Tasty Tuesday: Bacon and Eggs #colonial #bacon #eggs #breakfast #cooking #recipes

For a change of pace, here’s a breakfast recipe for today’s Tasty Tuesday post. At least, that’s when we enjoyed it, for a Sunday morning breakfast. I’ll let Mrs. Glasse introduce this new-to-me concept of fixing breakfast…

Collops and Eggs

Cut either bacon, pickled beef, or hung mutton, into thin slices, broil them nicely, lay them in a dish before the fire, have ready a stew-pan of water boiling, break as many eggs as you have collops, break them one by one in a cup, and pour them into the stew-pan. When the whites of the eggs begin to harden, and all look of a clear white, take them up one by one in an egg-slice, and lay them on the collops.

So my obvious choice was bacon, because I’m not a fan of beef or lamb for breakfast. If I were to make this as a dinner, then perhaps that would work. But feel free to choose whichever meet you’d like to broil.

It took me a little while to understand why she wants me to put all the eggs into one cup. That way all the eggs cook at the same time, so they’re all done at the same time and ready to serve. By the way, an “egg-slice” is simply a slotted spatula or turner. Because the eggs are rather slick from the boiled water, I think a slotted spoon makes it easier to lift them out without having them end up on the floor. But perhaps that’s just me…

The other thing “new” to me, besides boiling eggs in water without their shells on, was broiling bacon. Only after hubby and I were eating the results did I remember that my family also used a broiler to cook bacon for larger groups. Just like those 18th-century cooks with their large families and frequent visitors, my parents had five children and often we had friends or other family members visiting. Hubby’s aunt also used a broiler to do bacon when she needed to feed a family gathering after a funeral. So it’s really not new, just overlooked on my part. But I don’t have such a large group to feed, and hubby typically cooks the bacon on a flat griddle. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

Anyway, here’s my adaptation of this recipe…

Betty’s Bacon Collops and Eggs

Ingredients

4 slices bacon, cut into halves or quarters

4 eggs

Instructions

Heat broiler on high. Arrange bacon on broiler pan and broil until desired crispness, turning occasionally.

IMG_0003Meanwhile, start a pot of water boiling.

Remove bacon from broiler pan to a serving platter and keep warm.

Crack each egg into a small to medium mixing bowl.

Add all eggs at once to boiling water, stirring gently to separate whites as they cook.

When the whites are bright white and the yolks done enough, carefully use a slotted spoon to remove each from the water and arrange on the bacon. Serve hot.

IMG_0005When I made this, I left the slices whole but I discovered it made it rather tricky to serve the bacon and eggs. So next time I’d cut the slices into halves or better into quarters so you have an easier time choosing one egg instead of multiples at one time.

I served this with toasted English muffins and orange juice since I had both on hand. It made for a nice Sunday morning breakfast.

What do you enjoy for breakfast? What meat would you use if you were to make this recipe?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

In 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal…

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wuHGmQ

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZHT9Pl

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1zlf2Vk

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Google: http://bit.ly/1ocTIfL

Advertisements

Tasty Tuesday: Duck dressed with Peas #colonial #dinner #cooking #duckling #vegetables #whatsfordinner

This week’s Tasty Tuesday recipe was a delicious challenge to make. I’ve only ever roasted a duckling once before and that was a long time ago. Which is why I added it to my schedule of recipes to adapt. This one ended up being done very differently from the method used by Hannah Glasse. Here’s what she recommended as a method of cooking duckling dressed with green peas.

Art of CookeryTo dress a Duck with green peas

Put a deep stew-pan over the fire, with a piece of fresh butter; singe your duck and flour it, turn it in the pan two or three minutes, then pour out all the fat, but let the duck remain in the pan: put to it a pint of good gravy, a pint of peas, two lettuces cut small, a small bundle of sweet herbs, a little pepper and salt, cover them close, and let them stew for half an hour, now and then give the pan a shake; when they are just done, grate in a little nutmeg, and put in a very little beaten mace, and thicken it either with apiece of butter rolled in flour, or the yolk of an egg beat up with two or three spoonfuls of cream; shake it all together for three or four minutes, take out the sweet herbs lay the duck in the dish, and pour the sauce over it. You may garnish with boiled mint chopped, or let it alone.

Let’s look at the steps and ingredients involved here and bring them into the 21st century. First, the deep stew-pan over the fire. I don’t have a pot big enough to hold a 6-pound duckling, so that was my first stumbling point with this recipe. And I’m not using an open flame to cook anything, so I had to decide what to use. I considered using my crock pot, thinking it would be good for ensuring the bird was done through and stayed moist and tender. I could add the ingredients for the peas sauce to the pot and let it simmer.

