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Propagating Wild Yeast for Reenactments


Today, if you asked 50 people about how to start a wild yeast culture for making sourdough bread, it’s likely you’ll get 100 different answers, but in reality, all it takes is a little bit of flour, some water and…

Which Yeast (Time 0_00_55;12)

September 29, 2017


Akara Recipe


Akara is a simple, easy to make snack that was frequently made in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Dried Black-eyed Peas Onions Parsley flour Boiling water Lard First, pulverize the dried black-eyed peas into very small pieces. Add to…

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A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup


This delicious Asparagus Soup recipe from Elizabeth Cleland’s A new and easy methods of cookery (1755). Many of this recipe's techniques, including roux, food coloring, bone broth, and court-bouillon (the ingredients boiled in the soup that are removed before eating)…

Asp6

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September 28, 2017


Rye and Indian Bread


This is called Rye and Indian bread, because it’s made of part rye flour and part Indian meal or sometimes we call it cornmeal. You can use just those two grains to make the flour, or you can add wheat…

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Simple Boiled Plum Pudding


Many people hear the word pudding today and they think about some little custardy stuff in a cup or something you buy at the grocery store in a box and mix it up with some milk. Pudding has a much…

Plum Pudding (Time 0_11_05;10)


An Onion Soup Recipe from 1801


This recipe for onion soup is out of John Mollard’s 1801 cookbook, “The Art of Cooking Made Easy and Refined”. 4 oz. Butter 4 tbsps. Flour 8 midsized Onions of choice Salt 3 qts. Beef Stock 4 Egg Yolks 1…

onion-soup-time-0_00_4313


A White Pot Recipe


A White Pot with Raisins and Dates Serves 1 - 6 (depending on how polite you are) The name “White Pot” originates from the Devon region of England. But this sweet, buttery custard bread pudding, layered with sweetmeats (dried fruits)…

Also Known as a White Pudding


Master Wood Turner Erv Tschanz


In this special video, master wood turner Erv Tschanz shares his passion for the craft. Erv is one of several skilled artisans that sells handcrafted items through Jas. Townsend & Son. The treenware cherry wood plate being made in this…

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September 13, 2017


Weaver/Trapper Interview: Experiencing History Through Reenacting


We've been busy interviewing fellow reenactors for the purpose of inspiring and encouraging viewers who are interested in getting involved in historical reenacting but don't know how to begin. Today we interview Tony Baker, a weaver by trade, who has…

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Starting a Living History Group from Scratch


It took an idea and a group of friends, and it went from there. Albert Roberts tells the story of how the innovative historical interpretive group "The HMS Acasta" was born. http://ift.tt/2wQkO31 More great information! ***************************** Our Retail Website -…

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Page 1 of 69
A Simply Fantastic Lemon Cream

A Simply Fantastic Lemon Cream

Don’t be fooled by the word “cream.” This delicious recipe for Lemon Cream from Amelia Simmons’ cookbook American Cookery (1796), is ironically completely dairy-free. Instead, it uses an interesting egg-cooking technique which yields a delicious custard-like dessert. While fruit creams of this nature have over time fallen off most modern culinary menus, lemon cream is one of the few survivors. It’s most recognizable today in the form of lemon cream pie.

This is a very easy recipe. Be sure to use only fresh lemon juice!

recipe lemon cream

Lemon Cream

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • the juice of 4 lemons (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • the rind of one lemon

Directions

Mix together the egg whites, egg, lemon juice, and water.

Lemon1

Whisk in the sugar until it’s completely dissolved.

Pour the mixture through a sieve to strain off any egg treadles.

Lemon2

Put the whole mixture in a pot with the lemon rind, and place it over medium-low heat.

Stirring constantly, slowly bring the mixture up to a simmer — just under boiling. If any foam or scum forms, remove it.

Lemon3

The mixture will remain very liquid as it heats up. It’s very important that you stir the mixture continuously. Immediately prior to boiling, the mixture will suddenly and noticeably thicken. When this happens, immediately remove it from the heat.

Lemon4

Remove the lemon rind.

