October with Bettina


Meal Planning with Bettina

Oh, hazy month of glowing trees,—
And colors rich to charm our eyes!
Yet—not less fair than all of these
Are Mother’s fragrant pumpkin pies!


[Note: spelling is original to the book]


“DID you want me for something, Mary?” asked Alice at the door. “Mother said you had telephoned.”

“Come in! Come in!” cried ten girls at once, while Bettina whispered to Ruth: “Thank goodness, she’s come! The muffins are all but done!”

“What in the world!” said Alice.

“A party for you!”

“And I’m wearing my old suit!”

“We caught you this time, but never mind. Come in, and take off your things.”

As soon as Alice reappeared in the living room, a small table was drawn up before the open fire. Two girls appeared, wearing gingham aprons and carrying overflowing market baskets.

“This is a kitchen shower for you, Alice,” Ruth explained somewhat ceremoniously. “But if you are willing, we will use the utensils in serving the luncheon and afterwards present them to you. May we unpack the baskets?”

“Do,” said Alice, laughing.

From the larger basket, Ruth removed twelve white enamelled plates of different sizes (suitable for holding supplies in the refrigerator), and twelve cross-barred tea towels. The latter she passed around to be used as napkins, and Mary distributed the plates. On the small serving table before the fire, a white muslin table cover was placed. As she unfolded it, Ruth read from the attached card:

“If breakfast you should chance to eat Upon the kitchen table—
I’ll make it dainty, fair and neat So far as I am able.”

When the steel forks and spoons of various sizes were taken out and passed around, two glass measuring cups were found to hold loaf sugar wrapped in frilled paper. Upon one of these Ruth read:

“Please eat us all, but let your sweet Sweet hours be duly treasured,
For we belie the worldly eye—True sweetness can’t be measured.”

A glass rolling-pin filled with stick candy came next, and its sentiments read, and meanwhile the girls had begun to read aloud the advice pinned upon the tea-towels, such as:

“No matter what his whims and wishes—Just tell him he must wipe the dishes!” and, “But if he breaks a cup or plate, Just throw the pieces at him straight.”

“What vindictive dish-towels!” said Alice. “They’re not a bit sentimental!”

When the contents had been removed and all the verses read, the large basket was presented to Alice, who read from its handle:

“To market, to market, to buy your supplies! You’ll go there in person, if careful and wise.”

“I will, Mr. Basket, with you over my arm!” answered Alice.

Meanwhile the girls had carried in the salad in an earthenware mixing-bowl, the muffins heaped high in a small basket with a dainty dustcloth over them, the coffee in a large enamelled pitcher, and the “molasses puffs” wrapped in frilled paper in a basket suitable for holding supplies. “Bettina’s apples” were arranged in two flat enamelled pans. All the food was served informally from the small table, and the merriment grew as the luncheon progressed.

“I wish that all the meals Harry and I have together might be as jolly as this one! I’m sure I should be glad to eat always from kitchen dishes, if that is what makes the fun,” said Alice.

At the kitchen shower, the luncheon was as follows: Bettina’s Potato Salad, Bettina’s Spiced Beets, Twin Mountain Muffins, Currant Jelly, Molasses Puffs, Bettina’s Apples, Coffee, Stick Candy



“WHY, Bob, I thought you’d be miles away by this time!” cried Bettina, as Bob came into the house at the usual time one evening.

“They called off our trip on account of the weather. And I supposed you’d be at your mother’s!”

“It was raining so that I decided to build a cozy little fire in the fireplace and stay at home.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here! I was expecting to come home to a cold, dark house, and this is much more cheerful.”

“And I expected not to see you till midnight, so I’m well suited too! But, Bobby, you mustn’t complain if I give you a ‘pick-up meal.’ I expected to eat only a lunch myself.”

“I don’t care what you give me, just so it’s hot. My walk through the rain has given me an appetite. I’ll help you get supper and wash the dishes, Bettina, and then afterward we’ll pop corn and toast marshmallows by the fire. What do you say?”

“Fine, Bob! I cooked some celery today—just a little—and I think I’ll fix ‘celery au gratin’ for you. The cooky-jar is full of rocks——”

“A full cooky-jar! Bettina, that ought to be the symbol of our happy home. May it always be full!”

“You’re altogether too oratorical for a staid married man, Bob. Well, as I was saying, here is apple sauce, and I’ll soon have some emergency biscuit stirred up. Then with scrambled eggs——”

“Hurry, Bettina! My appetite grows with every dish you mention!”

They had a meal of: Scrambled Eggs, Celery au Gratin, Emergency Biscuit, Fresh Apple Sauce,
Rocks, Coffee

Rocks (Two dozen)

1½ C-brown sugar, 2/3 C-butter, 2 eggs, 1 t-cinnamon, ¼ t-ground cloves, ¼ t-salt, 2½ C-flour,
1 t-soda, 1½ C-chopped nut meats and raisins, 1 t-vanilla

Cream the butter, add the sugar, and cream the mixture. Add the eggs, well beaten, and the remaining dry ingredients (except nuts and raisins) sifted together. Mix well. Add the nut meats and chopped raisins, and vanilla. The mixture should be very stiff. Drop from a spoon onto flat buttered pans or preferably onto a buttered baking sheet. Bake about twelve minutes in a moderate oven.

(Bettina keeps rocks in a stone jar, and finds that they keep well, and are really better when a day old.)

