Question of the Week: 3/14-3/20/22

Guess what! It’s Pi Day… Technically that’s Pi like 3.14159, but this is not usually a math blog, so let’s add a historic twist:

What is your favorite historical recipe that you’ve read or tried to make? (Bonus points if it’s a pie)

5 Responses to Question of the Week: 3/14-3/20/22

  1. In ‘The Confederate Receipt Book’ I tried to make ‘apple pie without the apples’ several years ago. A modern translation of this would be mock apple pie. I don’t remember all the ingredients, but I do remember it called for ritz crackers and nutmeg. It turned out pretty well, and most people did not realize there was not a single apple in the pie. HAPPY PI DAY!!

  2. I tried a “Civil War” bread recipe and I should have known better. I can cook all day long, but baking is such an exact science that it just never works out in my kitchen. The recipe was from a 1857 cookbook.
    I have a facsimile of a “Virginia Housewives” book from the 1880s that has some great collective recipes sent in from ladies across the country. Many are pretty vague, but I’m looking forward to experimenting in the future.

  3. Corn Dodger

    Corn meal 4 cups
    Wheat flour 2 cups
    Salt 2 teaspoons
    Saleratus 4 teaspoons
    Water (boiling) 3-5 cups
    Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 21/2 cups boiling water, stir. Continue to add boiling water while stirring until consistency resembles pancake batter.
    Heat tray or skillet well greased by bacon drippings, to medium hot. Drop on 3 large serving spoons of batter at a time. Cook about 2 minutes. Flip once, and continue cooking until golden brown on bottom. Remove and serve, ready to eat.
    Grease skillet before adding next batch of 3 to cook.
    Makes 30 dodgers (serves 10-15 people.)
    This “delicacy” and its recipe first encountered in writings of Union soldiers captured at Battle of Shiloh and subsequently held in confinement in the South, mostly at Selma, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Macon and Madison. Unlike the POWs, this author had access to ALL suggested ingredients. Prisoners often had no salt (it was in short supply in the South, and cost fifty cents per pound if available.) Wheat flour also became scarce, so more cornmeal was substituted. Sometimes saleratus was not provided ($2 per pound), so prisoners learned to keep back some batter to ferment naturally, and generate yeast.
    And as time went on, the cornmeal became more and more coarse, with more cob and less corn ground together. Hence the name: corn “dodger.”

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!