Serve the cream warm or cold “in china dishes”. (Jon serves them in these beautiful bowls.) The cream will continue to set as it cools.

Lemon5

This cream can be served by itself or in other desserts. Jon, Michael, and Ivy brainstorm a few such desserts, like a tart, pie, and doughnuts.

What would you make?

Post your ideas and or pictures below!

Delightfully Whipped Syllabubs

Delightfully Whipped Syllabubs

Sweet recipes and desserts exploded in popularity during the 18th century. Cook books from that time are full of sugary treats that are as assorted in form as you can imagine. As delicious as many of these treats were, it can be a bit perplexing that they didn’t survive — at least in the North American context. The Syllabub is an example of a yummy dessert that for some strange reason has fallen into obscurity.

Syllabub was always a dessert beverage. Trying to define it further is a bit complicated. This is because the characteristics of syllabubs vary greatly. Recipes from many books, from over a broad span of time, call for many different wines, densities, processes, and flavors. Even just within Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife (1739), are three very different recipes for Syllabubs. To simplify things we will talk about just one fantastic version; the whipped Syllabub.

recipe whipt syllabub

While it may be difficult to concisely define a syllabub, don’t despair! You should see the variety as a green light for your creativity! Feel free to embellish, add, subtract, substitute or change the recipe however you desire. With syllabubs, if you imagine it is delicious, it will be — this is undoubtably one of the reasons why there are so many variations in the first place. In the video below Jon and Michael make a few variations of Smith’s “Whipt Syllabubs”.

Whipt Syllabubs

Ingredients

For the drink

  • approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white wine per serving (Smith’s recipes call for Sack or sherry, Rhenish White Wine, or Claret, but feel free to use another white wine or even hard cider. For a nonalcoholic version try white grape juice or apple juice.)
  • about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar per serving (you may wish to eliminate the sugar altogether if you’re using a sweet wine)

For the topping

  • 1 cup white wine or juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons (less if you desire a less-tart topping)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • garnish with grated nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon rind

Directions

For the drink

Combine the wine and sugar and stir until dissolved.

Silly1

For the topping

Combine the wine or juice, the lemon juice, and a 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Silly2

Once the sugar is dissolved, mix in the heavy cream.

Silly3

Whisk the mixture until it forms soft peaks.  This can be done by hand or with a mixer with a whisk attachment.

Silly4

Serving Procedure

Fill each of your serving glasses until about half full, then top with the whipped cream topping.

Silly5

Garnish with a sprinkle of grated nutmeg and squeeze of fresh lemon rind.

Sit back, relax, enjoy your syllabub. For yet another variation, stir the whipped topping with the drink to create what was called a “jumble syllabub.”

Switchel: The Original Energy-Ade

Switchel: the Original Energy-Ade

What do you drink if you’re worn out and need a little kick? An Ade, soda, an energy boost? In the 18th century, before supermarkets had shelves lined with this stuff,  many people drank a delicious beverage called Switchel.

Beverages similar to switchel date all the way back to ancient Greece, and were drank all the way around the world. This recipe was typical of those popular in America from New England all the way to the Caribbean. Of course regional influences made for local flares. In Vermont, for example, Switchel was made with Maple Syrup and mixed with oatmeal. (The oatmeal was eaten as a snack once the beverage was finished.) While in Trinidad the drink was almost always mixed with special branches from the quararibea turbinata plant. (Also known as the swizzlestick tree.)

Like Jon mentions in the video above Switchel is excellent with alcohol rum. The succulent balance of vinegar and sweetness makes for an exquisite cocktail base.

Switchel

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon of Drinking Water
  • 1/2 cup of Unsulfured Molasses (not blackstrap!) — to understand better what type of molasses this is, make sure you watch the video on Switchel posted above. You may also substitute maple syrup or honey.
  • 1/4 cup of Apple-Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Powdered Ginger

Procedure

Mix all ingredients in a large vessel.


Stir vigorously, especially making sure the ginger is well assimilated.

Refresh yourself accordingly!

Switchel, along with many other tasty beverages, can be found in Libations of the Eighteenth Century by David Alan Woolsey, sold at Jas. Townsend and Son.

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