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


Lois Reborne, West Plains said...

Thanks for this post. I really want to try the gravy method; I'm guessing the liver/butter/egg yolk method would make for a rich taste and feel.
I'm not making the turkey this year - will have to make a note in my calender for next year.
Thanks too for your inspirational blog, beautiful work, and wonderful choice of music. Blessed be.
Lois R, West Plains

Marylois said...

Thank goodness my turkey already had its feather plucked and entrails removed! I don't think I could eat it if I had to do all those things first.

Judith said...

I just love old books like this. I have one or two myself. They make good reading.

Anonymous said...

I think from the date that the book might have belonged to Zina B.

Lucy said...

That is what I thought but mom said NO that it came from Dad's side of the family. So it couldn't be Zina B. Possibly Marian Adilade or Jannet Sharp. There aren't many cooking traditions from that side of the family. Mom suspects it as a wedding gift to Lucile or a hand-me-down she left home with.

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