Posts Tagged ‘milk’
2 oz. butter
1 tsp. cream or milk
Very convenient for invalids, or when required, a light dish for supper. Beat up three eggs with two ounces of fresh butter, or well-washed salt butter; add a teaspoonful of cream or new milk. Put all in a saucepan and keep stirring it over the fire for nearly five minutes, until it rises up like a soufflé, when it should be immediately dished on buttered toast.
From Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine, reader-submitted recipe from 1866.
Comment: While the author prefers to compare this to a soufflé, we must confess to suspecting a bit of “it sounds so much tastier in French!” classism at work here. This is not a durn thing but scrambled eggs after all, and the bit of butter and cream should make it tasty indeed.
Most cookbooks of the period had entire sections devoted to “cooking for the sick” and “invalid” was an all too common status in the years of the war, and long afterwards. Also included in the category would be those who, while otherwise healthy, had lost or damaged teeth and consequent difficulty chewing hard foods.
A Necessary Refreshment at all Parties.
2 qts. milk
1 stick cinnamon
4 oz. almonds
1-2 tbs. rose water
Boil two quarts of milk with a stick of cinnamon and let it stand to be quite cold, first taking out the cinnamon; blanch four ounces of the best sweet almonds, pound them in a marble mortar with a little rose-water; mix them well with the milk, sweeten it to your taste, and let it boil a few minutes only, lest the almonds should be oily; strain it through a very fine sieve till quite smooth, and free from the almonds, serve it up either cold or lukewarm, in glasses with handles.
From The Virginia Housewife Or, Methodical Cook by Mary Randolph, 1860 edition of 1824 original
Comment: Rosewater is easy but time-consuming to make, assuming you have a large supply of food-quality (i.e. organic, non-pesticide or chemical laden) rose petals to work with. It was very popular in fancy dishes of the 19th century but today is found commercially only in gourmet shops and markets catering to Middle Eastern neighborhoods.
“Sweet” almonds are the only kind available in the US any more. The ones known as “bitter” almonds have been taken off the market as they contain unacceptable levels of cyanide, which is what produces the bitter taste. Our ancestors ate them on a regular basis, proving that they were a brave and sturdy people and we are degenerate poison-avoiding sissies.
1 and 1/2 pint milk
1/4 pint homemade yeast (2-3 packets or cubes commercial yeast)
6 oz. butter
Take a pint and a half of milk quite warm, and a quarter of a pint of thick small-beer yeast; mix them well together in a pan with sufficient flour to make a thick batter; let it stand in a warm place covered over until it has risen as high as it will; rub six ounces of butter into some flour till it is quite fine; then break three eggs into your pan with the flour and butter; mix them well together; then add sufficient flour to make it into a dough, and let it stand a quarter of an hour; then work it up again, and break it into pieces about the size of an egg, or larger, as you may fancy; roll them round and smooth with your hand, and put them on tins, and let them stand covered over with a light piece of flannel. [Bake]
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: Translating recipes for yeast breads is always difficult because the quantities given are for “homemade” yeast which is nowadays used primarily by those who make their own sourdough products.
In the 19th century a pot of live yeast starter sat in every kitchen, carefully located closer or farther from the heat source as the season dictated to keep it from either freezing or dying of over-heating. It was removed by the tablespoon, cup or pint-full to make the amount of bread needed by the household on a daily basis. The amount removed was replaced with an equivalent amount of flour and water, and the remaining yeast creatures would spread through that until the next day’s baking time rolled around.
If that yeast “wore out” or was lost in some fashion it was necessary to make a trip to the local tavern or other beermaking emporium and buy or beg a resupply from their stock. This was considered a great disgrace, the mark of a slovenly housekeeper, if the yeast was lost to anything less than a house fire.
2 pints milk
8 oz. cream
small piece vanilla bean
12 oz. sugar
Two pints of milk, eight ounces of cream, four grains of vanilla, twelve ounces of sugar, split the vanilla [bean], and cut it into small pieces; beat it with a little sugar in a marble mortar till it becomes powdered;
put it into a stew-pan or skillet, with the milk, cream, and sugar; let them boil till the whole is sufficiently thick, then strain through a cloth, and pour into a bowl to cool.
