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

 

 

 

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 Right Recipe for the Write Day

Welcome to September! We’ve planned a fun month at Inspired Prompt and would like to invite you along as our crew and friends talk about cooking and share some of their favorite easy recipes.

Writers need EASY recipes, right? Many authors juggle full-time jobs with childrearing and other things like conferences, meetings, church, and sports. Sometimes writing is delegated to the level of “spare time” activities.

A treasure-trove of easy recipes can be a lifesaver. I love using my crockpot, especially in winter when soups and stews are favorites in my home. But in summer, I prefer something quick, like stir-fried meals. Okay, I didn’t plan ahead enough to put something in the crockpot, so I’m scanning my larder for something simple, that doesn’t take long to cook. One of my favorites requires only a few minutes and is a big palate pleaser—Korean beef and rice.

You can find easy recipes for the ground beef-based meal on Pinterest. As usual, I’ve made a few changes to mine, incorporating personal preferences. One thing to keep in mind, this recipe does call for sugar. Of course, you can substitute a natural product like stevia and use brown rice to increase the fiber.

And if you don’t really like the taste of sesame oil, you can substitute olive oil or even coconut oil, but be aware that it will no longer be “Korean” beef. You can rename it Luau Beef if you use coconut oil, or Roma Beef if you’re using EVOO. I’m kidding, of course. Whatever you call it, it’s yummy.

This meal can be prepared in advance and even stored in individual microwavable bowls. If you add edamame, steamed carrots or other veggies, and fresh berries, you can call it a power bowl. 😊

Here’s the recipe:

Korean Beef Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
¼ – ½ cup brown sugar (I use ¼ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. molasses because I love the taste)
¼ cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
½ tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove minced garlic
½ to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Green onions to garnish

  1. Heat skillet. Add sesame oil and brown meat with garlic until meat is done. Drain excess oil/fat.
  2. Add brown sugar (and molasses if using), soy sauce, ginger, red pepper (if using), salt and pepper to taste. Simmer a few minutes, stirring often. Don’t allow it to dry out. If it seems too dry, add a little water or broth (by spoonsful so you don’t overdo it). Serve over rice and garnish with chopped green onions.

I add steamed carrots or broccoli to make this a complete meal. Buy a bag of frozen veggies, prepare, and serve over the beef and rice, or prepare in a bowl as stated above for a neat power bowl.

Other substitutions: you can dice up regular onions (red, white, or yellow) to garnish if you don’t have green onions.

Sometimes, the rice is the most difficult part of this dish! Make it super simple by using instant rice.

What’s your favorite easy recipe? I hope you’ll find several to add to your regular menu rotation as our writers share theirs. We’ll be here every Monday and Friday with a new post and as always, you’re invited to add yours in the comment section.

Welcome to September! We’ve planned a fun month at Inspired Prompt and would like to invite you along as our crew and friends talk about cooking and share some of their favorite easy recipes. — You can Tweet this!

Writing Prompt: It’s almost five in the evening. Marie’s boss and her husband would arrive at seven. She has some frozen chicken breasts in the freezer and a few lonely veggies in the fridge, a box of angel hair pasta in the pantry. What can she do?

Thanksgiving Cheeseball

by Harriet E. Michael

Thanksgiving! So many thoughts come to mind with that word—pilgrims, Indians, harvest, fields of cornstalks against a blue sky, frost on the pumpkins, crunchy leaves, crisp air—and of course, food!thanksgiving-pic

Others are writing about various Thanksgiving food items, but I wanted to add one of my favorite side dishes, or perhaps it might be served as an hors d’oeuvre .

I found this recipe a few years ago, and fell in love with both the taste and the appearance of it. I have made it every year since and I also serve it at Thanksgiving related functions. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Turkey Cheeseball*

2 pkgs. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (about 8 oz.)
¼ cup buttermilk
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/3 tsp minced red pepper
2 scallions, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs chopped fresh dill

Garnishes

Cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, sugar snap peas, apples or other fruits or vegetables arranged to look like a turkey tail, beak, and legs. 2 cloves for eyes (see picture)

  • Line 6” diameter bowl with enough plastic wrap to overhang the sides by 4” In a separate bowl, on medium-low speed, beat cream cheese, buttermilk, lemon juice. Worcestershire, paprika, garlic salt, and pepper until blended. With a spoon, stir in red peppers, scallions, parsley, and dill. Spoon into lined bowl. Cover with overhanging wrap; refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • Garnish to look like a turkey. (see picture)cheese-ball-2
*Recipe reprinted from Woman's World magazine, 12/2/2013 issue.

