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.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
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
Monday, October 13, 2014
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
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
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
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
Thursday, September 4, 2014
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
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
Monday, August 18, 2014
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
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
Monday, July 28, 2014
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, 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
Monday, July 7, 2014
Foodstuffs and other items were stored in sacks, boxes, crates, jars and barrels of all sizes. Smaller barrels could easily be put in wagons, but how did they transport the larger barrels? The Madeira barrel on a sled (1821) is described below.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Traveling with "a broad plate of metal" (a 'girdle' or griddle) "under the Haps [cover, wrap] of his saddle," the fourteenth century Scottish soldier could make thin oat cakes from water and oatmeal over a fire. This would warm and strengthen their stomachs after eating too-freshly butchered cattle, which was scavenged.
Monday, June 23, 2014
This entertaining and well researched book details how all alcoholic beverages are composed of plants. Actually, it is the focus on each plant and how it is made into different drinks, instead of the usual writings on the composition of beer, wine, etc., which makes this an interesting read. Beer is generally barley, wheat, and flavored with hops. But going from plant to drink - barley is also for whiskey; wheat is in vodka, whiskey and Maker’s Mark bourbon.