Sweetbreads are Meat, not Breads

I had never heard of sweetbreads before I began reading old cookbooks. Sweetbreads are what the thymus gland or pancreas of a calf or lamb are called.

Eating offal or organ meats (the parts of the animal that are not muscle) is becoming popular again as shown by this cookbook:
Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal


Lay half a dozen sweetbreads in cold water for twelve hours, changing the water several times. Then boil them five minutes, drop into cold water, remove the skin and lard* with fat bacon. Put them in a saucepan with a pint of stock, two small onions and one carrot chopped, a teaspoonful of minced parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne, and a little mace. Stew until tender.
Serve with a mushroom sauce, made as follows: read more

What is Aspic?

ASPIC is a cold flavorful dish where various ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé.

Stock made from cooking meat has a natural gelatin that congeals when cooled. The stock can be clarified with egg whites and flavored.

Common ingredients that are set into aspics are meat pieces, fruits, or vegetables. Aspics are usually served on cold plates to keep the gel from melting.

From cookbooks published in the early 1900s:

To make aspic for molding or decorating a fish salad, use stock prepared from chicken or veal, or from fish. For chicken, veal or sweetbread salad, use chicken or veal stock, or a light-colored consommé. In an emergency, aspic may be made from the prepared extracts of beef, or from bouillon capsules. Aspic is often tinted delicately to harmonize with a particular color scheme. A light-green aspic has been found quite effective. read more

Cooking Tripe (Cow Stomachs)

Tripe is an edible offal from the stomach tissue of various animals that chew their cud. In the U.S., tripe is usually only made from cows. Cows have four stomachs, which is where their food travels during different stages of digestion.

Beef tripe is usually made from only the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach: the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe), and the omasum (book/bible/leaf tripe). The last chamber is rarely used for human consumption. read more

Cooking Squirrel and Rabbit

Recipes from THE ORIGINAL WHITE HOUSE COOK BOOK, an exact reprint of the original 1887 White House Cookbook

A very close relationship exists between the hare and the rabbit, the chief difference being in the smaller size and shorter legs and ears of the latter. The manner of dressing and preparing each for the table is, therefore, pretty nearly the same. To prepare them for roasting, first skin, wash well in cold water and rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water. If a little musty from being emptied before they were hung up, and afterward neglected, rub the insides with vinegar and afterward remove all taint of the acid by a thorough washing in lukewarm water. After being well wiped with a soft cloth, put in a dressing as usual, sew the animal up, truss it, and roast for half or three-quarters of an hour until well browned, basting it constantly with butter and dredging with flour, just before taking up. read more