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Amazing cheese and appetizer plate at last night’s birthday party for a friend.  via Instagram

August 5th, 2018 Comments off

Learn Something New: Did Benjamin Franklin Introduce Tofu to America?

August 5th, 2018 Comments off

It doesn’t matter how old you get, there is always something new to learn. Sometimes these new things are words or concepts you have heard all your life, but perhaps you never understood. Learn Something New is a series that will highlight some of the things I learn, big and small in the coming days. — Douglas


This question came up in a UK game show we like to watch and we found it hard to believe. We immediately headed to Google and found a host of articles on just this topic. Franklin was quite interested in foods of all sorts and introduced or promoted several more “foreign” foods to America.
 
From Smithsonian Magazine…
 
Learn Something New: Did Benjamin Franklin Introduce Tofu to America?
When you picture Benjamin Franklin, what do you see? A lovable mad scientist flying a kite in the rain, perhaps, or a shrewd political strategist haggling at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Maybe you imagine Franklin schmoozing with the French, brokering deals, or hurriedly setting type in the offices of the Pennsylvania Gazette. What you likely do not envision is Franklin the gardening whiz and gourmet, writing excitedly from London on the subject of a mysterious Chinese “cheese” called “tau-fu.”
From Huffington Post…
Between all the juice bars and health food stores today, Ben Franklin would have fit in with the organic, earthy-crunchy crowd. He supposedly introduced tofu and kale to America, two ingredients that have maintained their popularity (kale chip, anyone?). HipCityVeg in Philly serves up a tangy Kale Lemonade, a twist on a Fourth of July staple. But he wasn’t a total health nut. Ever see those tacky T-shirts that say “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”? Well, Ben Franklin actually said that, and boy are we on the same page.
 
From Benjamin Franklin’s Tercentenary…
The earliest document seen in which an American mentions tofu is a letter written by Benjamin Franklin (who was in London) to John Bartram in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 11, 1770. He sent Bartram some soybeans (which he called “Chinese caravances”) and with them he sent “Father Navarrete’s account of the universal use of a cheese made of them in China, which so excited my curiosity, that I caused enquiry to be made of Mr. [James] Flint, who lived many years there, in what manner the cheese was made, and I send you his answer. I have since learned that some runnings of salt (I suppose runnet) is put into water, when the meal is in it, to turn it to curds. […] These … are what the Tau-fu is made of.”
 
Previously on Learn Something New:
Categories: Cooking, Food, History, Learn Something New Tags:

Historical Cooking Books: Woman’s City Club cook book by Woman’s City Club of Chicago (Ill.). Library Committee – 9 in a series

August 5th, 2018 Comments off

Archive.org has a host of old cookery books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books. I’ll be sharing more books as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas


Historical Cooking Books: Woman’s City Club cook book by Woman’s City Club of Chicago (Ill.). Library Committee – 9 in a series

Historical Cooking Books: Woman's City Club cook book by Woman's City Club of Chicago (Ill.). Library Committee - 9 in a series Historical Cooking Books: Woman's City Club cook book by Woman's City Club of Chicago (Ill.). Library Committee - 9 in a series

A PERFECT CHICAGO

1 good Mayor, 31 incorruptible Judges,

50 upright Aldermen, 1 intelligent School Board, (be

1 efficient Chief of Police, sure this mixes smoothly),

An unlimited number of active Civic Organizations.

Moisten these ingredients thoroughly with the milk of
Human Kindness; flavor well with Honesty, Wisdom and
Steadfastness; stirring in at the same time a large measure
of Civic Spirit. Pour into the mold of the City Beautiful, and
let stand until firmly set, testing, from time to time, with the
straw of Public Opinion.

If followed carefully this recipe cannot fail.


 

COUNTY COMMITTEE CAKE
Mrs. Wm. Harrison Cade

1 cup sugar % cup milk

% cup butter 2 cups flour

3 eggs 2 tsp. baking powder

LEMON FILLING

1 egg V2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar 2 tbsp. flour

Juice of a lemon Butter size of a walnut

Melt butter, stir in flour. Add water and sugar. Boil gently
five minutes. Pour on beaten egg and add lemon juice.

