Eggs a la Goldenrod

goldplt2In the spring of 1943, I was in the sixth grade when we moved from downtown Cincinnati to the neighborhood known as the East End.  I went to school at old Highland Elementary on the banks of the Ohio River where every spring there was a threat of the river flooding the playground, although it never reached the school in the years I was there.

highlandAs we walked along the hall leading from my sixth-grade classroom, I would try to steal a glimpse of the wonderful home economics room.  It was a huge area with sewing machines lining one wall – one electric machine and the rest foot-treadle operated models.  One section of the room was outfitted with individual cooking stations with small burners, a counter and a supply of cooking equipment.  There were two ranges with ovens for baked treats.  I couldn’t wait to get into the seventh grade and begin my adventures in cooking – I wasn’t that anxious to sew.

In the fall of 1943, the girls of our class trooped into the room, taught by a very nice middle-aged lady.  We had to start out with sewing lessons so that we could make an apron, a potholder and a dishtowel to use when we began to cook.  Finally, sewing classes were completed and we were ready to learn all about cooking.  The cookbook that I remember seeing in the classroom was a 1942 Wartime Edition of the American Woman’s Cook Book, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer.  About 40 years later, I found a copy of the book at an antique market.

victorycbThe book was unusual for that era to have so many color plates.  I especially liked one that was used on the inside covers of the book.

frontisIn those wartime years of extreme patriotism, there was a large picture of General Douglas MacArthur at the beginning of the book….

mcarthur…and on page 371 was the recipe that began my cooking experience – Eggs a la Goldenrod. It was a simple recipe, appropriate to the age group, very bland and not especially tasty.  We went on to make other food items that year and I was so anxious to get into the big girls’ eighth grade class to see what fabulous dishes we would make.

In the fall of 1944, once again we had our sewing classes first and made an apron, a potholder and a dish towel.  Finally, it was time for a roomful of more experienced cooks to begin a new season.  The teacher got out the trusty blue cookbook, turned to page 371, and once again our first experience of the year was Eggs a la Goldenrod. The dish hadn’t improved as far as a bunch of 12/13-year-old girls was concerned, but again we went on to do more ambitious projects – we even baked bread.

In the fall of 1945, I left my neighborhood, got on a streetcar and went to what was then a very large and prestigious high school, Withrow in Hyde Park.

easthi-1923The grounds were beautiful, there was an arching bridge and a clock tower at the entrance, and a large room was devoted completely to sewing with only electric sewing machines – no waiting in line as we had done at Highland.  I wasn’t that ambitious about sewing but did assume that two years of experience would enable us to make an interesting project right off the bat.  We made an apron, a potholder and a dishtowel.

Then, at last came the day we could go into the spacious, modern 1940s era cooking room.  The stations were wonderful and a big change for all of the girls (there were never boys in my home ec classes) was that we all had to wear hairnets while we cooked.  We looked expectantly at our teacher – she didn’t pull out the blue cookbook, but you guessed it, our first dish was Eggs a la Goldenrod.

Fast forward 66 years from 1943 to 2009.  I was leafing through some of my vintage cookbooks and happened to pick up a blue-bound book and almost by magic found myself on page 371.  There it was – Eggs a la Goldenrod.  I couldn’t resist – I had to make it for breakfast for my daughter who had heard the story many times.

EGGS A LA GOLDENROD FOR TWO

  • 1 cup thin white sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 slices of thick, hearty bread (I used homemade)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Thin White Sauce

  • 1 Tblsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tblsp. butter

In small saucepan, place flour, 1/4 cup cold milk, salt and pepper.  Whisk until smooth.  Heat remaining 3/4 cup milk and add to the milk/flour mixture.  Cook over medium heat, whisking continually until mixture thickens.  Continue cooking and whisking for an additional 2 minutes.   Remove from heat and stir in butter.

Peel eggs and separate yolks from whites.  Chop the whites very fine and add to the white sauce along with the salt and pepper to taste.

slicedbrd2Toast the bread and place one slice on each of two plates.  Pour over the toast the white sauce mixture.  Press the egg yolks through a sieve and sprinkle over the top.  Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings

Unfortunately, the dish doesn’t taste any better now than it did back in 1943.  Even using good home-baked bread rather than the thin white bread I’m sure we used then, it was pretty ordinary.  But now my daughter knows exactly what I mean when I mention Eggs a la Goldenrod.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

13 thoughts on “Eggs a la Goldenrod”

  1. I really enjoy reading your stories. I never learned to sew, and to tell you the truth, I regret that now.
    I’d love to sew an apron or a potholder. I have a sewing machine, but I’ve only attempted place mats, and let me tell you, they were a disaster. I think I threw them across the room a dozen times, swearing to never sew again. I have sewn straight lines, but not very often. My friend helped me make a mini-quilt, and I am still working on that–it’s been 6 years 🙂
    I collect the vintage cookbooks, and yours looks like a real treasure.

  2. I am a Cincinnati native and enjoyed reading your story. My mother-in-law passed away about 3 years ago. She too lived in Cincinnati most of her life and would probably be about your age – born in 1934. She was a wonderful cook and a wonderful lady. She used to babysit for my children while I worked part-time and she made something called eggs a la goldenrod that my kids loved! My daughter is 13 now and asked me the other day to make it for her, but as far as I knew no one had the recipe and my husband and I thought perhaps she had invented the name. I was so surprised and thrilled when I found this through google. I’m going to try making it tomorrow morning for her. Thanks so much!

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  4. I’m 53 and my siblings and I grew up eating this meal. We all loved it – and still do (to be fair, all our spouses think we’re off our rockers though). The only thing I hated was being the one to push the yolks through the sieve – a messy and time consuming task.

    My little brother renamed everything when he was small (consider “flushing the toast” – yes, in the toaster!) and he named this meal Golden Rotten Eggs. We still call it that.

    This is a great meal to use up all those eggs at Easter time. It can be really colorful if you use the ones that crack and the color leaks in. Save those especially for this dish, and you might find that you want to deliberately crack some the next time!

  5. You make this dish sound awful, yet me and and my family love it. Here is way to spruce up this old tried and true recipe. Try a nice basic white cream gravy, chop the egg white into large pieces; don’t mash the yolks through a sieve, just crumble with a fork; and serve the gravy mixture over biscuits, not toast. I promise it is delicious!!

    1. Your way of serving this dish does sound good. With Easter and a surplus of hard-boiled eggs coming up, I’ll have to give it another try – your way. Lillian

  6. i grew up on this dish as well and, my mom used to make it and it was very good. the whole family liked it but i did make a couple of changes to it myself and i did it the same but only difference i did was instead if toast use the bisquits and then sprinkle cheese on top along with bacon bits. now tjat greatly improves this dish! bit originated in the us? or maybe is it french? just asking?

    1. Thank you for your comment. The way you fix the dish with biscuits, cheese and bacon bits sounds a lot better than the original to me. I’m not sure where the dish originated. Lillian

  7. I too grew up with this. I am the youngest of 5 and my oldest brother called this golden eggs of the hotrod when he was little. My mother is long gone now, but my oldest sister makes it for us every easter sunday. Mom always chopped the eggs all together and put in the sauce. As my dad would say “larapin good”.

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. I love your brother’s description – that would be enough to make any boy like the dish. So nice that you can still get your mother’s version, thanks to your ister – and I haven’t heard “larapin good” for a long time. Lillian

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