Category Archives: Baking

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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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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A Quire of Paper

Here’s one more recipe for 18th century pancakes from John Farley’s 1783 cookbook, “The London Art of Cookery“: A variation of this recipe can also be found in Mary Randolph’s 1824 cookbook “The Virginia Housewife.” A “quire” is a term borrowed … Continue reading

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How to hold your pancake…

It’s pancake week on our picture reference blog, SiftingThePast.com, and I couldn’t help but notice how people were holding their pancakes in a couple of the paintings . Notice, below, the man in the background holding his pancake as well … Continue reading

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Pancakes: They’re Not Just for Breakfast

While I look forward nearly every day to going to work, every now and again, I’ll look forward with greater anticipation to the drive home. I know of no job that is void of any stress of one sort or … Continue reading

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