Facts About the Art of Cookery In America

Food/Cooking - Cooking
By: hummingbirdee    
23-Nov-2012

Introduction:The art of cookery is a household activity that has been going on for centuries. We have a simple task compared to others living in a different era.

  • 01

    Transition from Hearth to Stove

    The art of cookery has evolved and there have been several transitions over the years. It probably all started over an open fire. Eventually, cooks were stirring things up under the hearth. Then there was the transition from hearth to stove, which changed the entire history of home cooking. Even stoves have changed over time. They have gone from wood and coal to gas and electricity.

  • 02

    Pots and Pans

    The pots and pans were heavy back in the day when the art of cookery was moving from hearth to stove. The pots and pans were made of iron or copper. The Dutch oven was popular and still is today for some outdoor cooking. Early settlers in America used the Dutch oven as they moved across the land. It was the most important cooking instrument during that time. Anything could be cooked in one.

  • 03

    Recipes

    When people came to the Massachusetts Bay colony, they had their own recipes that were handed down in the family or shared by friends. There were even a few recipe books that came from England. The first cookbook in America was published in 1796, entitled Amelia Simmon's American Cookery. This book was helpful because Americans used ingredients not common to Europeans. Indian corn was important to colonial cooks and this ingredient was in many of the recipes in this first American cookbook.

  • 04

    Early Favorites

    The art of cookery to early Americans included making favorites such as Indian Pudding, Johnny cake and Indian slapjacks. There was also the wonderful invention of what colonials called "Pompkin Puddings." These puddings were baked in crusts and included the ingredients of eggs, cream, sugar and spices mixed with stewed pumpkin. Other kinds of squash were used as well. Later, they would be called "pies."

  • 05

    Cookery Trivia

    Early cooks did not measure ingredients and oven temperature was done by sensory perception.

    A slapjack was a cake that was fried on a griddle.

    Shortening was a mixture of half butter and half lard and was a common ingredient in the Amelia Simmons cookbook.

    Amelia Simmons introduced a chemical leaven for dough using potassium carbonate extracted from the ash of burnt wood called "pearlash." It made baked goods light and soft. Pearlash was used in early cookie and gingerbread recipes.




Final Thoughts

There are only four known copies of the original edition Amelia Simmons cookbook that survived.




Comments

  • goodselfme 11/24/2012 Flag This Comment

    I like your list so much. We have evolved to actually do our earth harm and our bodies with what we have transitioned from. Well done list with interesting facts.

  • Jeanniemaries 11/23/2012 Flag This Comment

    Speaking of #5 I saw vintage recipes, just this week, where they didn't even mention they put in flour. They listed all the other stuff. The flour was implied by saying make it a soft dough or make it a stiff dough.

  • penelope7 11/23/2012 Flag This Comment

    Wow. This is such an interesting subject, something one wouldn't think about but fine very helpful when they read. I learned something and thoroughly enjoyed the Art of Cookery in America 5*.

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