Monday, December 11, 2017

Luciadagen or St. Lucia Day breakfast

In Sweden, the oldest daughter in the family wears a wreath of candles on her head and serves breakfast ... then the family goes back to bed.  In the 'old calendar' the day fell on the shortest day of the year.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Belsnickel or Pelznichel

In Germany and Pennsylvania Dutch areas, Belsnickel or Pelznichel appeared on Dec.6 - the Saint's day of Saint Nicholas. He carried a rod and wore a scary disguise, with jingling bells and clanging chains... not a jolly Santa Claus.

Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Cook Apples - over 100 ways - by Georgiana Hill in 1865

The English author Georgiana Hill compiled recipes from the mundane (apple pie) to unusual - Irish Stew with apples, apples and chocolate, fools, puffs, trifles, omelet, pickled, curry, and sausage with pimiento.  Two American apple recipes - one to cut thin and dry on string, and the other put in jar, cover with sugar and boil the jar and contents.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Pumpkin Pie poem recipe

A poem about gathering pumpkins heaped "high in the old red cart" hauled by oxen then made into a pie appeared in the November 23, 1889 edition of Good Housekeeping

Monday, November 13, 2017

Syringes and presses for fancy cookies

The familiar aluminum Mirro cookie press of the 1960s was preceded by Swedish sprutas, syringes, biscuit forcers & presses.  The dough is forced out as a long "ornamental" ribbon, then cut into individual cookies.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pine Apple Syrup for ice cream and Pineapple ice cream

Elizabeth Ellicott Lea's recipe for Pine Apple Syrup was "to season ice cream."  Mary Randolph's Virginia Housewife included a pineapple ice cream recipe as did the British author Nutt in 1819. The 1749 article on ananas (pineapple; below) may have been read by George Washington or Charles Carroll, Barrister, of Baltimore who each had a pinery to grow the expensive plant before 1800. Incredible picture of selling some of the "35,000 pines" that arrived at London in 1847 on one ship.

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Tricks" done on Halloween in Pa. Dutch areas

In the mid1800s, Halloween was celebrated "roughly" -  parts of a wagon were put in different trees, gates taken off hinges, wooden steps removed, taking wagons apart and rebuilt in a stable, and other extreme tricks.  And the food history part?  Throwing corn or string beans, hanging beets and cabbages at doors, OK maybe not too relevant, but I am amazed by the caliber of the tricks!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Apple cider press in 1840s Germany

The lovely long curved oak trough and millstone, apple press, and 'monstrous tuns' were used to turn the "golden apples" into "apple-wine" or cider.  Cows pulled the wagons during the harvest.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Citron melons for ice cream, jelly, sweetmeats, marmalade, tarts, sauce (applesauce) and syrup

The melon cannot be eaten unprocessed but when cooked in sugar water it is candied and used in cakes, puddings, mincemeat, green custard;  it's pectin will help other fruit jellies; a substitute for applesauce or pie/tarts filling; or pickled like watermelon rind.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dog powered turnspits

A little dog - the turnspit dog - ran inside the wheel high on the wall which turned the spit in front of the fire.  The turn-spit was mentioned in a 1601 inventory (dog-wheell). Several early quotes from 17th through 19th century writings.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham and Oyster dinners in St. Mary's County, MD

These fundraising annual dinners are held in church rec halls and fire departments in St. Mary's County.  The corned ham - wet cured with unusual taste - is stuffed with kale, cabbage, celery, onions & lots of red pepper, detailed in post HERE

Monday, September 25, 2017

Schnitz - dried apple slices, 1749 Schnitz House, schnitz baskets, schnitz un knepp

Schnitz are slices of apples placed on drying racks then put in a slack brick bake oven.  People could gather for 'apple cuts' parties, or in a building such as the Schnitz House. The dried apples were stored in rye baskets in the Lancaster, Pa. area and prepared in pies or Schnitz un Knepp.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Seckel or Seckle Pears originally from Philadelphia


The Seckel pear, the "finest pear," had a celebrated ‘original tree’ on Seckel’s farm, later part of the Stephen Girard estate, south of Philly.  The tree was said to have been found in the 1760s, survived for decades and was even pictured in magazines.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Asenath Nicholson - from Graham crackers to the Irish famine

Asenath Nicholson (1792-1855) started as a teacher then social activist, writer, managed Graham boarding houses in NYC, vegetarian and traveled alone through Ireland 1844-5, and 1847-9 during the famine.  She wrote two cookbooks -  Nature’s Own Book 1835 (27 recipes in 9 of the 84 pages) and her 1848 A Treatise on Vegetable Diet (60 recipes in 10 of the pages).

Monday, September 4, 2017

Soyer's Dublin Soup Kitchen 1847

Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) went to the aid of the starving poor during the Irish potato famine by designing a soup kitchen and recipes.  He was the famed chef and designer of the Reform Club kitchen from 1837-1850, inventor and writer.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Brandied Peaches

Another of the 10 peach recipes in Maryland's Elizabeth Ellicott Lea Domestic Cookery - Peaches in Brandy. The glorious peach on the right was obtained by pouring "boiling water on them, and wipe off the down."  When done properly, the skin came off easily; the other two of the first batch were... not smooth...at all 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mary Randolph's Peach ice cream

Mary Randolph's Virginia Housewife, first published in 1824, included many ice cream recipes - peach, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, cocoa nut, iced jelly, strawberry, raspberries, lemonade iced, citron melon, almond and... oyster.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Shrimpers

Standing in water for hours pushing their nets ahead of them in the sand, the picturesque Shrimpers captured the shrimp and/or prawns.  When prepared, the shrimp formed "a delightful show, their brilliant red coats being garnished with green parsley." From Pyne's 1827 book.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Kitchen # 2 - 18th century out-kitchens

In a previous post - 7 years ago, (when this post was written, oops) - HERE, I discussed 19th century 'summer kitchens'.  In the 18th century they were called 'out kitchens', or just 'kitchens'.  The reason for the detached kitchens? - to keep homes "...more cool and Sweet" and "...because the Smell of hot Victuals, offensive in the hot Weather."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Camp cookery - outdoor stewstove and improvised ovens

Stew stoves - one of my favorite flue-zies - were described in a 1882 camping book. The image shows two green logs flattened along the top to securely place the pots and pans over coals from the main fire.  Another camping book had illustrations of different pots and pans used to make ovens.