Sometimes I read old cookbooks for fun. Who doesn't? And this evening I've been reading Antonia Isola's [circa] 1876 goodie she calls "Simple Italian Cooking." Obviously Antonia lived in America because one of her favorite directions of how thin to slice something is "as thick as a ten cent piece." Some of the surprises (for me) are the number of recipes she offers for lettuce: lettuce soup, cooked lettuce, etc. Then there are recipes for cooking with cucumbers, including fried cucumbers. Several (more than a few) recipes for egg dishes that start with cooking hard boiled eggs, then cutting them according to directions and smothering them with a sauce, then baking until the dish is brown and crusty. I've had a LOT of egg dishes in my lifetime, but never anything close to these, and they do sound interesting. Her polenta recipes sound good (if you like corn meal mush), but they call for stirring without interruption for a full half hour! Not in my kitchen! I'll bet she could have arm wrestled a weight lifter and won!
If you want to check it out, you can download a Kindle app for your 'puter if you don't own a Kindle, then download the free "Simple Italian Cooking." It's an interesting read. And when was the last time you made lettuce soup? Think I'll fry up some croutons and maybe give it a try. Join me? '-)