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Food Timeline> American recipes, 1832

Mrs. N.K.M. Lee's The Cook's Own Book, Being a Complete Culinary Encyclopedia [1832]* is an excellent reflection of early American New England fare. What makes this book special is the alphabetic arrangement of recipes. Mrs. Lee converted the standard cook book format (recipes grouped by type...soup, meats, pies &c.) into a reference book. If you were invited to dine with Mrs. Lee, you would know the dishes listed below. Today they are relics of our culinary past. Try guessing what they are before peeking under the lid!

Collops Ramequins Mock ice Mirlitons Jugged Hare
Pettitoes Perry Veal Fricandeau Lemon Pickle Whim Wham
Panada Timbale Tipsy Cake Beef Alamode Batter Pudding
Noyau Pillau Cod Sounds American Snow Balls Shrub

"Cut some veal cutlets; fry them a good brown, but not too much; take some good gravy, theicken it with a little flour, boil it a few minutes; add Cayenne, catchup, truffles, morels, salt, mushrooms pickled, grated lemon-peel; simmer this up, just heat the collops through, add what gravy came from them, but do not let them boil, or they will be hard; add forcemeat balls, hard yolk of eggs; lay round little slices of bacon, notched and toasted, and sliced lemon." (p. 54)
[NOTE: Notice the interesting ingredients and sophisticated flavors in this dish?]

"Take a quarter of a pound of Cheshire cheese, scraped, the same quantity of Gloucester cheese, and beat them in a mortar, with a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, the yolks of four eggs, and the inside of a French roll, boiled in cream till soft; when all is beaten to a paste, mix it witht eh whites of the eggs, previously beaten, and put the paste into small paper cases, made rather long than square, and put them to bake in a Dutch oven, till of a fine brown. They should be served quoite hot. You may, if you think proper, add a glass of white wine." (p. 172)
[NOTE: What was a Dutch oven?]

Mock Ice
"Of preserved strawverries, raspberries, and red currant jelly, a tables-spoonful each; rub it through a sieve, with as much cream as will fill a shape; dissolve three-quarters of an ounce of isinglass in half a pint of water; when almost cold, mix it well with the cream, put it into a shape, and set it in a cool place, and turn it out the following day."(p. 116)
[NOTE: Isinglass was a natural jelling agent obtained from the bladders of some fish, notably sturgeon. This recipe might have approximated molded fruit gelatin, as we know it today.]

"Put into a pan tw yoks, and two whole eggs, four ounces of powder-sugar, three ounces of sweet macaroons crushed, half an ounce of creipst orange-flowers in powder, add a grain of salt; stir these together a minute, then add two ounces of melted butter; whip the two whites very firm, and put them also to the prepration. Line thirty tartlet moulds with puff-paste, into each of which pour an equal quantity of the above; cover them with sifted sugar, and when that is dissolved, strew over a little sugar, a la grele; and put them into a moderate oven: serve either hot or cold." (p. 286)
[NOTE: "a la grele" means long, thin mince.]

Jugged Hare
"Having skinned a hare, cut of the shoulders and legs, and divide the back into three pieces; rub them well with fat bacon, and put them into a stewpan with the trimmings, allspice, mace, whole pepper, a small clove of garlic, two bay-leaves, three onions, parsley, thyme, sweet marjoram, a quart of veal stock, and three gills of Port wine; simmer the whole till three parts done; then take out the shoulders, legs, and back; put them into another stewpan, strain the liquor to them, add a little flour and butter, stew them till quite done; take off the fat, season with cayenne, salt, and lemon-juice, and serve the whole in a deep dish." (p. 94)
[NOTE: The word "jugged" means "Meats, poultry, or game, cooked in a covered jug, jar, or other earthenware vessel, by stewing steadily in the oven. The origin is supposed to have been due to a large jug which had lost its handle and was turned into as stew pot or sort of casserole." The Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philospohical Library:New York] 1950, 1951 (p. 132)

"Boil the feet, the liver, and the heart, of a suckling pig, in a little water, very gently, then split the feet, and cut the meat very small, and simmer it with a little of the water till the feet are prefectly tender; thicken with a bit of butter, a little flour, a spoonful of cream, and a little pepper and salt; give it a boil up, pour it over a few sippets of bread, put the feet on the mince." (p. 138)
[NOTE: "Sippets" were similar to toast points.]

