Mid April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in JTS News at 9:43 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

Round Iron Trivet  RT-277
Round Iron Trivet RT-277

Laid Writing Paper  Wp-85
Laid Writing Paper Wp-85

2 Quart Brass Trade Kettle C-4500
2 Quart Brass Trade Kettle C-4500

Riveted Copper Kettle C-4515
Riveted Copper Kettle C-4515

Long Trade Knife  KN-171
Long Trade Knife KN-171

Vertical Striped Stockings  SP-767
Vertical Striped Stockings SP-767


Catalog # 32

Our newest catalog is in the mail! We’re very excited about this year’s catalog: over 50 new products and a larger format with larger pictures! If you have placed an order from us within the past two to three years, there is a catalog with your name on it making its way to you. Depending on your location, it may take a week or two for it to arrive. So keep your eyes open for your copy.

New Products

We have a host of new products rolling out right now: An Early Top Hat, new stocking styles, an Early 19th Century Tailcoat, Sturdy Iron Padlocks, a 1740’s Frock Coat that will knock your socks off, two new Sleeved Bodices for the ladies, Ember Tongs, Writing Paper without a watermark, accurate Brass Trade Kettles, a slew of the highest quality copperware, items for the hearth , items for the camp fire, a reproduction folding grill that copies George Washington’s personal grill that now resides in the Smithsonian collection (a favorite here at Jas.), our potter sure has been busy, bakery equipment, a sharp new knife made by our cutler here in the States, and MORE! All of these items are being introduced to the website bit by bit. watch the New Products page for the latest additions!

New Videos

We’ve added three new videos to our YouTube channel since our last newsletter:

Make and Use an Earthen Oven in 24 Hours

We’ve had so many questions from viewers in response to our first video on Building an Earthen Oven, that we decided to produce a second video showing how to build an oven in the quickest, simplest fashion with only $20.00 worth of materials. We wanted to see for ourselves if one could build and use an earthen oven within a 24-hour time period. We were extremely pleased with the results!

Making Stinging Nettle Soup

Here’s an authentic recipe for a surprisingly delicious and extremely nutritious meal. Some historical texts mention people living off nettles when other foods could not be found. Nettle recipes made their way into many period cookbooks. There were many medicinal purposes for nettles, and given what we know today about vitamins and nutrition, stinging nettles qualify as a superfood.

A Simple Biscuit

Recipes for simple biscuits abound in period cookbooks. We would compare them today to something that is a cross between a cookie and a cracker. Sweetened with sugar and seasoned with caraway, they are a delightful accompaniment to tea.

Sifting The Past Blog

This week is “wheelbarrow week” on Jon’s Sifting The Past period art blog. He is posting a new picture featuring a wheelbarrow every day this week.

March 2012 Newsletter

Posted in JTS News at 9:41 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

Redware Pipkin P-4180
Redware Pipkin P-4180

18th Century Cookery DVD-04
18th Century Cookery DVD-04


1/2 Million Views on Youtube

Thank you for giving our channel on Youtube more than 500,000 views!

New Videos

We have started our second season of cooking videos in our new kitchen setting. We have four new videos since our last newsletter.

The New Kitchen Episode

Boiled Puddings 1

Boiled Puddings 2

Season Your Iron Cookware

New Sifting-The-Past Blog

Jon has started a new blog with a simple premise, one period painting a day with some notes on interesting content. The blog is just a quick look at a wide variety of images that help us understand the 18th century just a little bit better, one day at a time. It is not meant to absorb a lot of time, but just to keep historical paintings fresh in our minds. Take a look at: SiftingThePast.com and make sure to subscribe.

New Products

First Season “18th Century Cookery” DVD

The first 14 episodes of our 18th Century Cooking series with a couple of other instructional video thrown in for fun. Get this DVD to watch and share.

New Redware Pipkin

The new pipkin is great for cooking up sauces and other similar things. This would be a beautiful addition to your period cookware.

New Catalog

Kevin is working hard at our new bigger and better catalog and it should be out in a few weeks.

February 2012 Newsletter

Posted in JTS News at 9:41 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

The Backcountry Housewife   BK-421
The Backcountry Housewife BK-421

Feeding the Frontier Army Cookbook BK-447
Feeding the Frontier Army Cookbook BK-447

Build Your Own Earth Oven  BK-576
Build Your Own Earth Oven BK-576

Redware Lidded Cooking Pot  P-4172
Redware Lidded Cooking Pot P-4172


More Videos!

Since our last newsletter, we’ve produced four more videos for your enjoyment, listed below. You’ll find the first two on our upcoming 18th Century Cooking Series, Volume One, DVD. We’ll let you know as soon as that DVD is available.

- “A Pound of Meat” Video

This episode of our 18th Century Cooking Series, Volume 1, complements the previous video “Privations of an 18th Century Soldier.” We take a closer look at a number of historical references to catch a glimpse of what conditions were like for an 18th century soldier. What was a soldier to do with his ration of a pound of meat if supplies and utensils were lacking? The video also examines the importance of salt, not only as a preservative but also as a strategy of war.

- “Baked Beans” Video

Beans were a common fare in the 18th century. In this instalment of our 18th Century Cooking Series, Volume 1, we present two recipes for baked beans using two methods of cooking: an earthen oven and an iron kettle buried in a pit.

