Tag Archives: Young

Day 360: Turkey Soup

Last night while putting away the leftovers from our wonderful Christmas dinner, an important question came up. What are we going to do with the carcass of the duck? Although we’d managed to carve most of the meat from the roast duck there was still meat on the bones. I checked the 1898 New Galt Cook Book and discovered the recipe for Turkey Soup could apply to duck too. Mrs. James Young contributed the recipe.

This afternoon I put the wings, legs, and body of the roast duck in a pot. I tried to break up the bones but they kept springing back so I put the main part in whole. I added 1 quart (4 cups) of water. I turned the heat low and left it to simmer for two hours. I checked on it every half hour or so to make sure the liquid wasn’t boiling away but it was fine. However, in the last half hour a family member wanted to be helpful and added more water. In the end it was fine since the next step involves adding some more liquid. I strained the soup and measured the broth. I put a quart of it into the clean soup pot and added 2 tablespoons rice, 1 onion chopped finely and then tried to figure out how much carrot to use. I started grating the carrot and used about two inches of carrot. The grated carrot eventually added colour to the broth. I left the soup to simmer for another hour and then once again strained the soup. I served the clear duck broth as a starter to our meal of leftovers so I had several tasters.

Mrs. James Young is a familiar name since she contributed so many recipes to this cook book. Margaret McNaught’s sister Frances was one of the editors and lived in the home of her sister and brother-in-law James Young. Although this household was prosperous they seem to have also been frugal. A soup like this fits this image since it uses leftovers but creates a broth suitable for guests.

Most of the tasters couldn’t tell that it was duck. It simply tastes like chicken broth and that it would make a good base for further additions. I’m going to keep the grated carrot trick in mind for future use. It is an easy way to add some colour to a bland looking broth. More and more evidence is showing that chicken soup is actually beneficial in dealing with a cold so we’re keeping the leftover broth on hand for medicinal purposes!

Mrs. James Young

Bones of fowl or turkey, carrot, onion, celery, rice, salt and pepper. This is an excellent way to use the remnants of fowls or turkey on which considerable meat remains. Put in the soup kettle the carcass, and any bits of stuffing or gravy that remains. Pour over it one quart of cold water. Let the bones simmer for two hours (break the bones before putting them into the water). At the end of two hours strain your stock, wash the pot and put back your stock and add to it more stock if you have it, and if not, add boiling water enough to make a good quart, also a slice of carrot grated, a small onion cut fine, a piece of celery (the coarse pieces may be used for soup), and two tablespoonfuls of rice. At the end of an hour strain again, and serve, salt and pepper to taste.


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Day 358: Christmas Drop Cakes

Hanging the Stockings - an illustration from 1898

Hanging the Stockings – an illustration from an 1898 edition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Sometimes people wonder why I don’t plan out what I’m going to make for the entire year or even for a week. The main reason is life. Sometimes things happen that prevent me from making what I think I want to make on a particular day. Today I’d planned to make something to accompany our Christmas Eve meal of appetizers. Instead I got so busy heating all the little bites that I completely forgot to make the recipe. So instead I’m going to try a recipe from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book that fits the evening even better. It’s serendipity! After all tonight is the night that Santa visits and he needs to keep up his strength with regular doses of cookies and milk. Perhaps Mrs. Young‘s recipe for Christmas Drop Cakes in the Cookie section of the cookbook will please him.

Since I don’t have a scale here, I used the internet to find out the equivalents for this recipe. I started by softening 1/4 pound (1/2 cup) of butter. I ended up making it a bit too soft, well, really part of it was semi-liquid. This has happened to me whether I’m using a cook stove, a modern stove or the microwave. Do you think it happened to women in 1898 too? I creamed 1/2 pound (1 cup) of sugar with the butter and then added two beaten large eggs. I mixed in the 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) flour next. I zested more than half a lemon since I forgot it was supposed to be just half a lemon. I cut the lemon, squeezed the juice from half of it into the bowl, and stirred. Unfortunately the local town grocery store was sold out of currants so I used raisins instead since the recipe allows for some adaptation. I added 1/4 pound (1 cup) of golden raisins and was ready to start preparing the pan when I realized I’d forgotten the soda. I put 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a small dish and added just enough hot water so the soda dissolved. I stirred it into the rest of the mixture and then dropped the batter onto greased cookie sheets. I tried to keep them to a 1/4 teaspoon size. I was surprised by the size of the recipe since it makes a small quantity. However this is offset by the tiny size of the cookies. They are very tiny little cookies so it takes a bit of time to spoon them onto the pan. I baked them at 350 F. but wasn’t sure how long to cook them. They are so small I started checking them after 5 minutes to be sure they didn’t burn. I discovered that 7 or 8 minutes was perfect. The dough turned from little blobs to flat spread out cookies. I removed them from the pan to let them cool and then it was time to sample before leaving a plate out for Santa.

Twas the Night Before Christmas - an 1898 book.

Twas the Night Before Christmas – an 1898 version.

Mrs. Young is a bit of a mystery. I know the identity of Mrs. James Young but who is Mrs. Young. There are three widows Mary, Jennie and Grace with the Young surname who are the appropriate age plus there’s Flora married to William; Christina married to Robert; and George Young’s wife Mary. Could it be Katie wife of Walter or Annie wife of William? Or is it Harriet and Albert or Annie and Henry?  I still don’t know who gets credit for this recipe. Santa Claus was already a popular Christmas gift giver and his image appeared in stores, Christmas cards, and advertisements. My father’s father born in 1890 received a book about Santa Claus as a gift when he was quite young. Twas the Night Before Christmas was already a beloved seasonal poem and books with Thomas Nast’s illustrations had clarified the appearance of Santa. I’m not sure when children learned that Santa appreciated milk and cookies.

I’m not sure what makes them Christmas but these “drop cakes” or cookies certainly are a nice change from the heavier Christmas goodies found in this cookbook. I think Santa will like these cookies. My family and I really liked them. My brother had two handfuls, my brother-in-law made appreciative sounds, and we all liked the light taste and texture combined with the hint of lemon. Although the golden raisins worked with the flavour I really should have cut them up. Currants would be better and so would peel. I’m not sure nuts would be as nice but perhaps chopped walnuts would taste good in the cookies. The tiny size makes them easy to eat and the crispy edges combined with the softer middle is cookie bliss. I think Santa will appreciate the lightness of Mrs. Young’s Christmas Drop Cakes. Hopefully he’ll leave some for the rest of us to enjoy again tomorrow.

Mrs. Young

One-half pound flour, one-half pound granulated sugar, a large quarter pound of butter, one-quarter pound currants, two eggs beaten light, juice and rated rind of half a lemon, one-quarter teaspoonful of soda (dissolved with hot water); put fruit in last. About one-quarter of a teaspoonful of batter for one cake, leave a little space between each cake. Drop on a buttered tin and bake. Peel may be used instead of fruit, also nuts.

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Day 357: Preserved Pears with Ginger

Do you ever need something extra to spice things up when preparing a holiday meal or perhaps you need a personal gift for someone who has everything? I’m hoping that Preserved Pears with Ginger will fill both needs even though I’m pushing the limits of seasonality. Pears can be stored to lengthen the season but mine are from outside Ontario. The recipe comes from the Fruit section of The New Galt Cook Book (1898) and was contributed by Mrs. James Young.

