When I was growing up, we mostly ate buttered toast, Raisin Bran and Cheerios cold cereal before we went to school. On weekends, my mother often cooked eggs, French toast, or pancakes.
Now, as an adult, I like bacon or sausage with eggs, often with cheese and mushrooms. But I’ll eat anything, even leftovers from lunch or dinner.
In the 1800s, people often ate eggs for breakfast if they had them, and most of the time there was bread. But I found several unusual breakfast food recipes, such as Canned Pea Pancakes.
Old recipes often gave no cooking time. You were supposed to learn through experience.
Croquettes – A savory mince of fish or meat with other ingredients, patted into a flat shape and fried.
Moderate Oven – A moderate oven is about 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit; you could hold your hand in the oven about 45 seconds without burning.
Saltspoon – A miniature spoon used with an open salt cellar for individual use before table salt was free-flowing.
INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS:
Word may be said here about the cooking of porridges. There are as many theories about this apparently simple affair as there are denominational differences in theological circles. One housekeeper soaks the oatmeal overnight; another puts it on when the fire is made; another fifteen minutes before breakfast. Mrs. A. soaks hers in cold water, Mrs. B. uses boiling, while Mrs. C. inclines to having the water just hot. One stirs the porridge frequently; another says it is ruined if touched with a spoon.
On general principles, one may say that oatmeal is never the worse for a soaking, although some varieties need it less than others. That unless carefully and evenly cooked, it is apt to become lumpy without stirring or beating, and that the degree of stiffness to which it should be brought must depend upon the taste of those who are to eat it.
Make a good pastry by chopping four tablespoons of butter into two cups of flour, making this to a paste with half a cup of ice-water. Have the ingredients and utensils very cold, and handle the paste as little and as lightly as possible. Roll out the pastry three times. Cut it with a sharp knife into strips about three inches square. On one of these, lay cooked and minced sausage meat, and cover it with another square of the same size. Pinch the edges together, and bake in a moderate oven. Proceed thus until all the materials are used.
Have two cups milk, three cups flour, three tablespoonfuls butter, one saltspoonful salt, and one-half yeast cake dissolved in warm water. Warm the milk, beat in the salted flour, the melted butter, and the yeast. Let this sponge stand in a warm place until light. Bake in greased muffin-rings on a hot griddle, or in muffin-pans in the oven. In either case, fill the pans or rings only half full, as the crumpets will rise in baking.
They are better prepared an hour before frying. Cook one tablespoon each butter and flour together until they bubble. Pour in one cup milk and stir until it thickens. Remove from the fire, and pour into a bowl which contains a beaten egg. Then stir in one cup finely minced cold veal that has been seasoned with a tiny bit of onion, scalded and chopped; half a teaspoonful parsley; and pepper and salt to taste.
Oyster liquor may be used in place of the milk, and a few oysters chopped with the veal will improve the flavor. Set aside until cold enough to handle, then form into croquettes between floured hands. Roll in egg, and then in fine cracker crumbs, and drop into boiling lard.
APPLES AND BACON
Fry thin slices of bacon crisp in its own fat. Take up the bacon and keep hot while you fry in apples sliced across and cored, but not peeled, using the bacon grease still in the pan. Arrange the apples in the center of the dish, the bacon around the sides.
LOAF CORN BREAD
Ingredients: two eggs, two cups milk, two cups cornmeal, one cup flour, one tablespoonful lard, one tablespoonful sugar, two teaspoonfuls baking powder, saltspoonful salt.
Beat the eggs light, add the melted lard, the milk, the flour, and meal, sifted with the baking powder and salt, and beat very hard. Bake in a round tin, one with a tube in the middle, if you have it.
CANNED PEA PANCAKES
Ingredients: one can of green peas, one egg, one cup milk, two teaspoonfuls melted butter, one-half cupful flour, one-half teaspoonful baking powder, and salt to taste. Open the can several hours before it is to be used, and drain off the liquor. Rinse the peas in cold water. Mash them with the back of a spoon, and mix with them the butter and salt. Make a batter of the egg, the milk, and the flour, with the baking-powder. Add the peas, beat well, and bake on a griddle.
On the bottom of well-buttered patty-pans with straight sides, sprinkle finely minced parsley, and a little pepper and salt. Break an egg into each pan, set them in a large pan filled with boiling water, and bake until set. Turn out on a flat dish, and pour a white sauce over them.
To every cupful of chopped cold boiled ham, put a half-teaspoonful of made mustard, the same of butter, and a little Worcestershire sauce. Trim the crust from slices of bread, toast and butter them, and spread them with the chopped ham.
Brown a chopped onion in one tablespoon butter. Add one pound boiled tripe cut into neat pieces; salt and pepper to taste. Brown lightly, add one cup stewed tomatoes, and when these are hot, serve.
Have one cup fine bread crumbs, two cups milk, one egg, two teaspoons melted butter, one saltspoon salt, and two tablespoons flour. Soak the crumbs in the milk ten minutes, beat in the whipped egg, the butter, the salt, and the flour. Bake on a well-greased griddle.
Stew the scallops five minutes in their own liquor. Take out, drain, and roll first in egg, then in fine cracker crumbs. Fry to a light brown in deep fat, lay on a sheet of brown paper in a hot colander, and serve on a small napkin laid on a heated dish.
Chop cold potatoes fine. Have ready in a pan a tablespoonful of bacon dripping made very hot. Stir into this two cupfuls of the potatoes, and toss about until well browned.
What do You Like to Eat for Breakfast?