Food and traveling always come together, and I am not talking about just eating out but expanding your own culinary skills as well. In September Dave and I were visiting DC. After checking out the major attractions and going to the Nationals vs Marlins game (the new Nationals ballpark is amazing!) we decided to do a day trip to Gettysburg, the site of the famous battle during the Civil War.
To tell you the truth I had not know about it until recently (shame on me!) but Gettysburg was on Dave’s bucket list for a long time. The trip turned out to be a real eye opener for me. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle was the bloodiest in the American history with 50,000 people killed or wounded and is described as a turning point in the whole Civil War.
|The view of the battlefield|
|Eternal Light Memorial|
Today the battlefield is turned into a museum you can visit. We got a CD guide and drove around the battlefield, learned a lot of history and actually got the feeling of the long past events. The battle is an eternal home and tribute to the soldiers who fought there and is filled with numerous monuments. The place is amazing, very live and a must see for everyone who is into history.
|Little Round Top|
|Virginia Memorial. The location Gen. Robert E. Lee saw his army crumble|
|Lonely house on the battlefield|
|One of numerous memorials|
While at Gettysburg we decided to get something for my father-in-law who knows DC pretty well but has never been to this place. Gettysburg National Military Park has a nice visitors center with a great store. I wasn’t looking for anything special when I spotted a Civil War cooking book, and not just one! Having a Civil War dinner for my family of history lovers, what could be better! Of course I ended up buying it. Oh yes, souvenir for Dave’s Dad: after checking out lots of books, cups, fridge magnets etc etc we decided on two nice (and Gettysburg-branded) jars of strawberry-rhubarb and peach jam - he likes food too:)
The book I bought seems to give a start to my new collection of historical cooking books. It contains recipes from Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular magazine for women in 19th century America and in the 1860s, the Civil War times, had a national circulation of 150,000. Interestingly enough, the recipes (receipts) were submitted by female readers from both the North and the South, hence the diversity of dishes also influenced a lot by the immigrants who came to the New World around that time. The recipes are both simple and satisfying, often built around seasonal produce and may seem nothing special to a modern cook. Nevertheless, knowing what people made and ate back those days is pretty amazing. Learning history through food, why not?
I decided to start my Civil War food experiment with two easy to make dishes - dressed cucumbers (1861) and buttered cabbage (1862).
Dressed cucumbers (1861)
Ingredients (serve 2):
- 2 cucumbers
- 3 tbs vegetable oil
- 4 tbs vinegar
- salt, pepper
- Pare cucumbers and cut them equally into very thin slices.
- Put the slices into a dish. sprinkle over salt and pepper.
- Pour over vegetable oil and vinegar.
- Turn the cucumbers about - and the dish is ready to serve!
Buttered cabbage (1862)
Ingredients (serve 2):
- 1 small cabbage head
- 2 medium-sized onion bulbs
- 1.7 oz (50 g) butter
- salt, pepper
- Boil the cabbage and onions.
- Chop them together.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Fry them in butter.
- The dish is often used with fried sausages laid over it. Serve it hot and enjoy!
You may want to serve some nice (better homemade) bread with this dish to make it even more satisfying and savory.
Civil War food cooking to be continue:)