Trompe l’oink

Nut cutlet

This is not a post about how to treat your family to plump, juicy pork chops without frying. It is instead about Nut Cutlets—or “nutlets,” as Steve insists on calling them. We found this recipe in Kitchenology with Principia Friends, a 1933 cookbook written by “St. Louis mothers” as a fundraising tool for Principia College. Perhaps because of Depression-era budgets, the book has an entire section on “Meat Substitutes”—with ideas like Mock Veal Loaf (broken spaghetti, chopped walnuts), Cheese Rarebit (American cheese, crackers, tomato soup) and this gem Steve demanded we make one evening when he discovered a surplus of shelled pecans in the freezer.

We had a bit of fun whirling the ingredients together, forming a fake chop and frying it up. We won’t bother with a real recipe (pecans, egg, breadcrumbs, white sauce, pasta “bone”) because we can’t really say it was an acceptable substitute for our delicious local pork.

We do, however, think it’s an acceptable bit of April Foolery, and charitably hope this will be the most foolish you feel today.

Kitchenology was charmingly illustrated by Rudolph Tandler.

OK, so the recipes aren’t the greatest.
But Kitchenology was delightfully illustrated by Rudolph Tandler.


    • We made this forever ago. And, every week, Steve would say: “What about nutlets?” Glad it finally got its day and I can delete the photo to make room for others!

    • It’s strange, isn’t it? I love vegetarian foods. I just don’t understand when folks try to turn them into “meats.” This book is really bizarre. In addition to the fake veg meat, there’s a recipe for “Mock Chicken with Noodles” that’s made with bacon and veal (yes, and a can of chicken soup). HUH???

  1. The pasta “bone” is very cool. I’m a meat eater through and through and I’ve yet to enjoy a meat substitute. Don’t get me wrong, I love mushrooms, tofu and halloumi, I just like them with meat.

  2. How funny. I love looking at my grandmother’s old recipes. Sometimes I stumble upon one that makes me wonder what they were thinking back then! Thanks for the fun post.

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