Monthly Archives: September 2015

Wicked Wayback Boston….

In which I travel from the Old Colony to The City (on a Hill implied) and now SHOUT OUT Thanks to Kristen for Driving and Kathy for Support (technical, and all sorts of otherways) and talk about bread and pompions and beer and water and Indian Pudding and other Good Eats from the 17th century Massachusetts Bay/Plimoth Colony experience.

And then there were questions from the floor,so as a follow up to

Friday night’s Repasts of the Past 

with the Partnership of The Historic Bostons  

To answer some questions I couldn’t then off the top of my head……

How to Make Indian Pudding in a Slow Cooker

and then there was a posset question, which I rather fudged/danced around and finally admitted I was not prepare for heavy dairy….so here’s some guilt/make up posset now.

Possets

Posset pot, Netherlands, Late 17th or early 18th century, Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue V&A Museum no. 3841-1901[1] Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Posset pot, Netherlands, Late 17th or early 18th century, Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue V&A Museum no. 3841-1901[1] Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This is in an article Shakespeare's World  in 100 0bjects

Silver, 17th century English posset cup

Shakespeare’s World in 100 Objects

from 1675 Robert May The Accomplist Cook

 

To make a Compound Posset of Sack, Claret, White-Wine, Ale, Beer, or Juyce of Oranges, &c.

Take twenty yolks of eggs with a little cream, strain them, and set them by; then have a clean scowred skillet, and put into it a pottle of good sweet cream, and a good quantity of whole cinamon, set it a boiling on a soft charcoal fire, and stir it continually; the cream having a good taste of the cinamon, put in the strained eggs and cream into your skillet, stir them together, and give them a warm, then have some sack in a deep bason or posset-pot, good store of fine sugar, and some sliced 425 nutmeg; the sack and sugar being warm, take out the cinamon, and pour your eggs and cream very high in to the bason, that it may spatter in it, then strow on loaf sugar.

To make a Posset simple.

Boil your milk in a clean scowred skillet, and when it boils take it off, and warm in the pot, bowl, or bason some sack, claret, beer, ale, or juyce of orange; pour it into the drink, but let not your milk be too hot, for it will make the curd hard, then sugar it.

Otherways.

Beat a good quantity of sorrel, and strain it with any of the foresaid liquors, or simply of it self, then boil some milk in a clean scowred skillet, being boil’d, take it off and let it cool, then put it to your drink, but not too hot, for it will make the curd tuff.

Possets of Herbs otherways.

Take a fair scowred skillet, put in some milk into it, and some rosemary, the rosemary being well boil’d in it, take it out and have some ale or beer in a pot, put to it the milk and sugar, (or none.)

Silver feeding cup or small posset pot, by Andrews, 1698. Description  Feeding cup or small posset pot in silver. Wellcome Images Keywords: domestic; Nursing; William Andrews

Silver feeding cup or small posset pot, by William Andrews, 1698.
Feeding cup or small posset pot in silver.
Wellcome Images

And here’s a modern version from The Guardian – A Lemon Posset 

There are quite a few recent (21st century) versions of possets out there. It seems to be trending……#posset

There were other things, like acorns in bread and chestnuts  and hogs and lobsters and squirrels and making beer from bread and enourmous turnips and grist mills and …you know, the usual Friday night chatter.

But it’s already mizzled in my brain, because Saturday was the Hard Core Hearth Cooking Workshop back at Plimoth, which is Wicked Wayback for another day. .

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Toast

Toast is sooo underrated……

Toast and Cheese  from food52

toast toaster

Toast Toaster – mosaic of 3,053 pieces of toast

Check out the artist here

Boston Cream Pie French Toast from King Arthur Flour here

As IF - either French Toast OR Boston Cream Pie weren't enough...Thank you, King Arthur Flour for putting them together!

As IF – either French Toast OR Boston Cream Pie weren’t enough…Thank you, King Arthur Flour for putting them together!

Toast

is such a little word that holds so many meanings..

