Category Archives: 1920s

Pears Frozen with Ginger Ale and Frappéd Ginger Ale

Today we are delighted to publish a guest post from Talia Felix, who writes the fabulous Gothica Gothique and The Gibson Girl’s Guide to

I don’t seem to seek out old time refrigerator recipe cookbooks; they just find me. I’m developing a nice little collection. Recently my grandmother passed away at the age of 94, and one of her cookbooks was a 1927 General Electric cookbook, “Electric Refrigerator Recipes and Menus.” It must have been something she acquired second hand — she’d have been a bit young to use it much when it was first printed (not to mention I think she was away at boarding school and not doing much of her own cooking at that time.)

The cookbook is a little more sophisticated than some of the other  refrigerator recipe books from this era. I decided to give a try to a tasty sounding recipe called “Pears Frozen with Ginger Ale.” Despite the title, the pears are not really frozen — merely chilled — and while the pears are evidently supposed to be the star of the dish, the actual composition is more of what we’d call a salad — unless you want to omit the lettuce. As it goes: –
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Gateau de Pommes de terre aux oignons – Potato cake with onions

The lovely Classic Voices (from Quadrille) sent us a little teaser of their summer releases, one of which is ‘Simple French cooking for English Homes’ by X. Marcel Boulestin, first published in 1923 and containing the advice which every food blogger has taken to heart: ‘Food which is worth eating is worth talking about‘.  (On this blog we take that even further, by also talking about food which isn’t always worth eating.)

The snack-size preview proves the title is accurate and this pleases me. I like French food but am unable (i.e. too lazy) to cook a lot of Escoffier recipes, as I don’t generally keep meat jelly in the fridge. I have one volume of  Julia Child, but the long, long explanations put me off. (Though I am thinking of deploying it the next time I fancy some meringue.)

Last Sunday night it was very chilly and rainy for June,  I had not a lot of ingredients in the house and no desire to change out of my pyjamas and go out and buy some.  This is what happened:
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Orange Cordial

I hoped this  drink from Kitchen Essays (Agnes Jekyll, originally published in The Times in 1921 – 22, reprinted by Persephone Books in 2001) would be a quick route to a drink almost as good as sloe gin… ah, folly. This recipe is from the ‘Hints for holiday housekeeping’, a short chapter which also  suggests game pie, lemon marmalade, Dundee cake and potted salmon as being suitable for the Easter Holidays.

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Caraway Tea Bread

I was looking for a vehicle for jam, a change from the fruit-filled tea bread and a way to use up ingredients I already have.

This item is introduced as being suitable for children, although ‘Grown ups may do well to visit on its afternoon debut’ apparently.

From Tea-Time and some Cakes, Kitchen Essays, Agnes Jekyll. (Persephone Books, reprinted 2008)
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Brown Flour Biscuits and Artichoke Paste

Summer is here or at least there have been some days which can unequivocally be categorised as ‘rather nice’ . Snacks to eat outside are needed.

The biscuits are from Agnes Jekyll’s Kitchen Essays, (first published in 1922,  reprinted by Persephone books in 2001) which Alix and I are currently enjoying. The book depicts a very gentle life (chapters include ‘In the Cook’s absence’, ‘Thoughts of Venice from Home’, ‘A little dinner before the play’ and ‘Tray Food’) and is  frequently, hilariously sexist.

This recipe is from ‘Tea-time and some Cakes‘ and is suitable for ‘the dyspeptic guest who never eats anything at tea’.
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