What Exactly is a Rice Omelet?

Rice_Omelet_YouTubeHere at Historic Foodways, we never judge a recipe by its title.  This different version of a rice pudding has nothing to do with what we think of as an omelet. Instead, this lovely pudding has a think custard poured over a molded rice. It’s also gluten free!  Enjoy.…

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Posted: November 11th, 2015 in Dessert, Updates

Oysters on Skewers

Foodways Shoot in the Palace Kitchen, June 1st, 2015.

18th Century

“Put a bit of butter into a stew-pan, throw in large oysters and some mushrooms, with pepper, salt, pounded cloves, parsley, and sweet herbs chopped, a dust of flour; stir these about half a minute, then put the oysters on silver skewers, a mushroom between each; roll them in crumbs of bread; broil them; put into the stew-pan a little good gravy, let it be thick and palatable; a little lemon-juice. Serve the oysters on the skewers; the sauce on the dish.”

—From the Lady’s Assistant by Charlotte Mason…

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Posted: October 20th, 2015 in Seafood, Updates

To Make an Apple Pudding

apple pud photo 7For those of you who are interested in trying to replicate the three recipes mentioned in A Tale of Three Apples, the following is the recipe for our boiled apple pudding.…

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Posted: September 24th, 2015 in Dessert, Updates

A Look into the World of the 18th-century Confectioner!

Main-ImageIf someone were to hear “confectionery” or the “confectioner,” many foodies would draw upon images of sweet and delectable treats. The chocolate almond, strawberry creams, or even frozen delights, such as coffee ice cream. But salads?…

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Posted: July 31st, 2015 in Dessert, Updates | 2 comments

A Tale of Three Apples

Final 3 apple (2)Sometimes you never know where a recipe will lead you. Recently, while making a boiled apple pudding, it occurred to me that there are many recipes that use the exact same ingredients—some type of pastry plus a filling. For example, a Beignet of Red Currant Jam, a Boiled Apple Pudding, and Kickshaw, are all essentially created using the same ingredients. What is different is the way in which they are cooked or baked.…

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Posted: July 21st, 2015 in Dessert, Updates | 6 comments

Why Mary Randolph?

Virginia_HousewifeVisitors to our kitchens frequently ask where the Historic Foodways staff find our recipes.

Our staff has at its disposal well over 140 cookery books, as well as a large collection of hand-written receipt books, and hundreds of secondary source books on all aspects of foodways.

Since many of the primary cookbooks were printed year after year, we will often have every edition published. As new sources are found, they are incorporated into our collection. So, with such a plentiful quantity of primary information, why would be use “The Virginia House-wife,” by Mary Randolph, which was published in 1824? The Foodways staff uses the first edition of the cookbook here.

There are several reasons.

Mary Randolph was 62-years-old when she wrote “The Virginia House-wife.” Her work was based upon a solid foundation of cookery learned as younger woman, during the last …

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Posted: May 29th, 2015 in Uncategorized, Updates | 2 comments

Puff Pastry 101

Lots of 18th century recipes involve placing sweet or savory foodstuff into pastry — or a paste. Today we would call these crusts, or pie crusts.

Most modern cooks use one or two different crusts on a regular basis. Not so in the 18th century. The variety is vast and eclectic — cold, hot, puff, potato, crackling, good, dripping, standing, for custard, for tarts, light, crisp, for covers, for baskets … and the list goes on.

In this post, we’ll learn  to make one of the most feared of all — The Puff Paste.

Today, most people will give up before they even attempt puff pastry because of the myriad of steps, cooling and number of hours it takes to prepare a light, airy and crisp product.

But it does not have to be that difficult.

By following …

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Posted: May 15th, 2015 in Uncategorized, Updates

It’s Time for Cookies at Raleigh Tavern

Barbara-Scherer-GingercakesAt Historic Foodways, we’re venturing into new territory.  But the subject is all about nostalgia. Some 30 years ago, the smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies filled the air at the Raleigh Tavern.

Now we’ve been asked to re-create fresh baking at the tavern kitchen We’ve spruced it up and we’re baking gingerbread cookies by the hundreds.

Our friends at the Making History blog were there to record the first fragrant morsels that came out of the oven.

So come by and see us — and try our cookies.

And if you’re curious about the recipe. ……

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Posted: May 6th, 2015 in Dessert, Updates | 1 comment

Mint Juleps?

OK, did they have mint juleps in the 18th century ?

The short answer is no with a but. …

Let’s talk about the mint julep that they serve at Kentucky Derby Day. The exact history of this drink is somewhat of a mystery, but there are a number of factors that lead me to think that it is a early 19th-century creation.

First, this drink is typically made by taking mint leaves and mashing them up in a sugar syrup. then adding bourbon and shaved ice. The first problem is bourbon whiskey. Bourbon whiskey is named after Bourbon County in Kentucky, which was established in 1786.

It is different from other whiskeys of that time in several ways:

One, by law Bourbon must contain at least 51 percent corn.

And two,  it is made with a particular type of …

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Posted: May 2nd, 2015 in Beverage, Updates

A Chocolate Kitchen Mystery

On Wednesday, March 18, Royal Food Historian Marc Meltonville presented a fascinating lecture, The Rediscovery of a Royal Chocolate Kitchen, at the Hennage auditorium.

Royal Food Historian Marc Meltonville

Royal Food Historian Marc Meltonville

Marc said the occasionally during his 20-year stint as chief food historian for all of the Royal Palaces, employees would stop him and say: “You know there is a chocolate kitchen.” When he asked where it was, they would answer:  “Over there somewhere,” waving their hand toward a corner of the William and Mary addition to Hampton Court Palace.

An intern named Polly eventually solved the mystery by going through old records. She found a list of rooms around the courtyard, all numbered — and one of them was the chocolate kitchen.

Found at last, the room was being used as a closet for floral arrangements.

Once the room was …

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Posted: April 17th, 2015 in Uncategorized, Updates