Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mote Spoon & Tea Strainer

A reader's comment about teapot spouts got me to thinking how one could clean tea leaves out of the spout. Voilà! Enter the mote [as in speck] spoon, a pierced bowl, long pointed handled spoon that not only removes stray leaves in the cup of tea, but can also clear a clog of leaves in a narrow spout. It will be replaced by Victorian tea strainers used to pour through and with its own little cup stand to keep a tea table or tray tidy.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Pouring pot spouts and bills …

[Johnson Bros Old Staffordshire Rosedawn pots]

When choosing 18thC accoutrements, consider what the liquid to be poured is before choosing your pots. Cream or chocolat chaud would make a mess to clean and remove if left to congeal in long spouts, hence we usually choose sparrow-billed pouring spouts as seen in Liotard's Still Life: Tea Set, 1782, in which we see a long spouted teapot as well as a covered sparrow-billed cream jug.

Multi-use covered sparrow-billed pouring pots are found in both faïence blanche and brun. The removal of the cover allows the use of a molenillo or moulinet to stir chocolat, the use of the cover helps to keep the contents hot.

[Details from Liotard, blanche, and Chardin, brun.]

Current offerings on ebay.

Monday, January 06, 2014

How not to use a tea bag …

In view of the information contained in this article on the dangerous pesticides and dangerous ingredients of the tea bags themselves, I highly recommend Adagio Tea's ingenuitea tea maker.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Royal Saucissons, or thick sausages

Having provided Flesh of Partridges and of a fat Pullet or Capon, a little Gammon and other Bacon, and a piece of a Leg of Veal, all raw, with Parsly and Chibbols, let them be well chopt with Mushrooms and Truffles, and season'd with Pepper, Salt, beaten Spice, and a Clove of Garlick; adding also two whole Eggs, three or four Yolks and a little Milk-cream. Then roll up this Farce into thick pieces, according to the quantity that you have of it, and to the end that it may be dress'd, without breaking it, let it be wrapt up in very thin Slices cut out of a Fillet of Veal, and beaten flat upon the Dresser, for that purpose; so as the Sausages may be made at least as thick as a Man's Arm, and of a convenient length. When they are thus order'd, they must be put into an oval Stew-pan, with a great many Bards or thin Slices of Bacon at the bottom, and stopt up close; covering them with Beef-stakes, and other Bacon-Bards. Afterwards, the Pan must be set between two Fires, taking care that they be not too quick, and the Sausages must be bak'd or stew'd in this manner about eight or ten Hours. As soon as they are ready, let them be remov'd from the Fire, and left to cool in the same Pan: Then they must be carefully taken out so as none be broken, and all the Meat round about must be taken away, with the Fat: At last you may cut the Sausages into Slices with a sharp Knife, and set them in good order in a Dish or Plate, to be serv'd up cold to Table. If there be occasion to make a Galantine at the same time, with the Royal Sausages, it may be dress'd in the same Stew-pan.
The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 242-3.
One is only limited in the size of the sausage by the piece of pounded meat [here is chicken breast] used to wrap the farce and size of the covered Stew-pan or casserole in which to cook it. I used Summer Sausage as bards. Curing salt mixed with the beaten spice would have assured the sausage's pink appearance when cooked.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Medlar or Nèfle Jelly

Our little medlar tree produced about 2 pounds of fruit this year. After bletting I made a jelly from this recipe. I can only describe the flavor as a cross between honey and date … indescribably delicious. Next year I plan to make some liqueur, as well. Image from wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cervelat or Cervelas--The Original Cold Cut

Cervelat, or Cervelas, a large kind of Sausage, well season'd and eaten cold in slices.
The Court & Country Cook, François Massialot, 1702, «C» A Table Explaining the Terms of Art, &c.

Summer sausage is it's modern equivalent, but we are really talking about «cold cuts» of previously cooked, smoked or fermented Charcuterie.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chickens à la Mazarine

Known today as chicken-fried «steak»,I submit with pleasure, Chickens à la Mazarine.

Cut your Chickens, as if it were to make a white Fricassy, and set them a broiling upon the Coals; as the broil'd or fried Pigeons mentioned under the Letter P, with all sorts of fine Herbs: All being dress'd, let them be neatly breaded and afterwards broil'd upon a Grid-iron. They may serve either for separate Dishes, or to garnish others, and are set hot upon the Table for a Side-dish; but they are not commonly fry'd, as Pigeons may be order'd. Many call these Chickens, Pigeons and other Fowls that are dress'd in this manner, Pieces à la Sainte Menehout*. 'Tis requisite that the Bread, with which Chickens are breaded, be fine and white, to the end that it may take a good color when they are broil'd.
The Court & Country Cook, François Massialot, 1702, p. 83.

