Here are some possible alternative dishes for your characters to enjoy from the 19th century.
SALADS in which fruits form a prominent part are becoming very popular. They are often served as a first course at luncheons or in place of a course of fruit at dessert. For a first course they should be rather acid or made with fruit of an acid nature, while later during a meal they are more enjoyed if sweetened and more highly flavored.
As a rule they are most attractive looking compounds often highly fragrant and appeal to all our senses. Almost any kind of acid fruit is nice to serve in this way. For eating with meats or birds the ordinary French dressing, omitting the onion, is good. For dessert, or at one of our American "Teas, " the cold sweet fruit mixtures are preferred. Neufchatel cheese is enjoyed with them at a late breakfast or luncheon. The fruit salads may be put into an ice cream freezer and cooled with the usual mixture of salt and ice.
When handsome glass or porcelain dishes, with silver ones to place them in, are not available a pretty way to serve fruit salads is in dainty glasses. Peaches, fresh figs and the many varieties of berries have always been popular with sugar and cream but, for variety, try one of the following methods which may be considerably varied by changing the fruits and proportions as the supplies change or the taste varies.
Mixed Fruit Salad. Fill delicate cups or glasses with fresh pine-apple, bananas and white grapes cut, halved and seeded, the pulp and juice of oranges and candied cherries, all the fruit to be cut rather fine. Cover them with a dressing made with four tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar, one gill of sherry, one tablespoonful maraschino and two of champagne. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then pour over the fruit and let the glasses stand in a cold refrigerator an hour before serving. Another dressing is made with four tablespoonfuls of sugar and half a teaspoonful of cinnamon mixed with two tablespoonfuls of sherry and the same of Maderia. Some people delight in a mixture of acid fruit, currants, raspberries, morello cherries, strawberries etc., with candied fruit cut into small strips, angelica, citron, cherries, oranges and all the many kinds that are now prepared. Give a dressing of sugar and wine.
Mixed Fruit Salad No. 2. These salads are greatly admired by some people as table ornaments. They look best arranged on a large flat dish. Select a pineapple having a pretty top and carefully peel and slice so that the slices can be arranged in the centre of the dish in the original shape of the fruit. Sprinkle each slice with sugar and fasten the top of the pineapple in place with a wooden skewer if necessary. Peel and divide four or five oranges into sections, remove the seeds and arrange the sections about the pineapple. Peel four large bananas, cut into slices lengthwise and arrange them in regular order about the sides of the dish like the spokes of a wheel. Fill the space between with any attractive fruit obtainable such as strawberries, raspberries or pomegranite grains. Dust powdered sugar over them just before being served and help with more sugar and cream or, to half a pint of clear sugar syrup add a glass of good brandy, or two of sherry wine, and pour over the fruit.
Fruit Salad with Jelly. Make a rich sweet lemon or wine jelly in accordance with any recipe that is liked, having it rather stiff as the juice of the fruit tends to thin it Surround the jelly mould with ice. Put in a layer of jelly and let it get firm, then a layer of ripe fruit of any kind that is tender yet firm such as raspberries, apricots, peaches, bananas, oranges or plums. Cover this layer of fruit with jelly and let harden again and continue this until the mould is full. Keep on ice until wanted. Sweet cream may be served with it. A clear transparent jelly with the prettily arranged fruit inside of it makes a most effective dish.
French Fruit Salad. Keep the fruit in a cold place until ready to prepare and then take grapes with the seeds extracted and skins taken off, strawberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, oranges and pineapples in about equal proportions. Dress with champagne and sugar and serve freezing cold. Use a silver bowl filled with cracked ice with a glass bowl inside into which the salad is heaped. This salad is enjoyable both in hot and cold weather.
French Fruit Salad No. 2. This is a combination fruit salad that can be made in winter when the fruits named are in the market. Blanch the meat of a dozen English walnuts. With a very sharp knife skin and seed about two dozen white grapes. Slice three bananas and divide two large oranges into lobes cutting each lobe into three pieces. Arrange some of each on a few leaves of lettuce or separate plates, or mix altogether on a pretty dish and serve with mayonnaise dressing as cold as possible.
Grape Fruit and Lettuce. A delicious and unique salad is made by cutting grape fruit or shaddock in halves and, with a spoon, taking out all the pulp being careful to preserve the juice. Put in a salad bowl with fresh crisp lettuce leaves, allowing one medium size head of lettuce for each grape fruit When ready to serve mix with a dressing made with the juice. Have the juice cold and drop in oil while stirring vigorously. Three of oil to one spoonful of juice is about the right proportion although the proportions vary according to the conditions of the ingredients. To every three tablespoonfuls of this mixture allow half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoonful of pepper. Stir until emulsion is formed, pour over the salad, toss lightly about and serve at once. The spoon may be rubbed with garlic or a few drops of onion juice may be added to the salad if desired. Be most careful that no small pieces of tne white skin of the grape fruit find their way into the bowl or the salad will be bitter and disagreeable.