Before I did, I pulled out my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook and consulted it on how they recommended roasting duckling. They mentioned that duckling has a high fat content and thus should be roasted on a rack and pricked to release the fat into the roasting pan. I finally decided to do that and make the sauce separately. Unlike Hannah, I seasoned the duckling itself and put it into the oven.

For the sauce then, I waited until the duckling was nearly done before I gathered the ingredients. I did not use the “pint of good gravy” she recommended. Instead, I dissolved some low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes into hot water and used that as my “gravy.” I’ve mentioned before my dislike of mace, so I used seasonings that I know we like.

When I started analyzing the original recipe I questioned using lettuce in the sauce. This was another new concept to me. I did a quick online search and found not only a discussion on why you’d want to cook lettuce but also a cool list of 10 ways to eat lettuce, some of which I hadn’t considered so thought I’d share that with you too. I cut up one small head of Italian lettuce I picked up at my local grocery store, making the pieces fairly small – perhaps one inch squares, give or take. Given that I was not sure we’d like the peas with lettuce mixed together, I decided to serve the sauce on the side so my hubby and son could add as much or as little as they’d like.

 

Veggies Mixed
Peas and lettuce cooking

Note also that Hannah called for a “bundle of sweet herbs” which I assume means fresh herbs from the garden tied together and dropped into the pot and then taken out. Instead, I used dried herbs from bottles in my pantry, but I can’t remove them, so I didn’t use a lot.

 

Here’s my recipe then for duckling with peas.

Betty’s Roasted Duck with Peas

Ingredients

1 6-pound duck, thawed completely

1 T minced garlic

½ T thyme leaves

½ T rosemary leaves, crushed

1 cup hot water

2 chicken bouillon cubes (I used low sodium cubes)

1 small lettuce, cut up into small pieces

1 10-ounce bag of frozen green peas

1 T Italian seasoning

½ tsp black pepper

1 T butter rolled in flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place thawed duck on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Be sure to remove all giblets from neck cavity.

Combine garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Spread over duck.

Put the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350°F. Roast the duck for 20-25 minutes per pound, or 2-2½ hours, or until internal temperature measured with a thermometer at the thigh reaches 185°F. Be sure the thermometer doesn’t touch the bone though.

As the duck nears being done, combine the hot water and bouillon cubes in a saucepan and stir until the cubes are dissolved completely.

Add the peas, lettuce, Italian seasoning and pepper, stirring to combine well.

Cook on medium heat until the lettuce reduces and the peas are tender. Add the butter rolled in flour and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Remove the duck from the oven when done and carve it into slices and pieces. Serve hot with the sauce on the side or you can pour the sauce over the meat if you’d prefer.

I thawed my duckling in the refrigerator. The package says to do so “overnight” which I did for two days. But apparently, that wasn’t quite long enough. When I pulled it out to cook it, there were still ice crystals on it. I had to run hot water over it and inside it to thaw it enough to remove the packet of orange sauce it came with. I didn’t see that there were giblets inside, too, so those got cooked along with the duck. I don’t think it hurt anything, though. But be sure to allow plenty of time for the bird to thaw completely and double-check for giblets.

I think if I were to make the peas sauce again, I might use fresh spinach leaves (not the stalks) instead of lettuce to boost the nutritional value. The sauce wasn’t as thick as I expected, so I might also tinker with the fluid quantity to make it saucier.

Overall, we really enjoyed the duckling alone and with the sauce. The meat was tender and flavorful, and the sweetness of the green peas complemented it well and made it look pretty, too. I was glad that the sauce wasn’t a heavy, rich one as I’m not a fan, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Next week I’m going to do what I think of as a breakfast receipt but I imagine it could be used for brunch or even supper. Until next time, I hope you have good meals and good reads, too!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

SamanthsSecretCOVERIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal in the port city Charles Town, South Carolina.

Midwife and healer, Samantha McAlester returns from the front lines to find Charles Town under British siege and the town’s new doctor at war with its citizens.

Dr. Trent Cunningham intends to build a hospital staffed solely with educated doctors. What he doesn’t need is a raven-haired charlatan spooning out herbs and false promises to his patients, while tempting him at every turn.

Then a mutual friend develops a mysterious infection. Trenton is stumped. Samantha suspects the cure but knows treatment will expose her long-guarded secret, risking all she holds dear… including Trenton.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1akvryM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HkamyG

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h7qpKW

iBooks: http://apple.co/1BOdiiB

Google: http://bit.ly/1Dqj7tF

Tasty Tuesday: Stewed Cornish Hens #colonial #chicken #dinner #cooking #whatsfordinner #recipes

I have a funny story along with a foolproof recipe for Tasty Tuesday! Today we’re going to find out about how to stew chickens for dinner. Not chicken stew, but stewed chicken. As usual, I’ll let Hannah Glasse tell us in a bit more detail what we’re aiming for.

