screenshot of the original Golden State Eggs recipe, surrounded by ads for foods like H.B. Salt and Booth's Sardines

From the archives: These recipes from the early 1900s are just as tasty today

Ever wonder what the earliest recipe columns in this newspaper were like? Now that J. and its predecessor publications’ archives have been digitized, I was able to explore what local Jews were cooking up in the past.

Here are my versions of two weekly recipe contest winners from 1915 and 1916. They featured advertised products such as flour, cooking oils, canned fish, vegetables and evaporated milk. Seasonings and techniques are updated, but after all these years, these recipes still make tasty dishes.

To take your own trip into the past, visit the archives at

Mrs. Schneider’s Golden State Eggs

Serves 6

  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1¼ tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1¼ tsp. paprika, divided
  • 2 cups chopped red and/or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
  • 4 Tbs. butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 16 oz. half-and-half or whole milk
  • 2 Tbs. sherry, brandy or Marsala
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, optional (see notes)
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. crumbled dried oregano leaves
  • 2 cups plus 6 Tbs. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 Tbs. thinly sliced green onions

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until softened. Add garlic. Stir in ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper and ¼ tsp. paprika. Sauté 1 minute. Add peppers and mushrooms. Sauté until vegetables are soft. Set aside.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Stir or whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk or stir in half-and-half. Stir in sherry and Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, ¼ tsp. paprika, cumin and oregano. Cook, whisking or stirring, until sauce is very thick. Stir in vegetables and 2 cups shredded cheese.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring kettle of water to a boil. Pour vegetable sauce into 6 (¾ cup) ramekins or custard cups. Break egg on top of each, keeping yolk intact. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbs. cheese and ⅛ tsp. paprika. Place ramekins in large, deep baking dish. Pour in 1-inch hot water. Bake 15 to 25 minutes until egg whites are set (but not hard) and yolks are cooked to desired consistency (prick with toothpick to check). Sprinkle with green onions. Serve.

Notes: Orange cheddar adds color to the dish. The Worcestershire sauce adds a distinct flavor; skip it if you are not a fan.

Mrs. Schneider's egg dish from the archives. (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Mrs. Schneider’s egg dish from the archives. (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Mrs. Blum’s Corn Fritters

Makes 24 small fritters

  • 2 cups corn kernels: fresh, frozen (defrosted) or canned (minus water)
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. milk or nondairy milk
  • ½ cup flour, plus more as needed
  • Vegetable oil
  • Tahini sauce (see below)
Mrs. Blum's corn fritters from the archives. (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Mrs. Blum’s corn fritters from the archives. (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Mix corn with green onions, eggs, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and milk. Add flour and stir. It should make a stiff batter. If necessary, add flour by the teaspoon. Add ½ inch oil to a 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high heat until a bit of batter sizzles. Using a regular teaspoon (not a measuring teaspoon), drop batter by spoonful into hot oil (working in batches so as not to crowd the fritters). Fry on one side until golden (about 2 minutes). Flip fritters and fry 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel–lined plate. Repeat. Serve with tahini sauce.

Tahini sauce: Stir together with a fork until smooth: ½ tsp. minced garlic, 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup cold water and ½ cup tahini. Add more water or lemon juice as needed. Stir in ¼ tsp. salt, or to taste.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].