Sunday, December 27, 2015

1932 - Wannock Gardens, Eastbourne - Seed Border

Wannock was a well known spot since the mid-1800s as far as I can see.  The strawberry gardens there made a pleasant destination when combined with having tea somewhere.  It seems it was a lovely area to visit.  By the early 1900s ads ran for "Charabanc tour for ladies at 2.30 p.m. ; tea at the Old Mill GardensWannock."

The following illustration is from Eastbourne From Old Photographs By Roy Douglas. 

Pumpkin Beer to the Rescue! Connecticut Flip

In a History of New York During the Revolutionary War the diet of a hale old general was noted to contain a great deal of "flip" which was "A mixture of New England rum, pumpkin beer, and brown sugar. In winter this liquor is made warm by putting a red-hot poker into it. Every public-house in Connecticut has in the winter season one of these pokers (known among them by the name of loggerheads) always in the fire, ready upon the arrival of travellers or the arriving in of company. It is far from being disagreeable liquor, and is universally drank in Connecticut."

 The following from Stage-coach and Tavern Days by Alice Morse Earle can be found in Project Gutenburg if you would like to read more. 
"Other names for the hospital loggerhead were flip-dog and hottle. The loggerhead was as much a part of the chimney furniture of an old-time New England tavern and farm-house as the bellows or andirons. In all taverns and many hospitable homes it was constantly kept warm in the ashes, ready for speedy heating in a bed of hot coals, to burn a mug of fresh flip for every visitor or passer by. Cider could be used instead of beer, if beer could not be had. Some wise old flip tasters preferred cider to beer. Every tavern bill of the eighteenth century was punctuated with entries of flip. John Adams said if you spent the evening in a tavern, you found it full of people drinking drams of flip, carousing, and swearing. The old taprooms were certainly cheerful and inviting gathering-places; where mine host sat behind his cagelike counter surrounded by cans and bottles and glasses, jars of whole spices and whole loaves of sugar; where an inspiring row of barrels of New England rum, hard cider, and beer ranged in rivalry at an end of the room, and
[Pg 113]“Where dozed a fire of beechen logs that bred
Strange fancies in its embers golden-red,
And nursed the loggerhead, whose hissing dip,
Timed by wise instinct, creamed the bowl of flip.”

These fine lines of Lowell’s seem to idealize the homely flip and the loggerhead as we love to idealize the customs of our forbears. Many a reader of them, inspired by the picture, has heated an iron poker or flip-dog and brewed and drunk a mug of flip. I did so not long ago, mixing carefully by a rule for flip recommended and recorded and used by General Putnam—Old Put—in the Revolution. I had the Revolutionary receipt and I had the Revolutionary loggerhead, and I had the old-time ingredients, but alas, I had neither the tastes nor the digestion of my Revolutionary sires, and the indescribable scorched and puckering bitterness[Pg 114] of taste and pungency of smell of that rank compound which was flip, will serve for some time in my memory as an antidote for any overweening longing for the good old times."

I live next to Putnam, Connecticut.  I didn't know I was bang in the middle of the land of flip!  

In another book, Customs and Fashions in Old New England, Earle reported "Flip was a vastly popular drink, and continued to be so for a century and a half. I find it spoken of as early as 1690. It was made of home-brewed beer, sweetened with sugar, molasses, or dried pumpkin, and flavored with a liberal dash of rum, then stirred in a great mug or pitcher with a red-hot loggerhead or hottle or flip-dog, which made the liquor foam and gave it a burnt bitter flavor."

"...The colonists at first were deprived of their beer. One of the earliest New-England poets, in boasting of the comforts around him, does it regretfully, after this fashion:
If barley be wanting to make into malt,
We must be contented, and think it no fault.
For we can make liquor, to sweeten our lips,
Of pumpkins and parsnips and walnut-tree chips.
They could not, however, have long been confined to their pumpkin-beer, for the General Court of Massachusetts, in 1687, regulated the brewers in the colony, and enacted that "no person shall brewe any beare, or malte, or other drinke, or sell in gross, or by retaile, but only such as shall be licensed by this Courte, on pain of £100;..."

Appletons' Journal, Volume 13

"Colonial Americans also drank their pumpkin. An enterprising person can make an alcoholic beverage out of almost anything, and the Pilgrims seem to have been first to make pumpkin beer or ale. ...
The Pilgrim recipe was said to involve a mixture of persimmons, hops, maple syrup, and, of course, pumpkin. 
Further south in Virginia, planter Landon Carter mentions pumpkins in his diary in 1765. He, too, concocted some sort of alcoholic beverage from fermented pumpkins. He christened it pumperkin.
Perhaps he used a method similar to an anonymous recipe of 1771:
Let the Pompion be beaten in a Trough and pressed as Apples. The expressed juice is to be boiled in a copper a considerable time and carefully skimmed that there may be no remains of the fibrous part of the pulp. After that intention is answered let the liquid be hopped culled fermented & casked as malt beer."

Saturday, December 26, 2015

New Resource... American Heritage Vegetables

I have been busy working on another hobby blog lately but the siren song of seeds lured me back today.  Exploring popular veg for 1850 I was looking through T. Bridgeman's The young gardener's assistant: containing a catalogue of garden & flower seeds, with practical directions under each head for the cultivation of culinary vegetables and flowers ; also directions for cultivating fruit trees, the grape vine, &c., to which is added a calendar, showing the work necessary to be done in the various departments of gardening in every month of the year. 

Next thing you know I was looking up Thousand-headed Cabbage!  That led me to the new resource... American Heritage Vegetables.

Then I was looking for a supplier for the heritage netted pumpkin Winter Luxury to grow next year because they liked it.  (Johnny's Selected Seeds has it.)   

