Monday, December 5, 2016

Citron cake and other recipes for candied citrons

After processing the citron watermelon (previous post HERE) the pieces could be sliced thin and added to fruit cakes, pound cakes, cheesecakes, creams, puddings and ratafia.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Shaping citron while on the tree - 1806

When half grown, the citron (or pear, apple, pomegranate) was encased in a mould of gypsum or clay to form it into the shape of a bird, face or animal.  Now there are plastic boxes to make square watermelons and other creatively shaped fruits and vegetables.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Citron melon or citron watermelon - to make mock candied citron

The citron growing on a tree was imported as a sweetmeat.  Amelia Simmons had, in her 1796 cookbook, a mock citron recipe entitled 'The American Citron' - what now is Watermelon Rind.  The following recipe is Lea's candied citron recipe using a Citron Melon.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quern in 1772 Scotland... and fulling wool by foot

In late 18th century Hebrides in areas without mills, grain ("corn" - wheat) was ground in a hand mill (quern). To the right ten women are depicted fulling wool by hand or feet on a ridged board (Luagh).  A bagpiper is near the tree.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Scottish Halloween spell - by Robert Burns

Robert Burn's poem Halloween had several 'spells' for young folks to do on All Saints eve to foretell their future.  The sketch of a Scottish peasant's cottage interior is from an 1812 book published in Edinburgh. The three dishes on the hearth contain clean, dirty, and no water.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin waffles made with yeast

... then dipped in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar.  Once again it is time to dig into my hundreds of old recipes on pumpkins. For the past few years I've tried this 'newer' 1906 recipe, and not been successful so far. Does any one have ideas on historic pumpkin waffles with yeast? or without? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Smithsonian Food History live stream and Have-A-Cup interactive pages - water, tea, chocolate, whiskey

If you are unable to attend this year's Smithsonian Food History weekend in Washington, D.C., you can live stream the round tables on Friday October 28 (9:30-4). Long list of speakers, times HERE

Monday, October 3, 2016

The first floating mill in America

A flour mill on boats on the Ohio River was built in 1791 by early settlers in the "Northwest Territory" due to low water and fear of attacks by Native Americans.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hussey, the inventor who made bread cheap

Obed Hussey (1797-1860) created the first successful reaper in America, rather than the more well known Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884). Great films of harvesting 1904, 1938...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pickled bamboo or elder tree recipes

In 1756 Mrs. Bradley included a recipe to imitate pickled bamboo using the tender spring shoots of the elder tree with wine and beer vinegar in her The British Housewife.  Pickled bamboo had the "appearance [of] pickled yellow cucumbers cut in long slices."

Monday, September 5, 2016

People powered churns

We often think of the dairymaid charmingly churning butter in a picturesque setting (image below) - plunging the dasher into the churn or turning the handle of a barrel churn; but in 1850s Holland, other devices were created to churn 200 quarts of cream at a time. The Treadle Lever or standing see saw; and pulling down large levers...

Monday, August 29, 2016

Dogs and sheep churning butter ... on a treadmill

Dogs were workers: sheep herding, turning spits, watch dogs, and on the treadmill to churn butter in a swing or dash churn. By 1832 dog churns were common along the Hudson River. Descriptions and images from 19th century NY and New England works...

Monday, August 22, 2016

The U.S. National Park Service is 100!

On August 25, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson created the US National Park Service - ranging from stellar landscapes to homes such as "Hampton".  And what a house... and kitchen!  When built in 1790 it supposedly was the largest private house in the United States.  The state-of-the-art kitchen included a stew stove and Reip metal wall oven.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Freezing chocolate - 17th, 18th and 19th century

The first Earl of Sandwich kept a private journal which gave a recipe for a container of chocolatti placed into a bowl with snow to freeze. The early drink was made with water, thus when frozen, was more like a sherbet.  Later chocolate ice creams used cream or a cooked custard of eggs and cream.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Piki bread of the Hopi

A marvelous video explaining "Making Piki Bread" - HERE


The 1906 photo is of a Hopi woman inside a pueblo making bread.
 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tom Martin and The Landis Valley Cookbook

Last month Tom passed away, and on August 17th, Landis Valley Museum, where he worked for over 30 years, will host a celebration of his life. He knew so much about brick bake ovens and Pa. Dutch foods, and was always willing to share, and yet always researching to learn more.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Neptune House chef rejected the new cooking range

A respite from the heat drew guests to Neptune Island, in the Long Island Sound near New Rochelle, NY.  Built in 1837, in 1851 a new large cooking range was bought to replace the old setup with a stew stove.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Mad dash in the White Sulpher Springs diningroom - in 1832

The wealthy elite would go to the Virginia (now WV) spa for health and society... and had to race to get a seat in the dining room (left).  And bribe the cook. And enjoy a "hail storm" (mint julep). John H. B. Latrobe, described the rough and tumble dining rules and sketched several of the sights in 1832.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fried cucumbers

Cucumbers were fried in round slices, cubed or stuffed whole.  Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery had cucumbers sliced and a whole one stuffed with fried onions then fried and put into a flavor-full sauce of the frying butter, flour (to thicken), water, wine, catchup, mace, cloves, and nutmeg. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Colonial Kitchen in 1864

The Brooklyn Sanitary Fair in 1864 featured a New England kitchen with cooks in colonial garb, spinning wheels on left, and tables to eat.  During the Civil War several Sanitary Fairs were held to raise money for Union troops.  Click to enlarge the Library of Congress image.