It’s tea and toast,

Toast fork - to make toast old school

Toast fork – to make toast old school

Cinnamon toast, and therefore cinnamon toast crunch

cinnamon toast

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

A toast sandwich is a sandwich made by putting a thin slice of toast between two thin slices of bread with a layer of butter, and adding salt and pepper to taste. Its origins can be traced to the Victorian years. A recipe for making it is included in the 1861 Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton

Toast sandwich

Toast sandwich

Sweet or savory, breakfast or supper, summer or winter…..toast is a Good Thing.

Toast-3

Toast – ordinary bread improved.

Georg Flegel. Still-Life with Clove Pinks - 1630-1635.

Georg Flegel. Still-Life with Clove Pinks – 1630-1635. Toast soldiers!

Some 17th century toasts……..

Toasts of Divers sorts.

First, in Butter or Oyl.

Take a cast of fine roals or round manchet, chip them, and cut them onto toasts, fry them in clarified butter, frying oil, or sallet oyl, but before you fry them, dip them in fair water, and being fried, serve them in a clean dish piled one upon another, and sugar between.

  1. 175.

Otherways.

Toste them before the fire, and run them over with butter, sugar, or oyl.

  1. 175

Cinamon Toasts.

Cut fine thin toasts, then toast them on a gridiron, and lay them in ranks in a dish, put to them fine beaten cinamon mixed with sugar and some claret, warm them over the fire, and serve them hot.

  1. 176.

French Toasts.

Cut French bread, and toast it in pretty thick toasts on a clean gridiron, and serve them steeped in claret, sack, or any wine, with sugar and juyce of orange.

  1. 176
  2. Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. Prospect Book ed. pp noted.

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Sour Grapes.

Seriously Sour Grapes.

As ‘these can not possibly pass for table grapes’ sour.

Frans Snyders Grapes, Peaches and Quinces in a Niche 17th century

Frans Snyders Grapes, Peaches and Quinces in a Niche 17th century

What to do with grapes too  sour to eat????

Cook  them!

CIAug2015

Italian Sausage with Grapes – right on the cover. Issue  #135 August 2015

Cook the grapes with sausages. I’d actually made this recipe before….December? January? It was before the Big Snows of last winter.

I’ve been a sometimes tester of recipes for  Cook’s Illustrated  for the last few years…..I don’t remember how I got on the notice list, but every now and again I get an e-mail as a Friend of CI and then I have an assignment, should I so choose.

It’s a little exercise that make me read the recipe and

do exactly what it says to do.

And then fill out the questionnaire.

Hmmm – follow directions and THEN have opinions. Not my natural order of business….

I don’t test every recipe. Just the ones I think I’ll like, which is actually one of the ground rules. Don’t make things you don’t eat. Actually, a pretty good rule in general.

Soooo  – here’s my totally casual, breezey easy take of the recipe. If you want to fiddle with 1/4 teaspoon of some seasoning or another, go to Cook’s Illustrated.

SAUSAGE WITH GRAPES

oil for the bottom of the pan

1 package hot Italian sausage

1 large onion

seedless red grapes (1# or 3 cups or whatever uses them all up)

salt and pepper

1/4 cup dry white wine (since I had no wine in the house, I used an old 17th century trick of using 1/2 white wine vinegar + 1/2 water and a little sugar = wine (ish)): OR  2 Tablespoon water and 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sugar

a little oregano

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

perhaps another teaspoon or 2 of sugar

(a little chopped fresh mint)

