The Egg Test, Dangerous Cucumbers and Enough Turtle Soup to Feed an Army


CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC

Music – “There’s a Turtle in My Soup” from Essential Masters 1959-1961 by Ivor Cutler. Released: 2012

The “Swedish-American Cookbook” is “A Charming Collection of Traditional Recipes Presented in Both Swedish and English”, and was published in 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing. No primary author or editor is noted.

The Swedish-American Cookbook, 2012

The Swedish-American Cookbook, 2012


In a section entitled “DISHES OF EGG AND MACARONI” (ÄGG-OCH MACARONI-RÄTTER), the publishers note the frustration of coming across spoiled eggs, and the necessity of ensuring that the eggs you purchase are fresh. Thus comes the egg freshness test. Do this:

“…put the largest end of the egg to the tongue, if it feels warm, then the egg is fresh, otherwise not. Another way is to hold the egg against the light, (in the sun or lamp light in a dark room) if transparent it is good.
"Excuse me sir.  You lick it, you buy it"

“Excuse me sir. You lick it, you buy it”


Not the best way to tell if an egg is fresh or not...licking the shell before breaking it open is preferable

Not the best way to tell if an egg is fresh or not…licking the shell before breaking it open is preferable

A third way is to put the eggs in water deep enough to cover them. Those which then lie on the side are good, but those standing on end are bad. Eggs that give a gurgling sound when shaken are bad”
An egg, which gurgles, is never a good sign

An egg, which gurgles, is never a good sign

I don’t know about most people, but I am forced to obtain my eggs from the refrigerated case of the local mega grocery store. So much for the tongue test (it would be pointless because of the refrigeration and Albertson’s probably wouldn’t appreciate me licking their eggs). Ditto for the lamp and the dark room, and by the time you observe whether or not your eggs are going to sit, stand, or gurgle, it’s too late anyway!

"It looks fresh.  Did you lick the shell before you gave it to me?"

“It looks fresh. Did you lick the shell before you gave it to me?”


In the same cookbook is a section on how to prepare raw cucumbers (råa gurkor) by slicing them, soaking them in cold water, and then draining them. Salt, pepper, oil and vinegar are added. However, there is an admonishment:

“From being an indigestible, strong and dangerous edible, by this process they become wholesome and very enjoyable”

All of these years, I have been eating cucumbers with abandon, never realized that I was endangering my health in the process. I will never look at them the same way now.

Who knew that cucumbers were actually dangerous?

Who knew that cucumbers were actually dangerous?

Got people? Got turtles? Then you’ll love this recipe for “Genuine Turtle Soup” (Äkta sköldpaddsoppa). I won’t include the gruesome preamble (something related to sawing, slimy parts, etc.). The ingredients are:

1 turtle (size unspecified)
3 gallons of water for each ten pounds of turtle
1 ounce each of basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves
6 ounces parsley and 20 ounces parsley roots
30 ounces onion
50 ounces mushrooms
2 ounces celery
12 ounces butter
8 pounds beef
8 pounds veal
2 bottles Madeira wine
a little lemon juice
salt, pepper, cloves, cayenne pepper

"Run, run...the Swedish are coming!"

“Run, run…the Swedish are coming!”


Probably the Genuine Turtle Soup from "The Swedish-American Cookbook"

Probably the Genuine Turtle Soup from “The Swedish-American Cookbook”


That’s a serious soup! Personally, I don’t have a stockpot large enough to hold 8 pounds of beef, let alone all of the other ingredients!

Now, go out and test some eggs, but don’t get caught!

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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 5,851. What next? More cookbooks, naturally (small ones !)
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