green gooseberries

Have You Ever Eaten Gooseberries?

When I was in grade school, we visited our grandparents every summer and they grew gooseberries. We picked and ate green gooseberries right off the bushes. They were certainly sour, but that was the attraction.  We had contests to see how many we could eat before having to spit them out. We never did get to see them as red berries. They must have ripened in late summer or early fall after we went back […]

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garden sorrel

Using Common Garden Sorrel

  Common or garden sorrel (gard) has a tart, lemon flavor and was popular in the 1800s. The larger leaves were used for soups and sauces and the young leaves for salads. I haven’t been able to find out why people quit using it, but it now seems to be making a comeback. You probably won’t find sorrel in a grocery store because it doesn’t ship or store well, even when refrigerated. And although seedlings […]

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cooking fritters

All Kinds of Fritters

  My mother made corn fritters when I was a kid, which I loved. While reading old cookbooks, I found fritter recipes for other vegetables and also for sweet (fruit) fritters. RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS BATTER FOR SAVORY FRITTERS Put six ounces of flour into a basin, with a pinch of salt, the yolk of one egg, and a quarter of a pint of warm water. Work this round and round with a wooden spoon till […]

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cooked hominy

Making and Cooking Hominy

The only hominy I’ve ever eaten was from a can.  It sure was a lot of work to make hominy in the old days. RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS MAKING HOMINY Use field corn to make hominy;  yellow dent, flint corn, Indian corn are all good varieties. Leave the corn on the plant longer than you normally would because you want it really dry.  When ready, pull off the husk and shell the corn using your thumb to […]

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homemade pudding

Old Fashioned Pudding Recipes

  These recipes are from The Virginia Housewife: Or Methodical Cook by Mrs. Mary Randolph, published in 1860. TRANSPARENT PUDDING Beat eight eggs very light, add half a pound of pounded sugar, the same of fresh butter melted, and half a nutmeg grated. Set it on a stove, and keep stirring till it is as thick as buttered eggs. Put a puff paste in a shallow dish, pour in the ingredients, and bake it half an […]

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head of cabbage

Cabbage Recipes

Recipes from Housekeeping in old Virginia CABBAGE SOUP Take a white cabbage and slice it up, and throw it into some stock or water, with some leeks and slices of turnip. Boil the whole till the vegetables are tender, flavor with pepper and salt. This is sometimes called Cornish broth, though in Cornwall a piece of meat or bones are generally boiled with the vegetables. When no meat is used, too much water must not be added, […]

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basket of mushrooms

Making Mushroom Ketchup

Many recipes from old cookbooks called for mushroom ketchup – especially meat recipes.  I had never heard of mushroom ketchup. Be aware that there are many poisonous mushrooms in the wild, so don’t pick any if you’re not an expert.  Also, old recipes may not be considered safe by today’s cooking standards.   TO MAKE MUSHROOM KETCHUP Recipe is from the 1864 Poetical Cook-Book.  Look out for mushrooms from the beginning of September. Take care of the […]

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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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