I knew if I dug around through my cookbooks, I’d find at least a few Valentine’s recipes to share, and A Thousand Ways to Please a Family had a whole Valentine’s luncheon menu, so I am sharing that here today. A Thousand Ways to Please a Family is the sequel to A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband. At this point, Bettina and Bob have been married a few years, and have two young children, Sue and Robin.
There is no description of the decorations used for the luncheon, the ladies are too busy delighting in Alice’s new re-decorated guest room to bother about whether or not the dining room is decorated with hearts and cupids, but it’s safe to assume it was. From my experience with these old books, the decor was as important as the food.
The menu for the Valentine’s luncheon consists of the following:
- Creamed Chicken in Heart Cases
- Cupid Salad
- Preserved Figs
- Heart Sandwiches
- St. Valentine Sandwiches
- Strawberry Sherbet
- Gold Hearts
- Strawberry Cakes
- Valentine Hearts
- Salted Nuts
The heart cases for the creamed chicken involve gouging heart-shaped holes into 2 inch cubes of stale bread, brushing them all over with melted butter, and toasting them.
Cupid Salad is a jellied tomato salad that is cut into heart shapes, and Heart Sandwiches are similarly heart-shaped. St Valentine Sandwiches are filled with cream cheese, pimiento and parsley, and rolled up and tied with ribbon. The 3 types dessert cake – Gold Hearts, Strawberry Cakes, and Valentine hearts – are all heart shaped.
Below is the recipe for Gold Hearts, if you want to make them for your Valentine.
- One-half cup fat
- One cup sugar
- One-half cup orange juice
- One teaspoon lemon extract
- One-half teaspoon orange extract
- Two cups flour
- Two teaspoons baking powder
- One-eighths teaspoon salt
- Seven egg yolks
Cream the fat and add the sugar. Cream for two minutes, add the liquids, dry ingredients mixed and sifted, and the egg yolks well beaten. Beat the whole mixture for five minutes. Fill small, well greased, heart-shaped pan half full of the mixture, and bake in a moderate oven for ten or fifteen minutes, or until the hearts are done.
Be careful not to brown the cakes, as the yellow color should be kept. When cool slit with a sharp knife through the center, and insert a dart cut from stiff white paper or thin cardboard. Set the hearts upright in a basket or among some flowers or greenery arranged on a serving tray. The hearts should be thick when baked, not flat.
A Thousand Ways to Please a Family With Bettina’s Best Recipes was written in 1922 by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron. My copy was originally owned by Anne Wright Haskinson.