Art of CookeryA pretty Way of stewing Chickens

Take two fine chickens, half boil them, then take them up in a pewter or silver dish, if you have one, cut up your fowls, and separate all the joint bones one from another, and then take out the breast-bones. If there is not liquor enough from the fowls, add a few spoonfuls of the water they were boiled in, put in a blade of mace, and a little salt; cover it close with another dish, set it over a stove or chafing dish of coals, let it stew till the chickens are enough, and then send them hot to the table in the same dish they were stewed in.

Note, This is a very pretty dish for any sick person, or for a lying in lady. For change, it is better than butter, and the sauce is very agreeable and pretty.

N.B. You may do rabbits, partridges, or moor-game, this way.

So, essentially she wants us to cook the chickens twice: once in boiling water, and then over coals. She’s wise, let me tell you. In fact, my funny story is about making Cornish hens for New Year’s Eve dinner one year. I stuffed their little chest cavities with long grain and wild rice and put them in the oven. Their skin turned all golden brown, but the flesh would not cook. Not even in the microwave, which I finally grew desperate enough to try. I think we ended up eating pizza… And my family will never let me forget it, either. So I was overjoyed to find this method of cooking them!

I didn’t have to make many adjustments to this recipe. After all, there are not many ingredients to begin with. Instead of using two whole chickens, since again I’m adapting these to dinner for two as much as possible, I used Cornish hens. If you were feeding a larger crowd though, you might want to adjust up to two whole chickens. And instead of mace and salt, I used my old standbys of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper.

I also had to have my hubby do the separation of the hens’ joints because while I’m recovering from my shoulder surgery, I’m not strong enough to do that yet. Even he had a bit of difficulty with locating the joint to cut through it on the small-boned birds.

So here’s my take on making stewed chicken…

Betty’s Stewed Cornish Hens

Ingredients

2 Cornish hens, thawed

Garlic powder, to taste

Italian seasoning, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Boiling hensPreheat oven to 350°F.

In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the hens. Carefully remove them (as their skin/flesh is very tender) to a large cutting board.

Separate the joints and lay the breasts and pieces in a covered casserole dish.

Sprinkle with seasonings; cover and place in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until done.

Ready to serveI steamed some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, and boiled up some small honey gold potatoes to add to the dish before serving it. It did make a nice presentation and tasted even better than it looked. We had enough for two meals out of it. The best part is that they were cooked through without any snide remarks…

I’ve also had success with cooking Cornish hens in my crockpot. That’s easier than having to cut up the birds, too. Have you found a fool-proof way to stew chicken or hens?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser–a former beau–promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer–the only man she’s ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family’s reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1wZML3a

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x16Eyv

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1t75sMh

Google: http://bit.ly/13Bll94

Tasty Tuesday: Roasted #Chicken with Almonds #colonial #dinner #cooking #whatsfordinner #recipes

One thing I’m enjoying about my adventure with colonial recipes is facing new challenges and new ways of cooking. This week’s recipe is for roasted chicken, something I do not do often. Turkey, yes. Chicken, not so much. So it was good to brush up on my chicken roasting skills! But not without a few hiccups. Let’s look at what Mrs. Glasse would have us do and then I’ll share what I did and didn’t agree with.

Art of CookeryTo roast a Fowl with Chesnuts

First take some chesnuts, roast them very carefully, so as not to burn them, take off the skin, and peel them, take about a dozen of them cut small, and bruise them in a mortar; par-boil the liver of the fowl, bruise it, cut about a quarter of a pound of ham or bacon, and pound it; them all together, with a good deal of parsley chopped small, a little sweet herbs, some mace, pepper, salt, and nutmeg; mix these together, and put into your fowl, and roast it. The best way of doing it is to tie the neck, and hang it up by the legs to roast with a string and baste it with butter. For sauce take the rest of the chesnuts peeled and skinned, put them into some good gravy, with a little white wine and thicken it with a piece of butter rolled in flour; then take up your fowl, lay it in the dish, and pour in the sauce. Garnish with lemon.

The very first hiccup was the chestnuts. In my area they are hard to find and when you do they are expensive. So I needed a substitute. A quick online search yielded the information I needed to make an informed choice, based on taste and texture. So I used almonds, which I had on hand and are also good for us.

