Way back when, well actually, way, way back when, in Colonial America, there was a common practice brought from Europe. Two single people courting in bed was called bundling. Yup, you read that right. Our history is not as prudish as they want us to believe. Even the Amish practiced bundling. Some say that the practice continued in some areas into the 20th Century.
Bundling took place in bed, with clothes on and a barrier between the occupants. The boy and girl were expected to talk into the night. To get to know each other – away from the family members and friends.
The barrier typically was anything from a sheet, a board or pillows. How well these “precautions” prevented any hanky panky is a curiosity at best. If an uncomfortable car seat hasn’t stopped enamored couples from fooling around in more recent times, do we think a board will keep a couple so inclined apart?
Want to know more? Here are some great references, two links and two books available on Amazon.
Colonial Williamsburg https://www.history.org/foundation/journal/holiday07/court.cfm
Little Known Facts About Bundling In the New World, A. Monroe Aurand, Jr. 1938 http://amzn.to/2phv1Vn
Bundling; Its Origin, Progress and Decline in America, by Henry Reed Stiles, May 17, 2012 http://amzn.to/2oMO8VM
Looking for something new and different to serve over the holidays? Why just drink eggnog when you can eat it too?! Try it and let this eggnog addict know what you think.
|2 ¾ cups Sifted Cake Flour
|1 T Baking Powder
||1 ½ cups Eggnog
|¼ tsp Nutmeg
||1 T Rum Flavoring
|¾ cup Butter
||1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
|1 ¼ cup Sugar
||1 tsp Salt
- Sift flour and measure
- Add salt, baking powder and nutmeg and sift again
- Cream butter with sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy
- One at a time, add eggs while beating each one
- Add dry ingredients alternating with eggnog and rum
- Beat until smooth
- Take 10 inch pan, brush with oil and sprinkle nuts on the bottom of pan
- Put batter in pan
- Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes
- Cool for 10 minutes and remove cake from pan
I suggest decorating with buttercream icing or a cream cheese icing.
Plum Pudding is a delightful English Christmas tradition dating back to medieval England. Have you experienced such a delicacy on a Christmas past? Once you do, you will be a believer. Once you serve it to friends and family you will obtain fame.
Surprisingly, Plum Pudding does not contain plums. Nor is it a pudding. Raisins were called plums in medieval times and cakes were referred to as puddings. Words may have changed meanings, however, the enduring popularity of this dessert is all that matters.
You can purchase Plum Pudding for sale in specialty stores in the USA and online from England and USA. I have included a sample of options for you to check out. Now once you try this decadent dessert you may find yourself a touch adventurous and want to make it yourself. You will find one of the recipes for Plum Pudding and Hard Sauce below. Savourer!
A Few Locations offering Plum Pudding for purchase
Vermont Country Store (Hard sauce too) http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/
English Tea Store www.englishteastore.com
Jolly Grub www.jollygrub.com
Recipe for Plum Pudding
|1 ½ cups sifted flour
½ t soda
¼ t salt
½ t cinnamon
¼ t ginger
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t allspice
½ c bread crumbs – dry
1 c brown sugar – pack firm
1 t lemon peel
1 t orange peel
½ lb. ground suet (Crisco / shortening may be a good substitute)
|1 c plumped currants
1 c plumped raisins
½ c chopped candied citron
½ c chopped candied lemon peel
1 c chipped apple
½ c chopped nuts
¾ c milk
1 t vanilla
1 t rum extract
- Measure flour after sifting
- Resift flour with soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice
- Add and mix well – bread crumbs, brown sugar, lemon peel, orange peel, suet (or substitute) fruits and nuts
- Beat eggs
- Add to eggs milk, vanilla and rum
- Stir moist ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix all well.
- Pour into well-greased – one 2 quart mold (or two 1 quart)
- Fill to 1 inch from top
- Place lid on mold tightly
- Place mold ion rack in a stock pot
- Add boiling water to fill about ½ way up the mold
- Cover the kettle and steam for 4 to 6 hours according to the size of the mold. Watch the water level and add as needed.
- Remove from mold
- Some people serve it hot. Others leave in the fridge for a week or more first. Traditionally these cakes are made a year in advance to allow the flavors to mingle. Yummy!