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator



“THESE are the first baking powder biscuits I have ever made for company,” said Alice, “but I knew that I must begin some time. Mother has gone out to spend the day; I persuaded her that my efforts to serve a luncheon would upset her nervous system completely. Just think, girls! You are at my mercy—for I have prepared this humble repast with my own useless hands!”

“Shame on you, Alice! Don’t pretend to be so humble. You do everything so easily that I’ll not be surprised to see you papering your own house and acting as your own plumber and doing every other hard thing. A useless butterfly like you who turns out to be so competent after all is the despair of all us plodders who have always plodded and always will!” And Ruth sighed.

“Never mind, Ruthie,” said Bettina. “I’ve eaten a mighty fine luncheon that you cooked yourself—four or five courses, if I haven’t forgotten!”

“Yes, and I worried every minute during that day!”

“We all do at first, except maybe Alice!”

“Why worry?” said Alice. “(Seems to me I’ve heard that expression before.) You girls won’t die if the biscuits do fail—I’ll give you bread. Harry and I are going to laugh at our own mistakes—and enjoy them. Isn’t that a good philosophy? But, girls, to get down to biscuits. I want to ask you—one and all—collectively and individually, to be in my wedding party. With the addition of Sister, who isn’t here. She and Bettina will be the matrons of honor. Will you?”

“Will we!” they all cried with enthusiasm.

The luncheon menu was as follows: Salmon Salad, Green Beans, Butter Sauce, Baking-powder Biscuits, Watermelon Pickles, Cream Puffs, Coffee


Green Beans, Butter Sauce (Six portions)

2 C-green beans (canned), 1 T-water, 1 t-salt, ¼ t-paprika, 3 T-butter

Remove beans from the can and rinse with cold water. Add water, salt, paprika and butter. Cook over a moderate fire for three minutes. Serve.



“NOT through dinner yet?” exclaimed the Dixons at the door. “May we sit down and wait? It’s a beautiful evening, and we’ve come to get you to take a long drive with us.”

“Fine,” said Bob. “Come out to the dining-room and talk till we’re through.”

“And then I’ll help Bettina clear off the table,” said Charlotte. “Well, people, it looks like a good dinner, and Sherlock Holmes deduces, moreover, that you had roast lamb yesterday for your Sunday dinner.”

“You might also deduce that we had baked potatoes, from which these creamed ones are made,” laughed Bettina. “Nothing else to guess at, except that part of a cabbage made cold slaw yesterday and escalloped cabbage today. And my dessert, while simple, has no secret past,” she added as she removed the first course. “A plain and simple custard, that’s all.”

“Suits me,” said Bob, heartily, “especially when it’s cold like this.”

“By the way, Bettina,” said Charlotte, “did you ever get rid of those black ants you were telling me about?”

“Yes, I’ve never seen one since.”

“Well, you know how worried I was about the little red ones that bothered me. Aunt Isabel, in a letter, gave me a remedy that has worked like magic.”

“Aunt Isabel has her uses, after all,” teased Frank.

“I should say she has! She knows all about housekeeping, from A to Z! Her remedy sounds queer, but I can vouch for its efficacy, so if anyone ever asks you what to do for red ants, you tell them this, Bettina. I took some covers from baking powder cans, and some Mason jar covers, and some pie tins, and chalked the sides well with common school crayon. Then I set them on the pantry shelves to hold dishes of whatever kinds of food the ants liked. The ants never climbed over those chalked covers and soon they had all disappeared. I don’t have to use the chalked tins any more, but if I ever see a red ant in my pantry again, I’ll get out the chalk.”

“Couldn’t you make a heavy chalk mark on the shelf paper around the dish of food?” asked Bob.

“I tried that, but it didn’t do any good. But the other way worked beautifully.”

“I’m glad to know about it,” said Bettina. “Well, Bob, are you ready? It will take only a few minutes to carry out the dishes and pile them up. I’m sorry we’ve kept you people waiting.”

For dinner that night they had: Cold Sliced Lamb, Creamed Potatoes, Chili Sauce, Escalloped Cabbage, Bread, Butter, Baked Custard



“OH, Ruth!” called Bettina from her door to Ruth, who was walking past. “Come in and stay to dinner!”

“My dear, I’d love to, but——”

“I’m going to have baking powder biscuits, and I remember that you were longing to learn how to make them.”

“Oh, Bettina! Would you really show me? I’ll simply have to come, then. I hesitated because Aunt Martha is here, but I know she’ll excuse me for one evening. What time is it? Five? I’ll take these packages home and be back in fifteen minutes!”

When Ruth returned she found Bettina in her kitchen with all of the ingredients for the biscuits set out on the table.

“Perhaps two cups of flour will make too many for three people,” she said, “but Bob has a good-sized appetite these crisp fall days, and he’s fond of biscuits with jelly. Now, Ruth, you can get to work! Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, and then cut the lard in this way with this knife…. Fine! Now add the milk very slowly—perhaps it will take a little more than two-thirds of a cup, it all depends on the flour. There! Now pat the dough into shape on this floured board, and then you can cut the biscuits out with this little cutter. Yes, about three-fourths of an inch thick. Ruth, those look fine! We’ll wait a little while to bake them, they’re better perfectly fresh. Set them out in the cold, there, until I have fixed the macaroni, and they can pop into the oven at the same time.”

