A delectable cucumber recipe from 1911

I rarely see recipes for cooking cucumbers, though every one I've tried has been delicious. I think this one was the most delicious of all! I tried it in joining in with the lovely cooks over at http://starbakes.blogspot.my/ . It's from the 1911 The International Cook Book by Filippini. I used sherry vinegar, but I think others would be good too...And I didn't have white pepper, but love "normal" black and don't mind seeing the pepper. I read that a saltspoon quantity is our 1/4 teaspoon, though I just did the pepper to taste. I served it with leftover steak stir-fried with some onion for taste and reviving (we have steak like once every two years so I'm a little clueless), and some jarred roasted red pepper (it's out of season now but I was craving some)...

Clues one might not like a recipe

Yikes. Are there more than there used to be of "recipe developers" who specialize in having things as tasteless as possible? I can understand if a recipe is meant to be totally therapeutic, made to deliver some medicinal ingredient, but none of the recipes about which I'm talking were that. I've never seen these problems in old cookbooks, though I've certainly read a lot of those.

Here are a few clues I need to keep in mind for deciding if a cookbook or other source is for me:

If they say they're going to do something to an ingredient so you can't taste it, I would skip that recipe. (I just saw this for a recipe for fennel that actually says to boil the taste out of it before adding it to a recipe, and I've seen it over and over for garlic and for fresh herbs, to boil out their taste first!)

If they say that if you actually want to taste an ingredient, you should double or triple etc that ingredient, I would skip that recipe. (I just saw this in a recipe that has one clove of garlic but says if you want to taste the garlic you would need at least four.)

If they say in a non-soup/curry/etc type recipe to add say a cup of water, especially near the end, I would skip that recipe. (I recently saw this in a recipe that seemed quite nice, and indeed was tasting nice when I tested it, and then suddenly they wanted me to pour in a quart of plain old water, simmer for four minutes, then serve! That would've totally ruined the recipe, so I skipped that step and didn't try any other recipes from that source -- like many recipes, they didn't list the water in the ingredients, and um I hadn't read it properly obviously! so didn't know.)

If they call for only about 1/8 to 1/4, or even 1/2, teaspoon of some dried herb, I would skip that recipe. That very rarely does anything for the taste, or at "best" can make a recipe taste weird. In fact, most dried herbs come so far short of fresh herbs that I extremely rarely try any recipe that calls for them. (I've seen this a lot in recipes in the last year.)

If they say it really doesn't matter what herb or spice you use, I would skip that recipe. It makes a huge difference -- if you're using enough to taste it at all (see the last point). (I've seen this a lot in recipes in the last year.)

If they say they just had fun with their spice/dried herb cabinet to develop this recipe, I would seriously consider skipping it. If you're using a spice/herb just to use it, you may not be using enough, or you may like combinations I don't like. (I saw this in a source that had most of the above problems.)

Also, if I've found a typo? in a source, like a sudden instruction to Add the Tomatoes when no tomatoes were mentioned up to that point, I skip that source in the future, for I've lost faith in anything's even working, let alone tasting good, from it.

Any other clues you've come to recognize? Hope you've not had this problem -- I think I've been too gullible! It's really helped that I'm finally following a newish rule for me -- if a source has had 3 dud recipes, I donate that source/don't revisit that site/etc.!

My thoughts on why I haven't see these problems in old cookbooks:  Were ingredients more precious? especially spices when it was harder to import? And re typos, I know that when I was in publishing suddenly there was a push to proofread as little as possible -- which shocked me and which of course I refused to go along with in my line of books...

Unique features of another chafing dish cookbook, 1908

From Chafing Dish and Casserole Cookery by C. Herman Senn (London: The Food and Cookery Publishing Company, 1908), my first encounter with a talking appliance in a cookbook:

And more details on the elegant chafing dish:

My first stir-up day

I joined Great Britain and any other countries that do Stir-Up Sundays, though I was a week or so late....The fruitcake smells delicious -- very rum-y! -- and the recipe I found said we could sample it in a week or so from now, yum! I never made fruitcake before and am excited to try this....Two things I learned were to have huge amounts of dry fruits on hand, and it would be great if you had a big-enough cake tin to put your wrapped cake into -- I'm having to do with a covered huge skillet -- which is probably why I can smell the fruitcake and its rum! Um, you can see that I also used some Grand Marnier -- I couldn't find fruit peels without additives I can't have, and then couldn't find very good oranges and lemons with which to make my own candied peel even though I did locate a recipe for that. I was also relieved to find already-made marzipan, as so many recipes call for raw egg -- though I did locate a recipe without it at last.....Anyway, it's an experiment I highly recommend (though I believe it's going to end up being so full of rum I can't share it with children).
Speaking of tins, of course there are darling retro ones available, though one probably has to look carefully to find one suitable for food, even though the cake would be wrapped first. There's one today at Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/listing/467469689/vintage-londonderry-fruit-cake-tin-can?ref=market :

Speaking of London, my recipe is more the British fruitcake, less the American, which I never found as tasty...But speaking of American fruitcakes, I was intrigued to see that a brand of bread my grandparents used to buy all the time used to sell fruitcakes:

A fish recipe from 1911

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm joining the lovely people at http://starbakes.blogspot.my/
in using more of my cookbooks, in their Cookbook Countdown. 

A couple days ago I tried a recipe from the 1911 The International Cook Book by Filippini. It turned out pretty tasty though not amazing -- but I would guess it would have tasted better in 1911 -- I have found and read that various ingredients, especially of produce, have gone down in flavor in the USA in the last 40 or 50 years at least. Also, the recipe specifically calls for strong cider, and I couldn't find any, and didn't even find a tasty apple juice to substitute -- surely that would have made a big difference. I also didn't find chervil -- I don't think I've ever seen it fresh here...I just used more parsley. And something else! I'm sure it would be better with real whole milk rather than the skim we often have in the house! I never would have thought of adding horseradish, but it's a great idea!

I was very pleasantly surprised by how quickly the recipe came together, given that it was from a famous New York City chef so long ago! I did simplify, though, doing everything on the stovetop and making the sauce in the same pan. I plan to try at least another recipe or two from this old book...

 The book is organized by menu, and it repeats some recipes, which are all numbered so are easy to find from the clearly referenced menus.

I served it with potatoes and peas -- yes, a lot of green vegetables -- and then we had our first-ever sample of stollen, the German holiday sweet bread. It was okay, though the brand we found was rather dry -- I should try to find a recipe, I probably have one somewhere...

Cookbook Countdown, December 2016

I'm joining again the lovely people at http://starbakes.blogspot.my/ in their use-your-cookbooks challenge.

This time I'm trying an even older cookbook than the not-really-successful recipes I tried last time -- but this time I'm using one by an actual chef whose recipes I keep seeing when I use his menus and have always thought sounded good. So we shall see if the ones I choose are to my taste this time! It's the 1911
The International Cook Book by Filippini
who was chef at Delmonico's in New York 'way back when!! (By the way, there's also a 1920 cookbook associated with Delmonico's, but by Charles Ranhofer, The Epicurean.)

You can get your own ecopy completely free over at https://ia902302.us.archive.org/22/items/internationalcoo00filirich/internationalcoo00filirich.pdf !