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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook, 2nd: Authentic Early American Recipes for the Modern Kitchen




The Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook has many old-time recipes that are based on classics from historical cookbooks such as The American Frugal Housewife, by Lydia Maria Child (1829), American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons (1796), and A New System of Domestic Cookery, by Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell (1807), among many others.

Old Sturbridge Village and Hearth Cookery

For those unfamiliar with the Old Sturbridge Village, it is located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and showcases and authentically replicates what life was like back in the 1830's. Their living history staff members wear period clothing and work in the kitchen creating the same dishes people did back then.

One of the most important elements of a kitchen back in that era is the use of the hearth in cooking. The Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook describes in all the recipes how to cook the dishes by a modern method and by a hearth method. Hearth cookery involves cooking over a common area fire (usually set up in the kitchen area). Do you own an old home with a hearth? The cookbook provides invaluable tips and instructions for anyone wanting to use a hearth in their own home, including the equipment used, precautions, and the four basic problems with heart fires and their solutions.

Fish Cookery

The cookbook contains many recipes, including those for breads, cakes & pies, puddings, vegetables, soups, and meats and poultry. Four basic fish recipes that can be used for many types of fish, either whole, in fillets or steaks, or as leftovers mashed up.

The Fried Fish recipe calls for rendering salt pork for its fat before cooking the fish. The Broiled Fish recipe uses suet as a cooking fat, and the hearth method is very similar to grilling, calling for a gridiron. Fish Balls is a recipe that rolls leftover flaked fish and mashed potatoes into beaten eggs before being fried in bacon fat. The Poached Fish recipe is served with "A Most Delicious Salad Sauce." Any of the recipes can use other fats, such as canola or corn oil, in place of the rendered salt pork or suet, for frying and cooking.


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Disclaimer: This book was provided by BellaOnline management and any opinions are my own.


Renee Shelton

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