February 27, 2015

Civil War Era Rock Candy Recipe: Historical Food Fortnightly

"Our children eat crystallized sugar, under the name of rock candy, and we ourselves us it in the loaf crystallized in another form." -Friend's Intelligencer, 1859

Civil War Recipe

For this Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge, I searched high and low in search of something blue. Blueberries were the obvious choice but unseasonal and disagreeable. I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like berries. I didn't think to make rock candy until a few days before the challenge ended, but I decided to make it anyway, even if it would be a week late.

 "Rock candy" was the name given to many different types of candies in the 1800s. One version of the candy, was a hardened syrup mixture, mixed with nuts and cut into pieces. Another form of rock candy was recrystallized sugar.  It was eaten plain, used in medicines, to flavor drinks, and as decoration for other edibles.

 Civil War Recipe

The Challenge: "Something Borrowed, Something Blue February 8 - February 21
It’s a two part challenge! Either create a dish that relies on borrowed ingredients, or create a dish that involves the color blue. Bonus points if you can achieve both!"

The Recipe: 



The Date/Year and Region:
1860s, Boston, although it's a simple, popular treat in use almost everywhere.

How Did You Make It:


Ingredients:

-3 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
-Essential Oil and Food Coloring Optional


Instructions:


Bring your sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally. As soon as it boils, remove from heat, let sit for a minute to cool and pour into sterilized glasses. Mix in coloring and flavor if desired. Tie a string onto a stick or pencil and lay the stick over the glass, inserting the string into the liquid, being sure that the string does not touch the bottom of the glass. Cover the glass with a cloth and let it sit for a week. If crystals form on the top of it, just break them into the mixture with a butter knife. At the end of a week, remove string, drain off the extra syrup and rinse the string rock candy and the rock candy in the glass off with water. Lay it out on a cookie sheet to dry.    

Time to Complete:
10 minutes of prep and cooking, 7 days to form.


Total Cost:
Very inexpensive.


Civil War Recipe


How Successful Was It?:
Tastes delicious, I used a bit of Vanilla flavoring. I wish I made something else to put it on. It is very sweet.


How Accurate Is It?: The recipe called to bake the candy but I just let it air dry. It's blue, even though the recipe called for it to be a slate violet color, but I did borrow the glasses to make it in.

February 21, 2015

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party

 Cold wet and nasty has been the experience here the last few weeks. No one wants to leave their houses.


The construction on the roads mixed with the snow in my neighborhood is terrible. 



You know I live in Pennsylvania, right?



Lights in the slushy snow.


We are finally getting normal, light snow. For a while we were only getting slushy, wet snow that was impossible to move through.


Went out with the girls from dance class even though none of us wanted to leave the warm comfort of our houses.


We had a storm of 50 mph winds. Some of our electrical lines snapped and were making a whipping sounds in the wind. At 1 in the morning a tree fell on my neighbor's house, cutting the modular house into two, lengthwise. The young family; mom, dad, boy and girl all escaped with just scratches and bruises, the bulk of the tree, missing them by inches in their beds. We had a tree fall on our property last year as well but felt it was too negative to post about. You know that tree you've been meaning to get cut? Do it now.    


In another news, it's snowing again and it's looking like it will be another 4-5 inches.

Please be safe everyone. These storms, while lacking a lot of the snow of last winter, have still been very dangerous in terms of ice and wind.
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