Monday, June 27, 2011

An 1896 Reference Book

Brandied Peaches
  • 1 peck of peaches
  • half their weight in sugar
  • 1 qt. brandy
  • Remove skins from peaches
  • Alternate layers of peaches and sugar in a stone jar.
  • Then add brandy
  • Cover closely, having a piece of cloth under cover of stone jar.
exact recipe was taken from the Original Boston Cooking School Cookbook 1896
by Fannie Merritt Farmer

Needless to say this recipe caught my eye...not only from the standpoint of all the brandy but confusion of the recipe in terms of measurement (like how much sugar?? and what size is this jar??) I have seen this book Boston Cooking School Cookbook 1896 referenced as the first cookbook in history to provide carefully worked out level measurements with easy to follow directions. It also was the first cookbook to use cupful, teaspoon and tablespoon as measurements. In 1896 Fannie M. Farmer, the principal of Boston Cooking School, was responsible for the creation of this cookbook to help make women's lives easier in the kitchen.
Perhaps you are wondering how I happened to have my hands on this book. Today I was a volunteer sub at our town library which is an old cabin (circa 1937) Books are donated here by residents and summer visitors and are checked out on the honor system (paper-pencil and no due date) no high tech here. Since I had a bit of time on my hands I explored the books and was quite interested in reading this one.
I chuckled over the last chapter titled: Recipes Especially Prepared for the Sick.
It begins the chapter telling that statistics prove 2/3 of all diseases has some error in the diet. The correct proportions of food principles have not been maintained for properly cooked food and presentation. Proper preparation of food for the sick is of great importance in the restoration of health. The chapter gives step by step directions on how to arrange an invalid's tray using a spotless cloth over the food, daintiest china and choicest silverware, correct placement of flowers and food on the tray. The last line of the chapter seemed quite funny. "Never consult the patient as to his menu. Anticipation often creates appetite." p 491. The chapter also included recipes for foods with nutritional values to make the patient better.
Now we all know why our recuperation periods from sickness and diseases lag. We could use a nicely fixed tray.

I posted a photo of the book and the library. Also posted a photo of a dinner menu idea using fresh berries.
Pork Tenderloins with Blackberry Sauce
Pork Tenderloin (I used a Hormel brand)
In saucepan
  • Mix 2TB. cornstarch with 1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • Add !/2 cup Merlot
  • 6 TB. Blackberry Preserves
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • On low heat till thick and bubbling
  • On foil place pork tenderloin spreading chopped green onions on top-spoon some of the sauce on top
  • Grill for about 55 minutes (or till 160 degrees on a meat thermometer) add sauce as needed during the cooking time
  • To serve spoon sauce over it
Serve with wild/ long grain rice
Marinated Berries
  • In a bowl slice strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Sprinkle 2-3 TB Grand Marnier (depends on how much fruit you are using) over berries
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for one hour-stir occasionally

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