12″ pan with a lid

  1. Cut the onion in half and slice thin.  Onion-Step-4-Version-4
  2. Cut the grapes in half lengthwise
  3. Heat a skim of oil in a 12 inch pan over medium heat. Sausages go in to brown, 2 stripes only, 5 minutes.
  4. Add all the sliced onions and all the halved grapes and 1/4 cup water to the pan with the sausages. PUT A LID ON IT.
  5. Let cook about 10 minutes at medium. Sausages should be 160° – 165° and grapes should have softened.
  6. Transfer the sausage out to a paper-towel lined plate – tent with foil  to keep warm.
  7. Turn the heat under the pan up to med-high. sat and pepper and spread the grape/onion mixture around the pan and cook without stirring until browned, 3-5 minutes.
  8. Start stirring about and continue cooking until the mixture browns and the grapes are definitely soft.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add the water/wine vinegar mixture (or the wine, if you have it). Sprinkle in some oregano.Scrape any lingering goodness from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to meld into the sauce.
  10. Taste. Adjust. I had to add a little more sugar because the grapes were THAT sour.
  11. Take off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar.
  12. Put the sausages on a serving platter, top with the sauce. Optional: sprinkle with chopped mint.
  13. Good over polenta (Great over polenta!) or over pasta. I intend to eat a leftover sausage with onion/grapes in a roll for lunch this week, and the thought of that seems pretty good, too.
This is the photo from the Cook's Illustrated website of the nearly finished dish.

This is the photo from the Cook’s Illustrated website of the nearly finished dish.

Another grape was a topic of conversation this week, too.

Goofy Grape.

goofy grape

Goofy Grape was part of the Funny Face Gang – a whole family of cyclamate sweetened drink of my childhood. Once the cyclamates were banned, they had plain ole sugar. And some of the more racist flavors were re-worked .

Funny face gang

Goofy Grape. Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry. Jolly Olly Orange. Freckled Face Strawberry. With-it Watermelon.

My brother still has his With-It Watermelon cup.

My brother still has his With-It Watermelon cup.

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Filed under Recipe, The 1960"s

A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup

It’s a coffee kind of day….

It’s National Coffee Ice Cream Day. Really.

and then there was a coffee making discussion on a Facebook group…which caused me to look up Arbuckle coffee and cowboy coffee before my second cup here….chuck-wagon-coffee

Then I learned that in Quebecois the cardboard sleeve that slips over the paper togo cups of coffee are called

 un manchon.

cafe-manchon-sleeveBut I digress……

When I was little coffee at home was made with a peculator

coffee-Perkulator

Oh, that distinctive sound…

Now the ancestral home is perfumed daily with Mr. Coffee

It beeps when it's done brewing and it beeps when it's done heating for the morning. But it makes coffee.

It beeps when it’s done brewing and it beeps when it’s done heating for the morning and all that beeping is a wee bit annoying. But it makes coffee.

I use a French press pot

I use a French press pot. No beeps.No music.

And now I’m at the coffee shop…kiskadee exteriorIt’s also the day, in 1620, that the Pilgrims departed England and eventually ended up here in Plymouth, on the street where I am RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

I’ve also been up to my eyeballs in Pilgrim food info, so my mind hasn’t been on food of this century…..

  • 17th century gingerbread recipes almost all call for bread – in the form of bread crumbs; but several do not call for ginger. Should you add it anyhow? Karen Hess has a theory (why don’t I ALWAYS read her first?)
  • So, so very very often the suggestions to keep meat from spoiling have to do with venison, and not other meats in 17th century sources…hmmmm – venison is different then other meats somehow….like it’s something you would hang on to, and not just gobble up because you were hungry. Perception, perception….
  • Repasts from the Past, where I’ll talk about bread and sops and Indian Pudding, at the Partnership of Historic Bostons on Friday September 18th at First Church Boston has tickets available
  • HardCore Hearth Cooking Workshop is ready to roll on Saturday September 19th at Plimoth Plantation- still time to join in the boiling/frying/roasting/baked goods fun with me
  • And…..it’s just the beginning of the Pilgrim and Thanksgiving food madness season. How did the Pilgrims ever do it without coffee?
Cream, please. No sugar, thank you

Cream, please. No sugar, thank you, I’m sweet enough the way God made me.

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Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

It’s the first of the month….

Three hares in the window  - drei hasen fenseter

Three hares in the window – drei hasen fenseter

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