Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grant, Lee, Custer, & Co.

Click on the brochure to enlarge.

You can contact Tom Peacock at for details about upcoming events, questions about hiring the group, or General George Armstrong Custer.

Homemade Buttermilk

Are you tired of purchasing buttermilk? Everytime I plan to make a recipe with buttermilk, to my dismay, it has expired.

Mix 1 cup whole milk with either 1 tablespoonful of white vinegar or 1 tablespoonful of lemon juice. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. The milk should have begun to curdle. Stir and enjoy your next buttermilk recipe with ease.

Homemade Brown Sugar

From the deep robust flavor of molasses in gingerbread to the mild flavor in an apple cake, adjusting the intensity of your brown sugar is an easy task.

For dark brown sugar, mix 2 tablespoonsful of molasses to 1 cup of granulated sugar. Mix with a fork until the molasses is incorporated.

If a recipe calls for a light brown sugar, add 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoonsful of molasses.

Your brown sugar flavor will also vary with the use of blackstrap or various strengths of molasses.

You can store your homemade brown sugar in an air-tight container for up to one month, but if moisture gets in the container, the sugar will become hard. Save space and money, make your own brown sugar to suit your taste.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Artwork and Roxe Anne

Prior to my writing, drawing and painting had been an important part of my life. As far back as I can remember, I always had a crayon, pencil, or paintbrush in my hand.

I never wanted to paint someone else's idea. I wanted to remain a free-spirit. Experimentation, imagination and research were and still are a vital part of my life. I no longer dabble in the fine arts, but let my imagination sore in writing poetry and mysteries.

At the present, I am working on a historical Civil War cookbook with my husband, Tom. Researching Civil War generals, battles, and nineteenth century cooking take up a major part of my day. Now my canvas is a completed recipe ready to be photographed.
I hope you enjoy some of my artwork.

Thank you for visiting our blog. Comments are always welcome. Stop back soon and see what's new. If you would like to contact Roxe Anne, send her an email at

Click on any of the photos in the blog to enlarge.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Deviled Eggs

Boil 6 eggs hard, drop them into cold water for a minute, and then carefully remove the shells; cut them in half with a sharp knife, and gently remove the yolks; mash and mix them with a dash of pepper, salt, a tablespoonful of olive oil, a teaspoonful of vinegar and a little chopped pickle and parsley.Mold this into the whites.Put the two halves of the egg together and tie with baby ribbon Los Angeles Times Cook Book, No. 2, by the Los Angeles Times, page 99, Los Angeles: Times-Mirror Co., 1905

Note: The most predominant size of egg for the nineteenth century was a medium egg. This is a great recipe for picnics, teas, Easter, and baby showers.

Delicious Milk Lemonade

Pour a pint of boiing water on to six ounces of loaf sugar, add a quarter of a pint of lemon juice, and half the quantity of good sherry wine. Then add three quarters of a pint of cold milk, and strain the whole to make it nice and clear. Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, by Catherine Beecher, page 190, New York: Harper 1850-1846

Blackberry Cordial

Mash and strain blackberries. Put the juice on to boil in a glass or enameled pot. Skim it well, and to each gallon of juice, put three pounds of sugar and a quart of brandy. Press cloves in mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a frying pan to release essential oils and add to taste along with 1 cinnamon stick. Domestic Cookery, by Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, page 148, Baltimore: Cushigs and Bailey,1869

Note: This was valuable as a medicine for children in summer and was often used because of its binding qualities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fried Apples- Extra Nice

Take any nice sour cooking apples, and after wiping them, cut into slices about one-fourth of an inch thick; have a frying-pan ready, in which there is a small amount of lard, say 1/2 or 3/4 of an inch in depth. The lard must be hot before the slices of apples are put in. Let one side of them fry until brown; then turn, and put a small quantity of sugar on the browned side of each slice By the time the other side is browned, the sugar will be melted and spread over the whole surface.

