Posts

Mincemeat Recipe

Recipe of the Week: Mince Meat

A generous grant from 4Culture is currently funding the digitization and cataloging of several archival collections, include the recipes of Mary Wold, Issaquah resident. Mary Wold had an exciting life, working as a teacher and as a nurse most notably for the Red Cross in WWI in Siberia. Later, she and her sister Sena lived out the rest of their lives in Issaquah.

I have never actually had mincemeat and never really knew what it was all about until I saw this recipe. I’m curious to try it, if only because it’s so different than anything else I’ve ever eaten. This probably won’t be the first recipe that I try from Mary Wold’s collection, but it is worth sharing.

It is a traditional mincemeat recipe, with beef and suet. I’m not sure how readily available all the ingredients are – like suet and citron. But I imagine with a little research and maybe some substitutions, the recipe can be brought into the 21st century without sacrificing the original intent.

As with the other recipes there are some assumptions in this one. It calls for a dishpan of apples – how big is a dishpan? It also calls for jam and jelly or preserves. To me, jelly and preserves do not seem interchangeable. And as with “fruit juice” – what fruit are we talking about? Considering this and other recipes for mincemeat, I’d err on the side of apple or some sort of citrus.

There isn’t a clear author on this recipe – Harriet Fish labeled it Wold but we’ve found that her indications were not always correct. I imagine that the recipe had been passed down through the years considering more modern recipes don’t actually contain any meat. This recipe is actually very similar to a 19th century recipe I found online – which would be right in line with some of the dates of the other recipes in the collection.

Mince Meat (Open Kettle)

1 dish pan apples (before quartered or peeled)
1 qt. of jam
1 pint of jelly or preserves
5 lbs. lean beef
2 lbs. suet
1 qt. fruit juice
2 1/2 lbs. brown sugar
2 to 3 lbs. raisins or currants
1/2 to 3/4 lbs. citron
spice to taste (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.)

Boil beef until tender, then grind thru food chopper with uncooked suet, apples and citron. Mix jam, jell, spices and all other ingredients together with a little of beef broth and boil, stirring often as it burns and sticks very easily.

It is done when apples are soft – I usually cook it down until it is the consistency of apple sauce.

Seal hot.

Recipe for Aunt Lucy's Brown Bread

Recipe of the Week: Aunt Lucy’s Brown Bread

A generous grant from 4Culture is currently funding the digitization and cataloging of several archival collections, include the recipes of Mary Wold, Issaquah resident. Mary Wold had an exciting life, working as a teacher and as a nurse most notably for the Red Cross in WWI in Siberia. Later, she and her sister Sena lived out the rest of their lives in Issaquah.

I chose this recipe for Brown Bread as the week’s recipe mostly because I love brown bread. The only kind, though, I’ve ever had is from the can – where it comes out in can form and you slice it however thick you want it (kind of like cranberry sauce.) It was a special treat growing up and I’m curious how this recipe compares to the can version. I’d like to make it and see if it’s as dense and I’m sure I could actually bake it in a can to get that same effect.

The author of this recipe was identified by Harriet Fish as Lucy Ballinger (although Harriet has written on the card “Leha” Ballinger.) Mary Wold didn’t have an actual Aunt Lucy but Lucy Ballinger was living in the Newcastle/Squak area in 1900 (she was 65 at the time) and then later in Seattle. Perhaps Lucy was the type of woman who was an “Aunt” to everybody.

There are some things I love about this recipe. As do most of the recipes in Mary’s collection, they assume that the reader knows how to bake. There are no exact measurements for temperature or length of time. People knew that ovens varied and could adjust accordingly. I also love, after hearing so often, that baking is “an exact science” just how inexact the recipes are. A handful of this, 2 or 3 tablespoons of that, and a different measurement for teaspoon (one regular and one “large”.) I also love that the dough should be thickened “tolerably” with graham flour. I suppose I won’t know what that means until I make it!

Aunt Lucy’s Brown Bread

1 pint sour milk
1 handful cornmeal
2 or 3 tblsp. white flour
1/2 cup cooking molasses
4 tblsp. melted butter
1 teasp. salt
1  ”   (large) soda

Thicken tolerably with graham flour.
Bake in a moderate oven. Grease and dust pan with flour.