Grape Fruit with Mayonnaise.- Peel a grape fruit and divide in sections: split the membrane and carefully extract the pulp dividing into little natural sections that will hold the juice, breaking them as little as possible. Put the tender leaves of two small heads or one large head of lettuce in a salad bowl and mingle with the prepared grape fruit; gave a sprinkle of salt and set in a cold place. When ready to serve, cover with mayonnaise dressing, mixing all well together just before helping.
Cherry Salad No. 1. Remove the stones from a dish of fine black cherries, sprinkle well with powdered sugar and add a wineglassful each of Curacoa and sherry wine to a quart of fruit. Mix well and cool on ice before sending to table.
Cherry Salad No. 2. Stone a pound of large acid cherries saving the juice. Peel and cut into thin slices a cucumber of medium size. Blanch and chop fine a dozen sweet almonds. Mix all these in a salad bowl or fancy dish with the white parts of two heads of lettuce and pour over them eight tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar, two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, two gills of sherry and two tablespoonfuls of maraschino. Stir all together until the sugar is dissolved. Keep as cool as possible until served.
Cherry Salad No. 3. Remove the stones from half a pound of ripe but firm cherries. Shell as many hazel nuts as you have cherries, remove as much of the brown skin covering the kernel as possible, and place one nut in the centre of each cherry in place of the stone. Arrange on lettuce leaves or in the centre of the bowl with lettuce about them, and dress with plain mayonnaise made with a little lemon juice in place of all or part of the vinegar, but do not have it too acid.
Cherry Salad No. 4. Cherries in aspic jelly either with or without nuts are regarded with much favor by some people. An attractive way is to have a border of the jelly and when ready to serve fill the centre with cherries and shredded celery in equal quantities, mixed with mayonnaise. Some of the aspic jelly whipped until frothy and mixed with them, laid on top, will be attractive.
Pear Salad. Peel and slice, or divide into sections lengthwise, five sweet summer pears that are ripe but not soft. Sprinkle fine sugar over them with a little maraschino, or ginger syrup may be used both to sweeten and flavor. Serve with a little cream.
Acid Pear Salad. Acid pears, not too ripe, made into a salad are especially nice served with any water fowl. Peel the fruit and cut into thin slices being careful to remove the core and any hard or imperfect parts. Serve immediately with about an equal quantity of lettuce. A mayonnaise dressing is usually preferred with it but a French dressing is good used with or without onions.
Alligator Pear Salad. The Avocado or aguacata which has been given the senseless name of alligator pear by English speaking people, is the fruit of a tree (Persea gratisssima) native of tropical America. It is the favorite fruit for salads of those accustomed to its use and as the cultivation of the tree extends in the Gulf states, and the fruit finds its way more freely to the northern markets, its popularity increases.
The taste for this pear, like that for tomatoes, is an acquired one. Like most other salads this is preferred by Americans with a simple dressing. Cut the pear shaped fruit lengthwise and remove the large hard yellow seeds. Then sprinkle over each half, salt, pepper, vinegar or lemon juice and eat the inside with a spoon. An abundance of fruit must be had for this way of serving, so when the fruit is scarce or expensive it had better be peeled and cut into long thin strips and served with a French dressing to which a few drops of onion juice are a great improvement. Like all fruit salads it should be as cold as possible when served.
Mexlcan Alligator Pear Salad. This is called the Queen of Salads. Six alligator pears and six tomatoes peeled and sliced. One rareripe sliced very thin, and half a cupful of fresh coriander leaves. Salt, oil and vinegar as in a French dressing.
Prickly Pear Salad. The Indian fig or prickly pear in all its varieties can be made into most inviting salads. Stick a fork into the fruit and with a sharp knife cut off the skin. Avoid handling the fruit before peeling as there are often small spines left on the pears that will prove extremely annoying. Cut the fruit into small slices and mix with lettuce and mayonnaise dressing. If the fruit is of a large Southern variety it can be peeled and sliced into a dish sprinkled with sugar with the juice of an orange or lemon and a wineglassful of brandy added.
Orange Salad Number 1. Peel and divide into lobes, removing all particles of white skin and the seeds, serve on lettuce leaves with mayonnaise dressing. This is rather a heavy salad but is good to serve with venison or other game. Large acid oranges are best to use.
