Friday, February 22, 2008

1950s budget menu: cheese rabbit

I immediately dismissed the thought of cheese rabbit/Welsh rarebit/whatever that is. Wouldn't grilled cheese sandwiches be easier?

Curiosity got the better of me.

Cheese rabbit is made by heating milk in a double boiler, thickening with flour, fat, and egg. Cheese and cayenne/Tabasco/Worcestershire flavor the surprisingly light mixture.

Here's how I made the basic recipe cheaper:
  • powdered milk (1 glass whole milk left till tomorrow)
  • smidge of bacon grease for roux (out of butter)
  • hard ends of cheese left uncovered in fridge by kids
  • leftover dinner bread I saved in the freezer


Click here to return to the complete 1950s budget cooking experiment!

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

That cheese rabbit looks great!

Anonymous said...

Your photography is incredibly nice! The "rabbit" looks tasty but I think I'd just want to sit and look at the presentation for a long time before eating it. :)
Vicky

Anonymous said...

Forget the "different" sandwich, you have a toddler and a kindergartener and ONE glass of milk until tomorrow?? I would be in "state of emergency" mode and headed to the market!

Anonymous said...

Sweet heart your table is just beautiful. I mean really beautiful. You make a simple meal of what we call 'cheese toast' look like a first class meal.

I make this 'cheese toast' for my grandsons all the time. They love it. It is a favorite with hash brown potatoes.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the 50's menu. It has been a hoot. Roxie

TJ said...

Looks great to me! Of course my S.O.S. is a cheese rabbit with some lunchmeat in it. A favorite meal in our home. I have the recipe on my blog. We serve it over toast and hardboiled eggs.

Funny but my kids are fine when we're out of milk. They drink water instead. And if I'm nice I put a little bit of flavoring in it. There is a great Mexican powdered drink mix that is fairly low sugar and I use just a bit.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I'm sure it tasted great, but who cares with such a lovely presentation?

Meredith said...

It's not like they're going to starve without milk! They've already had 2 servings plus cheese today.

They can drink water and orange juice before bed, and I'll have fresh milk either tonight or tomorrow.

No big deal! Kids who drink too much milk are in danger of not eating enough nutrient-rich foods, anyway.

SK and Family said...

It does look good! Kind of like cheese fondue~yum!

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying these posts about your 50's style cooking adventures. What I'd like to know is how much weight you gain during this extravaganza :-) !

Meredith said...

Don't worry--I'm planning to weigh myself tomorrow and let you all know if the scale goes up or down : )

Anonymous said...

Meredith, the anonymous comment about the milk made me laugh. I survived as a child eating plain macaroni and beans for many, many a meal. Sometimes we had Spanish rice or oatmeal. Somehow I survived. I remember one Thanksgiving when we couldn't afford turkey but it was memorable b/c my mother shaped a meatloaf into a turkey shape. That was back in the days when ground beef was cheap. Anyhow, it is interesting how spoiled we all are in this day and age. Times may get really hard before they get better. Some people will know how to cope and some will not.
Blessings.
Vicky

Renee said...

I second Vicky. Not wanting to start flaming a commenter who took the time to make her views known. But it's nice to come here everyday and see someone carefully plan and also make it pretty! Congrats for sticking to your 50's project.
Hmmm, I'll have to think about what would put us into state of emergency and run to the store this moment. Not for milk that is for sure. Maybe a high fever.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the daily postings as you journey through the cook book and menus.
We would have Welsh Rarebit when I was growing up in the 1960's. I remember all of us enjoying it;however, one of my brothers declared he would "Not eat the rabbit!"
Your photography is excellent.
Peace,
Lynne in NC

Anonymous said...

I am having so much fun reading about this project of yours. I love to collect older cookbooks and read them. I always shake my head remembering the way we used to eat thinking that we would be 500 pounds and dropping with heart attacks if we ate like that today. But in balance I remember growing up in the 50's and walking the 2 miles to town to shop and the 2 miles back and never thinking that it was a long way or that we didn't have the time to make the walk. That's why I weighed 119 then and 190 today.
Rita in Oly

GiddyRobinMama said...

That looks sooooo good!!!!

Oh my you must be psychic, I was just thinking yesterday after pulling my scalloped potatoes out of the oven (using amy commentor's suggestion of betty crocker recipe) that I should attempt this dish soon!!!!!

I think I am going to try this!

pomo housewife said...

No egg in my mum's version, and didn't bother making a roux/thickening the milk, either. I wonder if it's worth the extra effort. Certainly looks wonderful.

Mar said...

Meredith, you probably haven't gained any weight since you've been on your feet so much doing all this cooking! LOL! I loved your comment in an earlier post that kids ran around the neighborhood during the 50ies because the Moms were doing so much cooking!