How to serve
Plum pudding should be served hot. Add Hard Sauce on the side as people will have different tastes.
For a dramatic presentation, try to flambé. Drip some brandy or rum on the plum pudding and light it with a match. The alcohol will light and burn off. It is a pretty sight.
|2 c Powdered sugar
10 T Butter (softened)
|2 T Rum or brandy
¼ tsp salt
Beat the powdered sugar and the butter until fluffy. Then add in the salt and brandy (or rum). Chill before serving.
Only a few more days until election day! The drama will be over. Or, will it only just begin. Either way, the Abraham Lincoln Election Cake may be just the thing to get us through it all.
The recipe was collected by my mother or grandmother without any history. Whether Mary Todd made one for Abe or perhaps a baker wanted to commemorate the day, this is a tasty and fun way to watch the votes come in. Savourer!
Abraham Lincoln Election Cake
- 1 cup currants, soaked overnight in 1/2 cup brandy (use closed container)
- 1 T sugar
- 3/4 cup milk, scalded
- 1 yeast cake
- 1/4 c warm water
- 1 c unsifted flour
- 1/2 c butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 3/4 C sifted flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp mace
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Add 1 tablespoon sugar to the scalded milk
- Cool the scalded milk
- Dissolve the crumbled yeast in the warm water and add to the milk
- Add the unsifted flour and beat until well blended
- Let rise in warm place until it has doubled in bulk (About 1 hour)
- Cream butter and sugar until very light
- Sift together flour, salt, mace and cinnamon
- Add egg to creamed mixture and beat until light
- Stir in lemon rind and lemon juice
- Add yeast mixture, beat
- Add drained currants, retain brandy
- Sift remaining flour and add to batter
- Add brandy and beat well
- Place better in well-greased loaf pan (9″ X 5″)
- Clover with cloth and place in a warm place
- Batter will rise until it doubles in size. May take 4-6 hours as batter rises slowly.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees
- Cool briefly and remove from pan
- Decorate with orange or lemon glaze. (Juice, rind and powered sugar)
Back in the day you might be busy cooking or baking one evening or Sunday afternoon only to discover, “Oh no, we are out of _____”. There was no running to the 24 hour Walmart, Seven Eleven store, or a Quick Mart at the corner gas station. See, in our not so distant past, workers were home with their families at night and on Sundays. Never fear, you had a few ways to remedy the situation outside of delaying or scraping the project.
One, run over to a neighbors and borrow “a cup of sugar”. It works as they borrowed a stick of butter from you two weeks ago. And, you actually know your neighbors by name.
Should your neighbor be out, the weather is bad or perhaps it is not a polite time of day to visit, a substitution may be available for the missing ingredient. Gathered below is a list of a few of the more popular substitutions.
Please send me other substitutions to add to our growing list. Avoiding the modern version of “running out to the store” is a good thing. Who wants to repeat a store visit you just made?! There is so much involved.
- Pack up the kids in the car
- Drive thru traffic
- Find a parking space
- Get a cart that is not stuck to others
- Find your item
- Buy items not on your list
- Stand in line for 10 – 15 minutes to check out
- Find where you parked the car
- Drive home
- Unpack car
Yikes! I need a nap after all that…..
||1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
||1 C milk and one of the following
1 T lemon juice
1 T vinegar
1 C yogurt, plain (use enough milk to make 1 cup
||One cup sifted all-purpose flour after removing 2 T
|Chocolate – unsweetened
||1 T butter and 3 T unsweetened cocoa
||2 t all-purpose flour
||1 C granulated sugar
||1 C milk and 1 1/2 T to not equal more than 1 C
||1 C milk and 1/3 C butter to not equal more than 1 C
||1 tsp dried herbs
||1 1/4 C granulated sugar
||1 T distilled white vinegar
||1/3 C nonfat dry milk and 3/4 C water
||1/2 C evaporated milk and 1/2 C water
||3/4 C granulated sugar
||12 oz. canned mushrooms
||1 T prepared mustard
||3 T softened butter and yogurt to equal not more than 1 C
||1 C granulated sugar
||1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar – except in baking
||1 1/2 C tomato sauce plus 1 1/2 cups water
||3 oz. tomato past plus 1/2 C water
||1 C buttermilk
It almost tastes, clean. Smooth. Less acid. For me, this is a truly great relaxing cup of coffee. A true ahhhhh experience.