 


Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Publication date 1923
Publisher Chicago, Ill. : [s.n.]
Language English
 

Learn more about cooking history with these books

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food, History Tags:

Dressed Up Comfort Food — Follow Me On Instagram!

August 4th, 2018 Comments off

In The Kitchen: Walnut Magnetic Knife Holder

August 2nd, 2018 Comments off

After seeing this at a friend’s house, it reminded me that I have always wanted a better way of storing my knives and keeping them available for use. Over the last several years — and many, many meals prepared — I have begun purchasing better knives for my kitchen. These knives, if treated properly, can hold an edge for a long time and be easily resharpened when needed if they don’t rattle around in a drawer with all the other utensils.

Adding this knife board means I can keep the edges safe from dings, have them close at hand and have a place to put them as soon as they are washed. This is a win all around.

Check out these magnetic knife holders (and others) for your own kitchen. They are available to match almost any style.

In The Kitchen: Walnut Magnetic Knife Holder

Find more knife blocks and holders here

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Categories: Cooking, Food, In the kitchen, Products Tags:

Historical Cooking Books: The American pastry cook by Jessup Whitehead (1894) – 8 in a series

July 29th, 2018 Comments off

Archive.org has a host of old cookery books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books. I’ll be sharing more books as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas


Historical Cooking Books: The American pastry cook by Jessup Whitehead (1894) – 8 in a series

Historical Cooking Books: The American pastry cook (1894) - 8 in a series Historical Cooking Books: The American pastry cook (1894) - 8 in a series

The American pastry cook : a book of perfected receipts for making all sorts of articles required of the hotel pastry cook, baker, and confectioner, especially adapted for hotel and steamboat use, and for cafés and fine bakeries

Introductory in the National Hotel Reporter.

For any apparent presumptuousness there may be in spreading these cooking receipts and instructions before the professed cooks of the country in the most widely circulated and most influential hotel journal, I have to offer as apology that 1 was long ago impressed with the singular fact, that among all the excellent cooks, hardly any could be found who worked by any rule or measure. This was especially the case with American cooks. They knew how themselves, but could not have given exact instructions even to their sons without first instituting a series of experiments, and their knowledge perished with them. I simply set to work to reduce my portion of the general knowledge to exact figures, and the merit claimed, therefore, is not for very extraordinary skill, but rather for the painstaking industry that has never allowed a receipt to be put away marked O. K., without being satisfied that it was quite reliable.

Another consideration offered is, that the stewards, and others, who buy for cooks to use, not being, in the great majority of cases, practical cooks themselves, are apt to consider many of the demands of the cooks for certain kinds of materials necessary to good work, as but unreasonable whims, not worthy of notice, and it is difficult to see how the requisite explanations are ever to be made, unless through some such means and medium as the present,

J. W. Daily National Hotel Reporter, Oct., 1878.


15. Hickory Nut Cake.

8 ounces of sugar.
S ounces of butter.
8 ounces of whites of eggs (9 whites.)
1/2 cupful of milk.
1 rounded teaspoonful of baking powder.
1 pound of flour.

12 ounces of hickory nut kernels.

Don’t beat the whites to a froth. Warm the butter and sugar together and rub them to a cream the usual way, then add the eggs, then milk, powder, and the flour.

When well mixed stir in the hickory nuts. Flavorings may be added at option. If brandy be used the baking powder should be left out.


Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Publication date 1894
Publisher Chicago : J. Whitehead & Co.
Digitizing sponsor Boston Public Library
Language English

Learn more about cooking history with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food, History Tags:

Using our new inexpensive, stainless steel, reusable straws — via Instagram

July 28th, 2018 Comments off

Historical Cooking Books: Cre-Fydd’s family fare : the young housewife’s daily assistant, on all matters relating to cookery and housekeeping (1864) – 7 in a series

July 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Archive.org has a host of old cookery books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books. I’ll be sharing more books as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas


Historical Cooking Books: Cre-Fydd’s family fare : the young housewife’s daily assistant, on all matters relating to cookery and housekeeping (1864) – 7 in a series

B21527994 0005B21527994 0007

PREFACE.

