A Taste of Early America

What Did Washington and His Army Eat Before and After the Crossing?

December 11th, 2020

The challenges that George Washington and his 2,400 soldiers faced ahead of the crossing are too many to list here. In short, they’d experienced only defeat, and many were showing signs of the toll that had taken. They were exhausted, starving, and ill-equipped for the winter. According to the book, Supplying Washington’s Army (a study, in part, of the Continental Army’s Commissariat which supplied food and equipment) every soldier was to be provided with the following daily ration: One pound of beef Three-quarters of a pound of chicken or pork One pound of bread or flour Three pints peas or Read More

Preserving the Harvest in the 18th Century

September 19th, 2020

Long-term food storage was critical to the 18th-century household. During the colonial era, the coming of autumn did not just mean changing leaves and cooler temperatures: it was also time to preserve the harvest. Fresh produce could only be enjoyed during the growing season, so colonists would intentionally grow an overabundance of food and then preserve their harvest for consumption during the winter. Produce was continuously preserved as it came into season, and whatever was not eaten was preserved for future use. Depending on the type of food—fruits, vegetables, meat, or dairy—colonists used a variety of different techniques. Drying For fruit, Read More

A Taste of Early America: To Fricasey Chickens

April 22nd, 2020

The Original Recipe Skin them and cut them in small Pieces, wash them in warm Water, and then dry them very clean with a Cloth, season them with Pepper and Salt, and then put them into a Stew Pan with a little fair Water, and a good Piece of Butter, a little Lemon Pickle, or half a Lemon, a Glass of White Wine, one Anchovy, a little Mace and Nutmeg, an Onion stuck with Cloves, a Bunch of Lemon Thyme and sweet Marjoram, let them stew together ’till you Chickens are tender, and then lay them on your dish, thicken Read More

A Taste of Early America: Macaroni a la Parmazan

April 17th, 2020

The Original Recipe Take a quarter of a pound of small pipe macaroni, put it into two quarts of boiling water, with a bit of butter and boil it till it is tender, then strain it in a sieve and let it drain, grate half a pound of Parmazan cheese, put the macaroni into a stew pan with a gill of cream two ounces of butter and a few bread crumbs, and half of the cheese, stir it out till the cheese and butter are melted, then the macaroni into a dish, sprinkle the rest of the cheese over it Read More

A Taste of Early America: To Bake a Shad

April 17th, 2020

The Original Recipe From The Virginia Housewife (1824) The shad is a very indifferent fish (meaning it can be boney) unless it be large and fat. When you get a good one prepare it nicely. Put some force meat inside and lay it at full length in a pan, with a pint of water, a gill of red wine, one of mushroom catsup, a little pepper, vinegar, salt and a few cloves of garlic, and six cloves, stew it gently until the gravy is sufficiently reduced: there should always be a fish slice with holes to lay the fish on, Read More

A Taste of Early America: Apple Pasties to Fry

April 17th, 2020

The Original Recipe From E. Smith’s The Compleat Housewife (1742) Pare and quarter Apples and boil them in Sugar and Water, and a stick of cinnamon, and when tender, put in a little white-wine, the juice of a lemon, a piece of fresh butter and a little ambergrease or orange-flower water: stir all together and when tis cold, put it in a Puff paste and fry them. Rub six pounds of butter into fourteen pounds of flour, put it to eights eggs, white the whites to snow and make it into a pretty stiff paste with cold water. Modern-Day Recipe Pastry Read More

A Taste of Early America: Wine Chocolate

April 2nd, 2020

The Original Recipe Take a Pint of Sherry, or a Pint and half of red Port, four Ounces and a half of chocolate, six Ounces of fine Sugar, and half an Ounce of white Starch, or fine Flour; mix, dissolve, and boil all these as before. But if your Chocolate be with Sugar, take double the Quantity of Chocolate, and half the Quantity of Sugar; and so in all. From The Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary (1723) by John Nott Modern-Day Recipe Ingredients 2 cups of sherry or 3 cups of port 4 1/2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate 6 ounces of sugar Read More