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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breakfast foods

Family Breakfasts For Winter

When I was growing up, we mostly ate buttered toast, Raisin Bran and Cheerios cold cereal before we went to school.  On weekends, my mother often cooked eggs, French toast, or pancakes. Now, as an adult, I like bacon or sausage with eggs, often with cheese and mushrooms. But I’ll eat anything, even leftovers from lunch or dinner. In the 1800s, people often ate eggs for breakfast if they had them, and most of the […]

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forcemeat

What is Forcemeat?

Forcemeat is made by mixing finely chopped lean meat with fat, and adding other flavorings. Forcemeat can be used as a stuffing, made into balls or patties, or formed into flat square or oval pieces like in the photograph. GLOSSARY Drams – A unit of weight formerly used by apothecaries, equal to one-eighth of an ounce. Gammon – Ham that has been cured or smoked like bacon. Gill – A liquid measurement. Four ounces in the U.S. and […]

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boiling chicken

The Proper Way to Boil Meat

An easy way to cook meat was to boil it,  but it wasn’t the most flavorful. I have boiled chicken to make soup, but never beef or pork (except for hot dogs). INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: The method of preparing meat by boiling is not strongly advocated, for there is seldom a time when better results cannot be obtained by cooking meat at a lower temperature than at the boiling point. When water becomes […]

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link sausages

How to Make Sausage

I love sausage and buy it often. One time I tried some sausage that was homemade, but didn’t like it because it was too coarse.   In the days before refrigeration, people had to make sure they preserved their sausage so it would last for several months. Words You May Not Know: chine – a cut of meat along the backbone. gill –  four ounces in the U.S. and five ounces in the U.K. saltpeter […]

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pigs feet

Cooking Pigs’ Feet

I’ve never seen fresh pigs’ feet in the grocery store like in the photograph.  However, I have seen pickled pigs’ feet in glass jars. I don’t like looking at them either fresh or pickled.  I might try the meat if it was cooked off the foot bone, though. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: PIGS’ FEET Pigs’ feet should be well cleaned by dipping them in scalding water and scraping off the hairs. Leave them in weak […]

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standing crust pie

A Christmas Goose Pie

Although I’ve never eaten one, the Christmas Goose Pie is similar to the English Pork Pie. FROM an 1800s COOKBOOK: A CHRISTMAS GOOSE PIE These pies are always made with a standing crust. Put into a sauce-pan one pound of butter cut up, and one and one-half pints water. Stir it while it is melting and let it come to a boil. Then skim off whatever milk or impurity that may have risen to the […]

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thick, hearty soup

Good Soup Starts With Good Stock

So many recipes from 1800s cookbooks call for soup stock and all good cooks kept a supply on hand. FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: MEANING AND USE OF STOCK Soup stock may be regarded as a liquid containing the juices and soluble parts of meat, bone, and vegetables, which have been extracted by long, slow cooking and which can be utilized in the making of soups, sauces, and gravies. Keep stock in small jars in a cool […]

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