Thursday, January 09, 2014

Almanac Recipes.

I am delighted to announce that my two-volume Food History Almanac is now available, and hopefully will be coming soon to a library or bookshop near you. The Almanac does contain some recipes, although these are not the focus of the work. There is in fact no focus, the book(s) covers a multitude of topics which relate to a specific day in the calendar.

The butter recipe is interesting, and would certainly be yellow, in an “all natural” kind of way.

Recipe for making good yellow Butter.
A gentleman from Scotland has lately called at this office and requested us to promulgate the following recipe for the benefit of those farmers who supply our market with butter. He was led to make the suggestion in consequence of having noticed that our butter made after the cattle are put to hay, is almost universally white. He says that in his country the dairywomen avoid this by grating some orange carrots, the juice of which, after being strained, is mixed with the cream previous to churning. Butter thus manufactured acquires not only a beautiful yellow color, but a flavor which adds greatly to its value. The quantity of carrot juice necessary to be used for this purpose may easily be ascertained: indeed the judgment of the manufacturer cannot fail to suggest very nearly the quantity necessary to give it a proper color.

Preserved Strawberries.
To one pound of ripe strawberries put one pound of powdered loaf sugar, laying each alternately on a deep dish a layer of each. Let them remain thus for twenty-four hours, when boil them in a sirup till they are all of a color. In order to determine when they are done enough, cut one of them open. Then, taking them out, boil the sirup to the consistence of a jelly, let it remain till cool, then put in your strawberries, and let them boil up once, take them off, and when cool, put them into a pot for use.

And from Saxton's American Farmers' Almanac (1852) we have:

A Capital Tomato Recipe.
The following has been handed to us as the recipe of a good housewife for preserving or "curing" tomatoes so effectually that they may be brought out at any time between the seasons "good as new," with precisely the same flavor of the original article. Get sound tomatoes, peel them, and prepare just the same as for cooking; squeeze them as fine as possible, put them into a kettle, bring them to a boil, season with pepper and salt; then put them in stone jugs, taken directly from water in which they (the jugs) have been boiled. Seal the jugs immediately, and keep them in a good cool place.

Frying Fresh Fish.

Never put them into cold fat. Let the lard, butter, or oil be first heated to a degree just short of burning, and then plunge in the fish—the greater the quantity of fat, and the quicker the fish are cooked, the better they will be, as they give off their own fat instead of absorbing that in which they are cooked.


SometimesKate said...

The first of the "Little House on the Prairie" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder discusses "Ma" making butter, and in the winter, she colours it by grating some carrot into milk, then adding the dyed liquid to the cream before churning.

If you can find them, you really should read them, they're fascinating.

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks SometimesKate - I think you have mentioned the books before - very intriguing - am definitely going to track them down!