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

7 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...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Roll out the barrel ...on a sled

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

Saddle, griddle and oatmeal for oatcakes

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

The Drunken Botanist

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.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Midsummer Eve dining with newcomers

New residents in some parts of England held a dinner in front of their home on Midsummer Eve to meet their neighbors.  This custom was still observed in the Georgian and Regency periods as described in an 1814 book.

Monday, June 9, 2014

"Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen"...and Belvidere

The wealthy and socially prominent Jane Gilmor Howard, (left, painted by the famed Thomas Sully) as Mrs. B. C. Howard, wrote the immensely popular 1873 fundraising cookbook.  One of the recipes, “Belvidere Rice Pudding” was named for Belvidere, the large 18th century 'seat’ of the Howards, where she lived.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cherries on a stick


Cherries were tied with white thread to sticks in addition to being sold by weight.  Some sticks held up to eleven bunches (1825)  and 350 years earlier “Cheryes in the ryse…a twig.”  Numerous sketches of cherry 'kabobs' and info below...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A day at White Sulphur Springs... in 1869

Drinking the water, shooting, bowling, billiards, dancing, walking, talking, riding and eating...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Petticoat Tails

Scottish short bread in some 19th century recipes was baked in a "petticoat" shape.  A recipe from 1820 had carraway seeds, a mutchkin of water, butter, lots of flour and less sugar, mixed then rolled thin and pricked on top.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring Cakes

Two Spring Cakes, one with candied violets, and angelica stems from 1920, and a Regency recipe, Gateau de Mai (Cake of May) which is not sweet... using udder, suet, herbs, spices and served with stewed greens or sharp sauce.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Stuffing stomachs for Haggis and Hog Maw

It is not Fall butchering time nor Burns Night (January 25), but after hearing an interesting talk on Haggis yesterday, I wanted to do a quick pictorial on how to stuff a stomach.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Food History Symposiums, Talks, Workshops 2014. part 2

11 Activities in Virginia, Maryland, Ireland, Amsterdam, UK, Italy, Mass., Miss., and Ill.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A wig for the cook - 1776

BETTY the COOK MAIDS HEAD DREST is a satirical image from London in 1776.   Her exaggerated wig contains some cooking tools, cheese, vegetables, animals and a cooking fire in a grate.  Closeup of each with sketches from other period images...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Eggs and onion skins

The marvelous brown, mahogany hues of hard-boiled eggs boiled in onion skins make a wonderful backdrop to etch with a needle or knife, as seen in the eggs done by Tom Martin at Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, Pa.  1826 and 1876 directions...