22 September 2015

Kitchenette Cookery

From 1917, Anna Merritt East's Kitchenette Cookery. Perhaps what we like most about this little book is the "kitchenette" on the cover. It has that walk-in closet feel and in an age when we see the entire first floor of many houses as an extension of the kitchen, seeing one that could be easily shut away behind doors is kind of nice.

East states:

"...I offer this little book to you, friends of the business world, who must needs eat and mayhap, too, love to cook rather than sit forever around a boarding-house table."

Two things strike me from this beginning of the introduction.

1. The way that rents are rising, I am not sure that boarding houses shouldn't make a big comeback.

2. I am quite sure that "mayhap" should be resurrected into modern language.   Its definition from the Urban Dictionary:
A term combining the best qualities of the terms "maybe" and "perhaps" into a single superior word. Often used when planning something mischievous or pretending to be British.
"mayhaps I'll go get fucked up instead of writing this paper"
"care for a spot of tea?"
"mayhaps a bit later" 
But I digress... 

East offers up a list of the modern conveniences that one would want in their kitchenette and some rather enlightening prices such as:

1 gas stove                                $28.00
2 asbestos mats                              .10
2 anti-splashers for faucets             .05
Vacuum ice-cream freezer            2.50
10-piece earthenware set               .85

While I am pretty sure they no longer make asbestos mats, I want a pair of anti-splashers!
East has an entire chapter devoted food that comes in a can. While she advocates the use of canned foods, she finds that cooking a whole can of any one item is simply too much food for one person to consume.  Her chapter is aptly named  "Half-a-can Recipes." Using the "saved" half-a-can for a salad later in the week is her favorite trick.  One can then look forward to lima beans and corn in a French dressing. Or asparagus and pimientos in a French dressing. Or beets stuffed with cream cheese in a French dressing.  Clearly, French dressing is a favorite.

Her recipes for midnight snacks are included in the chapter, "A Bite to Eat at Bedtime." She will include a half-a-can here and there for bedtime included in several rather complicated dishes. This one takes at least 30 minutes to prepare and could offer up some intense dreams.

Shrimp Wiggle
1/2 cupful cooked rice
1/2 can of peas
1 can shrimp
1 onion
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cupful cream
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/4 teaspoonful paprika
Brown the sliced onion in the butter;add the cream, rice, and peas; let cook up, and add the shrimp, salt,  and paprika; simmer over hot water for fifteen minutes, and serve on crackers.
i don't know about the shrimp, but I am sure if you eat this right before bed, you will be the one wiggling! 


  1. I love your site and your writing. This cookbook sounds so interesting!


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