Hints, Tips, and Ideas Archives

November 22, 2004

Oven Temp

Description Fahrenheit Celsius Gas
Very slow 225 110 1/4
Very slow 250 120/130 1/2
Slow 275 140 1
Slow 300 150 2
Moderate 325 160/170 3
Moderate 350 180 4
Moderately hot 375 190 5
Moderately hot 400 200 6
Hot 425 220 7
Hot 450 230 8
Very hot 475 240 9

November 27, 2004


To make 1 cup brown sugar:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons molasses or cane syrup

To make 1 teaspoon baking powder:
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

To substitute 1 cup sour cream:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
evaporated milk to equal 1 cup

To substitute 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate:
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

To substitute 1 teaspoon dry mustard:
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

To substitute allspice:
Use equal amount of ground cloves that is called for allspice.

To substitute currants:
Use equal amounts of chopped raisins that is called for currants

To substitute Mace:
Use equal amounts of nutmeg that is called for Mace

To make powdered sugar blend granulated sugar in blender.

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

October 14, 2005

Explanation of some Terms Used

Atelets--Small silver skewers.

Baba--A French sweet yeast cake.

Bouquet--a bunch of parsley and scallions tied up to put in soups, &c.

Bouquet garni, or Assaisonne--The same, with the addition of cloves and aromatic herbs.

Bourguignote--A ragout of truffles.

Brioche--A French yeast cake.

Buisson--A whimsical method of dressing up pastry, &c.

Capilotade--A common hash of poultry.

Caramel, [see Sugar Stages ]

Casse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Civet--A hash of game or wild fowl.

Compiegne--A French sweet yeast cake, with fruit; &c. &c.

Compote--A fine mixed ragout to garnish white poultry, &c.; also a method of stewing fruit with sirup for desserts.

Compotier--A dish amongst the dessert service appropriated to the use of the compote.

Couronne--To serve any prescribed articles on a dish in the form of a crown.

Court or short (to stew)--To reduce a sauce very thick.

Croustade--Bread baked in a mould, and scooped out to contain minces, &c.

Croutons--Bread cut in various shapes, and fried lightly in butter or oil.

Dorez--To wash pastry, &c. with yolk of egg well beaten.

Dorure--Yolks of eggs beaten well.

Entrees--Are dishes served at the commencement, or during the first course of the dinner.

Entremets--Small ornamental dishes, served in the second and third courses.


Financiere--An expensive, highly-flavored, mixed ragout.

Flan--A French custard.

Glaze, (to fall to a)--To reduce sauces till they become a jelly, and adhere to the meat.

Glaze--Is usually made from reduced consomme, or juices from the bottoms of braised white meats; it should be preserved in jelly-pots.

Glaze, Glace, or Ice--Is composed of white of egg beaten with powder-sugar.

Godiveau--A common veal forcemeat.

Grand Plume, [see Sugar Stages ]

Grand Perle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Grand Queue de Cochon, [see Sugar Stages ]

Gros Boulet, [see Sugar Stages ]

Gras(au)--This signifies that the article specified is dressed with meat gravy.

Gratin--A layer of some particular article is spread over a silver, or any other dish that will bear the fire, and placed on a stove or hot ashes until it burns to it.

Hors d'?uvre--A small dish, served during the first course.

Hatelets--The same as Atelets.

Lard--To stick bacon, or other specified articles, into poultry, meat, &c.; it is done by means of a larding-pin, one end of which is pointed, the other square, and hollow; the lardon is put into this hollow, the point is then inserted into the meat, and on being drawn out, leaves the lardon standing up in its proper place.

Lardons--The pieces into which bacon and other things are cut, for the purpose of larding meat, &c. &c.

Larding-pan--An utensil by means of which meat, &c. is larded.

Liaison--A finish with yolks of eggs and cream, for ragouts and sauces.

Lisse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Madeleines--Cakes made of the same composition as pound-cakes.

Maigre--Soups, &c. dressed without meat.

Marinade--A prepared pickle for meat, fish, &c.

Mask--To cover completely.

Nouilles--An Italian paste, resembling macaroni; it is flat, instead of being in pipes.

Panada--Bread soaked in milk, used principally for quenelles and fine farces.

Passer--To fry lightly.

Pate--A raised crust pie.