“That was so easy, Bettina. I do hope those biscuits will be good!”

The dinner consisted of: Lamb Chops, Macaroni and Cheese, Sliced Tomatoes, Baking Powder Biscuits, Jelly, Apple Tapioca Pudding, Cream


Macaroni and Cheese (Three portions)

½ C-macaroni, broken in pieces, 1 qt. water, 1 t-salt, 2 T-butter, 4 T-cheese, cut in small pieces,
1½ C-milk, ½ t-salt, ¼ t-paprika, 3 T-flour

Cook the macaroni in the boiling salted water until tender. (About fifteen minutes.) Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Melt the butter, add the flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add the milk and cheese. Cook three minutes. Add the macaroni. Mix well, and pour into a well-buttered baking dish. Place in a moderate oven and cook twenty minutes.

Baking-powder Biscuits (Fifteen biscuits)

2 C-flour, 4 t-baking powder, ½ t-salt, 3 T-lard, 2/3 C-milk

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt, and cut in the fat with a knife. Slowly add the milk. (More or less may be required, as it depends on the flour.) Pat into shape three-fourths of an inch thick. Cut with a cutter, place side by side on a tin pan. Bake in a hot oven twelve to fifteen minutes.



“OH, Bob, I can hardly wait to tell you all of Alice’s wonderful plans,” said Bettina.

“Don’t wait, then. (Say, these are my favorite potatoes, all right!) Well, what about the wedding? All the gowns are being made, I suppose?”

“Yes, indeed. You know the four bridesmaids are to wear lavender maline over lavender taffeta, very fluffy and short,—can you picture them in your mind, Bob?”

“Not exactly, but then, go on.”

“Well, they’re nearly finished. I saw them today, and they’re lovely. The girls are to carry lavender maline muffs, too—the round kind with fluffy bows at each end, and little pink rosebuds around the hand, you know. Then a corsage bouquet of violets with a pink rose in the center will be pinned on each muff. The bridesmaids will also wear lavender maline hats, with fluffy tarn o’ shanter crowns and pink rosebuds around them.”

“Is that what you’ll wear?”

“No, Lillian and I are the matrons of honor, and we will be all in white, with white muffs, and corsage bouquets of pink roses on them. Won’t that be lovely? I don’t know yet whether Lillian’s little Elizabeth, who will scatter rose petals from a fluffy long-handled basket, is to wear pink or white. Oh, I wish you might have seen the girls this afternoon! We tried on our dresses and planned the hats and muffs. I shall begin my muff this evening; won’t that be exciting?”

For dinner that night they had: Pork Chops, Bettina’s Potatoes, Date Bread, Butter, Head Lettuce, French Dressing, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Coffee



“AHA, I’ve found you out!” Bettina heard a laughing voice shout as she hurried up the steps.

“Why, Jack, when did you come to town?”

“This afternoon. Went to Bob’s office the very first thing, and he insisted on bringing me home with him to dinner. I told him it might ‘put you out,’ but he spent the time it took to come home assuring me that you were always waiting for company—kept a light ever burning in the window for them and all that. He said that I’d see,—that you’d be on the doorstep waiting for us!”

“And after all that—you weren’t here!” said Bob reproachfully.

“I’m just as sorry as I can be not to live up to Bob’s picture of me,” said Bettina. “I generally am waiting for Bob,—almost on the doorstep if not quite. But this afternoon I’ve been to a shower for Alice,—do you remember Alice, Jack?”

“Very well. The gay dark-eyed one. You don’t mean to say that she’s found a man who’s lively enough to suit her?”

“Well, she seems to be suited, all right. But I must fly into an apron if you boys are to get any dinner within a half-hour. Jack, you’ll have to pardon me if after all of Bob’s eloquence I give you a meal of left-overs——”

“Don’t apologize to a bachelor, Bettina. He probably won’t know left-overs from the real thing,” said Bob.

“Bachelors are said to be the most critical of all,” she answered. “But I’ll do my little best to please.”

That night Bettina served: Roast Beef Pie, Bread, Butter, Sliced Tomatoes with Salad Dressing,
Marble Cake, Coffee


Marble Cake (Fourteen slices)  1 C-sugar, ½ C-butter 

Cream together and divide into two parts, half for light and half for dark.

Dark Part To one half add:
¼ C-molasses, ½ C-milk, 2 egg-yolks, 1 C-flour, 1 t-baking powder, 1 t-powdered cinnamon,
½ t-powdered cloves, ¼ t-grated nutmeg, ½ t-vanilla

Mix this together thoroughly and set aside while the light part is being mixed.

Light Part To the other half of the butter and sugar add:

½ C-milk, 1 C-flour, 1 t-baking powder, ½ t-vanilla, Whites of two eggs beaten stiff

Put large spoonfuls of light and dark batter, alternating, in a loaf cake pan well fitted with waxed paper, until the pan is two-thirds full. Bake thirty-five minutes in a moderate oven.



“WHAT a cunning table!” exclaimed four girls in various words and ways. Ruth and Bettina smiled happily to each other, for they, too, had admired the low bowl of purple and yellow pansies in the center, and the tiny individual vases for a few pansies at each place. The dainty doilies were also attractive, and Ruth had darkened the room and lit the small yellow candles on the table.

