Friday, July 29, 2011

Foodie Friday: Mince Pies Made with Organ Meats

Okay, this is a combo pastry-savory item. It uses organ meats, and is heavily spiced with cloves, mace and cinnamon, and is even laced with both white wine and brandy and perfumed with rose water. This recipe is from Miss Leslie's book Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, published in 1832.
Alter your favorite mince meat pie by using some of the ingredients here:
  • Using freshly ground or milled spices.
  • Add a splash of rose water to the mixture.
  • Use different cuts of beef for different flavors.
  • Incorporate citrus notes by the use of fresh lemon, lime or oranges, and use some citron as well.
  • Add different beverages, such as wines and hard liquor to the mix. This will also give slightly different finished notes when done.
She doesn't give solid cooking instructions in her recipe, and says to simply keep this in a cool place adding more brandy to it occasionally. This is obviously not a food-safe way to store this type of product, so make sure your mince meat pie mixture is well cooked, using all the safety precautions (proper sanitation, etc.), and if processing any mince meat, consult your local extension service for the latest recommendations.
Mince Pie
One pound and a half of boiled beef's heart, or fresh tongue - chopped when cold
Two pounds of beef suet, chopped fine
Four pounds of pippin apples, chopped
Two pounds of raisin, stoned and chopped
Two pounds of currants, picked, washed and dried
Two pounds of powdered sugar
One quart of white wine
One quart of brandy
One wine-glass of rose water
Two grated nutmegs
Half an ounce of cinnamon, powdered
A quarter of an ounce of cloves, powdered
A quarter of an ounce of mace, powdered
A teaspoonful of salt
Two large oranges
Half a pound of citron, cut in slips

Parboil a beef's heart, or a fresh tongue. After you have taken off the skin and fat, weigh a pound and a half. When it is cold, chop it very fine. Take the inside of the suet; weigh two pounds, and chop it as fine as possible. Mix the meat and suet together, adding the salt. Pare, core and chop the apples, and then stone and chop the raisins. Having prepared the currants, add them to the other fruit, and mix the fruit with the meat and suet. Put in the sugar and spice, and the grated peel and juice of the oranges. Wet the whole with the rose water and liquor, and mix all well together.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Old Time Baking Tips: Rules to Baking

Here's a good tip from Miss Leslie's book Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, published in 1832:
There can be no positive rules as to the exact time of baking each article. Skill in baking is the result of practice, attention, and experience. Much, of course, depends on the state of the fire, and on the size of the things to be baked, and something on the thickness of the pans or dishes.
Of course, professional chefs now stress getting your mise en place in order before you begin a recipe. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means "everything in it's place" from ingredients, to pans and equipment, to preheating your ovens. She must have thought the same things over 175 years ago. Here are her preliminary baking tips - things to have in place before beginning a recipe. Some may not apply, but can easily be used in today's kitchens.
  • Weigh out the ingredients carefully.
  • She had to pound and sift her flour before each use. While we don't need to pound our sugar, sifting powdered sugar is a good idea to remove lumps.
  • All her spices were pounded except for nutmeg. In modern kitchens, spice mills are a real time saver and can produce better tasting confections simply because the spices are pungent and fresh.
  • She squeezed her butter to remove excess liquid, and had to wash it in cold water. Always use fresh butter, use it by the date on the package, and keep it tightly wrapped to keep out flavors. If the butter has an off-taste from the refrigerator or have a freezer burned taste, then the pastry made with it will have it, too.
  • Cream the butter and sugar well before adding or whipping the whites or whole eggs. How did she do it?
    "For stirring [the sugar and butter], nothing is so convenient as a round hickory stick about a foot and a half long, and somewhat flattened at one end."
  • Whip the eggs last to keep the full volume.
  • Here's one that still is a great idea. If you've ever had a bad egg and it ruined the whole batch, you'll understand. It doesn't happen too often now (once for me) but it does happen. Break every egg into a smaller separate container then add it to the rest of the batter. That way you can see if any are bad before ruining the whole batch.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Old Time Candy Favorites

I just posted links to favorite old time candy that have been discontinued for various reasons by their manufacturers. Let's see if you remember any of these:
  • Bar None
  • Clove Gum
  • Marathon Bars
  • Carefree Sugarless Gum
  • Reggie Bars
  • Tart n Tiny
  • Wonka Bars
I also listed my top candy that I've never tried but would love to now simply for its name: Chicken Dinner Candy Bar. I couldn't find a picture of it anywhere that I could use for the blog, so I'm using an Allposters affiliate picture, see below.

Chicken Dinner Good Candy

Chicken Dinner Good Candy

Buy This

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Foodie Friday: "Dipney" or Barbeque Mopping Sauce

This Foodie Friday is all about the Barbeque. If you're looking for a good mopping sauce, one from 1913 may inspire you to create your own. What is a mopping sauce? It is a sauce that is brushed or 'mopped' on the meat as it barbeques to both season it and keep it moist. Martha McCulloch-Williams in her book Dishes & Beverages of the South, published in 1913, gives a spicy and rich version that her dad made for barbequing meat such as beef, pork, and lamb. Where did the name 'barbeque' come from? According to her,
The viand is said to get its name from the French phrase a barbe d' ecu, from tail to head, signifying that the carcass was cooked whole.
Her recipe for Dipney, or Barbeque Mopping Sauce:
Two pounds sweet lard, melted in a brass kettle, with one pound beaten, not ground, black pepper, a pint of small fiery red peppers, [nubbed] and stewed soft in water to barely cover, a spoonful of herbs in powder...and a quart and pint of the strongest apple vinegar, with a little salt. These were simmered together for half an hour, as the barbecue was getting done. Then a fresh, clean mop was dabbed lightly into the mixture, and as lightly smeared over the upper sides of the carcasses. Not a drop was permitted to fall on the coals - it would have sent up smoke, and films of light ash. Then, tables being set, the meat was laid, hissing hot, within clean, tight wooden trays, deeply gashed upon the side that had been next the fire, and deluged with the sauce, which the mop-man smeared fully over it.
If you are thinking it was a very hot sauce, you'd be right. In her next paragraph she said
"Hot! After eating it one wanted to lie down at the spring-side and let the water of it flow down the mouth. But of a flavor, a savor, a tastiness, nothing else approaches.
Modern Mopping Sauces

Mopping sauces now will contain any number of ingredients, depending on the BBQ'ers desire. Typical ingredients will include:
  • Acid (vinegar and/or lemon juice)
  • Pepper (black and/or cayenne)
  • Herbs and spices (dried mustard, dried herbs, cumin, chili powder)
  • Liquid (water, coffee, tomato juice, etc)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Liquid smoke
  • Fat (vegetable or olive oil, melted butter or margarine, lard)
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