Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Geo Washington - Cooling the Wine

George Washington as Farmer by Junius Brutus Stearns. 1851

 Cooling the Wine

To cool wine, meat & other articles, Washington early adopted the practice of putting up ice, a thing then unusual. In January, 1785, he prepared a dry well under the summer house & also one in his new cellar & in due time had both filled. June fifth he "Opened the well in my Cellar in which I had laid up a store of Ice, but there was not the smallest particle remaining.--I then opened the other Repository (call the dry Well) in which I found a large store." Later he erected an ice house to the eastward of the flower garden.

His experience with the cellar well was akin to that of his friend, James Madison, on a like occasion. Madison had an ice house filled with ice, & a skeptical overseer wagered a turkey against a mint julep that by the fourth of July the ice would all have disappeared. The day came, they opened the house, & behold there was enough ice for exactly one julep! 

From: George Washington: Farmer (1915) by Paul Leland Haworth (1876-1936) 

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 

1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)

1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)

1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)

1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972

Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 

Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States

Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver

Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.

A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.