Many cook books are made, but for practical purposes, few of them are worth the labor and material put into them. The very fact that there is always a market for cook books proves their inefficiency. If housekeepers on trying and proving a recipe would at once copy in good ink or, if printed, paste in a scrap book, there would soon be a library of reliable cook books.
Here are a few proved recipes, with a breakfast dish to begin with. This has for its first merit simplicity; second, economy; third, it requires but little time for both compounding and cooking, and for the principal dish after the ripe fruit and some sort of cereal have been eaten, it will prove most palatable.
Scalloped Veal or Lamb made from the left over remnants of roast or stew. First chop the fragments very fine and have ready some cracker or stale bread crumbs. Butter a deep baking time and put in a layer of the veal, then crumbs, and moisten with the left over gravy. In case there is none use sweet milk and tiny lumps of butter. Fill the pan, finishing with crumbs. Season to taste. This dish requires but to be heated through, and not too rapidly. It may be prepared over night, but if mixed with milk care must be taken to prevent souring.
Jellied Veal – This is a nice dish and a very pretty one for a Sunday dinner with warm vegetables, or it may be prepared for lunch or tea on any day. To make a mold large enough for six persons, get a knuckle of veal that will cost tenor fifteen cents; two small shanks will do. The shank is best because of the quantity of gelatine in this part. Boil the veal slowly till the meat drops from the bones, and there is but barely enough liquor left to prevent scorching. Take out the bones and pull the meat into shreds with a knife and fork; mixing well with the liquor. Have ready two hard boiled eggs, which cut into slices a quarter of an inch thick and place in the bottom and about the sides of an oblong mold. Turn the veal over the slices,, and put in a cool place until needed. When ready to place on the table turn the mold upside down on the dish that is to receive the veal. It will be found a beautiful loaf. Garnish with curly lettuce leaves and red radishes (small ones), or pickled beets cut in fancy shapes, or the small leaves of celery. In the matter of ornamenting there is always great latitude for individual taste or preference in color.
Aspic Jelly – This is a most convenient invention in cookery, as it can be utilized in so many ways, is easily made, and the ingredients, if not always in the house, are easily obtained. To two quarts of water add one tablespoonful of beef extract, three shallots, two stalks of celery or one teaspoonful of celery salt, two bay leaves, one carrot, one turnip, one good sized onion stuck with cloves. Let simmer until the vegetables are quite cooked, then add the rind of one lemon cut thin, one glass of sherry, a few drops of chili vinegar and a dessertspoonful of tarragon. Put a large tablespoonful of gelatine in two of water and let it swell for a few minutes, then stir it in with the stock until it is dissolved. Beat up the whites of two eggs and add to the mixture and let all boil up; remove from the fire and let it simmer for half an hour. Strain through a hot jelly bag till clear, and it is ready for use alone, or in any combination desired.
Lobster in Aspic – Have ready some pieces of lobster, three hard boiled eggs and a few pieces of tarragon and cress. Put into the mold a layer of the jelly and then arrange pieces of lobster and slices of egg and scraps of the green. When this has all set, put in more of the jelly and repeat with the other articles until the mold is full.
These aspic molds can be varied in many ways. They may be made with prawns, fish, game, pate de foie gras or mushrooms. All manner of garnishing may be used, but the aspic cut in dice or triangles and mixed with slices of lemon and sprigs of parsley makes a tasteful garnish. Aspic molds look best served in silver.
Potato Ribbons – Wash and peel the potatoes, taking out the eyes and all specks. Then peel into very thin ribbons. Place them in a frying basket and cook in boiling fat five or six minutes, sprinkle with salt and serve either hot or cold.
Spinach Fritters – Take well cooked spinach and mince it. To each cupful take one-half cup of bread crumbs, one scant teaspoonful of sugar and a dash of nutmeg. Add a cupful of cream, two eggs and as much flour as will make the mixture a consistent batter, and stir in with the flour a teaspoonful of good baking powder. Drop into boiling fat and let fry till brown. Serve hot.
Parmesan Potatoes – Bake some large, smooth potatoes. When done, cut off a round piece from one end and scoop out the potato. Mash it with butter, pepper, salt and a tablespoonful of grated Parmesan cheese to each potato. Refill the skins and return them to the oven for a few minutes before serving.
Margaret Holmes Bates (1895, May) Make Your Own Cook Book. The Ladies’ World Vol. XVI (No. 5). Retrieved from http://victoriantimes.us/antique-recipes/make-your-own-cook-book