Artificial Walnuts

The fortune cookie, as we know it, was invented for the San Francisco World Fair in the early twentieth century. Our Artificial Walnut predates that by about five centuries. Made in wooden molds with the imprint of the shell and the kernel, the sugary treat must have delighted both the old and the young. Filled with comfits of candies, caraway seeds, or filled with a motto or saying inside, it was like opening a treasure box.

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The 1655 receipt from the A Queens Closet Open’d, is our basic gum paste recipe that we now use for decorating cakes, this has the addition of rose water for a pleasant taste. My forms are from the House on the Hill.  I added cinnamon to the paste to make the shell dark and left the kernel off white. They were fun to make. 

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I let them dry overnight and stuck them together with more gum paste and then tied a ribbon around them. I left a few kernels out and filled one shell with candied caraway seeds for the Kitchen talk. They are pretty little things, and, when I have time, I’ll make more and put them up in tins for a special occasion.

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I’d like to pickle real green walnuts next.  Anyone know of a walnut tree near Portsmouth?

Sandie

Cinnamon was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god.

OF KITCHENS AND FOOD

So the day of my talk has come and gone.  I spent weeks researching all the stoves that were layered one behind another in the space that used to be the 1763 cooking hearth. With help from some ALHFAM friends I found out about the patents, makers and seller of the stoves that were found in the house.kitchen  M&Lcopy

There were three in all, starting with the brick-set stove placed inside the firebox of the old fireplace and then the M. Pond Glenwood B, 1991 iron wonder and last, a gas stove, perhaps for warmth. split stove copy

With each generation of families that lived there, I showed slides of the food they would have eaten, and the cooking utensils they needed, and how both changed over time.fish beef

 The talk was held in the barn of the Moffatt-Ladd Warehouse and the day was hot. I was happy to have at least a few guests who would venture out in such heat to hear my discourse on stoves and food. talk

 I had prepared a table of various foods and items used in cooking to help explain what and how a cook might have operated in the various stages of the kitchen.table

 I brought mushroom ketchup, rose water, pumpkin leather and pickles, and gooseberries made to look like hops. I had cooked and decorated a coffin and arranged a plate of goodies with marzipan walnuts, filled with comfits and tied with a bow, fresh grapes from the garden and ripe gooseberries.split t

And I could not leave out Alexander Ladd’s favorite dish, Squabtougn

After the talk I described the various things on the table and how things had changed over time, how they did their preserving with a crock and a cow’s bladder in 1763 and the 1800’s version of pickling with a glass jar.standing jpg

I let everyone smell the rose water and the mushroom ketchup, and showed how the cinnamon marzipan walnuts were made.  I displayed a jar of gooseberry made like hops in sugar syrup. There were bags filled with chestnut flour and Isinglass and the cake pan with no bottom.flour jpg

We talked for quite a while, as everyone had questions about the differences in the centuries and where and why certain foods were served. Who knew that stoves and food could turn into a performance? It was a nice afternoon and I enjoyed sharing the stories of the Moffatt-Ladd kitchen and the food that was served.

Sandie

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

Oscar Wilde