Serve them up hot and you will have a dish good enough for kings and queens, or any poorman's breakfast, and I think that even the President would not refuse a few slices, properly cooked. There is but little choice between frying and baking by these plans; either one is very nice. Dr. Chase's Recipes, pages 298-299, by Alvin Wood Chase, M.D., Ann Arbor, Michigan, Chase: 1864
Note: Wash a combination of five medium granny Smith and McIntosh apples. Core the apples and slice about one-quarter of an inch thick. In the meantime, get ready two-thirds cup brown sugar and one-quarter teaspoonful of freshly grated nutmeg. Heat four tablespoonsful of unsalted butter over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet; being careful not to burn the butter. Heat the apple slices on one side for about five minutes; turn and sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. Cook for about six more minutes or until desired tenderness. You can turn the apples gently twice to coat with the sugar and nutmeg. Serve immediately.
This is a delightful dish by itself, or over ice cream. If you do not like skin on your apples, you may peel your apples before cooking. The presentation won't be the same.
Try this recipe at your next Civil War event and let the wonderful apple aroma bring spectators to your camp.

Monday, October 12, 2009

West Point and Eight Illustrious Civil War Generals

In the nineteenth century, West Point had become the epitamy of military professionalism. A place where bonding sculpted boys into men. And where the cadets often braved demerits to frequent the infamous Benny Haven's Tavern; some to partake in hot flips, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Other cadets braved the journey to enjoy home cooked meals while unwinding for a few hours without the demands of the West Point Academy.

Eight of these illustrious men eventually became Generals in the Civil War; some served the Union, some served the Confederacy.

Robert E. Lee became superintendent of West Point in 1852 and graduated with Joseph Eggleston Johnston in 1829. William Tecumsah Sherman and George Henry Thomas graduated in 1840, Ulysses Simpson Grant graduated in 1843, Thomas Jonathan Jackson in 1846, James Ewell Brown Stuart in 1854, and the last in his class of 1861, George Armstrong Custer.

George Armstrong Custer surrendered many a demerit to Benny Haven's and Flirtation walk; where kisses were shared. But the antic which almost lost Custer his military career was the confiscated rooster cooked on a gas burner in his dorm.

Tidbit: George Armstrong Custer was fond of Apple Jack. He always carried a Bible. General Ulysses Simpson Grant's favorite wine was Norton; a dry red wine.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fried Catfish

Cast-iron frying pan
This recipe may be cooked over an open-fire or on a stove

melted lard or peanut oil
4 medium catfish fillets
1 cup buttermilk (to presoak the catfish in)
1 cup sweet milk (whole milk)
1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoonsful salt
1 teaspoonful pepper
Lemon wedges

Soak the catfish fillets in buttermilk for one hour or overnight in a cooler or refrigerator to remove the mudd flavor or fishy taste.

Rinse your catfish in cold water and then pat dry. Place the fish in a pie plate or shallow pan and pour the 1 cup cold sweet milk (whole milk) over the fish.

Mix the cornmeal, salt, and pepper together in another pie plate. Place the catfish fillets soaked in milk one at a time in the cornmeal mixture; coating them evenly. Lay them separately on a large plate for 5 minutes to let the batter dry out a little.

Heat enough lard or oil in a cast-iron skillet to fry. Don't overcrowd the oil with fillets or the temperature will decrease. Be careful not to let the oil spill over the pan. Cook the catfish fillets for approximately 6 9r 7 minutes on each side or until fork tender. Remove the fillets from the pan and drain. Serve with Lemon wedges and hushpuppies.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Doughnuts II

4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons soda
1 3/4 teaspoons cream tartar
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour milk
1 egg

Put flour in shallow pan; add salt, soda, cream tartar, and spices. Work in butter with tips of fingers; add sugar, egg well beaten, and sour milk. Stir thoroughly and toss on board thickly dredged with flour, knead slightly, using more flour if necessary. Pat and roll out to one fourth inch thickness; shape, fry, and drain. Sour milk doughnuts may be turned as soon as they come to the top of the fat, and frequently afterwards.
The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer, page 82, Boston, Little, Brown and Company (1896)

Note: Sour milk is buttermilk and the size of the egg was usually a medium. Deep fry in a Dutch-oven or heavy skillet at 370 degrees. You may sprinkle with a mix of sugar and cinnamon after the doughnuts are drained.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Homemade Baking Powder

1 teaspoonful baking soda
2 teaspoonsful cream of tartar
1 teaspoonful cornstarch (optional)

Whisk baking soda and cream of tartar together. If adding cornstarch, whisk it together with the previous two ingredients.

Use immediately or store in an air-tight container. If you plan to store homemade baking powder, you need to add the cornstarch to absorb moisture. Makes one tablespoonful.