Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.