Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Published in 1796, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons was the first cookbook published in America that was authored by an American citizen. It is a lot of fun to read these old cookbooks because they assumed that the reader knew how to cook and bake so the directions many times lacked instructions like measurements and how long to cook/bake something.

Here is the recipe for Potato Cake:
Boil potatoes, peal and pound them, add yolks of eggs, wine and melted butter work with flour into paste, shape as you please, bake and pour over these melted butter, wine and sugar.

I am not thinking this would come out too good if I were to try and make this.

Here is a REAL pound cake:
One pound sugar, one pound butter, one pound flour, one pound or ten eggs, rose water one gill, spices to your taste; watch it well, it will bake in a slow oven in 15 minutes.

How about a chicken pot pie? Pick and clean six chickens, (without scalding) take out their inwards and wash the birds while whole, then joint the birds, salt and pepper the pieces and inwards. Roll one inch thick paste No. 8 and cover a deep dish, and double at the rim or edge of the dish, put thereto a layer of chickens and a layer of thin slices of butter, till the chickens and one and a half pound butter are expended, which cover with a thick paste; bake one and a half hour.

Or if your oven be poor, parboil, the chickens with half a pound of butter, and put the pieces with the remaining one pound of butter, and half the gravy into the paste, and while boiling, thicken the residue of the gravy, and when the pie is drawn, open the crust, and add the gravy.

If you would like to read the entire text of this book you can see it HERE. If would like to see some sample pages of the original book that the Library of Congress has, then click HERE.

Did you notice that Amelia's last name is Simmons? That has always intrigued me because I too am a Simmons. There is very little known about Amelia and I haven't been able to make a connection but I think it would be very cool if she was one of my cousins.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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