"Perry is a pleasant and wholesome liquor, made from the juice of pears, by means of fermentation, somewhat in the same manner as cider is made from apples." (p. 138)
[NOTE: This beverage was popular in Medieval England.]

Veal Fricandeau
"Cut a pice of veal from the leg, the same in width and depth, and about eight inches in length. Make a hole in the under part, and fill it with forcemeat; sew it up, lard the top and sides, cover it with slices of fat bacon, and then with white paper. Put into a saucepan some slices of undressed mutton, three onions and one carrot sliced, a bunch f sweet herbs, and a quart of good stock; put in the veal, cover the pan closely, and let it stew for three hours. Take out the veal, strain the gravy, and take off all the fat; add a table-spoonful of 'lemon pickle, and three of white wine; boil it quick to a glaze; keep the fricandeau over hot water and covered, then glaze it, and serve with the rest of the glaze poured round it, and sorrel sauce, in a sauce tureen." (p. 233)
NOTE: "Forcemeat" is stuffing, generally bread and herbs. It could be simple or complex. Mrs. Lee offers three recipes for this dish, suggesting both popularity and variety.]

Lemon pickle
"Grate of the outer rind of two dozen of kelmons, divide them into four rather more than half way down, leaving the bottom part whole; rub on them equally half a pound of finely-beaten salt, spread them upon a large dish, and put them into a cool oven. When the juice has dried up, put them into a stone jar, with an ounce of cloves and one of mace finely beaten, one ounce of nutmeg cut into thin slices, a quarter of an ounce of cayenne, and four ounces of garlic peeled, also half a pint of white mustard-seed bruised and tied in a bitr of muslin. Pour over the whole two quarts of boiling vinegar, stop the jar closely, and let it stand for three months; then strain it through a hair sieve, pressing it well through; let it stand til the next day, pour off the clear, and put it into small bottles. Let the dregs stand covered some days, when it will become fine. It will kepp good for years. When the lemons are to be used as pickle, no straining is necessary." (p. 110)
[NOTE: In the 19th century it was popular to make pickles with fruits as wells as vegetables.]

Whim Wham
"Sweeten a quart of cream, and mix it with a tea-cupful of white wine, and the greated peel of a lemon; whisk it to a froth, which drain upon the back of a sieve, and put part into a deep glass dish; cut some Naples biscuit as thin as possible, and put a layer lightly over the froth, and one of red currant jelly, then a layer of the froth, and one of the biscuit and jelly; finish with the froth, and pour the remainder of the cream into the dish, and garnish with citron and candied orange-peel, cut into straws." (p. 244)
[NOTE: Compare with English trifle.]

"Panada. Bil soem pieers of stale bread in a sufficient quantity of cold water to cover them, with a little cinnamon, lemon-peel, and caraways; when the bread is quite soft, press out all the water, beat up the bread with a small piece of butter, a little milk, and sugar to the taste; a little spice may be added." (p. 132)
[NOTE: In period cookbooks, this recipe is generally included with "invalid" recipes. Easily digested and not much chewing.]

"Put a pound of flour on the slab, amke a hole in the middle of it, into which pour a little water, three or four spoonfuls of oil, a qaurter of a pound of buttter, the yolks of two eggs, and a pinch of salt; knead these ingredients thoroughly into the flour, until it becomse a tolerable firm paste; roll it out to hearly half an inch in thickness, line one large, or several small plain round moulds, with this paste; let the moulds be well buttered, and the paste come about half an inch above the top of the mould; fill your timbale with any farce, or ragout, you think proper, cover it with a layer of paste, pressing the edges together; bake it, and when done, turn the timbale on a dish, make a hole, pour in some rich sauce or gravy, and serve." (p. 222)
[NOTE: This recipe is remarkably close to Cornish pasties & Pot pie.]

