Thursday, October 27, 2005


Les cornichons sont des concombres qui n’ont pû profiter & parvenir à maturité. Onles confit sur la fin d’Aout & en Septembre de cette maniere; on les lave dans le l’eau fraîche,ou les essuye, on les pique avec un piquoir fin en plusieurs endroits; on les range dans un pot avec de bon vinaigre; assaisoné de sel & poivre concassé, & de quelque clous de girofle; qu’ils trempent aisément, & les tenir bien couverts. On confit aussi de gros concombres, mais tenders & avant que la graine y soit formée.

The gherkins are cucumbers which do not have to arrive at maturity to be useful. Pickle them at the end of August or September in this manner; one washes them in fresh water, or wipes them, one pricks them with a fine pricker in several places; one arranges them in a pot with good vinegar; seasoned salt & crushed pepper, & of some cloves; that they soak easily, & to hold them covered well. One pickles also large cucumbers, but [while they are still] tender & before the seed is formed there.

Page 448-9, Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures, les liqueurs et les fruits de Massialot

Wash and wipe your cucumbers, prick all over with a needle and layer as tightly as possible in a crock. Add salt, pepper and a couple of whole cloves to enough good vinegar to cover the cucumbers and bring to a boil in a non-reactive pan. Pour over cucumbers, cover and leave for two days. Drain vinegar and bring to a boil again and repour it over pickles in crock. Repeat at the end of two days; repeat one more time; then leave covered for two weeks [be certain vinegar mixture completely covers pickles at all time--weight with a piece of crockery, if necessary]. Cornichons will be crisp and sour--just right to serve with richly seasoned meat preparations.

I grew Parisian Pickling cucumbers, a rare, tiny variety, especially grown for cornichons. The weather here has been somewhat mild for so late in the fall. At the beginning of October, I pulled up my cucumber vines and picked through them to find the smallest cucumbers to preserve as cornichons to use with patés.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Treacle Baked Beans

Moira "sent" some black treacle, a rich molasses that is just right for baking with beans.

Molasses Baked Beans
2 cups dried navy beans
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
2 medium onions, diced
1/4 cup butter or smoked meat grease

Soak beans as least 8 hours. Drain, add to a kettle with 2 quarts fresh water; cover and put to slow fire until soft (1-2 hours). Drain liquid, but reserve. Place beans and other ingredients in a bean pot or marmite, covert and cook slowly in the coals, adding reserved liquid as needed, for 6-8 hours, until beans are dark, rich and have absorbed all liquid.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just in on the last canoe - EBBP2

In September I received an invitation from Andrew to participate in Euro Blogging by Post, a "secret blogger" kind of event in which bloggers send local, seasonal products and secret items from their cupboards to another who then must create a recipe using one of the items received. I sent my package to Christina.

Each time a canoe put into port, I sent my husband down to the lakeshore to see if I had received any packages. Each time he came home empty handed--until today. On the last canoe arriving before freezeup, I received a wonderfully heavy package, brimful with delights from England. Moira had sent me products that are next to impossible to get--sometimes packages are lost in canoe upsets or portages or through the knavery of the those wily boatment--marvelous marzipan, treacle and confitures and a lovely antique butter stamp, pickle and tea.

Thank you, Moira. I plan to use the black treacle to make baked beans.

Search Tags: ebbp food & drink euro blogging by post

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Cooking the Old Fashioned Way - Roundup 1

It would seem that as soon as this meme was suggested, the disasters worldwide seemed to increase. Several bloggers experienced mini-disasters, which kept them from sharing, but they have begun to work on January's meme, the second installment of Cooking the Old Fashioned Way - aka Disaster Preparedness.

First in to CTOFW1, with an earthy way of cooking, is June using bamboo, banana leaves and tikar to cook rice. A staple in much of the world, rice, or any other grass seed or cereal grain, might be prepared in just this way.

June talks about "fire" stored in bamboo so she can dispense with matches. Another handy way to "make" fire is to use broken glass to focus the sun's energy to start a fire for cooking and to provide warmth and heat to boil water for sterilization and drinking.

Next is Helen with salmon "cooked" with a salt cure, also known as gravlax, an ancient food. Again, fish is a food available in most of the world, and salting it would answer some of the problems of storage.

Last, but certainly not least, Mrs. D from Belly-Timer gives us the first installment of a fiction of being without power--enjoy!
January's meme, the second installment of Cooking the Old Fashioned Way will switch to another season, complete with different weather problems and the possibility or lack of resources. I encourage you to speak with the elders in your communities and to search your local archives, cellars and attics--CTOFW2 will be here before you know it.

Many thanks to all of those who contacted me with questions and comments regarding this meme--I look forward to your responses and to sharing your discoveries in Cooking the Old Fashioned Way.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Massepains de Chocolat - Chocolate Marzipan

A royal treat for this month's Sugar High Friday . . . Dark Chocolate

Massepains de Chocolat
Echaudez deux livres d’almandes douces, lavez le dans de l’eau fraîche, pilez les bien dans un mortier; faites cuire une livre de sucre à la plume, mettez les amandes dedans; desiechez la pâte à petitfeu, tirez la de la poële, and la mettez refroidir, and quand elle sera froide, vous y mettrez trios onces de chocolat pilé and passé au tamis, and un blanc d’œuf, que vous manierez le tout ensemble; vous pourrez former une a baisse d’une partie de ladite pâte, and la découperez avec des moules de fer-blanc, and en passer aussi a la seringue: ceux qui seront découpez, vous les pourrez glacer d’une glace Royale, comme ceux ci-dessus. Le Massepain de Canelle se fait de même.