*SAINT MENEHOUT: The nomenclature indicated, as it still does in French cookery, something egg-and-breadcrumbed and then fried or broiled. A good number of Nott’s receipts, all of French derivation, call for this treatment. Sainte-Menehould is a small town in the Champagne district. Whether the method of cookery is called after the town or the saint herself is not recorded. (John Nott, 1726) https://prospectbooks.co.uk/glossary/s 11-18-2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quince Pie

A simple pie from the few Portugal quince I grew this year. Just a simple crust and a few dollops of butter added to the cooked quince with sugar--resulting in a rich, deep red color and exquisite flavor.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Saliere ou Poivriere

Just in from France on the Spring canoes …

Item 30 [Planche II, Diderot, attelier de fayancerie.] Une saliere ou poivriere à l'usage des tables, faite pour contenir l'un & l'autre. A salt box or pepper plate used at table, made to contain both.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cabarets - a footed tray

Footed trays were called cabarets and were used in the service of coffee, tea and chocolate.
The Chocolate Girl, Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1745
Le bon usage du thé, du caffé et du chocolat,Blegny, Nicolas de (1643?-1722), p.168.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Way of Ordering a Dessert or Regalio

A Banquet of Sweet-meats is said to be dress'd upon a Level, when disposed of upon China-dishes, and Machines made of Wood, or Osier-twigs, having a great Board in the middle, in form of a Square, or Hexagon, … or else it may be fill'd with altogether with China-dishes; that in the middle being rais'd higher than the others; upon which several small Pyramids are to be erected, of an exact Proportion; so that the same sorts of Comfits, and the same Colours may appear on every side, at the opposite Angles. Lastly, a Row or Border of raw Fruits may be made round about the Dishes, upon every Board to garnish the top, and the whole Dessert is to be set out with Flowers, Greens, and other Ornaments, according to the Season.

I am getting ready for next year's Ladies' Tea at rendezvous [ONWPR & EPR], acquiring China-dishes [import porcelain or local faïence in imitation of] and trying out recettes for sweet-meats.

Image Source & Text: The Court & Country Cook, François Massialot, 1702, p. 125-130.

As an aside: Notice the folds in the tablecloth--these are the result of either being folded in a clothes press or having been ironed in .

Caterers still make use of this idea for our luxury tables at very special events.

Image Source: http://www.southboundbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/002-brunch-wedding-ideas.jpg

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chopped Meat Pie - The Beginning of Tourtière

Another manner of making a chopped meat torte.
Choose the flesh of calf or capon, or another good Meat, remove the skin, the nerve, & the bones, then chop this flesh well & fine, & pound in a mortar; add there a little fresh cheese, & as much old cheese which is rasped or cut very finely, add approximately six well beaten eggs, & as much as needed ox marrow, or fat which is cut thinly, mix these things together & season them with a little salt, & a little [mixed or pastry] spices or powdered cinnamon. Put a bottom crust of puff paste in your tourte plate, spread your meat mixture evenly, & cover it with a lid of puff paste; make a small hole in the middle, & cook this torte sufficiently.

This would appear to be the beginnings of the French or Canadiene's tourtière, or meat pie. Janna includes two recipes that are pretty close and will give you proportions of ingredients. Using quatre épices, a mixed or pastry spice, will insure unique flavor and keeping abilities, as these pies are often served cold or at room temperature.
Autre maniere de faire une tourte de viande hachée. Prenés à discretion de la chair de veau ou de chapon, ou d’autre bonne Viande qui soit boüille, ostez la peau, les nerve, & les os, puis vous hacherez cette chair bien mennë, & vous la pillerez enfuite dans un mortier; adjoûtez y un peu de fromage frais, & autant de fromage vieil qui soit raspé ou decoupé bien menu, mettez y aussi environ six oeufs bien battus, & autant qu’il sera besoin de moësle de boeuf, ou de panne de porc qui soit coupée menuë, mes ez ces choses ensemble & les assaisonez de sel bien menu, & d’un peu d’épisse ou de canelle en poudre. Lors que vostre appareil sera prest, vous mettrez dans une tourtiere une abesse de paste fueilletée, garnissez-là suffisamment de vostre farce ou appareil, puis vous la couvrirez d’un couvercle de pâte, faites-y un petit trou au milieu, & faites cuire cette tourte suffisamment.
Le Cuisiniere François: Le Patissier François,
La VeRenne. Chez Jacques Canier, Paris, 1680, p.210.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Serving Plates

A dish of hors-d'oeuvre used at table, funished internally with roots or other artificial similar things, among which one intersperses some natural [foods].
Diderot, Fayencerie, Ouvrages, Pl. III, Fig. 55: Un plat de hors- d'oeuvre à l'usage des tables, garni intérieurement de racines ou autres choses semblables artificielles, parmi lesquelles on en mêle de naturelles.

It would appear that our modern glass and pottery relish plates, trays and dish sets are a direct result of this idea.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blanket Prizes - Copper Cup Classic Invitational

Michigan Treenware was pleased to be included in prize choices for the annual Copper Cup Classic Invitational shooting match at the Eastern Primitive Rendezvous. Two of our small cherry bowls/trenchers were purchased by participants as their contribution on the blanket.

Image Source Granny Lin
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