I weighed the pears to see how much sugar I would need for this recipe. I had 2 pounds of pears so I needed 1 1/2 pounds of sugar. That means I’m making half the recipe. On first reading this is a very straightforward recipe however, it turns out to be missing some key information. Nowhere does it say how much water to use with the ginger or the sugar. I had another challenge. I’m visiting my parents and it turns out their food scale is only metric that zeros to 1 kg rather than zero! I had to keep running to the computer for conversion information plus try to do the mental gymnastics required to calculate from 1 kg. It is going to be a miracle if this recipe works. I used a chunk of ginger that I hope was about 2 ounces. I peeled it and cut it into small pieces. I put the pieces in a pot and added 2 cups of water. Why two cups of water? It was my best guess as to the amount of water I would need for the sugar. I left it to boil uncovered until the ginger was tender. This took about 15 minutes and some of the water had boiled away but it had a very intense ginger flavour so I felt I was making headway.

While the ginger cooked I attempted to weigh the sugar. I think I managed to get the required 1 1/2 pounds. I put it in the pot with the water and stirred. I cut a lemon in half and set the one half away. With the other half I cut the yellow part of the lemon peel into bits and added them. Next I squeezed the juice from the lemon. I turned on the heat and let the syrup cook. My parents have a gas stove and so of course it started to boil over since it heats quickly. I let it boil for 10 minutes and then turned the heat very low. The direction to set at the back of the stove is a reminder that these recipes come from a time of wood and coal fired cook stoves.

Next I pared the pears and cut them in half lengthwise before removing the core. I put the pears in the syrup and turned the heat back up. I left them to simmer for 15 minutes. They might not be completely tender but I wanted to be cautious. The pears were quite soft to pare so I was worried I’d overcook them and they’d break apart. I put the pears and the liquid in a container but kept one aside for tasting.

Mrs. James Young is a familiar contributor to this cookbook. She is the older sister of one of the editors Fanny McNaught. Maggie McNaught was born in Scotland and came with her parents as a child to live in several Ontario communities. She eventually met and married James Young. He became a prosperous newspaper man, author and politician. Maggie herself was very engaged in the community of Galt and was even a witness in a case involving inadequate care for someone at the Waterloo County House of Refuge (the poorhouse) in nearby Berlin Ontario.

My tasters liked the preserved pears with ginger but thought they’d be even better after they sit for some time to allow the flavours to blend. My father really liked it since he likes ginger. The ginger flavour was subtle unless you bite into a piece of tender ginger. I can’t wait to try this with ice cream in a few days.

Mrs. James Young

To preserve pears with ginger, weigh out three-quarters of a pound of sugar to every pound of pears. Boil four ounces of whole ginger, then add four pounds of sugar and the juice of one lemon, and its yellow peel cut into thin slices, do not use any of the bitter white peel next tot he fruit. Let the syrup cook ten minutes more; then set the syrup at the back of the fire. Peel the fruit , cut each pear in half, removing the flower and core and drop it at once into the hot syrup. This will prevent their turning dark, as they certainly will if exposed to the air after they are peeled.

When you have a kettleful of the pears, cook them until tender. Fill the jars with them, place the cover over lightly, and prepare another kettleful of pears to cook in the syrup. Divide up the slices of lemon peel and pieces of ginger equally among the jars. This is a most delicious and rich preserve, and is especially nice when served like preserved ginger with ice-cream.

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Day 333: Cheese Omelet

What to make today? I’m home from work and not very inspired. I have a craving for cheese something I can’t eat very often. I checked the Cheese section of The New Galt Cook Book (1898) and discovered that I haven’t made Mrs. James Young‘s recipe for Cheese Omelet yet. I’m surprised since I’ve made other omelet recipes but perhaps its due to it being in the cheese section rather than the egg part of the cook book. No matter — it is tonight’s recipe.

I had to read this recipe several times to make sense of it. It lists the ingredients at the beginning but the description of putting it together is very disorganized. I measured 1 cup of bread crumbs into a bowl. Next I added a pinch of baking soda to 2 tablespoons of hot water. I measured slightly less than 2 cups of milk and then added the soda water mixture to the milk. I poured the milk over the bread crumbs. In another bowl I whipped 3 eggs and poured them in too. Finally I added slightly less than 1 tablespoon of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. It was as I was typing this up that I realized the butter was supposed to have been melted. Somehow I mixed that instruction but I probably should have realized it needed to be melted when it didn’t mix in very well. I added 1/2 pound of grated cheese and stirred everything together. I poured the mixture into a greased casserole dish, sprinkled the top with bread crumbs and baked at 375 F. for 20 minutes. I really had no idea how long this should bake but thought I’d start with 20 minutes. I removed the dish of cheese omeletfrom the oven and served myself a portion to taste.

Mrs. James Young is a frequent contributor. She is the former Maggie McNaught who married newspaperman James Young. They were a prosperous and prominent couple.

This version of cheese omelet is quite good. Despite my aversion to eggs I enjoyed this easy supper dish. It is more like a cheese pudding than an omelet but it is surprisingly good considering it contains such simple ingredients as bread crumbs. I’d make this again partly because I don’t have to pay attention to it while it bakes and I get to eat eggs without the taste of eggs. It does surprise me such simple and economical recipe comes from one of the wealthier contributors but Mrs. James Young contributed other frugal foods.

Mrs. James Young

One cup bread crumbs dry and fine, two scant cups fresh milk, one-half pound dry old cheese grated, three eggs, one small tablespoonful butter, pepper and salt, pinch soda, eggs whipped very light, butter melted, a pinch of soda dissolved in hot water and stirred into the milk, soak the crumbs in the milk, beat into these the eggs, butter, seasoning, and lastly the cheese, butter a baking dish and pour into it, strew dry bread crumbs on the top and bake in a rather quick oven until delicately brown. Serve at once.

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Day 326: Mushrooms Broiled

There are a few recipes in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) that I’ve saved for days when I’m tired or uninspired. Today is such a day. My work schedule involves working seven days in a row and then just three the following week. Today is day six but I have tomorrow off so that I can go speak to the Historical Society of St. Boniface & Maryhill. I want to test out my presentation tonight so I”m going to make a simple recipe, at least I hope it is a simple recipe, called Mushrooms Broiled. It was contributed by Mrs. James Young.

The challenging part of this recipe is figuring out how to “broil . . . over a clear fire” when I don’t have the kind of stove typical in 1898. This is still the era of coal or wood fired cook stoves so it would be a bit easier to broil. This is when I miss my parents’ gas stove. Instead I’ll be using the broiling element in the oven of my electric stove.

The first step was preparing the mushrooms. I “gathered” the mushrooms at the grocery store rather than in the wild as indicated in this recipe. Although I’ve eaten wonderful wild puffballs and morels they were gathered by experienced people who kept their harvesting locations secret. I bought several whole mushrooms of the typical cultivated type available in grocery stores. They were nice and fresh so I pared them and although I hated to do it, I broke off the stems. I dipped the naked stemless mushroom caps in some melted butter and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I moved the oven rack close to the top of the oven and preheated the broiler of my stove — a feature I rarely use. Next I put the prepared mushrooms on the broiler pan and slid it into the oven. I kept a close eye on them and pulled the pan out and turned them after two minutes under the broiler. The other side got the same treatment before I pulled the pan out and put the broiled mushrooms on toast on a plate. I was ready to taste.

Mrs. James Young is a familiar contributor to the cook book. She shared approximately 45 recipes covering all sorts of categories. She was born Margaret “Maggie” McNaught in Scotland in 1837 and married James Young in 1858 at her parents’ home in Brantford. She lived in Galt from then on until her death at 90 in 1927. Mrs. James Young was well-connected in the community since her father was a manufacturer and her husband owned a newspaper and was politically active. She was active also in the community belonging to various women’s groups.

Mushrooms Broiled weren’t quite as good as I’d hoped. I’d expected them to cook down more. Instead they were still very firm but broiled on top. I also didn’t use enough seasoning. Cultivated mushrooms don’t seem to have enough flavour for this quick cooking style. I think there’s potential for this recipe and I’m glad I was reintroduced to broiling, a technique I rarely think of using when I cook. I’ll try it again and at least this showed me just how many different cooking styles and ingredients were in use in 1898 in Galt Ontario.

