Tag Archives: vintage recipe

Creamed Chard


Rainbow chard and other veggies from farmer’s market

In the early 1940s, my parents rented a house in New Philadephia, Ohio, where my father had found a job with the WPA. They had a big lawn in the back, and they turned it into a victory garden.  When I found some lovely chard at the Farmer’s Market, I thought that was probably one of the vegetables they grew.


So I set out to find a vintage recipe for chard. Unfortunately, chard doesn’t show up in any of the 1930s or 1940’s cookbooks I checked, except sometimes lumped with other greens and always called Swiss Chard.  But the most promising source for vegetable recipes from the era (and for today) is the booklet called 250 Ways to serve Fresh Vegetables, published in 1940 by the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago.

25 Ways to Cook Fresh Vegetables Cook Book. Well worn cooking pamphlet.

25 Ways to Cook Fresh Vegetables Cook Book. Well worn cooking pamphlet.

Although chard was not one of the 250–a recipe for an egg sauce for spinach would do just as well. And I liked that it uses white sauce, which I argue is the first thing that any newcomer to the kitchen should learn to make, for its versatility.  Adding hard boiled eggs adds nutrition and some interesting texture to the creamed chard.

So I cooked some eggs and stuck them in the fridge to use the next day in the planned chard with egg sauce.  Best laid plans…..When I took the eggs out, they were NOT hard cooked–but still runny.  I don’t know what went wrong, but they went into the trash, and I served the chard with a plain white sauce instead.  And it was delicious anyhow.

I have to admit that I’m kind of a snob about doing as little as possible to vegetables, so while many people swear by creamed spinach, I generally prefer my greens boiled or sautéed with a bit of seasoning and maybe some bacon. But I’m a convert. Love this recipe for creamed chard–and next time I’ll make sure the eggs are hard cooked.

Creamed Chard

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
From book 250 Ways to Cook Vegetables (1940) Culinary Arts Institute
Tasty Creamy Chard is a good way to get even non-greens eaters to get their vegetables. Adding hard cooked eggs to the sauce adds texture and nutrition.


  • 1lb chard
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half and half or whole milk (warmed to room temperature)
  • salt and pepper to taste (white pepper is preferred)
  • 2 eggs (hard cooked)


Cooking the chard
1. Wash chard well, shake off excess water and cut stems in 2-inch lengths. Tear or cut leaves in roughly 3 inch pieces
2. Boil water in a large pot. Put stems in boiling water and cook 15 minutes. Add leaves and cook another ten minutes. Stir occasionally. When you can easily pierce the stems with a fork, drain chard thoroughly. Set aside
White sauce with eggs
3. Melt butter in large skillet or saucepan.
4. Whisk in flour, gradually, not allowing lumps.
5. stir in salt and pepper
6. Chop boiled egg and stir into sauce.
7. Squeeze any moisture that has accumulated out of the chard, chop it finer if you wish, and add to the white sauce. Stir just until heated through and serve immediately.


The cooking time for the chard will vary depending on how large it is.  Younger chard with thing stems cooks up best. Older chard with very wide stems may continue to be fibrous even after cooking.

This can be made without the eggs as a plain white sauce.


Mother’s Favorite Dish: Johnny Marzetti

One day when my sister and I were talking about foods we recalled from childhood, she  mentioned  Johnny Marzetti. The hearty, easy (and cheap) casserole dish was indeed a favorite of our mother, and we still make it in our households.

Harriette Anderson Kaser

Harriette Anderson and Ray Jarvis at Ohio State, 1923

I suspected that it might have originated at Marzetti’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, and like to think that mother first picked up her liking for the dish when she went to Ohio State. Maybe her boyfriend Ray even took her to Marzetti’s for dinner, who knows?

But until I did a little research, I did not realize what a thoroughly Ohio recipe Johnny Marzetti is.

I would tell you the history, but this website, Ohio Thoughts, does such a good job that I urge you to follow the link for the story, pictures, the original recipe and the author’s variation.



Just in case you’re too fatigued to click over to that site (that’s sarcasm, in case you missed it), here’s the abbreviated version.  I remember mother adding chopped green peppers. I add garlic salt and Italian herbs.

Johnny Marzetti

Johnny Marzetti

Johnny Marzetti made with bowtie pasta and baby eggplant.