Anonymous said...

we certainly ran around all over the neighborhood! and covered several miles a day probably. And the moms were home. And the food was good.

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Take that 1 glass of whole milk mix it with 1 glass of milk made from dry milk and BINGO you have 2 glasses of 2% milk...That is what I do in an 'emergency' milk situation.

I just wanted to say this has been a great week of fun with food. I hope your family has enjoyed it; except for the 'boiled cabbage' that made Andrew scream. I know your blog 'fans' have enjoyed it very much.

Thanks so much...Roxie

Anonymous said...

I am always inspired by your blog! I love how you make a beautiful presentation of your meals. Your kids (and hubby) are blessed!

Can you share with us the total cost of your meals this week?

Also, no big deal on the milk!!! We often go a day or two without it.

Jenifer

Anonymous said...

This is such a nostalgic set of posts! Yes. We played outside until dark, walked home from school or scouts, and had plenty of chores since the moms were busy with cooking, hanging the laundry, etc. There were kids in every house on the block and all the moms were called Mrs. ____. It really was a blast as we went from house to house and yard to yard. Every mom started her dinner in the afternoon and you could smell all the good food as you walked by. Only one lady on our block had her own car--we got pulled in a wagon to go to a little neighborhood market for groceries. There was a sugar bowl on the table for cereal and coffee. And yes, stewed prunes with lemon were served at breakfast!
Ruth

Jen said...

So how did it taste????? I'm not a big fan of soggy bread myself. Was it soggy?

Jen said...

One more thing: I honestly do not remember EVER in my entire 40 years on this earth drinking a glass of milk. Blech!!! I HATE it. And somehow I survived this long--I'm healthy and not overweight! :-)

LeeAnn said...

Ha, I'd be worried about not having milk in the fridge either--but our family of six drinks a gallon a day--and our youngest still gets most of his calories from milk because of allergies to other foods. We do occasionally have to do without milk for a half-day but only if there's some kefir (a less-sugary drinkable yogurt) in the house.

I like the recipe for the welsh rarebit. I'll give that a try for lunch soon. Tonight though I threw together some cheese enchiladas, which I've never attempted before. Hopefully it'll turn out!

Meredith, I loved this week's series so much I went out and bought a copy of Meal Management for myself. I'm looking forward to reading it! I wonder, would you ever do this experiment again using vintage recipes, though?

E.C. said...

That sounds fantastic, and I've been stuck in a rut food-wise. You've definitely given me some new inspirations for next week. Thanks!

Stephanie said...

Aw and I was hoping for a new rabbit recipe. Some of us actually do eat rabbit! :) This sounds and looks lovely though!

Anonymous said...

I like to visit this blog often because I enjoy seeing how Meredith doesn't let living on a budget have anything to do with lovely presentation. I agree that the lowliest of fare seems better when served on pretty dishes with a flower on the table, even if a roadside wildflower. So many things don't require money, just caring.

As for the milk issue that seems to have some riled, here's my two cents. To me it is a given that you always have a plentiful supply of milk in the house if you have a baby and a small child, ( unless of course there are allergies to milk) For that matter, even teenagers, as most don't drink nearly the amount of milk they need. I do understand that there are people who are truly destitute, who do the best they can and may not be financially able to provide the recommended amount, and of course sometimes you use more than you planned and run low sooner than anticipated.

Anonymous said...

We often had welsh rarebit when growing up in England. If you think about it good cheese is quite expensive and this recipe stretches a small amount very far, with the protein level increased by the addition of the egg and milk. Traditionally it is served over hot toast (so it is crisp, not soggy). Occasionally it is served with the cheese sauce poured over a poached egg. The dish should be returned to the hot grill (from making the toast:D )to brown the top of the cheese. You will still find this dish served in tea shops in England as it is a delicious lunch or high tea savoury. I hope your family enjoyed it Meredith.
Which of all the recipes you have tried this week will you be adding to your regular meal planning? Gill.

Margo said...

oh I love Welsh Rarebit!! Haven't made it for a while - the recipe I used was actually rather rich, so maybe I should try this version which seems more about "stretching" the cheese.

There are other ways to get calcium and vitamins besides milk :) I come from dairy farmer stock and I am just as susceptible to the milk mustache advertising as anyone, but really, cow's milk is not EVERYTHING.

What sends me to the store faster than anything is a sudden illness - my medicine chest is kind of hit or miss because I found that if I try to keep it stocked, the medicines just expired before we used them! And that cost money even if I was able to buy those things on sale. . .

Jane said...

When I was little, my mom used to make this for me by mixing a can of tomato soup and a can of cheese soup. Not nearly as healthy. I hadn't thought of that meal in years. :)

Linda said...

This is something my husband really likes, his Grandmother used to make it.