It was cloudy all day this past Thursday,
and rain seemed imminent. Indeed, it was,
for it sprinkled off and on, now and then,
and steady was the word by about 4:45.
It eventually tapered off, however, and
so, despite a smaller group than normal,
the Fireside Feasts program at Wyckoff
went on as planned.
We started off with an annual favorite, Mary Randolph’s “To Scollop
Tomatos.,” from her book The Virginia Housewife (1824).
Take several juicy specimens:
peel, slice, and layer in a pan, with grated bread, salt, and pepper:
and bake; better get a plateful early, as it disappears quickly:
Next, another frequently-requested dish, Raffald’s* “To Boil Parsnips.”:
cooked and cut up into pieces:
“beat them in a bowl” (one-handed mashing, no less!):
cream and butter are added, then back on the fire:
and lastly, salamongundy, the 18th century (and earlier; I found
a similar receipt from 1596) forerunner of today’s Caesar Salad,
courtesy of Hannah Glasse:**
some of the ingredients to be heaped on top, including (clockwise)
minced egg yolks, cut anchovies, and slices of chicken:
and boiled onions:
Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the finished salad. dagnabit.
When you’re busy instructing folks, fielding questions, cooking,
and tending the fire, it can be difficult to remember to grab
the camera and shoot. Oh well, at least I have these to share!
OH! And we made toast, again. We’d made sippets (toasted bread,
cut into pieces, oftentimes triangles) at the “soups” session a few
weeks back, and it was a HUGE hit. Everyone was just fascinated
with the process and the toasting equipment. So we did the same
There is simply nothing like bread toasted at an open fire. The two
loaves I brought were gone in no time!
Yes, we saw a drop or two (or more) of rain on Thursday,
but it certainly didn’t hamper our collective desire for a little
open-fire cooking. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed some tasty
“Garden Goodies.” HUZZAH!
*Elizabeth Raffald: The Experienced English Housekeeper (1769)
**Hannah Glasse: The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy (1747)
For the receipts (recipes) we used, be sure to check under “Fireside Feasts”
on the “Receipts” page. Update: They’re posted! (8/15)