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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whole carrots

Ways of Cooking Carrots

In looking through old cookbooks, I haven’t found any recipes for using raw carrots. Cooked carrots were a popular vegetable, though. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: BOILED CARROTS Wash some carrots, scrape well, and lay in cold water half an hour. If large, split them, or cut across in two or three pieces. Young carrots should only be washed before they are boiled, and the skin be rubbed off with a cloth afterward. Put them into boiling […]

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bunch of parsnips

How to Cook Parsnips

I’ve never eaten parsnips except raw from a salad bar, but in old cookbooks, they are always cooked. Parsnips can stand considerable freezing and thawing when they are left in the ground, so they were a good vegetable for winter use. RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS: IN PREPARING PARSNIPS FOR COOKING Scrape them if possible, instead of peeling them, so as not to waste any of the edible material. Try to obtain medium-sized parsnips, for they will be […]

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garden sorrel

Using Common Garden Sorrel

  Common or garden sorrel (gard) has a tart, lemon flavor and was popular in the 1800s. The larger leaves were used for soups and sauces and the young leaves for salads. I haven’t been able to find out why people quit using it, but it now seems to be making a comeback. You probably won’t find sorrel in a grocery store because it doesn’t ship or store well, even when refrigerated. And although seedlings […]

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cooking fritters

All Kinds of Fritters

  My mother made corn fritters when I was a kid, which I loved. While reading old cookbooks, I found fritter recipes for other vegetables and also for sweet (fruit) fritters. RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS BATTER FOR SAVORY FRITTERS Put six ounces of flour into a basin, with a pinch of salt, the yolk of one egg, and a quarter of a pint of warm water. Work this round and round with a wooden spoon till […]

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cooked hominy

Making and Cooking Hominy

The only hominy I’ve ever eaten was from a can.  It sure was a lot of work to make hominy in the old days. RECIPES FROM OLD COOKBOOKS MAKING HOMINY Use field corn to make hominy;  yellow dent, flint corn, Indian corn are all good varieties. Leave the corn on the plant longer than you normally would because you want it really dry.  When ready, pull off the husk and shell the corn using your thumb to […]

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head of cabbage

Cabbage Recipes

Recipes from Housekeeping in old Virginia CABBAGE SOUP Take a white cabbage and slice it up, and throw it into some stock or water, with some leeks and slices of turnip. Boil the whole till the vegetables are tender, flavor with pepper and salt. This is sometimes called Cornish broth, though in Cornwall a piece of meat or bones are generally boiled with the vegetables. When no meat is used, too much water must not be added, […]

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salsify roots

About Salsify (Oyster Plant)

I never heard of salsify (oyster plant) before I began reading old cookbooks. It was a popular vegetable in the 1800s, but people didn’t seem to use it much in the 1900s. Today you might find it at farmer’s markets or specialty grocery stores from October to January. You use the roots of salsify just like parsnips or carrots.  Peel or scrape the outside and then you can boil, bake, or fry it. Many people add it […]

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