Sunday, November 23, 2008

Six ounces of currants from the stems you must sort Or they'll break out your teeth and spoil all your sport

The moment I decided not to cook Thanksgiving Dinner I began thinking of things to cook. The real reason we are not cooking everything is that we are going camping the next day.

The part of me that wants to raise free range kids is very happy about the camping. But I couldn't face cooking and camping.

The girls and I pored over the American History Cookbook and decided to ornament our Thanksgiving meal with the following.

I can't get enough of the old recipes. Dripping with charm but sparing with the instructions.

Cranberry Tarts (1803)
To one pound of flour three quarters of a pound of butter, then stew your cranberry's to a jelly, putting good brown sugar in to sweeten them...

(I was just griping the other day a la Eats, Shoots and Leaves about people these days using 's to pluralize a word and here they were already doing it in 1803)

Eve's Pudding (1790s)

If you like good pudding, mind what you are taught
First take six eggs when they are bought for a groat
Next take of the fruit that Eve did once cozen,

Well-pared and well-chopped, at least half a dozen;

Six ounces of bread - let Moll cut the crust -
And let it be crumbled as fine as the dust;
Six ounces of currants from the stems you must sort,

Or they'll break out your teeth and spoil all your sport.

Six ounces of sugar won't make it too sweet;
Some salt and some nutmeg to make it complete.

Three hours let it boil without hurry or flutter,

And then serve it up with some good melted butter.


Harvest Drink (1885)

The recipe yields 90 8-oz servings or a day's liquid for 10 workers.

Mix with 5 gallons of good water half a gallon of molasses, one quart of vinegar, and two ounces of powdered ginger. This will make not only a very pleasant beverage, but one highly invigorating.

I think we'll cut it, but serve in a pot with a dipper and try to get the trick of pouring a mouthful without touching the dipper to our lips.

No comments: