Posts Tagged ‘rice’
1 teacup boiled rice (about 1/2 c.)
1 1/2 teacup corn meal (about 3/4 c.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. lard or butter
1/2 teacup sweet milk (about 1/4 c.)
One tea-cup of rice boiled nice and soft, to one and a half tea-cupful of corn meal. Mix together then stir the whole until light. One teaspoonful of salt, one tablespoonful of lard or butter, three eggs, half tea-cup of sweet milk. The rice must be mixed into the meal while hot; can be baked in either muffin cups or a pan.
From What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking by Mrs. Abby Fisher, pub. 1881
Comment: Abby Fisher was born a slave, and lived as one for the first 30-plus years of her life, making her cookbook a rare glimpse into the world of the plantation kitchen written by one who actually did the work. A native of South Carolina–which explains her use of boiled rice in bread products, as South Carolinians use rice in nearly everything– she moved to San Francisco with her husband and children after the war, and established a very successful business producing pickles and other food products.
Her cookbook was compiled by her friends who sat with her in her kitchen and wrote down the recipes and procedures as she worked, as Mrs. Fisher was entirely illiterate.
3/4 c. raw rice
yolk of raw egg, beaten
Boil two teacups of rice half an hour, and season it with a little butter and salt; form the rice round the dish about three or four inches high, rub it over with the yolk of an egg, and set it in the oven to brown. When it is done, turn the hash into the middle of the dish. This makes a very handsome finish to a dish.
Rice prepared in this way, spread over a pie made of cold meat, for the crust, an inch thick, and browned, is nice.
From Mrs. Putnam’s Receipt Book and Young Housekeeper’s Assistant by Elizabeth Putnam, New York, 1860
Comment: The “teacup” is one of those “measurements” that make working with 19th century cookery books such a source of delight, since to think of it otherwise will lead to frustration, headache and depression. Most references give the teacup a modern equivalency of around a half a standard cup, or four ounces, but some say more and some less.
In this case it does not matter a great deal since we trust most cooks know how much rice their particular family or dinner guests are likely to consume, or how much they need to surround the amount of “hash” they plan to prepare. A variant on this form of decorative presentation is to encircle the central preparation with a wall of mashed potatoes, either spooned into place or piped on with a pastry bag.
Mrs. Putnam give no indication at all of how long the rice is supposed to sit in the oven after receiving its egg coating, nor at what temperature. Be advised that the longer it sits there the more it will dry out and become unpleasantly tough, so shorter and hotter is better than longer and cooler.