Tipsy Cake
"Pour over a sponge cake, made in the form of a porcupine, as much white wine as it will absorb, and stick it all over with blanched sweet almonds, cut like straws; or pour wine in the same manner over a thick slice of spange cake, cover the top of it with preserved strawberries or raspberries, and stick cut almonds all round it." (p. 222)
[NOTE: Mrs. Lee's Tipsy Cake is much more creative than the average recipe. Here the "tipsy" refers the possible effects a generous amount of alcohol may have on the diner. Tipsy Parson is possibly the most famous cake in this genre. The porcupine shape is a recurring theme in 19th century American cookery.]

Beef Alamode
"Take about eleven pounds of the mouse buttock, or clod of beef, or a blade-bone, or the sticking piece, or the like weight of the breast of veal; cut it into pieces of three or four ounces each; put three or four ounces of beef drippings, and mince of a couple of large onions, and put them into a large deep stewpan; as soon as it is quite hot, flour the meat, put it into the stewpan, keep stirring it with a wooden spoon; when it has been on about ten minutes, dredge it with flour, and keep doing so till you have stirred in as much as you think will thicken it; then cover it with boiling water (it will take about a gallon), adding it by degrees, and stirring it together; skim it when it boils and then put in one drachm of ground black pepper, two of allspice, and two bay leaves; set the pan by the side of the fire, or at a distance over it and let it stew very slowly for about three hours; when you find the meat sufficently tender, put it into a tureen, and it is ready for table." (p. 11)
[NOTE: Like Veal Fricandeau, Mrs. Lee offers her readers three versions of this dish.]

Batter Pudding
"Baked or Boiled. Break three eggs in a basin with as much salt as will like on a sixpence; beat them well together, and then add four ounces of flour; beat it into a smoth patter, add by degrees add half a pint of milk; have your saucepan ready boiling, and butter an earthen mould well, put the pudding in, and tie it gtight over with a pudding cloth, and boil it one hour and a quarter. Or, put it in a dish that you have well buttered and bake it three-quarters of an hour. Currants washed and picked clean, or raisins, stoned, are good in this pudding, and it is then called a black cap; or, add loaf sugar, and a little nutmed and ginger without the fruit,--it is very good that way; serive it with wine sauce." (p. 158)
[NOTE: Batter puddings descend from English culinary traditions. Think: Yorkshire pudding & Popovers.]

"Two gallons of gin, two pounds of bitter almonds, one pound of sweet almnds, both beaten to a fine paste; six pounds of lump ustgar, pounded (some of it with the almonds.) Let these stand ten days in the gin, then filter it through blotting paper, and bottle it."(p. 287)
[NOTE: Also spelled "noyeau," this was a very popular English beverage in the 18th & 19th centuries.]

"Wash very clean two pounds of rice, stew it till perfectly tender with a little water, half a pound of butter, some salt, whole pepper, cloves and mace, and keep the stewpan closely covered; boil two fowls and one pound and half of bacon, put tne bacon in the middle, and the fowls on each side, cover them all over with the rice, and garnish with hard-boiled eggs and fried whole onions." (p. 147) Cod Sounds
"This is the white skin of the belly and is reckoned a great delicacy, and may be either boiled, broiled, or fried. Previous to dresing either way, they should be well soaked, washed, and boiled a little." (p. 53)
[NOTE: A more modern definition: "Cod sounds are the air or swim bladder and are enjoyed by many as a delicacy. They are very gelatinous, which makes them rich eating." ---The Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philospohical Library:New York] 1950, 1951 (p. 225).]

American Snow Balls
"Boil some rice in milk till it be swelled and soft; pare and carefully scoop out the core of five or six good-sized apples, put into each a little grated lemon-peel and cinnamon; place as much of the rice upon a bit of linen as will entirely cover an apple, and tie each closely. Boil them two hours, and serve them with melted butter, sweetened with sugar." (p. 2)
[NOTE: Interesting twist on the baked apple theme. Rice was plentiful and versatile. Think: Rice Pudding.]

"One measure of lemon juice is allowed to five of rum, and to every gallon of the mixture, six pounds of loaf sugar, which is to be melted in water, and the whole strained through flannel." (p. 196)
[NOTE: Shrub was a popular colonia American beverage, similar to Punch.]

[Note: The pages we cite are from the facsimile edition published by Arno Press [1972]. They do not not match up exactly with the online edition referenced above.]

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10 June 2013