Chronicles of Boone County

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holiday_cooking [2019/03/11 14:45] (current)
hdelaney created
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 +====== The Holiday Table ======
 +
 +By Hillary Delaney
 +
 +As the holidays approach, planning begins for gathering with friends and family, oftentimes around a table of rich, delicious dishes, not normally served at the daily family dinner table. ​ This is the case historically,​ as well; families saved the best fattened livestock, and the prettiest examples of canned preserves for special meals. ​ Much as it is today, Boone County’s early holiday gatherings were a showcase of the “best available” to place upon the table. ​ Of course, meals would vary from family to family, according to a number of factors including: ​ income, cultural tradition, available resources and time.
 +  ​
 +Some German immigrants to [[Boone County]] may have planned ahead for familiar treats from the homeland, such as “Lebkuchen”. ​ This German holiday cookie contains candied orange peel, almond and cherry brandy, not typical ingredients found in the local general store. ​ German sausages, which may be on the menu,   could either be homemade or purchased from a German butcher in Cincinnati, requiring a day’s trip to the city.
 + 
 +On some local tables, greens seasoned with ham or fatback would be a welcome southern side dish. Historically,​ greens were cultivated and cooked by impoverished and enslaved families throughout the South, including Kentucky, and seasoned to cut their naturally bitter taste. ​ They were once considered “weeds” by many of the privileged class, but are delicious prepared the traditional way, and rich in nutrients. ​ Thanks to necessity and culinary creativity, these dishes now grace the tables of many Americans.
 +
 +Native Americans gave early colonists their knowledge of corn cultivation. ​ Certainly embraced by an agricultural community like Boone County, corn featured into daily diets as well as holiday meals, from cornbread stuffing to hasty pudding and corn soufflé.
 +
 +Celebration meal planning would begin well in advance. ​ Families of means may have ordered delicacies sent from New Orleans or St. Louis by steamboat weeks in advance of the arrival of important holiday guests. ​ Local farmers would have an eye on care and feeding of the prize hog throughout the year, which would ultimately grace the holiday table and fill the smoke house. ​ Many garden cooks would have spent many hot hours in the kitchen canning the summer’s best for celebrations in the autumn and winter.
 +
 +Martha [[Martha Keturah Macomb Dinsmore|Dinsmore]] (1797-1859) left a treasure trove of her own favorite recipes among the collection at the [[Dinsmore homestead]]. ​ Her recipe for “French Cake” sounds special enough for the holiday table. ​ The ingredients were: 1 lb. white sugar, ¾ lb. butter, 1 lb. flour, 1 lb. citron, the whites of ten eggs and a glass of wine.  Preparation and instruction were not included with the recipe, but one can assume the wine would go into the cake, not the baker. ​
 +
 +Cooking methods have changed, but enjoyment of holiday treats has remained. ​ For historical recipes enjoyed locally, early issues of the [[Boone County Recorder]] have (1875-1880) contain delicious holiday goodies sure to please the modern palate.
 +
 +=====More Information=====
 +Browse Kentucky cookbooks [[https://​bcp.ent.sirsi.net/​client/​en_US/​boone/​search/​results?​qu=Kentucky+cookbook&​qf=SUBJECT%09Subject%09Cooking+--+Kentucky.%09Cooking+--+Kentucky.|here]]
 +======Related Topics=====
 +  * [[Articles of Interest]]
 +====Related Websites====
 +A variety of early American Christmas recipes can be found [[https://​www.atasteofhistory.net/​recipes--an-early-american-christmas.html|here]]
 +
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holiday_cooking.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/11 14:45 by hdelaney