If you know better precepts than these, candidly tell me ; if not, follow them as I do. Horace.

Amid the numerous books, to which the names of well-known professors of the culinary art are attached, it may appear in some degree presumptuous in one unknown, to present to the Public her ‘Cre-fydd’s Family Fare.’

The Authoress would not have been thus daring had she not ascertained by her own experience, as well as that of many friends, that whatever the other merits of previous works on the subjects of cookery and household management, they are not practically available for the moderate and economical, yet reasonably luxurious, housekeeper, or for those who are young or who are inexperienced in those matters. In those works there is no lack of receipts, maxims, and 4 directions to the cook ; ’ but in general, when tested by a moderate cook, or directed by an inexperienced person, failure and disappointment are the result.

Let any young housewife in moderate circumstances (and we cannot all afford to invoke the shade of Ude, or have Francatelli at our elbow) answer whether, when she has put the newly-purchased cookery-book into the hands of her cook, she has not been ultimately disappointed. Not from excessive fastidiousness on her part, or from the want of goodwill in the cook, but because, in the majority of instances, the receipts and directions are only suited to those cooks who are well informed, and have had considerable practice (see note, p. xi.). They are often the result of theo- retical ingenuity, or the productions of those who know, but who cannot impart their knowledge to the uninformed. Theory and practice must be combined ; and that com- bination put forth in such language, that while the lady will not object to read, the cook will be able to understand.

The Authoress of the present work has, from various motives, sought opportunities, and from peculiar circum- stances found them, of acquiring the receipts it contains. They are not all new to the Public, though many of them are, but they have all this recommendation — that they have been tested, and served on the table of the Authoress, under her direct supervision. Those dishes have past the ordeal of fastidious and almost morbidly critical palates, and have come forth with ap- proval. The materials suggested are reasonably econo- mical, the quantities exact, and the directions plain. The words 4 reasonably economical ’ are used advisedly, as it would be insulting to the understanding of sensible persons to state that inferior materials can be formed into superior dishes. In addition to the receipts on cookery, the Authoress has introduced a variety of other receipts and suggestions for the management of a house and ser- vants. With regard to servants, it may be observed that many of them would be much better for the gentle but firm directions of a kind mistress Experienced and skilful servants need no direction ; but such are not always to be found ; and when found, the rate of wages required by them would not be suitable to persons with a moderate income. A mistress, under such circumstances, if she would have a comfortable establishment, must be able, in some degree,’ to instruct her servants ; without this, it is impossible that they, who have but little experience, can know the wants incident to a respectable family.

The necessity of doing what she advises, has been forced on the Authoress during a long life of much experience.

In order to moderate, in some degree, the difficulty of managing a household, these suggestions are made. If the Authoress has aided the young housewife, and smoothed the way in the difficulties of housekeeping, and in that essential to health and comfort, good cooking, her object has been attained.

It will be observed that the quantity of every ingredient used is carefully given, as well as the exact time required in cooking. Each receipt is perfect in itself, for it is found that reference to other receipts is, to the inexperienced, extremely perplexing. French terms are avoided.

It is right to add that the whole of the receipts have been successfully used, with the simple aid of an ordinary range, and the usual appliances found in the kitchen of a small establishment.

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Publication date 1864
Publisher London : Simpkin, Marshall
Digitizing sponsor Jisc and Wellcome Library
Contributor University of Leeds Library
Language English
 

Learn more about cooking history with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food, History Tags:

Espresso Gelato at Grom, Malibu

July 20th, 2018 Comments off

Igloo Parlor Rolled Ice Cream – A Minute in Los Angeles 13 from My Word [Video]

July 15th, 2018 Comments off
Categories: California, Food, LA, Los Angeles, Podcast, Show, Video Tags:
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