“But Bettina helped with the soufflé and the gold hearts,” she said gallantly. “Did you see her disappear a short time ago? She was baking the cakes. When she suggested refreshments that should be made just before they were served, I was frightened. But when she offered to bake the things, you may be sure I was delighted.”

At this moment a small figure appeared in the doorway. “Weady, Cousin Wuth?”

“Yes, dear.”

In popped little Marjorie, Ruth’s cousin, carrying a huge bouquet of handkerchiefs folded like white roses, fastened somehow to long stems with green leaves attached, tied with streaming yellow satin ribbon. Making a low bow to Alice, she recited in a baby voice:

“A handkerchief posie to carry each day.
We trust they will not come amiss,
In fact, we are sure that no other bouquet
Was ever so useful as this!”

“Thank you, you darling!” said Alice, receiving the gift with delight.

Ruth served: Apricot Soufflé, Whipped Cream, Gold Hearts, Salted Peanuts, Coffee


Whipped Cream (Six portions)

½ C-heavy cream, 1 t-sugar, ¼ t-vanilla, 3 drops of lemon extract

Beat the cream until thick, add the sugar, vanilla and lemon extract. Place in a cool place until used.

Gold Hearts (Twelve Hearts)

4 T-butter, ½ C-sugar, 3 egg-yolks, 1 T-water, ¼ C-milk, 7/8 C-flour, 1 t-lemon extract, 1 t-baking-powder, 1/8 t-salt

Cream the butter, add the sugar, and mix well. Add the egg yolks, beaten well, and the water, milk, flour, baking-powder, lemon extract and salt. Beat for two minutes. Pour into a large flat pan prepared with waxed paper. The batter should be three-fourths of an inch thick in the pan. Bake twelve minutes in a moderate oven. Remove the paper, and cut when cool with a heart-shaped cooky cutter. Wet the cutter with water before using, as this assures even edges. Keep in a moist place until ready to serve.

Salted Almonds (Six portions)

¼ lb. almonds (shelled), 1 qt. boiling water, 1 t-salt, 3 T-olive oil

Allow the almonds to stand in boiling water in a covered utensil for fifteen minutes. Rinse off with hot water and place in a colander. Remove the skins. Place oil in a frying-pan when hot, add nuts. Stir constantly over a moderate fire for fifteen minutes. Pour into a clean cloth. Rub off any oil which has remained on the almonds. Sprinkle salt over the nuts while warm. When thoroughly cooled, place the almonds in a covered tin can until ready to serve.

Susan Wheeler, anniversary



“IT seems good to be alone this evening, doesn’t it, Bettina?” said Bob, as they sat down to dinner. “Or are you growing so accustomed to gaiety lately that a dinner for two is a bore?”

“Bob!” said Bettina reproachfully. “If I thought you really believed that I was ever bored by a dinner for the two of us,—well, I’d never be in a wedding party again! Alice likes excitement, and I suppose that next week will be very gay, but after the wedding I hope that you and I can have a quiet winter, with just invitations enough to keep us from becoming too stupid.”

“But tell me what the wedding will be like. Is it all planned down to the last detail? I suppose it is, although Harry doesn’t seem to have any idea what it is to be.”

“Poor Harry, he seems to be left out of most of the showers and parties so far.”

“Don’t pity him; he wouldn’t go if he could. I’m just wondering what they’ll do after the wedding. Will Alice go and Harry stay at home? Or, will he be obliging and force himself to go, too?”

“I don’t know, I’m sure. Alice is so full of life that I don’t see how she can settle down and never go anywhere, as Harry would have her. But time will tell. Perhaps they’ll compromise. Meanwhile, we must plan some sort of a shower or prenuptial party that Harry can enjoy, too. One with the men included, I mean. Of course, I know he hates parties, but I think he would really like a very jolly informal one with just a few friends!”

The dinner for two consisted of: Cold Sliced Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Creamed Carrots and Peas,
Bread, Butter, Apple Dumplings


Creamed Carrots and Peas (Three portions)

½ C-cooked, diced carrots, ½ C-peas, ½ t-salt, 1 T-butter, 1 T-flour, ½ C-milk

Melt the butter, add the flour and salt, gradually add the milk. Cook two minutes. Add the peas and carrots. Serve very hot.

Apple Dumpling (Three portions)

½ C-flour, 1 t-baking powder, 1/8 t-salt, 4 T-sugar, 1 T-lard, 2 T-milk, 2 apples, ½ t-cinnamon

Mix the flour, baking-powder and salt, cut in the lard with a knife. Add the liquid, mixing to a soft dough. Roll on a well floured board to one-fourth of an inch in thickness. Wash, pare and quarter the apples. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cut the dough in five inch squares; place two quarters of apple in the center of a square; moisten the edges of the dough with water and bring the four corners together around the apple. Place in a tin pan and bake in a moderate oven until the apples are soft. (About thirty minutes.) Serve warm with cream.

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator



“OH, Charlotte, I’ve just come from the loveliest luncheon,” said Bettina, coming face to face with Mrs. Dixon in front of her own home.

“You have? Another for Alice?”

“No, this was in the country—on the interurban, at Cousin Kate’s. Frances, her daughter, who was married last spring, has come home on a visit, and Cousin Kate was entertaining for her.”

“Tell me about it!”

