Day 194 Bohemian Cheese

I decided not to use someone else’s kitchen tonight as I found another no cook recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book and was able to find all the ingredients in my home. I am gradually finding ways around all the things piled in my main kitchen and have unearthed a few things that are being stored in a top floor bedroom while the repair work continues. I selected Mrs. Fred Graham’s recipe for Bohemian Cheese. It says she is from San Francisco which might explain why it is called “bohemian”!

I don’t have a scale available at the moment so I guessed at the amount of cream cheese. Again I’m not sure what the writer meant by cream cheese in this case since she talks about mashing it fine and putting it through a colander. That was not necessary with the Western cream cheese I used as it is very soft and creamy. I chose that kind of cream cheese since it doesn’t contain any extra thickeners. I stirred in the melted butter although I had to set up my microwave again in the main kitchen. It was fun climbing over chairs to reach it. I also had to do a balancing act to get into a cupboard to find my Worcester sauce. I used commercial mustard to keep things a little easier today. I had the cayenne pepper handy since I’d taken it to the cottage last week. Paprika was buried so I had to skip it but the vinegar was easier to locate since I had some with my pickling supplies in a different part of the house. I mixed everything together and tasted.

Mrs. Fred Graham is a mystery at the moment. I thought perhaps she might appear on the Waterloo Region Generations website. There is a Greek born Frederick Graham and a bachelor Frederick Graham. Greek Fred Graham was not yet in Canada when the cook book was published but he was involved in a restaurant by the time Berlin became a city in 1912. I wonder how Mrs. Fred Graham of San Francisco was connected to the women of the Berlin Cook Book. The devastating San Francisco earthquake took place in April 1906. Was the cook book already in print? Did she survive the earthquake? Was she displaced? The disaster was extensively reported in local newspapers so I might find out more about her that way. I checked an online list of the dead and there are no Grahams.

Mrs. Graham’s Bohemian Cheese is interesting. I don’t know if it keeps as she suggests but it was a nice spread. As someone who brings cream cheese based spreads to most potlucks I find it fascinating that it was a base for such things over 100 years ago. A modern cook could have fun experimenting with this recipe. What happens if you change one ingredient? I’m not sure how it was to be used in 1906? Is it a sandwich spread? Did people put things like this on crackers?

BOHEMIAN CHEESE
1 pound of cream cheese, mashed fine, 4 tablespoons of Worcester sauce, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 mustard spoons of home-made mustard, a pinch of red pepper, paprika, mash all through the colandar [sic] and put in jars. This keeps.

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