I sing the praises, again, of my library book sale. I found a copy of Mabel Claire's The Busy Woman's Cookbook - Course Dinners in 15 Minutes published in 1925. This is a remarkable concept when we consider that all the machines and products that are sold today as labor saving and time saving did not exist in the 20s and 30s.
Vintage cookbooks are an educational peek at American culture of the period. I give you one of Ms. Claire's "15 minute course dinners" verbatim. This menu is delicious and quick. Just what a busy person needs when they have to cook dinner 365 days a year.
MENU - Serves 2
Ham and Eggs
Tomatoes, Peppers & Onions
Bread and Butter
Baked Bananas with Cream
Slice of Ham
Three Green Peppers
Half Pint Cream
Four Small Bananas
1/4 Pound Butter
3 Frying Pans
Light the gas oven. Light two gas burners. On one put frying pan with a tablespoon of butter. On the second burner heat the frying pan for the ham.
When the butter in the frying pan is hot, peel and slice into it the onions, next the peppers cut small with seeds removed, last the tomatoes, cut in dice. When these are not, cover closely and cook over moderate flame until wanted.
When the frying pan is hot for the ham, brown the slice on both sides. Cook 8 minutes. Dish on to a platter and put into the oven.
Break four eggs into the pan the ham has cooked in and cook until done to taste, about 5 minutes.
Heat the third frying pan and melt in it a tablespoon of butter. Peel and halve lengthwise the four bananas. Saute on both sides. Sprinkle over these a large tablespoon of sugar and a dusting of cinnamon and let this melt into them. Cooking time about 3 minutes. Remove the bananas to the oven to keep hot until wanted for dessert.
Turn off the oven. Prepare the coffee. Set the table, five minutes. Ms. Claire points out that doubling this recipe for a larger family does not increase the cooking time.