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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opened oysters

How to Prepare and Cook Oysters

Oysters were plentiful along the U.S. east coast during the 1800s. They were cheap enough for the working class to buy. Over time, though, the demand for oysters depleted many of the beds.  Their scarcity caused prices to rise and oysters became an expensive delicacy. ADVICE AND RECIPES FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: Oysters must be fresh and fat to be good and are in season from September to May. They are sometimes eaten during the summer […]

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clams in water

Cooking with Clams

  Clams and other shellfish were abundant along the east coast in the 1800s. Many of the old cookbooks included fish and shellfish recipes. EXCELLENT CLAM SOUP Take forty or fifty clams and wash and scrub the outsides of the shells till they are perfectly clean. Then put them into a pot with just sufficient water to keep them from burning. The water must boil hard when you put in the clams. In about a […]

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