Almonds toastedMy roasting chicken did not come with all of its parts, so I didn’t have nor want to use the liver. You may decide you’d like to have the liver in your stuffing, and that’s fine! My stuffing probably ended up a little skimpier than intended, but the flavors were there nonetheless.

Again, I omitted the mace and substituted nutmeg with ground ginger. I like the lighter flavor of the ginger even as it lends a slight bite to the taste of the chicken.

The other change I made was to add a bit of seasoning to the butter I used for basting the chicken. I use some form of garlic in almost everything I cook, so it was natural to add some garlic powder and Italian seasoning (which is mostly herbs) to the butter to brush over the chicken before popping it into the oven.

Here’s what I ended up with…

Betty’s Roasted Chicken with Almonds

Ingredients

1 whole, fresh roasting chicken

¼ cup fresh almonds, toasted and ground

2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

¼ cup parsley

¼ cup Italian seasoning

Black pepper

½ Tablespoon Ginger, ground

2 T melted butter

Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste

¼ cup gravy

2 oz. white winte

1 T butter rolled in flour

1 lemon, cut up for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

StuffingPlace chicken in shallow roasting pan.

Toast and grind the almonds.

In a medium size bowl, combine bacon, half of ground nuts, parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, and ginger. Put mixture into breast cavity of the chicken.

Combine melted butter with Italian seasoning and garlic powder and baste the chicken.

Put chicken in hot oven for 1½ hours or until done.

For the sauce, combine the gravy, wine, remaining nuts, and butter rolled in flour. Heat through until sauce is thickened.

Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and put on a serving dish. Garnish with lemon.

Pour sauce into a gravy boat or other serving dish and serve.

Chicken ready to serveYou’ll notice I did not pour the sauce over the chicken. I have two reasons for not following orders… First, the sauce is very rich. Second, I knew my hubby and I wouldn’t eat the entire chicken in one sitting, so reheating the chicken with the sauce would prove challenging. Leaving them separate allowed for us to control how much sauce we put on the chicken once it was on our plates. I liked the chicken roasted in this fashion, but I don’t think I’d do the sauce again.

While the dish looked pretty with the lemon garnish, a better use of the lemon might be to use the juice in the sauce to help cut some of the thick richness. I’m discovering that I’m finding most of the sauces too rich for my taste. I realize my preferences may not be yours, so feel free to play around with the recipes I’m sharing with you. That’s part of the fun of cooking, right? Making it your own?

What do you think about sauces? Fan or not?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Have you ordered your copy of my new novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, yet? Elizabeth’s story will release on November 3, 2017. Here’s what it’s about in a nutshell…

Elizabeth's HopeCAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND LOVE

Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

Currently available only at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xuGoNB

Tasty Tuesday: Brown Fricassee of #Chicken #colonial #dinner #cooking #whatsfordinner #recipes

Today’s Tasty Tuesday recipe is pretty easy and pretty good! Fricasseed chicken doesn’t take too long and is quite a nice dish to serve up. At least the way I made it. Let’s first take a look at the original recipe and then I’ll talk about my adaptations and what I’d do differently next time.

Art of CookeryTo make a Brown Fricasey.

You must take your rabbits or chickens and skin them, then cut them into small pieces, and rub them over with yolks of eggs. Have ready some grated bread, a little beaten mace, and a little grated nutmeg mixed together, and then roll them in it: put a little butter into a stew-pan, and when it is melted put in your meat. Fry it of a fine brown, take care they do not stick to the bottom of the pan, then pour the butter from them, and pour in half a pint of brown gravy, a glass of white-wine, a few mushrooms, or two spoonfuls of the pickle, a little salt, (if wanted), and a piece of butter rolled in flour. When it is of a fine thickness dish it up, and send it to table.

Thankfully, I could buy boneless and skinless chicken breasts and simply cut them into bite-sized pieces. If you’d prefer to do your own hunting and skinning, then be sure to include that step in your prep time. <grin> I do recall one time decades ago when my dad, who lived with me and my family, returned from a trip carrying three dead rabbits for me to skin and cook. That was a one-time thing for me, let me tell ya! The rabbit stew I made wasn’t too bad, but the prep was not pleasant since I really had no idea of the proper method for skinning rabbits and cutting them up.

Back to our chicken dish. I didn’t change much to this recipe, and the steps are fairly easy to follow. I didn’t know what “the pickle” meant, but I had some mushrooms so used them.

For the “grated bread” I had some hot dog buns hanging around, so I toasted some and crumbled them. Obviously, you can make your own like I did, or buy them at the store ready to use. If you have seasoned bread crumbs you wouldn’t need to add other seasonings unless you wanted something specific, so that might save you some time and effort as well.

