Monday, November 17, 2014

Pumpkin candies made from pumpkin pickles or chips

Several past posts have dealt with pumpkin chip recipes from 1770 and 1840 and how to cut pumpkins into chips HERE.  Chips or sweet pickles can be made into candies by rolling them in sugar.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Soup makes the soldier

Leopold Beyer (1789-1877) sketched French soldiers cooking soup in a pot in 1813.  A contemporary wrote that the French soldiers were better cooks than the English.  "...six French troopers fling their messes into the same pot, and extract a delicious soup ten times more nutritious..." while the English soldiers toss their meat onto the coals and burn it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

When a Steam Kitchen is not a kitchen using steam

Well, actually it used steam and was in the kitchen but steam kitchens were apparatus which heated water and then used the resulting steam to cook food.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween - Cake Night, Soul Cake, Seed Cake

The history of Halloween involves many traditions.  Giving out cakes on All Hallows Eve (the night before All Saints Day, Nov 1) or on All Souls Day (Nov 2) was an old tradition by 1511.  On 'All halowen daye,' brade was given to all crysten [Christian] soules. [Brand, 1813]  The sketch shows a group a-souling for Soul or Soule cakes or other name variations: Soul mass cake, Somas-cake, Soul-mas-cake, Soul-masse-Cakes (1656) or Seed Cakes.   

Saturday, October 25, 2014

18th century earthen camp kitchen at Mount Harmon

If you are near northeast Maryland (Earleville) tomorrow (Sunday) you can still see the freshly dug camp kitchen and enjoy the Revolutionary War encampment and battle at Mt Harmon Plantation HERE.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Clarified Marrow

"Eating pork-marrow will make a person stupid" was an 1825 saying. Beef marrow from within the bones was clarified over very low heat to be used as a substitute for butter and to store for longer periods.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Men doing the shopping - in late 1820s Cincinnati

6 days a week at dawn the men went to the market - even "those of the highest standing."  Mrs. Francis Trollope (1780-1863) wrote Domestic Manners of the Americans, 1832 about  her travels and travails in the United States with some of her children.  They settled for several years in the growing city of Cincinnati, Ohio where she opened a large store - the Bazaar.  And like NYC, HERE, pigs cleaned refuse from the streets.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Barbegal: a SUPER Roman flour mill complex

16 overshot wheels - using water from an aqueduct - ground an estimated four and a half tons of flour per day!  If that was not enough, the Romans cut through solid rock on top to connect the aqueduct they built to the mill troughs. AND they built the stone complex on a steep hill in Gaul (France).  All this during the 1st century.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Smelly beef steak pie by the Thatched House Tavern cook and his 1824 cookbook

Michael Willis, as the cook for many years at the Thatched House Tavern, prepared meals for members of the prestigious clubs which met there.  He wrote Cookery Made Easy in 1824.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sargent's The Dinner Party - Mystery object

Does anyone have a guess what the small object on the floor near the sideboard is and why is it at that location? (closeup below)  I would think a stool, heater (food, dish), brazier bottom or whatever would trip up the servers. The Dinner Party by Henry Sargent (1770-1845) was painted c1821 in Boston.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Woman Guard your Kitchen!

The dog - wish I could say 'hot dog' (dachshund) - is stealing Mrs. Weiser's sausages in this watercolor by Lewis Miller.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Jefferson's handwritten list of the Vegetable Market in Washington City

Artichokes, Broccoli, Eggplants, Sprouts and Watermelon were just some of the 37 vegetables and fruits sold from 1801-1809 and written down by Thomas Jefferson.  An avid gardener and collector, Thomas Jefferson kept records of the wide variety of plants in his gardens, but as President he also kept track of the vegetable market in Washington, D.C., charting the first and last days the vegetables were available. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dutch Oven - Iron or Tin or ... Brick?

What's in a name...?  Several types of ovens have been called Dutch Ovens.  They were generally cast iron bake ovens, or metal (tin or copper) reflector ovens.  Some inventories specified – “2 iron dutch ovens with only one lid” or “tin dutch ovens” while others listed only “oven” or “dutch oven.” And then the brick...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spiced Peaches and Pickled Peaches

TEN peach recipes are in Elizabeth Ellicott Lea’s Domestic Cookery (Baltimore, 1846) including Spiced Peaches and To Pickle Peaches.  The Spiced Peaches are delightful, but they cook down, so do halves or quarters (photo below).

Monday, August 18, 2014

They came, they ate, they burned the house down - the British burning the White House in 1814

On August 24, 1814, food was prepared for a 3:00 dinner for forty.  There were cut glass decanters of ale, cider and wine placed in coolers, plate warmers by the fire and a variety of meats on the spits.  The British troops sat down to a fine repast... then immediately set fire to the President's House.  A nice thank you for the meal. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Civil War salt works - 500 bushels a day - destroyed

Salt was important to preserve meat (like salt pork) in order to feed the soldiers.  Thus, the Union navy conducted raids on Confederate salt-works, as illustrated and described in Harper's Weekly, Nov. 15, 1862.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Food History Symposiums, Exhibits 2014 part 3

8 activities in Washington, D.C., Williamsburg VA, MS, NJ, Russia and Italy...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thomas Jefferson and Ice Cream

Balls of ice cream encased in warm pie crust made by Jefferson's French chef were novel enough to stir comment by TWO Congressmen attending a Presidential dinner.  Among Jefferson's few handwritten recipes is one for vanilla ice cream. A 1786 French book of ice creams, an early British cookbook with recipe - which he owned - ice cream freezer in his inventory, and more...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Madeira - a Pot and a Quern

Madeira, the island off the coast of Portugal, not the fortified wine made there, was the subject of the 1821 book A History of Madeira.  Porridge is in the iron pot and grinding "Indian corn" in a quern is depicted below.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ice Cream Man in 1845 New York City and 1815 London

Selling Ice Cream - or more likely Ice Milk - on the streets of NYC "during the hot sultry weather in July and August" while carrying glasses and a sorbetiere. From the book Cries of New York we learn that 'you scream' to rhyme with ice cream is nothing new and that cream was hard to obtain...