Orange Salad Number 2. Remove seeds and skin and divide the oranges into lobes arranged neatly on a dish. Dust powdered sugar over them and flavor with a little Chartreuse, maraschino and brandy or rum: put on ice and when cold and ready to serve moisten with five or six pieces of loaf sugar with the spirit, arrange on top of the oranges, set on fire and send it to table burning.
Orange Salad Number 3. Arrange a border of cold boiled rice around a dish and fill the centre with peeled and sliced oranges with sugar sprinkled over all. Cool on ice and when ready to serve pour over the top one or two wineglassfuls of arrack.
Orange Salad Number 4. Make this salad in the proportions of one good apple to two oranges all pared and sliced and arranged in layers, lightly sprinkled with fresh powdered cinnamon, a glass of sherry poured over the top and a heaping tablespoonful, more if the fruit is very acid, of sugar sprinkled over the fruit.
Orange Salad Number 5. This is the old fashioned mixture which probably first came into use soon after the discovery of America. Arrange on a dish alternate layers of peeled and sliced oranges, with grated or dessicated cocoanut sprinkled with fine white sugar. Sliced pineapple is often mixed with it and it can be flavored with a little sherry or other light wines.
Orange Salad Number 6. Peel and cut sour oranges in thick slices, or, if sweet oranges must be used, squeeze a little lemon juice over each slice, and remove the seeds. Make a dressing in the proportion of three tablespoonfuls of oil to one of lemon juice, salt, paprika or Cayenne pepper. Serve with game.
Orange Salad Number 7. Carefully remove both the yellow and white skins from the oranges and separate into natural segments. Place five or six of these on each plate and cover with the following dressing. Two eggs, one teaspoonful mustard, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, one teaspoon, ful of cornstarch, one tablespoonful of butter, one-half teaspoonful of pepper. Beat the eggs a little but not until light: stir in sugar, then butter, mustard and pepper. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little of the vinegar. Next pour vinegar over eggs etc. Place the bowl in a boiler or basin of hot water and stir the dressing until it thickens like soft custard. When hot stir in cornstarch. When cold stir in salt and a little cream. This dressing will keep for a long time before salt and cream are added.
Orange Salad Number 8. This salad should be served with game or rich roasts. Peel the oranges and remove all the white skin, slice them very thin. Arrange the slices on a flat dish and sprinkle walnut meat and leaves of water cress thickly over them repeating the layers as often as wished. Put a border of cress around the dish. Have a remoulade dressing, or make a dressing with lemon or sour orange juice, two tablespoonfuls of juice to four of oil, salt and a little Cayenne pepper. Acid oranges are best for this salad.
Green Apple Salad. Take six Rhode Island Greening apples and two heads of celery, all cut fine and served at once with mayonnaise dressing.
Apple Salad. Salads of apples are excellent with cold roast meats in winter. Have everything cold and do not cut the apples until ready to serve. Chop or shred very fine one good sized Spanish or sweet pepper, carefully removing all seeds and the core. Break a head of lettuce into a salad bowl and slice over it six crisp, tart, highly flavored apples. Long narrow slices are most attractive. Sprinkle the chopped peppers evenly among the apples. Dress with two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, six of oil and a saltspoonful of salt. Mix well, pour over the salad, stir lightly and serve.
Apple and Walnut Salad is made the same as the preceding using the meat of English walnuts that have been scalded in hot water and the dark skin removed, instead of the shredded pepper. About a cupful of walnut meats will be required. Mayonnaise dressing is liked with this.
Apple and Celery Salad is good with game. Have equal quantities of finely sliced very cold apples and celery, sprinkled with salt and mix lightly together. Cover with mayonnaise dressing, or, if preferred, use French dressing. Some epicures hold that mayonnaise should never be served with roast meats.
Raspberry Salads. Ripe fresh cold raspberries are so delicious when in perfection that any addition excepting a little sugar seems an injury, but a variety in the service is sometimes desirable.
For a quart of ripe raspberries squeeze out the juice of half a pint of currants, add half a teaspoonful of freshly ground cinnamon and half a wineglass of brandy. Sweeten to taste and pour over the cold fruit. Another way is to arrange the raspberries neatly in a dish sprinkling powdered sugar them. Squeeze out the juice of a fine orange, mix with a wineglassful of maraschino and pour over the berries. Still another way is to arrange a centre of white currants, white raspberries or any different colored fruit from the berries, and then place a border of red raspberries around them. A round rather flat dish with a raised edge is best. By making a cylinder of a strip of paper about as stiff as writing paper, and filled with the white fruit, putting the red outside the paper and carefully pulling the paper up when all is ready, the arrangement is easily made. Whip a wineglassful of sherry wine into a pint of cream and serve with the fruit and fine sugar. Brandy or some liqueur can be used instead of sherry.
