Friday Food History: Menu for the Fourth of July (1902)

Dear Readers,

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about Woman's Favorite Cook Book (1902), which belonged first to my Great-Great-Grandmother, who travelled with her family to eastern Washington State in a covered wagon when she was three years old; then to my Great-Grandmother, who raised her two sons in the same small wheat-farming town; then to my Grandfather, and then to my Mother, and finally, to me.  

This cool family heirloom has travelled a lot in the past 115 years, and it has probably seen it all.  If only cookbooks could talk...

On the topic of the Fourth of July, at least, we know what this cookbook has to say.  First, I wanted to share with you these adorable illustrations from the book, bearing a prudent warning to little boys with fire crackers:

If the kid got that beat up by the fireworks, one wonders what happened to the dog? The poor little guy looks like he just fought in a major battle.  Yowzer.  

Aside from being down on pyrotechnics, the cookbook has a lot to say about patriotic duty and American unity.  The author quotes 19th century orator, northern Republican, and former US Secretary of State James G. Blaine:  

There is no ‘Republican,’ no ‘Democrat,’ on the Fourth of July—all are Americans. All feel that their country is greater than party.

Can we get leaders like him back, please??

Anyway, on to the food with which to celebrate this monumental patriotic occasion. For breakfast, we are instructed to prepare "Red Raspberries and cream, Fried Chicken, Sliced Tomatoes, Creamed New Potatoes, Wheat Muffins, and Coffee."  

Yes, that was breakfast.  

The meal's changed a little bit over the past hundred-plus years--no muffin washed down with a latte as you crawl through morning traffic, only to be late for work (again).

A proper Fourth of July Dinner (today's lunch) was even grander: "Bouillon, Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce, Boiled New Potatoes, Green Peas, Spinach with Eggs, Cucumber Salad, Red, White & Blue Ice Cream, Chocolate Macaroons, Strawberries, and Coffee."

The cookbook's author, Mrs. Gregory, unfortunately does not expand on how to make Red, White & Blue Ice Cream, which I thought sounded good, but here is her recipe for "Ice-Cream Without Eggs:"

Stir one quart of good cream, one-half pound of sugar and two teaspoonfuls of the extract of vanilla, until dissolved. Strain through a fine muslin and freeze, stirring rapidly. Instead of vanilla, any other flavoring desired may be used.
— Contributed by "Popular Caterer"

Here is another yummy recipe, for "Strawberry Ice-Cream:"

One pint of cream, one pint of milk, one quart of strawberries, one small pint of sugar. Mash the strawberries and sugar together and let them stand thirty minutes, then add the cream, rub through a strainer into the freezer and freeze.
— Contributed by Mrs. J.C. Hunt

A Fourth of July Supper (today's dinner) was a bit lighter than the rest of the day's meals: "Chicken mold, Radishes, Water-cress Salad, Sally Lum (by which I think the author is referring to Sally Lunn, a kind of sweet roll), White Sponge Cake, Blackberries, and Tea.

Mrs. Gregory wraps up her stirring menu with an equally stirring quote from Richard M. Edwards, a southern Democrat, Civil War soldier, and politician of the 19th century:

Let it not be forgotten that patriotism is one of the positive lessons to be taught in every home. Everything learned should be flavored with a genuine love of country...Every person should feel that he is entitled to a share, not only in the blessings conferred by his government, but also in the rich memories and glorious achievements of his country.

Hope y'all have a great Fourth!  Keep those kiddos and dogs away from the firecrackers.

Yours Truly,