This year will soon be gone. Yep, in just a few short
hours, 2015 will slide into the history books. And so
I thought I’d write up one last post before it goes!
The Israel Crane House was again part of the annual
Essex County (NJ) Historic Holiday House Tour, which
took place the weekend of December 5 and 6. Of course,
I was busy in the Crane kitchen, where
visitors were welcomed with a variety
of foods to sample. The spread featured
the usual suspects: Gingerbread Cakes;
Pounded Cheese (with crackers); and
Shrewsbury Cakes. Newly-added were
Chocolate Drops. As in previous years,
we offered hot spiced cider, dried apple
slices, a ham, chestnuts, candied orange
peels, and more. No one left hungry, that’s for sure!
I always look forward to this annual event, and this year
was no exception. The best part (besides the yummy food!)
is all the lively, in-depth conversations I have with those
who stop by the kitchen to see “what’s cooking.” It’s never
a dull moment. I have fun every year. I trust the visitors
do, too! HUZZAH!
Welcome to the Crane kitchen. Come on in!
Our spread of goodies:
New for 2015 were these tasty Chocolate Drops:
I prepared and cooked a dish each day, as well. First I made
a “Squash Pudding” (Saturday) and then a “Tart of the Ananas,
or Pine-Apple” (Sunday).
Both were baked in the bake kettle:
the Squash Pudding:
the Pine-Apple Tart:
Our spiced cider heated up over the fire each day:
Also new this season was a sweetmeat I saw Stephen Schmidt,
a fellow member of Culinary Historians of New York (CHNY),
make during the “Eating Through Time” symposium held this
past fall at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). As he
did, I followed the “To Make White Marmalet of Quinces” receipt
from Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery (circa 1550-1625).
Here is a portion of one of two batches I made:
I was also busy hearth-side on December 15 for “Family Fun
Day,” when I made oodles of “Dough Nuts,” all in accordance
with a receipt in Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and
Sweetmeats (1828), by Eliza Leslie. We had more hot spiced
cider, as well.
Little nut-sized balls of dough ready to be boiled:
the fire doing its magic with our Dough Nuts and our cider:
TA-DA! our Dough Nuts! YUM!
All in all, we had lots of good eats at The Israel Crane House
this year. Here’s to another fantastic and tasty year of cooking
over an open fire in 2016! HUZZAH!
Happy New Year to one and all!