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Ways to Cook Lobster

Lobster used to be plentiful along the U.S East Coast, but not anymore. It’s now quite expensive. I’ve never bought any to cook, but have had it a few times in restaurants. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS Very large lobsters are not the best, the meat being coarse and tough. The male is best for boiling; the flesh is firmer and the shell a brighter red. It may readily be distinguished from the female; the […]

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frying fish in cast iron skillet, boiling fish, broiling fish, dressing fish

Boiling, Broiling, and Frying Fish

When I buy fish, I often pan-fry it in butter, rather than deep fry it. Sometimes I’ll bake fish, but I’ve never boiled it. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS DRESSING FISH In dressing fish of any kind for the table, great care is necessary in cleaning it. It is a common error to wash it too much, and by this means the flavor is diminished. If the fish is to be boiled after it is […]

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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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Atlantic Salmon

Ways to Cook Fresh Salmon

Salmon used to be abundant along the U. S. North Atlantic coastline. But overfishing, logging, soil erosion, dam, and mill construction. and other activities severely damaged the salmon population.  I was fortunate to visit Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, in 1980 and we ate plenty of fresh salmon. We used a smoker barbecue with a domed lid to cook them over charcoal.  They were sure good! GLOSSARY: Gridiron – A frame of parallel metal bars used for […]

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turtle soup label

Turtle Was a Popular Dish in the 1800s

Many cookbooks from the 1800s included recipes for cooking turtle; snapping turtle, box turtle, sea turtle, and diamondback terrapin. Today, many species of turtles are endangered and it’s illegal to capture or kill them.  In the U.S., you can hunt diamondback terrapins and snapping turtles, but only in season and you must have a hunting license. The photo is of a label from a can of A. Granday’s Turtle Soup. In 1971, The Endangered Species Act was passed […]

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fresh cod fish

Cooking Codfish Heads, Sounds, and Tongues

I’ve seen a whole fish for sale in grocery stores, but never just the fish’s head. I never heard of a fish sound, and didn’t even know they had tongues. The things I learn from reading old cookbooks! The Sound is the swim bladder of many of the bony fishes.  Fish that have a skeleton made of cartilage instead of bone don’t have bladders. Fish Tongues are almost always attached to the bottom of the […]

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fish balls

How to Make Fish Balls

  Back in the 1800s, codfish was plentiful along the east coast in the U.S. and cookbooks often had recipes for fish balls. Fish balls are no longer popular here, but are quite common in Scandinavia, China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. ======================= COLD FISH BALLS Prepare a fish stock from the skin, bones, and trimmings of fish, seasoning with bay-leaf, onion, mace, cloves, and garlic. Boil slowly for an hour in water to cover. […]

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anchovies

Ways to Use Anchovies

Anchovies, which are salt-water fishes, are a group of 144  species, living in temperate waters in oceans and seas.   I’ve never eaten anchovies, but many cookbooks had recipes on how to use and cook with them. RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS: These delicate fish are preserved in barrels with bay salt, and no other of the finny tribe has so fine a flavor. Choose those which look red and mellow, and the bones moist and oily. They […]

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