View Full Version : Autumn CW dinner
11-14-2006, 01:21 PM
Miss Siddali's latest repast was another excellent one.
Beef and vegetable soup
White fish with celery sauce
Quail stuffed with orange
Stewed Mushrooms on Toast with Anchovy Butter
Fried sweet potatoes
We were able to have some period-appropriate discussions on health as my husband was ill and Mrs. Hoskins had to attend to an ailing baby, subtracting two from the party. Present were Mr. & Mrs. Aufmuth, and Mr. & Mrs Filley (the Baehrs), myself, Mr. Hoskins, and our ever gracious hostess Miss Siddalli. Conviviality prevailed all around.
I have learned so much about eating seasonally and period cooking (alright, not cooking--more eating) during this series of meals and really want to congratulate Silvana on her success.
11-14-2006, 10:46 PM
Deborah, I would love the recipe for the fried sweet potatoes. If ya can't post it I understand.
11-15-2006, 08:14 AM
Many of the recipes I used came from Eliza Leslie's various cookbooks, most of which have been reprinted and are also available online in digitized form. Mr. Trent told me about this particular site, called Feeding America, which reproduces cookbooks from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries. You can browse that site by author, by recipe name, and by year. It's fantastic.
Those sweet potatoes were one of the easiest recipes on the menu -- just parboil them, then peel, slice, and fry in a little butter so that they're golden brown with a little bit of a crust.
Of all the 19th century cookbook authors on Feeding America & currently in reprint, Eliza Leslie is by far my favorite. Her recipes work well, and the results are usually quite tasty. BTW, I learned two very interesting things from this last dinner. I was trying (this time around) to put together a simple, plain family dinner, not a fancy company dinner. My overall concept was to imagine people coming over to help me with a late autumn harvest or farm chore, and I'd be cooking up a simple but nutritious supper for them. While the recipes for this supper (culled from menus for "plain family suppers") were more straightforward and much less elaborate than the previous ones, I found that some ingredients had now become rare and expensive. E.g., striped bass was supposed to be the centerpiece of the first course, but I discovered that it was far out of my budget.
Also, I learned that because this supper used the oven far more than previous ones, it was almost overwhelmingly tricky to get to the table. I think a 19th c lady would have been able to keep things hot in the coals or at the back of the hearth, while I had to struggle mightily to balance the cooking & serving. This time around I spent more time in the kitchen than at the table, which made me realize how difficult it can be to manage a supper like this by oneself. I think I really should have had some hired help for it. I didn't realize this as I was putting together the menu because the recipes for autumn suppers were all so simple in execution.
11-15-2006, 08:43 PM
Thank you Silvana for your responce. I will try the fried sweet potatoes and the website. I'm not sure where you live, but living here in north Delaware I have had great catches of striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay. A shame I couldn't send you a filet. That reminds me of the striped bass we cooked on a plank at a hearth cooking class I took years ago at the Reed House in Old New Castle, Delaware. Alot of the recipes were more late 1700's but it was still wood burning cooking and it taught me alot in regards to cooking in the field too. Have a great night and thanks again.
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