To make fine pippen Tarts is a handwritten recipe from an early 1700s English manuscript in the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. It’s a recipe I’ve wagered in the battle to use up apples from the gargantuan apple tree in my back yard, and also a recipe that was interpreted in 2017 on the food history blog Cooking in the Archives. On this blog, Dr. Marissa Nicosia recreates Early Modern recipes from 1500- 1800 for the contemporary kitchen, and she is also one of my most enthusiastic supporters on twitter! You’ll find Cooking in the Archives at https://rarecooking.com/ and on twitter and Instagram as @rare_cooking.Read More
Icing for Cake saved the day when I had about 5 dozen bland Ammonia Cakes that needed some extra pizzazz! Both Ammonia Cakes and Icing for Cake are found in the 1898 The New Galt Cookbook, which is a community cookbook compiled not far from where I grew up and where I live today. Icing for Cake is a simple white sugar and milk icing that hardens within minutes and you could drizzle it on cakes, cookies, donuts or squares.Read More
Ammonia Cakes: probably the least appetizing cookie name that I’ve ever come across. These cakes use ammonium bicarbonate (baker’s ammonia) as the leavening agent and I assure you that they don’t taste like ammonia, but they will temporarily stink up your kitchen while they bake! Ammonia Cakes fall on the bland side of the cookie spectrum, so I was lucky to find the recipe Icing for Cake in the same recipe book and I iced them the next day.Read More
Baking Soda Bread is a shortcut to eating fresh baked bread when you’re short on time. You’ll be spreading butter on a warm bread slice in about an hour and a half! This Soda Bread recipe, from the 1861 Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, is a favourite of mine because it produces a more moist and less dense soda bread than most recipes that I’ve tried. Soda bread doesn’t have the longevity of risen breads, so it will be toast (literally) sooner than later.Read More
One year ago today, on March 31st, I hit the "Publish" button for the first time and put out my first Food History blog recipe for the world to see and taste. I selected Cayenne Cheeses, a scrumptious cheese biscuit, from the 1861 Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management because it has been one of my favourite historic recipes since I began working in Historic House Museums. They are very delicious, you should try them!
When it came to picking out a 1-year anniversary recipe, I knew right away that I’d make Cheese Hooies. When I first read this recipe in the 1965 Stillmeadow Cookbook by Gladys Taber, I saw the ingredient list (butter, cheese, flour, salt and cayenne pepper) and thought, "These Hooies are basically Cayenne Cheeses". Cheese Hooies haven't kicked Cayenne Cheeses off my favourite recipes list, but making them was interesting look at how a century changes a recipe.Read More
I was intrigued by this gingerbread cookie recipe from The Cook's Complete Guide (1810): gingerbread cookies rolled like wafers! The historic recipe instructs us to "bake it gently; when hot cut it in squares, and while warm roll it over a stick, like wafers, till cold". But yet, my gingerbread cookies that I ended up with are flat squares. This is one of those occurrences when a historic recipe doesn't turn out as expected the first time around (they instantly cracked and broke when I tried to bend them). This is a delicious lightly flavoured Lemon Gingersnap, so I recommend it, whether it is rolled or flat.Read More
If a sweet scone and a cookie got married and had a baby, that baby would be Albany Cakes. However you classify Albany Cakes, this sweet bit of bakery with cinnamon and rose water flavours is deelish! This was another recipe that we made at the cooking classes that I taught this autumn at Nelles Manor Museum in Grimsby. Our Albany Cakes recipe comes from The Frugal Housewife's Manual, published in Toronto in 1840, but written by “A.B.”, a mysterious resident of Grimsby who likely would have known the Nelles family.Read More
In my backyard is a giant apple tree, so for as long as I call this house my home, you'll find apple recipes on Cloud 9 Cookery this time of year. Apple Bread is surprisingly not sweet. This bread is very flavourful thanks to a longer prefermentation process and the apples add a little je ne sais quoi to the complex flavour of this moist bread. I took both the very large loaves this recipe yielded to a gathering along with some butter. I thought that there would be leftovers and there most definitely were not!Read More
Shrewsbury Cake is one of first recipes that I tested out for the Open Hearth Cooking Classes that I'm teaching at Nelles Manor in Grimsby, Ontario in September. They are crisp & buttery, and the flavour of caraway seeds balances out the sweetness of these cookies. Shrewsbury Cake is from the first English-language cookbook that was both compiled & printed in Canada. The Frugal Housewife's Manual was published in Toronto in 1840, but the cookbook author is credited as “A. B. of Grimsby”. I love this connection to the Nelles family, since they likely would have known the mysterious A. B. who wrote the book.Read More
Queen's Drops are a basic sugar & spice cookie with a hint of dried currants. The recipe is found in The Cook Not Mad from 1831, which has the distinction of being the first English-language cookbook to be published in Canada! They are delicious with both white or brown sugar, but I prefer the extra flavour that comes with using brown. The dried currants provide little intense sweet flavour pops, and our recipe suggests using "any agreeable spice", so feel free to customize and add your favourite baking spices.Read More
When I decided to start my own food history blog, I knew right away that my first blog post would be about Cayenne Cheeses. Why? Cayenne Cheeses were the first historic food that I fell in love with when I started working as a Historical Interpreter, and I'm not alone. If my coworkers don't have dietary restrictions against dairy and wheat, it's a pretty safe bet that they're also mad about Cayenne Cheeses.