“Oh, it was just an informal luncheon, but I couldn’t help thinking how delicious everything was, and at the same time inexpensive. In fact, I wrote down several of Cousin Kate’s recipes after the guests had gone, and I’m sure that there aren’t many such inexpensive luncheons that are also so good.”

“You must let me have some of the recipes.”

“Of course I will. Come in now, and copy them.”

“I can’t possibly, Bettina. As it is, I’m afraid that Frank will be home before I am. It’s almost six o’clock now.”

“Is it? Then I must hurry in and start dinner; I want to make some muffins. I hate to have Bob eat a cold dinner just because I’ve been out in the afternoon; in fact, I usually spend more time than usual in the morning fixing some dessert that he especially likes, if I’m to be out in the afternoon. Good-bye, Charlotte!”

“Good-bye, dear!”

The luncheon menu was as follows: Oyster Cocktail in Pepper Cases, Cream of Celery Soup, Croutons, Cheese Timbales, Creamed Peas, Baked Apples, Baking-Powder Biscuit, Green Bean Salad, Salted Wafers, Lemon Sherbet, Devil’s Food White Icing, Coffee


Devil’s Food Cake (Twenty-four pieces)

2 C-brown sugar, 1 C-milk, ½ C-butter, 2 eggs, 3 squares chocolate, 2 C-flour, 1 t-soda, 1 t-vanilla

Cream the butter, add one cup sugar. Mix egg yolks, the other cup sugar, one-half cup milk and chocolate; cook two minutes, stirring constantly. When cool, add this to the first mixture. Add the rest of the milk, vanilla, the flour and soda sifted together. Beat two minutes. Add stiffly beaten egg whites. Fill two tin pans prepared with waxed paper, bake in a moderate oven twenty-five minutes. When cool, ice with white icing.



WHEN Bettina called the girls into the dining-room after several hours spent in hemming dish towels for Alice, they exclaimed that the time had passed so quickly. The table was set for twelve, and the chair at the right of the hostess was gaily decorated with white ribbon and white paper flowers.

“Oh, for me?” cried Alice. “How important I feel!”

As soon as the girls were seated, Ruth rose and placed before the guest of honor a large wicker basket heaped high with packages of all shapes and sizes, each wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with white ribbon. A card hung from the handle of the basket. “I’ll read it aloud!” laughed Alice.

“Dear Alice, we have tried to choose Some gifts for you that come by twos.
A few, perhaps, you’ll often use, While some may comfort and amuse,
If you should chance to get the blues, When household cares your mind confuse.

“This basket, which our blessing bears, Besides the gifts that come in pairs,
Our friendship and our love declares. ‘Twill share your troubles and your cares
And hold the hose that Harry wears. So keep them free from holes and tears.”

“Goodness!” cried Alice. “The thought of my future cares frightens me! But now I must open all the packages!”

She discovered a salt and pepper shaker, a pair of guest towels, a pair of hose, a sugar bowl and a creamer, and many other gifts in pairs. It was a long time before the girls could calm down sufficiently to eat the luncheon that Bettina, with Ruth’s assistance, set before them.

Bettina served: Bettina’s Tuna Salad, Date Bread Sandwiches, Salted Peanuts, Maple Ice Cream, White Cake with Maple Icing, Coffee


Tuna Salad (Twelve portions)

2 C-tuna fish, 2 C-diced celery, 3 hard-cooked eggs diced, 3 T-green pepper chopped fine,
4 T-sweet pickle chopped fine, 4 T-pimento cut fine, 2 t-salt, ½ t-paprika, 1 T-lemon juice,
1 C-salad dressing

Mix the tuna, celery, eggs, sweet pickle, pepper, salt and paprika with a silver fork. (Care should always be taken not to mash salads.) Add the salad dressing; more than a cup may be necessary. Keep very cold, and serve attractively on a lettuce leaf.

Salad Dressing (Twelve portions)

4 egg-yolks, ½ C-vinegar, ½ C-water, 1 t-salt, 1 t-mustard, 4 T-sugar, ¼ t-paprika, 2 T-flour

Beat the egg yolks, add the vinegar. Mix the salt, mustard, sugar, paprika and flour thoroughly. Slowly add the water, taking care not to let the mixture get lumpy. Pour into the yolks and vinegar. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until thick and creamy. Thin with sour cream or whipped cream.

Salted Peanuts (Twelve portions)

2/3 lb. peanuts (shelled), 4 T-olive oil, 2 t-salt

Cover the peanuts with boiling water; allow to stand for fifteen minutes. Place one-third of the amount in a strainer (allowing remainder to stay in water) and remove the skins. Prepare all the peanuts the same way. Place two tablespoons of oil in the frying pan, when hot add the peanuts; stir constantly with a fork and cook over a moderate fire fifteen minutes. When brown remove the nuts, add another tablespoon of oil and another third of the peanuts, continue until all the nuts are cooked. Add the salt. Lard may be used in place of oil, but the latter makes the nuts taste and brown better.



“OH, I forgot to tell you, Bettina,” said Bob at the dinner table, “the Dixons are coming over this evening. Frank asked me if we would be at home.”

“I’m so glad they’re coming,” said Bettina. “I haven’t seen Charlotte for several weeks; I have been so busy with the affairs we girls have been giving for Alice. But I wish I had known this afternoon that they were coming. I’d like to celebrate with a little supper, but I haven’t a single thing in the house that is suitable.”

“There’s the cider that Uncle John brought us,” suggested Bob.

