Events: A Culinary History of New Amsterdam


Before New York Was New York: A Culinary History of New Amsterdam 
Tuesday, February 19th, 7:30 PM
@ The Farm on Adderley, 1108 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn
$60 (+ beverages, tax & gratuity)
To sign-up, send an e-mail to [email protected].

The Farm on Adderley is thrilled to welcome ‘historic gastronomist’ Sarah Lohman to host a meal inspired by what people were eating in New York in the 1600s and the lasting influence of Dutch tastes. The meal will be inspired by a cookbook compiled by the Lefferts family, who had a stronghold on land in the Flatbush (“Vlacke Bos”) area of Brooklyn.


House Made Breads/Butter/Cheese
rye + beer + walnut preserves

Smoked Eel
roasted apples, baby turnips
Kale & Bread Soup “Sop”
yellow eye beans, hominy

Salted Beef
pumpkin, parsnips
Corn “Panne­koeken”
“Koolsla” – cabbage, butter, vinegar
Crullers – cinnamon, apple, raisin
Caraway “koeckjes” w/ quince preserves

To sign-up, send an e-mail to [email protected].

Events: Brooklyn Buzzard Day March 18th

Buzzard Sunday
When: Sunday, March 18th, 11 am-4 pm
Where:  Brooklyn Brainery, 515 Court St., Brooklyn, NY.
Tickets: $12, Get ’em Here




We’re having a pancake breakfast! With games and a craft fair and fancy-pants pancakes.You’re all invited to come on down to the Brooklyn Brainery for a good old fashioned craft fair and pancake breakfast. We’ll be cooking up pancakes, all you can eat style, from 11-3pm or so, with plenty of OJ and coffee to wash it all downAdmission includes breakfast, games (and prizes!), and the chance to hang out with some other really nice people.Get your tickets in advance,we likely won’t have any at the door.Why? Buzzards, obviously.

Hinckley, Ohio is a small town with a bizarre holiday: Buzzard Day.

The legend of this festival stretches back nearly 200 years, to the great Hinckley Hunt of 1818. Hinckley was a new settlement and the menfolk decided a massive extermination of any and all nearby predatory animals was necessary for their safety and survival.

Because of a sudden freeze, they were forced to leave behind piles of rotting bear, wolf, and bobcat carcasses all winter. But when those rotting corpses thawed in the spring, magic happened: flocks of turkey vultures descended upon the small town to devour the fetid flesh.

To this day, buzzards still return to Hinckley on March 15th. The following Sunday is affectionately known as “Buzzard Sunday” and draws a crowd of thousands to the local elementary school for all you can eat pancakes, games, and crafts.  I’m cooking historic pumpkin cornmeal pancakes!

The legend of Buzzard Day may not be true, but this festival is the real deal. And this year, we’re starting the tradition of Brooklyn Buzzard Day.

It will be the best.  Get your tickets here.


The History Dish: George Washington’s Breakfast

George Washington’s breakfast: Three corn meal pancakes and three cups of tea.

“He rose before sunrise, always wrote or read until seven in summer or half past seven in the winter.  His breakfast was then ready–he ate three small mush cakes swimming in butter and honey, and drank three cups of tea without cream.”

–Nelly Custis Leiws, Washington’s step-granddaughter
(as republished in The Founding Foodies by Dave DeWitt)

I have a very specific obsession with menus; it’s not just the historic recipes I’m fascinated with, but the order in which people ate them, the occassion,  and the time of day.  I hope that by consuming foods in the same way, I can understand something about another way of life.  After I read the above qoute about George Washington’s morning routine, it prompted me to step into his shoes and consume his breakfast.

Last night, I texted my boyfriend:  “This will seem like a strange reqeust, but I need to get up at 6am.  Im trying to emulate george washington.”

To which my boyfriend promptly responded: “K sweets.  Sounds like a good idea. He was pretty.  Bad ass.”

