Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanks Givings Past

I was digging though some old treasures this week and stumbled on an old book of my mothers that was printed in 1905. It is "The Economical Cook Book" by Mrs Sara T. Paul. Click on the link and you can see the whole book yourself. You can see it here too. You can buy it here.

I love this description of the book!
This is an illustration from the book of the "Ideal" Kitchen. I love it!
In case you can't read it, here is what is says.
"The two views show a model kitchen arranged for convenience, for health, and economy. The floor covered with oil cloth for tiles, the walls papered or painted, plumbling easily accessible, pantries and cupboards ample -- range of the latest pattern, and sinks with hot and cold water."
In looking through this treasure of a book, I found this recipe for Roast Turkey and thought I would share it with you. It is interesting to see how things have changed, and how they haven't in the last 100+ years.

Roast Turkey
"Singe the turkey with burning paper, pick out all the pinfeathers, wash it clean and wipe it dry; then draw out the entrails, and wash the inside of the bird with several waters; prepare a filling as follows: bread-crumbs sufficient to fill it loosely (it should never be packed in any kind of poultry or birds), season with half a teaspoon of sweet basil, one of sweet marjoram, and onion chopped very fine and stewed for five minutes in a quarter pound of butter, which pour over; pepper and salt, and if convenient two dozen oysters chopped fine, fill the bird with this, reserving a little to put in where the craw came from, put the ends of the legs through the opening you made when you drew it, letting the joint come just through the vent, turn the wings back and run a skewer across through them, securing it with a string, skewer the legs in the same way, season the outside of the turkey with pepper and salt, dust with flour, and place in a dripping-pan, pour round it a cup of water. If the turkey is a very large one it will require three hours, one of ten pounds will roast in two hours, and a small one in an hour and a half; baste it frequently. For the gravey, when you first draw the turkey, put the liver, gizzard, end of the wings, and place the neck, and the heart into a stew-pan, with half a large onion cut in two, pepper and salt, cover with cold water and simmer for several hours; when perfectly tender, take out he liver and gizzard, chop the latter and put it back, rub the liver to a smooth paste with the yolk of a hard boiled egg and a piece of butter as large as a walnut, moisten with some of the broth, add a heaping tablespoon of flour, stir this into the sauce-pan, boil up once, when you dish the turkey, pour the contents of the sauce-pan into the dripping-pan, stir it round until brown, pour a few spoonful over the turkey after you have removed the skewers and strings, and serve the rest in a gravy-boat."
Isn't that wonderful!! This is how my grandmother cooked and I would hear directions like this from my mother as I grew up. I love it when recipes aren't bound by measurements and lists of detailed instructions.
This book was found in the attic of the cabin where my parents lived when they were a young married couple. My mom thinks it belonged to her mother-in-law or more than likely my dad's maternal grandmother . We will never know! It is a treasure though and I think I will see how much of this I can try this year.
I would like to take a minute to tell you my peeps that I am thankful for you and your comments and the friendships that have sprung up for me here through this wonderful medium of blogging. I hope each of you has a wonderful week and if you are celebrating Thanks Giving, I hope you have a lovely time with family and friends, remembering the many things you have to be thankful for.
Love, Mama Byrd

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baked French Toast

French Toast 001

My dear friend Suzanne fixed this for our Quilt Guild Retreat this past month. It was Fabulous! I use that word a lot but it really was.
My children love French toast and so do I. I may post how they make that but here is how we adapted Suzanne's recipe and made it our own.

4-6 sliced of whole wheat bread cubed or torn in chunks
1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese (optional)
6 eggs
1 cup milk
sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
pinch of salt
brown sugar or Sucanat

Butter a 9"x9" baking dish
Place half the cubed bread in the dish.
Cut the cream cheese over the bread.
Cover with remaining bread cubes.
Mix eggs, milk, salt, and cinnamon or nutmeg together in a blender.
Pour over bread.
Sprinkle the top of the bread mixture with Sucanat or brown sugar.
Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight.
In he morning, preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes.
Serve warm with maple syrup, powdered sugar or just the way it is.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scented Play Dough Tutorial

Play dough was one of my favorite things to play with when I was a little girl and I love making it for my children now. I love how home made dough feels. It is so smooth and has the right texture. I loved helping her make it over the stove and then helping her kneed in the color when it was done. I loved the feel of warm fresh play dough. It was so wonderfully soothing.
As a little kid, I had to attend many meetings and some night classes with my mom. She would pack a baggy of play dough and I knew that I was in for a treat for hours. I loved making sculptures and had all kinds of stories running in my head as I sat on the floor next to her or at the back of the room with a chair seat as the stage for my pretend play.

Well here is the recipe I use now for my kids. I switched over to scented dough several years ago. The one thing I hate about play dough is what it smelled like after a couple of kids had played with it. Now the dough has a nice fruity scent.
I bet you could also use essential oils and have herbal scented play dough. I might have to try that with lavender. Hmmmm.... Any way this is the recipe that always works for me.

Play Dough 001

Scented Play Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 pkg fruit flavored drink mix (without the sugar)
1 Tbsp Alum
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups boiling water


Play Dough 006
Add flour, salt, flavoring, alum, and oil into a large mixing bowl.

Play Dough 007 Play Dough 008
Add the boiling water ....

Play Dough 013

.... and stir.
Play Dough 014
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour if needed ....

Play Dough 017
..... and kneed by hand .....
Play Dough 020

..... until smooth, soft and definitely not sticky.
Play Dough 021
Now Play!

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