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
Cawdel of Almaund Mylk is a rather boozy and thick warm beverage that is slightly silty, made with white wine, ground almonds, sugar and ginger. This is a drink that you'll want to sip and be prepared for a strong alcohol taste, but if you are vegan and miss drinking eggnog, this is a recipe that you may want to try out.
So far, Cawdel of Almaund Mylk is the oldest recipe I've ever made on this blog. It is found in The Forme of Cury, which is a scroll of recipes written by the Master-Cooks of King Richard II in the 1390s. This is my first foray into Medieval Cookery, so I was surprised that many of its recipes contain almond milk! I did some research and found out that almond milk was a favourite of the British upper class in that era because there were many days in the Christian calendar when eating dairy was forbidden.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
Besides the fact that Apple Butter is very delicious, I had an ulterior motive for making this recipe. I made Apple Butter because I wanted to make use of the discarded apples from the historic cooking classes that I taught at Nelles Manor Museum this fall, so you'll find a bonus Apple Water recipe in this blog post.
Our Apple Butter recipe is found in Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery, published in Philedelphia in 1851. Making Apple Butter is much, much easier in our era because we're able to cook down our apples in a slow cooker, without having to stir the apples " nearly all the time with a stick" in a kettle suspended over a fire!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
I wanted to make a candy recipe in honour of Halloween this year, so I did a search on my favourite place to discover new old cookbooks, the Internet Archive, and found the 1788 gem A new collection of receipts in confectionary.
Orange Drops are a candy made of a dehydrated purée containing orange peel, white sugar and a bit of orange juice. Depending on how you dehydrate them, Orange Drops can be crispy or soft like a jujube. If you love Candied Orange Peel, you'll probably enjoy these Orange Drops! They’re less sweet than Candied Orange Peel (probably because they don't have the white sugar coating found on candied peels), so expect a balanced sweet & sour citrus flavour.Read More
Apple Frazes are a tasty apple pancake from the 18th-century classic: The art of cookery made plain and easy by Hannah Glasse. Through making this recipe, I've learned that adding little bit of sherry to your pancake batter is a very good idea!
I had the pleasure of frying my Apple Frazes over an open hearth built in the 1780s at Nelles Manor Museum, where I'll be teaching Open Hearth Cooking Classes. The September Classes have sold out, but we've added a third class on November 4th at 1:00. At this class we'll be making the same Autumn recipes as the classes in September, only at the end of the Fall season rather than the beginning.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
Today's the first day of a scorching hot Canada Day long weekend in Ontario, and it's the perfect day to post about my experiences making Mint Cup, a mocktail recipe from a 1940s edition of The Joy of Cooking. To start off, you take about 5 minutes to make a mint syrup with fresh mint leaves, sugar and water. Once it's strained & cooled, you add lemon juice, ginger ale and a bit of green food colouring. It's a very refreshing beverage that tastes like a Whisky Sour. I'd recommend giving it a try!Read More