7 Long Lost Recipes from Antiquity to Try when You're Feeling Adventurous ...

I consider myself an old soul so I always look out for recipes from antiquity. One of my favorite cookbooks for creative recipes from antiquity is called "Lost Recipes: Meals To Share with Family and Friends," by Marion Cunningham. One quick note, antiquity is often considered a period before the Middle Ages. However it can also be defined as a specified historical period during the ancient past. The following recipes are all considered "home cooked" meals from early American history.

1. Cold Cucumber Soup with Mint

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The first on the list of recipes from antiquity is perfect for the summertime! Says Cunningham, "Think of this soup as 'the colder, the better,' especially on a warm summer evening." I like it best not over blended when there are still some rough pieces of cucumber for texture.

Ingredients:
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Sour cream, thinned with a little milk, for garnish

Directions:
Put the cucumbers, chicken broth, milk, cream, and lemon juice into a blender or food processor. Pulse the ingredients together just until roughly blended; you will want to leave some pieces of cucumber unless you opt for a smoother consistency. Add salt to taste and the chopped mint, stirring with a spoon to mix.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Pour into chilled blows or mugs, and garnish with a swirl of thinned sour cream.

2. Spoon Bread

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Here's what Cunningham has to say about Spoon Bread, an old Southern favorite: "Many of our dearly loved home-cooked dishes are fading from memory, and they are not being replaced by better renditions. A perfect example of this is Spoon Bread. Spoon Bread was a frequent part of family meals for over a hundred years. Sarah Rutledge, author of 'The Carolina Housewife,' written in 1847, gives a Spoon Bread recipe in her book and states, 'Spoon Bread was as popular as a southern belle everywhere in the South.' The apotheosis of corn bread - the ultimate, glorified idea - Spoon Bread is a steaming-hot, feather-light dish of cornmeal mixed with butter, eggs, and milk, lifted by the head of the oven to a soufflé of airiness."

Ingredients:

2. 5 Cups Water

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1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or buttermilk
4 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1.5 quart casserole. Stir 1/2 cup of cold water into the cornmeal. (This prevents lumping when the cornmeal is added to boiling water.) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt, then the cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Beat in the milk, eggs, and butter until smooth. Pour into the casserole and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a straw inserted in the center comes out clean.

3. Vegetable Barley

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Cunningham describes this dish as wholesome comfort food. It's hearty and filling, but nourishing thanks to the barley. It's ideal when you just want a little warmth and food-love.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled, halved, and sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced
8 cups chicken broth

1. 5 Cups Pearl Barley

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salt and black pepper to taste
2 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach leaves, washed

Directions:
Melt the butter in a large soup pot and add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, barley, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 1.5 hours, or until the barley is tender, stirring every so often so the barley does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add zucchini and spinach. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve hot.

4. Tomato Rarebit

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This recipe is a favorite because it's so easy. You'll have most of the ingredients already, making this a quick pick when you need something fast for the family. It's also perfect if unexpected guests pop over.

Ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk, heated

1. 5 Cups (5 Ounces) Grated Cheddar Cheese

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2 eggs
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
salt to taste
8 slices to toast

Directions:
Mix together the chopped tomatoes and the baking soda. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the warm milk and stir until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Add the tomatoes and baking soda, cheese, eggs, mustard, cayenne, and salt to taste. Cook over very low heat, stirring, until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth and blended. Spoon over the toast and serve hot.

5. Green Onion Pie

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According to the author, you can add practically anything you like to this dish, including bacon. It might not be something you want to eat before a date, it's a great dish. Just make sure you keep an eye on the boiling cream.

Ingredients:
Basic Pastry Dough
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 cups chopped green onion or scallions (tender white part with a little green)
2 cups cream, scalded
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9-inch pan with the rolled-out pastry dough. Pierce the dough all around the bottom with a fork, and line with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool a bit.

Melt the butter in the skillet and sauté the onions until soft and tender. Put the onions in the pre baked pie shell. Mix together the scalded cream and the eggs and pour over the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the basil. Bake the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.

6. Kedgeree

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Oh goodness, this is my favorite recipe in the entire book! I have probably made this 10 times now and I just can't get enough of it, ladies. In the eighteenth century, Kedgeree was very popular as an Indian breakfast dish. It was embraced by the English and later by Americans, and has been served as a supper dish. Its popularity was enormous for many, many years. Kedgeree is too good to be a lost recipe. It is easy to make, particularly if you have left over cooked fish.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon summer savory
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups flaked cooked fish, such as sole or cod fillets (see notes)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk

Directions:
Heat the butter in a large skillet and quickly cook the onion and green pepper over medium heat, without browning them. Stir in the curry powder, savory, cooked rice, and flaked fish, mixing thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste and a little more curry, if desired. Stir in the milk and bring the mixture to the boiling point. Serve immediately.

Note: To cook and flake fish, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter in a sauté pan and add the fish. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the fish is opaque. Remove from the pan and use a fork to break up the fish into flakes.

7. Blue Ribbon Gingerbread

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"Gingerbread existed in medieval times, and it was given as a gift like a box of chocolate," explains Cunningham. The original gingerbreads always had honey as a sweetener, and if you want to honor the past, add 1 tablespoon of honey to the following recipe. Serve this warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Ingredients:

2. 5 Cups All-purpose Flour

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1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour an 8-inch square pan. Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together onto a piece of waxed paper.

Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until it is smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and molasses (and honey if you wish), and continue beating until well blended. Mix the baking soda and boiling water and pour into the butter-sugar mixture, beating well. Add the flour mixture and continue to beat until the batter is smooth, then beat in the eggs.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Serve warm or cool.

Do you have any favorite recipes that have been passed down in your family from generations before? If you do, treasure them because many families no longer do this. I'd love to hear what some of your favorite recipes are!

Source: "Lost Recipes: Meals To Share With Family and Friends" by Marion Cunningham

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