From “Madame de Genlis” in The Carolina Housewife by Sarah Rutledge, 1847
Comment: “Madame de Genlis’” term for the quantity of vanilla to be used here is a bit unclear. A “grain” was indeed a unit of measurement, but a very small one: 20 grains made a scruple, three scruples made a drachm (or “dram”) and it took eight drachms to make an ounce. So “four grains” would hardly seem to be enough to flavor this quantity of milk, cream and sugar. We leave the matter to the discretion of the cook. Additionally, it would seem like the author has taken for granted the final step of putting the recipe through an ice-cream freezer (which were perfectly well known in the 19th century) as the resulting product would otherwise be known as “vanilla pudding.”
It was quite common in 19th century cookbooks for individual recipes to be attributed to a specific source, usually a person known to the author or otherwise locally famous for superior cookery skills. This added a touch of uniqueness to what was otherwise just a collection of the same receipts as were carried in every other cookbook in the store. It also gave both author and donor a shot at a bit of fame in a time when this was a rare opportunity for women. “Respectable” women, at any rate.
Large pint of strained squash or pumpkin
1 qt. milk, boiled
2 c. sugar
2-4 saltine crackers, crumbled to powder
1 tsp. salt
Few drops lemon extract or rose water
1/2 tsp. ginger or ground cinnamon
1-2 tbs. butter
Pie crust (bottom layer only)
To a quart of boiled milk, put a large pint of strained squash, two cups of sugar, three eggs, two crackers pounded and sifted (or four eggs without the crackers), a teaspoonful of salt, a few drops of lemon or rose, half a teaspoonful of ginger or powdered cinnamon, and a dessert-spoonful of butter, melted in the hot milk. To mix it, stir the spice and salt into the strained squash first, then add the cracker, and sugar, and when these are mixed, pour in half the milk, and when this is well stirred, add the remainder, and lastly the eggs, which should be thoroughly beaten. If you make up two quarts of milk, use four eggs, and five pounded crackers, and double the other ingredients. Bake with a crust, in rather deep plates, or in dishes made for such pies.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, 1863
Comment: Ah, that delight of 19th century cookbooks, the idiosyncratic measurement! “A dessert-spoon of butter” was a quantity determined by how big your dessert-spoons were as well as the temperature of the butter: if melted it would be a level spoonful, if hardened it could heap up as high as the cook’s heart desired. We list the butter at 1-2 tablespoons modern measurement but feel free to vary this in either direction as seems appropriate.
The fact that Mrs. Cornelius called this simply “Squash or Pumpkin” reflects the reality that in her day this basic recipe could be used as a pudding, a parfait, or a custard just as readily as a pie. The primary difference was the method of serving: in a crust it was a pie; in a small dish a custard, in a large bowl a pudding, and in a cup or goblet with beaten egg white or cream on top, a parfait. We must admit a probably irrational preference for the pie form, but that’s just us.
Fresh milk, skimmed
Set a china or glass dish of skimmed milk away in a warm place, covered. When it turns, i.e. becomes a smooth, firm but not tough cake, like blanc-mange–serve in the same dish. Cut out carefully with a large spoon, and put in saucers, with cream, powdered sugar and nutmeg to taste. It is better, if set on the ice for an hour before it is brought to table. Do not let it stand until the whey separates from the curd.
Few people know how delicious this healthful and cheap dessert can be made, if eaten before it becomes tart and tough, with a liberal allowance of cream and sugar. There are not many jellies and creams superior to it.
From Common Sense in the Household by Marion Harland, New York, 1871
Comment: People who dealt with milk in the days when it came straight from the cow rather than in processed, homogenized, pasteurized and professionally packaged form were not as horrified by milk which had “turned” as we are today. In fact they used its natural life cycle to their advantage, preserving the valuable fats in the form of butter and hard cheeses, and the remaining fluid as what are known as farmer or pot cheeses. This dish is essentially a cottage cheese which has not been broken up into curds.
The term “bonny-clabber” is also used for a drink in which the milk, rather than be set out to curdle a bit, is mixed with beer and used as a drink instead of a dessert. Although the name sounds Scottish it is actually Irish in origin.