During the recent “Spring Celebration” at the Queens County
Farm Museum, I was busy at the hearth of the site’s Adriance
Farmhouse. While a variety of modern-type activities, ranging
from sheep shearing and hayrides to music and a plant sale,
were taking place throughout the complex, I offered a few
of a more historical nature in the Farmhouse kitchen. There,
the main focus was the Mighty Cow and the role she played
in the life of a typical 18th century farm family during the
Spring months and beyond. Thus, we churned butter and
drank the resulting buttermilk, made cheese, and cooked
up dozens and DOZENS of yummy Curd Fritters. Visitors
also enjoyed butter that I’d churned previously (with its
buttermilk, of course) and cheese that I’d made. Oh, and
mustn’t forget, we also made toast.
Now, the attendance that day at the Farm may’ve been
“normal,” but for me, it was downright amazing! I was
just blown away by the number of people who stopped
by to see what I was doing at the hearth. And they just
kept coming! It reminded me of my days at Conner Prairie
long ago. It also created quite a multi-ring circus. Whether
slicing bread, offering butter churning hints, flipping curd
fritters, or warming milk for the cheese, I was kept busy
non-stop. At times, it seemed nigh overwhelming, but
thankfully, I hung in there! And I had some marvelous
conversations with folks, both singly and in groups.
Overall, I’d say it was a very productive AND highly
enjoyable day! HUZZAH!
As for photos, well…unfortunately, finding a few spare
moments for taking any was difficult. Hence, what you
see below is it. Maybe I’ll get more next time? Or not!
Oh, and for those interested, the Curd Fritter receipt
(recipe) follows at the end. Enjoy!
The receipt I used both here and at The Crane House (see
previous post) is from Eliza Smith’s cookbook The Compleat
To make Curd Fritters.
Take a handful of curds, a handful
of flour, ten eggs well beaten and
strained, some sugar, some cloves,
mace, nutmeg, and a little saffron;
stir all well together, and fry them
in very hot beef-dripping; drop
them in the pan by spoonfuls;
stir them about till they are
of a fine yellow brown; drain
them from the suet, and scrape
sugar on them, when you serve
Now, there’s one line in the above receipt that I think may
be a mistake, as in a typo. Or perhaps, it’s the result of just
plain ol’ poor editing. Maybe it should even be eliminated
entirely. Whatever it is, I believe the words:
…stir them about till they
are of a fine yellow brown;
should follow, or be combined, with:
…a little saffron; stir all
It just doesn’t make sense as it is. Besides, I found a great
co-supporter, if you will, of this theory: Hannah Glasse. You
see, she stole, er, borrowed Smith’s receipt for her The Art
of Cookery, made [sic] Plain and Easy (1747), In addition
to making the whole a bit more concise, she removed
the offending sentence! To wit:
Having a Handful of Curds, and
a Handful of Flour, and ten Eggs,
well beaten and strained, some
Sugar, Cloves, Mace, and Nutmeg
beat, a little Saffron; stir all well
together, and fry them quick, and
of a fine light-brown.
See? That seemingly extraneous, nonsensical set of words
is gone, and no harm done. Way to go, Hannah! HUZZAH!
NOTE: I’ve made Curd Fritters many times. For more in-depth
information on this delectable delight, see this page and then
this one for details about a specific ingredient.
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