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

 

 

 

Take Time to Look at the Past

Writing in the Historical Genre.

When I started writing it wasn’t hard for me to choose a genre.  As a young girl I loved reading Nancy Drew. Nancy was everything I wanted to be, smart, popular, and fearless. When I turned thirteen all that changed with a book I checked out from the bookmobile. It was called “The Distant Summer” by Sarah Patterson. Romance had taken hold of my page turning habits.  Boy meets girl just made my heart zing. In high school I found a new love, history. Putting my love of history together with romance just made my world complete.

My first novel is set during the American Revolution. With some help from a writing group; a brainstorming session created my hero and heroine. The historical facts took a bit longer. A lot of research goes into historical fiction writing.

There are many sources available to research a historic period. Books, the internet, libraries, and historical societies are all a wealth of information. This summer my husband and I went to Washington, D.C. for a short trip. About two hours south of that city in Virginia is  Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum. I fell in love with the place! Doing a research trip is totally worth it. I found so many interesting stories while doing my research. There are truly so many real characters who played instrumental roles in forging our country that adding  your interpretation of those historical characters to your novel can add a bit of authenticity.

Throw a dart at a map of our original thirteen colonies and land on a spot rich in history to use in your historical novel. You could choose any time period and do the same. Some of my favorite historical novels are not necessarily considered romantic. You can weave a historical tale without the romance. A character study of a type of historical figure like a spy during the American Revolution, or the Civil War, who happens to be a romantic is a great historical story.  The possibilities are endless.

I have learned through this writing journey to listen to the advice from those who have traveled this worn path. Save everything. Not that you need to become a hoarder mind you, but there may come a time when your historical facts need to be proved. Keeping track of your sources will make this less stressful. A notebook, or three ring binder for keeping documents and the ideas you’ve chicken-scratched on little bit of paper. I also keep a notebook on my nightstand, I can’t tell you how many times an idea will present itself while I lay in bed at night.

There is also a computer application called Scrivener which will allow you to keep all your sources, documents, notes, pictures, and your manuscript all in one place. It will even help you format your book. So, think about those days gone by, there just might a story there.

 

Take a page from the #past

 

Writing Prompt: You just found a diary in a dusty old trunk in your Grandmother’s attic. It tells a story of one of your long lost ancestors. Tell me about him/her and the time period they lived in.

3 Questions Wednesday with Ann H. Gabhart

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

This week’s guest is Ann H. Gabhart, bestselling author of over thirty novels, which include her popular Shaker series. Most of these novels are set in her home state of Kentucky. I love reading about her nature walks and “Shaker Wednesday,” on her author page and blog.

Welcome to the Inspired Prompt blog, Ann. First question—Can you describe yourself in three words?

Country. Storyteller. Blessed.

There’s something very endearing about these words. I think your stories reflect “blessed country storyteller”. Now, second question

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Oh wow, I think I should write a story about Hawaii, but hmm, I don’t know much about volcanoes and might not want to find out more firsthand. I could go to Scotland. Those Scottish heroes are always so handsome and manly. Or I could tour Texas. In a state that big I should be able to find enough story ideas to last me forever. But I really like writing stories with Kentucky history and settings. It would be a waste to take a fully paid research trip to Kentucky, but it might be fun. However, I feel like I need to go somewhere more exotic. So, I’m going to Australia. Maybe a ranch in Australia. Do they call them ranches? See, I need to do research. I do know Australia has some great history and if I go there I’ll find out about the climate and take hundreds of pictures and surely find a story somewhere. So, mates, let’s pack up and head for the Outback.

I love the way you think! And if you find yourself on a station in Australia, I’ve no doubt you’ll come back with a pouch-full of stories to tell! That brings us to question number three—

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

“I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”

But I really doubt anybody would ever want to make a movie of my life unless they wanted to market it as a sleep aide. I’m blessed that there wouldn’t be enough drama in my life to keep folks from yawning. Then again with a little fictional finesse most any life can be turned into an interesting saga, right? I did marry young and was a teenage mom. I grew up on a farm and was a farmwife. I’ve had lots of dog friends and some strange encounters with cows. Maybe I should focus on the dog theme and come up with another blockbuster, tearjerker dog story movie. With, of course, that fictional finesse to make everything just a bit more intriguing to the movie goer. 🙂

Perfect! I laughed out loud as I pictured strange encounters with cows. Most of our lives probably fall into this category, but who we really are and what means most to us in life could at least garner a good Hallmark movie. Thank you so much, Ann, for giving our readers a glimpse into your life.

Readers, Ann H. Gabhart has a new book releasing soon, so I asked her to tell us a little bit about the story:

The germ of the idea for River to Redemption came from a true story about the actions of a slave in Springfield, Kentucky during the 1833 cholera epidemic. Unaffected by the disease, he heroically took care of the sick and dug the graves to bury the fifty-five cholera victims. Years later, the town of Springfield rewarded his actions by buying his freedom. My story is a fictional imagining of how that might have happened and what kind of man Louis must have been.


River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart

One young woman must stand up for freedom—and perhaps find her own in the process.

Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions.

Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She’s determined to find a way to buy Louis’s freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she’ll need all of the courage and strength she possesses—and more.

ANN H. GABHART is the bestselling author of over thirty novels. Ann’s novels, including her popular Shaker series and her new release River to Redemption, have Kentucky backgrounds. Ann also writes about family life, love and sometimes mystery (as A.H. Gabhart).  She has three children and nine grandchildren and enjoys life out on her Kentucky farm. To find out more about Ann, visit www.annhgabhart.com or join the fun on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/anngabhart or Twitter @AnnHGabhart

Click to Tweet: 3 Questions Wednesday’s guest is Ann H. Gabhart, author of over thirty novels. Learn more about her and leave a comment for a chance to win a book via @InspiredPrompt. #author #interview

3 Questions Wednesday with Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky

Welcome to another edition of 3 Questions Wednesday.

When author Carrie Turansky isn’t writing, “…you will find me enjoying time with my family, working outside in my flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for family and friends, or walking around the lake near our home.” Originally from Oregon, she longs for the beautiful tall evergreens and pristine Cascade Mountains. We are especially blessed to have her here today, promoting her latest release, Across the Blue.

First question:

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Carrie: Creative, Family-focused, Christ-follower

I love that. These really pinpoint who you are. Here’s a fun question—

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Carrie: I’d love to take a research trip to Kent, England, and see all the places described in my latest historical novel, Across the Blue:  Canterbury Cathedral, The White Cliffs of Dover, Leeds Castle, St. Margaret’s Bay, and Brodsworth Hall.  Then I’d travel back to the Bristol area to visit Tyntesfield, the lovely manor house I had in mind when I wrote the Highland Hall novels. And last, I’d take the train up to Northumberland where Shine Like the Dawn is set. That would be an amazing trip!

What a great trip that would be—to see the places you’ve written about, and then compare what you see with what you’ve imagined. You’d want to come home and write more stories about the trip you made. Last question—

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Carrie: Find Us Faithful

That’s a beautiful song with a phrase we hope to hear when it’s all said and done. Click to listen and read the lyrics: Find Us Faithful. Thanks, Carrie, for visiting us at 3 Questions Wednesday, and allowing our readers to know you better.

carrie-turansky-is-giving-away-a-print-copy-of.png

Across the Blue

Love soars to new heights in this Edwardian romance filled with adventure, faith, and inspiration, but how much will it cost Bella and James to follow their dreams?

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to be the first to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to win that race across the Channel and gain the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

What do you hope readers will take away from Across the Blue?

I hope readers will be swept away to 1909 England and be inspired to follow their dreams as James and Bella do in Across the Blue. But I also hope they will see how important it is to count the cost and make sure they’re following the Lord’s leading in their lives. Honesty builds a strong foundation for healthy relationships, but deception and secrets pull people apart. And finally, I hope readers will be inspired by the creativity and determination of those early aviation pioneers, and appreciate the miracle of flight.

Click to Tweet: Author Carrie Turansky answers our 3 Questions and you could win a copy of her latest release, Across the Blue via @InspiredPrompt  @carrieturansky #Interview #giveaway


Carrie Turansky has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of nineteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and five grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends through her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Website: http://carrieturansky.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carrieturansky

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/boards/

Twenty Years of Grandma Status

by Betty Thomason Owens

Bill Clinton was the POTUS in 1997.

In China, they slaughtered 1.25 million chickens due to the bird flu. Tony Blair was Prime Minister in the UK, and Princess Diana was killed in a car crash.

For me, the fall of 1997 launched a new era, as I became a grandmother for the first time. My granddaughter was two when she called me grandma, and I thought that was truly the most beautiful title in the world.

The next two decades would bring five more granddaughters and two grandsons into the family. The first time they call me grandma still warms my heart.

Another life-changing event happened in the last twenty years. I began my publishing journey. I never set out to write books. If someone had told me I’d one day be an author, I would’ve laughed. Uproariously.

If the publishing industry had remained as it was two or three decades back, I may not be a published author today. I started out as an Indie writer.

Kindle and the entire e-book industry changed the publishing world—turned it upside down. Publishing exploded, as it became more accessible to the average, or not-so-average writer. It became a race. Some authors tried to write really fast to keep up with their readers’ demands. The more they wrote, the more they sold. Write fast. Sell ‘em while they’re hot.

But not everyone. Those were mostly romance writers. I started out writing inspirational fantasy adventure. They sold, but not like romance. Romance sells like IHOP pancakes. Stacks and stacks. All you can eat. Really good romance, mixed with suspense, will fly off the e-shelves.

Well, I’ve swerved off the twenty-year topic here. You can see what an intriguing subject Indie publishing is.

So, back to me, and my journey. After publishing those two fantasy books, my historical fiction novel was picked up by a small publisher. Then I sold another historical fiction to the same publisher, so I now have two series going on. Currently, I’m finishing up the first series, book number seven for me. I have almost as many books as grandchildren.

The name “author” feels pretty good. “Published author” sounds even better, and “award-winning author” (thank you, Grace Awards), is the thrill of a lifetime. But I think the name Grandma is still my personal favorite. Listing published book titles is fun, and claiming an award is a great honor, but naming all my grands and trying to remember their ages is the most fun of all. And perhaps the greatest challenge.

CLICK TO TWEET: Grandma and published #author: both are titles I’ve earned in the last #20years.

Writing Prompt: Take a look at the picture below. What comes to mind? Does it inspire you? Write a caption, or start a story, using this photo as inspiration.

Save

Save