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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…


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)…


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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…


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…


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. More great information! ***************************** Our Retail Website -…

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Page 1 of 69
Kitchen Pepper Recipes

Kitchen Pepper Recipes

I have a friend who is an award-winning BBQ pit master. Follow your nose through my sleepy little hometown on any given Saturday, and that unmistakable aroma of meat on the grill will lead you straight to him. You can find him there in the grocery store parking lot from 9:00 a.m. until the food runs out (usually between 1:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon). For anyone unfamiliar with his product, it may seem kind of silly for a steady line of people to stand single-file in the blistering mid-day sun, or ankle-deep in a Noahic downpour, or huddled against each other in a blinding side-ways snowstorm. But those who have tasted his fall-off-the-bone ribs, buttery smoked pork chops, melt-in-your-mouth double-smoked bacon, and of course, his signature pulled pig piled high on a bun with his “spirited” sauce on the side…well, they get it. One bite is all it takes to be hopelessly hooked on this succulent smokey crack.

Some people like their BBQ smothered with sauce, and that is completely their prerogative. I like mine with sauce on the side. That’s not to say the sauce is bad. That sauce is seriously good stuff. I try to resist drinking it straight from that little Styrofoam cup. Keeping the sauce on the side, however, heightens my meal to a sensual experience. I’m better able to fully experience the layering of flavors, from sauce, to smoke, to meat. And tucked somewhere in between is my friend’s secret blend of spices and seasonings.

Every BBQ pit master has his or her special blend of spices, the formulas of which often remain highly guarded secrets. Such spice blends are used to achieve a unique and consistent flavor profile that keeps BBQ fans line up for more.

Spice blends have been used for hundreds of years long before BBQ came ashore on this continent, so let’s set BBQ aside just for now. “Powder Blanch,” “Powder deuce” (sweet powder) and “Powder fort” (strong powder) were used in medieval English and French Kitchens to season a variety of soups, stews, and roasted dishes. By the end of the 17th century, kitchen blends began to take a more standardized form with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper taking on predominate roles. Some were loaded with salt, some weren’t. I suspect their popularity was largely borne out of convenience. Spices were primarily sold in whole form and had to be ground or grated when needed. A pre-ground preparation of the more commonly used (and desired) spices made the seasoning of foods much easier.

By the end of the 18th century, these spice blends had acquired the common name “kitchen pepper.” For the most part, the various recipes included in the period cookbooks are very similar to one another. There were also a number of outright plagiarisms that food historians expect of the period. But as the popularity of kitchen spread into the 19th century, a broader variety of recipes began to appear on the published pages. Here are some of the recipes I found in my research.

From “A Lady’s Assistant,” by Charlotte Mason (1777)


From “The Practice of Cookery,” by Mrs. Frazer (1791)


From “A New System of Domestic Cookery,” by Maria Rundell (1808)


From “The English Housekeeper,” by Anne Cobbett (1835)



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