Here's Ida Bailey Allen showing us how to put on the perfect tea party. I've written about Ida previously, but want to add more of her history, because she truly is the original domestic goddess.
And what better time to introduce her again, than tea time (the prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday). Ida wrote and published more than 50 cookbooks including this gorgeous one all about luncheons and tasty teas:
During the 1920s and 30s she wrote for magazines and newspapers as well as her cookbooks. It's said that one in three households owned a copy of one her books.
She even had a radio show called The National Radio Homemakers Club in which she advised women about nutrition, diet and other housekeeping tips.
During both WWI and II she taught women about wartime cooking. This is one of her wartime recipes (before packaged Jello was available and using only 1/2 cup of precious sugar).
3 cups strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp plain granulated gelatin
1/4 cup additional cold coffee
Heat the coffee and sugar to the boiling point. Add the vanilla. Let the gelatin stand in the cold coffee for 5 minutes. Stir the cold coffee into the the boiling coffee. When dissolved, transfer to a mold which has been rinsed with cold water. Chill until firm, about 6 hours. Serve with custard, cream or whipped cream.
Ida was a widow who, along with all of her activities, successfully raised two children. She preceeded Betty Crocker (who wasn't a real person) and Martha Stewart (who is). She died at 88.
Sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy other stories on Sepia Saturday.