Monday, September 17, 2018

Selling cook stoves was like selling... new and used cars


"Horse trading is not to be compared to it" was how an 1888 article in a trade journal described closing the deal on a new stove where dealers were forced to buy the old one.

Which to buy... each family member wants something different. Yearly new features and "the neighbors' stoves are brought up for comparison."

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Farm - plowing, sowing, reaping, thrashing, winnowing and milling

This interesting farm image with tools is from a book published in London by 1844. Closeup of the sketches (click to enlarge) and description follow...

Monday, September 3, 2018

Wafers, Gaufres, Cornets, Cones & wafer irons on a stove

1630s thin "wafer biscuits" (left), "Fine French Wafers", "gaufres Cigarettes,"  Cornet (cone) or Horn Gaufres were baked in thin wafer irons and eaten flat or rolled. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fortune Cookies and Eliza Leslie's 'Secrets' with hidden messages

Kata irons made a 19th century Japanese cookie, a precursor to the Fortune Cookie.  More information - including a nice slide show -  available at the links below.  Thin wafers rolled into cylinders or cones.

And the Secrets?  Wrap nuts or sweets with a verse on a paper in colorful glazed paper.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cheese Toaster for Welsh Rarebit ... or Rabbit

"Cheese Toaster with double bottom for hot water" image from Bishop, 1852. 

A Toasted Cheese or Scotch sandwich, when mustard was added, became a Welsh-rabbit (described in 1827 book). 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Shoo fly! Protecting food on the table - Punkhas, fly covers, meat safes

Flies were a nuisance and a danger, such as "fly blown" - flies leaving eggs on meat which turned into maggots.  Punkas - large fans suspended from the ceiling moved by a cord - were popular in India and the American South.  Other methods described below included meat safes, dish (fly) covers, cloth over milk, meat or windows; spices or chemicals.  Painting from 1637 depicts a fly on the bread.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Cavendish bananas, the Duke of Devonshire & Sir Joseph Paxton

Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) was the gardener at Chatsworth House for 30+ years, built it’s Great Conservatory (left, 1830s) and later built the famed Crystal Palace in 1851. He named this variety of banana after his employer, William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire (1790-1858). Queen Victoria visited...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Neapolitan Cakes

While people may know about the tri-colored Neapolitan ice cream (past post HERE) there once was a notable layer cake.  Neapolitan Cakes were showy multilayer cakes of bright colors, different flavors and icings for each layer. Same name, but an 1846 cake of 12 thin layers with whipped cream up the center was created by Queen Victoria's chef Francatelli, left.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Neapolitan or Harlequin ice cream

The tri-colored Neapolitan ice cream was/is generally white, pink/red and chocolate like the 1806 Naples flag or other colors.  Add pistachio ice cream to make Harlequin ice cream.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Selling Ice Cream in 1850s Philadelphia - Street criers, Saloons, Parkinson, and Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton - not the Sir Isaac one - was a farmer, owned an ice cream saloon, and later became the first Commissioner (Director) of the Dept. of Agriculture in DC, created by Lincoln in 1862. He was a competitor of the more famous Parkinson family: Eleanor wrote a cookbook in 1844 and opened a saloon in 1818, and her son James a famed restaurateur, created a $1000 dinner, and for 20 years wrote in the Confectioners' Journal.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Moravian meals... "the piece" in the morning

Moravians started a community in Bethlehem, Pa. in 1741.   The members gathered several times a day to eat: breakfast at 6, "the piece" or mid-morning lunch/snack at 9, dinner at noon, vespers at 2, and supper at 6.  In 1906 Pennsylvania "the piece" was still kept and reluctantly allowed in the coal mines.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Nesselrode Pudding (ice cream) created by Careme... or was it Mony?

The story goes that the renowned French chef Careme created this ice cream for Russian statesman Nesselrode in 1814 after Napoleon's defeat.  In 1828 Careme tried to gain credit saying his boiled chestnut pudding inspired a Parisian chef Mr. Mony (or Monni, Nesselrode's cook).  It worked and Mony was forgotten for 30 years until his recipe was in Gouffe's cookbook; and now is mostly forgotten.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Maryland crabs ... before Old Bay

In 1939, Gustav Brunn fled Germany and then developed the Old Bay crab seasoning - celery salt, peppers, paprika and secret spices - in Baltimore. Some spices used in 1800s Maryland recipes were nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, mace, cloves, and allspice. Photo of 1906 crab pickers.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Medieval crab recipes and 1723 recipes for crabs with dates, ginger, pistachios....


Nott in 1723 added all sorts of fruit, spices, nuts and veggies to 10 crab recipes: dates, grapes, oranges, barberries, gooseberries, ginger, mace, cinnamon, fennel, artichoke bottoms, asparagus, almond paste, pistachios, pine nuts, fried parsley, raw or hard egg yolks, wine, vinegar and butter.
Two Medieval crabbe recipes simply boiled or baked the crab then served it cold with vinegar; or with cinnamon, sugar, vinegar and butter upon a chaffing dish.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cheseapeake crabs in 1850 Philadelphia, & Crabs in 17th and 19th century Britain

"Crab Crab any Crab" in the flat basket from 1688 Cryes of the city of London .  A second street seller with a wheel-barrel "Crabs! Crabs Alive!" in 1850 City Cries of Philadelphia (where a crab has caught a boy).  How a monkey catches crabs, crabs from Norway, and British crab-pots...

Monday, June 4, 2018

Taking the cook stove out of the kitchen for the summer ... then putting up the stove

If there was no out-kitchen (later called summer kitchen HERE) cooking stoves were moved out to the porch, lean-to shed, woodshed or someplace "fire-proof" to keep the kitchen cooler in the summer. Then comes the fall and the daunting task of "putting up stoves." 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Crimean War steamers Abundance (bakery) and Bruiser (flour mill)

The famed cook Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) wrote Soyer's Culinary Campaign (1857) about his experiences to improve the cooking and baking for the British Soldiers during the Crimean War (1853-56).  Floating bakeries on ships were described at length; from "working of the flour" to 15+ thousand rations baked each day.  More on floating mills HERE

Monday, May 21, 2018

Chicken coops in the kitchen

"1 wire chicken coop" was listed in a July 1818 kitchen inventory of the Virginia Governor's mansion, in the center of Richmond (Gov. James Patton Preston). 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Other Black eyed Susan recipes for the Preakness

The Preakness Stakes, "second leg" of horse racing's Triple Crown, features Maryland's state flower as the winner's horse blanket and a drink (though not as famous as the Kentucky Derby's Mint Julep).  An 1827 pudding from Domestic Economy and Cookery... receipts for sea-faring men... was probably named for a 1720 poem and later song about a sailor's goodbye.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cafe Procope - limonadier opened in 1686 Paris

The first successful cafe in Paris sold lemonade, liquor, coffee, ices... and was across from the state theater Comedie Francaise. Its many famous patrons included Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Marat, Robespierre, George Sand and Benjamin Franklin.