Throwback Thursday- Pilgram Style
by Keleigh May on November 6th, 2014

Throwing it back, way back, way way back. 

As you all are aware, November is the month of Thanksgiving, therefore I will be participating in  "Throwback Thursdays" but with a twist. All of my "TBT" posts will be recipes that were popular around the founding of America. We kick this month off with a recipe from "The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Eaf(s)y" that was published in 1760. Side note, in this time period the letter "s" is "f", not sure if everyone spoke with a lif(s)p or what.  Hannah Glasse was the author of this cookbook (she was the Martha Stewart of the 18th century).  On my last trip to Williamsburg, I purchased a book of recipes that were popular during colonial times. My edition has the original recieps, and a modern adaption. Today I went original! 
Ginger-Bread Cakes
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1-4 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (I used 1, if you love ginger flavor use more)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla. 
Grate 1-4 tablespoons fresh ginger. If you like a spicy cookie, add more, if you like just a hint of spice, add less. 
Add cream, molasses and nutmeg and mix to combine. 
Roll into small "nut" shaped cookies and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. 
Cool and serve!

I feel like an archaeologist who deciphered this forgotten favorite recipe. 

Image taken from "Recipes from the Raleigh Tavern Bakery" 
Published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Let's just say they didn't write recipes back then like they do today (i.e. no cook times, no cook temperatures, some bizarre ingredients, and I mentioned all the "s's" are "f's" right?). I felt like Indiana Jones as I decoded my little gem of history. First off, I convereted everything into cups. I figured ratios would be the same. Then I had to do some math (a very frightening thing for me to do). 2 ounces of grated ginger? Well there are 8 ounces in a cup, and 16 tablespoons make up a cup, therefore that should be 4 tablespoons of ginger (impressed??). Some people just love ginger, but in the words of June Carter Cash, "it ain't me babe", so I only used 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. The recipe also called for "treacle", which sounds like a disease but is acutally molasses (thanks wikipedia).  Then, once the dough is formed, I am to either to "cut with a tea cup or roll like nuts". Well nuts are round and kinda small, so I knew roughly what size and shape to make my cookies.! It amazes me that 254 years later, I can make the same exact thing Mrs. Glasse would have served her family. Even after hundreds of years, "where there's a meal, there's a way!"

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