Category Archives: 18th century

Stinging Nettle Soup

I have many memories from my formative boyhood years of tromping through the woods, discovering nature, getting dirty, and hunting for anything with more than (or less than) two legs with which I could startle my poor dear mother. Occasionally, the call … Continue reading

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A Ragout of French Beans

I find it serendipitous to stumble upon a familiar term in a centuries-old text — a term I use in my modern conversation, yet, one that has retained its meaning throughout the centuries. As a young boy, I would go out to the cornfields … Continue reading

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Chocolate Biscuits

Where would we be without chocolate? The thought runs shivers up my spine. In the scheme of culinary history, however, that creamy smooth chocolate that graces our palates with childhood delight and for just a moment melts away the adult … Continue reading

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Please Bring Back the Puddings!

I recently ran across online portions of an interesting book, edited by Harlan Walker, titled Disappearing Foods: Studies in Foods and Dishes at Risk (Prospect Books, 1995). The book includes an article written by Mary Wallace Kelsey called “The Pudding Club and … Continue reading

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Preserved Walnuts

In preparation for our upcoming wedding, my fiancée, Kelly, and I visited a wonderful cheese shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan this weekend, hoping to explore different cheese options for our reception. The tiny shop was packed with wide-eyed shoppers, and the busy … Continue reading

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Ship’s Biscuit Recipes

Many recipes in the 18th century use biscuits as an ingredient in other foods. Now I’m a biscuit fan. I’ll take mine hot with a dab of butter and a little honey. It just so happens that my bucket list … Continue reading

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18th Century Pasties: Addendum.

Here’s an interesting passage from William Ellis’s 1750 book, “The Country Housewife’s Family Companion” (page 65). Ellis speaks of the virtuous timing of slaughtering a “porker” prior to harvest. The scrap pieces of meat could be used in making portable … Continue reading

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18th Century Pasties, Part Two

As I began my quest to understand the 18th century pasty, I figured the first thing I needed to do was to leave behind all of my modern notions of what they were. I needed to travel light, leaving plenty … Continue reading

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18th Century Pasties, Part One

Say the word “Pasty” (pronounced “past-ee”), and you’ll likely receive a passionate Pavlovian response from hungry folks from several regions of the U.S. (i.e., Michigan’s U.P., or parts of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Montana, and California). Echoes of the lip-smacking cheers reverberate … Continue reading

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Standing-Crust Pie Recipes

In my last (rather lengthy) post, I shared a recipe for a large standing crust from Mrs. Frazer’s 1791 cookbook, “The Practice of Cookery.” Rather than leave you standing there with an empty pie shell, I thought it would be … Continue reading

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