Tuesday, June 21, 2011

To Preserve Flesh Meat.

Regular readers will be aware that I am intrigued by the methods used by our fore-fathers to preserve perishable foods. I came across a nice example the other day which I want to share with you. It is from a book with the full title of: The domestic encyclopedia: or, A dictionary of facts and useful knowledge, comprehending a concise view of the latest discoveries, inventions, and improvements, chiefly applicable to rural and domestic economy (Philadelphia, 1803.)  What is particularly interesting about this method is that it used one highly perishable food to preserve another. As a bonus, a second, completely different method specifically for preserving game, is included in the instructions.

“Another method of preserving flesh-meat, especially veal and lamb, is practised in Germany, and consists simply in immersing them in skimmed milk, so as to cover the whole joint. In warm weather, the milk should be changed twice the first day, and once in twenty-four hours; but, in a cool temperature it is sufficient to renew it every two or three days. Thus, the meat may be kept in a sweet state for several weeks; but it ought to be washed in spring water before it is. dressed. Game and beef, however, cannot be preserved in the same manner, and therefore should be wrapped in a clean linen cloth, and buried in a box filled with dry sand, where it will remain sweet for three weeks, if deposited in an airy, dry, and cool chamber.”

As I think it unlikely that you will try either of these ideas, I give you an alternative way of using up your skimmed milk supply.

Spanish Puffs.
Take one pint of skim milk, and thicken it with flour; boil it very well till it is tough as paste, then let it cool, put it into a mortar, and beat it very well. Put in three eggs, and beat it again, then three eggs more, keeping out one white. Put in some grated nutmeg and a little salt. Have your pan over the fire, with some good lard; drop the paste in ; fry the puffs a light brown, and strew sugar over them when you send them up.
[The lady's own cookery book, and new dinner-table directory; Lady Charlotte Campbell Bury, 1844]

Quotation for the Day.

Being American is to eat a lot of beef steak, and boy, we’ve got a lot more beef steak than any other country, and that’s why you ought to be glad you’re an American. And people have started looking at these big hunks of bloody meat on their places, you know, and wondering what on earth they think they are doing.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

1 comment:

SharleneT said...

I think I'll stick to my more modern way of preserving... this gives me the willies.... but, great research, as always, and a special thank you. Come visit when you can.