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Male Number of posts : 1375
Age : 77
Location : Lehi Utah
Registration date : 2015-10-20

PostSubject: INTRODUCTION TO THIS SERIES   October 27th 2015, 4:54 pm


I started and established a business for correct period foods and items to prepare those foods, for the re-enactment movement going on in North America and Europe back in 1980s.

Our original store "Buckhorn Rendezvous", later becoming in the 90ís "Clark & Sons Mercantile" grew into a mail order business named after an old family name that was as old as our country.

From the six sons of John and Ann Rogers Clark, came forts they built, wars they won, new territory found, lands they mapped and not to be forgotten, the businesses started. The family name of Clark has been in American History from the beginning, "from sea to shinning sea", treading on new ground, always involved and looking for a new venture or adventure.

As participants ourselves in the various time frames, from the F & I War to the Indian Wars, weíve seen our share of not correct merchandise in the last 35 to 40 years and will endeavor to bring documented items for several time periods.

Now knowing our background letís work on helping you get "correct" with your edibles. In issues to come we can address proper recipes, cookware and general camp needs.
"Food" grain and mill products shown are correct for the time period seen on each item. We have saved you the time in researching of proper grains and mill items for the various time periods, with furnished history and its origin, even to proper usages.

Coffee and Teas have been researched back to French, German and English sources, to try and be correct as possible for your needs.

We have tried to stay with our theme of supplying you information on correct foods, grains and mill items. Because of the demand, weíve added cooking and camp life equipage to round out a research need of todayís re-enactors.

Grains, seeds, milled products and seasonings shown should be organically grown or purchase from a grower that does so as in the original colonies from which they were planted, when arriving from other lands. Donít panic I share a little secret for an easy source for these items, your local health store that handles organic products.

We have coded these products for their popularity or availability for a specified time frame in our information.

As you do your research on edible foods, wild and planted, you will find that a large amount came from Pennsylvania Germans, who brought them from their home lands in Europe from as early as the 1500ís.

There is a large variety of preferred seeds that have made their way from gardens of the east to the growing beds of the west and everywhere in between, thanks to our early explorers.
Traders, merchants and just common people moving to new homes in the unknown territories have carried their seeds, dropped on the way by accident or gardens started, and then minds and locations for a home are changed.

Letís take a look at some of the types and varieties of grains, vegetables, spices and herbs that found their way across North America in the westward expansion.

Field Seeds
Buckwheat: Lewis & Clark mention buckwheat cakes, as do other colonists in our early history, not sure of how long it has been in N. America, or if the Pa. Germans brought it over, like so many other seeds.
Flax: Has been grown in the colonies as early as 1560ís, used for linen cloth and a number of other cloths by products. Ariane Flax seed is available today.
Rye: This is a good ground cover crop used by Pa. Germans for hundreds of years in this country. Flour is still available in stores today, good for period baking.
Spelt: A form of wheat with a little difference in texture was originally from Europe but found its way to the colonies when settled. Spelt Mills were popular during the 1800ís in producing flour. You will probably not be able to find seed that is suitable for human usage.
Gourds: In colonial America, old Mexico and parts of Europe, gourds have been used for a number of storage vessels. They have been cooked, fried, boiled or any other way you can think of to be prepared to be eaten. Dipper and large bottle gourds are as old as anything we can find today.
Kale: A good green that will fill in for cabbage or cauliflower in ones diet. Russian or Rugged Jack are good choices that will fit a period menu.
Leeks: A member of the onion family, used as a vegetable and will be correct for an early 1830ís meal. We like the Swiss Coloma Leeks for a green with meat.
Peas: A native to Europe they came over with our friends the Pa. Germans during the migration to the colonies in the 1700ís. The closest to the original would be the Risser Early Sugar Pea.
Pumpkin: Native to the Americas, there are six types listed but no longer available with only a close relation still around, the Fortna White Pumpkin.
Turnips: From Germany originally this turnip of today is only 100 years old, not really period as to say, Gilfeather Turnip.
Tomatoes: Originated in South and Central America, they found their way to Thomas Jeffersonís garden as early as 1781. Red Brandywine is as close as we can come to today, as to the originals he grew.
Beans: Beans were often planted with corn and squash, called "Three Sisters" plantings, the colonists used this Indian method as early as the 1650ís. Fisher, Smith, Hutterite and Jacobís Cattle beans are still available. Pole beans; Hoffer Lazy Wife, Smith and Scarlet Runner beans have been around since before 1800.
Beets: Native to Europe and N. Africa, their first appearance in N. America is not clear, but reference has been made of them in journals dating to the early 1600ís. Deacon Dan or Lutz is a good choice for the older types.
Cabbage: This mustard family member has been around for 5000 years according to history books. Early Copenhagen, Early Jersey Wakefield and Red Drumhead cabbage will put you into the late 1700ís.
Carrots: Member of the parsley family came to South and North America from Europe and Asia, in the form of animal fodder, with the colonies employment in the early settlements. The only one that comes close for period use would be the Early Scarlet Horn Carrot.
Corn: Maize is a native of this country, introduced to the early colonies by the natives. This was not a sweet corn as we know it today, more of a field corn, eaten when still young; it passed as good filler in lean times.
These herbs are used as medicine, seasonings or just for decoration; all have been dated earlier than 1800.
Agronomy/American Pennyroyal: Listed in history as an American Indian herb, used for insect repellent.
Basil/Brunet: A well known pair of herbs, known to provide an aromatic relief for the nose.
Butterfly Weed: Same as above.
Caraway: Has some medical uses, licorice taste used on rye bread by early colonists.
Chives: A flavoring for soups, breads, salads, etc. by Native Americans and colonists.
Coriander, Dill: Flavoring or seasoning.
Garlic Chives: Member of the onion family, used for seasoning in soups and salads.
Horehound: Used in teas, candy for sore throat problems.
Sweet Cicely: Licorice flavor used in cooking for seasoning.
Sweet Marjoram: Old medical herb, used for colds in soup and stews.
Columbine, elecamane, feverfew, hollyhock, jobís tear, lark spur, lunaria, thin-leafed coneflower, these are all decoration plants and not to be used internally by all means.
Baldwin Woodpecker: Found in history around the mid 1700ís in southern part of Massachusetts.
Black Gilliflower Sheepnose: American grown, found in Connecticut around 1800 and listed in 1817.
Coxís Orange Pippin: Came to the colonies from Bucks, England, seeds only brought in 1827.
Fameuse-Snow Apple: From Canada originally brought there by seed from France around 1600.
Jonathan: A New York farm apple grown as early as 1800.
Smokehouse: Lancaster County, Pa., medium to large in size, good for cooking, listed in 1801.
The list of grains, vegetables, herbs and apples are not complete, that would take a book with many volumes. This was just a list of the more popular items, listed in a simple way to give the new and the seasoned re-enactor an idea of the large amount of available edibles for different time frames.