Page 205, Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures, les liqueurs et les fruits de Massialot

* * * * *

Chocolate Marzipan
Scald two pounds of sweet almonds; wash them in fresh [cold] water [this should make the brown skins slip off when you rub them with your hands or a clean towel]; crush them well in a mortar; cook a pound of sugar to the feather [stage] (Hess* identifies the temperature as 232ºF, Recipe S6, "grand soufflé or feather."); put almonds inside [add to sugar]; desiccate the paste with a small fire, withdraw from the stove, and put it to cool [pouring onto a marble slab is best], and when it is cold, you will put [mix] in three ounces of crushed, sifted chocolate, and an egg white; that you will handle the whole together [knead on your marble slab]; you will be able to form the aforesaid paste into one mass, and will cut it out with tinplate moulds, and to also pass some to the syringe [extrude shapes from a pastry bag with tips]: those which will be cut out, you will be able to frost them with a Royal icing, like those above [massepains de pistache]. The Cinnamon Marzipan cake is done in the same way.

*Karen Hess(Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Feast of the Seventh Month - Tabernacles - Succoth

A Huguenot from Provence
Arlésienne aux yeux bruns, vers. 1770. Tableau d'Antoine Raspal. (Musée Grobet -- Labadie, Marseille).

Because this is an intercalary year ("originally our calendar came from a semi-lunar calendar, this is why the word month is so similar to the word moon. The twelve months followed the actual lunar movement by adopting months of 29 and 30 days alternately. This result gave a year of 354 days, which followed the moons, but was far short of the 365-day year. For this reason, an intercalary month of varying length was added every two to three years. This completed the solar year, and kept the seasons in order."), the feast of the seventh month, or Tabernacles, or Succoth, is being kept this week and next. Huguenots kept this feast of eight days always beginning on the first Friday of September.

This is a time of feasting and looking forward to ultimate peace with family and friends . . . And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household. Deuteronomy 14:26 KJV

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thon en sauce à poivre - Tuna in Pepper Sauce

Attendez jusqu'à ce que vos poivres soient rouges et bien mûrs ; suspendez chacun sur une fourchette au-dessus des charbons jusqu'à ce que la peau tourne le noir et ait boursouflé. Placez dans une cuvette et une couverture pendant plusieurs minutes jusqu'à ce que vous puissiez effacer la peau ou l'éplucher au loin. Ouvrez les poivres et enlevez les graines et les membranes intérieures et découpez la chair. Employez un poivre par personne à servir.

Font sauter un oignon doux, découpé et un ail de clou de girofle, haché en huile d'olive jusqu'à ce que translucide au-dessus d'une flamme lente. Ajoutez les poivres découpés et fermentez doucement jusqu'à ce que vous prenniez une sauce épaisse et riche. Réservation, chaude.

Le sel et poivrent votre bifteck de thon et dessèchent en beurre clarifié des deux côtés jusqu'à fait à votre goût. Service avec de la sauce chaude à poivre ; arrosez avec le lard ou la saucisse fini gauche emietté de boeuf.

* * * * *

This edition of Blog Appetit focuses on tuna and peppers.

Wait until your peppers are red and fully ripe; suspend each on a fork over the coals until the skin turns black and blistered. Place in a bowl and cover for several minutes until you can rub the skin off or peel it off. Open the peppers and remove seeds and inner membranes and dice the flesh. Use one pepper per person to be served.

Saute one sweet onion, diced and one clove garlic, minced in olive oil until translucent over a slow flame. Add diced peppers and gently simmer until you have a thick, rich sauce. Reserve, warm.

Salt and pepper your tuna steak and sear in clarified butter on both sides until done to your taste. Serve with warm pepper sauce; sprinkle with crumbled left over beef bacon or sausage

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reminder: CTOFW Deadline is Saturday

Just a reminder that the new quarterly blog event, Cooking the Old-Fashioned Way aka Disaster Preparedness deadline is midnight Saturday, 22 October 2005. Entries are already coming in. It's sad that disasters continue, as well.

Let's have foods and means of preparation from from all over the world and, therefore, all seasons. One never knows when the information will come in handy.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Kitchen Invitation

I was tagged by Andrew to ask you into my kitchen. Come in and warm yourself by the fire; have a seat and I'll put the kettle on for chocolat.

My kitchen, a place of warmth and cheer.

My favorite appliance--it requires lots of elbow grease!

My one and only cupboard which holds my pewter dishes.

My favorite cooking pan--my tourtiere--I can keep ashes out of my pies and yet brown them beautifully.

My favorite ingredient--a spice mixture I use in many meat and savory dishes.

I would like to tag Danno to carry on this meme with the following rules:

1) Show us your kitchen ( a picture) and tell us what is it about this place that reflects your own personnality.
2) Open a cupboard (the one you feel to open), take a picture and tell us what we see.
3) Present us your favorite kitchen-based electrodomestic tool.
4) Take out the ingredients you like the most, the ones you always keep stored.
5) My little steel friend: present us to your favorite cooking/baking receipient.
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