- “Three Years of YouTube Videos” Video

This video is a departure from our 18th Century Cooking Series. We hope you enjoy this production which takes a light-hearted poke at some of the more memorable videos we’ve produced over the last three years. Feel free to laugh or cringe. It’s nothing we haven’t already done. We figure it’s good to make fun of ourselves every now and again.

- “Cookbook Recommendations” Video

A number of friends have asked us to write a cookbook to accompany our 18th Century Cooking Video Series. We felt it would be better to point people toward some excellent resources that already exist. While we use several cookbooks in our research, in this video we give you our shortlist of recommendations.

New Products

We’re excited about the number of new products we plan to offer in our upcoming catalog (available later this spring). Here are just a few. There are many more ahead!

Lidded Cooking Pot

Our Master Potter, Gary Nieter, has worked from period artwork as well as original examples to develop this beautiful redware Lidded Cooking Pot. Great for beans. Holds about 1-1/2 quarts. 6” in diameter and about 6-1/2” high. Food-safe, lead-free glaze.
P-4172……… $52.00

New book: “Build Your Own Earth Oven”

In response to our Earthen Oven video, several people have asked us for written plans for building an earthen oven. Earthen ovens are easily documented for the 18th Century. Interestingly, they seem to be making a resurgence in some modern culinary circles. Building an earthen oven is remarkably simple. There are really only a handful of things you must know. Here is an excellent resource written by Kiko Denzer. This book presents all the basics, in addition to offering a number of modern adaptations. 7” x 10” Paperback. 130 pages.

Bustling About

Things are really hopping around here as we anticipate the commencement of our second series of 18th Century Cooking Videos. We’re very excited about a new location for some of these videos. Keep your eye out for it! We’re also anticipating several new products this year. In addition, Kevin is busy redesigning our catalog. We trust you will be pleased with the results. We’ll keep you posted as progress is made.Our seamstresses are busy as well, HOWEVER, we expect their schedules will begin to get crazier as warm weather approaches. While we always work very hard to keep turnaround time for custom clothing orders to a minimum, if you know you’re going to need clothing this spring, now may be a good time to order before the rush hits.

January 2012 Newsletter

Posted in JTS News at 9:40 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

Memoir of Rev Soldier BK-575
Memoir of Rev Soldier BK-575


Off and Running

It looks as though 2012 will be a very a exciting year here at Jas. Townsend & Son. We’re up to our eyeballs in new product development, the catalog is presently in production with a number of exciting changes and additions, and Aaron is busy compiling our first cooking series DVD. We continue to make very interesting discoveries in our planning and research for our 18-century cooking video series. And we have a few other things that are in the works that we’re not quite ready to announce yet, but when we do, we’re sure you’ll be just as excited as we are.
In all of our hustle and bustle, it’s been a few weeks since we’ve sent out a newsletter. So we have a little catching up to do.

New Videos

We’ve added four videos to our 18th Century Cooking series since the last time we’ve written:

Cooking with Salted Fish

One of the meat items sometimes issued to the troops during the 18th century was salted fish. Salted fish was also a very popular export from New England at the time. In this episode we cook up some salted cod into a popular period dish of Fish Cakes. This recipe was a real hit in camp, and it was taken straight from the pages of the 18th century. See it on youtube.

Pies in an Earthen Oven and Dutch oven

In William Blair’s 1803 book, “A Soldier’s Friend,” it reads, “Dr. Lettsom has remarked, that meat pies are more advantageous than roasted or boiled meat.” The author goes on to explain that more men could be satisfied with a meat pie than with plain meat and bread of the same proportions.See it on youtube.In this video we show how to bake pies using the earthen oven as well as a Dutch oven. For one recipe we make a Cheshire pork pie with pippins, using the authentic salt pork we prepared in an earlier video. The other recipe is for a faux Passenger Pigeon pie.

Making Authentic Mushroom Ketchup

Ancient accounts tell us of a sauce made of fermented fish that was used in cooking throughout the Roman Empire (including what is now Great Britain). The Chinese had a sauce as well that was by other accounts imported and made popular in virtually every 18th century British kitchen. The Chinese called this sauce by a name that is believed to be the origin of our word “ketchup.” Upon arriving in America in the 18th century, ketchup recipes typically called for either mushrooms or young walnuts. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that tomatoes were widely used as a ketchup base.This video shows how easy it is to make an authentic version of this very delicious sauce. Once you try it, we’re pretty sure you find yourself using it in many 18th-century dishes. The sauce will keep for months, and don’t forget to dry the leftover mushrooms to be used in soups and meat dishes! See it on youtube.

Baking Wiggs

Wiggs were luxurious little biscuits made with loads of butter and sugar. Given their ingredients, they were expensive to make and typically reserved for special occasions. This video shows how even the finer things in life can be prepared using more primitive methods of cooking. We prepare two batches: one baked in our earthen oven, the other baked in a dutch oven. Both methods produced amazing results. See it on youtube.

New Product!

There are a number of quality reference resources that help us understand life in the 18th century, but when it comes to that of an enlisted continental soldier, few if none are better than Joseph Plumb Martin’s firsthand account. We’ve added “Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier” to our inventory once again, and we can’t recommend it highly enough. Whether or not your 18th century persona is a soldier, you will find this book to be very intriguing and useful in understanding the challenges of the period.