So I was looking for some cleaning recipes from yesteryear, and thought I would head over to the Project Gutenberg website to see what I could dig up. (For those of you that haven't heard of that website, it is a collection of books that are in the public domain because the copyrights have expired; they have lots of great stuff over there and lots of not so great stuff but all is free and is allowed to be copied, distributed, etc.)
I didn't find any satisfactory recipes for cleaning, but did find some interesting recipes for soups, sauces, and desserts that will definitely be tested. I thought I would share the sauces as inspiration, although not all of them sound appetizing.
TO MAKE A ROUX.
Melt in a saucepan a piece of butter the size of an egg, and add two even tablespoonfuls of sifted flour; one ounce of butter to two of flour being a safe rule. Stir till smooth, and pour in slowly one pint of milk, or milk and water, or water alone. With milk it is called cream roux, and is used for boiled fish and poultry. Where the butter and flour are allowed to brown, it is called a brown roux, and is thinned with the soup or stew which it is designed to thicken. Capers added to a white roux—which is the butter and flour, with water added—give caper sauce, for use with boiled mutton. Pickled nasturtiums are a good substitute for capers. Two hard-boiled eggs cut fine give egg sauce. Chopped parsley or pickle, and the variety of catchups and sauces, make an endless variety; the white roux being the basis for all of them.
For this sauce boil one point of milk, with one onion cut in pieces. When it has boiled five minutes, take out the onion, and thicken the milk with half a pint of sifted bread-crumbs. Melt a teaspoonful of butter in a frying-pan; put in half a pint of coarser crumbs, stirring them till a light brown. Flavor the sauce with half a teaspoonful of salt, a saltspoonful of pepper, and a grate of nutmeg; and serve with game, helping a spoonful of the sauce, and one of the browned crumbs. The boiled onion may be minced fine and added, and the browned crumbs omitted.
Wash and boil a small head of celery, which has been cut up fine, in one pint of water, with half a teaspoonful of salt. Boil till tender, which will require about half an hour. Make a cream roux, using half a pint of milk, and adding quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper. Stir into the celery; boil a moment, and serve. A teaspoonful of celery salt can be used, if celery is out of season, adding it to the full rule for cream roux. Cauliflower may be used in the same way as celery, cutting it very fine, and adding a large cupful to the sauce. Use either with boiled meats.
Look over and strip off the leaves, and cut them as fine as possible with a sharp knife. Use none of the stalk but the tender tips. To a cupful of chopped mint allow an equal quantity of sugar, and half a cup of good vinegar. It should stand an hour before using.
Wash one quart of cranberries in warm water, and pick them over carefully. Put them in a porcelain-lined kettle, with one pint of cold water and one pint of sugar, and cook without stirring for half an hour, turning then into molds. This is the simplest method. They can be strained through a sieve, and put in bowls, forming a marmalade, which can be cut in slices when cold; or the berries can be crushed with a spoon while boiling, but left unstrained.
Pare, core, and quarter some apples (sour being best), and stew till tender in just enough water to cover them. Rub them through a sieve, allowing a teacupful of sugar to a quart of strained apple, or even less, where intended to eat with roast pork or goose. Where intended for lunch or tea, do not strain, but treat as follows: Make a sirup of one large cupful of sugar and one of water for every dozen good-sized apples. Add half a lemon, cut in very thin slices. Put in the apple; cover closely, and stew till tender, keeping the quarters as whole as possible. The lemon may be omitted.
PLAIN PUDDING SAUCE.
Make a white roux, with a pint of either water or milk; but water will be very good. Add to it a large cup of sugar, a teaspoonful of lemon or any essence liked, and a wine-glass of wine. Vinegar can be substituted. Grate in a little nutmeg, and serve hot.
This sauce is intended especially for apple dumplings and puddings. One pint of molasses; one tablespoonful of butter; the juice of one lemon, or a large spoonful of vinegar. Boil twenty minutes. It may be thickened with a tablespoonful of corn-starch dissolved in a little cold water, but is good in either case.
