I decided it was time to try one of the recipes for Potato Croquetts in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. Today’s recipe was contributed by Mrs. M. McGarvin Bricker.
I used 2 cups of mashed potatoes and added the pepper, salt and nutmeg. I grated one small onion and added it to the potatoes along with 2 tablespoons of butter and some parsley. I added one medium egg and mixed everything together. I shaped some of the mixture into ovals and rolled in bread crumbs since I discovered I didn’t have crackers. I skipped dipping the ovals into beaten egg before rolling in the crumbs as my mixture was very moist. I melted some lard in a small saucepan and took my usual precautions (cover, extinguisher). I wouldn’t say the lard was boiling but rather bubbling when I added the prepared croquetts. Once they appeared golden and crisp I removed them to drain before tasting.
I’ve talked about Mrs. M. McGarvin Bricker in another post. She’s the only woman contributor who appears to be using her maiden name as well as a married name. According to the Waterloo Generations website, Georganna Alberta McGarvin married Moses M. Bricker in 1885, and in the 1911 census they have one son Clarkson age 21, and live at 68 Queen street along with a 26-year-old housemaid named Agnes Powell, a recent emigrant from England. Unlike many of the contributors, this family’s heritage is English and their religion is Anglican. Father and son are both insurance agents.
Perhaps it is my half Irish roots but I love nearly everything featuring potatoes — except French fries. I was eager to try Mrs. Bricker’s Potato Croquetts even though I am not feeling great today. They lived up to my expectations. Yes, they are deep-fried but I’d take these croquettes over french fries any day. They are soft on the inside and crispy outside. The onion flavour enhances them tremendously. I could have added more salt, pepper and nutmeg. I couldn’t bring myself to taste the mixture so next time I’ll make one croquette to taste and then adjust the seasoning. I sampled my last couple of croquettes with a dab of sour cream on each. I’ll try them another time with cracker crumbs but bread crumbs work well. Modern cooks could experiment with seasonings for the potato mixture. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.
Season cold mashed potatoes with pepper, salt, nutmeg, and a little grated onion, beat to a cream with a tablespoon of butter, to every cupful of potato add some minced parsley, and bind with two or three eggs; roll into oval balls, dip into beaten egg, and then into cracker crumbs, rolled very fine and fry in boiling lard.