Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Christmas Pie

In most English societies, for centuries Christmas has been a time of gatherings, and food, and festivities, and traditions, and family. For many people in the eighteenth century, Christmas was celebrated much differently than it typically is today. Remnants of … Continue reading

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A Short Paste, a Delicious Pear Tart, and a Choice of Three Toppings

I’ve mentioned in an early post that there were, for the most part, three types of pastry crusts used in 18th century cooking. This is admittedly a simplification of the goings-on of the old English kitchen. There were other types … Continue reading

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Three Dozen Mince Pie Recipes Later — the Fallacy of Precision

I recently completely a side-by-side comparison of a number of 18th and early 19th century recipes for mince pie — 36 recipes in all from 24 different sources. I have to admit that when I get involved in something like … Continue reading

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An 18th Century Cookbook Dedicated to the Sweet Tooth

Here’s an interesting cookbook by Frederick Nutt, originally written in 1789, called “The Complete Confectioner, or the Whole Art of Confectionery.” Just in time for the holidays, its repertoire of recipes includes biscuits, drops, prawlings, ice creams, water ices, fruits … Continue reading

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The Complexities and Perils of Baking a Cake

In her 1807 book “A New System of Domestic Cookery; Formed upon Principles of Economy, and Adapted to the use of Private Families,” Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell offers wonderfully helpful advice to the novice baker, especially when it comes to … Continue reading

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