"A Bill of Fare for every Month in the Year" 


This week's menu was selected from Sussannah Carter's 1803 edition of The Frugal Housewife, or, Complete Woman Cook.  An interesting component to Carter's work is a section entitled "A Bill of Fare for every Month in the Year" in which she sets out a suggested menu for both dinner and supper, or as we call these meals today-- lunch and dinner.  For each selection Carter provides several variations to the Bill of Fare more than likely based on the availability of ingredients.  As August came to a close, we went with her August "Supper" menu.  We made one addition to the menu, a dessert--apple dumplings.  

Stop by our Demonstration Kitchen venue and speak with our interpreters about our recipes, period cooking techniques, and the enslaved community that was preparing these meals for the Madisons.  Our Kitchen will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00am-4:00pm in September and October.  


The Menu:


When you roast a turkey, goose, fowl, or chicken, lay them down to a good fire. Singe them clean with white paper, baste them with butter, and dust on some flour. As to time, a large turkey will take an hour and twenty minutes; a middling one a full hour; a full grown goose, if young, an hour;a large fowl three quarters of an hour; a middling one half an hour, and a small chicken twenty minutes; but this depends entirely on the goodness of your fire.

When your fowls are thoroughly plump, and the smoke draws from the breast to the fire, you may be sure that they are very near done. Then baste them with butter; dust on a very little flour, and as soon as they have a good froth, serve them up. 

Sauce for fowls.--Parsley and butter; or gravy in the dish, and either bread sauce, oyster sauce, or egg sauce in a bason--See a variety of other sauces for Poultry, among the sauce Articles Chap I.



Melt your butter thick and fine, chop two or three hard-boiled eggs fine, put them into a bason, pour the butter over them, and have good gravy in the dish.



First cut the white ends off about six inches from the head, and scrape them from the green part downwards very clean. As you scrape them throw them into a pan of clean water; and after a little soaking, tie them up in small even bundles. When your water boils, put them in, and boil them up quick; but by over boiling they will lose their heads. Cut a slice of bread for a toast, and bake it brown on both sides. When your grass is done take them up carefully; dip the toast in the asparagus-water, and lay it in the bottom of your dish; then lay the heads of the asparagus on it with the white ends outwards: pour a little melted butter over the heads, cut an orange into small quarters, and stick them between for garnish.  


Wring off the stalks close to the artichokes: Throw them into water, and wash them clean: then put them into a pot or sauce-pan. They will take better than an hour after the water boils; but the best way is to take out a leaf, and if it draws easy, they are enough. Send them to table with butter in tea-cups between each artichoke.



Pare and core as many codlings (apples) as you intend to make dumplings. Make a little cold butter paste. Roll it to the thickness of one's finger, and wrap it round every apple singly; and if they be boiled singly in pieces of cloth, so much the better. Put them into boiling water, and they will be done in half an hour. Serve them up with melted butter and white wine and garnish with grated sugar about the dish.










Left to right: Asparagus, Apple Dumplings, Artichokes, and Roasted Fowl. 



Kyle M. Stetz