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Old 12-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
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Article about 19th century Virginia cookbook

There's an article in my local paper today about "The Virginia House-wife," the first regional cookbook published in the United States. It was written by Mary Randolph, a relative of Thomas Jefferson, and the article describes how to make souse - "a gelatinous loaf studded with pieces of pig's head." Yum?

It's a fun, interesting read: http://hamptonroads.com/2013/11/virg...-1824-cookbook
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
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My mom loved the stuff! I always thought it looked nasty but she would make sandwiches of it. She never made it herself but my parents always bought their meat in bulk from a butcher (half a pig and quarter of a cow). She would be sure they included cracklins and souse in her order. We'd all eat the cracklins but only she would eat the souse.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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I love souse...been a long time.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Uh uh. Nope.

Enjoyed the article though. Thanks GG!

I remember my great grandma and her kitchen table with a whole pig's head, eyeballs and all, for head cheese.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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My parents always bought head cheese (similar to souse but not pickled, according to Wiki) as sandwich meat. As a kid they couldn't force me to eat it! But now I like it----not to the extent of having it weekly though.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
There's an article in my local paper today about "The Virginia House-wife," the first regional cookbook published in the United States. It was written by Mary Randolph, a relative of Thomas Jefferson, and the article describes how to make souse - "a gelatinous loaf studded with pieces of pig's head." Yum?

It's a fun, interesting read: Virginia woman works her way through 1824 cookbook | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
The link wouldn't open for me but the above description suggests that the recipe is for what we call brawn. A singularly nasty thing when bought in the sort of shop which sells it (not many these days) but delicious when made properly at home. "A gelatinous loaf studded with pieces of pig's head." makes it sound a bit grim but it's more a case of chopped meat held together by very tasty meat jelly made from the bones and other gelatinous parts of the head.

I've made it a few times in the past but it's increasingly difficult to get hold of the pig's head. I had to travel 60 miles for my last one (to Nottingham - cousin works in abattoirs as a meat inspector). The recipe I use has brandy among other things (a slug of brandy improves nearly everything!).

On of my books calls it "head cheese" which seems to be an old name for brawn but not much used in the UK
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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" it's increasingly difficult to get hold of the pig's head"

I raised my own pigs (head attached) and cooked the whole head in a VERY large stock pot. I took the meat off of it and used that in other dishes, but not head cheese. The jowls/cheeks are particularly good.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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What happens when you click the link, MC?

The woman the article is about raised the two hogs herself for this experiment; she's cooking her way through the cookbook. She lives on a small farm about 20 miles west of Charlottesville, VA. She sounds like a fascinating woman. She's a historian and has worked as a historical interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home just outside Charlottesville. Now she leads cooking lessons at her farm.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #9
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" it's increasingly difficult to get hold of the pig's head"

I raised my own pigs (head attached) and cooked the whole head in a VERY large stock pot. I took the meat off of it and used that in other dishes, but not head cheese. The jowls/cheeks are particularly good.
Yes, that's how I used to get my pigs' heads. My parents had a friend who raised pigs and chickens on a small-holding. They produced delicious pork.

Bath chaps - a masterclass - Caterer and Hotelkeeper An interesting article on the revival of Bath Chaps (an old way of preparing the lower cheeks (ie "chaps") of the pig With recipes. From a history of being cheap food for the masses they are probably now expensive fashion food.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:04 PM   #10
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My favourite is on a spit over the bbq those cheeks are great a nice smokey taste, but we usually do the whole pig.
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