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March 3, 2005

My Best Cake


3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Butter Cream Frosting

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in Vanilla.
Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans, or a 13x9x2 in rectangular baking pan. Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan(s) 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely before frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Yield: enough for one 3 layer cake.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 (8oz) can sliced pineapple, drained
(I have used crushed and it worked out good too)
9 maraschino cherries (optional)
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter, gradually add brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Spread creamed mixture evenly in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries evenly over creamed mixture.
Beta egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Combine flour and salt; add to yolk mixture alternately with water, stirring well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
Spoon batter evenly over pineapple slices in skillet. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes in pan, and invert cake onto serving plate. Yield one 9-inch cake.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened (do not substitute)
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine first 3 ingredients; beat well with a heavy duty mixer. Gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after eacg addition. Add flour to creamed mixture; beat well. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into a well greased 10inch tub pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely. Yield: one 10 inch cake.
Note: This cake is so rich it needs no frosting.

Grilled Shark

1 tablespoon sherry
4 or 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (1/2 teaspoon if fresh)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspooon blackend steak seasoning (optional)
1/8 teaspoon dill
2 Shark steaks, close to an inch thick

Combine first 9 ingredients in a jar. Shake well. This is best if prepared much earlier than when you are ready to cook the shark to allow the ingredients to blend thier flavors. Pour half the mixture with the shark steaks in a bowl and let marinate for about 20 minutes turning once or twice. Then place on the grill and cover and cook until meat begins to flake off. You can pour remaining mixture over shark while cooking.

My Mother In Law's Persimmon Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed persimmons
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream sugar and oil, add eggs and mix well. Add persimmons and all the spices. Sift flour, baking powder and soda together. Add to mixture. Add dates and walnuts or pecans. Mix well. Spray or grease 4 mini loaf pans and fill 3/4 full. Bake 350 for 55 minutes or until sides pull away from pab. Cool in pans on rack for 5 minutes then turn out on rack to cool completly.

Russian Black Bread

1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon caraway seed
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place ingredients into the bread machine in order suggested by the manufacturer. Use the whole wheat, regular crust setting. After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on a cake rack, and allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

March 28, 2005

Early American Cooking Terms

Some early American cooking and Food related terms that may be of interest.

BARBECUE. A term used in the Southern States and in the West Indies, for dressing a hog whole; which being split to the back-bone, is laid flat upon a large gridiron, and roasted over a charcoal fire.--Johnson. Webster.

Formerly it was customary to make a fire in a large hole in the ground, lined with stones, and then to put the hog in whole and cover it up until cooked.
Oldfield, with more than harpy throat endu'd, Cries, "Lend me, gods, a whole hog barbecued.["]--Pope.

CAROLINA POTATO. The sweet potato (convolvulus batata), so called in the Eastern States.

CHICKEN-FIXINGS. In the Western States, a chicken fricassee.

We trotted on very fast, in the assurance of rapidly approaching a snug breakfast of chicken-fixins, eggs, ham-doins, and corn slap-jacks.--Carlton's New Purchase, Vol. II. p. 69.

The remainder of the breakfast table in New York was filled up with some warmed-up old hen, called chicken-fixings.--Rubio, Travels in the U. S.

I guess I'll order supper. What shall it be, corn-bread and common-doins, or wheat bread and chicken-fixings.--Sam Slick, 3d Ser. p. 118.

CHOWDER. A favorite dish in New England, made of fish, pork, onions, and biscuit, stewed together. Picnic parties to the sea-shore generally have a dish of chowder, prepared by themselves in some grove near the beach, from fish caught at the same time. Grose describes the same as a sea dish.

CLAM-BAKE. The baking of clams on those parts of the sea-coast where they abound, particularly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, furnishes one of the most popular dishes as well as most favorite amusements of which the people partake. The method of baking is as follows: A cavity is dug in the earth about eighteen inches deep which is lined with round stones. On this a fire is made; and when the stones are sufficiently heated, a bushel or more of clams (according to the number of the persons who are to partake of the feast) is thrown upon them. On this is put a layer of rock-weed gathered from the beach, and over this a second layer of sea-weed. This prevents the escape of the steam, and preserves the sweetness of the clams. Clams baked in this manner, are preferred to those cooked in the usual way in the kitchen.

