Sunday Dinner: Stuffed Green Peppers a la Mary

Continuing our recipes from yesteryear today, I am offering you a good one from “Southern Cooking” published by Ruralist Press in 1928 and edited by Mrs. S.R. Dill. I’m pretty sure the copyright has expired.

The title page identifies Mrs. Dill this way: “Editor of the Home Economics page in the Magazine Section of the Atlanta Journal, and Cooking School Instructor.” It is interesting that she is identified only by her husband’s name!

I like reading cookbooks, especially old ones. (Those of us with small brains are easily entertained.) This 1928 cookbook was published before Mr. Roosevelt and the REA (Rural Electrification Act of 1936) came into the picture. Most homes had wood-burning kitchen stoves, so keeping ovens at the desired temperature was a challenge. Ask your grandmother or great-grandmother about this.

The green bell peppers you need for today’s recipe are probably much larger and generally improved over those available when this recipe was first used. There are not a lot of ways to use green peppers. The most common is to use them raw in a mixed green salad, so this recipe is a good one to add to your collection.

There are recipes for stuffing the peppers, such as a rice-and-cheese combination, macaroni and cheese, corn and bacon, various cooked vegetables, etc. Usually the peppers are cooked in gently boiling water about 15 minutes before stuffing. You can create your own stuffing mixture.

Eating raw green peppers is a good practice if you are watching your weight, because a medium pepper contains only about 15 calories.

My grandson Joey, who had lunch with me, liked the recipe so much that he ate two peppers!

As you bake this recipe, think of the cooks in 1928 who baked this without electric lights, stoves, refrigerators or freezers, and be thankful for all your blessings for … Sunday Dinner.  

Stuffed Green Peppers a la Mary

6 peppers
6 eggs
Buttered crumbs
½-cup minced boiled ham
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheese (optional)

White sauce:

1 cup milk
2-4 tablespoons butter
4-6 tablespoons flour

Make the white sauce:

In a small pan, melt butter, add flour and cook until it is blended and bubbles. In another pan, heat milk. Remove flour and butter mixture from heat and pour in the hot milk all at once. Stir quickly until mixture is thick and smooth. If it is not thick enough, return to stove and cook until it thickens.

Take slice from side of smooth bell peppers. Remove stems and seeds. Parboil peppers about five minutes before stuffing.

Boil the eggs until well done, peel and chop finely.

Use cold boiled ham and broil until crisp. Finely mince ham, then combine it with the chopped eggs, white sauce, salt and pepper. Divide mixture and fill the green peppers. Top the filled peppers with the buttered crumbs.

Place in a pan, add hot water about ¼-inch deep, and bake until peppers begin to shrink.

Another stuffed pepper recipe:

1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt, pepper and catsup

Prepare peppers as above, but leave on the stem. Melt butter, add onions and fry until light brown. Remove from heat. Combine salt, pepper, catsup and crumbs and add to onions. Place peppers in baking dish. Put one tablespoon onion-crumbs mix into each pepper. Break a raw egg into each pepper and top with more of the seasoned crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes until egg is cooked.

Have a recipe?