American eel

Recipes for Cooking Eels

Although eels may look like snakes, they are actually fish. Eels were a popular food for the early American colonists up through the 1800s. The American eel lives in fresh water and found mostly along the Atlantic coast. I have never seen them on a restaurant menu, nor in any recent cookbook. FROM COOKBOOKS PRINTED IN THE 1800s BUYING EELS Inquire, before buying, where they were caught, and give so decided a preference to country eels […]

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salsify roots

About Salsify (Oyster Plant)

I never heard of salsify (oyster plant) before I began reading old cookbooks. It was a popular vegetable in the 1800s, but people didn’t seem to use it much in the 1900s. Today you might find it at farmer’s markets or specialty grocery stores from October to January. You use the roots of salsify just like parsnips or carrots.  Peel or scrape the outside and then you can boil, bake, or fry it. Many people add it […]

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salsify roots

How to Cook Salsify (Oyster Plant)

SALSIFY is a root vegetable resembling in food value such other root vegetables as carrots and parsnips. Because it has a flavor similar to that of oysters, especially when it is used for soup, it has received the name of vegetable oyster. It consists of long slender roots that are covered with tiny roots. It is somewhat difficult to clean and prepare, but as it may be stored through the entire winter and is particularly […]

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gingerbread in pan

Gingerbread Cake Recipes

Recipes from old cookbooks published in the 1800s SOFT MOLASSES GINGERBREAD Melt a teacup of butter—mix it with a pint of molasses, a tablespoonful of ginger, a pint of flour, and a couple of beaten eggs. Fresh lemon peel, cut into small strips, improves it. Dissolve a couple of teaspoonsful of saleratus* in half a pint of milk, and stir it into the cake. Add flour to render it of the consistency of unbaked pound […]

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aspic with boiled egg and chicken

What is Aspic?

ASPIC is a cold flavorful dish where various ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. Stock made from cooking meat has a natural gelatin that congeals when cooled. The stock can be clarified with egg whites and flavored. Common ingredients that are set into aspics are meat pieces, fruits, or vegetables. Aspics are usually served on cold plates to keep the gel from melting. From cookbooks published in the […]

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tripe

Cooking Tripe (Cow Stomachs)

Tripe is an edible offal from the stomach tissue of various animals that chew their cud. In the U.S., tripe is usually only made from cows. Cows have four stomachs, which is where their food travels during different stages of digestion. Beef tripe is usually made from only the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach: the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe), and the omasum (book/bible/leaf tripe). The last chamber is rarely used […]

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pie crust

Make Perfect Pie Crust

Information from Dishes & Beverages of the Old South, 1913 Pie-crust perfection depends on several things—good flour, good fat, good handling, most especially good baking. A hot oven, quick but not scorching, expands the air betwixt layers of paste, and pops open the flour-grains, making them absorb the fat as it melts, thereby growing crisp and relishful instead of hard and tough. The lighter and drier the flour the better—in very damp weather it is best […]

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1887 white house cookbook

Cooking Squirrel and Rabbit

Recipes from THE ORIGINAL WHITE HOUSE COOK BOOK, an exact reprint of the original 1887 White House Cookbook ROAST HARE OR RABBIT A very close relationship exists between the hare and the rabbit, the chief difference being in the smaller size and shorter legs and ears of the latter. The manner of dressing and preparing each for the table is, therefore, pretty nearly the same. To prepare them for roasting, first skin, wash well in cold […]

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