Cream half a cup of butter till very light, and add a heaping cup of sugar, beating both till white. Set the bowl in which it was beaten into a pan of boiling water, and allow it to melt slowly. Just before serving but not before, pour into it slowly half a cup or four spoonfuls of boiling water, stirring to a thick foam. Grate in nutmeg, or use a teaspoonful of lemon essence, and if wine is liked, add a glass of sherry or a tablespoonful of brandy. For a pudding having a decided flavor of its own, a sauce without wine is preferable.
Beat together the same proportions of butter and sugar as in the preceding receipt; add a tablespoonful of wine if desired; pile lightly on a pretty dish; grate nutmeg over the top, and set in a cold place till used.
The sirup of any nice canned fruit may be used cold as sauce for cold puddings and blancmanges, or heated and thickened for hot, allowing to a pint of juice a heaping teaspoonful of corn-starch dissolved in a little cold water, and boiling it five minutes. Strawberry or raspberry sirup is especially nice.
PLAIN SALAD DRESSING.
Three tablespoonfuls of best olive-oil; one tablespoonful of vinegar; one saltspoonful each of salt and pepper mixed together; and then, with three tablespoonfuls of best olive-oil, adding last the tablespoonful of vinegar. This is the simplest form of dressing. The lettuce, or other salad material, must be fresh and crisp, and should not be mixed till the moment of eating.
SPANISH TOMATO SAUCE.
One can of tomatoes or six large fresh ones; two minced onions fried brown in a large tablespoonful of butter. Add to the tomatoes with three sprigs of parsley and thyme, one teaspoonful of salt, and half a one of pepper; three cloves and two allspice, with a small blade of mace and a bit of lemon peel, and two lumps of sugar. Stew very slowly for two hours, then rub through a sieve, and return to the fire. Add two tablespoonfuls of flour, browned with a tablespoonful of butter, and boil up once. It should be smooth and thick. Keep on ice, and it will keep a week. Excellent.
For this sauce use the yolks of three raw eggs; one even tablespoonful of mustard; one of sugar; one teaspoonful of salt; and a saltspoonful of cayenne.
Break the egg yolks into a bowl; beat a few strokes, and gradually add the mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Now take a pint bottle of best olive-oil, and stir in a few drops at a time. The sauce will thicken like a firm jelly. When the oil is half in, add the juice of one lemon by degrees with the remainder of the oil; and last, add quarter of a cup of good vinegar. This will keep for weeks, and can be used with either chicken, salmon, or vegetable salad.
A simpler form can be made with the yolk of one egg, half a pint of oil, and half the ingredients given above. It can be colored red with the juice of a boiled beet, or with the coral of a lobster, and is very nice as a dressing for raw tomatoes, cutting them in thick slices, and putting a little of it on each slice.
Mayonnaise may be varied in many ways, sauce tartare being a favorite one. This is simply two even tablespoonfuls of capers, half a small onion, and a tablespoonful of parsley, and two gherkins or a small cucumber, all minced fine and added to half a pint of mayonnaise. This keeps a long time, and is very nice for fried fish or plain boiled tongue.
DRESSING WITHOUT OIL.
Cream a small cup of butter, and stir into it the yolks of three eggs. Mix together one teaspoonful of mustard, one teaspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of cayenne, and add to the butter and egg. Stir in slowly, instead of oil, one cup of cream, and add the juice of one lemon and half a cup of vinegar.
BOILED DRESSING FOR COLD SLAW.
This is good also for vegetable salads. One small cup of good vinegar; two tablespoonfuls of sugar; half a teaspoonful each of salt and mustard; a saltspoonful of pepper; a piece of butter the size of a walnut; and two beaten eggs. Put these all in a small saucepan over the fire, and stir till it becomes a smooth paste. Have a firm, white cabbage, very cold, and chopped fine; and mix the dressing well through it. It will keep several days in a cold place.