Bettina's First Real Dinner

By Alison June 14, 2013 4 Comments 5 Min Read
Bettina and Bob are a rather charming vintage couple navigating their way through new married life and the setting up of a well thought out first home and this is the second  of many appearances they will be making here on Brocantehome, teaching us how re-think our way of life and add a little more vintage style housekeeping to our day…

Read the first installment here…


“SAY, isn’t it great to be alive!” exclaimed Bob, as he looked across the rose-decked table at the flushed but happy Bettina. “And a beefsteak dinner, too!”

“Steak is expensive, dear, and you’ll not get it often, but as this is our first real dinner in our own home, I had to celebrate. I bought enough for two meals, because buying steak for one meal for two people is beyond any modest purse! So you’ll meet that steak again tomorrow, but I don’t believe that you’ll bow in recognition!”

“So you marketed today, did you?”

“Indeed I did! I bought a big basket, and went at it like a seasoned housekeeper. I had all the staples to get, you know, and lots of other things. After dinner I’ll show you the labelled glass jars on my shelves; it was such fun putting things away! June is a wonderful month for housekeepers. I’ve planned the meals for days ahead, because I know that’s best. Then I’ll go to the market several times a week, and if I plan properly I won’t have to order by telephone. It seems so extravagant to buy in that way unless you know exactly what you are getting. I like to plan for left-overs, too. For instance, the peas in this salad were left from yesterday’s dinner, and the pimento is from that can I opened. Then, too, I cooked tomorrow’s potatoes with these to save gas and bother. You’ll have them served in a different way, of course. And—— Oh, yes, Bob,” Bettina chattered on, “I saw Ruth down town, and have asked all five of my bridesmaids to luncheon day after tomorrow. Won’t that be fun? But I promise you that the neglected groom shall have every one of the good things when he comes home at night!”

“It makes me feel happy, I can tell you, to have a home like this. It’s pleasant to be by ourselves, but at the same time I can’t help wishing that some of the bachelors I know could see it all and taste your cooking!”

“Well, Bob, I want you to feel free to have a guest at any time. If my dinners are good enough for you, I’m sure they’re good enough for any guest whom you may bring. And it isn’t very hard to make a meal for three out of a meal for two. Now, Bobby, if you’re ready, will you please get the dessert?”

“What? Strawberry shortcake? Well, this is living! I tell you what, Bettina, I call this a regular man-size meal!”

It consisted of:

Pan-Broiled Steak  and New Potatoes in Cream
Baking-Powder Biscuits  and   Butter
Rhubarb Sauce and Pea and Celery Salad
Strawberry Shortcake  and Cream



(All measurements are level)

Pan-Broiled Steak (Two portions)

lb. steak
1/8 t-pepper
T-hot water
t-parsley chopped

Wipe the meat carefully with a wet cloth. Remove superfluous fat and any gristle. Cut the edges to prevent them from curling up. When the broiling oven is very hot, place the meat, without any fat, upon a hot flat pan, directly under the blaze. Brown both sides very quickly. Turn often. Reduce heat and continue cooking about seven minutes, or longer if desired. Place on a warm platter; season with salt, pepper and bits of butter. Set in the oven a moment to melt the butter. If salt is added while cooking, the juices will be drawn out. A gravy may be made by adding hot water, butter, salt, pepper and parsley to the pan. Pour the gravy over the steak.

New Potatoes in Cream (Two portions)

4 new potatoes
1 qt. water

Scrape four medium sized new potatoes. Cook in boiling water (salted) until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain off the water, and shake the kettle over the fire gently, to allow the steam to escape and make the potatoes mealy. Make the following white sauce and pour over the potatoes.

White Sauce for New Potatoes (Two portions)

2 T-butter
2 T-flour
1/2 t-salt
¼ t-paprika

Melt the butter, add the flour, salt and paprika. Thoroughly mix, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Allow sauce to cook two minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake (Two portions)

C-sifted flour
¾ C-milk
1/3 t-salt
t-baking powder
1 qt. strawberriesCut the fat into the flour, salt and baking powder until the consistency of cornmeal. Gradually add the milk, using a knife to mix. Do not handle any more than absolutely necessary. Toss the dough upon a floured board or a piece of clean brown paper. Pat into the desired shape, and place in a pan. Bake in a hot oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Split,  spread with butter, and place strawberries, crushed and sweetened, between and on top. Serve with cream.

Till next time Darlings…

Love Bettina


  1. Becky Groff says:

    I love this! Thanks

  2. Becky Groff says:

    I love this! Thanks

  3. Diana says:

    This is a fun series! Hope to see more 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Diana says:

    This is a fun series! Hope to see more 🙂 Thanks!

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