Parties of ten or twenty persons, of both gender, are the most common. Often they extend to a hundred, when other amusements are added; and on one occasion, that of a grand political mass-meeting in favor of Gen. Harrison on the 4th of July, 1840, nearly 10,000 persons assembled in Rhode Island, for whom a clambake and chowder were prepared. This was probably the greatest feast of the kind that over took place in New England.

COAL-HOD. A kettle for carrying coals to the fire. More frequently called, as in England, a coal-scuttle. Mr. Halliwell in his Dic. of Prov. has coal-hood, which is used in the eastern part of England.

COOKEY. A cake. A Dutch word used in New York.

Mrs. Child thinks it best to et the little dears have their own way in everything, and not to give them more cookies than they, the dear children, deem requisite.--Sunday Mercury, N. Y.

GOMBO*. In the Southern States, a soup in which this plant enters largely as an ingredient.

[*GOMBO was the common word for what we now call Okra.]

GRAHAM BREAD. Bread made of unbolted wheat. It is easier to digest than common wheaten bread, and is in consequence much used by invalids.

GRAIN. The universal name in the United States for what is called corn in England; that is, wheat, rye, oats, barley, &c.

GRAVY. Used in New England instead of juice, as the gravy of a pie.

HASTY-PUDDING. Indian meal stirred in boiling water into a thick batter or pudding, and eaten with milk, butter, and sugar or molasses. Joel Barlow wrote a poem on the subject, in which he thus accounts for its name:

Thy name is Hasty-Pudding! thus our sires
Were wont to greet thee fuming from their fires
And while they argued in thy just defence
With logic clear, they thus explain'd the sense:--
"In haste the boiling cauldron o'er the blaze,
Receives and cooks the ready-powder'd maize;
In haste 'tis serv'd, and then in equal haste,
With cooling milk, we make the sweet repast."
Such is thy name, significant and clear,
A name, a sound to every Yankee dear.--Canto I.

Hasty-pudding is a favorite dish in every part of the United States. In Pennsylvania and some other States it is called mush; in New York, suppawn. Hasty-pudding in England is made of milk and flour.

Sure hasty-pudding is thy chiefest dish,
With bullock's liver or some stinking fish.--Dorset Poems.

HEAD-CHEESE. The ears and feet of swine cut up fine, and, after being boiled, pressed into the form of a cheese.

HOE-CAKE. A cake of Indian meal, baked before the fire. In the interior parts of the country, where kitchen utensils do not abound, they are baked on a hoe; hence the name.

Some talk of hoe-cake, fair Virginia's pride;
Rich Johnny-cake this mouth has often tryed.
Both please me well, their virtues much the same;
Alike their fabric as allied their fame.--J. Barlow, Hasty Pudding.

HOMINY. Food made of maize or Indian corn boiled, the maize being either coarsely ground, or broken, or the kernels merely hulled.--Flint, Mississippi Valley. Also written hommony. Roger Williams, in his Key to the Indian Language, has the word aup?minea, parched corn--which, with the accent on the second syllable, has much the sound of hominy.

The Indians sift the flour out of their meal, which they call samp; the remainder they call homminy. This is mixt with flour and made into puddings.--Josselyn's New England Rarities, 1672, p. 53.

JOHNNY-CAKE. A cake made of Indian meal mixed with milk or water. A New England Johnny-cake is invariably spread upon the stave of a barrel-top, and baked before the fire. Sometimes stewed pumpkin is mixed with it.

Some talk of hoe-cake, fair Virginia's pride,
Rich Johnny-cake this mouth has often tried.
Both please me well, their virtues much the same;
Alike their fabric, as allied their fame,
Except in dear New England, where the last
Receives a dash of pumpkin in the paste.--Joel Barlow, Poem on Hasty Pudding.

KOOL SLAA. (Dutch.) Cabbage salad. Many persons who affect accuracy, but do not know the origin of the term, pronounce the first syllable as if it were the English word cold.

