Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mid-day meal’

As I’m sure you know, if you’ve read much of this blog,
I’m thoroughly fascinated with the preparation and
then the cooking of dishes over an open fire, be it
indoors at a hearth or outdoors at a fire pit. I enjoy
the entire process, from mixing historically-appropriate
ingredients to using antique or reproduction equipment
and tools to following each and every step of receipts

IMG_4667

found in various historic cookbooks. I particularly like
the ingredients, tools, procedures, even receipt titles,
that prompt those “Say, what?!” exclamations. Things
like treacle or mace, a spider or a coffin, syllabubs or
Naples biscuits, forcemeat or a jugged hare…the list
seems endless! And I’m always eager to try them all.
So I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to use
one specific and unique cooking method: collaring.

Everybody, now: “Say, what?!?”

Collaring is a method of cooking meat and fish that’s
been around for centuries. Receipts can be found
in many historic cookbooks, both published and
handwritten, for preparing beef, mutton, pork,
and yes, even fish (eel?!?), in this manner. The
meat is laid out flat (cut, if necessary, to do so),
herbs and spices are spread on top, it’s then rolled,
tied, wrapped in a cloth, and boiled. As to the term
“collar,” it’s believed to refer to its resemblance
to the real thing when coiled up in a cooking pot.
Maybe. Maybe not! I suppose no one really knows,
but it makes for a great story, yes?!

In any event, when I was informed late last year
that another “private” hearth cooking class* was
to be held this winter at The Israel Crane House,
I was VERY eager to include the collaring of a meat,
specifically pork, on the menu. So I had the House
staff check to make sure there were no objections
of any kind. There weren’t, so it was a go! And so,
our menu featured not only receipts for assorted
side dishes, but also one for “collaring” pork.
HUZZAH!

photo 1(3)

And now a few photos of our menu preparations…

54. To coller Pigg or Eals
from the manuscript cookbook of the Ashfield Family
of New York and New Jersey (c 1720s to 1780s):

does it look like a collar? you decide!

001

here it goes, happily boiling away in a mixture of half
water and half vinegar with a few herbs and spices…

005

012

TA-DA!!!
014

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

The half vinegar/half water “Liquor” that it was boiled
in made a great sauce.

Potatoes Fried in Slices or Ribbons,
from The Cook’s Own Book (1832),
by a Boston Housekeeper (Mrs. N.K.M. Lee):

008

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

Beets, Stewed

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

…and A Cheese Pudding,
both from Mrs. Lettice Bryan’s
The Kentucky Housewife (1839):

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

010

and last, but not least, Portugal Cakes
from The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy,
by Hannah Glasse (1747):

002

This dish is supposed to be baked in individual tins.
However, not having any (dagnabit), we made one
large cake instead. I’ve been searching for a set
of small individual baking pans for quite some time,
but have yet to find any. I do have a few ceramic
ones, but not enough. So I’ll continue my search.
Or perhaps have some made? We’ll see!

It was a fantastic meal! HUZZAH! The ladies did
a terrific job. Each dish was absolutely delicious.
I tell you, there’s really nothing like food cooked
over an open fire! And everyone pitched in whenever
and wherever needed. In fact, things went so well,
that we ended early. Whodathunk?! I may have
to add extra dishes next time. Either that, or
a few that’re more difficult. All in all, everyone
had a marvelous time. I look forward to next year’s
“private” class!

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

(c) 2016 Angelica Kane

______________________________

IMG_1102
*So-called because a woman who attended
one of the hearth cooking classes two or three
years ago at The Israel Crane House had such
a great time that she gathered several friends
together and made arrangements for the group
to participate in another. We’ve since dubbed
it the “private” hearth cooking class.

Read Full Post »

After taking part in a hearth cooking class at The Israel Crane House
about a year ago, a woman rounded up several friends and arranged
to do another this year. So on Saturday, February 28, they all arrived,
each one ready, willing, and oh-so-eager to whip up a winter’s mid-day
meal. We had seven lovely ladies, and I tell you, they were great fun!
Everyone worked so well together. And given the ease with which they

IMG_1815

tackled the five different receipts, nobody would’ve known that all but
one had never done any hearth cooking before. It was a fantastic group,
one that operated like such a well-oiled machine, that we even ended
early. A hearty HUZZAH to them all!

As for the day’s menu, my goals in creating it were to include dishes
that were not only appropriate for the season, but also for a merchant’s
family such as the Crane’s, and to showcase multiple cooking processes,
including frying, baking, and roasting. We traveled through time, as well,
for the receipts we used came from cookbooks of the 17th, 18th, and
early 19th centuries:

An Excellent Way to Roast Pigeons or Chickens.
The Art of Cookery Refin’d and Augmented (1654), by Joseph Cooper;

Carrot Pudding.
American Cookery (1796, 1st ed.), by Amelia Simmons;

Potato Fritters.
The Cook’s Own Book: Being a Complete Culinary Encyclopedia
(1832), by A Boston Housekeeper;

To Make a Tart of the Ananas, or Pine-Apple. From Barbadoes.
The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director…Part II (1732),
by Richard Bradley; and

No. 51. Chocolate Drops.
The Complete Confectioner, or, The Whole Art of Confectionary
(1790, 2nd ed.), by Frederick Nutt.

Okay. Enough of that! On to some photos. And thankfully, THIS time
I was able to take quite a few. Unlike the class I conducted late last fall,
when I totally spaced it and forgot. Heck, even I was disappointed! In
any event, as you’ll see from the following, when all was said and done,
and the ladies had worked their magic, we had a truly marvelous meal,
one which definitely provided some mighty good eating! HUZZAH!

______________________________

The fire was blazing and the ingredients were set…

photo 1(1)

photo 3

All the ladies arrived, and we were ready to begin. First, I presented
the background of our menu. I also explained some unfamiliar terms
and gave a few basic tips on cooking at an open hearth, handling all
the various equipment and utensils, what cooking technique to use
for which dish, and other such matters.

photo 5

And thus, it was on to the prepping ‘n cooking…

First up, our chicken. Now, Cooper’s receipt directs the cook to make
a forcemeat (what we might call stuffing or dressing today) containing
grated bread, hard boiled egg yolks, the fowl’s liver, a couple of spices,
and so on, which is finely minced. This mixture is then placed between
the bird’s skin and flesh, instead of in its cavity. Finally, it’s trussed
and roasted.

Of course, if a portion of skin tears during the process, a few little
well-placed stitches will take care of the problem…

IMG_3684

into the reflector oven it went…

IMG_3687

photo 1(2)

After several unsuccessful attempts to insert the chicken “normally”
(aka horizontally) and securely in the oven (so it wouldn’t flop
around), it was decided to place it perpendicular to the spit…

IMG_3689

It worked! It may’ve looked a bit odd, but at least it was roasting…

IMG_3694

On to the carrots for the pudding, which were cleaned, sliced,…

IMG_3686

and boiled, along with the potatoes for the fritters…

IMG_3690

The carrots were then mashed, combined with other ingredients,
and the whole set into a bake kettle. Soon, our Carrot Pudding
was cooked to perfection!

IMG_3738

Pineapple pieces were par-boiled in Madeira for the tart…

IMG_3692

a simple paste was made…

IMG_3691

the two were put together, and it was ready for the bake kettle…

IMG_3697

IMG_3700

NICE!!!

IMG_3704

Mashing those previously-mentioned boiled potatoes for the fritters…

IMG_3695

the clumps of ‘tater fritter batter may not’ve looked too pretty, but…

IMG_3721

once fried, either in a spider…

IMG_3710

or on the griddle…

IMG_3725

they were very, VERY delicious! So much so that we nearly ate
them ALL before the cooking of the entire meal was completed!

IMG_3723

Several of our dishes posed on the hearth for a group photo…

IMG_3719

Our chicken cooked up fairly quickly!

photo 5(1)

And finally, the Chocolate Drops, which proved to be the easiest
and simplest dish to prepare!

