Yes, I admit I’m a little behind the times.
I just found out about a marvelous and fascinating cooking show on PBS that’s called “A Taste of History.” Chef Walter Staib takes viewers on a journey through American cooking with recipes from Colonial times.
Chef Staib actually cooks the 18th century dishes for “A Taste of History” in an open hearth fireplace, using typical utensils available to cooks of the era. For example, he uses a spider, a large iron frying pan with three 10-12″ long spindly legs, to cook everything that doesn’t work well in a Dutch oven. The spider is quite clever; the legs keep the fire underneath the pan (or on one side), and temperature control is basically achieved by moving the pan to and from the fire.
“A Taste of History” visits American historical sites such as Valley Forge and Monticello for two episodes, according to the show’s website: http://www.atasteofhistory.com/.
What a wonderful way to understand some of our favorite family recipes, and perhaps gain more information for our family cookbooks! I highly recommend watching “A Taste of History,” (which began earlier in 2009). Check your local public television station for the airing schedule; I hope you are lucky enough to find it.
I confess: I saw my first episode of “A Taste of History” while channel surfing after the Rose Parade!