Back in the day, Marshall Field’s Company had a gourmet coffee section featuring what is referred to as pour over coffee. My mother was in heaven. I on the other hand, was in highschool and mildly impressed with the project in the house. My friends though had another view. Not only did they like to chat with my mom, (Yes, really – she was remarkable.) they loved her coffee.
After a few decades of coffee makers, I returned to my roots. The coffee made by this method is not only the best tasting in my opinion, but less acidy. Less acid seems to agree with my stomach. The harsher coffee encourages a little heartburn and acid reflux issues for me.
There are always ways to dress up or fancy up a coffee making method and this one is no exception. Links below are to some sites that demonstrate different things you can do or add to impress guests with your coffee expertise. I will give you my mom’s simple method for those days when you just want to make some real ahhhh coffee and not fuss.
Tools to Gather
- Tea kettle
- Coffee pot or coffee thermos. I use an 8 cup pot.
- Coffee filter
- Measuring cup – large and prefer plastic that will handle heat. Mine holds 4 cups.
- Coffee beans
- Filtered or spring water
- Coffee cup and the desired fixings.
Thermal Stainless 10-Cup Gourmet 10 Cup
- Heat water in kettle. Take off the burner just before the whistle. You want the water hot, but not too hot.
- Grind your favorite coffee beans. I prefer medium grounds.
- Place funnel in the coffee pot or coffee thermos
- Place the filter in the funnel
- Place the ground coffee in the filter that is in the funnel. The amount is according to your preference. I use the same amount that I use in the coffee maker.
- Measure out 4 cups of water into the measuring cup
- Pour the water over the grounds slowly in a circular motion around the funnel. Do not just pour straight down.
- Refill the measuring cup half way.
- Repeat the pouring over the coffee once the water appears to have flowed thru the ground beans.
- Once the dripping is complete, remove the funnel and close up the pot or the thermos.
- Pour yourself a cup and enjoy.
A single cup system is also available. Once you have one cup, expect to want more.
I purchase my supplies and system from Miletta. They have fun systems in different sizes and styles. https://shoponline.melitta.com
Gourmet Coffee Sites to check out while drinking that smooth brew.
Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/06/make-better-pourover-coffee-how-pourover-works-temperature-timing.html
Starbucks 1912 Pike: https://1912pike.com/
Prima Coffee Equipment: https://prima-coffee.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-pour-over-coffee-brewing
Bet you like knowing what is in your food, just as I do. I prefer to avoid all those nasty things on the label I can’t pronounce. My mom had a recipe for English Muffins which fulfills a desire for yummy food without the chemicals. Just think of all the great breakfast sandwiches and little pizzas you can make – now a little healthier. Watch for ideas on some of these recipes to be posted soon!
How old is this recipe? Note the reference to hand mixing or using a mixer. Don’t see that too much around here anymore. Enjoy!
English Muffins – Serves 18
1 1/2 C Milk, 1/4 C Butter, 2 T Sugar, 1 Tsp Salt, 1 pkg Dry Yeast, 4 1/2 C Flour, 1 Egg, 1 C Flour, 2 C or so Corn Meal
- Heat in a saucepan until very warm (130 degrees F) 1 1/2 C Milk and 1/4 C Butter (or margarine)
- In Large mixer bowl, combine 2 T Sugar, 1 Tsp Salt, 1 pkg Dry Yeast, and 1 1/2 C Flour.
- With mixer at low-speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients.
- Increase speed and beat 2 minutes or beat vigorously by hand.
- Beat in – 1 Egg and 1 C Flour.
- With spoon, add 2 C Flour or enough to make stiff dough.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead just enough until well mixed, about 2 minutes.
- Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning once.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down
- Turn onto lightly floured surface. Cover with bowl 15 minutes and let dough rest.
- Meanwhile, place cornmeal in a pie plate.
- Roll Dough about 3/8″ thick.
- Cut into 3″ circles (18)
- Dip both sides of each in the cornmeal and place on cookie sheets.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 45 min)
- Brush large skillet with salad oil and heat to medium hot.
- Cook muffins on each side or until brown.