Amelia Simmons and American Cookery

In a couple of days I will be teaching parts of Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery. I usually use a section on roasting because it nicely illustrates the ways in which early American cooking drew upon English styles and approaches while using Aerican ingredients. Her roast turkey, for example, can be served with “boiled onions and cranberry-sauce, mangoes, pickles or celery.” This is essentially an English approach to serving a popular American bird. The  cranberry sauce is American, although it was probably modeled on one of many sweet and sour sauces and chutneys already in use in England. Mangoes may refer to preserved mango fruit, or more likely one of many salted and pickled vegetables referred to as “mangors” or mangoes in English manuscript recipe books in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Simmons also suggests stuffing and serving the turkey with mashed potatoes with butter, sweet herbs, salt and pepper. This sounds like a lovely preparation. When the weather cools off here I think I will give it a try.

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About Cooking with Clio

I am a historian. I teach at a large Southern California University. I love to cook and garden and I have recently taken up sewing.
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