Cooking in the 18th Century

 By Sheila Ingle           

My visiting of historical sites in SC, especially the outdoor kitchens, has given me a renewed appreciation for my modern kitchen.

Perhaps you have seen the large cast iron skillets and pots hanging over the coals; a large three-pronged trivet holds one of the pots off the coals. Others hang on large iron swinging crane. Close by are long utensils, like ladles, spoons, knives, tongs, and slotted ladles.

Do you remember the children’s rhyme?

“Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old; Some like it hot, some like it cold, Some like it in the pot, nine days old.”

Often a stew or soup would cook for days. Adding more vegetables and water made it last.

Empty?! You took all the cookies!
They were crying to get out of the jar… Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know! ― Charles M. Schulz

I like to bake, and cookies are some of my favorites. During this Revolutionary War period in our history, cookies were called cakes. Mothers passed down good receipts, we call them recipes, to their daughters. Ant there were a few cookbooks available.

In The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, 1747, by Hannah Glasse, this recipe is entitled “Another Sort of Little Cakes.”

A pound of flour, and half a pound of sugar, beat half a pound of butter with your hand, and mix them well together, bake it in little cakes.

3 1/2 Cups flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 lb butter

Blend butter and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add flour till it turns into large crumbs.   Press into pan.  Bake 30 minutes then score to the size of pieces you wish.

An earlier version of “Another Sort of Little Cakes” is in The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, published in 1758.

Take a pound of flour and a pound of butter, rub the butter into the flour; two spoonfuls of yeast and two eggs, make it up into a paste; slick white paper; roll your paste out the thickness of a crown; cut them out with the top of a tin canister; sift fine sugar over them, and lay them on the slick’d paper; bake them after tarts an hour.

Originally published in London in 1727, The Compleat Housewife was the first cookbook printed in the United States. William Parks, a Virginia printer, printed and sold the cookbook believing there would be a strong market for it among Virginia housewives who wanted to keep up with the latest London fashions—the book was a best-seller there.

Perhaps her use of the word “compleat” in her title can be found in her words on the title page.

“Being a collection of several hundred approved receipts, in cookery, pastry, confectionery, preserving, pickles, cakes, creams, jellies, made wines, cordials. And also bills of fare for every month of the year. To which is added, a collection of nearly two hundred family receipts of medicines; viz. drinks, syrups, salves, ointments, and many other things of sovereign and approved efficacy in most distempers, pains, aches, wounds, sores, etc. never before made publick in these parts; fit either for private families, or such public-spirited gentlewomen as would be beneficent to their poor neighbours.” (Believe it or not, you can order a copy of this historical jewel on Amazon.)

Since fall is almost here, I start thinking of gingerbread. I love the smell of it baking. The whole house announces cooler weather is here.

Looking again at Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Simple, here is her version.

Take three pounds of flour, one pound of sugar, one pound of butter rubbed in very fine, two ounces of ginger beat fine, one large nutmeg grated, then take a pound of treacle, a quarter of a pint of cream, make them warm together, and make up the bread stiff; roll it out, and make it up into thin cakes, cut them out with a teacup, or small glass; or roll them out like nuts, and bake them on tin plates in a slack oven.

And if you would like to watch a video on making gingerbread in the 18th century, this little girl is precious. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Z2qwyHcPo

On this cloudy Saturday morning, I am going to make some oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. It is that kind of day.

I believe Cookie Monster said it well. “Home is where heart is. Heart where cookie is. Math is clear: Home is cookie.”

Click-to-Tweet: “Take three pounds of flour, one pound of sugar, one pound of butter rubbed in very fine…” –an 18th century receipt (recipe). @sheilaingle1 talks about baking “cakes” via @InspiredPrompt


Sheila C. Ingle

A graduate of Converse College with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Sheila Ingle is a lifelong resident of S.C.

Her published books, Courageous Kate, Fearless Martha, Brave Elizabeth, and Walking with Eliza focus on the bravery of Patriot women living in Revolutionary War South Carolina. Tales of a Cosmic Possum, not only shares Ingle family history, but also South Carolina and cotton mill history.

Serving on the board for eight years of Children’s Security Blanket (a 5013c) organization that serves families that have children with cancer; she is the Board Chairman. She is also a member of Chapter D PEO, where she served as vice president and chaplain; Circle 555(a local women’s giving group), where she has served on the grant committee; and a board member of Spartanburg County Historical Association, serving on the Walnut Grove Committee.

Sheila is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Colonists, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, and Magna Carta Dames and Barons.

Married for forty years to John Ingle, they have one son Scott. Besides being avid readers, the South Carolina beaches are their favorite spots for vacations.

www.sheilaingle.com

Twitter: @sheilaingle1

Facebook: Sheila Ingle, Author

 

 

 

Easy Beef Stew

Good morning, dear reader. How’s that writing project coming along? Have enough time in your day? I think we’d all agree we could use less time in the kitchen and more time for writing. Let’s get started.

 

One of my favorite things to do, especially during the winter months, is throw something in the crock pot and cook it all day. It’s amazing what you can come up with by adding a little of this and a whole lot of that.

