Soda Bread

Soda Bread

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.

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Scalloped Turnips

Scalloped Turnips

I wanted to prepare one last root vegetable recipe before the greens & herbs start popping up here in Ontario, and I thought I'd turn to a local 1898 cookbook: The New Galt Cook Book. Galt is a town which is now part of Cambridge, Ontario and it's also close to where I grew up and where I live now in Hamilton. Scalloped Turnips is an interesting twist on scalloped potatoes. The turnips provide additional flavour to the dish, and it is creamy but also light because the sauce uses a butter & flour roux and the cooking water from the turnips instead of a white bechamel sauce.

Coincidentally, I had this recipe selected and the turnips purchased before I knew that cooking at an event using recipes from The New Galt Cook Book was even a possibility! I'll be preparing food from this cookbook for a Victorian Tea at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario on May 18th, and Food Historian Carolyn Blackstock will be speaking about her year-old journey making a recipe a day from The New Galt Cook Book.

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Cheese Hooies

Cheese Hooies

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.

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Chicken Terrapin

Chicken Terrapin

Chicken Terrapin, from the 1903 Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, is a creamy and decadent casserole dish, perfect for using up leftover chicken. After selecting this recipe, my research began with the question "Why is this dish called Chicken TERRAPIN?" and quickly descended down a rabbit hole. Literally. Before beginning to piece together what I learned about Terrapin recipes, I had pulled my childhood copy of Alice in Wonderland off my bookshelf!

The chicken meat in this recipe is meant to take the place of Terrapin Turtle meat and I'll be delving into how one prepares Terrapin meat, the popularity of Turtle recipes, specialized Turtle Soup Tureens and the replacement of dishes featuring turtle meat with Mock Turtle recipes. I'll also explain the appearance of the Mock Turtle character in Alice in Wonderland, and why he is so melancholy in the story.

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Piquant Beets

Piquant Beets

I'm not a fan of the taste of beets, although I have evolved enough to abide roasted and pickled beets on occasion. I liked Piquant Beets, though, and I can't say that I've ever thought that about a recipe made with boiled beets! This recipe takes those (in my mind at least) repulsive boiled beets and jazzes them up with horseradish, honey, lemon juice and...wait for it...bacon. Steve's response to tasting this dish was, "I don't even mind the beets", which is probably the highest praise he could give to this recipe. We can thank Elaine Collett and Mary-Etta Macpherson, who compiled the 1965 Canadian classic The Chatelaine Cookbook, for this culinary miracle.

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To Fry Fish

To Fry Fish

To Fry Fish is found in A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, written by Charles Elmé Francatelli in London in 1852. Fortunately, I had some bacon fat in my fridge, so that's what I used to fry my fish. Let me tell you, fish dredged in flour and fried in bacon fat is scrumptious, and so were the fried onions that we ate on the side. I paired the fish with Sharp Sauce for Broiled Meats from the same cookbook. The main component of this sauce is a variety of pickles and it reminds of relish, albeit without the sweetness. I round out this blog post by delving a little bit into the Fish Slice, a serving utensil for fish.

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Nut and Spinach Loaf

Nut and Spinach Loaf

Nut and Spinach Loaf is found in the "High-Protein Non-Meat Dishes" chapter of the 1929 Physical Culture Cook Book, written by fitness and health guru Bernarr MacFadden. This vegetarian loaf holds together well when its being formed, but doesn't slice well. Nevertheless, it is tasty and satisfying and I'd make it again! Bernarr MacFadden spoke out passionately against white bread, so I made my own whole-grain breadcrumbs for this recipe, and paired the loaf with a Tomato Sauce, which is thick sauce that tastes a bit like ketchup.

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Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

This Pumpkin Soup recipe comes from The Canadian Housewife's Manual of Cookery, which was compiled & published in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario in 1861. It is hearty & flavourful, and I think the reason for this can be found in a one-word answer: butter. Expect a creamy robust soup with small chunks of pumpkin (or squash, if you can't find pumpkin). This soup is so rich that it might make a better side dish rather than the main component of your meal, but if you do try this recipe out, I highly recommend the historic recipe's suggestion of adding croutons made of fried bread to your bowl!

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Squash Puff

Squash Puff

If you asked anyone in my family about our traditional family recipes, probably the first dish listed by everyone would be Squash Puff. I'd describe Squash Puff as a cross between squash pudding and soufflé. It is light, fluffy and very flavourful considering it doesn't contain any onions or herbs. My Mom cut the recipe out of a newspaper at some point and it's been in her giant binder of recipe clippings ever since I can remember. Give Squash Puff a try at your next Thanksgiving, potluck or family gathering...or when you've got a hankering for some satisfying comfort food.

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Tuna Sandwiches

Tuna Sandwiches

This Tuna Sandwich recipe comes from the Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook (1974), which is a cookbook that was in our house when I was growing up. I don't remember anyone ever making a recipe from this cookbook when I was a kid, but I remember flipping through this book to read the Peanuts comics that are nestled amongst the recipes. About 6 months ago, I found this book in an antiques market...and all the memories flooded back.

In this sandwich filling, you'll find flaked tuna, crushed pineapple and chopped water chestnuts. When I selected this recipe, my hunch was that it would either be delicious or disgusting and I had no idea which way it would go! I'm happy to report that it was delicious. The pineapple is very subtle. You can taste something a little bit sweet in there but you aren't quite sure what that is, and the water chestnuts add a nice crunch to the sandwich filling. The pineapple and water chestnuts cut the fishiness of the tuna, so you end up with a low-key tuna flavour (and smell), so this recipe would make tunafish sandwiches more palatable for someone who isn't a fan.

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Apple Bread

Apple Bread

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!

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Filled Dills

Filled Dills

Filled Dills are just as fun to say as they are to eat! They’re appetizers from The Stay Out of the Kitchen Cookbook, published in 1968. This cookbook contains make ahead recipes and dishes that can be left in the oven so that a hostess can spend time with her dinner guests instead of spending her dinner party in the kitchen. Filled Dills are large dill pickles hollowed out with an apple corer, filled with cream cheese & various flavourings, then finally sliced into thin pieces. They are very tasty and easy to make ahead for your next gathering.

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