Saturday, December 10, 2011

What’s a gill? Some old fashion recipes

Have you ever heard of a “gill” as a measurement in a recipe?  I hadn’t.

I was going through my recipe books this morning, clearing out a few, when I ran across this cook book.

Cooking in Wyoming

It has some interesting and old old recipes.

So……back to a gill……………

1 gill equals 1/2 cup

this recipe is “Webster Cake”

It reads as follows…..

  Webster Cake is a very old southern cake that has been made through many generations of Thanksgiving and Christmas time.  To make the cake, take 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup molasses, 1 gill of milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of soda, 3 cups flour, 1/2 pound citron, 1 1/2 cups raisins, and currants and spices to taste, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.


That’s it.  No temp. or anything else.  Just the way that my Grandma used to cook.  Just a tad bit vague. The old fashioned way!  Oh….and I (in my great baking wisdom) had no idea what citron was.  It is one of the citrus fruits that you usually find in fruit cake.  I think…….??  Anywho…….this recipe looks doable.  I wonder what “spices to taste” would be?  This sounds a lot like it could actually be a fruit cake?  If so, my Nanny used to make the BEST fruit cake ever.  She would make it about a month ahead of Christmas, soak it in a LOT of rum, wrap it well, store it in a cold closet and bring it out around Christmas.  It was a very heavy and yummy yummy cake.  Wonderful with a cup of coffee.



Here’s another recipe from 1882.  If you really and I mean REALLY love mincemeat, this is the recipe for you.  You can either feed the entire town or can up enough to last you for years!  Personally, I’m not a fan of mincemeat pie.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me that YES dummy, it DOES have meat in it!

So here we go………

  • 4 1/2 pounds of beef neck meat, you may also use venison or elk meat.  (Gross)
  • 5 pounds apples
  • 5 pounds sugar
  • 2 pounds seedless raisins, soak several hours in hot water
  • 2 pounds currants, soak several hours in hot water
  • 1 pound of beef suet (I thought this was something you fed birds)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 quarts cider
  • 1 tablespoon mace
  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice

Boil meat until tender.  Grind (rather coarsely) meat, apples, and suet.  Mix other ingredients.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Seal in sterilized jars for storing.  

They lost me with the boiling 4 1/2 pounds of beef neck meat.  Just the thought makes me a little nauseous.  ):

So get out your old-fashioned cooking utensils and get with it!    Oh……and if you need the recipe for cooking a wild porcupine, I have it!  Not EVEN kidding!  This cook book is a keeper, if for no other reason, just because of the crazy recipes.  Thank GOODNESS for our modern times!

One more thing…….that red and white dish towel is from Ikea.  If you are fortunate to have one close to you, they are the BEST kitchen towels I’ve ever had.  They absorb well, and better yet……they’re only 79cents each!



    That's truly amazing....haha!!!

    My Dad considers himself to be a fruitcake connisseur. He always said the denser the better. I bet he would've LOVED your Nanny's!

  2. The recipes sound so yummy!

  3. I've never heard of the cooking term "gill", so I learned something new today! I won't be stealing the mincemeat recipe...I'm not a fan of it...except I'm not even sure that I've ever had it!! lol!

    Thanks for the review of the Ikea towels. I've seen them all over blogville, and they are attractive. However,I wasn't sure how useful they would be, but now I am! I'll have to go get some!

  4. OMG my Grammy used to cook the same way!

    The Cake looks fab but I will pass on the mincemeat! *dry heave*....LOL


  5. I love old recipes like that, I have some from the early recipes that have no temp or time to them either I suppose that was because cooks had to rely on smell, sight, and touch to tell if their wood burning oven creations were done. I have one recipe that says to stick your arm in the oven and if it feels hot to put the cake in til done LOL! How hot is hot? Thank you for sharing these delights!


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