Monday, November 5, 2012

Hats and Speecifying

by Kelly

I'm taking a break from gloves to work on hats.

From a free pattern found at Collette's place. That cord to the right of the hat is the drawstring cord that is supposed to be threaded into the bottom ribbed part...I think. She suggested a finger knitted cord, but I just made a two strand I-cord.

This hat is terribly cute, but for some reason it reminds me of the hats worn by Ewoks. Hmmm....maybe I'll have to work on something like that...

Meanwhile, since this is the day before Election Day, I thought I would share a book that I came across this summer:

It's title is "The Compleat American Housewife : 1776". It's purportedly a collection of recipes and thoughts from an early American housekeeper. I haven't researched to see if this is true or just a clever marketing gimmick, but the recipes certainly have the sound of very old cookbooks. For example, there are directions for cooking Flip and Flummery, and a very tragic recipe for Parsnip Wine. Much as I love books and the preservation of information for the next generation, I really think that some things are best left to fade into obscurity.

And here is a quick tip on the best way to bake bread:

"Many housewives having no brick oven will do all their baking on the hearth...Sweep a clean spot on the hearth and place a piece of dough directly on the hot bricks. Cover it with an upside down pot of iron or earthenware, and then cover the pot with embers and pile hot coals around it. Experience will dictate the baking time needed."

All of this aside, the thing that most interests me about this book is the thread of politics that weaves its way through the pages. There are accounts of making do without coffee, tea and sugar during the Revolution, quotes from presidents and their wives on dining and entertaining in the European way, and a plea  from Abagail Adams to her husband to not forget the rights of women when drafting the Constitution.

The best part, though, was a section about when to serve the pudding: "The place of pudding on the menu even enters into political life. The Federalists eat their pudding first, but the Democrats begin their dinners with meat."

Oh, yes, the Federalists. Committed to a fiscally sound and nationalistic government, and their only president was John Adams. Sigh.

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