fresh spinach

Ways to Cook Fresh Spinach

I usually eat raw spinach in a salad and occasionally will order a spinach quiche in a restaurant.  But these spinach recipes from old 1800s cookbooks makes me want to experiment and add some variety to my diet. GLOSSARY Gill – A liquid measurement. Four ounces in the U.S. and five ounces in the U.K. Peck –  A measurement for dry volume. A peck is two gallons or eight dry quarts. Four pecks make a bushel. Moderate […]

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fresh beets

Ways to Cook Beets / Beetroot

Beets (also called beetroots) were an important root crop in the 1800s.  They kept well during the winter, were nutritious, and provided color to a meal. Beet tops (greens) and stalks were also cooked, but only when fresh. I had only eaten canned pickled beets until recently.  A friend baked some beets that were drizzled with olive oil and I liked them. The beet recipes below also sound interesting, especially the Beetroot Fritters. GLOSSARY: Arrowroot […]

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winter squashes

Cooking Winter Squash

I never ate squash when I was a child, but I’ve eaten summer squashes like green zucchini and yellow squash as an adult. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve tried any of the winter squashes: Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash, and Delicata Squash. When people in the 1800s cooked foods in their wood burning stoves, there were no thermometers. So recipes referred to the oven temperature as a slow, moderate, or hot oven. […]

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many pumpkins

Pumpkin Loaf, Indian Cakes, Marmalade, Tart

Pumpkins were a popular crop in the 1800s. They were easy to grow and if stored properly in a warm, dry place, could be kept all winter. Recipes from old cookbooks used fresh pumpkins, but if one called for stewed pumpkin, it’s like the plain canned pumpkin we buy today. And recipes often did not include baking times or how hot to make your oven.  You were supposed to know or learn through experience.  FROM […]

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making fresh sauerkraut, fermented sauerkraut, pickled sauerkraut, sauerkraut prevents scurvy

Making Fresh Fermented Sauerkraut

Back in the 1700s, the British explorer Captain James Cook and his sailors ate sauerkraut to prevent scurvy.  And George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, requested sauerkraut for his troops. I recently had my first taste of raw sauerkraut and it tastes so different (and better) than canned sauerkraut. Typical grocery store sauerkraut is pasteurized, which changes its taste, plus kills all the good probiotics created during fermentation. All you need to make raw sauerkraut is […]

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Pumpkin Mush, Pudding, and Soup

Recipes from old cookbooks used fresh pumpkins, although I’m sure you could substitute canned. FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS Deep colored pumpkins are generally the best. In a dry warm place, they can be kept perfectly good all winter. When you prepare to stew a pumpkin, cut it in half and take out all the seeds. Then cut it in thick slices, and pare them. Put it into a pot with a very little water, and stew […]

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head of cauliflower

Cooking Cauliflower

Cauliflower is similar to cabbage, but its flavor is a little more delicate. The cauliflower possesses a most agreeable flavor and is sufficiently delicate to be served at the tables of the wealthy. It is a wholesome vegetable but should be eaten moderately, as it induces flatulence. Persons of weak constitutions and delicate stomachs should abstain from cauliflower as much as possible. Choose cauliflowers that are close and white. Trim off the decayed outside leaves […]

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corn meal

Cooking with Corn Meal

In old cookbooks from the 1800s, corn meal was also called Indian corn. Back then, there was no refrigeration and people cooked over an open hearth or in a wood burning stove. There were also no thermometers, so people had to learn by experience how hot to make their fires  for cooking.   Below are some cooking terms you may not be  familiar with. Sour milk – raw milk that was not used quickly enough. Buttermilk – the […]

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