Tag Archive | colonial

In the Kitchen Tonight…Onion Soup

I believe winter has officially arrived in Virginia! Tonight was the perfect night to make something wonderful to keep us warm – so why not make a pot of yummy soup 🙂 Tonight we stepped back in time and made something that was most likely enjoyed by the Washington family – how cool is that?

While researching recipes today I was looking for something that was not complex and had only a few ingredients. So – this recipe for Onion Soup was perfect and I found it on the Mount Vernon website.  It most likely was made in the Washington household and was a recipe included in the Hannah Glasse cookbook, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Simple,which was first published in 1747 and went on to become a best seller for a century after it was published.

fullsizerender-2

The recipe was very easy and I truly recommend you try it at home. If you have onions (a lot!), flour and broth? You are all set…here is the actual recipe:

Onion Soup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds onions, peeled and coarsely chopped (7 to 8 cups)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups water
2 cups Basic Beef Stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 slice bread, toasted and diced
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent them from sticking to the pan, until they are very soft and caramelized. Add the flour, stirring to coat the onions, and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. While onions are cooking, combine the water and stock, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the onions are ready, mix them into the hot stock, stirring until well combined.
  3. Pour a little of the hot stock into the skillet and stir, scraping up any onion particles that remain. Pour the stock into the stock and onions, and add the salt.
  4. Stir in the diced toast, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the egg yolks and vinegar. Gradually blend 1/2 to 1 cup of the hot soup into the egg yolk-and-vinegar mixture, stirring constantly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Stir the mixture into the soup, and simmer for several minutes until the soup thickens just slightly, stirring constantly. Again, do not let the soup boil, or the egg yolks will curdle.
  6. Season with pepper and additional salt, if necessary, and serve hot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course we have our fun pictures from the kitchen tonight. Thank you to my ever so patient husband for cutting the soooooo many onions and for being my official taste tester.

img_5592

We started with the basic…

img_5596

My hubby chopped and chopped (and chopped!) 

img_5597

Fabulous onions 

img_5598

My ever so faithful cast iron skillet was wonderful tonight – here we are getting ready to saute the onions 

img_5601

caramelized onions – after about 15 minutes.  Then added flour for minute. 

img_5600

In a separate large pot – added the broth and water 

img_5602

The water, broth and onion combination 

img_5603

Chopped toast is added to the soup…

img_5604

along with egg yolks and vinegar 

img_5605

We have soup! 

img_5608

and my hubby loved it! Success! 

Advertisements

In the Kitchen Tonight…Gingerbread

While researching on what to make in the kitchen today – I came across a delightful (and easy!) recipe for Gingerbread that was used during the Civil War era. If they could, families of the Union soldiers would often send small care packages of gingerbread, socks, soaps and other food items from home.  Since Gingerbread required molasses, it was a popular staple to make being that molasses was much cheaper to purchase than sugar in the Civil War era. This is why Molasses Cookies were also a popular item back in this era.

Here is the recipe that was used today:

Gingerbread

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of butter (used for greasing the pan)

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 cup of butter

1 1/4 cups of molasses*

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon of allspice

1 cup of very hot water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ square baking pan with the butter (1 tablespoon).  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda and spices, and cut in softened butter to the four mixture with a fork.  Combine molasses, egg and water in a small mixing  bowl.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well.  Pour the batter into a baking pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Makes 9 servings. (Source: http://www.totalgettysburg.com)

*It seemed as if everyone in town was making something with molasses this weekend and after going to 3 stores…I relented and looked online for a molasses replacement (who knew that molasses was so popular in my small town??!!) Here is what I used as a replacement for molasses in this recipe:

1 1/4 cup dark corn syrup (you can also use honey or maple syrup)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

 

 

National Authors Day ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

There have been so many books that have influenced by life and most of them have been written before I was born – like before my grandparents (early 1900’s) time.  I find that reading ones thoughts and words from a time so long ago allows me to almost time travel to an era that is so foreign to me but yet also so familiar.  One of the books that has heavily influenced my life is Uncle Tom’s Cabin written by the wonderful author Harriet Beecher Stowe.  In a time that our country was in an upheaval and the whispers of war between the states were kindling, Harriett Beecher Stowe did something that was extremely brave in writing a book about the detriments and heartbreak of slavery.  When the book was published in 1852, it went on to become the best selling novel of the 19th century – and then it went on to become the second best selling book of the century (the Bible, of course, was the first).  Some say that Harriett Beecher Stowe’s book even “fanned the flames” for the Civil War. To learn more about Harriett Beecher Stowe and her remarkable life, you can visit the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

francis-holl-portrait-of-harriet-beecher-stowe-1853

(Engraving by Francis Hall after the original by George Richmond n.d.)

National Chocolate Day ~ October 28, 2016

Today is National Chocolate Day! Here is a fantastic recipe from Mount Vernon for George Washington’s favorite morning beverage: Chocolate Cream.  This is very simple and can be made in your own kitchen this weekend – especially fitting with the cool temperatures 🙂

chocolate-cream

(Picture from Mount Vernon)

October is Family History Month

In honor of Family History Month (this entire month yay!) I wanted to share with you one of my most treasured books. It tells the true story of Robert E Lee’s great granddaughter discovering her family’s receipts (recipes) and household tips in an old scrapbook and her journey of making the recipes of Martha Washington to her own great-grandmother, Mrs. Mary Custis Lee. It truly is a treasure and perfect for #familyhistorymonth 14479745_514598055404296_8737841212129401793_n