Macaroni?

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Carbon 6

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Ah yes you have hit upon another one of those problems with 18th century "English" sources for information..., what they called "boiling" was not what we sometimes refer to as a "rolling boil".... You find terms such as "boil it softly" and "boil it gentle". Boil in the case of old cooking instructions sometimes means when the water first shows signs of bubbles forming in the liquid, and other times often means what we call a simmer. Modern directions for Kraft Mac-n-Cheese show, "Boil water in medium saucepan. Stir in macaroni. Cook 7 to 8 min." Now if you put the macaroni in when bubbles first appear in the water, then bring it up to a "moving boil" you may be talking more like 12 minutes...add the fact the macaroni back then was more like very eggy egg noodles as Carbon 6 pointed out, and you get your additional 8 minutes for the full 20, and they didn't apparently like pasta "al dente". ;)

Another problem I've had is trying to make stuff that called for eggs...., my first versions were very eggy flavored...until an excellent cook of 18th century cuisine told me to switch away from modern eggs....grade A large are too large for an 18th century dish. Grade A "medium" eggs are much closer, and yes the Colonial egg dishes made with medium eggs in the quantities specified, are much better (imho).

LD
Excellent post, The only things I would add are that, not only where eggs different in the 18th century but wheat was also different. Also, the thicker a dried noodle is the longer it takes to cook. 18th century pasta was nothing like Kraft Mac-N-Cheese noodles. In the winter I make homemade pasta 1-3 times a week. You haven't lived until you've had your favorite pasta made fresh.
 

Kansas Jake

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We make noodles for soup on a regular basis with nothing more than eggs flour and a pinch of salt. Yum.

I make a stiff dough, roll it thin with a rolling pin and cut it to strips with a knife or pizza roller.
 

Loyalist Dave

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In the winter I make homemade pasta 1-3 times a week. You haven't lived until you've had your favorite pasta made fresh
We make noodles for soup on a regular basis with nothing more than eggs flour and a pinch of salt. Yum. I make a stiff dough, roll it thin with a rolling pin and cut it to strips with a knife or pizza roller.
You guys are gonna get me in trouble with the missus....o_O

LD
 
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From construction records of the Fort Ridgely and South Pass Wagon Road; Project Superintendent William H. Nobles to Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson, Minnesota Territory, June 11, 1857:
"In a long journey where hard work independent of fatiguing travel has to be performed a variety & constant change of diet is
indispensable to preserve the health and cheerfulness of the men and I submit that it is no economy to feed your men on pork & beef
for six months without change. For these prudential reasons I laid in a very small stock of antiscorbutic supplies which your clerk thinks
unnecessary. One pound of codfish at 9 cents will go farther for a breakfast meal than two pounds of pork at 13 1/2 cents and a sardine
or herring when you camp late in the evening will satisfy the appetite far better than uncooked beef or pork, and on a Sunday a few
raisins introduced into a palatable dish with a good plate of macaroni soup go a long ways to preserve cheerfulness without which the
duties are performed reluctantly & less work accomplished."
A list of provisions confirmed the pork, beef, and codfish were, of course, salted. My question is, what is known about "macaroni" in the mid-nineteenth century diet? Was it the macaroni of today and is it (pasta?) used in today's camps? The sardines and herring of 1857 sound like a challenge worth experiencing.
Salt, salt salt; over five-hundred pounds of loose salt accompanied the expedition's seventy-five road builders.
I don't know, but the Rev War song, "and called it macaroni", Yankee Doodle, I always wondered that, too!
 

Craig "Wildcat" Wilcox

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Vermicelli has always interested me - the name literally means "little worm".
When I was much younger, about 65 years ago, we had an Italian woman living next door. Monday's, without fail, she would have rack upon rack filled with drying pasta. Some were fat and wide, some thin and skinny, but she would always make her pasta on Mondays, and by Sunday evening was out of it again.
I did ask her why she made pasta, instead of buying at the store - she replied that when she made it, she knew WHAT was in the pasta, and if she bought it, would have to wonder.
Cooked "macaroni" many times on Boy Scout camping weekends.
 
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