Category : Side dish

Eggs in Paper Cases

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

There are several recipes that Historic Foodways staff members create which prompt frequent requests for cooking instructions.  Eggs in Paper Cases is one of them.  This delightfully simple recipe is not only tasty, but fun and easy to do.  The one mystery?  The book neglects to tell one how to make, buy or even what the paper cases look like.  We guess that’s a mystery left to the mists of time.  If you wish to have a little more fun, we suggest you create your own origami boxes for the recipe.




Oeufs en Caises. Eggs in Paper-Cases.

From The Practice of Modern Cookery, by George Dalrymple, 1781.

Mix some chopt sweet-herbs with a piece of butter, pepper, and salt; put a little of this in the bottom of each case; break an egg into each case, …

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Peas, Glorious Peas!

Posted on: February 6th, 2018


Each spring Historic Foodways staff highly anticipate the arrival of one of our most favored vegetables- the garden pea. Wesley Greene’s Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way, states that the green pea was one of the most fashionable of all garden vegetables for 18th-century Virginia gentlemen to grow. Thomas Jefferson held a yearly competition with his neighbor to see who could harvest them first.  In 1707, Englishman John Mortimer lamented, “The great inconveniency that doth attend them is that their extraordinary sweetness makes them likeable to be devoured by Birds.” It’s a lament familiar to most gardeners. According to research conducted by Tiffany Fisk, apprentice in Historic Foodways, peas may have been around as early as 9750 BC. “Most people were eating dried peas rather than fresh ones,” she says.

For more of Tiffany’s research and recipes from …

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To Make Mince Pies the Best Way

Posted on: October 12th, 2017

Mincemeat pies are a medieval Christmas tradition. Typically, mincemeats are made up several months in advance to allow the flavors to merge. The ever-present alcohol and sugar was a way to preserve meat. By the late 18th century the meat component had become optional.





To Make Mince Pies the Best Way


From The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, by Hannah Glasse, 1776 edition

Take three pounds of suet shred very fine, and chopped as small as possible; two pounds of raisins stoned, and chopped as fine as possible; two pounds of currants nicely picked, washed, rubbed and dried at the fire; half a hundred of fine pippins, pared, cored and chopped small’ half a pound of fine sugar pounded fine; a quarter of an ounce of mace, a quarter of an ounce …

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Making Use of the Marvelous Medlar

Posted on: February 20th, 2017

Anyone who has ever walked in the Historic Area knows the wonderful job done by our gardeners and groundskeepers in creating and maintaining our vibrant and well-manicured grounds. But you may not know that there are a multitude of historically accurate fruit trees and plants right alongside the tulips and the manicured hedges. Sometimes even we come across a hidden treasure that Historic Foodways staff did not know was there. That is exactly what happened last fall when we stumbled across a medlar tree in full bloom.

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Souffle Biscuits

Posted on: June 28th, 2016

When researching 18th-century recipes one often gets a feeling of deja vu.  Such is the case with our soufflé biscuits.  Though not readily apparent from the title, after making these light, airy little treats we were immediately struck that these could be seen as our modern day oyster crackers.  Easy, light and delicious, these lovely little crackers can be kept for several months in an airtight container. 

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Puffed Eggs

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016

Eggs weren’t just for breakfast in the 18th century.  In fact, they were often a side dish to a meal, and not just relegated to the morning as in today’s modern world.  More than 20 egg dishes can be found in the French Family Cook alone! Our Rare Breeds chickens here in the Historic Area love to give us plenty to work with during the spring and fall months. While they still produce eggs in the  summer, it’s at a much lower rate.  The dish of Puffed Eggs is easy and fun to do.  Try this fancy version of a fried egg for a light supper, along with a salad!

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Puff Pastry 101

Posted on: May 15th, 2015

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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Des Beignets de Gelee de Grosseilles (Fritters of Currant Jam)

Posted on: March 6th, 2015

These pockets of pastry filled with currant jam are delectable, whether you purchase puff pastry or make your own. But be careful when biting into a hot beignet. The jam inside will be very hot!

18th Century

“Of these there are several sorts; but the favorites of Mr. Clouet were one of the pastry sort, and the other I’ll shew in my next. Provide a nice rich paste, and roll out very thin; brush it all over with egg, and lay your jelly down in little lumps as many as you want for a little dish; prepare another sheet of paste and lay it over, pressing well between that it may not come out in frying; make your lard pretty hot, and dry of a fine yellowish colour, and dish them up with some fine sugar sifted over.”

—William Verral, …

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To Bake or Fry Mushrooms in Paste

Posted on: August 26th, 2014

Mushrooms made in this manner can be served in a variety of ways.

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To Make a Hedgehog

Posted on: December 26th, 2013

This type of creation was known as a ‘deceit’ in the 18th century because it was something you would not normally eat yet made from edible food material. Our fun Hedgehog adheres to that description.

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