MAKING MEAT, on the great Western prairies, consists in cutting into thin slices the boneless parts of the buffalo, or other meat, and drying them in the wind or sun. Meat thus prepared may be preserved for years without salt.--Scenes in the Rocky Mountains, p. 53.

MIDDLINGS. The coarser part of flour.--Webster.

MILLION. A vulgar corruption of the word melon; as, 'water-millions,' water-melons;' mush-millions, musk-melons.

MUSH. Indian meal boiled with water, and eaten with milk or molasses. It is often called hasty pudding, and is a favorite dish throughout the United States. In Hallamshire, England, to mush, means to crush, or pound very small. From this our word may have originated.

E'en in thy native regions, how I blush
To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee mush!
On Hudson's banks, while men of Belgic spawn
Insult and eat thee by the name suppawn.--Barlow, Hasty Pudding.

NOCAKE. An Indian word still used in some parts of New England.

If their imperious occasions cause the Indians to travel, the best of their victuals for their journey is nocake (as they call it), which is nothing but Indian corn parched in the hot ashes; the ashes being sifted from it, it is afterwards beaten to powder, and put into a long leathern bag, trussed at their back like a knapsack; out of which they take thrice three spoonfuls a day.-- Wood's New England's Prospect, 1634.

NOODLEJEES. (Dutch.) Wheat dough rolled thin and cut into strings like maccaroni. It is used for the same purpose.

NOODLE-SOUP. Soup made of the above.

NUBBINS. Imperfectly formed ears of corn.

OLYCOKE. (Dutch, olikoek, oil-cake.) A cake fried in lard. A favorite delicacy with the Dutch, and also with their descendants, in New York. There are various kinds, as dough-nuts, crullers, etc.

PECCAN NUT. The nut of the peccan tree, the carys oliviormia of the Southern States.

PECKISH. Hungry.--Grose.

PEEL. A broad thin board with a long handle, used by bakers to put their bread in and out of the oven.--Johnson. The term is by many applied to a common shovel.

PEMICAN. A far-famed provender of man, in the wilds of North America, formed by pounding the choice parts of the meat very small, dried over a slow fire or in the frost, and put into bags made of the skin of the slain animal, into which a portion of melted fat is then poured. The whole being then strongly pressed and sewed up, constitutes the best and most portable food for the "voyageurs," and one which, with proper care, will keep a long time. Fifty pounds of meat and forty pounds of grease make a bag of pemican. Sweet pemican is another kind, made chiefly of bones.--Dunn's Oregon, p. 59.

PIT. (Dutch, pit, a kernel.) The kernel or nut of fruit; as, a cherry-pit. Peculiar to New York.

You put an apple seed or a peach-pit into the ground, and it springs up into the form of a miniature tree.--Prof. Bush on the Resurrection.

POKE. A bag. I have heard this old word used by some persons here in the compound term cream-poke; that is, a small bag through which cream is strained.--Pickering.

POPPED CORN. Parched Indian corn, so called from the noise it makes on bursting open. The variety usually prepared in this way is of a dark color, with a small grain.

POT-PIE. A pie made by spreading the crust over the bottom and sides of a pot, and filling up the inside with meat, i. e. beef, veal, mutton, or fowls.

An enormous pot-pie, and piping hot, graced our centre, overpowering, with its fragrance and steam, the odors and vapors of all other meats; and pot-pie was the wedding dish of the country, par excellence! The pie to-day was a doughy sepulchre of at least six hens, two chanticleers, and four pullets! What pot could have contained the pie is inconceivable. Why, among other unknown contributions, it must have received one half peck of onions! And yet it is to be feared that many would be pot-pieless.--Carlton, The New Purchase, Vol. I. p. 181.

PUPELO. A name for cider-brandy, formerly manufactured in New England to a great extent.

Han't they got any of the religion at your house? No, marm, they drink pupelo and rum.--Margaret, p. 52.

ROKEAGE, or YOKEAGE. Indian corn parched, pulverized, and mixed with sugar.

RULLICHIES. (Dutch.) Chopped meat stuffed into small bags of tripe, which are then cut into slices and fried. An old and favorite dish among the descendants of the Dutch in New York.

SALAD. In the Northern States often used specifically for lettuce, of which salad is frequently made.

SALMAGUNDI. A Dutch dish common in New York. It is made of pickled or smoked shad cut into thin slices or shreds, and sliced onions. The whole is then acidulated with vinegar. This dish is generally used at tea.

SALT-WATER VEGETABLES. In New York, a cant term for oysters and clams.

SAMP. (Indian, nasaump.) Roger Williams describes nasaump as "a kind of meale pottage unparched; from this the English call their samp, which is Indian corn, beaten and boiled, and eaten hot or cold with milke or butter, which are mercies beyond the natives' plaine water, and which is a dish exceedingly wholesome for the English bodies."--Key to the Indian Language, p. 33. For other dishes made of corn, see Hominy, Mush, Suppawn, Suckatash.

Blue corn is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of loblolly of it, to eat with milk, which they call sampe; they beat it in a mortar, and sifte the flower out of it.--Josselyn's New England Rarities, 1672.

SANG. An abbreviation of ginseng. It is or was also used in Virginia as a verb; to go a sanging, is to be engaged in gathering ginseng.

SANGAREE. (Span. sangre, blood.) A drink made of red wine, water, and sugar, with nutmeg grated over it. This word, now very common throughout the United States, was introduced from the West Indies.

SARVES, for preserves. So pronounced in some parts of the West.

We had also [for dinner] custard pies, and maple molasses, (usually called 'them 'are molasses,') and preserved apples, preserved water-melon-rinds, and preserved red peppers and tomatoes--all termed, for brevity's sake, (like words in Webster's Dictionary,) sarves.--Carlton, The New Purchase, Vol. I. p. 183.

SASS-TEA. A decoction of sassafras.

In the morning, Hoss Allen became dreadful poorly. The matron of the house boiled him sass-tea, which the old man said revived him mightily.--Robb, Squatter Life, p. 72.

SAUCE. (Vulgarly pronounced sass.) Culinary vegetables and roots eaten with flesh.--Webster. This word is provincial in various parts of England in the same sense. Forby defines it as "any sort of vegetable eaten with flesh-meat."--Norfolk Glossary. Garden-stuff, and garden-ware, are the usual terms in England.

Roots, herbs, vine-fruits, and salad-flowers--they dish up in various ways, and find them very delicious sauce to their meats, both roasted and boiled, fresh and salt.--Beverly's Hist. of Virginia.

SAVAGE AS A MEAT AXE. Exceedingly hungry. This vulgar simile is often used in the Northern and Western States.

"Why, you don't eat nothing!" he exclaimed; "ridin' don't agree with you, I guess! Now, for my part, it makes me as savage as a meat axe."--Mrs. Clavers's Forest Life, Vol. I. p. 103.

It would be a charity to give the pious brother some such feed as chicken fixins and doins, for he looks half-starved, and as savage as a meat axe.--Carlton's New Purchase.

SCRAPS. The dry, husky, and skinny residuum of melted fat.--Forby's Vocabulary. The common word in New England for the same.

SHARP SET. Hungry. A colloquial expression much itself in the United States as well as in England.

And so I thinke that if anie were so sharpe set as to eat fried flies, buttered bees, stued snailes, either on Fridaie or Sundaie, he could not there-fore be indicted for haulte treason.--Stanihurst's Ireland, 1596, p. 19.

I'm considerable sharp-set afer waiting five hours and a quarter for breakfast.--Sam Slick in England, ch. 2.

SHORTS. The bran and coarse part of meal, in mixture.

STRING-BEANS. The common name for French beans; so called from the string-like substance stripped from the side of the pod in preparing it for the table.

STRIPPINGS. The last and consequently the richest milk drawn from a cow in milking. It is provincial in England.

When they were about breaking up the meeting, Deacon Ramsdell said, "Shan't we have a collection? We have had nice times, but strippins arter all is the best milk."--Margaret, p. 159.

STUFFENING. Stuffing; seasoning for meat or poultry. usually made of bread and herbs to give it a higher relish. Western.

