I love Amelia Simmons’ recipe for her cranberry sauce. It’s stew, strain, and sweeten. How difficult could it be right? We’re going to use the same techniques that we used when we made our currant jelly and a currant tart, so we’re going to make the sauce and then a tart.
2 pounds Cranberries
1 Paste or Pie Crust
Add just enough water to cranberries in cooking pot to cover and boil about 15 minutes until skins break open.
Mash up cranberries to desired consistency (Be aware that cranberries stain everything).
Strain in jelly bag.
Add about the same amount of sugar as you have cranberry sauce to the cranberries and simmer another 10-15 minutes.
Pour half of cranberries into well buttered tart tin with paste, skimming off any foamy skin on top, and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes.
Pour other half into bowl and allow to cool.
Now, I’m making a double batch. I’ve got two pounds of cranberries and I’m going to add just enough water to them to cover them. These will need to boil about 15 minutes and as they do, you’ll begin to see the skin begin to break open.
These boiled for their 15 minutes. We’re going to take a masher and mash them up. You do have to remember that if you do cranberries like this, whatever you use to mash them in will permanently be stained a nice cranberry color.
Ok, these are nicely mashed up. If you don’t have a sieve like this, you can use a jelly bag just like we used in the currant jelly video.
Cranberry must have a lot of pectin because it’s already starting to set up.
Pour the contents back into our cooking pot. Let’s sugar it. We need to add about equal quantities, so you’re going to have to sort of guess this unless you measure exactly what you’ve got here, but I think we’ll guess pretty well here. We’re going to stick this back on the fire and let it simmer another 10 or 15 minutes.
Half of this, I’m going to pour into this tart tin with a paste. Any foamy skin that appears on the top of your tart, you can just skim that right off. The other half we’ll pour into our little bowl here. This is our cranberry sauce and it’s going to thicken as it cools. The tart, we’re going to bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. Make sure the tart pan is well buttered so that the crust doesn’t stick. We’re not going to sample these right now. We’re going to wait to put these together into this wonderful holiday feast. I want to thank you for joining us today as we savor the flavors and aromas of the 18th Century.
In the 18th century, puddings were once a culinary staple of much of the western world. Many types existed but most called for long cooking times. Hasty puddings (or as they were often called “puddings in haste”) became popular for their convenience. This was especially favorable for frontiersmen and frontierswomen who, armed with versatile and expedient cooking utensils like the Dutch oven, desired a hearty and delicious meal on-the-go. Jon discusses Dutch ovens and a lovely recipe for a hasty pudding in the video below:
This Hasty Pudding recipe is from Maria Eliza Rundell’s 1807 cookbook A New System of Domestic Cookery:
Puddings in Haste (makes 10-12 puddings)
Ingredients (Measurements by Jon Townsend)
1 Cup fine bread crumbs or crushed Ship’s Biscuits (Recipe here)
1/2 cup Zante currants or raisins
1/2 lemon zest
1 cup Grated Suet (Make sure to watch the episode “Rendering Suet” or read the blogposts, “Suet” parts one through four, to better understand the importance of and how to work with this product.)
Flour for Dredging
2 Egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Bring water to a boil in a Dutch oven
In a bowl incorporate evenly the bread crumbs, raisins, lemon zest, and suet.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and ginger.
Mix all of ingredients together until the dough is even. (It should be quite thick.)
Roll the mixture into egg sized balls.
Dredge the pudding balls in flour.
Cook in boiling water for 15-20 minutes.
Remove them from the water and let them dry for about 3 minutes.
Serve them hot or cold.
Rundell recommends serving her recipe with a “pudding sauce”. Below is a pudding sauce recipe:
1 Cup Butter (cubed and chilled)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Sack (or Sherry Wine)
Simmer the sugar and sack together in a small saucepan.
Remove the mixture from fire and immediately add cold butter (a few cubes at a time) while whisking vigorously.
Serve immediately atop the hasty pudding and enjoy!
O.k., so it may be an absurd question. The answer, however, is probably…but it may not be what you think.
When I hear the word “KETCHUP,” the tangy tomato condiment immediately blots across the canvas my mind like a crimson Rorschach test. Ketchup is a necessary component of the backyard cookout. It’s the not-so-secret ingredient to many a blue-ribbon meatloafs. There’s a bottle of it sitting on the tables of most every diner, separating the salt and pepper shakers like misbehaving children.
But when you’re in Chicago, don’t ask for ketchup on your hot dog, or you’ll be branded a tourist. Um…the fanny pack may give you away too.
One of my all-time favorite Sunday-morning comics was by the master cartoonist, Gary Larsen. It featured a committee of ruminating vultures huddling over their rather ripe roadkill repast, while two of them reminisce the virtues of…(you remember this one too?)…ketchup.
Believe it or not, ketchup has been around for hundreds of years; that’s just about as long as the debate that has raged over whether the word is spelled “C-A-T-C-H-U-P,” C-A-T-S-I-P,” or “K-E-T-C-H-U-P.” The Oxford English Dictionary declares the winner: “Ketchup” is apparently the more commonly used of the three, so I’ll stick with that name for now.
