SAVORY AND SWEET WORKSHOP

Untitled-1 copyThe fire was going in the bake oven and hearth. Nancy started right in with the pumpkin corn bread. She first scaled the corn meal. This bread description is in the travels of Peter Kalm, a Finnish-Swedish Naturalist, who traveled through Colonial North America, 1748-1751.
“The pumpkin is roasted then boiled with a little water, and a good deal of milk, and stirred about whilst is boiling. Sometimes the pulp is stamped and kneaded into dough, with maize four or other flour; of this they make cakes.” “Occasionally people make bread of different kinds of pumpkins and maize mixed. This bread is very fine and sweet. Usually the maize flour is scalded first and the pumpkins cooked, and then both are kneaded together.”

Untitled-2 copyDenise and Genie start chopping the meat for the Scotch eggs and the Oxford sausage. For the Scotch eggs we uses a combination of lamb and beef suet. The Oxford Sausage was made from veal and beef suet. Traditionally, Oxford sausages are noted for the addition of veal, in contrast to many traditional British sausages, which contain only pork, and their high level of spice seasoning. References to the “Oxford” style of sausage date back to at least the early 18th century. The first published is by John Nott in The Cook’s and Confectioner’s Dictionary, 1723.
When first produced, Oxford sausage did not have a casing, but was hand-formed and flour-coated before frying.

Untitled3 copyCathy had asked at previous workshops if we could do vermicelli one day. She got her wish. After making the dough she used the noodle roller on half and then tried Hanna Glasses suggestion of rolling the dough and slicing it thin.

Untitled-9 copyWe placed it on the screened porch to dry for a while before immersing in the boiling water.
Lewis Fresnaye, a refugee from the French Revolution, manufactured vermicelli in Philadelphia during the 1795 – 1805. Pasta was a popular and expensive upper-class food and eaten as a side dish. He gave out several receipts with his pasta. This one is prepared like a pudding, meaning it was baked after it was boiled.

Untitled-8 copy As always there is a lot of conversation going on while we work. Nancy told us about her chickens with the feathered feet. As luck would have it I found quail eggs at the farmers market and thought they would make a nice size Scotch egg of the workshop. Denise boiled the eggs and then plunged them in ice water to cool.

Untitled4 copyAllan showed up to see how we were all make out and fed the fire and took a group picture of us. Then back to work, now that the noodles were made Natalie and Cathy proceed to making the pie shell and the filling for the Vermicelli Pudding using Amelia Simmons’s Royal Paste #9 receipt. And the Turkey looked on.

Untitled-10 copyNatalie heated the milk, lemon peels, cinnamon and sugar over the fire then added the egg yolks and whites for the pasta. She layered the vermicelli with marrow and poured the pudding mixture over it.
Untitled9a copyWith the bread rising and the Oxford sausage waiting to be fried, Genie and Nancy work on John Nott’s Spinach Toast receipt.

11Wilted spinach, marrow, sautéed apples, butter, cream, currants and spices were mixed with egg yolks and the juice of one orange. With the bread toasted from the bake oven the spinach mixture was spread on.

Untitled12 copyThe finally topping was whipped eggs whites. This would go into the oven for about 15 minutes. There seemed to be spinach mixture left over and Denise thought we should make it into a crust less quiche. And so she did.

Untitled-131 copyIt is believed that Maids of a Honor go back to Henry VIII, King of England, who came across Anne Boleyn and her Maids of Honor, eating the little cakes from a silver dish and demanded that the receipt be kept a secret. Years passed and the Tudor Dynasty gave way to the House of Stuart. Certainly by the early 18th century the recipe had been disclosed and the tasty little cakes became one of fashion in Richmond. I love these delectable little cakes.
You first start out with a pie crust in little patty shells then add marmalade and cover with a cake batter.  As you can see the girls set up an assembly line.There was batter left over so we made a cake.

I do wish I had some of the lovely little patty pans from CW, but they don’t make them anymore. Anyone else making them?

Untitled14copyAs expected even with the sugar and ale yeast the bread did not rise very much. The cornmeal,whole wheat flour and the pumpkin pulp is all very dense. Nancy added grains from King Arthurs Flour in the one on the right just to make it different texture..

Untitled14 copy Nancy had a very large roast which she sliced in thick pieces and simmered in broth for the Stewed Beef Steak receipt of Richard Bradley’s The Country Housewife and lady’s Directory, 1732. Once it was tender, she sprinkled flour on it and fried it in oil to be served with a sauce of cider vinegar, butter, lemon peels, anchovies and spices.