Here’s a picture of my upcoming recipe. Nothing like a warm bowl to wrap your hands around to ease your worries and comfort your soul. Let’s get right to the recipe

Ingredients

kristian-ryan-alimon-683430-unsplash2 ½ lb. Beef Chuck Roast
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
4 medium potatoes quartered
4 large carrots
Salt and pepper to taste
Your choice of herbs

Instructions

Cut all vegetables into large chunks. Add roast and vegetables to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with homemade biscuits.

Hope you enjoy the recipe. Happy writing!

Click to Tweet: Need more time for #writing? Easy #recipes for busy writers this month on Inspired Prompt. @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson87

Writing Prompt

Patsy rushed through the door. She was home and her manuscript was waiting. Only one problem. Dinner. She opened the fridge to find only three ingredients . . .

Second photo courtesy Unsplash

3 Questions Wednesday with Ann Gabhart

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes best-selling author, Ann Gabhart! Thanks for taking time to join us.

First question:
Who is your favorite author?

Ann: Picking a favorite author for me is as hard as picking a favorite book. I have many favorites. I might once have said James Michener when I was devouring his long history filled novels. At a different time, I would have said Chaim Potok for the way his characters came so to life in his books The Promise and The Chosen that I hoped to somehow make my own characters leap off the page in the same way. But now, I would say all the wonderful Christian authors I’ve met since I began publishing Christian fiction. This is not only because of their lovely stories but because through the bond of Christian faith and fiction, we’ve become friends.

You’re correct, so many great authors to choose from, but we’re always glad to support those who are brothers and sisters in Christ.  Next question…

 If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Ann: I do feel as though I’ve already written about what I want to write about. Not once but several times. At one time in my writing life, I went through a long stretch of rejections. I was writing but my stories weren’t finding any loving editors. I tried this idea and then another. Finally, I decided not to worry about potential markets or agreeable editors and instead write the story I wanted to write. That story turned out to be Scent of Lilacs, and it did find a loving editor and even better brought me into the world of Christian fiction. I’ve been here ever since writing what I most want to write about each time I put my fingers on my keyboard and type Chapter One. That’s not to say the writing is always easy, but most of the stories have been exactly those stories I wanted to write. For the future, I do have a few glimmering ideas that I hope someday to develop into novels. I’d like to write another book about my Rosey Corner characters and I’d like to write one more Hidden Springs mystery.

Sounds great. Last question:

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Ann: An interesting question. It’s making me think. I’ve created so many different characters. I might say Jocie from Hollyhill, but I do spend time with her when I let her write posts for her Heart of Hollyhill blog. Or I could say Kate from the Rosey Corner books since I modeled her attitude and personality after how I thought my mother would have been at the age of fourteen. But the question says book, not books. So I’m guessing you mean which character from my most recent release, The Refuge. The character I would choose from that book might surprise you. I’d choose Eldress Maria, the Shaker in the book who did her best to convince my main character, Darcie, to commit to the Shaker way. I would like to listen to her reasons for being a lifelong Shaker and hear stories of her life there. I can only imagine how nice it would to be taken on a tour by a true Shaker of her village in the 1800’s when the village was at its peak of membership and interest. I’d be able to tour the houses and workshops where the Shakers would be industriously following their saying of “Hands to Work and Hearts to God.” I could sit in on their worship service and hear their songs and the sound of their feet in the meeting house as they “exercised” their dances. They’d invite me to dinner and I could enjoy their delicious fare. At the end of the day, I would leave still thinking they were wrong in much of what they believed, but I would be glad to have had the chance to see in person the Shaker way for that one day.

It would be fun to be transported back in time to truly experience our characters’ lives. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: At one time in my writing life, I went through a long stretch of rejections. I was writing but my stories weren’t finding any loving editors. I tried this idea and then another. Finally, I decided not to worry about potential markets or agreeable editors and instead write the story I wanted to write.

Ann Gabhart is offering to give away a book! Comment on this post that you would like to be included in the drawing and any other comment. We will draw a name on Sunday, September 22nd. 


The Refuge
Can the power of love and the bond of family triumph in a community that cannot accept either? With the threat of a cholera epidemic at their heels, Darcie and Walter Goodwin join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be temporary, but when Walter is killed in a riverboat accident, destitute Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique—and lonely—position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness?

Ann’s books are available on her website, www.AnnHGabhart.com, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, and Amazon


Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, including River to Redemption, the 2019 Selah Historical Book of Year. For her latest release, The Refuge, she returns to her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill where all her popular Shaker novels have been set. She also writes about family life, love and mystery in small towns like the Kentucky town, Lawrenceburg, where she grew up. Her Hidden Springs mysteries are published under the author name, A. H. Gabhart. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren and still enjoy country life on a farm near that small town. To find out more about Ann’s books or to read her blog, visit www.annhgabhart.com. You can also join the conversation on her Facebook page,  www.facebook.com/anngabhart.

A New Twist on a Down-home Dish

My mother’s family is from Eastern Kentucky. She was born and raised there. Appalachia is known for  the food traditions of area families. One staple at every meal was gravy based on the meat being served; my favorite being breakfast with sausage gravy over biscuits and eggs. Yum, yum.