“Yes,” said Bettina, “we might have cider. But what else?”

“I’ll tell you,” said Bob, “I’ll make some popcorn balls. I’ve made them before, and I know exactly how.”

“I’ll help,” said Bettina.

“No, I won’t need you at all; I’m the chef.”

“Well, Bobbie, at least you’ll let me look on. May I be washing the dishes at the same time?”

“Yes, I’ll permit that. These are going to be champion popcorn balls, I can tell you, Bettina—as big as pumpkins!”

“We’ll serve them in that large flat wicker basket, and I’m sure they’ll look and taste delicious. But we must hurry, Bob; it’s after seven now!”

For dinner that night they had: Broiled Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Chili Sauce, Creamed Onions, Hot Scones, Prune Blanc Mange with Cream


Scones (Fourteen scones)

2 C-flour, 4 t-baking powder, 1/3 t-salt, 2 T-lard, 1 egg, 2/3 C-milk, 1 T-“C” sugar, ½ t-cinnamon

Mix the flour, baking-powder and salt. Cut in the lard with a knife, add all but one teaspoonful of the beaten egg, then add the milk gradually. Mix with a knife into a soft dough. Pat into a square shape one-half inch thick. Brush over the top with one teaspoonful of egg and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon (mixed thoroughly). Cut into one and one-half inch squares. Place in a tin pan and bake twelve minutes in a hot oven.



“HELLO!” called Bob at the door one evening.  No answer.

“Hello, Bettina!” he called again. Again the dark house gave forth no reply.

Feeling, it must be admitted, a little out of harmony with a world that allowed weary and hungry husbands to come home to dark and empty houses when the clock said plainly that it was a quarter after six, Bob made his way to the kitchen. Perhaps Bettina had left his dinner there for him; perhaps she had been called away, or perhaps, even, she had rushed out on some errand after dinner preparations were begun. The kitchen, however, was so immaculate as to seem distinctly forbidding to a hungry man whose appetite was growing keener every minute. And he had been thinking all the way home that a hot dinner would taste so good!

At that moment a clamor of voices at the door aroused him.

“You poor old Bob!” cried Bettina, kissing him twice before Fred and Ruth without the least embarrassment. “Have you waited long?”

“It seemed hours,” admitted Bob.

“Ruth and I have been to a tea for Alice. Fred came for her there, and I persuaded them to come home to dinner with me. I’ll give you each something to do while I stir up a little cottage pudding. Then dinner will be ready in half an hour.”

“Half an hour?” cried Bob. “But, Bettina, where is the dinner? I didn’t see any!”

“In the fireless cooker, you crazy boy! Are you ‘most starved?”

“Well,” said Bob, “that cooker was the neatest, stiffest-looking thing in the kitchen! I didn’t dream that it was busily cooking a dinner. Say, I’ll be glad to see a hot meal again!”

The dinner consisted of: Round Steak with Vegetables, Dutch Cheese, Bread, Plum Butter,
Cottage Pudding, Vanilla Sauce

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator



“AND the minute I caught a glimpse of you, Bettina, at the tea this afternoon, I thought, ‘Oh, if Betty would only ask me to go home with her to a sensible homelike dinner, with no one there but herself and Bob——'”

“Not even Harry, Alice?”

“No, not even Harry! I’m so sick and tired of teas and dressmakers and wedding gowns and bridesmaids that I’m tired even of Harry, too! Almost.”

“But, Alice, then why do it all? Why have all this fuss and feathers?” And Bettina’s knife, with which she was cutting bread, came down with a click of vehemence. “It has always seemed silly to me—all the worry and bother——”

“But what can I do now, Bettina? I’ve started, and I’ll have to go through with it! Why, even now, I ought to be home for dinner—mother has several guests—but I phoned her that I had a headache and was coming here, where I could be quiet. And I do have a headache—and no appetite, and——”

“Just wait till you taste this nice brown meat that I have in the oven, Alice! The trouble with you is that you’ve been eating silly party food for such a long time. And tonight you are to have a sensible dinner with plain people.”

“Plain people? Who calls me plain?” interrupted Bob, coming in like a tornado. “Hello, Alice! How can you spare any time from all these festivities I hear about?”

For dinner that night they had: Rolled Flank of Beef with Bread Dressing, Browned Potatoes, Hot Slaw, Prune Pudding, Cream, Coffee



“CHARLOTTE, you must have Bettina tell you how to cook fish this way,” said Frank.

“It’s the Bechamel sauce on it that you like, I suspect,” said Bettina. “And it isn’t at all hard to make. I serve it with so many things. We like it with carrots——”

“Oh, is it the very same sauce that you serve with carrots?” said Charlotte. “I can make it, Frank. I’ll have it for dinner one of these days, with halibut, just as Bettina has served it tonight.”

“There is only one thing to think about especially in making it,” said Bettina. “After you have beaten the egg slightly, add a very little of the hot liquid to it, and then pour the mixture into the rest. Then cook it a short time, not long, as a sauce made with egg sometimes separates.”

“I’ll remember,” said Charlotte. “You do have such good meals, Bettina. How do you manage it? Sometimes I can think of the best things to cook, and other days I don’t seem to have a bit of imagination!”

