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!

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

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  1. Dory, I have a book called “Maryland’s Way, THE HAMMOND-HARWOOD HOUSE” cook book dated 1774.

    Spinach stewed with Cream

    Wash the spinach well in several waters, then steam it in a saucepan without water. Strain it from the liquor, but do not render it hard and dry by squeezing. Chop i, and beat it well with a spoon, taking care to have picked out all the fibers. Put it into a stewpan, with a piece of butter, pepper, and salt. You mad add a few drops of onion juice and a little scraped horseradish, or grated nutmeg, if liked. Stir it well as it stews, adding by degrees as much cream as will make it the proper thickness. Garnish with triangles of fried toast.

    Hope this helps you on Sunday.

    Ady


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