Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Old Farmer's Almanac Colonial Cookbook

The other day my mother and I were going through some old photos and such and came across this cookbook that I bought for her in 1976. It's very interesting to see some of the recipes that the American Colonists ate. The recipes included in this cookbook are from research and files of the Old Farmer's Almanac which was first published in 1792. The majority of the recipes, however, were adapted for prepartion in the modern American kitchen.

I wanted to share a recipe, however, which is included in the introduction. The recipe is Mrs. Leed's Cheese Cake which is a recipe from the Compleate Cook, published in 1662 in London and much followed by our earliest colonists.

"Take six quarts of milk an renn it [and rennit] pretty cold and when it is tender come, drain from it your whey bedropt from it, then presse it, change it into dry cloathes till it wet the cloth no longer, then beat it in a stone mortar till it be like butter, then strayne it through a thin straynor, mingle it with a pound and a half of butter with your hands, take one pound of almonds and heat them with rose water till they be like your curd, then mingle them with the yolks of twenty eggs and a quart of cream, two great nutmegs and one pound and a half of sugar. When your coffins are ready and going to set in the ovan, then mingle them together, let your oven be hot enough for a Pigeon pye and let a stone stand up till the scorching be passed, then set them in. Half an hour will bake them well. Your coffins must be made with Milk and Butter as stiff as for other paste, then you must set them into a pirty hot oven and fill them full of bran and when they are hardened take them out and with a wing, brush out the bran - they must be pricked."

I know that I will not be making this Cheese Cake any time soon! I found it to be very interesting though and thought you might too.


The Old Cupboard Door said...

Your right Lucy, I did enjoy reading this. I must admit, I'm more of a Betty Crocker Cookbook fan, at least I can understand it, and Betty takes a lot of the "extra" work out of it.


Carmen C. said...

What a fun post and an old timey read:)

Carol said...

Wow, I wonder if there are any people that still talk like that. We've come a long way with the English language. This is quite fun to read. I've seen period movies with that language spoken. I think it's neat. Thanks for sharing Lucy:)

T's Daily Treasures said...

Oh my! Sounds like a lot of work just to make cheesecake. Ha! Not that I can understand much of what is written. Certainly an interesting bit of cooking history. Holiday blessings to you and yours :) Tammy

Willow said...

I love reading old things like that ! But like Willa said above I think when it comes to baking I better stick to Betty Crocker lol.
Thanks for sharing.
Merry Christmas

Mulberry Lane Folk Art said...

Makes a body thankful for modern tymes and ye olde Walmart 5 minutes from the homestead!--Jennifer