oven—400 to 425 degrees Fahr.—until soft. Cut in halves lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Mash thoroughly, season with salt and paprika, and add butter and sufficient milk or cream so that the mixture may be beaten until light and fluffy. Fold in the chopped nuts and pile the mixture back into the potato skins. Lay a thin slice of bacon across the top of each potato half, return to a hot oven and cook until the bacon is crisp.
1 Cupful of milk 1% Cupfuls of pastry flour
3 Teaspoonfuls of baking powder
1 Tablespoonful of sugar Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoon fuis of melted butter
Beat the eggs until very light and add the milk. Mix and sift the dry ingredients and add to the first mixture, beating until free from lumps. Add the melted shortening, mix well and bake in a hot waffle iron, pouring the batter into the centre of the iron. This amount will make four waffles.
Oyster Club Sandwich
2 Dozen oysters
6 Thin slices of bacon 12 Slices of buttered toast
6 Crisp, dry lettuce leaves Mayonnaise or tartar sauce
Clean the oysters and dip them into undiluted, salted, evaporated milk—one teaspoonful of salt to one-third cupful of milk. Drain and coat with fine sifted bread crumbs. Place in a well-oiled baking pan and sprinkle liberally with cooking oil. Bake in a hot oven—500 degrees Fahr.—for seven to ten minutes. When cooked, place four oysters on a slice of hot buttered toast, cover with a lettuce leaf which has been dipped in tartar sauce, add a slice of cooked bacon and cover with another slice of hot toast. Serve at once, garnished with sweet pickles.
Scalloped Macaroni and Sausage
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water, drain and rinse. Add sufficient medium thick cream sauce to hold it together, and place a layer in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Cover with a layer of chopped cooked sausage and add another layer of the macaroni mixture. Continue until the dish is filled, having a layer of macaroni on the top. Cover with buttered bread crumbs or with a layer of grated nippy cheese, and place in a hot oven—400 to 450 degrees Fahr.—until nicely browned and heated through.