Writing Prompt: Give one of your favorite Thanksgiving foods or decorating ideas.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

An Alabama-Inspired Thanksgiving

img_20141012_173651690By Jennifer Hallmark

Thanksgiving Day will soon arrive. I’ll wake early, eat a bowl of Cheerios and savor my morning cup of tea. As I hold the steaming mug, I’ll find comfort in its warmth and the sweetness of the honey-laced liquid inside. But only for a moment. Soon, thirty to forty people will crowd inside our home and there’s still much to do.

I’ll prepare part of the food on Wednesday. It releases some of the stress and flurry from this day and gives me more time to relax, be thankful, and maybe watch part of the early football game. But this morning, we’ll finish cooking. The savory smell of baked turkey permeates the air. It will soon be joined by cornbread dressing, pinto beans, sweet potato casserole, and yeast rolls. My husband, Danny, always makes the dressing, a recipe passed down from his mother. I scurry and pour the sweet tea in our three-gallon beverage dispenser. I’ll make a gallon of unsweetened tea but hardly anyone will drink it with the well-sugared kind around. We work as a team, making sure everything is just right.

thanksgiving-231781_960_720Around noon, we usually finish the last-second tasks and sit for a moment to eat a turkey sandwich. Around two o’clock in the afternoon, my husband and I will open our home to a hodgepodge of family, friends, and a few others who have nowhere to go. Everyone is welcome at our annual Thanksgiving feast.

By one o’clock, a few of the family has already arrived. Danny’s sister will open the front door and shout, “knock-knock” and I know the fun has begun. Each person arrives with different delectable dishes of food and we arrange them the best we can on the kitchen counters and stove top.

Football is still on the television but no one’s really watching as people drift from room to room. Handshakes and hugs abound as many catch up on old times. The garage doors have been shut and the space has been transformed into a dining room/fellowship hall. Large tables are set up for the adults. A special kids table, complete with coloring books and crayons sits by its side.

Mamaw Avon’s Pink StuffAt the appointed time, we all squeeze into the kitchen where my son or daughter will welcome everyone. One of the grandchildren will say “grace” before the long line forms to tackle the cafeteria-style selection of meats, vegetables, and casseroles that take up every inch of available space on the counters. Everyone loads their Chinet plates to the brim, grabs the plastic flatware and napkins and hunts a place to sit.

In the garage, large tables of sweet delights line one wall and hold twenty or more desserts, many new recipes that someone wanted to test on the crowd. Last year, I tried two pie recipes but neither turned out. I was teased over my pie “soup”. This year, I’ll stick with a cake and maybe some cookies. 🙂

800px-Pumpkin_Pie

Not my pie…

Before the afternoon is over, everyone will have eaten more than enough and recipes will have been swapped. Some will be scouring the day’s newspaper, planning to brave the crowds and start their Christmas shopping later in the evening. As a few linger behind to help me and Danny clean up, my heart swells with gratitude. I wouldn’t trade our Thanksgiving for anything.

For the next few days, we’ll munch on leftovers and when we warm our plate in the microwave, the fragrance of Thanksgiving will return. I’ll sit in the recliner and sip another cup of tea, content.

And thankful.


Someone usually makes a macaroni casserole at Thanksgiving. Here’s the recipe for you to try…

Macaroni Casserole

8 oz. package elbow noodles
1 jar chopped pimentos, drained and dried
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained and dried
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. Kraft American Cheese, grated (set one cup aside)
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped onion

Cook noodles; drain and place in large bowl. Grate cheese and set aside 1 cup. Stir together noodles, pimentos, mushrooms, soup, cheese (minus the cup), mayonnaise and onion. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over top. Bake 10 more minutes.


Writing Prompt: I pulled the spice cake from the oven. The aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon flowed through the house and set my stomach to rumbling. As I started to carry the heavenly confection across the kitchen…

Happy_Thanksgiving_sign


Jennifer Hallmark writes southern fiction and fantasy. Jennifer’s website and blog she co-founded focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers.

Save