15 August 2009

Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices

Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices was written by George and Berthe Herter. George was the heir to the Herter sporting goods chain. While many people remember the sporting goods, everyone who reads this cookbook remembers its unique take on just about everything. It is one of those truly individual cookbooks hearkening back to the turn of the century when you got recipes for food with recipes for cleaners and a few etiquette tips.

There are many weird and wonderful recipes with some long and elaborate stories. For instance, did you know Wyatt Earp was a great cook whose specialities included pickled buffalo tongue (alas there is no recipe for this), buffalo liver and morning doves. He claims that the best shot he ever made was taking out 9 doves with one shot.

We are told to make mayonnaise as it cannot be bought in a grocery store. “That concoction they sell labeled mayonnaise are not even remotely similar to real mayonnaise.”

There is no other cookbook that tells you how to make puff pastry and how to use tomatoes to alleviate skunk order.

We are not told why Blanche Dupont was in Belgium or if there really was a "Blanche Dupont", but the Herters think this is quite marvelous.

Glace Blanche Dupont

This is a recent invention and a great one made in 1942 by Blanche Dupont in Belgium. It is one of the greatest known cooking tricks.

Take one cup of corn syrup, mix with 1/2 cup of water. Put in a pot and bring to a boil. Leave cool until lukewarm.
Brush or pour over the top of fruit cakes. This mixture gives them a rich clear glass like glaze and brings out their color.
Brush or pour over doughnuts. It gives them a beautiful glaze and taste.
Mix 1/8 level teaspoon of ground cloves or a few drops of cherry flavoring and brush over fried or baked ham and fried or cold Spam or brush over similar canned meats. Mix in a few drops of orange flavoring and brush over pieces of tame or wild duck or geese it makes them really delicious. Put in a few drops of peppermint flavorings into the mixture and brush over the tops of brownie cookies. Males them into a great delicacy instead of just another cookie.
Brush over the tops of apple turnovers, horns or lady locks just as it is. Pour over squash and sweet potatoes just as it is.
I am not sure I would agree that a simple syrup is the greatest known cooking trick, but I’m willing to give it a try. Do you think the Krispy Kream people read this cookbook when they developed their glaze?

Finally, the cookbook ends with instruction on what to do in case of an atomic attack. The good news is we have been told that red pepper is good for radiation, in fact, “People that use considerable red pepper in their foods are almost immune to atomic radiation except in sever form.” So, if you are staying awake at night worrying about North Korea and the bomb, stock up on red pepper.

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