Strawberry Salad. The true admirers of the strawberry do not want the natural flavor of the fruit destroyed by too many additions, but some people are unable to eat them plain and such will find them harmless used in the following ways.
Make a pint of good claret wine quite sweet with white sugar and add to it a small glassful of Curacoa and pour over the fruit. Chartreuse or maraschino may be used instead of Curacoa.
Squeeze the juice from two oranges and mix with it a wineglassful of brandy and one of water and pour over a quart of fruit that has been sprinkled with sugar.
Make a syrup of half a pound of white sugar dissolved in enough water to make a thin syrup: add a wineglassful of brandy and one of Chatreuse or Curacoa and about half a teaspoonful of grated nutmeg. Serve separately putting a little over each portion of fruit before eating.
Quince Salad. A salad that is relished with fish and game, and that is a pleasing novelty to most people, can be made by paring and slicing a few ripe quinces and dressing with French dressing. Any minced herbs, tarragon, spearmint, chives, marjoram etc., can be minced and sprinkled over them or flavored vinegars may be used in the dressing.
Currant Salad. Currants can be dressed with any of the mixtures of sugar and wine suggested for use with other berries, cream and sugar. Mixed with a small quantity of mayonnaise dressing, made with mustard, and served on lettuce, they are good to accompany roast birds or game.
Fig Salad. This is considered by many an improvement over fresh figs and cream which delights all who are fond of figs. Quarter twenty-five fresh ripe figs into a pretty bowl or dish and pour over, as fast as you put them in, half a pint of clear strained honey; let them stand on ice. When ready to serve whip a small glass of brandy into a quart of rich cream and pour over the figs.
Mulberry Salad. This fruit is often difficult to serve but makes a wholesome highly flavored salad. Pick the fruit over and arrange in a bowl or dish sprinkling fine sugar plentifully all through it. To a quart of fruit allow one wineglassful of Chatreuse, the juice of one orange, one tablespoonful of ginger syrup (from pressed Canton ginger) or a little powdered ginger if without the syrup. Pour over the fruit and serve. Cream may be added at table.
Pineapple Salad. When pineapples are plentiful a pleasant variation to the plain fruit can be had by peeling carefully and slicing, or better still, tearing the fruit into shreds with a fork which makes it lighter, leaving out the core and hard parts. Sprinkle with fine sugar and for each fruit allow a tablespoonful of brandy and one of Curacoa with a small wineglassful of arrack. Mix with some of the juice and pour over the whole. Maraschino and brandy are sometimes used. Serve very cold.
Melon Salad. A really good melon should never be injured by the addition of anything else other than a little salt Those that are more or less insipid in flavor may be improved if served with a French or mayonnaise dressing. Cut the melon in rather long thin strips and serve as cold as possible.
Fruit Salad. This is a good fruit salad to make in winter or when fresh fruit is not available. The quantity given is sufficient for eight persons. Eight oranges, one banana, onehalf pound candied cherries, one-half can of peaches, onehalf can pears and one-sixth can of pineapple. Cut all the fruit into "chunks" not slices. Carefully remove skin and all white pulp from the oranges and cut into chunks as well. Have a dressing of one-half cup of mayonnaise made with the yolks of two eggs only, and enough oil to complete the half-cupful. Just before the salad is wanted mix the mayonnaise with one and one-half pints of whipped cream, pour over the salad and gently mix just before serving. None of the juices of the fruits should enter the salad and if the oranges are very sour they should be sugared and then drained before using.
Nut Salads are growing in favor and nuts are better served as a flavoring by themselves, in a plain salad, than in rich meat or other salads where their distinctive flavor is lost. Pecans, English and American walnuts, chestnuts, butternuts, almonds and even peanuts may be used. The delicacy and appearance of all are improved by scalding in hot water and removing the brown skins. Chestnuts should be boiled fifteen or twenty minutes before the shells are taken off. Have nice tender lettuce, sprinkle it plentifully with the prepared nut meat and serve with a French dressing without onion. Celery can be used instead of lettuce and is often preferred with chestnuts.
When the chestnuts used are large they should be cut into pieces. The nuts are sometimes used mixed, although one kind at a time is to be preferred. An English walnut salad is made by soaking the meat of about two dozen English walnuts in lemon juice for two hours and then mixing them with water cress and a French dressing. Green English walnuts are sometimes sliced and mixed with salads. Apples, celery and nuts are combined by taking a cupful of shredded celery, cut apple and nut meats, mixing and pouring over all a teaspoonful of oil and a little less quantity of lemon juice. Let it stand before serving and then dress with mayonnaise.
Source: The American Salad Book ©1899