Do you ever feel like you’re on your favorite TV show? Last month, at the Northeast Georgia History Center’s Family Day I got to cook in a cabin from the 1700’s, and I felt like I was on an episode of Cooking with Townsend and Son!
The theme for this Family Day was Colonial Georgia. I made Succotash and “Tiny Purses”, which are Date Turnovers with recipes that I got from Townsend and Son. To check out their YouTube channel click here.
Townsend and Son is a shop as well as a YouTube Channel that is dedicated to the 18th century. They have hundreds of videos on 18th century living, cooking, clothing, and much more.
Corn was the most important and widely consumed grain in early North America. Succotash was a nourishing Native American staple, a thick stew, that could (and did) feed a crowd. The name succotash is from the Wampanoag msíckquatash, meaning “boiled corn kernels”.
While the earliest published recipe for Succotash Townsend and Son could find dated to the mid-19th century, its introduction by the native people to European settlers can be documented in non-culinary texts as early as the mid to late 1600’s. Succotash remains popular today throughout certain regions of the United States.
This recipe is a summertime version that uses fresh corn and beans. Whole hominy and dried beans would have been used during other seasons of the year.
8-10 Ears of Sweet Corn
About 4 oz. of dried Jowl Bacon or regular Bacon
1 and a half cups of Baby Lima Beans
Salt, Pepper, and Butter to taste
What I Did:
First, I cooked the bacon and diced it. Then, I cut the cornels off the corn cobs. After that I added the bacon, corn, and baby lima beans that I had soaked overnight into a cast iron Dutch Oven. I warmed the concoction over the fire until it was time to eat.
“Tiny Purses” (Date Turnovers)
This recipe is for “Tiny Purses” or “Crematories” delicious little date turnovers. It was published in a 1596 English cookbook titled “The Good Housewife’s Jewel.” I got the recipe from my calendar that was sent to be my Townsend and Son.
2 cups Dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup Raisins or Zante Currants
1 tbsp. Beef Suet or Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Powdered Ginger
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Sugar
Powdered Sugar (optional)
What I did:
First, I chopped of all the dried dates then added them to a bowl with the raisins, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar. I stirred well until I was satisfied that it was mixed. I then cut the pasty dough into three-inch circles, added the filling, and folded it into a semicircle. Once they were all folded into semicircles I lined the bottom of the dutch oven with them and let them cook over the fire until they were a gold brown on the edges.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this recipe because I’m not the biggest fan of raisins or dates, but there were actually fantastic!
jastownsendandson. “Townsends.” YouTube, YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/user/jastownsendandson/about.
Tucker, Aimee. “Succotash | Recipe with a History.” New England Today, 10 July 2017, newengland.com/yankee-magazine/food/succotash-recipe-with-a-history/.