Category Archives: Uncategorized

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: “A Light and Wholesome Breakfast”

Chocolate is probably the most celebrated food in western civilization…okay, you’re right; there is bacon, but besides that… Many of our most decadent desserts are made with it. We flavor our coffee with it and brew our beer to taste … Continue reading

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A Chocolate Tart Another Way

While most chocolate in the 18th century was consumed as a drink (and most often for breakfast), it began to show up in a few period dessert recipes as well. Chocolate’s introduction to the dessert table was fairly subtle. It … Continue reading

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Yellow Flummery

Have you ever pursued an endeavor full-tilt and headlong, only to discover the brick wall AFTER you’ve regain consciousness? I hit a brick wall. In my recent quest to understand the breadth of lineages in the pudding family tree, I … 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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A Large Standing Crust

In earlier posts, I offered recipes for a small standing crust — perfect for individual-serving meat pies, a short crust, as well as a puff pastry. These recipes were versions of the three types of crusts used probably most often in 18th … Continue reading

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