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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…

akara-time-0_00_0921


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…

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_08_1818


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 Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup

A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup

This delicious Asparagus Soup recipe from Elizabeth Cleland’s A new and easy methods of cookery (1755).

recipe asparagus soup

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) might be considered quite refined today.  However, in the 18th century these procedures were fairly common ways of enhancing flavor, color, and texture.  If you give them a try you’ll notice they are quite easy.  This recipe, being simple to make and extraordinarily delicious, makes you wonder why Americans don’t still cook today like they did in the 18th century.

Jon uses a bone broth that he discusses in a previous video:

The recipe for this is also from Cleland’s book:

clelandbroth

Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 4-5 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • Jelly Bag (which you can find on the Jas Townsend and Son Store)
  • 1 quart of bone broth
  • 15-20 asparagus stalks chopped in 1/2 inch segments
  • 1 onion
  • about 6 cloves (stuck in the onion)
  • 1/3 teaspoon of mace
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
  • 1 large pinch of allspice
  • a small bunch sweet herbs
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1/2 cup of flour

Directions

For the Roux

Set the butter in a small pan over a low flame.

After the butter melts but before it begins to brown add the flour, making sure the ingredients are evenly spread.

Cook this mixture until it is a nutty brown color.

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Use immediately or preserve it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For the spinach coloring

With a mortar and pestle (or blender) mash the spinach with a little bit of water.

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Strain the mixture through the Jelly bag, squeezing out as much of the colored liquid as possible.

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Use the coloring immediately or preserve in the fridge for 1 week.

For the Soup

Add the spinach “green” to the broth.

In a large pot, bring the liquid to a boil.

Add the asparagus, onion, spices, herbs, and salt to the pot.

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Boil the pot until the asparagus is cooked, but not soggy (approximately 5 minutes).

Add the roux.

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Again bring the mixture to boil, stirring regularly.

When the roux is dissolved immediately remove the pot from the heat.

Strain out the sweet sweet herbs, onion, and clove.

Garnish with some herbs and spinach “green”.

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I like to eat soups like this with a slice of rustic wheat bread, and I know Jon enjoys Ships Crackers.  What hardy addition would you toss into this soup?

A White Pot Recipe

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) and topped with a caramelized sugar crust, was known to colonial cooks as well, if not by name, by construction. As far as we are concerned, this dessert deserves a culinary resurgence.

Notes:

You will need a sloped-sided baking pan for this recipe that holds about a quart, such as a Charlotte mould (named after King George III’s wife), a trade kettle, or any other sloped-sided ceramic or metal vessel. In our video on “Baking a White Pot,” we used a Tin Bowl, available on our website (product # TB-30). A medium rectangular bread pan will work as well.

If you use your range oven at home, preheat your oven to 350-degrees (F). A wood-fired oven should be heated to full temperature and then swept out and allowed to cool to medium heat. If you use a Dutch oven, prepare a small fire from which you can use embers. Or if using charcoal briquettes with your Dutch oven, use this formula: for the ring of coals used beneath your Dutch oven, take the diameter of your Dutch oven in inches minus two (example: if your Dutch oven is 12” in diameter, use 10 briquettes beneath). For the ring of coals for the top of your Dutch oven, take the diameter in inches plus two (example: for a 12” Dutch oven use 14 coals on top). That will heat your dutch oven to approximately 350 degrees. .

If you are using a wood-fired oven or Dutch oven, be sure to also use a trivet onto which you can place your baking pan. This will prevent the bottom of your White Pot from burning. Jas. Townsend & Son sells a baking trivet on our website (product # TR-618). If you don’t have a baking trivet, a tripod of pebbles will do in the meantime.

Ingredients:

1 pint heavy cream

1 cinnamon stick (or ¼ t ground cinnamon)

¼ t ground mace

¼ t freshly grated or ground nutmeg

dash of salt

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3 T sugar

1 loaf of white bread (we used soft Italian bread, but white sandwich bread will work)

½ cup (1 stick) softened butter, plus enough to butter the inside of your baking dish

1 cup raisins

1 cup dates, pitted, and sliced

additional sugar for sprinkling on top

Assembling:

Liberally butter the inside of your cooking vessel and set aside. Do not skip this step or you’ll be disappointed.

Mix the heavy cream, spices, and salt. Set over medium/low heat and bring to a simmer, occasionally stirring to prevent a skin from forming. Remove from heat to cool slightly.

Beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. When the cream mixture has cooled slightly, remove the cinnamon stick, and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cream into your egg mixture, whisking as you pour until the cream is well incorporated. This will temper your eggs so they will not curdle. Continue to add approximately ¼ cup of cream at a time to your egg mixture, whisking well as you pour, until all the cream is incorporated into the eggs. This is your custard liquid. Set it aside.

Slice your bread into approximately ½” slices, then trim away the crusts leaving only the slices of crumb. Butter your bread slices fairly liberally. This works best if your butter is softened.

Place a layer of bread, buttered-side down, into the bottom of your buttered baking pan. Push your bread down just a bit, but take care not to compress it. Fill in any gaps with smaller pieces of bread. Sprinkle a layer of raisins and dates on top of your first bread layer. It does not have to be a solid layer of fruit, as the raisins will expand while baking. Repeat the bread layer once more, placing the buttered-side down. Top with another raisin/date layer.

Once you have two layers of bread and two layers of fruit, pour enough custard liquid to fill the pan just to the top of the bread. Repeat layering as described in the previous paragraph. Cover with just enough custard to cover the bread layer. Continue until your pan is full.

Top off your pan with a layer of bread, buttered-side up. The custard liquid will soak up into this layer. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar on top. Your White Pot is assembled and ready to bake.

Baking:

Baking times will vary, depending on the size of your pan and the actual temperature of your oven. Check your White Pot after 30 minutes. The top will be well browned when it’s done. Your White Pot may jiggle a bit when jostled, but there should not be liquid pooled in the middle. If the top is not browned, continue to bake it, checking every 10 minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Serving:

Once your White Pot is finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the inside edge of the baking dish. If you are using a tin-lined pan, be especially careful with your knife so you don’t damage your tin lining. Invert the pan onto a plate and rap on the pan and jiggle it to get the White Pot to separate from the bottom of the pan. This is why it is important to butter your pan liberally.

An extra special finishing touch for your White Pot is to sprinkle it with sugar and brown the sugar as you would on a creme brulee. This is best done with a Salamander (you guessed it, Jas. Townsend & Son also offers Salamanders: product # SM-279). Heat the plate of the salamander until it is cherry red, and prop the plate over the sugared top until it bubbles and browns. (Be very careful doing this. Handling a hot salamander requires a good pair of thermal gloves). You may also brown the sugared top using a modern kitchen torch or a conventional oven broiler. If you use a broiler, watch your White Pot closely to avoid over browning.

Slice into wedges. White Pot may be eaten warm or cold. It is delicious topped with a little cream or sack (sweet sherry).

“A white-pot custard for my white-pot queen,” cried Kemp, waving his bauble, “Mark this boy, …A white-pot mermaid custard, with a crust, lashings of cream, eggs, apple-pulse and spice, a little sugar and manchet bread. Away! Be swift!”

– Tales of the Mermaid Tavern, by Alfred Noyes

Simple Apple Pudding

In this weeks episode we explore a very easy way to make an Apple Pudding with simple soldier rations.

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Cooking Simple Hard Dumplings

Rations for soldiers in the 18th century were very simple, a pound of meat and a pound of bread. Often flour was issued instead of bread and what do you do with a pound of flour and your a soldier without an oven and have no extra ingredients. This video explores a very simple way to use that flour.

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Currant Jelly

In this episode we talk about and make currant jelly, a very common condiment in the 18th century.

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Onion Rings

You would think that onion rings are a rather recent addition to the American menu, but in this episode we discover a wonderful 1801 recipe for onion rings with a great little twist.

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Our Website – http://townsends.us/

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Wild Cherries 18th Century Cooking

Ivy and Jon talk about the wild cherry tree and what it was used for. Medicine, food, wood and dye. Part of our 18th century cooking series,

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Cooking Onion Soup

How to make a wonderful (did I say wonderful) 18th century onion soup following a John Mollard recipe from his 1804 cookbook.

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Red Currant Tart

There seems to be a lot of confusion about currants in the 18th century, was it a tiny raisin or a berry. Well, it’s both. In this video we explore currants and use them in a wonderful tart.

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Forcemeat Meatballs

This is the third in a series of three videos we did with Michael Dragoo. In it we cook up forcemeat meatballs with a wonderful mushroom and leak sauce.

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