The American love for food is hardly new, however, it has changed a lot over the past 100 years. All kinds of strange concoctions were made during the 20th century to satisfy everyone from kids to diplomats at all kinds of affairs. Families were much more likely to dine at home than to go out to eat.
There are now over one million restaurants in the United States for families to get delivery and take out from, but cooking with your family is always a fun activity. These recipes may not be something you want to try but they will make you glad for modern cooking.
1. Aspic of Many Varieties
One of the earliest recipes for Aspic comes from 1375, but it was a kitchen staple in the U.S. during the 1950s. The Jello-like concoction is made from meat stock that cools and congeals into gelatin thanks to the natural gelatine in meat. It was often made with everything from chicken to seafood to vegetables sealed inside. It was popular because the gelatin kept the meat fresh by keeping out bacteria and air, and was easily customizable so cooks could show off their artistic skills.
If you want to try some aspic, you can find powdered aspic just like you can find powdered gelatin. Just make sure to get delicate or slicable aspic and not inedible aspic which is used for decorations. If you want some aspic inspiration, use the following recipe:
- 1 (1/16 ounce) package lemon Jell-O gelatin
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 1/4 ounce package unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup scallion, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup green bell pepper, chopped into strips
- 1 cup cooked crabmeat
- 1 cup cooked baby shrimp
- 1 cup mayonnaise, for frosting
- Dissolve lemon Jell-o in hot tomato juice.
- Dissolve 1/3 package unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon cold water. Stir in vinegar, lemon juice, horseradish, worcestershire and tomato juice mixture. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Once mixture has thickened slightly, add celery, scallions, green bell pepper, crab, and shrimp. Pour into a 9×13 glass dish.
- Put into the refrigerator until set, about 24 hours. Use mayo to cover or just serve the dish with mayo on the side.
Bananas weren’t always used as garnishes for morning cereal or made into delectable breads and muffins. They also have a strange history of being served in dishes like tomato-banana tarts and sausage stuffed bananas. If you want to try a savory preparation of bananas, look no further.
Ham and Bananas Hollandaise
- 6 medium bananas
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 thin slices boiled ham (about 1/2 lb)
- 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 2 envelopes (1 1/4-oz size) hollandaise sauce mix
- 1/4 cup light cream
- Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Remove banana peels and drizzle with a teaspoon of lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Wrap each banana in a slice of ham coated in mustard and arrange in a casserole so it remains a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
- To make the sauce: In a small saucepan add sauce mix, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and cream. Stir until boiling then pour sauce over bananas and ham.
- Return to the oven until golden.
Everyone has their own salad preferences, from bacon bits to a mountain of onions to plain lettuce and dressing. But salads were very different not so long ago. Oftentimes, salads could be found preserved in aspic or gelatin or stuffed into melons. Another popular treat was cheese salads. If you’re curious, here’s an example to get you started.
Frozen Cheese Salad
- 2 2/3 cups cottage cheese
- 8 ounces blue cheese
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon barbecue spice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups raw broccoli florets
- Green pepper strips, to garnish
- Let the cheese sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Blend with buttermilk, chives, lemon peel, barbecue spice, and Worcestershire until mixture is smooth.
- Pour into a container and freeze for 24 hours.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
- Turn out from container, slice, and serve with broccoli florets and green pepper strips.
There are a lot more strange recipes out there for you to try if you’re so inclined. A lot has changed about American cooking over the course of a century, but we’re glad that these recipes have (almost) been lost to ti