Friday, August 31, 2012

Dictionary of Antique Cookbook Words

This dictionary covers the most puzzling cookbook vocabulary from Colonial times through the extravagant, all-in-French menus of the Victorian era (when "dyspepsia" was the national ailment). Entries are listed by the first word of the natural combination, no matter what part of speech it is. Check the index for possible further information. Whenever possible, appropriate instructions and recipes are provided. 

APOLLINARIES: An old-time soda water.

BLADE OF MACE: The unground inner envelope of a nutmeg.

BLOW: "Boil sugar to the blow" means to 240° F.

BOUQUET GARNI: 3 sprigs parsley, 1 small stalk celery, 1 leek, 1/2 bay leaf, 1 sprig dry thyme--or some variation thereof--tied together and added to a stew or sauce for flavoring.

BRINE THAT WILL BEAR AN EGG: Water with enough salt in it that an egg floats.

BRUNSWICK STEW: Originally squirrel, corn, and lima beans.

CANNED COW: Evaporated milk.

CLOCK-JACK: A device run by clockwork who turned the roast on its spit with regularity as it cooked over an open fire.

FOOL: A stewed fruit served with cream.

GEM IRONS: Iron muffin pans. Grease lightly and preheat in oven.

GILL: Half a cup.

HOOCH: If you mix 1 cup flour, and 2 T. molasses, then allow it to complete a natural fermentation, the deadly looking fluid coating the top is "hooch," named in Alaskan sourdough days when it was the miners' liquor.

KICKSHAW: An unsubstantial, fancy, or unrecognizable dish of food.

KIPPER: To smoke at a relatively high temperature.

METHEGLIN: A drink made from honey, yeast, water, and locust-beans.

MUSKMELON: Cantaloupe.

PIEPLANT: Rhubarb.

QUIDDANY (Quiddony): 1. Quince. 2. A syrup or jelly containing quince.

RAILROAD YEAST: Homemade liquid yeast.

RASPINGS: Fine, browned bread crumbs.

RECHAUFFE: Warmed over. Fancy name for leftovers.

TEACUP: The amount of 1/2 cup.


WINEGLASS: One-fourth cup.

YOGURT: Thick cultured milk made by adding yogurt-making bacteria to warm milk, allowing it to stay in a warm place until the desired thickness. Believe it or not, once I didn't know what this term meant.

[Adapted from "Dictionary of Antique Cookbook Words" in Chapter 12: Appendix. The Dictionary contains over 650 words.]

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