Breakfast Menu and Popovers

Ah, more cooking devices we need to discuss.

While we might imagine some evolutionary period between the wire whisk and the rotary beater, it was a very short evolution; wire whisk mentions show up in the 1840s, while the earliest patent on a rotary beater is J.F. and E.P. Monroe’s 1859 filing.

That patent was purchased by Massachusetts’ own Dover Stamping Company (which seems to have been located in Cambridge and Boston at various times); they produced a very popular line of egg beaters. So popular, in fact, that beating eggs with a rotary beater was sometimes called dovering eggs.

Because of the short transition period between wire whisks (which were English) and rotary beaters (which were American), many American households went straight from beating eggs with a knife to beating eggs with a Dover.

Why a knife? There was a peculiar belief in some quarters of American cuisine that the knife was preferable because it did less violence to the structure of the egg whites, because it cleanly cut the proteins rather than ripped them apart by force. Now we know that denaturing the proteins is an essential part of forming an egg white foam, and at any rate, the proteins come apart from being rubbed against each other, not from the shape of the beater.

For a larger version of this scan, click here.

From the notebook of J.L. from Avon Lake, Ohio. Dated 1915.
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Farina with peaches and milk



1 egg
1 c. flour
1 c. milk
1/8 t. salt


Mix and sift flour and salt. Add milk gradually and egg to keep mixture smooth. Beat with Dover egg beater. Pour at once onto hot well-greased gem pans. Bake in a moderate oven from 40 to 45 minutes. Serve as soon as baked.


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