It is another rainy day and it is possible the big storm will reach us later this evening so warm comfort food is on the menu. I was able to buy a couple of stewing chickens at the Kitchener Market on Saturday morning and now I can make Chicken Broth using Mrs. H. D. McKellar’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. Miss Kimmel’s recipe for Golden Drops for Soup sounded like a good addition to the broth.
My chicken was small but I cut it up as the recipe indicated and poured cold water over top. I added some salt and pepper and decided to season with savory. Not having a “back of the stove” I set the stock pot on a back burner of my electric stove and turned the knob to low heat. After an hour I checked on the bird but it needed more cooking time. I topped up the water a little and left it for another couple of hours.
Meanwhile I started making the golden drops to add to the soup later. I separated two eggs and added the whites to a cup. I measured and then poured them into a bowl. I measured the same amount of cream and mixed it in before adding the flour. It took a lot of stirring to get the mixture well blended. I melted the butter in a saucepan and added the batter. I stirred until it was thick … at least I thought it was thick. I removed the pan and left it to cool. I separated another egg to get the additional yolk needed. Once the mixture was cool I slowly added the yolks. The dough seemed more like a batter. There was no way to cut bits off so I returned it to the heat and cooked it some more. Clearly I should have cooked the first batter until it was more dough like so that the addition of three medium yolks would not thin it. However, my technique worked this time and I didn’t have to redo the recipe.
I also boiled some rice in the usual manner so that it could be added later to the broth. Once the chicken was well cooked I removed the carcass and strained the broth as described in the recipe. I cleaned my stock pot and return the broth. I warmed it and added the rice and tasted. Next I added the bits of golden drops and tasted.
Mrs. McKellar contributed a large number of recipes and I’ve talked about her a number of times. She was Olga Rumpel before her marriage. Miss Kimmel didn’t include her first name leaving her identity uncertain. Carrie, Amelia, Otilla, and Clara are single sisters in their thirties who were living with their parents, brothers and 18-year-old sister Grace in 1901 according to the census. By 1911 the census shows just Amelia and Clara living with their parents at 179 Frederick street. This census also has Kate Kimmel a 27-year-old single woman living on Spring street with her brother and widowed mother. They are Lutheran and she works as a seamstress in a shirt factory. Her brother is a cigar maker. I suppose the likeliest are Carrie or Amelia. Back in 1901 her father is a grocer and several of her sisters work as clerks in various places. Although I don’t know which young Kimmel woman contributed the golden drops recipe I get the sense that she is a very straightforward person. I love the line “set the mess aside”.
I tasted the broth with just the rice added and it was fine. I thought at first that a cup of rice was going to disappear in the broth but it was just the right amount. I think my broth could use more salt and more time with the chicken. Next time I’ll add less water so that the flavour is more intense. This was quite mild. The golden drops had a very strong flavour of egg — too much for me — but they would be a very good addition to basic soups for anyone who likes egg and wants to add a bit more texture and protein to their soup. It is a bit like tiny eggy dumplings. Chicken broth with golden drops for soup would be a great meal for someone sick. It has the regular chicken soup qualities and the drops are soft enough to be gentle for someone with a sore throat or who can’t chew easily.
Take 1 chicken, cut up into pieces, place in stewing kettle and cover with cold water, add seasoning, let simmer on back of stove. When done strain through a double cheese cloth. Return to cleaned kettle, add 1/2 teacup of rice, that has been boiled soft. Serve hot.
GOLDEN DROPS FOR SOUP
Put into a dish the unbeaten whites of 2 eggs, add to them an equal measure of cream or milk, a heaping tablespoon of flour, blend smooth, then turn into a small saucepan in which a tablespoon of butter has been melted: cook to a velvety dough, constantly stirring: set the mess aside to cool, then beat into it one by one the yolks of 3 eggs, add salt and pepper. Wet a coffee spoon in cold water, cut off bits of dough and put into the boiling bouillon.