“I plan my menu all out a week, and sometimes two weeks, ahead,” said Bettina. “It is really quite a complicated process, as I want to have a variety, as well as inexpensive things that are on the market. Of course, I may change my plans in many details, but I keep to the general outline. Planning the meals seems simple, but it really requires a lot of thinking sometimes. Excuse me while I bring in the dessert. Bob, will you please help me take the plates?”

The menu that night consisted of: Sautéd Halibut Steak, Bechamel Sauce, Potato Cubes, Butter Sauce, Sliced Cucumbers and Onions with Vinegar, Rolls, Butter, Prune Whip, Whipped Cream,


Potato Cubes (Four portions)

2 C-raw potatoes cut in ¾-inch cubes, ½ t-salt, 4 C-boiling water

Add the salt to the boiling water, add the potatoes and boil till tender. (About ten minutes.) Drain and shake over the fire for a moment. Add the sauce, and serve.

Butter Sauce (Four portions)

2 T-butter, 1 T-chopped parsley, 1 t-chopped green pepper, ¼ t-paprika

Mix together, heat and add to the potatoes.



BOB and Bettina had scarcely sat down to dinner one crisp cold evening, when they heard laughing voices at the door. “It sounds like Alice,” said Bettina. “What can she be up to now? And Harry, too!”

Bob had already thrown open the door, and there, as Bettina had guessed, were Alice and Harry, each carrying a large box.

“We’ve come to deliver your invitation to the wedding,” said Alice. “It may be unconventional, but it’s fun. The rest we are going down to mail—that is, if we don’t get frightened at the idea, and pitch the boxes in the river instead.”

“If that’s the way you feel,” said Harry firmly, “I’ll carry your box myself.”

“Please don’t, Harry! Just think, I may never have another opportunity of mailing the invitations to my own wedding, so don’t deprive me of the privilege.”

“Stay to dinner won’t you?” said Bettina. “We had really planned on having Uncle John and Aunt Mary this evening, but they didn’t come to town after all. So I am sure we have plenty, even to apple dumplings for dessert.”

“Harry had asked me to take dinner with him down town,” said Alice, “by way of celebrating when these invitations were mailed. But perhaps we might stay here instead, since this was the very place in which we met first! Harry, I believe sentiment demands that we accept Bettina’s invitation.”

“I must broil another steak,” said Bettina, “but that will take only a few minutes. I’m so glad you can stay.”

“But we’ll have to leave immediately after dinner,” said Alice, “for these invitations simply must be mailed this evening.”

That night for dinner, Bettina served: Beefsteak, Mashed Potatoes, Turnips, Lettuce, Bettina’s Russian Salad Dressing, Apple Dumplings and Cream


Turnips (Four portions)

4 turnips, 1 T-butter, ¼ t-salt, 1/8 t-pepper

Wash, pare and cut the turnips in small pieces. Cook until transparent and tender. Drain, mash, add the butter, salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and return to the fire to dry out the superfluous water. Serve hot with vinegar. (Never cook turnips until brown.)

Head Lettuce (Four portions) 1 head lettuce 

Remove the outer leaves and core of the lettuce. Clean thoroughly. Place very wet in a towel, wrap well and lay directly on the ice. Allow to stand one hour before serving to allow the lettuce to get very cold and crisp.

Bettina’s Russian Dressing (Four portions)

½ C-salad dressing, 2 T-chili sauce, 1 T-chopped green pepper Mix the ingredients in the order named. Shake thoroughly in a glass jar. Serve cold.

Apple Dumplings (Four portions)

1 C-flour, 2 t-baking powder, ¼ t-salt, 2 T-lard, 1/3 C-water, 4 apples, ½ C-sugar, 1 t-cinnamon

Mix thoroughly the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the lard with a knife, and then add the water, mixing to a[247] soft dough. Roll on a well-floured board to one-fourth of an inch in thickness. Wipe and pare the apples, and cut them in quarters.

Cut the dough in four square pieces. Place four quarters of apple in the center of each piece of dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Moisten the edges of the dough with water. Bring the four corners of each piece up around the apple, pressing tightly together. Pierce with a fork to allow the escape of steam. Place each dumpling upside down on a floured tin, and bake thirty-five minutes in a moderate oven. Serve warm with cream.



“THERE it is again!” said Bob to Ruth, who was dining with them. “And now it’s gone!”

“I feel the same old Hallowe’en thrill that I used to, years ago,” said Bettina, “when I turn around suddenly and see a jack-o’-lantern grinning in at the window! Don’t you love them?”

“Those are the Stewart children,” said Bob. “They’re just hoping that I’ll come out and chase them away! There’s no fun for them in having us like it too well! You girls ought to give at least an imitation of a shriek apiece. You don’t have ladylike nerves at all!”

“Bob, that jack-o’-lantern reminds me that we have a piece of work laid out for you—making the jack-o’-lanterns for a Hallowe’en party we have planned. Will you do it?”

“Will I?” said Bob. “Indeed I will! I haven’t made one for years and years! Not since I was a boy!”

“Years and years and years and years!” said Ruth, laughing. “Well, this party is in honor of Harry, so you mustn’t tell him anything about it—not even that we’re giving it. And Bob, I believe Fred would help make the jack-o’-lanterns.”

“See here, Ruth,” said Bob, “you want Fred to get half the credit for the artistic job I’m going to do. Well, for your sake, I may let him help a little, but I’m bossing the work, I can tell you. Why, I’m particular.”

