Posts Tagged ‘wine’
Cod skull, sole, carp, trout, perch, eel or flounder
1/2 pint claret or port wine
1 qt beef broth, stock or consommé
1 large onion
12 black peppercorns
12 allspice, whole
Whole cloves or blades of mace
Essence of anchovy
When the fish has been properly washed, lay it in a stew-pan, with half a pint of claret or port wine, and a quart of good gravy; a large onion, a dozen berries of black pepper, the same of all spice, and a few cloves, or a bit of mace; cover the fish-kettle close, and let it stew gently for ten or twenty minutes, according to the thickness of the fish; take the fish up, lay it on a hot dish, cover it up, and thicken the liquor it was stewed in with a little flour, and season it with pepper, salt, essence of anchovy, mushroom catchup, and a little Chili vinegar; when it has boiled ten minutes, strain it through a tamis, and pour it over the fish; if there is more sauce than the dish will hold, send the rest up in a boat. .
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: This is a straightforward fish soup, and misses being a chowder only for lack of a thickening/stretching ingredient like potatoes or crushed crackers. The complication comes in the flavoring agents: “essence of anchovy” is rather complicated but one can substitute anchovy paste, often available in convenient squeeze tubes in better supermarkets or gourmet shops. Chili vinegar is easily made by depositing a whole or split chili pepper in a bottle of cheap vinegar and letting it soak for hours, days or such time as needed to extract the desired level of chili-ness.
Mushroom catchup is the tricky one of the lot, virtually unobtainable today unless you make your own which is a lengthy job indeed. As Dr. Kitchiner gives us no indication as to how much to use, the modern cook may substitute as seems proper or omit the item altogether.
A tamis is a very fine strainer. If one is not available a doubled piece of cheesecloth or muslin should serve the purpose admirably.
We should probably point out that this was originally titled by Dr. Kitchiner as “To stew a Cod’s Skull, Sole, Carp, Trout, Perch, Eel or Flounder” but that was both a tad lengthy and also seemed likely to put off potential readers due to the “ick” factor involved.
1/2 c. gin
1 bottle sparkling Moselle wine
1/2 c. raspberry syrup
1/2 c. juice from maraschino cherries
Juice of 2 oranges (about 1/2 c.)
Peel, slice and cup up a ripe pineapple into a glass bowl; add the juice of two oranges, a gill of raspberry syrup, a gill of maraschino, a gill of old gin, a bottle of sparkling Moselle, and about a pound of pure ice in shaves; mix, ornament with berries in season, and serve in flat glasses.
From Bon-Vivant’s Companion by Jerry Thomas, New York, 1862
Comment: A “gill” is about half a standard measuring cup, or 4 ounces. Moselle is a white wine. And yes, pineapples were readily available in Civil War times, at least in larger cities where ships carrying cargoes from tropical regions docked on a regular basis. Mr. Thomas, having mastered the bartending trade in San Francisco during the Gold Rush days of the late 1840s, probably got his from Hawaii.
In fact the only real puzzle in his otherwise masterful work is why he includes no vodka drinks. Russia still owned what is now Alaska in those days and their ships called at San Francisco on a regular basis, so it seems unlikely he did not know about the liquor. Perhaps it required improvements in the Russo-American import-export business, and Jerry did not wish to tantalize his readers with an ingredient they could not readily obtain.
1 c. sherry or Madeira wine
Add the above to a mixing glass, stir, and serve in a wine glass.
From Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks by William Terrington, 1869
Comment: The subject of drinking was a rather delicate one in cookbooks of the Civil War era, since many of the authors of such books were also strong proponents of the Temperance movement, which discouraged the use of alcohol in anything except medicine (and some opposed even that.)
One anonymous author of a handbook issued to soldiers early in the war took a more realistic tone. While complete abstention was best, he said, any use of “Ardent Spirits” at least be postponed until the actual fighting was over with. The “artificial energy” they imparted, the author said, was apt to give out if the fighting was unexpectedly prolonged and would leave the imbiber in a weakened state at the worst possible moment.
