Tag Archives: recipes

Oil of toads and the perishable arts

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As visions of baked goods dance through the pages of holiday Instagram, we bloggers at Past is Present have decided to take a look at some of our historical manuscript cookbooks to see what early American bakers were cooking up instead. Like our fellow bloggers at Cooking in the Archives and the experts at Colonial Williamsburg, ...

Cooking the Old Colony Cake

So the Old Colony Cake didn’t turn out too bad!  While the ingredients were identical to traditional cake recipes, the ratios were a bit different.  The result was very thick batter and a dense cake, but the lemon added a much needed bright flavor.  Not sure which way to add the lemon, I added both ...

“The buckwheat cake was in her mouth. The tear was in her eye.”: Early American Cookery and Women’s History

Ever wonder what Susanna was chewing on in Stephen Foster’s famous folk song?  Curious about how women occupied their days at home in early America?  Interested in learning more about the relationship between early American housewives and their maids?  Whether you are interested in the history of American cooking, women’s history, domestic history, or the ...

Recipe Squashed!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving feasts!  Hopefully you didn’t overload too much on pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes.  If you can still stomach thinking about food, read on about the results of my historical pie adventure.  I chose to follow the pumpkin pie recipe (from The White House Cookbook, 1877), but to mix ...

Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, and Squash … Oh My!

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than a week away.  So for all of you hosts and hostesses out there, I thought I’d share a menu to make your worries seem a little less overwhelming.  Perhaps you, like me, are already stressing about the big day, planning and shopping and worrying about how to ...

You scream, I scream…

Even though the calendar says September, fall seems to be the last thing on our climate’s mind.  Up here in Worcester, Massachusetts at least, we’re hanging onto to the summer weather, clocking a scorching 97 degrees last week!  While I was excited to finally break out the cinnamon and pumpkin, I think it best to ...

The Mince Meat Throwdown, Part II

The Mince Meat Throwdown was a success!  Unlike the chowder made from Mrs. Bliss’ cookbook, the mince pie actually held its own as a main course.  The recipe could have easily worked as a dessert pie, being as sweet as it was.  Even though there was beef in the pie, it certainly didn’t taste like ...

The Mince Meat Throwdown

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Per a suggestion on a previous post, my next adventure into historic cooking will be with a mince meat pie. (Thanks for the suggestion, David!) While I can’t say whether or not I would recommend this recipe, hopefully the results will speak for themselves. Having never had mince meat pie before, I feel I may ...

Fishy Chowder

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A few weeks ago, I spent some time with AAS’s cookbook collection. As promised in my earlier post, I whipped up a batch of fish chowder from Mrs. Bliss’ Practical Cook Book (1851). The overwhelming consensus was, simply put, “not bad.” It wasn’t great. I certainly wouldn’t entertain with this recipe. However, it was entirely ...

Consumed with Consuming

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Even with a month under my belt in my new job at AAS, I’m still happening upon new areas in the stacks.  I’ve traveled through every main corridor many times over by this point, but am still learning about new collections down individual aisles.  Just last week I learned we had a separate section just ...