Casserole Cookery: One Dish Meals for the Lazy Gourmet Cookbook
This vintage Casserole Cookery: One Dish Meals for the Lazy Gourmet cookbook was published in 1941. It is a flipbook style format, bound at the top instead of the side of the book. There are some blank lines on each page for "Cook's Comments" and the recipes appear on both sides of the pages so you can turn the book over and flip from the other side. Each recipe also contains a "story" which is a little excerpt on the dish reflected in the one dish recipe.
Format: Hardcover (metal wire) spiral bound, 154 pages
Publisher: Modern Age Books, Inc.
Author: Marian and Nino Tracy
Description: Being lazy and liking to cook and to entertain, we struggled futilely for a long time over how to combine these features pleasantly. Finally the thing came to us, that thing being a casserole. Stews and other wrongly demeaned dishes take on a dash of simplicity and sophistication when prepared in a casserole. Essentially a one-dish meal, it requires little watching, a side serving of some green salad, bread, and your preference in drink. We can come home late, put a casserole in the oven, and relax, a unique indulgence. Our motto is: Pamper self and stomach, but let the food take care of itself.
As to ingredients, frozen foods work well and are by far the simplest to use. No peeling, shelling, or anything. We do use canned new potatoes and beets quite often because we don't like to peel, but the potatoes should be well seasoned and browned before adding to the casserole. In onions, our taste runs to the green spring variety, scallions, leeks, and the like, with the tops chopped fine.
Lots of butter, eggs, milk, and cream add honesty and richness of taste, and to stint on them is to stunt the character of the dish. We use quite a bit of sour cream, fresh sour cream, not that which we bought sweet and forget to use. We like its particular tang and are always grateful for its ability to tenderize. We are violent on the subject of pepper and use only freshly ground black pepper.
In our use of herbs we found caution desirable. Unbounded and unfounded enthusiasm can be very surprising. (Believe us, this is somewhat of an understatement.) Be sure the herb is fresh before you buy. To tell this, sniff it. The herb, if fresh, will surprise your blunted senses; if not, an old nostalgic feeling will come over you. This will be from your earlier association with some kind of hay. In which case, do not buy: the herb has lost its potency.
This is the way we make our coffee. For a six-cup Silex (not electric) we use seven tablespoons of regular grind coffee reground in pulverized grind. Put water in the bottom of the coffee maker up to an inch and a half from the top and put on the stove to boil. Heat a little water in another pan. When the water in the Silex starts to boil, put on the upper half containing the coffee. As the mixture boils to the top, stir and turn off the fire. When the water in the upper half subsides, add some of the extra water that was boiled. Remove the top and serve. Pretty sure to succeed, this method has the amiable habit of working well with nearly all grades and blends if they are fresh.
For good tea you need two teapots, one for brewing and one for serving. We use the inexpensive variety of tea available at all small Chinese stores. We find it much better than the medium-priced grocery brands, although for special occasions the expensive imported blends are fine. We boil the water, rinse out both pots with a little, put two tablespoons of tea in the brewing pot, cover, and let steep for five minutes. Strain and pour into the other pot and serve. Tea made from tea bags always tastes bitter and strong to us.
We use several sizes of earthenware casseroles, both French and Mexican types. The French type with the cover and a long handle works very well. We have a low one for most dishes and a deep one for the very bulky recipes. A very shallow one, a sort of earthenware pie plate, is necessary for some seafood casseroles. We also use individual Mexican casseroles with lids when the spirit moves us.
Casseroles look best with simple china and linens in robust colors. Nothing thin or dainty will do. We use tablecloths made of gaily striped percales, mattress ticking, or checked gingham, which we sew together out of lengths of material bought chiefly for design and color. Cork mats are practical because the food is usually really hot. For buffet suppers a set of trays in a good clear color with no mats, plain contrasting china, and individual casseroles are attractive. Gaily figured glasses from the five-and-ten-cent store are good if your breakage is high. Serve simply. The casserole itself will appreciate this and so probably will your friends.
Condition: Interior pages are in good and clean condition. Spine (cloth) is ripped. Title page has small damage in the middle of the page. Artwork on the bookboards is faded.
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