Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gizzards - All You Can Eat!

It’s not often that I’m tempted to venture far from my own fire to taste someone else’s cooking, but when the town crier (radio) announced that the local tavern down on The Landing would be serving ‘all you can eat chicken gizzards,’ I couldn’t resist.

A corner table was available and soon I had a basket of gizzards served with a small marmite of baked beans and a roll. A tiny pot of tomato & horseradish coulis and a jug of sweet jalapeno mustard were offered as condiments.

The gizzards, covered in a light fritter batter, had been deep-fried and were tender, moist and crunchy. Each crisp piece of gizzard was dipped in either a mustard or a tomato sauce. I truly couldn’t decide which I liked better. The serving was just enough—after eating the baked beans, I couldn’t have stuffed in another bite.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sugaring Time

I’ve been hard at work drilling holes and inserting wooden tubes from which maple sap can flow into my containers. It takes roughly 40 times more sap than I shall end up with in syrup or sugar. That’s a lot of time slaving over a hot fire waiting for the evaporation to turn my clear sap into dark golden syrup.

Here is a wonderful site on maple sugaring history. Keep watch for recipes using maple syrup and sugar to follow.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fromage Glacé

Andrew chose dairy for this month's Sugar High Friday, Jennifer's monthly sweet treat. Here is the 18thC answer to ice cream!

"If French confectioners brought ice cream to the attention of the world by serving it at the French court, these same confectioners also codified the art of making ice cream so that, by the middle of the eighteenth century, numerous books could be consulted on ice cream making from A to Z." Ice Cream from

Autre Fromage Glacé
Prenez une chopine de Crême douce, foüettez-la bien, et délayez-la avec un petit Fromage caillé; mettez-y du sucre raisonnablement, et un peu d’eau de fleur d’orange; passez le tout au travers d’un tamis: ensuite mettez-le dans un moule pour le faire glacer, . . . . Vous pouvez diversifier le goût et la couleur, en y mettant selon les saisons, comme fraises, framboises, ou fleurs d’orange en feüilles, que vous mêlez avec vôtre crême en la passant au tamis. La fleur d’orange ne passe point, mais y laisse son goût. En hiver on le fait cuire, comme le premier fromage glacé, et on luy donne le goût de canella, de chocolat, de citron, ou d’essence de bergamotte.

Massialot's Les Confitures (1717), p. 284.

Iced Cheese, another way
Take a pint of Sweet cream, whip it well, and fold it into 6 ounces of curdled cream [Cream cheese]; add sugar to taste, and a little water of orange flower; pass the whole through a sieve: then put it in a mould and freeze. You can diversify the taste and the color, by adding ingredients according to the seasons, like strawberries, raspberries, or orange flower petals, which you mix with yours creams while passing through the sieve. The orange flower does not pass, but leaves its taste there. In winter one cooks the mixture as in custard, and one uses cinnamon, chocolate, lemon, or oil of bergamotte (orange flower water).

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Best Tasting Smoked Fish

Lake Huron has always been known for producing great fish. Storage of all that bounty was solved by the Huron Wyandot by smoking and drying. After tasting smoked fish at many fires along the shore, I've found the best tasting . . . Jahrs Fish Company, just outside Unionville, MI, on the eastern shore of Saginaw Bay. Phone: (989) 883-3356.

Jahrs, open seven days a week, is small but complete. Local fisherman supply the shop on a daily basis with freshly caught salmon, white fish, and many others. Each is cleaned and smoked while customers stand waiting, almost drooling in anticipation.

Smoked fish can be eaten without further cooking. Try it in soups or flaked in spreads for sandwiches.

The Independent Food Festival and Awards are founded on a simple concept: Food can be a wonderful part of life. A growing legion of people in the world think of every meal as an opportunity for a great experience. And yet, sometimes it seems like an ever shrinking number of people actually make great food. tasteEverything is dedicated to the idea that the more people share their great experiences, the more likely it is that the people who make great food will prosper and increase in number.

Join me in discovering the best in tastes around the world at the 2006 Independent Food Festival and Awards all this week.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Potted Cheese

What to do with those tiny rinds and bits of left-over or dried out cheese? Grind and mash them with some butter, even a few bits of shallot or garlic and use to spread on bread before toasting for croutons in salad or soup or dab on grilling meats to impart a piquant glaze. Bits of bleu cheese make for a very tasty mixture.

If you really feel decadent, eat it by the spoon straight out of the crock and wash it down with a chope [mug] of beer!

Friday, March 03, 2006

18thC Cuisine on RadioFrance!

Radio France's France Inter program featured an interview with Ségolène, Boire et manger : quelle histoire ! , in which 18thC Cuisine was mentioned as a "Blog Apart." Thank you, messieurs et madame--I feel privileged to be in such company.

Here is a link to the interview in French for all of you Francophiles
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