Friday, September 25, 2009

Expanded reading list

I like understanding traditional ways of doing things (i.e. How did we survive before Wal-Mart?). I am also a very cheap bastard. These two aspects of my character are therefore delighted by Google Books where I can get very old instructional books for free.

1. Making the Farm Kitchen Pay (1914): My favorite section is the discussion of “putting down eggs” in which fresh eggs are preserved by soaking in silicate of soda. The fresh eggs will keep for 8 to 9 months. Seriously…I had no freaking clue that you could do this. The chapters for the book are as follows:
a. Dried vegetables and fruit
b. Salting down and pickling
c. Homemade vinegars
d. Homemade wines
e. Butchering time recipes
f. Potato ways
g. Vegetables and fruit
h. Breads and yeast

2. Successful Canning and Preserving (1917): Canning scares the crap out of me. Botulism is gonna get me! This text provides a wonderful overview of the development of canning. It is also a very interesting historical snapshot into 1917 America. I am not sure I would follow the canning recipes in this book…I suspect some of them would not be considered safe by current standards? Who the hell knows…I’ll get this figured out some day. Just not today.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Very Good Reading

Home Pork Making
by A.W. Fulton
The Art of Raising and Curing Pork on the Farm

This text, published in 1900, is available for free download from Google Books.

Chapters 1-2 speak to raising hogs followed by chapters 3-5 which deal with slaughtering, scalding and butchering. Chapter 6 is titled What to do with the Offal and from there the text goes into the finer points of making lard, curing hams, smokehouses, etc. with 17 chapters in all.

Happy reading.