Untitled-20 copyGenie cut up pretty little orange slices for garnish on her plate of Oxford sausage. Natalie helps with the plating.Untitled-19 copyThe quail eggs were covered with the sausage mixture and fried in the spider by Denise.

15Everything was coming together, the vermicelli pudding and bread was done and we were all eager to taste the receipts.

Untitled-18 copyThe repast was placed on the table waiting only for the Stew’d Beef Steak to arrive.

Untitled-17 copyCathy and Natalie put the finishing touches on the plates and the line formed.Untitled-16 copyWe sat and toasted each other for a job well done and Allan for keep the fires going.
Untitled-12 copyStarting at the fork we have spinach toast, Scotch eggs, vermicelli pudding, stewed beef with sauce, corn and pumpkin bread and Oxford sausages. I think if someone from the 18th century traveled back to this table, they would feel right at home.

Untitled-22 copySandie
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” -Cesar Chavez

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About Sandie

Since I was a small child I have loved early fireplaces and the smell of smoke in an old house. However it was not until about Fifteen years ago that my journey into hearth cooking began. It all started at the Hurd House Museum in Woodbury Ct. I was the director of the Junior Docent program and among the programs each week we cooked. At about the same time a group of us started the Culinary Historians of Connecticut meeting once a month to discuss equipment used, receipt (18th century term for recipe), and anything between the late 1600 to late 1700 that had to do with hearth cooking. We were fortunate to try our hand at cooking at several Museums throughout Ct and many more private homes. We made cheese; we held a late 1600 dinner and shared our knowledge with others. Our group designrd our own tours such as the Kitchens of Old Wethersfield. In 2000 we were delighted to host the Historic Foodways group of ALFAM at the Hurd House during their conference at Mystic Seaport. We put together a great workshop of Puddings, Sausages, Brown Bread, Beverages you name it we offered it. I am now a member of the ALFAM foodways group. Then it was off to Colonial Williamsburg for the seminar The Art of 18th-Century Cooking: Farm to Hearth to Table. During the years I joined many workshops in Sturbridge Village plus their Dinner in a Country Village and breakfast at the Freeman Farm. So I was pretty much hooked on heart cooking and the 18th century way of life. I joined a wonderful group of ladies and we started the “Hive” a place to improve and grow your 18th century impression and offer research about material culture in 17070’s New England. We also travel with friends and have displays of clothing and teas at Museums in Massachusetts. Many events are held at the Hartwell Tavern at Minute Man National Park. They have been gracious enough to let us play there and entertain and share our knowledge with their visitors. Please visit our “Hive” site if the 1700 interest you. Then the move to New Hampshire and a job at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth as the co-coordinator of the Junior Role Playing workshop and eventually cooking in front of the hearth at the Wheelwright house. Not only did I enjoy making my evening meals at the hearth to take home but also talking with the visitors. I am an entertainer after all, check out my program page. Most recently I am working at the Museum of Old York in Maine as an educator, hearth cook and organizer of the Junior Docent cooking program in the summer. See some photos in the archive file Because I do make food with the docents and serve food to the public at our Tavern Dinners I took the National Restaurant Association tests called ServSafe and now have my Certification as a Restaurant Manager. I look forward to the Museum of Old York opening again this March 2012 and getting back to the hearth and teaching, however for now I’m cooking at home and enjoying doing so.

4 thoughts on “SAVORY AND SWEET WORKSHOP

  1. Lovely! You really do some neat receipts with your classes. I spent the day with six lovely ladies cooking at the hearth 1850 style. It is a bit more modern and not as unusual as that of the 18th century. Today, we did boiled greens, roasted mixed root vegetables, chicken on a string, planked salmon, beer bread, biscuits and sausage with apples. Everyone left feeling full of food and information. Pictures and narrative will be eventually posted on my Historic Cooking Guild of Madison County website.

  2. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the workshops and learning about food and food history. Natalie and I are inspired to create wonderful food at the Grave House hearth. I continue to work on my skills at home as well. I also want to thank you for following through with the pasta. I had no idea that it was part of 18th century cooking and not too difficult to make. We are looking forward to the Spring and to seeing you. Have wonderful Holidays and hello to Allen who keeps those fires going and pictures coming. Thank you, thank you.
    Cathy

  3. Glad you both enjoyed the workshops this year. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the winter and spring. I’ll have the dates out soon I hope.

    Sandie