For Mr. Terrington’s concoction noted above, the biggest challenge might be to find access to sherry, Madeira and bitters while everyone else was running around getting ready to fight a war.
6 eggs, yolks only
1 pint wine
1/2 lb. sugar
Juice and grated peel of 1 orange
Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
1 qt. cream
Whipped cream for topping
Beat the yolks of six eggs till very light and smooth; stir into them gradually a pint of wine, and let it set for half an hour; then stir in a half a pound of powdered sugar, the juice and grated peel of one orange and one lemon, and let it set again for half an hour, after which stir in a quart of rich sweet cream, beat it light, serve it in glasses, and crown them with whipped cream. These cold creams, as they are called, are plain, nice, fashionable and easily prepared. They are eaten with tarts, sweet meats and cake.
From The Kentucky Housewife by Lettice Bryan, Cincinnati 1839
Comment: “Powdered” sugar was not in the 19th century the product which goes by this name today. Sugar was sold in solid blocks or chips which had to be ground or grated to reach granular form, a process which was known as powdering. Therefore their “powdered” sugar is simply our “granulated” sugar, so use the cheap stuff from the bag not the expensive stuff in the box.
We are classifying this as a dessert although from the description it is probably thin enough to qualify as a drink. What exactly makes it ‘Italian’ is entirely unclear as well, although we suspect the author’s interest in making a lemon cream sound “Continental” and therefore classier might be a factor.
Although considering the difficulties of transportation and the fact that neither sugar, lemons or oranges were grown in the upper reaches of the Ohio River in 1832, this was probably an entirely expensive and therefore “classy” item in its own right no matter what it was called.
4 bottles “still” [as opposed to sparkling] Catawba wine
1 bottle claret
3 oranges OR 1 pineapple
10 tbs. sugar
1 bottle champagne
Four bottles of still Catawba; one bottle of claret, three oranges, or one pineapple, ten tablespoons of sugar. Let this mixture stand in a very cold place, or in ice, for one hour or more, then add one bottle of champagne.
Bon-Vivant’s Companion by Jerry Thomas, 1862.
Comment: This is a very strong punch by the standards of the time. Many of Jerry Thomas’ punch recipes call for the addition of nearly as much water, fruit juice or other liquids as of alcoholic beverages, but aside from the sugar and “juice of three oranges or one pineapple” (which would probably not amount to much more than a cup, if that) this is all hooch here. Be [hic!] aware.
No explanation is given for the name of this drink, the only note attached reads “From a recipe in the possession of Bayard Taylor, Esq.” which gives no particular clue as to what makes this beverage “gothic.” If one feels inspired to don black garments, cut one’s hair in spikes and engage in body piercing after drinking this concoction, much will be explained.
4 anchovies, chopped
2 c. white wine
1 plus 2 tbs. vinegar
3 whole cloves
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
1 tbs. flour
1/2 pint cream
Four anchovies chopped, two glasses of white wine, a large one of vinegar, an onion stuck with three cloves, and cut into quarters; let all these simmer till the anchovies dissolve; strain it, and add a quarter of a pound of butter kneaded in a table-spoonful of flour. When it has melted, stir in gradually, one way, half a pint of cream, taking care that it do not boil. When thoroughly heated, serve in a sauce-tureen.
From: The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” [Mrs. N. K. M. Lee], Boston, 1832
Comment: This recipe really ought to be called “Anchovy Butter,” although those of a medical persuasion would probably prefer that it be called “Prescription for Cardiac Arrest Or At the Very Least A Horrible Case of Gout.” The directive to “stir [the cream] in one way” means that you can stir either clockwise or counter-clockwise but must pick one or the other and stick to it, not reversing direction halfway through. The idea is to blend the cream into the mixture as gently as possible so as to decrease the chances of it suddenly curdling up as it will be inclined to do in the presence of vinegar and wine.