1940s Archive

Food Flashes

Originally Published June 1946

The current piece of gastronomical voodoo is a whole young broiler trussed, tenderly backed, and packed in a tall tin in its own rich essence.

Open the can and place it for a few minutes in a pot of hot water until the gravy comes to pouring consistency. Plunge in the fork, lift the chicken to a baking dish, pour in the sauce, now oven-heat. There is roast chicken for dinner in a leisurely twenty minutes.

Two brothers, Herbert T. and Theodore Ruskin of Flushing, Long Island, put their money together and started this poultry-canning business, naming the line King Henry VIII and using that gourmand as their trade-mark.

Roast chicken, the first item introduced, is selling in Philadelphia, New Haven, Hartford, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu. In New York City the bird is offered at B. Altman's, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street-Gimbel's, Sixth Avenue and 33rd Street, as well as at numerous independent stores, for around $2.14 a tin, holding one pound and ten ounces of chicken with four ounces of gravy. A big meal for two. It can be made to serve three, but three seems a crowd.

Second item out is "chicken in pot," the tall tin holding three cups of pure chicken broth with noodles, combined with large pieces of celery and carrot, plus one pound of chicken, dark and light meet. These big chicken pieces can be fished out to dice for a salad, or to slice cold for the platter; then serve the soup separately. Or if you prefer, the broth may be thickened and the chicken heated in the gravy to pass like a fricas-see along with hot biscuits.

Other items in the royal family will include whole squab, whole duck, roast turkey cut in sections, pheasant, guinea hen in wine sauce, chicken cacciatore, and a liver sauté made up with mushrooms. Chicken roll is still another idea. This will be a whole cooked chicken, boned and rolled in a neat bundle to heat and serve in roll form.

Anyone with a maple sugar yen should try a box of the maple butternut creams selling in the Connoisseur's Corner of Hammacher Schlemmer's, 145 East 57th Street.Little half-pint berry boxes with hand-painted covers carry the pale golden candies carm-jammed with big chunks of the crunchy sweet butternuts, eight ounces priced at $1.25.

Lay a piece on the tongue and it melts into creamy sweetness, for that's all it is. Thick cream from the van Wavern's Jersey herd, maple syrup bought from a near-by sugar-bush farmer, nuts from the van Wavern's butternut trees—cream, syrup, nuts, plus hours of hand-beating. The electric mixer can't handle the job and neither can any one woman all by herself. Mr. van Wavern and the two children take turns helping mother.

The van Waverns have a 250-acre farm at Green River, Vermont, stocked with dairy cows, goats, rabbits, and chickens. The maple butternut cream is mother's pin-money baby that is turning into a sizable kitchen business. Now the entire family lends a hand when the orders are heavy. Brother makes the fancy boxes, sister does the hand-painted decorations, dad helps with the packing, dad milks the cows that give the thick cream that gives the candy its richness.

Petit Danoes, the little Danish ones, is the affectionate name given by the baker at Old Denmark, 135 East 57th Street, to his newest butter cookies, made in miniature pieces. Some are made with ground almonds, some with chocolate, others are rum-flavored; a box of three and one-half dozen sells for $1.15. The nut horns from this baker's board simply melt in the mouth—a box of twenty-four pieces $1.35. The cheese sticks are made with a combination of Cheddar, Stilton, and Roquefort; sharp of cheese, sweet of butter, so rich they should be called cheese sticks a la Rockefeller.

Farmer's wife Mrs. Kent Leavitt of Millbrook, New York, has invented a cheese so fine that Bellows' Gourmets' Bazaar, 67 East 52nd Street, New York City, Takes a hundred pounds at a time as fast as Mrs. Leavitt can get it to town from the farm.

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