Okay, so here’s the recipe from what I made:

Betty’s Chicken Fricassee

Ingredients

Chicken mixed with egg and bread1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into pieces

1 egg, beaten

1 cup bread crumbs/pieces

1/8 tsp mace

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 T butter

½ cup brown gravy

½ cup white wine

6 mushrooms, sliced or diced

1 T butter rolled in flour

Instructions

Put cut up chicken breasts into a mixing bowl.

Pour egg over chicken and stir to coat evenly.

Chicken simmeringIn a separate bowl, mix bread and seasonings. Add to chicken and stir to coat evenly.

Melt butter in a deep skillet.

Brown chicken, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Add remaining ingredients.

Simmer until sauce thickens and serve.

I’ve mentioned this before but just to be clear, I’ve decided to not use mace so much as they did back then. It’s a very strong spice, to my taste, and so I know that if/when I make this again I will use milder herbs and spices instead of the mace and nutmeg. Also, instead of the brown gravy I used this time, I’ll likely use a cup of beef bouillon to simmer the chicken and flavor the sauce.

What do you think? Sound like something you’d like to try?

One more thing! I’m thrilled to share that my new novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, is now up for pre-order! Elizabeth’s story will release on November 3, 2017. This prequel novella for the A More Perfect Union historical romance series shares the longed-for story of how Emily and Frank find themselves at 6’s and 9’s at the beginning of Emily’s Vow. I’ve been sharing it with my newsletter subscribers all year, one chapter at a time. But finally her story will be available to a larger audience! Here’s what it’s about in a nutshell…

Elizabeth's HopeCAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND LOVE

Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

Currently available only at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xuGoNB

That’s my news for this week! Until next time!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Dressed Crab #colonial #dinner #cooking #seafood #crab #whatsfordinner #IARTG

My Tasty Tuesday recipe today is the last one for any kind of fish or seafood. But it’s definitely not least in my book! I love crab, so I’ve been looking forward to sampling this one on how “To dress a Crab.” I do believe Mrs. Glasse was on to something…

Art of CookeryTo dress a Crab.

Having taken out the meat, and cleansed it from the skin, put it into a stew-pan, with half a pint of white-wine, a little nutmeg, pepper, and salt, over a slow fire. Throw in a few crumbs of bread, beat up one yolk of an egg with one spoonful of vinegar, throw it in, then shake the sauce pan round a minute, and serve it up on a plate.

Simple and straightforward recipe for crab, right? Really, it pretty much is with a few nuances that I needed to consider.

First, how much crab meat? Second, lump or claw or both? Knowing that in the 18th and even 19th centuries nothing was ever wasted, I can answer the second question first: both kinds of crab would have been thrown into the pot. But how much? Given the other measurements in the recipe, and how much I thought would be appropriate, I decided on one pound. Specifically, eight ounces of claw and eight of lump crab already picked and prepared from my local grocery store. After all, I live in northern Alabama and there is not much opportunity to get fresh crab around here except packed and shipped in from the Philippines (apparently).

Next the nutmeg and pepper seasonings made me pause. Both are spices, obviously, but wouldn’t the nutmeg overpower the delicate crab flavor? I love crab, so I wouldn’t want to overshadow its taste. I’d rather enhance it. So I decided to stick with my trusty seafood seasoning and only use a small amount to bolster the crab. As I’ve said before, I don’t cook with salt, so that was an easy item to cross off.

The crumbs of bread isn’t specified as to how much either. But after some thought, I chose to not use any because I don’t much enjoy breading in my crab cakes so I reasoned I’d enjoy the crab more without the crumbs. Turns out I was right to leave them out. Here’s what I ended up with…

Betty’s Dressed Crab

 

Ingredients
Ingredients ready to use

Ingredients 

8 oz. lump crab meat

8 oz. claw crab meat

4 oz. white wine

½ T seafood seasoning

1 egg

1 T white vinegar

 

Simmering Crab
Crab meat ready to cook

Instructions 

Put crab meat into a sauce pan.

Add the wine and seafood seasoning; stir to combine.

Heat through on medium heat.

Beat together the egg and vinegar. Stir into the crab meat.

Cook until the egg is done. Serve hot.

DinnerThis was excellent and we’ll definitely enjoy this one again! It’s easy to make and healthy to boot. I served it with spinach cooked like I did for the Spinach and Eggs recipe and corn on the cob. It was a light and delicious supper for a warm Saturday evening.

Have you been enjoying these forays into old but new recipes? Next week we’ll move into a series of poultry recipes, including one for duck (should I be worried about that one since I’ve only ever cooked one in my life?). I’ve been enjoying the challenge and the insights I’ve gained from analyzing each of them. I’ve also learned more about my likes and dislikes, and just how patient my husband is with my wild ideas. Until next week… happy eating!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

SamanthsSecretCOVERIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal in the port city Charles Town, South Carolina.

Midwife and healer, Samantha McAlester returns from the front lines to find Charles Town under British siege and the town’s new doctor at war with its citizens.

Dr. Trent Cunningham intends to build a hospital staffed solely with educated doctors. What he doesn’t need is a raven-haired charlatan spooning out herbs and false promises to his patients, while tempting him at every turn.

Then a mutual friend develops a mysterious infection. Trenton is stumped. Samantha suspects the cure but knows treatment will expose her long-guarded secret, risking all she holds dear… including Trenton.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1akvryM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HkamyG

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1AVKyna

iBooks: http://apple.co/1BOdiiB

Google: http://bit.ly/1Dqj7tF

Tasty Tuesday: Fried Fish w/ Shrimp Sauce #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #shrimp #whatsfordinner #IARTG

Today’s Tasty Tuesday post is all about frying fish, with a bonus shrimp recipe thrown in for good measure. There are a couple of things you should know going into today’s recipe.

The first is that I don’t fry much of anything. I’ve never had very good success with frying, no matter what it is. I don’t know why but it’s been a consistent thing for me since I was in 4-H way back in high school. For a pitch-in dinner I decided to make fried chicken like my mom and grandmom made. Boy did it look pretty, all glistening and golden brown. I took it to the dinner, feeling pretty good about my contribution, until the first bite revealed it wasn’t done inside. Talk about embarrassed and upset! That was my first ever attempt at frying, and it hasn’t gotten much better with age and experience.

When I made the schedule of recipes to try, I deliberately added this one to see if a different approach would help me make a decent dish. I even chose the simplest batter recipes rather than breading and such, figuring it would be easy and still yummy. But again I was wrong.

I’ll get into why after we look at the specific recipe that Hannah Glasse recommends:

Art of CookeryTo Dress Fish

Observe always in the frying of any sort of fish: first, that you dry your fish very well in a clean cloth, then do your fish in this manner: beat up the yolks of two or three eggs, according to your quantity of fish; take a small pastry brush and put the egg on, shake some crumbs of bread and flour mixt over the fish, and then fry it. Let the stew-pan you fry them in be very nice and clean, and put in as much beef dripping, or hog’s lard, as will almost cover your fish: and be sure it boils before you put in your fish. Let it fry quick, and let it be of a fine light brown, but not too dark a colour. Have your fish-slice ready, and if there is occasion turn it: when it is enough, take it up, and lay a coarse cloth on a dish on which lay your fish, to drain all the grease from it….

Some love fish in batter; then you must beat an egg fine, and dip your fish in just as you are going to put it in the pan; or as good a batter as any, is a little ale and flour beat up, just as you are ready for it, and dip the fish, to fry it.

Sounds simple enough, right? Really, it does. Only for me it has remained out of my abilities to pull off. In order to better understand what was expected, I delved into my ever handy Joy of Cooking cookbook to see how they recommended frying fish. After all, Ms. Glasse left a few things rather vague in her recipe. Like, what exactly is a fish-slice anyway? And how much beef/hog fat is required, or rather what is a present day substitute?

A fish slice is essentially what I know as a spatula, which is what I used to lift and drain off most of the grease before placing it on a plate to serve. As for the cooking fat, the cookbook recommended using a mix of cooking oil and butter, especially for thicker/larger fish fillets. My catfish fillets were of good size, so I did add a tablespoon or so of butter to the pan, but it’s not required apparently.

Now, another thing you should consider is that I have never been fond of the taste of catfish. So that may be playing into my less than enthusiastic response to this endeavor. But the man at the seafood/fish counter said it was the best for frying that he had fresh, so I went with it. I hoped that cooking it differently might help me like it.

As I mentioned, I decided to try the batter techniques instead of breading. She didn’t say it, but I think adding some seasoning to the batter would make the fish taste better. I may be wrong about that though! Do follow her directions to whip the ale and flour together just as you’re ready to dip your fish because the flour settles out quickly! (Lesson learned, that!)

Another thing I figured out is that I probably should have cut up the fillets into smaller slices to make it easier and quicker to fry them brown and done. Like I said, this is not something I normally do. Perhaps I should have sought out guidance from several friends I know who are better cooks than I am before attempting this one. Another lesson learned, right?

Here’s what I ended up with as a recipe:

Cooked filletsBetty’s Fried Fish

Ingredients:

Egg batter: 1 egg, beaten, seasoned to taste

Beer batter: ½ cup flour (seasoned); enough beer/ale to make a light batter.

