Monday, June 15, 2020

Historic cooking at home - Benjamin Franklin's recipes

The American Philosophical Society, founded in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, houses his papers, which include recipes in French. Gilbert Chiard compiled and translated the recipes in Benjamin Franklin on the Art of Eating, 1958.  Starting in May, the APS “invited scholars, public historians, and chefs with a range of interests to share their reflections on Franklin, his recipes, and the culture of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World over the coming weeks” on their BLOG.

Posts on the Franklin recipes thus far include recipes on Puff Paste
(recipe at end of post), Mince Pie and Chef Walter Staib

Other sites -
Jas Townsend & Sons Colonial to Federal HERE
Tasting History Max Miller youtube HERE
Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen HERE
Wyoming State Archives recipes from Wyoming cookbooks on Throwback Thursday HERE

This post on cooking historic recipes sites is the most recent addition (and hopefully the last) in my list of things to watch or read online while staying at home due to Covid. HERE

June activities -
June 16 Tue 2pm Cooking at the Hearth at Colonial Williamsburg. Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley  HFSDV membership needed $20 HERE

June 17 Wed 1pm Living History at Home: Cooking for Juneteenth (fire pit; geared for kids, which is a great idea) HERE
June 18 Thurs 12pm   Bread related words (there are thousands!) from author William Rubel's research for his giant work on breads. Join his Facebook page Bread History and Practice for weekly topics and details HERE

June 18 Thurs 4pm Fermentation in Ancient Mesopotamia, Beer, Bread and More Beer Weekly 20 min talks by specialist/authors are Thursdays 4pm at Fermentology more topics HERE

June 18 Thurs 8pm The Rule of Rum. free. Culinary Historians of Chicago HERE

June 19   Juneteenth at James Madison's Montpelier, Dr.  Leni Sorenson.   5 tapes available now  HERE and at Montecello HERE

June 20 Sat 10-11:30 The Diet of Our Ancestors – What History & Science Reveals. Black Heritage Trail NH HERE

June 22 Mon. 11:30am The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century HERE

June 23 Tue. 1-3 Native Bees. decline of honeybees is well documented, but …What do we know about native bees? HERE

June 23 Tue 7pm Pirates of the Chesapeake … to the Oyster Wars. Mount Vernon author talks HERE
June 25 Thurs 12pm  Bread talk and workshop with author William Rubel. Join his Facebook page Bread History and Practice for weekly topics and details HERE

June 25 Thurs 4pm Microbial War and Peace in Cheese Rind Microbiomes  Weekly 20 min talks by specialist/authors are Thursdays 4pm at Fermentology more topics HERE

June 27 Sat 10-4  Past to Apron Culinary History Conference.  30 min. talks throughout the day.  $20 non refundable fee. HERE

June 30 Tue 12:30 Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine book group discussion with Ms. Lohman attending. Info and registration HERE $10 suggested donation to the Wilton Historical Society, CT

Benjamin Franklin Recipe
Original French recipe in Franklin’s papers:
Pâte feuilletée.
Prenez deux Pintes de farine et une Livre de Beurre, pétrissez les ensemble très finement et reduisez les avec l’eau froide en une pâte claire assez ferme pour qu’on puisse la travailler: alors roulez la de l’épaisseur d’environ une piece de 6 Francs étendez dessus une couche de Beurre, jettez y un peu de farine. repliez la et roulez la une seconde fois, repliez la encore et roulez la sept ou huit fois; alors elle sera propre pour toutes les Espèces de Pâtés ou tourtes qui demandent une Pâte feuilletée.

Modern English translation:
Puff Pastry
Take two pints ​​of flour and a pound of butter, knead them together very finely and cut cold water into the dough until firm enough to work with: then roll it to the thickness of a 6 Francs piece and spread a layer of butter on it, throw in a little flour. Fold it over and roll it a second time, fold it over again and roll it seven or eight times; then it will be appropriate for all types of pâtés or pies which require a puff pastry.

Gilbert Chinard’s Recipe (from Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery, c. 1760)--Modern Rough Puff 

©2020 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME

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