Welcome to Lesson 29 of When Sue Began to Cook, a Twenties story cookbook for children. This book continues the story of Sue and her best friend Ruth Ann. They learn to cook under the watchful eye of Sue’s mother Bettina. This week she showed them how to make Veal Birds. Bettina is herself a central character in a set of cookbooks by Louise Bennett Weaver. If you’re new to the series, click the book title to be transported back to Lesson 1.
This week Sue and Ruth Ann tell how they made Veal Birds. Veal steaks are no longer available in my local grocery stores, so if I were going to make this I would probably use chicken breast. First I’d cut it to 1/2-inch thickness, and then follow the recipe to see what happens.
Since this is the first time Sue learns to make a stuffed and tied piece of meat, she is quite chatty in the recipe. The recipe itself isn’t long, but the descriptions are. A highlighter might be useful to mark the important parts if you find yourself getting lost in the story of how Sue made Veal Birds.
Notes from Sue’s Diary This Week:
Veal Birds are a company dish at our house. We wanted to make them today because Uncle John and Aunt Lucy were coming in to shop this morning and take Robin and Ruth Ann and me out to the farm to stay over Sunday. School’s out, and we can do lots of nice things we’ve planned to do.
But we’ll go right on with our cooking lessons. I intend to practice the dishes I’ve learned to make over and over, so I’ll never forget them!
I am writing this while we’re waiting for Uncle John and Aunt Lucy. The table is all set, and our Veal Birds are in the oven keeping hot.
Mother says Veal Birds are very convenient to have for company. She says they can be prepared and cooked in the early morning and then reheated. Some people serve them cold in very hot weather. Here come the folks so I must stop.
- 1 Oven safe frying pan with oven-safe lid
- 1 lb veal steak cut 1/2 inch thick
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (soft, not hard)
- 2 tbsp salt pork chopped very fine
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped very fine
- 1 tbsp green pepper chopped fine (minced)
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp celery salt
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp water, cold
- 4 tbsp bacon grease
- ½ cup water
- We wiped off our veal with a clean cloth dipped in cold water, and then cut it into four nice pieces. Then we made little cuts across each piece of meat both ways with a knife. Mother told us this would make it lie flat. In cutting, we hammered it down good. Then we sprinkled the salt on both sides of the meat.
- Next we cut the salt pork and the parsley and the green pepper in quite small pieces so that we could measure it, and then we put it all in the chopping bowl and chopped it up quite fine.
- Then we each put our fresh bread crumbs, salt pork, parsley, green pepper, paprika, celery salt, melted butter, beaten egg and two tablespoons of water in a mixing bowl and mixed it all up with a spoon. We put a fourth of this mixture on top of each piece of meat. Then Mother showed us how to roll up each piece and tie it with a nice white string so that the dressing would stay inside.
- The birds were all ready then, so we each put the bacon grease in a deep frying pan and let it get good and hot. Then we put the birds in and let them brown on all sides. After they were good and brown, we poured the water in the pan. Then we covered the pan with a lid and put it in the oven. We let the birds cook in the oven (350 – 375℉) for about forty-five minutes. Mother showed us how to try them with a fork to see if they were good and tender. They were, so she had us take them out and cut the string with the scissors and take it off. Then we put the birds back in the frying pan to keep hot till they were needed.