Our summer visits to Prestonsburg, Kentucky meant Mamaw would have cupcakes made and that the extended family would get together for a meal. Cousins, aunts, uncles would come together on the Saturday afternoon after having spent the morning in the kitchen cooking. I can still smell the chicken-flavored air in Mamaw’s small house; the kind you walked through the living room, a bedroom, and a sitting room to get to the kitchen. The air was thick with it.

The horseshoe tournament would ensue while the women put out the meal. In addition to golden-fried chicken, gravy (of course), and potato salad, we would have coleslaw.

Like other dishes, as a child I didn’t like coleslaw, but as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to enjoy it. But only made the way Mamaw made it. Not an easy thing to duplicate. Several years ago, when I ordered a buffalo chicken meal at Buckheads Grill here in Louisville, they offered blue cheese coleslaw. A twist on a recipe I could never duplicate from Mamaw’s house. I gave it a try and absolutely loved it! The blue cheese gave it a new zing that gave me the freedom to enjoy coleslaw without comparing to Mamaw’s.

To make it at home I combined the recipe I found on Allrecipes with some down-home improvising. Give it a try:

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14 oz. bag of Classic Coleslaw (gone are the days of buying cabbage and carrots just to shred)
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup of blue cheese dressing
  • ½ cup blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice*
  • Touch of sugar*
  • *add to taste

Mix bag of Classic Coleslaw in large bowl with other ingredients. Do it just like Ma-maw, with your bare hands. Hum a little song, add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes and serve. Enjoyed best with the ones you love, laughing and swappin’ stories. Fodder for any writer.


Writing prompt: What meal transports you to another time and place? Write a scene to include the meal. Who’s sitting at the table? Who’s the cook?


Click to tweet: The blue cheese gave it a new zing that gave me the freedom to enjoy coleslaw without comparing to Mamaw’s.

The Incredible, Edible — Frittata?

By Kristy Horine

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is such a thing as a frittata. And, yes, it is edible. (Unless you horribly burn it while you get caught up on the latest and greatest post from the Inspired Prompt Crew, and then it isn’t. Edible, that is.)

As a writer, wife, homeschooling mom, chicken keeper, pet wrangler, ministry do-er, I find I have a lot on my plate. I also find that if my family wants a lot on their plates at the end of the day, I need to get creative with food.

Easily creative.

Thus, the frittata.

Piping Hot

The frittata seems to be an Italian dish that includes eggs. Since I am a chicken keeper, eggs are abundant. Since I am busy, ANYTHING that is edible is a candidate for inclusion in said frittata.

The following pics will take you from chopped up veggies, to a plated product.

  1. Preheat oven to 350. I use a cast iron skillet (8 inch) and throw it in the oven to preheat, too. (DO NOT spray or oil before throwing skillet in oven. Smoke. Alarms. Chaos. It’s bad. We are going for simple here.)
  2. Choose your ingredients. Since we are going for edible, I choose meats and veggies my family will actually eat. Some suggestions include: broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, squash, bacon, diced ham, chicken. If your veggies or meat choices are especially wet – like the tomatoes or spinach if you use the frozen kind – dry, drain, or seed them. Nobody likes a soggy frittata. If you get to Friday or Saturday and have a few pieces of this, or a cup full of that, throw it in the frittata. Here, I have included squash, zucchini, and green and red tomatoes. (This is the end of the harvest season ingredient list!) Veggies
  3. Whip eggs and cream or milk. The number of eggs depends on the size of your pan AND how many ingredients you include. If you find you whip up too many eggs and your pan is about to overflow, scramble the remaining eggs to give to your picky five year old who refuses to eat anything that she cannot identify, and most things that she can identify for that matter. (Apparently our version of ‘whole food’ means segregated food) eggs and cream

4. Remove HOT pan from oven. (NOTE TO SELF: Use oven mit that was not accidentally laid down in a wet spot on counter!) Spray with cooking oil or run a stick of butter around sides and bottom of pan until coated. Toss in ingredients, pour egg mixture over top, sprinkle with your fav cheese.

5. Bake until center is set and cheese has turned a golden brown – about 30 minutes. I usually bake on a cookie sheet to avoid overflow messes. Do not panic if product rises in pan, but then deflates slightly when taken out of oven. This is normal. Piping Hot

6. Allow to cool in pan for about ten minutes. Plate and serve! (I serve with a slice of homemade sourdough bread, and sometimes a salad, depending on the number of veggies already in the frittata.) Plated

Welcome to frittata bliss!

The Incredible, Edible — Frittata via @InspiredPrompt and @Kwriteone. If my family wants a lot on their plates…I need to get creative with food. #cooking #FridayThoughts [Click-to-Tweet]


Writing Prompt: You’ve invited the new preacher and his wife over for dinner. They will arrive in ONE HOUR. You planned a frittata feast, but when you pull the egg carton out of the fridge, it is strangely light. Much to your distress, you find the carton contains only two eggs, thanks to your teenage son. You make him march straight to the neighbor’s house, carton in hand, to beg for eggs. He returns, white-faced and stuttering. What in the world just happened?