Fish fillets, cut into manageable pieces

Instructions:

Heat cooking oil in a heavy skillet, enough to half cover your fillets.

When the oil is hot, dip fillets in desired batter and add to pan. Let fry until bottom half is light brown and turn over to cook the other side. This usually only takes a few minutes per side, but watch for the fish to be “enough.”

Remove fish to paper towel lined plate or platter, depending on quantity being cooked, to absorb the grease from the fillets. (Note: You may want to transfer the fillets to a serving dish and keep it warm and covered if you’re cooking a larger quantity of fish than the two fillets I did.)

Serve hot.

The other recipe I made to accompany the fish was some shrimp sauce. It’s a really easy recipe but it needed some tweaking too. Here’s Mrs. Glasse’s recipe:

Shrimp Sauce

Take half a pint of shrimps, wash them very clean, put them in a stew-pan with a spoonful of fish-lear, or anchovy-liquor, a pound of butter melted thick, boil it up for five minutes, and squeeze in half a lemon; toss it up, and then put it in your cups or boats.

Now, half a pint of shrimp and one pound of butter? I could almost hear my arteries hardening. I’ve made shrimp many times, usually steaming it but sometimes sautéing it in a stir-fry dish. I also felt like it needed a bit of spice to perk up the flavors. I did not use the fish sauce she recommends, mainly because I have developed an aversion to the smell of it let alone the taste. So here’s what I went with, and it did make a nice accompaniment to the fish:

Sauteing Shrimp for Shrimp SauceBetty’s Shrimp Sauce

Ingredients:

½ lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 T Old Bay seasoning

Splash of lemon juice

Instructions:

Melt butter in small sauce pan.

Add olive oil and seasoning, stirring to combine.

Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp are pink.

Add lemon juice and heat through before serving.

I’m thinking the next time I want some fried fish, I’ll head to a restaurant. Hubby and I agreed we didn’t much enjoy the results of my attempt so the fish won’t be repeated in my kitchen. The shrimp sauce more likely will be, since it’s easy and fairly healthy, too. So tell me if you enjoy fried fish and if so do you prepare it for yourself? Or head to the nearest seafood house like me?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1COKdqg

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZHT9Pl

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1zlf2Vk

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Google: http://bit.ly/1ocTIfL

Tasty Tuesday: On Hold for a While #colonial #recipes #hiatus #IARTG

Tasty Tuesdays are a highlight of my week, and I hope they are for you too. After my recent surgery, it’s become necessary to scale back on my writing and all activities actually. Turns out the damage done to my rotator cuff was more extensive than the MRI revealed. The surgeon did a fantastic job of fixing it, but now my right arm is in a sling that immobilizes the arm. For 4-5 weeks! So I’m sadly going to have to pause in posting my cooking blogs for one month. But never fear! I’ll pick up again the end of August right where we left off: various ways to cook fish, especially salmon, duck, and lobster as soon as I’m physically capable of whipping up something delicious, both figuratively and literally!

One last thought. Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

Happy reading and I hope your summer has been fantastic!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Evelyn’s Promise is on sale until July 31. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

Evelyn's PromiseThe fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Determined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Adjusting to Post-surgery Limits #writerslife #amwriting #planningfortheworst #hopingforthebest #IARTG

I promised I’d be back, and here I am. The shoulder surgery went well but ended up being more extensive than hoped. The rotator cuff was torn like an onion, one layer at a time, until only 10% of it was intact. The surgeon grafted it back together and otherwise cleaned up the shoulder. I have staples in the outside area of the top of the shoulder and widespread greenish-yellow bruising. Pain was pretty intense to begin with, but has lessened day by day. So instead of wearing a shoulder immobilizer for 1 day I need to wear it for 4-5 weeks. Of course, it’s on my right shoulder/arm, which is my dominant hand. Challenges abound as a result but I’m determined to make some progress with my writing despite the limitations.

It’s amazing how much we use each body part without thinking twice about it. Until it’s injured or unavailable to use, that is. I’ve been on Percocet pain killer and a muscle relaxant since the surgery, but as of today am switching to using Aleve instead to manage the discomfort. I want and need a clear head to write and revise. I think it was Hemingway who once said, “write drunk, revise sober.” I’d rather be sober for both, personally!

I’m going to keep today’s post short so I’m not overdoing my arm and thus my shoulder. I merely wanted to let you all know that I came through the operation without any complications.

One last thing. Thanks for being there and reading my stories as well as my blog. I appreciate it!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Like I said, Evelyn’s Promise is on sale through July 31. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

Evelyn's PromiseThe fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Determined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Tasty Tuesday: Fish Types and Cooking Techniques #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #shellfish #IARTG

Tasty Tuesday time! Today we’re talking about the kinds of fish and shellfish colonial cooks had access to and what they did with them. Let’s start with some general observations about the kinds of fish and shellfish Hannah Glasse talked about preparing. We need to keep in mind that The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, while printed in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1805 by Applewood Books of Bedford, Massachusetts, is based upon earlier cookbooks from England, so not everything we read from Mrs. Glasse will be available to the colonial cook. They had to wing it at times based on the available foods in their region.

Art of CookeryThe Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy includes the following fish and shellfish receipts by title, which gives us a good overview of both the kinds of fish she had access to and how she prepared them:

  • To Dress Fish
  • Lobster Sauce
  • Shrimp Sauce
  • To make Anchovy Sauce
  • To dress a Brace of Carp
  • To stew a Brace of Carp
  • To fry Carp
  • To bake Carp – I think she really likes this kind of fish…
  • To fry Tenchwhich includes instructions on how to clean and skin the fish, but this fish is not found in America as far as I can tell
  • To boil a Cod’s Head
  • To bake a Cod’s Head
  • To broil Crimp, Cod, Salmon, Whiting or Haddock
  • Oyster Sauce is made thus
  • To dress Little Fish – she notes little fish such as “smelts, roach, &c.” which are not widely available in America
  • To broil Mackerel
  • To boil a Turbot
  • To bake a Turbot
  • To broil Salmon
  • Baked Salmon – I’ll share my take on this next week
  • To broil Mackerel whole
  • To broil Herrings
  • To stew Eels with broth
  • To dress a Pike
  • To broil Haddocks when they are in high Season
  • To broil Cods-Sounds – I had to look this one up. It’s an English dish that features the bladder of the cod fish. Yum?
  • To dress Salmon au Court-Bouillon – Watch for this one on July 25
  • To dress Flat Fish

The list goes on and on! Other kinds of fish dishes she includes use Lampreys, Sturgeon, Cod, Scate (i.e., Skate), Soals (i.e., soles), Lobsters, Crab, Prawns, Craw-Fish (i.e., Crayfish), Oysters, Mussels, and Scollops (i.e., scallops).

Of the kinds of fish she includes, only the following would have been readily available to an American colonial cook: Carp, cod, sole, haddock, pike, eel, mackerel, salmon, etc.

The deep sea fish would have been ordered from afar, either overseas or from the New England fishermen, as would anchovies and flat fish I’d think. I’m not an excerpt on the history and distribution of the various kinds of fish. I tried to figure out what “crimp” are but came up short, for example, so I don’t know what kind of fish it is or whether that species would have been available in the colonies and early America. Any ideas?

Methods of cooking the fish include frying, baking, broiling, and stewing. The number of recipes that call for breading or battering and then frying the fish I found curious, given the inherent risk of fire of such a cooking method. But I guess if you like your fish fried, it’s worth the risk. Also by adding a hot sauce to the fish, the dish would stay hot longer for getting the entrée to table and still being warm for serving. Surely the cooks knew this and that is why so many of the recipes include a heavy sauce? After all, I don’t think they’d want to serve cold fish after it was cooked.

The term “dress” according to the Oxford English Dictionary means the following:

  1. Specific and technical uses. a. To prepare for use as food, by making ready to cook, or by cooking (also intr. = passive); also, to season (food, esp. a salad).

To Mrs. Glasse this may mean frying the fish or adding a sauce. I’ve come to find that all of the sauces tend to be very rich and heavy, and thus complicated to make. I’ll try some of the sauces going forward, but hubby and I have found we’re not such big fans of them so watch for me to simplify and lighten the sauces when I do use them. Since I’m only cooking for two, I needn’t worry about how long the dish needs to stay warm. That’s one of the main advantages we have over the cooking methods and locations of the 18th century. Plus we have microwaves…

Next week I’ll share a salmon recipe with you. I’ve included two on my plan because it’s one of my favorite foods. Trying new ways of preparing an old favorite sounded like a fine idea. We shall see what we think!

Also, Evelyn’s Promise, A More Perfect Union book 4, is on sale through the end of July, so it’s the perfect time to grab your ebook copy for only 99 pennies! Blurb and links below.

What kind of fish is your favorite? How do you prepare it? Talk to me! I love to hear from you!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Like I said, Evelyn’s Promise is on sale for the next week or so. Grab your copy today and feel free to share with your friends and family. Evelyn’s story is one of my favorite in the series!

The fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc