Planning process

So, I am cooking at Riversdale on Sunday and so begins the planning process. I know that I have greater expectations of myself but I truly want to give the best demonstration that I can. So all day yesterday I worked on finding period receipts. I forgot how many receipt books that I have but still did not find what I was looking for. Anyway, I want the food to meet the criteria that would be what our ancestors encountered (well, at least as close as I can get). I had to find out what was in season or on a menu set for this time of year, receipts that are around the time period and what was popular and not to out of fashion.

So I first look at what was in season and decided I would then look for receipts to meet those items I have chosen. These are the items I have decided to base my demonstration on: duck, rice, leeks, spinach, apples or pears, mushrooms, oysters. Now with these items I start to look for receipts that use them but also shows different ways of cooking. Unfortunately, I am still looking for a spinach receipt . Of course almost all vegetables are harvested but there are food in store not to mention that spinach is pretty hardy. I found “creamed spinach” mentioned in a menu but can not find the receipt for it. This is when I have to be inventive. I will make spinach with items known in the time period without a period receipt . This is when I realize that just like today those cooks that came before us had some dishes that came straight from “a little of this and a little of that” cooking.

I will let you all know what was actually cooked after Sunday. That’s because I only have 4 hours to prep, cook and clean up and I don’t always get to everything I want to cook. Hopefully I will also have pictures up on the my flickr account to let you see also. Well, off to shop and pack what I need, not to mention getting ready for those little goblins. Happy Halloween!

Published in: on October 31, 2007 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)  

Grill’s other uses?

Well, I decided to try and cook on my grill that is doing something other then grilling meat. I just wanted to see what if frying or baking can be done, that way that if I run out of hard wood for cooking I have an alternative source to cook with other then just soft wood. Found that if I close the lid with a cast iron griddle or pan inside that it would get hot enough to do a quick fry but did not stay hot enough to continue with a lot of meat. Here’s what happened:

So, I decided to try and lightly fry thin fillets of chicken, dusted with flour mixed with salt, pepper and paprika. I fried it in butter with vegetable oil. The oil keeps the butter from burning. I did this in my well seasoned medium cast Iron skillet.

So, I heated approximately 1/4 cup of butter with oil approximately 2T. I had 2 lb. of chicken. I heated up the skillet in a closed grill then lightly fried each side of the chicken fillet (app. 30 sec. on each side or till lightly brown). Well, I found that I had to heat up the skillet twice more before all the fillets were done…not very efficient. Once all the meat was browned, I then put in about a 1/4 cup of wine to de-glaze the skillet, then threw in some sliced mushrooms and 1/4 cup chicken broth. On top of that I layered the browned chicken fillets, placed a lid on the skillet, then closed the grill lid and allowed it all to bake for 15 minutes. Turned out lovely…family ate it all up.

Conclusion: my hopes of using the grill to fry things…not a replacement for a direct fire source…but not a bad replacement for baking.

Published in: on October 17, 2007 at 9:06 pm  Comments (1)  

First Bite!

Hello all!  I am The Hemyngton 100.  Just starting this weblog is an advancement in my reciept book (recipe book in modern lingo!)  Thanks to my son Lac The Watcher for setting me up and for his future talents of all the videos of my escapades in the kitchen.  I can’t wait to start sharing with you all and keeping you updated on my adventures.

Published in: on October 8, 2007 at 6:52 pm  Comments (3)