Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Sour Milk - The Way to a Man's Heart?

A couple of weeks ago, Vickie mentioned wanting to know how make lemonade – real lemonade. The carbonated stuff Brits label as lemonade, sold in 2 litre bottles, would pass for Sprite or 7-Up. I know homemade lemonade isn't difficult, but can’t recall the last time I made any. For fun I’ve looked this up in my oldest cookbooks, ones that belonged to my Grandma – the one who spoiled my Dad rotten.

The oldest, Woman’s Favorite, has no publication date, but the introduction says, “At this, the beginning of the twentieth century…” I’ve usually found this book amusing rather than useful as it has beauty potions, advice for inexperienced housewives, homemade dyes for cloth and remedies for prevalent disorders; but the recipes are rather vague, a collection of submissions to The Author who invited nearly 1000 friends to help. It says:

Lemonade should be made in the proportion of one lemon to each large goblet. Squeeze the lemons and take out any seeds. If you do not like the pulp strain the juice. Sweeten the drink well though that is a matter of taste. The pleasant tart taste should be preserved. Add water to the juice and when serving put cracked ice and a thin slice of lemon into each glass. E.J.C.

Hmmm. Then there is

Ginger Lemonade
Take one-half cupful of currant jelly, one-half cupful of sugar, two teaspoons of ginger; stir well together, put in a quart pitcher and fill with ice water. If one wants it sweeter or sourer more of the ingredients may be put in. It is a cooling drink and almost as good as lemonade, some preferring it. Mrs. C. R. Thompson.

Sounds nice, but I don't recall ever seeing current jelly -- mind, I wasn't looking for it.

The other cookbook, The Settlement Cookbook (The way to a man’s heart), published in 1926 in Milwaukee, is even more ragged than the first, taped together with masking tape and crammed full of clippings. It has quite a few entries of interest:

1 lemon,
2 cups water,
4 tablespoons sugar.
Extract the juice of one lemon with a lemon squeezer. Add the sugar and water and stir until dissolved. Add chipped ice if desired. The water may be poured over the sugar boiling hot, in which case, cover and allow to stand until cool, and then add the lemon juice.

Follow same rule as for lemonade, adding a little lemon juice.

Lemonade for 150 people
5 doz. Lemons, squeezed,
6 pounds sugar,
1 doz. Oranges, sliced,
6 gallons water (I believe a US gallon is different to a UK gallon)
1 can or a fresh pineapple,
The rule is one pound of sugar to every dozen of fruit. If pineapple is fresh, add one more pound of sugar. Mix sugar with fruit and juice, and let stand. When ready to serve add water and ice and keep cool. The sugar and some water may be boiled to a syrup, allowed to cool, and the fruit and juices added afterward.

Lemon Soda
1 lemon, juice,
¼ teaspoon soda,
2 tablespoons sugar,
Ice water.
Mix sugar and lemon juice, add cold water and fill glass ¾ full, then stir in the soda briskly and serve.

Grape Lemonade
Pour enough ice cold lemonade into a glass to nearly fill it, and add very carefully blue grape juice to fill glass.

There are recipes for limeade, pineappleade, raspberryade, orange julep, mint julep, loganberry punch, dandelion punch, Wisconsin punch (a little of everything) and more.

We also have

Whey Lemonade
1 quart whey,
6 tablespoons sugar,
Juice of 2 lemons,
Slices of lemon or a little grated or diced rind, nutmeg or cinnamon.
Heat 1 quart sour milk in double boiler, cook until curd separates. Strain and use whey. Mix, chill and serve as a beverage.

I did not make this up. There is also a recipe for Sour Milk served cold with sugar and cinnamon to taste. Mmmm, I’ll bet it’s wonderful.

Let me know, Vickie, if you develop any sour milk cravings…

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