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Cookstuff | IN OTHER TIMES



I've not been one to experiment with eggs. If they're hard-boiled, deviled or scrambled, they're good enough for me.

Not so for the ladies of Los Angeles, though, in the spring of 1898. Innovative egg dishes filled the Los Angeles Times' recipe columns then.

Several of these appeared on the "women's page" of the Los Angeles Sunday Times Illustrated Magazine Section for March 27, below an advertisement for laundry soap and instructions for decorating Easter eggs.

Some might say they hardly compare to French specialties like oeufs aux pommes d'amour (baked eggs in tomatoes) or oeufs en gelee au Madere (eggs in aspic with Madeira). But for creativity, simplicity and old-fashioned charm, these recipes rank just as high.

Either creamed or curried, with mushrooms or parsley and butter sauce, they're what grandma--or great-grandma--used to make. Only you won't find a dozen "fresh ranch" eggs for 11 cents anymore in your local market.


3/4 pound mushrooms, halved



3 tablespoons butter

4 eggs

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

The full, hearty flavor of the mushrooms complements the subtler taste of the lightly seasoned eggs.

Stew mushrooms seasoned with salt and pepper to taste over medium-low heat in 2 tablespoons butter 10 minutes.

Drain mushrooms and put in lightly buttered 8- or 9-inch pie dish. Break eggs over mushrooms to cover. Add salt and pepper to taste and remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits. Strew with bread crumbs and bake at 325 degrees until eggs are set, about 10 minutes. Since eggs will continue cooking when removed from heat, let stand 5 to 6 minutes before serving in dish.

4 servings. Each serving:

184 calories; 251 mg sodium; 236 mg cholesterol; 14 grams fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.64 gram fiber.


6 eggs, hard-boiled

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 pint milk or half and half


White pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons bread crumbs

These are so light and smooth, you'd think you're eating whipped cream. Seconds are required.

Shell hard-boiled eggs and slice.

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add milk. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until very thick, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

In heat-proof dish, alternate layers of sauce and eggs, starting with cream. Make sure sauce is thick enough to keep eggs from sinking into it. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top and brown in 425-degree oven 5 minutes.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings.

166 calories; 200 mg sodium; 229 mg cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 0.01 gram fiber.


2 teaspoons curry powder

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

6 eggs

This hot, spicy treat is sure to liven up the breakfast table. And the warm stock does wonders to create a homelike feel.

Mix curry powder with chicken stock. Boil until reduced to 1 cup.

Melt butter in separate saucepan. Stir in flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add curry broth and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Boil eggs 10 minutes. Then cut into slices, keeping yolks and whites together. Warm for 5 minutes. Serve hot with curry.

6 servings. Each serving:

107 calories; 373 mg sodium; 218 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0 fiber.


6 eggs, hard-boiled

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups cold milk



1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

The parsley adds the look, and the creamy white butter sauce adds the feel. Together, they create a perfect picture of spring.

Shell hard-boiled eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Put in heat-proof dish.

Melt butter slowly in saucepan. "But do not let it boil; that spoils the taste of the sauce," warns the original recipe.

Add flour to butter, remove from stove and stir with wooden spoon until lumps disappear. Return to medium-low heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk, stirring gently until sauce boils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At last moment, stir in parsley. Pour sauce over eggs.

4 servings. Each serving:

247 calories; 302 mg sodium; 349 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 0.02 gram fiber.

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