Mrs. James Young

Gather them fresh, pare and cut off the stems, dip them in melted butter, season with salt and pepper, broil them on both sides over a clear fire. Serve on toast.

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Day 306: Pumpkin Pie

Now that Halloween is past it seems like pumpkins are also passe but not in 1898. Just like the United States in 2014, Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving in November not in October. So it is fitting that I am making a Pumpkin Pie from scratch today using Mrs. James Young‘s recipe in the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.

I peeled a pie pumpkin and cut it into chunks. I put them in a saucepan with a little bit of water and left it simmer for hours. I kept topping up the water until it had cooked for four hours. I put the pulp through a colander and measured. I had exactly two cups. I boiled 2 1/2 cups of milk and then added it bit by bit to the pumpkin pulp. Once it was blended I added 1/2 tablespoon of ginger, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon. Next I mixed 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of whipping cream, and 5 eggs. I poured it in a pie crust and baked at 350 F. for about 30 minutes. I lost track of my baking time since we changed the clocks for daylight savings as it baked. I let the pie cool a little but we couldn’t resist for long.

Mrs. James Young is a familiar name now as she contributed so many recipes.

This was a very good pie. There was just one piece left after four of us ate our fill. More to come tomorrow(laptop battery dying).


Mrs. James Young

The first essential is a good, sweet, field pumpkin. Peel it and cut it in pieces and cook it very slowly for four or five hours with only water enough to keep it from burning. This slow cooking makes the pumpkin rich and sweet. When it is done, mash it and strain it through a colander, and to two cupfuls of strained pumpkin add slowly two and a half cupfuls of boiling milk, half a teaspoonful of salt, one dessertspoonful of ginger , one of cinnamon, one of mace and one of nutmeg. Beat well five eggs, stir them in a cupful of cream and add one cup sugar to sweeten the whole. Line tin pie plates with plain pastry, brush it over with the white of an egg, crimp an ornamental border of puff paste around the pie and fill it with the pumpkin custard. bake the pies in a moderately hot oven till they are firm in the centre and brown. This makes three pies.

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Day 279: Omelet with Bacon

I don’t like eggs and yet every so often when I want a quick supper I’ll make my version of scrambled eggs. Basically I cover up the taste and texture of eggs by frying up some bacon, onions, mushrooms, cheese and herbs along with the eggs and milk. Then I slap it between two slices of toast. I think the closest recipe in the 1898 New Galt Cook Book to my kind of eggs is one contributed by Mrs. James Young for Omelet with Bacon.so I’m making it tonight.

I cut the recipe in half. I have a European deli across the street and I can buy chunks of bacon — the style available in 1898. I had some in my fridge so I cut pieces until I had 1 ounce. I chopped it into small bits and put it in a frying pan. I turned on the heat while I mixed up 2 eggs with some milk and seasoning. Once the bacon was cooked I added the eggs and then started cooking the omelet. For some reason the recipe mentions baking but I’m assuming Mrs. Young is frying her omelet. Once it was ready I put it on a plate with some toast. It was time to eat.

I’ve talked many times about Mrs. James Young since she contributed so many recipes for this cook book. The former Margaret “Maggie” McNaught was one of the editors along with her sister Frances “Fanny”.  Maggie’s husband James was involved in politics and journalism.

Although I prefer my loaded version the addition of good bacon improves an omelet, at least for me. Select your bacon carefully and then try this recipe. I liked the idea of frying the bits of bacon rather than strips that need to be broken up afterwards. The Young household included Margaret and James, and Frances plus a servant so this was probably something the two sisters enjoyed as a simple lunch.

Mrs. James Young

For four eggs take two ounces of breakfast bacon, cut it into small dice, cook it until light brown, and mix with your eggs before baking.

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