Petit Boulet, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Lisse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Perle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Plume, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Queue de Cochon, [see Sugar Stages ]

Poele--A light braise for white meats. The difference between this and the braise is, that in the former the meat, or whatever it may be, need not be so much done as in the latter.

Potage--Another term for soup.

Puree--Any meat, fish, or other article, boiled to a pulp, and rubbed through a sieve.

Quenelles--A fine farce; it is generally poached when used.

Salmi--A highly seasoned hash.

Sauter--To fry very lightly.

Sabotiere, or Sorbetiere--A pewter or tin vessel, in which are placed the moulds containing the substance to be frozen.

Souffle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Tammy--A silk sieve.

Tourner, or Turn--To stir a sauce; also to pare and cut roots, vegetables, and fruits, neatly.

Tourte--A puff-paste pie.

Vanner--To take up sauce, or other liquid, in a spoon, and turn it over quickly

Sugar Stages

SUGAR, Different Degrees of Preparing. The various purposes to which sugar is applied, require it to be in different states; these are called degrees, and are thirteen in number, called as follows:

Petit Lisse, or First Degree Replace the clarified sugar in the preserving-pan, to boil gently, take a drop of it on the thumb, touch it with the fore-finger; if, on opening them, it draws to a fine thread, and in breaking, forms two drops on each finger, it is at the right point.

Lisse, Second Degree. A litte more boiling brings it to this point; when the thread will draw further before it breaks.

Petit Perle, Third Degree. At this point the thread may be drawn as far as the span will open, without breaking.

Grand Perle, Fourth Degree. On still increasing the boiling, little raised balls are formed on the surface of the sugar.

Petit Queue de Cochon, Fifth Degree. Take up some of the sugar on a skimmer, and drop it on the rest, when it should form a slanting streak on the surface. Boil it a little longer, and it will reach the

Grand Queue de Cochon, orSixth Degree. The streak or tail is now larger.

Souffle, Seveth Degree. Take out a skimmerful of the sugar, blow through it, and small sparks of sugar will fly from it.

Petit-Plume, Eighth Degree. The same proof as above; the sparks should be larger and stronger.

Grande Plume, Ninth Degree. Take the sugar in the skimmer, as before, give it a shake, and if the sparks are large, and adhere together on rising, it is at the right point.

Petit Boulet, Tenth Degree. Dip your fingers in cold water, and then into the sugar instantly, and again into the water, when the sugar will roll into a ball, which will be supple when cold.

Gros Boulet, Eleventh Degree. At this point, the ball or bullet will be harder when cold than at the last.

Casse, Twelfth Degree. Prove as above; the bullet should crumble between the fingers, and on biting, will stick to the teeth; at the next point,

Caramel, Thirteenth Degree, It should snap clean. This point is very difficult to attain, for in increasing the height, the sugar is apt to burn; it is better therefore to try the proof very frequently.

Another caramel is frequently used by the confectioner, and is of a deep color; it is made by putting a little water to the sugar, and boiling it without skimming, or otherwise touching the sugar, till of the right color, then take it off and use immediately.

If, on preparing the sugar, you happen to miss the right point, add a little cold water, and boil once more.

Observations. --The skimmer should never be left in the preserving-pan after the sugar is clarified, nor after the scum is removed.

Be very careful not to stir or disturb the sugar, as that would cause its diminution.

In boiling the sugar (particularly the two last degree), the sugar is continually rising and falling; and on falling, leaves marks on the sides of the pan, which the heat of the fire would soon burn, and thereby spoil the whole of the sugar; to avoid this, have by the side of you a pan of cold water, and a sponge, with which wipe the sides of the pan carefully, the instant after the sugar has fallen.

1850 Tin Baker or Reflector

Fig. 14 represents a Tin Baker, or Reflector. The iron hooks running out in front, fit it to use with grates. It can be made without them, or made so that they can be drawn out and put in. This bakes bread, cakes, apples, &c., as well as an oven.

1850 Footman

Fig. 15, called a Footman, is made of brass, or sheet iron, and is used with a grate, to heat irons, and for other purposes.

1850 Balance

Fig. 16 is the best kind of Balances to use in weighing cake, and for other purposes.

1850 Dustpan

Fig. 17 is a tall-handle Dust Pan. The pan is half a yard in length, ten inches in width, and the handle two feet high, and set up perpendicularly. It is a very economical arrangement to save carpets and labor, as it is set down in spots, and the common broom used to throw the dust and rubbing from the carpet on to it, instead of brushing them all across the carpet.

1850 Saw Knife

Fig. 18 is a Saw Knife, being a saw on one side, and a knife on the other. It is very useful in preparing meats.

1850 Lemon Squeezer

Fig. 19 is a Lemon Squeezer. At A is a concave place with holes bored through. At B is a convex projection to fit into the concave portion, and here the half lemon is put to be squeezed.

October 17, 2005

Handy Conversions

This can greatly help in converting some of those old recipes into modern methods of measuring. They are in no way exact, but can give you the basics.

Water 2 Cups or 1 pint = 1 pound

Flour 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Sugar Granulated 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Sugar, Granulated 1 Cup = 7 ounces

Sugar, Powdered 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Sugar, Brown, loose pack1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Salt 1 Tablespoon = 3/4 ounce

Baking Powder 1 Tablespoon = 3/8th ounce or.375 ounce

Baking Soda 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Cream of Tartar 1 Tablespoon = 1/3rd ounce or .375 ounce

Yeast, Active Dry 1 Tablespoon = 1/3 ounce

Yeast, Compressed 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Honey 1 Cup = 11 ounces

Shortening and Butter 1 Cup = 8 ounces

Shortening and Butter 1/4 Cup = 2 ounces

Allspice 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Cinnamon 1 Tablespoon = 1/4

Cloves 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Nutmeg 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Mace 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Ginger 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Cocoa 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Lemon or Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Vinegar 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

May 24, 2007

Tips on Making Homemade Bread

Homemade bread does not last in our house. But I haven't made it in ages since I have been so busy moving all over the place and haven't even had a chance to get settled in....until recently that is. So yesterday I was planning on making some pizza dough (which came out really good) but while I was at it I made two loaves of bread. The thing I always worry about is the yeast. I am afraid to waste so much flour if the yeast does not work properly. So this is what I do to "test" the yeast. First according to the directions for making bread you add a little sugar, about 1 teaspoon, to about 1 cup of warm water and 1 package of yeast. Now for the warm water I just warm it on the stove. I don't have a thermometer so I use my fingers to test the temp. If the water has gotten too hot where it feels just slightly uncomfortable to my finger than it was too hot. If that happens I usually take out a 1/4 cup of water and replace with cool tap water. Never let the water come to a boil, that is WAY too hot. You only want your water nice and warm, about 105 - 115 degree F. So anyway then you pour the warm water over the yeast and sugar that is sitting in a bowl. Cover and set in a slightly warm spot. Come back in 5 minutes. If the yeast water has bubbles on top and a thick frothy coating on top you are good to go for bread making. It also should have this nice doughy aroma. So if your yeast water makes it through active, then proceed with the bread making. If not, then you haven't wasted all that flour.
Here is the recipe I use for making bread, which I usually end up doubling.

1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package yeast (which is about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 - 3 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Dissolve the yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water as directed above. If yeast is pronounced active then proceed by mixing 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt, oil, half of flour mixture with yeast mixture. Mix until smooth. Then stir in remaining amount of flour until you have a nice soft dough.
Lightly knead dough on floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top, cover with towel or cloth, then let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, which usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. I just place in the oven with the oven light on and it rises beautifully.
Then punch down dough, turn out onto floured surface, resting the dough for about 15 minutes. Then shape into so it will fit in your breadpan. Pinch bottom edges to seal. Place down seam side down, in well greased bread pan (9 x 5 x 3) Cover and let rise again for about an hour, or until doubled in size, then bake at 375 F for 50 minutes, or tap loaf and when it sounds hollow its finished. Remove from oven, then from pan to cool. I always butter the top, but thats optional. Now the hard part. Do NOT cut the bread until it has fully cooled.
This recipe yields 1 loaf.

Enjoy the old fashioned way of things? Interested in the Victorian era? If so have a browse around our other site A Victorian Passage. Updated Regularly!

About Hints, Tips, and Ideas

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Hearth and Home in the Hints, Tips, and Ideas category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Free Stuff and Giveaways is the previous category.

Subject Index is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.