I love pumpkin.  Next year I thought I'd use it more as a side dish with meals, baked.  

This year I discovered Buttercup...YUM!!!!!!!!! Sadly, everyone says it is not a good keeper. That won't keep me from growing it, but my dreams of feasting all winter on it have been dashed.
(Oh, no! I was just looking again at Winter Luxury.  It is not a keeper either.)

Next year is my first vegetable garden in 30+ years.  Tree removal and bulldozing a small flat-ish area into a hill have given me the opportunity.  I have been building stone walls to hold in improved soil as I hand shovel it truly flat and mix in organic matter.  Our dump is a source of great compost from the leaf drop-off area!  This winter is a winter of seed hunting and dreaming.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Old Photo: Proud Mama, Proud Gardener

Our families include our favorite plants as all of you know.  Gardeners are delighted when they both are thriving!

On the flip side, I still mourn the loss of a night blooming cereus my grandmother handed down to me.  ...sigh...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Photos of People with Corn Stalks

I tried to think of a title for this post that wasn't so matter of fact, but this is all that came to mind.  In my defense, it is wicked hot in our old elementary school and my brains have simmered all day. 

There is something about tall plants that amuses people.  Corn, hollyhocks, sunflowers and the like attract people when the camera is around like bees are attracted to blossoms!  My husband says if I just planted my favorites he would have to get a ladder to admire the should see my lilies in bloom - over 6 feet high!

Anyway, back to the corn - here are some old photos I gathered off eBay over the years.

Stroudsburg is a borough in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, United States.
It is located in the Poconos region of the state,
approximately five miles from the Delaware Water Gap.

This is too good not to share full size.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Old Photo: Proud Man and his Dahlias

Actually, this is Ross Wallis.
While I haven't a clue who he was yet, he must have loved his dahlias and taken them quite seriously as the Ross Wallis Challenge cup for the highest points in the Dahlia Section is now awarded at the annual Burton & Rossett Horticultural Society Show.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Rambo the Apple! - 1893 - Henry C. Rupp & Son, Cumberland Nurseries, Pennsylvania

This is an interesting catalogue if you like old variety names as much as I do.  There are nice fruits and roses.
The names alone are worth the reading; if you are interested in the fruit or plant, all the better!

I did not find any information about Rupp or his sons yet.   There are quite a few Rupps online, but not this one.   (Larger sized pages are displayed below.)

But, first the Rambo apple history.

  • When chatting about the coddling moth on apples, the writer remembered how keen eyed boys can see what their elders can not!
    "About this matter of sharp juvenile eyesight, we on one occasion came near getting a castigation because we alleged that we saw thousands of little white "snakes" in the vinegar, and could not demonstrate to our elders that they were there. But, to return to our subject, it really does not seem to us that there are more codlings now than there were fifty or sixty years ago, although, in proportion to the population, there must have been a greater abundance of apples then than now. It is also very doubtful to our mind, notwithstanding all the clamor raised against the codling moths, or all the remedies that have been discovered and applied to their destruction, whether their number has been greatly diminished, or, perhaps, ever will be. It seems to us that the remedy is to increase and improve the quantity and health of the apple crop. One discovery we boys made, or thought we made, more than fifty years ago, was that the rambo apples were less infested by the worms than any other variety. We often visited the apple bins in the dark, after we had retired to bed—for they were in proximity to our sleeping apartment up to the holidays at least—and we were always sure to select the rambo bin, because we felt that these might be eaten in the dark without the chances of swallowing worms. And yet the rambo has become obsolete, and in many places entirely extinct, notwithstanding that taking it "all in all," as an eating apple, it never has been superceded. It is true its quality becomes impaired after the month of January or February, but from early autumn up to the Christmas holidays, it was king in our early days. As a culinary fruit the rambo even then was considered inferior to the vandevere or the grindstone, two old varieties that have also become obsolete. The romanite, we thought, also shared in exemption from the codling. We thought the codling more partial to apples of a dryer and more granular texture than the rambo and the romanite."

1880 - The Lancaster Farmer 

  • Charles Downing, in a paper on nomenclature, said:"It has been pretty clearly shown, of late, that the origin of Summer Rambo or Western Beauty, was at Marietta, Pennsylvania, on the premises of John Orosh, about the year H15, and was first called Big Rambo, afterward GrosU, and now is known in most localities in Pennsylvania as SummerRambo and Large Rambo, and in Ohio and other portions of the West as Western Beauty, etc
    "The following are the synonyms in different sections of the country:
    "Summer Ranbo or Western Beauty, Big Rambo, Grosh, Large Rambo, Large Summer Rambo, Grosh's Mammoth, Mammoth Rambo (Ohio Beau'y of some), Musgraves' Cooper, CumminB' Rambo, Pickaway Rambo (French Rambo of some), Naylor Rambo, Sweet Rambo incorrectly.
    "There is another Big
     Rambo, or more properly Hoadley, which was raised by Mrs. Robert Ramsey, of Millbrook, Ohio; fruit of large size, rounder in form than the above, and not as good in quality, but valuable for culinary uses and for market.
    "There is claimed to be two other summer Rambos, one from Pennsylvania and the other from Michigan, which are smaller in size, and better in quality, but there is no positive knowledge of their identity so far as I can learn.

    "The Summer
     Rambo of Cox and Downing, which has for its synonyms Rambour Franc and Rnmbour d'Ete, is the Rambour Franc, a very old foreign variety, ripening in September, and more suited for culinary uses than for the table.
    "Some years since, I received from Andre Leroy, of Angers, trees of Rambour d'Ete, which have fruited several times, and it is quite distinct from any of the above, more oblate and conic in form, tree more spreading, and the fruit a month later in ripening; it is more valuable for culinary uses than for the table."

1878 - Annual Report of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture