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12th April, 1682. I went this afternoon with several of the Royal Society to a supper which was all dressed, both fish and flesh, in Monsieur Papin’s digestors, by which the hardest bones of beef itself, and mutton, were made as soft as cheese, without water or other liquor, and with less than eight ounces of coals, producing an incredible quantity of gravy; and for close of all, a jelly made of the bones of beef, the best for clearness and good relish, and the most delicious that I had ever seen, or tasted. We ate pike and other fish, bones and all, without impediment…the natural juice of all these provisions acting on the grosser substances, reduced the hardest bones to tenderness…I sent a glass of the jelly to my wife, to the reproach of all that the ladies ever made of their best hartshorn.

 

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A short history of the pressure cooker.

 

 

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Some more recent history.

 

Here is a selection of sandwiches in an unknown London sandwich bar in 1972.

 

Evy6WOKXMAMLLIS.thumb.jpg.38fb31b5ea377ca350c08fca40f45f44.jpg

 

First thing I notice is the prices - from 10 pence to 15 pence! Then the obvious shortfall in the hygiene department. Sandwiches piled on top of each other with no coverings.
 

Then the ingredients. Some standards - unidentified cheese (probably mousetrap!), egg, chicken, ham. I remember liver sausage with great affection. Pressed veal surprised me. The bread looks like supermarket, sliced, Chorleywood processed blotting paper.

 

sw.thumb.jpg.9154db1d79ebd6b9d359df4d5a88daed.jpg

 

Moving on, I searched out a random menu (part of it above*) from a similar sandwich bar in London today. Prices have obviously risen astronomically. from around 10 pence to between £1.90 and £3.60. Hygiene regulations have improved and all sandwiches are now individually wrappped - unfortunately, usually in plastic.

 

But the biggest difference is in the ingredients. No longer anonymous 'bread' but a choice of focaccia, baps, baguettes or ciabatta. The cheese is no longer anonymous or singular; we have Emmental, cream cheese, brie, mozzarella beside the cheddar.

Other fillings unknown in the 1970s appear: Thai chicken, chicken tikka, tuna, prawns, smoked salmon, and of course, avocado.

 

I won't be here in another 50 years but I'd bet that the changes by then will be even more astounding.

* The full modern menu is here.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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13 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Some more recent history.

 

Here is a selection of sandwiches in an unknown London sandwich bar in 1972.

 

Evy6WOKXMAMLLIS.thumb.jpg.38fb31b5ea377ca350c08fca40f45f44.jpg

 

First thing I notice is the prices - from 10 pence to 15 pence! Then the obvious shortfall in the hygiene department. Sandwiches piled on top of each other with no coverings.
 

Then the ingredients. Some standards - unidentified cheese (probably mousetrap!), egg, chicken, ham. I remember liver sausage with great affection. Pressed veal surprised me. The bread looks like supermarket, sliced, Chorleywood processed blotting paper.

 

sw.thumb.jpg.9154db1d79ebd6b9d359df4d5a88daed.jpg

 

Moving on, I searched out a random menu (part of it above*) from a similar sandwich bar in London today. Prices have obviously risen astronomically. from around 10 pence to between £1.90 and £3.60. Hygiene regulations have improved and all sandwiches are now individually wrappped - unfortunately, usually in plastic.

 

But the biggest difference is in the ingredients. No longer anonymous 'bread' but a choice of focaccia, baps, baguettes or ciabatta. The cheese is no longer anonymous or singular; we have Emmental, cream cheese, brie, mozzarella beside the cheddar.

Other fillings unknown in the 1970s appear: Thai chicken, chicken tikka, tuna, prawns, smoked salmon, and of course, avocado.

 

I won't be here in another 50 years but I'd bet that the changes by then will be even more astounding.

* The full modern menu is here.

 

 

No comment on corn as a sandwich element? (condiment?)

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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5 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

No comment on corn as a sandwich element? (condiment?)

 

 

My brain automatically skipped that in a triumph of instinctive self-preservation.

I rescued the corn however and gave it a decent burial in a top quality coffin. Just because I loathe it doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a proper funeral - as soon as possible.

 

1465697890_corncoffin.thumb.jpg.bcec28ea02282ca8abb6dd8411d8b2ae.jpg
 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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The Story of Foie Gras and Cuisine of Gascony

 

A podcast featuring more about the latter than the former. An interview with Ariane Daguin co-founder of D'Artagnan.

 

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Gascony and even bought a house there in later life (long since sold), so this sharpened memories I'd never totally forgotten.

 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

How the Black Death Gave Rise to British Pub Culture

For centuries-old bars, a pandemic is nothing new.

 

Here.

 

“'The survivors [of the Black Death] prioritized expenditure on foodstuffs, clothing, fuel, and domestic utensils,' writes Professor Mark Bailey of the University of East Anglia, who also credits the plague for the rise of pub culture, over email."

 

As much as I like email.

 

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

“'The survivors [of the Black Death] prioritized expenditure on foodstuffs, clothing, fuel, and domestic utensils,' writes Professor Mark Bailey of the University of East Anglia, who also credits the plague for the rise of pub culture, over email."

 

As much as I like email.

 

 

 

I could get your point if the comma wasn't there.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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There's a Holodomor memorial in Edmonton, where I used to live, just outside City hall. Winnipeg and Toronto have their own monuments as well (there are a LOT of Ukrainian-Canadians).

 

HolodomorEdmonton-jpeg-copy.thumb.jpg.1f1276ee6018d87e8d3f145d2084349f.jpg

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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6 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

The tangled history of the noodles in your bowl

Unfortunately this seems to be behind a pay wall. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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This was a Dutch tv show during the late '70's and begin '80's. Medemblik in Noord-Holland is the charming subject of this episode. In the first minute you can see an old fashioned bakeryshop and a bit of the bakery in the back. Those heartcookies are speculaas. Apologies for the quality, these images don't show up in the regular episode available on YouTube.

 

It has become a bakery museum (sorry, no English text) and is being remodeled as we speak.

 

Better quality and more recent footage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

He first shows a bread shape. It has something to do with the reformation that the Dutch use these shapes and not make baguette.

The second object is for speculaas. Back in the day there was a lot more variation than the usual windmills and such of today. Every figure is symbolic for something. He thinks this wooden plank is about 200 years old.

Last but not least our shapes for sugarwork and candies.

 

Here's a more in depth Sinterklaasspecial.

 

 

 

First you get to see some products in the store.

The presenter has an assignment to find a vrijer, which translates to lover and refers to the old tradition of how the speculaas men and women (speculaaspoppen) were used. People would give this to their crushes. If it was reciprocated, they would accept the speculaas. If not, the would refuse or break the head off. This was typical for the West-Friesian region in Noord-Holland.

After shaping speculaas in the back, they move on to sugarwork. The son, who specialises in sugarwork, explains a bit about sugarwork belonging to one of the oldest guilds. As sugar was so expensive, people wanted to show it off. The art pieces were made with dragant (sugar with gelatine) and tragant (sugar with something related to arabic gum). The train won a price in 1996, he is most proud of this piece.

Now they're gonna make sugarbeasts. He soaked the wooden shapes for at least an hour. As with speculaas, the shapes are symbolic. Doves were popular for weddings. The rooster symbolises purity. He refers to a painting of Jan Steen, where a girl holds a little white rooster to symbolize her innocence. The third is hard to understand, I think it's a peacock that stands for vanity.

Sugarbeasts are getting less common, at least I don't see them often anymore. They're made of sugar and water. I remember them being coloured, orange, yellow, brown (cocoa) and pink.  The baker (scratchy noises from the bottom of the pan) and sight (cloudy texture). He also tells about selling a lot of these and how this surprises him as sugar is getting such a bad rep, especially for kids. Nonsens, he says.

 

They also speak about borstplaat, which is heavy cream and sugar. It literally means chest plate and was advised when you have a cold. Now that's a medicine I can get behind!

It can still be found, but one has to be careful to get the real deal. In supermarket they will sell a borstplaat that's actually a fondant type. Do not fall for this trap, it's vile! If any of you make it to The Netherlands, it will probably be Amsterdam. If you're there in November and first week of December, get yourself to Pompadour for some proper borstplaat.  I mention the season, because borstplaat is only made in the period up to Sinterklaas. You won't find it outside that time window and Pompadour can be worth it for other products as well, year round (imho).

 



 

 

 

Edited by CeeCee
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Very interesting @CeeCee! I’ll find the time to watch those videos. I vacationed in the Netherlands September 2019 and visited another bakery museum, the one in Hattem.  Very interesting museum. The lecture that day was about traditional shapes for special occasion breads. They were also making poffertijes in the attached cafe.  https://www.bakkerijmuseum.nl 

 

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Land of the Fee

 

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Tipping is a norm in the United States. But it hasn't always been this way. It's a legacy of slavery and racism and took off in the post-Civil War era. Almost immediately, the idea was challenged by reformers who argued that tipping was exploitative and allowed companies to take advantage of workers by getting away with paying them low or no wages at all.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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