  • Cook macaroni or noodles.
  • In skillet, brown hamburger with onions (if you want them), mushrooms (if you have them) and when they are brown add tomato sauce and any seasonings you want.
  • Dump all that on top of the noodles in a casserole dish and top with grated cheddar cheese.  Bake

Thanks, Mom.

German Immigrant Recipe: Potato Noodles

German rouladen

Rinerrouladen with red cabbage and potatoes. Photo from Flickr by Oliver Hallmann.

I grew up with German food.  Northeastern Ohio was settled mainly by English and German immigrants (Amish, Mennonite and other congretations) and we loved our potatoes, noodles, potato noodles, hot potato salad, sauerkraut, and several dishes that I never realized were German. My father’s Kaser family were German immigrants in the 18th century, his mother’s Butts line were Catholic German immigrants and my husband’s Swiss-German ancestors arrived in the 19th century.

In fact, German immigrants had a great influence on American food in general.  Over the next few weeks I will feature some of the dishes that I loved growing up, or ate at German restaurants, or learned to cook as a young bride. I’m starting with one that is new to me–Badish Schupfrudeln — Potato Noodles.

I did not realize until I delved into the subject, that Germans brought SO MANY food ideas to America.  And I had never focused on the importance of balancing sweet and savory (sour) in recipes–despite my love of hot potato salad with its sugar and vinegar, the fact that I use brown sugar in sauerkraut and my love of mouth-watering sauerbraten.

American Beer

American Beer, from Flickr. Photo by torbakhopper.

According to the website Life in the USA, there was a period when German restaurants were the height of culinary sophistication.  Columbus, Ohio, where I spent part of my childhood and went to college, boasted many German restaurants and breweries and still celebrates its German roots in the quaint German Village.  Cincinnati, Ohio is another town with strong German roots still showing.

Berghoff Restaurant Chicago

Berghoff Restaurant Chicago

My all time favorite restaurant (and defintely my father Paul Kaser‘s favorite) was the venerable Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago Illinois. I remember sitting in the dark wood paneled rooms, with stained glass accents here and there. The most important factor was the mature male (always male) waiters (No, “I’m Jason, I’ll be your server.” here!)   The waiters wore formal attire, topped by an apron that reached nearly to the floor, and took orders without ever writing anything down. It was started in 1898 and still serves up German favorites, although it seems a sacrelige to see “gluten-free” on its menu that was once a carb-lovers hog-heaven.


German potato pancakes

German potato pancakes. Photo from Flickr, by Liren Chen.

Without the German immigrants, we would not have sauerkraut, potato pancakes,  sticky buns, apple butter, knockwurst, bratwurst and liverwurst and 3-bean salad.  How about some strudel or Black Forest Cake for dessert? We wouldn’t even have cream cheese!  Although some other nationalities made a creamy cheese, the one we principally use today in America was invented in Philadelphia by German dairy farmers. And of course the beer.  American beer is German-style lager and the prosperity of breweries built many a midwestern city.

We’ve had our moments of trying to deny the German roots of America–see Benjamin Franklin‘s opinion of Germans in the last article I posted.  According to the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink (2007),  the anti-German sentiment during World War I included changing the name of pickled cabbage from sauerkraut to “Liberty Cabbage.”  But we didn’t stop making and eating it. Or drinking the beer. Or eating the All-American hot dogs that evolved from German “wursts.”

So I will share some of these familiar foods in the coming weeks, but I wanted to start with one very German dish that I had never made or tasted–Badische Schupfrudeln (potato noodles).  Enjoy.

German Potato Noodles


  • 1 1/2lb russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup lard, bacon fat, or other fat


1. Bake potatoes about one hour--until a fork goes in easily. Set them aside to cool slightly
2. Measure flour, parsley, salt, nutmeg in bowl.
3. Peel potatoes and cut in chunks. Put on pastry surface and mash with rolling pin. Scrape into bowl with dry ingredients. Add beaten egg and stir well. Set aside at least 15 minutes.
4. Roll the dough into a log, about 1 1/2 thick. Cut the log into 20-25 pieces.
5. Roll each piece in your hands to make an elongated strip (roughly finger-length) with tapered ends.
6. Heat fat over medium heat in large skillet. Fry pieces until golden brown on both sides. (They fry quickly, so watch to prevent burning.)
7. Serve with any meat. For a traditional dish, serve fried noodles over fried sauerkraut with chopped cooked bacon or knackwurst.


Alternately, you can drop each noodle in boiling water. Or boil briefly and then fry.