Thursday, February 9, 2012

Celery in the 1890s

   See the vase on the table in this Potter & Wrightington's Tomato Soup ad?  It is a celery vase.  In the 1890s it was fashionable to display your celery, which was considered a delicacy.  

   It was hard to come by until California growers discovered how well it grew here, particularly in the area of Wintersburg.  California celery was shipped around the country.   

From Learning to Cook in 1898: A Chicago culinary memoir, (Ellen FitzSimmons Steinberg, Eleanor Hudera Hanson), "Weekly wholesale reports in 1898 show the price of California celery held fairly steady at between forty and fifty cents per dozen bunches…A frugal homemaker would have been wise to learn how to prepare these particular vegetables in as many ways as possible."

From the Golden Age Cookbook (1898), we have Celery Sandwiches:

"Use dainty little baking powder biscuits freshly baked but cold, or white home-made bread for these sandwiches. Only the very tender part of celery should be used and chopped fine and put in iced water until needed. Add a few chopped walnuts to the celery and enough mayonnaise dressing to hold them together; butter the bread before cutting from the loaf, spread one slice with the mixture and press another over it. If biscuits are used, split and butter them. They should be small and very thin for this purpose and browned delicately."

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The Historic Wintersburg blog focuses on an overlooked history in Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, in the interest of saving a historic property from demolition. The author and publisher reserves the right not to publish comments. Please no promotional or political commentary. Zero tolerance for hate rhetoric. Comments with embedded commercial / advertising links or promoting other projects, books, or publications may not be published. If you have an interesting anecdote, question or comment about one of our features, it will be published.