"HELLO! Yes, this is Bettina! Why, Bob, of course! Is he a real woman-hater? No, I've never met any, but I'll just invite Alice, too, and tomorrow you won't be calling him that. Six-thirty? Yes, I'll be ready for you both; I'm so glad you asked him. He'll be our first guest! Good-bye!" Bettina left the telephone with more misgivings than her tone had indicated. She couldn't disappoint Bob, and she liked unexpected company, but the dinner which she had planned was prepared largely from the recipes filed as "left-overs" in her box of indexed cards.
"Well, Bob will like it, anyhow," she declared confidently, "and if Alice can come, we'll have enough scintillating table-talk to make up for disappointments."
Alice accepted with delight, promising to wear "a dream of a gown that just came home," and confessing to a sentimental feeling at the thought of dining with such a new bride and groom.
"Let's see," said Bettina in her spick and span little kitchen, "there is meat enough, but I must hard-boil some eggs to help out these potatoes. 'Potatoes Anna' will be delicious. Goodness, what would my home economics teacher have said if she had heard me say 'hard-boil'? They mustn't really be boiled at all, just 'hard-cooked' in water kept at the boiling point. There will be enough baked green peppers for four, and enough of the pudding, and if I add some very good coffee, I don't believe that Bob's Mr. Harrison will feel that women are such nuisances after all! It isn't an elaborate meal, but it's wholesome, and at any rate, our gas bill will be a little smaller because everything goes into the oven."
When Alice arrived, Bettina was putting the finishing touches on her table. "Alice, you look stunning!"
"And you look lovely, which is better! And the table is charming! Those red clover blossoms in that brown basket make a perfect center-piece! How did you think of it?"
"Mother Necessity reminded me, my dear! My next door neighbor has roses, but I covet some for my luncheon tomorrow, and did not like to ask for any today. So I had to use these red clover blooms from our own back yard. They are simple, like the dinner."
"Don't you envy me, Harrison?" asked Bob at the table. "This is my third day of real home cooking! You were unexpected company, too!"
The dinner consisted of:
Boubons with Tomato Sauce Potatoes Anna Baked Green Peppers Stuffed Bread Butter Cottage Pudding Lemon Sauce Coffee
(All measurements are level)
Boubons (Four portions)
1 C-cooked meat ground fine (one or more kinds may be used)
2 T-fresh bread crumbs
1 T-green pepper or pimento chopped fine
¼ t-celery salt
1 t-butter (melted)
Beat the egg, add milk, seasonings, melted butter, breadcrumbs and meat. Mix thoroughly. Fill buttered cups three-fourths full of mixture. Place in a pan of boiling water, and bake in a moderate oven fifteen minutes. The mixture is done as soon as it resists pressure in the center. Allow them to remain in the pans a few minutes, then remove carefully upon a serving plate. They may be made in a large mould or individual ones. Serve with the following sauce.
Tomato Sauce (Four portions)
1 slice onion
4 bay leaves
Simmer the tomatoes, onion, bay leaves, cloves, sugar and water for fifteen minutes, rub through the strainer. Melt butter, add flour and salt, add strained tomato juice and pulp. Cook until the desired consistency.
Potatoes Anna (Four portions)
1½ C-cooked diced potatoes
2 hard-cooked eggs
½ t-celery salt
¼ t-onion salt
1 C-thin white sauce
Place alternate layers of diced cooked potatoes and sliced hard-cooked eggs in a baking dish. Season. Pour a thin white sauce over all of this. Place in a moderate oven fifteen minutes.
Stuffed Green Peppers (Four portions)
4 green peppers
4 C-boiling water
Remove the stems of the peppers and take out all the contents. Remove small slices from the blossom end so they will stand. Cover peppers with boiling water, allow to stand five minutes and drain. Fill with any desired mixture. Bake in a moderate oven twenty-five minutes, basting frequently with hot water.
Filling for Peppers (Four portions)
1 C-fresh bread crumbs
1 t-chopped onion or ¼ T-onion salt
1/3 C-chopped ham, or 1 T-salt pork
1 T-melted butter
Mix thoroughly and fill the pepper cases.
Baked Cottage Pudding (Four portions)
1 2/3 t-baking powder
1 well-beaten egg
2 T-melted butter
¼ t-vanilla or lemon extract
Mix dry ingredients, add egg and milk. Beat well and add melted butter and extract. Bake twenty-five minutes in a well buttered mould. Serve hot with the following sauce:
Lemon Sauce (Four portions)
1 C-hot water
1 t-lemon extract or ½ t-lemon juice
Mix sugar, flour and salt. Slowly add the hot water. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add flavoring and butter.