I know, I know. Believe me, I KNOW! Nearly two weeks ago,
on New Year’s Day, I wrote:
I promise to get back to writing
here more often!
Yeah, sure, you bet! dagnabit. Guess I should’ve just stuck
with “Happy New Year” and been done with it! Alas, I didn’t.
It’s pretty amazing, though: take some time off from writing,
and suddenly a couple of days becomes several weeks. Like
I said, dagnabit!
So…enough of that. Time to get moving! Okay, think I’ll start
with my historic cooking activities back in December. Naturally,
I was incredibly busy at the hearth of the Israel Crane House.
Two main events were the month’s first Sunday (Dec. 4) and
then the annual two-day Essex County (NJ) Holiday Historical
Houses Tour (Dec. 10 & 11).
First up, that Sunday. Now, if I could remember what I did….
Har! Har! Just kidding. I brewed hot spiced cider, cooked up
apples ‘n sausages, and baked a cornbread. Oh, and I hung
cut squash near the apples (from weeks earlier) on the mantel
to dry AND merrily showed off the pumpkin I’d dried at home.
Visitors were constantly coming and going the entire time, and
I had a blast chatting with them all. HUZZAH!
Spiced cider set to brew:
Cornbread’s prepped and ready:
It’s a-bakin’ on the hearth:
Interestingly, even though my cornbread was quite tasty, and
it disappeared in no time, it also crumbled far too easily. So as
I served pieces to more and more visitors, I wracked my brain,
trying to figure out what’d gone wrong. Why was it so crumbly?
Then suddenly, it hit me! With all the hustle ‘n bustle, mixing up
the batter, talking to this ‘n that person and then another, I’d
completely forgotten to add the egg! Which means there was
nothing to bind it all together. dagnabit. Yep, even I make one
or two goofball mistakes now and then. HUZZAH! Oh, wait, no,
that’s not the word, um…what? Oh, never mind. Onward!
Apples ‘n sausage sizzling while the cornbread bakes:
The above food combination was highly popular during the 18th
and early 19th centuries, and receipts (recipes) for it abound
in cookbooks of those times:
Mmmm, the perfect food for a cold afternoon:
Preserving food for winter, such as hanging squash to dry, was
extremely important in past centuries:
And…TA-DA! My dried pumpkin: