colonial cooking and food preserving

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by ditzyjan56, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. ditzyjan56

    ditzyjan56 Well-Known Member

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  2. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the cool site! I got it bookmarked for later.
    The only thing that I have cooked like the Colonial Williamsburg folks have done is the hanged chicken!

    We were camping and had a nice fire pit with big rocks and a up and over set up to hang pots on so I hung a chicken on strings next to the fire and between the biggest rocks and the fire and just kept twisting the sting so that the bird slowly spun around and around with a bowl under it for the drippings and so that the drippings never caught fire under the bird. It took about 1 and 1/2 hours to cook all the way thru and never burnt at all as it was moving almost constantly. (well as long a you remember to twist it up again when it stops going back and forth lol) Very tasty too.
    The fire was higher when it started to cook so it sears the outside to seal in the moisture and the it slow cooks the rest of the way. Well worth trying if you are out and camping.
     

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    I agree ... Cool Site!

    I also bookmarked ... Thanks for sharing!:2thumb:
     
  4. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    Thanks for the link. Put into my favorites to read more into it tomorrow.
     
  5. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Indeed! Very cool place! :2thumb:
     
  6. ditzyjan56

    ditzyjan56 Well-Known Member

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    another site worth looking into

    From the web site above I went to the following web site and looked at several cookbooks that they have scanned. Several of the cookbooks have good info about preserving food and cooking recipes from the colonial days

    Feeding America

    Browse the selection of cookbooks and see if you like any of the info there, I liked some of the recipes and some of the general knowledge
     
  7. hooked

    hooked Member

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    Interesting sites, thanks.
     
  8. mdprepper

    mdprepper I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...

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    Great link. Thank you!
     
  9. semperscott

    semperscott Well-Known Member

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    Both good sites; thanks!
     
  10. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    How about candle making? I can only find info about remelting wax, but nothing about how to make it. It can't be too hard. I found a few easy soap recipes but I haven't tried it yet. Just simply waste vegetable oil and lye, nothing fancy. Wax can't be too different.
     
  11. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    The paraffin waxes are a petroleum by product of some sort and I'm not sure if a layman can make them.
    But if you have bees-beeswax is all natural and gives off almost no smoke and great light and great smell. -Also if you live in an area where bayberry grows the berries can be gathered and boiled lightly and they give off a bit of wax that is very fragrant and was used mixed with beeswax for candles.
    Some people who could not afford to buy beeswax candles but did know where to harvest the bayberry would take them boil the wax off and add to the tallow candles to make the smell more bearable.

    Can ya tell I gots too much time on my hands to know all this kind of odd esoteric knowledge!:D
     
  12. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Thanks, I did know about bees wax, but I'm too allergic for that. I has hoping there was a way to do it from animal fat, veg oil or some other natural source. I use veg oil for heat and fuel so I'm looking for other ways to put it to use. It does work ok in oil lamps, but I have an interest in making wax. Heck, we've been doing it for hundreds of years, it can't be too hard. I'll have to look into the berries.
     
  13. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    What about bear or pork fat? There must be a way they made candles out of those in the old days, like tallow candles? I'm not familiar with it, just remembering bits and pieces of books like the Little House on the Prairie books.
     
  14. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

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    I have just gotten interested in fermentation, salting and other ways to preserve food without canning. Got a great book at Hancock's Fabrics (of all places) called The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich ... :eek::D

    Between that book and the link you so kindly posted I see a lot of playing around in the kitchen in my future!

    Thanks!!:beercheer:
     
  15. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    That's what I was thinking Sue, but I just can't find anything ( I'm normally pretty good w/ google key words). If veg oil can burn in a wick lantern and soap is just veg oil with a little lye... who knows? I'm half tempted to stick a wick in some home made soap to see what happens. 200 yrs ago everyone had candles. I don't think it all came from bees. That's a lot of hives to tend.

    Bunny, I found a good book at Sam's about preserving food from your garden. Covers freezing, dehydrating, root cellars etc. Tons of info for only $6.
     
  16. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    With a heat proof jar some wire and wicking you can make a nice veggy oil lamp.
    Homemade Vegetable Oil Lamp
    I've done it with olive oil and a bit of cotton from a cotton ball.
    Olive oil doesn't seem to wick up too far so I did have to adjust the hight of the wick in the oil but it burns clean and doesn't smell funny.
     
  17. tac803

    tac803 Well-Known Member

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    My Mom and I used to make christmas candles out of paraffin. We'd melt the paraffin in a pan placed in boiling water on the stove, use twine for wicks, and a quart milk carton for the mold. We would put a washer through the end of the wick that sits on the bottom of the carton to keep the wick centered, and tie the top of the wick to a pencil, letting it rest on the top of the carton. We used crayons melted in the wax to give it color. Believe it or not, she would also use the egg beater to whip some of the left over paraffin and use it like frosting on the outside of the Christmas candles. We also used cans, as long as they didn't have lips on the top....dang near impossible to get the finished candle out. We would also make multi colored candles. Just pour one color, let it harden...then the next, and so on.
    Fun activities for a cold winter day, from a long time ago lol.
     
  18. SaskDame

    SaskDame Well-Known Member

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    Wax is a petrolium product or a product made by bees in a hive.
    Candles were historically made of tallow (seal/beef fat) or bees wax.
    You cannot "make" wax it is a basic ingredient.
    Candles are wick and wax in a mold or wick dipped in the wax to build up to a size you want to burn.
     
  19. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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  20. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    One of the things I would consider is whether it's safe to burn the homemade soap with lye in it. Could there be fumes that shouldn't be breathed?

    I found some directions for tallow candles in "Encyclopedia of Country Living" by Carla Emery:

    "Tallow. Save your firm, clean hunks of fat from butchering, about 2 pounds of tallow for each doezn candles you plan to make. Render out the tallow as you do in lard making, by heating to melt it, and then straining through a cloth. Then skim your candle tallow off the top. It helps in final appearance to go through the whole procedure again with your once-skimmed tallow: melt, strain, and skim to get your final candle-making tallow."

    In the wicking section it says: "You can buy wicking or make your own. If you're a spinner, you can loosely spin hemp, tow, cotton, or milweed "silk" for wicks. Or just twist the material together tightly as best you can. You can make wicks out of common rushes by stripping part of the outer bark from them, leaving the pith bare. You can make wick out of string or make long cotton wicks out of cloth strings made by tearing cotton rags. It helps to braid it. For wicking you could also use old wicks from used candles, commercial wicking from candle suppliers, or pipe cleaners. A wire center makes it burn brighter. I wick too narrow for the diameter of your candle will not be strong enough and will let the flame get drowned in the melting wax. A wick that is too thick will smoke. To improve the final action, soak your wicking in limewater and saltpeter, limewater alone, vinegar, or saltpeter alone. Then dry."

    "Making Dipped Tallow Candles: Tie a wick to a stick and dip into melted tallow. Let harden, and then dip again. Continue in this way until your candle is big enough to suit you. You can make more than one candle at a time by tying several wicks to a stick and dippin them all at once. For the first dip, wet your wicks in the tallow. they will probably want to float, and you'll have to help them into it. When cool, straighten and smooth them. Then dip again. If the bottoms get too large, hold them in the hot tallow until part melts off. After they've hung all night to cool, you can cut off the bottoms and trim around the base to get a nice bottom that will fit into your candleholder."

    "More Dipping Tips: Tying a small weight, such as a little steel bolt (I've heard of using washers, too) to the bottom of the wick will help keep it straight. Another hint is to alternate dips into the hot tallow with dips into cool water to speed cooling, but you can't dip it into the tallow again until the candle is dry. About 30 dips make an average candle."

    Gee, now I want to try this! I still have rendered bear lard, maybe I should get out a jar. If I do, I'll post pictures.