It was the year 1905, and though the phrase “American Dream” hadn’t yet been thought up, the concept was alive and well. Everyone was out to forge his own path, find success, and maybe even make a fortune in the wide, open opportunity that was America. And, the “rags to riches” stories that made it into the spotlight, like those of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, made the possibility of success beyond the wildest of dreams seem entirely reachable.
In reality, the Carnegie and Rockefeller levels of success weren’t at all reachable to most Americans, but dreaming is fun, right? What were some more realistic dreams people had in 1905, you ask? First, let me say that to answer that question, we have to enter the realm of speculation. This means guesswork. See, we can’t know what people were thinking and dreaming about in 1905 unless they wrote it down, or unless we ask them. Unfortunately, I have no written records from 1905, and most people from that era aren’t with us anymore. But, this is why I keep saying ask questions, find stories, talk to older friends, neighbors, and family members. Find out who people were, label photographs, etc. If we want to learn about the past, we have to be proactive about preserving it!
Anyway, lecture over! What do we think people dreamed of in 1905? Well, living conditions were still primitive then, so perhaps families dreamed of having a beautiful multi-story home where everyone could have a room, take baths in a tub with hot running water, and have electricity and a telephone. Cars were awe-inspiring technology at that time, so perhaps men dreamed of owning cars that they could drive to work or out on a leisurely trip. Perhaps they also dreamed of leisure time. In 1905, women mostly stayed at home out of the workplace and were not allowed to vote. I’m sure many women dreamed of working, earning money, and standing next to men as equals. And, very few young people attended college. There was too much work to do, and families needed their children to stay home and help domestically and with money. Young men and women, perhaps, dreamed of going to college, whether that was to Harvard to become a lawyer or to Normal School to become a teacher.
Past and present, we all have dreams, and looking back at 1905, it’s interesting to see just how simple those dreams all seem. What the average family dreamed about then, we have in spades now – large homes, cars, technology, college educations, equality. I wonder what they’d think of what we dream today.
So, what are we cooking? Eggs scrambled in tomatoes from the New England Cook Book published in 1905.
This is a great breakfast dish, or a breakfast-for-dinner dish, which is how we ate it. The eggs become incredibly moist and flavorful cooking with the tomatoes and the seasonings, and they gave us a really unique, delicious taste of 1905!
So, let’s go – into to the kitchen to make history!
Here are our ingredients: Eggs, tomatoes, onion, butter, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Step 1: Cut a slice of onion from the onion you got out. Save the rest for something else. Chop up a heaping cup of fresh tomatoes.
Step 2: Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. I know the recipe says three, but I thought two was more appropriate. There is a health craze going on right now, after all! Toss in your onion slice.
Step 3: After about 4-5 minutes, my onion slice was starting to get nice and brown and crispy, so I took it out of the pan and discarded it. You could also save it to put on top of the finished eggs if you’d like. Do whatever makes you happy!
Step 4: Add the tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, the sugar, salt, and pepper to the pan. I added 1/2 tsp. of salt. Tomatoes really need salt to bring out their flavor. The Food Network taught me that!
Step 5: While your tomatoes cook, crack your eggs into a bowl and beat them.
Step 6: After five minutes of cooking, your tomatoes will smell wonderful. Add the beaten eggs to them, and stir everything to combine it.
Step 7: Now just cook this like you would cook scrambled eggs! Let it firm up for a few minutes, and then scrape and stir. I’m not really sure how to describe making scrambled eggs. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember learning how. This must just be something we’re all born knowing.
Step 8: After about ten minutes, your eggs should look like this! I like my scrambled eggs to be on the drier side, so I actually drained some of the extra liquid once the eggs reached the firmness I dubbed appropriate. Use your judgement! You have to eat them!
Final step: Plate them up next to some toast and turkey sausage (health craze, remember), and enjoy! My husband took a bite and immediately said, “Wow, these are interesting.” I replied, “Bad interesting?” I’m not trying to scare you off, I promise. They weren’t at all bad interesting! He was right, though, they were interesting and unique… in a DELICIOUS way. Like I said, the eggs soak up the moisture of that wonderful, flavorful tomato and Worcestershire sauce. Ah! – you just need to try them out.
And, while you’re savoring these eggs, think about dreams – your dreams, your parents’ dreams, your grandparents’ dreams. I remember when I was in high school, I dreamed of the day I’d get my own cell phone. Not too long ago, I asked my grandma what she used to dream of having, and she told me that when she was in high school, she dreamed of having a record player. Past or present – we’re all the same. We’re all people who live and dream.
From 1905: Eggs Scrambled in Tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 large tomato
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 4 eggs, beaten
- Cut the onion in half, remove peel, and cut off one thick slice.
- Dice up the tomato. You should have one heaping cupful.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion slice and cook 5-6 minutes until the edges are browned. Remove.
- Add in the diced tomato, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir together and cook for five minutes.
- Add in the beaten eggs and cook, stirring frequently to scramble, for another 8-10 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
- Drain excess liquid from the pan. Serve immediately.