Approximate documented and dated items grown or traded in North America, we have found somethingís earlier than listed, but not that common for the working class or local trade.
Pa. German - before 1750 * Before 1800 - trade item ** Northeast - before 1820 @ Southwest - before 1830 #
Native American-found in early settlements ~
Grains & Seeds
Wild rice (lg. broken) ** Barley-pearled * Lentils *
Split peas-yellow * Split peas-green * Corn yellow *
Blue Parched corn ~
Barley * Buckwheat * Rye * Wheat * Corn *
Frybread Mix ** Sweet Pumpkin ~
Cereals & Meals
Barley grits * Corn grits * Oats-steel cut * Wheat-coarse * Corn meal * Blue corn meal ~
Herbs & Spices
Cayenne pepper * Cinnamon sticks * Garlic-granules * Ginger root-dried * Nutmeg-whole * Rose hips-seedless *
Walnut oil-haines *
French: La Compagnie - Vanilla bean was a favorite of the officers on New France. A blend of coffee and vanilla for a correct drink fitting 1670-1800.
Spanish: Santa Fe Trail - Used through out the S/W of N. America, a blend of coffee and chocolate. 1760-1830.
English: From the Colonies (manufacturer in North America.) - A collection of beans and nuts blended to the common manís taste. Used through out the colonies. 1610-1810.
Coffee Beans (Green /not roasted)
These coffee beans have been imported from the coffee capitals of the world, for centuries by the English, French, Spanish and American ships, taken to their home ports.
Brick single-tile; * Pressed cured blocks of tea, from Yunnan province, used as a currency for hundreds of years, traded in Europe and N. America in the earliest markets known.
Gun powder; * Course granulation tea that resembles cannon powder, a quarter teaspoon in a 1/2 pt. of boiling water produces a pleasant cup of tea.
Hyson; * Small leaf green tea, name means "bright spring", a good period tea for any camp.
Bohea; * Black orange pekoe, many recipes for this tea can be found through out history, was a very popular trade item, found on most supply lists.
China Black; * The tea that started the "Tea Trade" in Europe and is still a leader today, in markets around the world.
Maple sugar ** Maple sugar (cake) **
Cone sugar-piloncillo ** "Hat" of sugar ** Havana Brown sugar # Chocolate (ibarra) # Muscavado (in corn husk or in the cone) **

The term "Iíll eat my "hat" originated from the sugars wrapped in blue papers. The piloncillo and ibarra are still molded in the same design form as the originals in a museum in Santa Fe, NM.

Sea salt (sun dried) ** Orsa salt (sun dried) **
Dried Fruit
Apples (unsulphered) * Peaches *
Dried Meat (jerky)
Buffalo ** Elk **
(* most game meats would have been jerked)

Brass and copper items that are NOT LINED with tin are safe for NON-ACID foods only. These items must be well cleaned after each use, and food must not be allowed to remain in them for long periods of time. (This may cause a chemical reaction and create a poison!) Never cook in any vessel that has turned green! (This is verdigris, and is a poison!)
Brass or copper vessels which are tin-lined are 100% food safe for all foods.

When reading our information, if you find a spelling error, just think of a few of Mark Twainís statements; "its a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word." or "never tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."


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