Cookie Thursday 7/14/22- pound cake

The If You Want Women to be in the 18th Century so Badly… theme for July continues.

The bake of the week is pound cake.

Quick check in on my feelings. Yup. Still pissed.

Someone in the department asked what the theme written on the board meant. I had to adjust the board to add an appendix (Yes, this is a SCOTUS protest). No, not that kind of appendix.

In 1796 the first American cookbook was penned by Amelia Simmons. In a very literal title, it is called American Cookery. and it is fascinating.

It is a simple cookbook, with recipes that made use of what the people had. It is also written in the style of the time. The library copy of the cookbook that I read had the original recipe on the right page, and a modern translation on the left page. This meant that the modern translation of the words, not written in the script of the time was word for word with the original work. I found this fascinating.

The original recipe for pound cake calls for 1 pound of sugar, 1 pound of butter, 1 pound of flour, 1 pound of eggs. Hence the name.

There are many other recipes that I found interesting. Carrot pudding. I hate carrots but this has potential. Game, or the meat source of the time, had several pages of recipes. It wasn’t as if you could pop out to the nearest supermarket when you have a hankering for chicken. And all parts of the animal are discussed in recipes. And variations are given for different recipes. There is a variation of the pound cake recipe with is the one I used. And there is also a brief explanation of what ingredients to add to make the pound cake into cookies in case you don’t have small tins to bake in.

The coolest thing was the last page, which was the corrections page. This means that the cookbook had been re-printed. I know that, but it is still very cool.

It is kind of like translating between the generations in the OR, just not as literal. Kind of like telling a millennial or a generation z that the reference number is pound sign123 and them looking at you like you are crazy. Until you remember that they have a different representation of that and you correct yourself hashtag123. Things get lost in translation. My favorite factoid is explaining where the word and came to be. From the ampersand, or the @ symbol on the keyboard. Blows people’s minds.

The recipe that I chose for this week is also very simple. There wasn’t a lot of different ingredients as we understand them available. There was no leavening agent to make the cake rise, instead it depends on adding the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar. There is no vanilla to flavor the cake, it depends on rosewater. Which I found really interesting, and I am going to explore this more in future Cookie Thursday is a Thing.

Experimentation is so much fun! And at the heart of Cookie Thursday is a Thing.

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