"Most of the Garden"

Recipe of the Week: Most of the Garden

A generous grant from 4Culture is currently funding the digitization and cataloging of several archival collections, include the recipes of Mary Wold, Issaquah resident. Mary Wold had an exciting life, working as a teacher and as a nurse most notably for the Red Cross in WWI in Siberia. Later, she and her sister Sena lived out the rest of their lives in Issaquah.

Food is always a subject that peaks interest. What we eat and how we prepare it changes so quickly – think of what you grew up eating, is it something you still prepare? I’m currently sorting out and digitizing some recipes that have been in our collection for awhile. The ones I’ve first started on are from a box of recipes from Mary Wold that came into the possession of Harriet Fish.

We have an article written by Harriet Fish to go along with the recipes – the article describes what she first found when she opened the box. Unfortunately, what we have now doesn’t match Harriet’s article – not completely anyways. Recipes are missing and Harriet seems to have added her own. Luckily, we have determined which are the originals to the box and which are the extras added at a later date.

But the recipes that are missing are the ones that intrigue me the most. They are mostly main dishes and include such titles at “Codfish a la Mode” and “Welsh Rarebit.” But there are some good ones that remain. I’d like to begin a series of posts containing a recipe and the women behind them as each recipe generally has an old Issaquah name attached to it.

The first recipe is called “Most of the Garden.” The recipe is handwritten on a piece of paper and slowly wearing thin. I chose it as the first recipe because of its fragility (I wanted to digitize it right away) and because it sounds delicious. It’s a sort of relish and indeed uses “most of the garden.” There is no attribution on the recipe and Harriet doesn’t say in her article if she knows who wrote it. Nevertheless, I hope to try the recipe myself one of these days.

Most of the Garden

1 c sweet peppers (half green and half red)
1 c cucumbers
1 c onions
2 small hot red peppers
1 c chopped celery
2 c green tomatoes
2 T white mustard seed
1 qt. string beans
1 c dry kidney beans
1 c dry lima beans
1 c carrots

Put all but beans through medium food grinder.
Dissolve ½ cup salt in 1 qt. water and pour over this ground mixture – not the beans.
Let stand over nite and drain.
Soak kidney and lima beans a few hours then cook until done. Cook the string beans.
Make a syrup of 2 c sugar and 2 c vinegar.
Combine all ingredients and cook 10 min after it begins to boil.
Seal boiling hot.
Delicious relish.

     

Mary Wold’s Issaquah

Mary Wold and her sister, Sena, are two of my favorite figures in the history of Issaquah. Their parents were Lars Wold, an immigrant from Norway, and Henrietta Walter, who moved to the Pacific Northwest from Denmark with her parents and siblings at the age of 24. At one time, Wold owned a large chunk of what is now Issaquah, north of today’s Sunset Way and west of Front Street.

Mary Wold studied to be a teacher, and taught in the Issaquah schools for a time before going back to scool for her nurse’s training. As a nurse she traveled to Siberia during World War I, to serve with the Red Cross. This boggles the mind, when you consider that going from Issaquah to Seattle was a big trip in that time period, and about as far as most people ever needed to go. After returning home she worked as a nurse at the Firlands Sanitarium in Seattle, the tuberculosis hospital described in Betty McDonald’s “The Plague and I.” She later worked for the Seattle School District as Director of Nursing Staff. She and her sister lived together at The Wold, as their home was known, until their deaths (Mary in 1961 and Sena in 1968)

Mary Wold took these photos with a Kodak camera in about 1910. After writing on the back of each image to describe the photos’ contents, she mailed them to her Aunt Laurine in Denmark. Recently, Laurine Walter Rasmussen’s great-grandson emailed us to ask if we would be interested in digital copies of Mary’s photographs. The photos are a treasure in and of themselves, but Mary’s captions bring the pictures to life. Enjoy your tour through Mary Wold’s Issaquah. (If the slide show moves too quickly to read the captions, try going directly to the online album.)