frying in cast iron skillet

General Rules for Frying

I don’t deep-fry foods anymore, but I often pan-fry.  I no longer use vegetable oils or shortening, though. Instead, I use coconut oil, butter, or extra virgin olive oil. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: Frying, though one of the most common of culinary operations, is one that is least  performed perfectly well. GENERAL RULES FOR FRYING Heating the Fat — Since fat, when heated, reaches such a high temperature, the kettle in which it is […]

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frying meat

Fats for Frying

When I was a child, my mother made delicious fried potatoes and fried chicken in a large Cast Iron Skillet.  She usually used bacon grease, but if she didn’t have enough, she used canned shortening.  My mother never did use lard, but I knew people who did. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: SCRAPS OF FAT All scraps of fat—cooked or uncooked—as well as any drippings from beef, veal, pork, and chicken, should be saved and […]

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summer squash, vegetable, yellow, healthy

Cooking Summer Squash

Summer squashes are picked before they’re mature. The rind is thin and edible, and you can also eat the seeds. But summer squashes can’t be stored like winter squashes. Some summer squashes in the U.S. are: Pattypan squash Crookneck squash Straightneck squash Zucchini (courgette) INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: SUMMER SQUASH is a fruit vegetable belonging to the same class as eggplant, peppers, etc. and occurring in many varieties. The different kinds of this vegetable vary […]

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gelatine dessert, jello dessert, 1800s recipes

Gelatine Desserts

In 1894, Charles Knox saw all the work his wife had to go through to make gelatin, and decided to find an easier way. Through experimentation, he created a gelatin superior to any others on the market. His gelatin was made into dried sheets and Knox hired salesmen to show women how to use them. In 1896, Rose Knox published Dainty Desserts, a recipe book using Knox gelatin. Then in 1897, Pearle Bixby Wait trademarked […]

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homemade lemonade, refreshing drinks, fruit drinks, luncheon drinks

Beverages for Luncheon

With so many varieties of drinks available in stores and restaurants, I forget that people in the past had to make all their own drinks, both for family and guests.  I’ve always made ice tea and occasionally hot tea, and I’ve recently begun making homemade kombucha.  The drink recipes below sound delicious. GLOSSARY Charged Water – Soda water Loaf Sugar – Sugar sold in a hard block, which has to be broken and then pounded into […]

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seafood, cooking crabs, select crabs, soft shell crabs, hard shell crabs

How to Select and Cook Crabs

I’ve only eaten crab at restaurants, but I sure love them.  I have bought imitation crab meat to use in salads and it’s often in restaurant buffets, but of course, I’d rather eat the real meat. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: CRABS Crabs are in season during the months of May, June, July, and August. They may be had at other times, but are then light and stringy. Soft-shell crabs are best in July and August. Like […]

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cream soup, lettuce, spinach, cucumber,

Making Cream Soups

Although I like vegetables soups and soups made of broth, I like cream soups the best. I like their texture and smoothness. GLOSSARY Celeriac – Also called turnip-rooted celery, celery root, or knob celery. This type of celery is used for its edible roots. Hair Sieve – A strainer with a wiry fabric bottom usually woven from horsehair. Tureen – A deep covered dish from which soup is served. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: CREAM OF LETTUCE Take two heads […]

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string bean recipes, green bean recipes, vintage recipes, vegetable recipes, how to cook string or green beans

Cooking String Beans / Green Beans

Our family lived in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO, when I was young. Each summer, we took a vacation to Southern Illinois, where most of our relatives lived.  Our Aunt Helen and Uncle Lloyd were farmers and Aunt Helen canned most of the vegetables. She always cooked a big lunch for us and I loved her green beans cooked with onions and bacon grease.  They sure were good! GLOSSARY Nasturtium – A flower used […]

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