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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)…

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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 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?

Food of the Enslaved: Okra Soup

This video is the first of a series that focuses on historic foods of the enslaved African community of North America.

We recently had the privilege to visit Gunston Hall in Mason Neck, VA. While we were there, we met Michael Twitty, an historical interpreter and culinary historian who specializes in food of the African-American community from enslavement in the mid-18th century to post-reconstruction in the mid to late 19th century. We’re so grateful Michael shared this delicious recipe for Okra Soup. Okra is an important food in modern Southern cooking, and it finds its North American origins in the fascinating cuisine of the enslaved African community.

Gunston Hall holds a very special place in American History. It was the home of George Mason, a founding father in American history. Many of the rights and liberties we enjoy today as American citizens can be traced to the insistent influence of George Mason.

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An 18th Century Cheese Soup

This cheese soup is another recipe from Ann Cook’s 1755 cookbook, “Professed Cookery.” It’s a very easy and delicious little dish that is perfect for this cold weather. You have to try it!

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Simple Sauerkraut Soup — a Delicious Dish for Soldiers and Sailors Alike


Jon and Josh use the Sauerkraut we made a few episodes ago to make a delicious and easy Sauerkraut Soup. This is an excellent recipe for soldiers on the march, and is documented as a suggested meal for 18th century sailors.

Sauerkraut Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITpr3e_Ld3U

Pickle Onions Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqI2HHDKCCc

Portable Soup Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fE5KzvOZRk

Lobscouse Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnl-jOnoYgg

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Easiest Way to Make Portable Soup

Portable soup is a meat broth that is condensed to solid form. It was a very common ration/survival food in the 18th century, and it can be used as a wonderful flavor enhancer in any modern dish. Making portable soup, however, takes a long time, and if you don’t watch it closely, it is easily ruined. In this video, we show you a easy, nearly fail-safe way to make it at home so that you can take it to your next historical event or have it on hand the next time you need broth or wish to boost the flavor of your favorite dish or soup.

Our videos are funded by the purchases made by our customers on our website.

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Springtime Soup Made With Wild Greens

Today we use the wild Spring greens we picked to make a delicious Springtime soup! This is a great time of year to start camping, enjoy nature, and spend time with friends and family while campfire cooking.

Mushroom Ketchup video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29u_FejNuks

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Asparagus Soup

Today we use the Bone Broth that we prepared in a previous episode to make a wonderful Asparagus Soup. It’s a great spring dish that we’re sure you’ll enjoy! This recipe comes from Elizabeth Cleland’s 1755 Cookbook, “The New and Easy Method of Cookery.”

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Vermicelli Soup

A simple yet tasty vermicelli soup recipe from Hannah Glasse’s 18th century cookbook The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.

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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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Stinging Nettle Soup

Stinging Nettle Soup

Stinging nettles hold a very special place in 18th century food and medicine. Medical books from the time period mention these stinging nettles as good for stopping hemorrhages and promoting urine flow.

  • Large amount of fresh Stinging Nettles
  • 1 ½ quarts Water
  • 4 oz Butter
  • 3 Medium Onions
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Stale Bread Crust
  • Mushroom Ketchup (optional)

Stinging Nettle Soup (Time 0_00_30;29)

Gather together a good bunch of early springtime nettles. The best ones are right after they come out of the ground. You want to get the first half of the plant or the first 3 or 4 inches. You don’t want any of the hard stalks or roots. You might want to wear gloves when you pick these because they sting a little. Wash these off like you would lettuce for a salad and then chop them up finely.
Start the water boiling in a kettle and heat the butter in a skillet.
Add your chopped onions to your skillet when the butter has stopped making noise.

Stinging Nettle Soup (Time 0_02_14;02)

Once the onions are nice and brown, put the nettles in the skillet and stir for about 5-10 minutes.

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Next, shake on the flour and add salt and pepper mixing well.

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Pour all of the contents of the pan into the boiling water.
Add your chopped up stale bread to the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes.

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Add your mushroom ketchup just before serving as an optional finishing touch and enjoy.

Stinging Nettle Soup (Time 0_04_13;16)

Transcript of Video:

It’s springtime. It’s time to pick stinging nettles so you can make nettle soup.

Stinging nettles hold a very special place in 18th century food and medicine. Medical books from the time period mention these stinging nettles as good for stopping hemorrhages and promoting urine flow.

John Heckewelder was a missionary in remote Pennsylvania in 1756 and in his journal he writes this, “We live mostly upon nettles which grew abundantly in the bottoms and of which we frequently made two meals a day.” That’s amazing. You know, I think we’ve got enough nettles, let’s head to the kitchen.

I’ve got a good bunch of nettles gathered here. These are early springtime nettles, the best ones, right after they come out of the ground. You want to get the first half of the plant or first 3 or 4 inches. You don’t want any of the hard stalk or any of the roots. You might want to wear gloves when you pick these because they sting a little bit but in the early spring it’s usually not too bad. Wash these off like you would lettuce for a salad. Now let’s work on the base of our soup.

We need to get some water boiling here in our kettle. I’ve got about a quart and a half or so here.

And while that’s heating up, we’re going to sauté some onions in a little bit of butter.

This is about 4 ounces of butter. Hannah Glasse’s recipe for meager soup calls for the butter to be cooked until it’s done making noise and then you add the onions. We’re going to use about 3 medium onions.

While our onions are browning, let’s chop up our nettles nice and fine.

We can take our chopped nettles now and put it right into our browning onions.

Well, we stirred these for about five or ten minutes and now it’s time to shake on about a quarter of a cup of flour into this.

And a little bit of salt and pepper. So now it’s time to add the contents of our pan to our boiling water.

Many 18th century soup recipes call for a chopped up stale bread crust to be added to the soup.

We’re going to let this simmer for another ten minutes and then as an optional finishing touch, we’re going to add a little bit of this mushroom ketchup that we’ve made in an earlier episode.

This soup is excellent. If you’ve never had nettles before, nettles soup or any other kind of nettles, it’s the perfect time of year, right now, to go out and pick them. All the things you’ve seen here today, all the cooking equipment, all the clothing, all these things are available in our print catalog or on our website and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

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