But wait, I thought people long ago believed tomatoes were poisonous!
Many did, and for good reason. The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. And with the tag “nightshade,” the tomato is looking pretty evil. Other people — some apparently with a death wish, knew better.
It is believed that the great Spanish explorer, Hernan Cortes, may have been the first to introduce the “love apple” to Europe upon his return from South America. By the early 1500s, tomatoes became a staple in Spanish and Italian diets. By 1600, many British cooks decided it was time for the Spaniards and Italians to share in the fun. By the mid-18th century, tomatoes were fairly common English fare, typically used in soups and as garnishes or sauces for meats.
In the book Every Man His Own Gardener, by John Abercrombie and Thomas Mawe, 1767, it reads, “[Tomatoes] in some families, are much used in soups, and are also often used to pickle, both when they are green, and when they are ripe.”
There are numerous references and recipes for sauces made from tomatoes. Some of these recipes included garlic and spices, as well as vinegar — typical ingredients in modern-day tomato ketchup. Here’s a recipe from the Culina famulatrix medicinæ: or, Receipts in modern cookery, by Alexander Hunter, published in 1810:
And here’s another recipe from 1817:
But who came up with the word “Ketchup”?
Who knows? There’s much debate over the origin of this word. Some say it’s a variant of a Chinese word for fish sauce. Others say it is a Malay word for the same.
We know from references and recipes that by the mid 1700s, “Ketchup” was a culinary term spoken frequently in English kitchens. The condiment, however, associated with it was not a tomato sauce, but rather a flavorful concoction, sometimes fermented, sometimes not, based on either anchovies or shellfish, walnuts, or mushrooms. Martha Washington included a recipe in her Booke of Cookery for pickled oysters, a fermented variant of ketchup.
You can still find a direct descendant of 18th century ketchup either in your refrigerator, or if not there, on a shelf at your local grocer: it’s called Worcestershire sauce (that’s pronouced “wuus-ter-sher” for those who, like me, have difficulty slurring the word enough). The bottle in my refrigerator has been there since, well, maybe even the 18th century!
18th Century Ketchup Recipes
If you’re an 18th century reenactor, historian, or foodie and you still crave your red stuff, you’re pretty safe to use a recipe like those above. Tomatoes will kill neither you nor generally your authenticity, unless, of course, you’re deathly allergic to them. Just don’t call it ketchup during the event; instead, call it tomato sauce. But if you want that authentic “ketchup experience,” and you’re up to making your own, there are many recipes found in the old cookbooks. Here are a couple:
Ingredients: 2lbs fresh mushrooms, wiped clean and broken or cut into small pieces.
2T Kosher or Sea Salt
2 -3 Bay Leaves
1 Large Onion, chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
1T Grated Horseradish
1/4t Ground Clove
1/2t Ground Allspice
Pinch of Cayenne
1/2c Cider Vinegar
Combine the mushrooms, salt, and bay leaves in a non-metallic pot or bowl. Cover and let set overnight.
Transfer mushroom mixture to a cooking pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low to simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. (Optional: you could simmer the mixture longer, stirring all the while, to reduce the liquid to about half for a more concentrated flavor.)
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain out all the solids through a piece of cloth, squeezing or wringing the cloth to remove as much liquid as possible.
PLEASE NOTE! Don’t throw away the wrung-out mushroom mixture! Spread it out on a baking sheet and dry it thoroughly in a 200-degree (F) oven. Remove the mushrooms when they are completely dry and hard. This can be ground into a powder and stored in a tin for seasoning or left in its original form to be added to soups and stews. This mushroom seasoning is absolutely delicious!
So when did Ketchup turn red?
While there may be earlier recipes for a tomato-based ketchup, the earliest we found was in the Apicius Redivivus: Or, The Cook’s Oracle, by William Kitchiner from 1817. This is an interesting book in that it, like the aforementioned book by Charlotte Mason, also includes a good number of ketchup recipes, including “White Catsup” made with white wine vinegar and anchovies, cucumber ketchup, a sweet orange and brandy flavored ketchup for puddings, “Cockle and Muscle” ketchup, oyster ketchup, walnut ketchup, as well as mushroom ketchup. But it’s the “Tomata Catsup” that captures my attention.
This recipe seems to be a marriage of a typical tomato sauce recipe with a typical fish-based ketchup recipe.
By the mid 1800’s numerous recipes were written for tomato ketchup, many of which had dropped the fermented sea creatures from the list of ingredients. References, however, still are found from as late as the 1870’s (Check this link) which refer to the making of mushroom ketchup. So tomato ketchup hadn’t entirely beaten out the competition yet.
Our association of the word “ketchup” to that red blot running down our shirts, is likely the result of some fancy promotion and distribution footwork by the all-familiar Heinz family, who got their start in 1876. By the turn of the 20th century they had made a name for themselves and had given the folks of Worcester a run for their money. It’s also very likely that they changed forever the common perception of what ketchup was. By the early 1900s, they were shipping every year 12 million of those familiar glass bottles to kitchens around the world and to local diners like the one near you.