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Keith Dotson | Catching Shadows

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH DOTSON

How to cook a turkey, according to the first American cookbook, published 1796

How to cook a turkey, according to the first American cookbook, published 1796

Here’s a little turkey cooking advice by Amelia Simmons, from her 1796 cookbook succinctly titled American Cookery, or The Art Of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry And Vegetables, and The Best Modes Of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds Of Cakes, From The Imperial Plumb To Plain Cake. Adapted To This Country, and All Grades Of Life.

American Cookery, published in 1796, written by Amelia Simmons
American Cookery, published in 1796, written by Amelia Simmons

Hen Turkey, is higher and richer flavor’d, easier fattened and plumper—they are no odds in market.

To stuff and roast a Turkey, or Fowl

One pound soft wheat bread, 3 ounces beef suet, 3 eggs, a little sweet thyme, sweet marjoram, pepper and salt, and some add a gill of wine; fill the bird therewith and sew up, hang down to a steady solid fire, basting frequently with salt and water, and roast until a steam emits from the breast, put one third of a pound of butter into the gravy, dust flour over the bird and baste with the gravy; serve up with boiled onions and cramberry-sauce, mangoes, pickles or celery.

Others omit the sweet herbs, and add parsley done with potatoes.

Boil and mash 3 pints potatoes, wet them with butter, add sweet herbs, pepper, salt, fill and roast as above.

Potatoes

All potatoes should be dug before the rainy seasons in the fall, well dryed in the sun, kept from frost and dampness during the winter, in the spring removed from the cellar to a dry loft, and spread thin, and frequently stirred and dryed, or they will grow and be thereby injured for cookery.

Garlicks, tho’ used by the French, are better adapted to the uses of medicine than cookery.

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