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 11, 2017
Monday, December 4, 2017
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
Monday, November 20, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
Monday, October 23, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
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
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
Monday, September 25, 2017
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
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
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
Monday, August 28, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
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
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
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
Monday, July 24, 2017
Two poems in a children's book from 1880. In the first poem, the little girl is "plucking the raisins so rich" from her [Queen Cakes?] "cake that is flavoured with spice." In the second poem - the children asked “If you please, Mrs. Grumpy, we’d like lemonade, and sweet sugar candy with almonds inlaid.”
Monday, July 17, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
Monday, June 26, 2017
Richard Bradley's 1727 cookbook had several fake/mock crabs using liver or chicken & potatoes, anchovy liquor, lemon and placed in cleaned crab shells. In the 1870s cheese became a primary ingredient for mock crabs.
Monday, June 12, 2017
"Wading half an inch deeper than the tops of your boots, and finding afterwards that you must carry about with you four or five quarts [of water] in each, or must sit down on the wet grass whilst your attendant pulls them off, in order that you may empty them, and try to pull them on again."
Monday, June 5, 2017
Monday, May 29, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
"Why does the old lady knock with her key on a frying-pan?" Bees swarm when the hives "be too much crowded by the young brood" and the weather warms in late April or May. To settle/calm the bees into an empty hive people would beat a kettle, pan or ring a little bell. Perhaps to sound like thunder or it was done to claim ownership of the swarm.
Monday, May 1, 2017
The company, still in business, still sells the famed Bourbon Balls it created in 1938.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Not the great showman P. T. Barnum, but H. L. Barnum (another of the vast Conn. family), lived in Cincinnati in 1831 when he compiled the 400 page Family Receipts, including an egg and boiling tea substitute for milk.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Hot Cross Buns stored for a year? Cornish folklore- "In some of our farmhouses the Good Friday cake may be seen hanging to the bacon-rack, slowly diminishing..." Poor Robin's Almanack of 1753 noted it would not get moldy and was used to cure illnesses in humans and farm animals.
Monday, April 3, 2017
It is very interesting, to those of us raised accepting a bunny delivered Easter eggs, that writers outside of Germany and the German areas of the US were perplexed by the tradition. And surprised by the egg hunt. The following excerpts and sketches from an 1878 article also show the range of chocolate or sugared figures far exceed our chocolate bunnies and eggs...
Monday, March 27, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
"Persons can do few more silly or injurious things than to sprinkle salt upon snow before their doors. The result is to change dry snow or ice at the temperature of 32°, to brine at 0°. So low a temperature affecting the feet of passengers is a prolific source of colds. If, then, any one does sprinkle salt upon snow in the street, he ought to feel it a matter of conscience to sweep it away immediately."
Monday, March 6, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
The following excerpt from 1827 describes "the incessant bawling of" street vendors to the annoyance of those "who have not the happiness to be deaf." From the "muffin man's little bell," the bakers barking dogs, to a "stentorian bawler" for beer bottles until "the characters thicken, and tenfold cries distract the worried ear."
Monday, February 13, 2017
The little dogs under the cart to the left, did not pull the cart, but would protect the contents by wildly barking while the baker delivered his bread. The image is by the British artist WH Pyne, 1827 and the write up below about terriers in New York is from an 1872 magazine.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Cooking beef on a string. Steuben's "cook of celebrity" couldn't prepare their ration of beef and bread without utensils. He asked their 'wagoner" how to cook the meat and was told "by hanging it up by a string, and turning it before a good fire..."
Monday, January 23, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Cooking and heating needed fuel... and it was very labor intensive for the poor. "In the depth of snow" women and children dragged hacked up stumps, branches or anything the "wood police" allowed.
Monday, January 9, 2017
Monday, January 2, 2017
This year there are conferences/symposiums in Leeds and Oxford, UK; Oxford, Miss; France; Amsterdam. A new exhibit using Getty Institute images "The Edible Monument" is being held in Detroit. For food history in Pennsylvania, an upcoming special issue on food.