28 March 2011

Getting Back in the Saddle

I've been away for quite some time and I'm trying to get back in the sadle but it will be a slow go and I'll intentionally take it slow in the process. I'll not detail what's been going on suffice it to say I've had to adjust my activities and the degree to which I have been exerting effort in participating in varois activities.

So, let me get started by picking up where I left off with another recipe from my Gramdfather's cookbook. The recipe in the notebook is tittled Butter Scotch Pie. Here's the recipe as he penciled it in his notebook just in case the image I included is a bit blurry:
2C brown sugar
1/4 C butter - 1 C sweet milk, 2 beaten eggs, 2 tblsp flour

     Boil milk sugar and butter till thick. Remove from fire & add flour stirred in cold milk & eggs. Cook until thick. Pour in two baked crusts.

So, a couple of things I'd like to point out that runs through many of the recipes is that there are terms used back in the day and, in many cases, the instructions appear to be incomplete. The lack of additional instructions I attribute to the fact that my Grandfather didn't need to take further notes. Remember, this was his notebook. He wasn't necessarily sharing it with anyone although I'm certain he did on occasion. He had committed to memory what needed to happen next and didn't need to take more notes. This is one of the challenges for me to figure out.

As far as terminology goes you'll note the reference to "sweet milk". That's what regular whole milk was called back then and differentiated it from buttermilk. I have seen him also make references to sweet cream in other recipes. Sweet cream is fresh cream, what we might call just cream or whipping cream. Now, in discussions with family and other cooks who have memories from their childhood tell me that cooks often used what was available because the just couldn't hop in the car and run down to a supermarket. When a recipe called for sweet cream and fresh cream wasn't available they might have substituted it with sour cream.

I need to talk about my grandfather's reference to "fire". I have found in many of my Grandfather's recipes  heat control was not described in degrees, but in terms of low, medium, and high ovens. This is because well into the late '50's he and my Grandmother cooked on a wood burning stove in their farm house kitchen.

So, stay tuned. I'm going to test this in the kitchen first then I'll try it outside in the black pot.