That evening’s menu consisted of: Breaded Lamb Chops, Baked Potatoes, Creamed Peas,
Sliced Tomatoes, Salad Dressing, Steamed Date Pudding, Lemon Sauce, Coffee

Susan Wheeler, Illustrator



“Come, on mystic Hallowe’en, Let us seek the dreadful scene,
Where the witches, imps and devils, Elves and ghosts will hold their revels!
1107 Carberry Avenue. Seven o’clock.”

THIS was the invitation received by Harry, Alice, Fred and even Bob, who had an inkling of what was about to happen, inasmuch as 1107 Carberry Avenue happened to be his own address. At seven o’clock that evening Bob was nowhere to be found. However, when four horribly disguised figures were ushered into the house, the witch who pointed the way up the stairs seemed satisfied. A few minutes later, the ghosts and demons having removed such garments as were needed only in the outer air, assembled in the weirdly lighted living-room. All of the electric lights were covered with yellow crêpe paper shades, with faces cut in them. Jack-o’-lanterns stood in every conceivable place, and a fire burned brightly in the open fireplace.

The two witches, who were evidently the hostesses, commenced a weird chant in a minor key. The male ghosts, three in number, immediately took up the music, if it could be so called, howling in loud and uncanny tones. Thereupon the witches beckoned the whole company with all speed to the dining-room.

The table was a mass of color and light. Potatoes, carrots and beets, with sticks for legs, held the lighted candles. At each place were individual favors, witches holding the place cards, and small Jack-o’-lanterns standing beside them. The center of the table was a miniature field of pumpkins and cornstalks.

The place cards were read and the places were found. The guest of honor, he who sat at the right of her who was evidently “witch-in-charge,” discovered the following on his card, and the others were equally descriptive and illuminating:

This place is laid for one who soon Will marry!
O youth bewitched by maid and moon, Be wary!
But if you can’t, then make it soon, Dear Harry!

The supper, decorative as well as delicious, was all upon the table. Little individual pumpkin pies on paper doilies stood beside each place. The salad caused much delight among the guests, who at the invitation of the witches, had now removed their masks. A large red apple with a face cut on the outside, had been hollowed out, and the salad was within. On the top of the apple was a round wafer with a marshmallow upon it to represent a hat. The hat was further decorated with a “stick-up” of stick candy on one side. The apple stood on a leaf of lettuce, with a yellow salad dressing necktie. The favor boxes, which were under the witches, were filled with candy corn, while the popcorn balls, placed on a platter, had features of chocolate fudge, and bonnets of frilled paper.

The supper menu was as follows: Oyster Patties, Bettina’s Surprise Salad, Hallowe’en Sandwiches, Pickles, Pumpkin Pie, Cider, Doughnuts, Jumbles, Popcorn Balls

“Have another jumble, Harry,” urged Ruth. “See, this one has unusual eyes and a particularly soulful expression.”

“I have already eaten so many that I fear my memory of this party will be a jumble of faces! I’ll see them in my sleep—all with that soulful expression!”

“Another toasted marshmallow, Bettina?” asked Fred, thrusting it toward her on the end of a hat-pin. “This candle is nearly burned out, so I’m afraid I can’t offer you any more.”

“It is really time to bob for apples,” said Bettina. “Who ever heard of a Hallowe’en party without that! And we must each try to bite the swinging doughnut, and then we must blindfold each other and try to pin the tail on the unfortunate black cat. Bob, will you carry this tub into the living-room? And Ruth, will you remove the popcorn balls to the piano bench? Perhaps someone will grow hungry from the exertion of these games. And I know that later in the evening Alice, though a guest, will tell our fortunes.”

“Alice can tell my fortune by looking at her own hand,” said Harry. “Because she holds my happiness there.”

“What a sentimental sentence, Harry!” said Fred, looking amazed. “See, you’ve embarrassed us all!”

“Well, I’m always being called cold and reserved, and I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf.”

“Oh, Harry, don’t be so foolish!” said Alice, who had grown as red as the apples on the table. “It’s time for games!”


Bettina’s Surprise Salad (Six portions)

6 apples, 1 green pepper chopped fine, ½ C-diced celery, ½ C-seeded white grapes, ½ C-sliced diced pineapple, 2 T-chopped nut meats, 1 C-salad dressing, ½ t-salt, ½ C-diced marshmallows

Remove the insides of the apples, add the green pepper, celery, grapes, marshmallows, pineapple, nut-meats and salt, mixed thoroughly with the salad dressing. Serve very cold.

To Make the Hallowe’en Sandwiches When the bread is a day old, cut in slices one-third inch thick. Match in pairs. Cream the butter and spread one side. Place the other side on top. Press firmly. With a thimble cut out circles on one piece of the bread, cut nose and mouth with a knife. The butter showing through gives the resemblance to features.

Jumbles (Twenty-four jumbles)

½ C-butter, 1 C-sugar, 1 egg, ½ t-soda, ½ C-sour milk, ¼ t-salt, About 2 C-flour, Grape jelly.

Cream the butter, add the sugar, and gradually add the egg, the soda mixed with the sour milk, the salt, and the flour to make a soft dough. (One which will roll easily.) Cut into shape with a round cooky cutter. On the centers of one-half the pieces, place a spoonful of grape jelly. Make features on the rest, using a thimble to cut out the eyes. Press the two together, and bake 12 minutes in a moderate oven.



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