The qoute from Washingotn’s step-grandaughter came from The Founding Foodies by Dave DeWitt, a new publication on early Americans who affected what we eat today.  Washington was a really badass farmer:  he turned a huge profit each year, likely due to the fact that he was always ready to try a new technique or a new trade, adding a grist mill and a distillery to his property late in life.  Having  visited his home two years ago, I enjoyed enivsioning him awake in the early hours of the morning, quietly reading, thinking, or penning letters, then sitting down to breakfast.

I set my alarm for 5:45 and slept through it.  Luckily, boyfriend Brian had set his and physcially rolled me out of bed at 6.  I have trouble getting up in the morning, which is unfortunate because I actually love the mornings.  Quiet and restful, being up before everyone else settles my mind, and gives me a headstart on the day.  I installed myself at the kitchen table, wrote a few emails, and read: World’s Largest Stove Destroyed–By Fire; A Feast for the Eyes; and The Ladies of the 17th Century Were Way More Hardcore than You.  Then, it was time to attack my breakfast.

Unlike Washington, I do not have slaves.  I cleaned my own kitchen, brewed my own tea, and mixed up my own batter for mush cakes:

Indian Mush Cakes, from Directions For Cookery, In Its Various Branches By Miss Leslie.  Philadelphia: E.L. Carey & Hart, 1840.

I scaled this recipe down, mixing 2 cups cold water with 1 1/3 cups cornmeal.  I used a sifter to add the cornmeal to the water, while whisking constantly.  This ended up being a great technique, as it did a good job preventing lumps.   Last, I added 1/3 cup whole wheat flour and a pinch of salt.

When bubbles start to appear, it’s time to flip!

The batter was quite thin, so I decided to use a small, non-stick skillet.  Butter went in the skillet, followed by enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan.  When bubbles began to appear on the surface, I flipped it (with confidence) and cooked the other side until brown.  Then, with a plate stacked high, I tucked slivers of butter in between the layers and covered the whole thing over with warm honey.

I had been concerned about the lack of leavning in the pancakes, but although they weren’t light and fluffy, they weren’t dense either.  They had a great, rugged texture, and pretty much anything “swimming” in butter is gonna taste pretty good.

We don’t really know if Nelly Custis’ account of Washington’s breakfast is factual, or if she just said it to make him sound more austere and awesome, unlike Ben Franklin, who “…ate an inordinate breakfast, four dishes of tea with cream, and one or two buttered toasts, with slices of hung beef…” (his own words).  But I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty bad ass right now (alot like this). I sat and munched my mush cakes, thinking about George, and how different his mornings may have been.  I have to admit, he may be displacing Thomas Jefferson as my favorite founding father.

Appetite City: Reuben’s Apple Pancake

This week’s episode of Appetite City focuses on Delis, a take-out tradition brought by the Germans and appropriated by Eastern-European Jewish immigrants. I cook up one of the BEST FOODS EVER: Apple Pancakes from the now defunct Reuben’s Restaurant.

I’ve done a post on Apple Pancakes before; so for recipes and more history on the dish, go here. They are well worth making–and reviving. When the cameras turned off, the crew of Appetite City descended upon the plate of Apple Pancake like a pack of ravenous lions, a swarm of hungry ants, or some sort of other voracious animal. The pancakes were a hit.

I had a viewing party at my apartment last night and cooked Apple Pancakes with the same results: swarms of my friends devouring them burning hot from communal plates.  I also served up another deli favorite, an authentic New York Egg Cream. Egg Creams, any New Yorker knows, contain neither eggs nor creams; and can only be authentically made with “Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup” (available locally at Economy Candy and online).   The formula is 2 tablespoons U-Bet Chocolate syrup mixed with 1 cup of whole milk and topped off with a 1/2 cup plain seltzer. I used a long, bar spoon to blend the syrup and milk before adding the seltzer; and, in a possible Egg Cream first, I added an ounce (or two) of rum.  Delicious.