By way of amends [for the dried up turkey] quarts of gravy were judiciously emptied on our plates from the wash-basin bowls. That also moistened the stuffinin, composed of Indian meal and sausages.--Carlton. The New Purchase, Vol. I. p. 182.

SUCKATASH, or SUCCOTASH. (Narragansett Ind., msickquatash, corn boiled whole.) Green Indian corn and beans boiled together. It is a favorite disk wherever these plants are cultivated.

Joel Barlow, in his admirable poem on Hasty-pudding, thus compares succotash with it:
Let the green succotash with thee contend;
Let beans and corn their sweetest juices lend;
Not all the plate, how fam'd soe'er it be,
Can please my palate like a bowl of thee.--Canto I. p. 6.

SUPAWN. An lndian name, in universal use in New England, New York, aud other Northern States, for boiled Indian meal.

The common food of the Indians is pap, or mush, which in the New Netherlands is named supaen. This is so common among them, that they seldom pass a day without it, unless they are on a journey or hunting. We seldom visit an Indian lodge at any time of day, without seeing their supaen preparing, or seeing them eating the same. It is the common food of all; and so fond of it are they, that when they visit our people, or each other, they consider themselves neglected unless they are treated with supaen.--Van der Donck's New Netherlands, (1656,) N. Y. Hist. Soc. Collections

The flour [of maize] makes a substantial sort of porridge, called by the Americans supporne; this is made with water, and eaten with milk.--Backwoods of Canada, p. 189.

SWEET TOOTH. A person who is fond of sweet things is said to have a sweet tooth in his head. And so in England.--Carr's Craven Glossary.

SWEET OIL. The common name for olive oil.

SWITCHEL. Molasses and water; a common beverage in New England.

TAFFY. A kind of candy made of molasses, flour, and butter, baked in a pan. New York.

TAPIOCA. A substance much used in the United States for puddings and other culinary purposes. It is extracted from the manioc (gatropha manihot), a shrub indigenous to tropical America, and now cultivated from Florida to Magellan. It is said that an acre of manioc will nourish more persons than six acres of wheat. Its roots attain the size of the thigh. Every part of the plant is filled with a milky juice, which is a very violent and dangerous poison, producing death in a few minutes, when swallowed; yet human ingenuity has converted its roots into an article of food. This is done by grinding them in wooden mills, after which the paste is put into sacks, and exposed to the action of a powerful press. The poisonous juice is thereby extracted, and the residue is the substance known as cassava, or mandioca, a nutritious flour, preferred by the natives to that from wheat. When kept from moisture, this flour will keep good for fifteen or twenty years. The tapioca is made by separating from the fibrous part of the roots a small quantity of the pulp, after the juice is extracted, and working it by hand till a thick white cream appears on the surface. This, being scraped off and washed in water, gradually subsides to the bottom. After the water is poured off, the remaining moisture is dissipated by a slow fire, and the substance being constantly stirred, gradually forms into grains about as large as those of sago. This is the purest and most wholesome part of the manioc.--Encyc. Americana.

TRIMMINGS. Bread and butter and other necessary eatables for the tea-table.

A cup of tea with trimmings, is always in season; and is considered as the orthodox mode of welcoming any guest.--Mrs. Clavers, A New Home.

The party luxuriated at Florence's [eating house] on lobster and trimings.--Knickerbocker Mag., Aug. 1845.

TUM-TUM. A favorite dish in the West Indies, made by heating the boiled plantain quite soft in a wooden mortar. It is eaten like a potato pudding, or made into round cakes and fried.--Carmichael's West Indies, Vol. I. p. 183.

UNDERDONE. Cooked rare. A very common word with us. Used in the London Quarterly Review, but not noticed by Johnson or Todd.

WAFFLE. (Dutch wafel.) A wafer; a soft indented cake baked in an iron utensil on coals.

WAFFLE-IRON. (Dutch wafelyzen.) A wafer-iron; a utensil for baking waffles.


March 29, 2005

1846 Cheese Press

About March 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Hearth and Home in March 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2004 is the previous archive.

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