As you know I LOVE antique recipes! I am ALWAYS on the prowl for antique recipe boxes IF they are FULL of actual recipes, well, and occasionally if they aren’t 😀
On our anniversary amid the pandemic we HAD to get out for a bit and went for lunch and decided antiquing was a safe excursion. We had a GREAT time at the few places that were actually open. But, it was in the last store that hubby surprised me with the greatest gift, an antique notebook from 1914 ish. The recipes themselves aren’t dated, but ARE written in pen and ink that was blotted. There was an article in the back of the notebook from Essex, England April 21, 1915 on “An American Woman”. Upon further inspection, she saved it for the “When Tomatoes Are Plentiful” recipes on the back side.
Each recipe has its own unique qualities, but one of the best things is that they are attributed to their original author, whether its “Mother” or “Marys Cook” or Bess Maxwell…
There are about 40 or so recipes in the notebook and I want to try ALL of them except 2 or 3 – I’m just NOT a fan of curry or aspic 🙂
The first thing I did was CAREFULLY open the notebook and photocopy each page. I then put it back together with carefully placed rubber bands to help keep it square. Since these are over 100 years old, I wanted to handle them as little as possible. Fortunately, pen and ink photos quite well and I now have really good working copies to operate from.
I did a little research on the notebook itself, “The National Notebook for use in the National Notebook System adapted for ALL Written Schoolwork”. The patent dates back to 1898, a time when people were transitioning from slates to paper which had become inexpensive and allowed students to retain their notes.
I’m still trying to make out some of the formal cursive writing and a few of the titles, but the ingredients sound really good and are seriously FROM SCRATCH.
The first recipe I tried in its ORIGINAL form is from Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, but made famous by Chef Louis Paquet is Chicken Tetrazzini. It is said that he named the recipe after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. It is widely believed to have been invented around 1908–1910. So, I’m sure the recipe was making the rounds through all the housewives 😀
The version I was taught when I was younger was seriously altered and shortcutted with processed foods so this is a really FANTASTIC find!
CHICKEN TETRAZZINI CASSEROLE
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Cream of Sherry
1/2 pound prepared spaghetti
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, reserve tops for later
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
2 1/2 cups small diced cooked chicken
1 can petite green peas, drained
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Spray 8×10 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet.
- Add onions and mushrooms, sauteing until caramelized. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl add chicken pieces. Set aside.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.
- Whisk in flour until golden.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk in broth and bring to a SLOW boil.
- Reduce heat and whisk in the white pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
- Whisk in cream sherry and heavy cream, simmering 5 minutes.
- Pour half of sauce into mushrooms and the other half into the chicken pieces.
- Arrange spaghetti around the edges of the baking dish, leaving the center empty.
- Spread chicken into the center of the baking dish.
- Top with mushroom mixture and peas. Spread even.
- Sprinkle cheese and then almonds evenly over top.
- Bake 25-30 minutes.
- Top with green onion tops.