IMG_3717

And so, after all the chopping, slicing, grating, mixing, pounding,
stirring, boiling, frying, baking, and roasting, our wonderful winter’s
mid-day meal was ready to be eaten:

IMG_3742

The Carrot Pudding…

IMG_3744

Our “Tart of the Ananas, or Pine-Apple“…

IMG_3745

and the Chocolate Drops…

IMG_3751

Excellent job, ladies! HUZZAH!!! I look forward to working
with you, again.

photo 2(2)

Read Full Post »

On the Friday of my “Big Week” of hearth cooking events,
I was off to the Queens County Farm Museum for a Teachers’
Professional Development Workshop. As part of their program,
I was stationed in the Adriance Farmhouse, where I was ready,
waiting, and oh-so eager (!) to share the joys of 18th century
open-fire cooking.

The premise I created for the day was that I was knee-deep in
preparations for a mid-day meal when the roughly 60 teachers,
divided into two separate groups, arrived. The day’s meal was
to consist of roast chicken, boiled parsnips, a carrot pudding,
and toasted bread with freshly churned butter. And, luckily
for me, all these wonderful helpers showed up just in time
to assist. HUZZAH!

Now, we didn’t have enough time to do every dish, start to finish.
And thus, some of the work had either been completed previously
or was well on its way. For instance, the carrots for the pudding
had already been cooked, mashed, and strained “thro a sive,”
the Naples Biskets had not only been baked, but a few had
also been grated, and I had pre-churned the butter that was
to be slathered on our toast. I’d even baked a Carrot Pudding
in advance, so folks could see what it looked like. However,
there were certainly plenty of other chores for my assistants
to do: paring and cutting parsnips; grating all the remaining
Biskets; slicing bread for toast; and combining the ingredients
for our Carrot Pud, including the pureed carrots, the grated
Biskets, the cream, the eggs, sugar, and the Orange flower
water. Oh, and more butter was churned for our toast. And
can’t forget Mr. Chicken! He was already roastin’ on the spit
of the reflector oven when the teachers arrived.

Of course, while all these various and assorted activities
were taking place, I was having a simply marvelous time
talking non-stop to the two groups and explaining all the
hows, whys, whens, what- and where-fores of each task.
It was definitely great fun! I was reminded of many similar
joy-filled days back when I worked at Conner Prairie. I know
the teachers enjoyed it, too. I was even told later that our
cooking segment was deemed “a tremendous success.” In
fact, one teacher commented she was so well transported
back in time by the experience, that she was nigh convinced
I truly WAS from the 18th century. HUZZAH!

Unfortunately, I was so, SO busy, that I wasn’t able to get
any pictures. dagnabit. In fact, sadly, I got only one, and it
was taken towards the very end:

Now, as many of my readers probably know, carrot puddings are
one of my favorite dishes. My usual receipt of choice can be found
in E. Kidder’s Receipts of Pastry and Cookery (1740), the manuscript
cookbook of Edward Kidder, a professional baker. The teachers and
I followed his receipt:

A Carrot Pudding.
Boyl 2 large carrots, when cold
pound them, in a mortar, strain
them thro a sive, mix them nth
two grated biskets, ½ a pound
of butter, sack and Orange flower
water, Sugar and a little Salt, a pint
of cream mixt with 7 yolks of eggs
and two whites, beat these together
and put them in a dish covered and
garnished. “Good”*

And, in case anyone is wondering what they look like, here’s
a photo of one I made awhile back for another event:

*handwritten notation
Also, I’d like to give a hale ‘n hearty HUZZAH shout-out to Chris
(sorry, I didn’t get her last name…tsk), one of the educators
at the Queens Farm, for all her help that day. She knew just
where to find exactly the bowl or poker or whatever that
I needed. I couldn’t have done it without her! HUZZAH!

______________________________

NEXT: My “Big Week” finally ends

Read Full Post »