Thursday, February 12, 2015

1861 Carrots in the German Way

I promised to start a Throwback Thursday series, where once I week I'll cook a recipe from one of my vintage cookbooks, covering each decade of the 20th century through the present.  Within a few hours of making this declaration, I discover that I have nothing to cover 1900-1910.  Granted, my 1914 copy of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook has copyrights from 1896 to 1914, but I'm leaving that book in the second decade.

What I do have is a 1968 edition of Beeton's Book of Household Management, which was originally published between 1859 and 1861.  Yes...we're throwing it back to the 19th century for the first #tbt!  The 1968 edition is a facsimile of the original 1861 version, it's small in stature--just about 5 x7 inches--and comes in at a whopping 1100+ pages.  The Table of Contents covers everything from the duites of a home's mistress, what is expected of the housekeeper, the arrangement and economy of the kitchen, and 'observations' and recipes for every game bird you can think of, boiled calves heads, and veal cake (promised to be a convenient dish for a picnic).

I began flipping through the desserts sections, but figured that with half a cake still in the fridge, I should probably opt for something that wasn't  a cake, cookie, or pudding.  Maybe something a little healthier, but not a venture into how to stew pigeons or roast a haunch of venison.

Vegetables seemed a safe route to travel and after bypassing 'Artichoke Pudding',' 'Potato Snow,' and a few other recipes, I settled on 'To Dress Carrots in the German Way.'  Honestly, I'm not sure what makes this the 'German Way'...maybe the nutmeg?  I don't use nutmeg too often and usually it's in sweets, but this...this is a great dish even after 150 years.

I'm going to spend a little more time in this book.  An explanation of the duties of the laundry-maid.  Advice on child rearing and dealing with infantile fits.  And where else would you learn about a mesurement called a gill?  (And then have to Google to find the answer.  It's a quarter pint!)

To Dress Carrots in the German Way
Adapted from 'Beeton's Book of Household Management'
Serves 2-4

3 medium to large carrots, washed and cut into short pieces
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1 tbsp onion, minced 
1 1/2 cups veetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp flour

In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat.  Add the carrots, onions, parsley, and nutmeg.  Stir to coat the carrots and cook until onions begin to turn translucent and carrots begin to soften.  Pour stock into skillet and simmer until carrots continue to tender.  In a small saucepan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, then add the flour, stirring until mixture begins to brown.  Add the liquid from the carrots and bring to a boil for a minute or two.  Return stock to skillet and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens.  

A perfect side for roast chicken or over a bed of rice.

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