Friday, February 12, 2016

On This Day

On this day in History, Abraham Lincoln is born on Feb 12, 1809. Learn more about what happened today on History.

The Old Foodie: Lincoln’s Birthday Anniversary Banquet, 1909.

The Old Foodie: Lincoln’s Birthday Anniversary Banquet, 1909.:

I would dearly have loved to give you a recipe for Log Cabin Punch, but it was almost certainly invented and named for the day, and presumably to honour Lincoln’s birth in a humble log cabin in Kentucky. Instead, I give you the instructions for Non-Such Punch (simply because I like the name) from How to Mix Drinks, or, the Bon-Vivant’s Companion, published in 1862 – only a few years before he was assassinated in April 1865. 

Non-Such Punch.
6 bottles of claret. 
6 [ditto] soda-water. 
1 [ditto] brandy. 
1 [ditto] sherry
1 pint of green tea. 
Juice of three lemons. 
½ of a pineapple cut up in small pieces. Sweeten with white sugar to taste. Strain a bottle immediately. Keep for one month before using.
This is a delicious and safe drink for a mixed evening party. Cool before serving.

The Old Foodie: Lincoln’s Birthday Anniversary Banquet, 1909.

The Old Foodie: Lincoln’s Birthday Anniversary Banquet, 1909.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dolly Madison Recipes

"Dolley Madison's Soft Gingerbread ...Preserved in White House files, the recipe has been used by many another First Lady, right up to our day...
Beef drippings (or lard)
Baking soda
Hot water
Ground ginger
Ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar. 

Mix 1 cup molasses (Dolley's "receipt" specified New Orleans molasses) with 2/3 cup fresh beef drippings. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda disspoved in 1/4 cup hot water. Sift your dry ingredients: 2 1/4 cups flour, 4 teaspoons ginger, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Next pour 3/4 cup hot water which has almost reached the boiling point into the molasses mixture alternately with the flour mixture. Beat thoroughly with a rotary or electric beater. The dough should be soft enough to pour. Bake in a shallow, well-greased baking dish in a preheated medium (350 degrees F.) oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Delicious served warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar."
---Presidents' Cookbook (p. 90)

"Cinnamon (Woodbury Cake)
...a Madison tea would often include Cinnamon Cake...
Baking powder
Cream 2 tablespoons butter with 1 cup sugar. Add 2 cups sifted flour mixed with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Add milk and beat toghether thoroughly. Bake in a large pan at 350 degrees F. 20 to 30 minutes, or until done."
---Presidents' Cookbook (p. 91)

"Dolley Madison's Layer Cake
...This recipe for layer cake was a Madison specialty, frequently served to guests...
Egg whites

Beat the whites of 8 eggs until stiff and in peaks. Put aside. Cream 1 cup butter with 2 1/2 cups sugar. Add 1 cup milk slowsly, mixing well. Add 3/4 cup cornstarch and 3 cups sifted flour to the butter-egg mixtuer. Mix well and add 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Fold in the egg whites carefully. Bake in 4 layer pans, well-greased. Bake in a medium (350 degrees F.) oven 30 to 35 minuts, or until the cake springs bak when touched lightly. Cool on racks and frost with Dolley Madison's Caramel

Brown sugar
Light cream
Mix well 3 cups brown sugar, 1 cup cream, and 2 tablespoons butter. Put mixture in the top of a double boiled and cook gently for 20 minutes. Just before removing from the stove, after the caramel has thickened, add 1 teaspoon vanilla, stir constantly. Remove and cool. Fill the layers of the cake and put icing on top as well."
---Presidents' Cookbook (p. 89)

"One delightful piece of Dolleyania has defied accurate documentation to the day: the belief that it was Dolley who inaugurated the tradition of the annual White House Easter egg roll on Easter Monday. Neither Dolly nor any of her contemproaries mentions this event in any document located to date, but true or not, the tradition is now firmly attached to Dolley's White House years. Ethel Stephens Arnett, one of Dolley's more recent biographers, wrote that young John Payne Todd had heard that an egg hunt or roll had been practiced by the Egyptians and suggested that his mother adopt the game for him and his friends. "Dolley liked the idea," Arnett wrote, "and with her own hand tinted hundreds of hard-boiled eggs in bright colors, invited the children of the earea to come and play with them, and thus started the Easter Egg Hunt on the White House lawn. She is said by some to have started the tradition on the grounds of the Capitol. In the original version of the egg roll, children brought baskets of colored hard-boiled eggs and sat in long rows...White House historian, William Seale, researched the tradition and wrote that President Rutherford B. Hayes "had begun the tradition of rolling Easter Eggs on the White House lawn. This Easter Monday custom had originated at the Capitol many years before; now one remembering exactly when."
---Strength and Honor: The Life of Dolley Madison, Richard N. Cote (p. 362-363).
[NOTES: (1) this book is accessible via GoogleBooks; (2) the Arnett book is Mrs. James Madison; the Incomparable Dolley.]

Martha Washington and Nelly Custis Lewis Recipes

A Sampling of Recipes from the First Ladies and a few from the Presidents, too!

The George Washington Administration: Martha Washington and Nelly Custis Lewis 

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was a plump widow with two children when George Washington married her. She not only brought property and elite social status to the match, she brought vast property holdings, too. A self-described “old-fashioned Virginia house-keeper,” she was experienced in handling a large household and was a much admired if somewhat reserved hostess. 
At fifty-eight, Lady Washington was a grandmother when her husband became president. She never resided in the White House, but she managed the first two presidential mansions, first in New York City, and later in Philadelphia, with a the help of many servants as well as her own personal slaves brought north from Virginia. Her “receipt book” was filled with directions for making cakes, fools, hartychoakes, oly-kocks, possets, trifles, and chickin frykasies.

Martha Washington’s Black Great Cake Recipe:
Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks and beat them to froth. Then work 4 pounds of butter to a cream and put the whites of eggs to it a Spoon full at a time till it is well work'd. Then put 4 pounds of sugar finely powdered to it in the same manner then put in the Yolks of eggs and 5 pounds of flour and 5 pounds of fruit. 2 hours will bake it. Add to it half an ounce of mace and nutmeg half a pint of wine and some fresh brandy. Five and a half hours will bake it. 

Nelly Custis, was Martha’s granddaughter, George Washington’s beloved step-granddaughter. She described the average day for George Washington at Mount Vernon: “He rose before sunrise, always wrote or read until 7 in summer or half past seven in winter. His breakfast was then ready—he ate three small mush cakes (Indian meal) swimming in butter and honey, drank three cups of tea without cream . . .”
Nelly Custis Lewis’s Recipe for Hoecakes 
". . . The bread business is as follows if you wish to make 2 1/2 quarts of flour up-take at night one quart of flour, five table spoonfuls of yeast & as much lukewarm water as will make it the consistency of pancake batter, mix it in a large stone pot & set it near a warm hearth (or a moderate fire) make it at candlelight & let it remain until the next morning then add the remaining quart & a half by degrees with a spoon when well mixed let it stand 15 or 20 minutes & then bake it—of this dough in the morning, beat up a white & half of the yilk of an egg—add as much lukewarm water as will make it like pancake batter, drop a spoonful at a time on a hoe or griddle (as we say in the south). When done on one side turn the other - the griddle must be rubbed in the first instance with a piece of beef suet or the fat of cold corned beef . . .”
–Excerpt from a letter written by Nelly Custis Lewis, Martha Washington's youngest granddaughter

John Adams Apple Pan Dowdy

The First Ladies Cook Book, by Margaret Brown Klapthor, adds these recipes: Baked salmon, A Pompetone, Oyster rolls, and Beggar's pudding. This book also provides a general of the Adamses' entertaining habits and notes about the White House in its earliest years and a photgraph of a cookbook owned by the family.
Need to make something for class?

Apple Pan Dowdy
 Apples, like molasses, were a standby in New England Desserts. John Adams showed his preference for Apple Pan Dowdy by having it on Independence Day...
Ice water
Melted butter

To make the pastry: Sift 1 1/2 cups flour with a dash of salt. Blend in 1/2 cup shortening until the mixture is mealy. Sprinkle a little ice water over the mixture, just enough to hold the dough together. Roll the pastry out, brush with 1/4 cup melted butter, and cut pastry in half. Place the halves on top of each other and cut again. Repeat until you have 16 separate but equal pieces of pastry piled on top of each other, then chill them a full hour. Roll the pastry once again, cut in half, and line the bottom of the baking dish with one half. Save the other half for the top. Keep both on ice while making the filling.
 To make the filling: Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Peel and core 10 large apples. Cut then into thin slices. Mix the apples with sugar-spice mixture and place in pastry-lined dish. Combine 1/2 cup molasses (or maple syrup) with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup water. Pour this over the apples. Cover with the top pastry layer and seal. Place in a preheated hot (400 degree F.) oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low (325 degrees F.). After reducing the heat, "dowdy" the dish by cutting the crust into the apples with a sharp knife. Return dish to oven and bake a full hour. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or with heavy cream or whipped cream. Serves 6."
---Presidents' Cookbook (p. 51-52)