Sunday, December 23, 2007

They don't make it like they used to

This recipe is offered verbatim from a 1915 cookbook called “Mary At the Farm” and can be downloaded or read online at the Michigan State University cookbook collection.

This is a favorite website of mine and I can spend an entire afternoon there. Note to cooks: I have not tried this and can’t offer any recommendation pro or con. Like many vintage recipes, the prep method would give a health inspector the collywobbles although presumably all that whiskey acts as a preservative. Some of the ingredients may be hard to find; just what are Sultana raisins, anyway?


Two pounds lean beef (uncooked), chopped fine, ½ pound beef suet, shredded.

Put the beef and suet in a large stone jar, pour over it 2/3 of a quart of whiskey. Let stand covered with a lid for a week, then add 2 pounds large, seeded raisins, 2 pounds Sultana raisins, two pounds currants, ½ pound citron, juice and grated rind of 2 oranges and of 2 lemons, 1 teaspoonful salt, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 grated nutmegs, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, 1 pound sugar. Let stand two weeks, then it is ready to use. When you wish to bake pies take out as much of the mince meat as you wish to use and add chopped apples, two parts of mince meat to one part chopped apples, and add more sugar if not as sweet as liked. If too thick, add a little sherry wine and water, mixed.”

1 comment:

T-Mom said...

I'm beginning to think we must be distant cousins or something. Barbara Tuchman is one of my favorite authors, I love This Rough Magic and Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I spend almost every evening browsing the cookbooks at the MSU site. I'm short a cat right now, but expect one will come into my life when the time is right. (This is the first time I've been catless in--golly--30 years or so.)

Happy New Year. I look forward to checking in on your blog.