Vintage recipes: Helpful cooking terms & definitions

Vintage bowl with flour in it - Baking

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Apollinaris water: A naturally sparkling mineral water from Germany

Aspic: A clear gelatin made from vegetable or meat broth, or from processed gelatin

Baste: To spoon or ladle drippings, marinade or another liquid over food as it roasts

Batter: A flour-liquid mixture that is thin enough to pour

Beat: To stir vigorously with a spoon, or to beat with an egg beater or electric mixer

Bind: To add egg, thick sauce or another ingredient to a mixture to help it hold together

Blanch: To scald quickly in boiling water

Bombe: A frozen dessert with two or more flavors layered in a fancy mold — also the name of the mold itself

Bouillon: A clear stock (like bone broth) made of poultry, meat, vegetables and seasonings

Bread: To coat with bread crumbs

Coat: To cover with flour, crumbs or another dry mixture before frying

Comfits: Candy-coated nuts, seeds, fruits or spices (Jordan almonds would be considered large comfits)

Compote: A mixture of sweetened cooked fruits

Forcemeat: A mixture of ground raw or cooked meat/poultry/fish, combined with vegetables, bread crumbs, and spices or seasonings

Frizzle: To fry bacon or another thinly-sliced meat until the edges ruffle

Garnish: To decorate with colorful and/or fancy-cut small pieces of food (See Fancy fruit & veg! Do-it-yourself garnishes)

Gill: Generally considered to be 5 liquid ounces, or a quarter of a British pint (which is 20 ounces vs the US 16 ounces), or half an Imperial cup measure… however, depending on when the recipe was written, it could mean a quarter of an American pint, which would make it 4 liquid ounces, or half a cup

Glace: Means something is candied, such as glace cherries and other candied fruits

Hors d ‘oeuvre: Bite-sized appetizers, typically served with cocktails

Lard: White rendered pork fat, used as a primary cooking/baking fat for generations

Macedoine: A mixture of vegetables or fruits, cut into small pieces

Macerate: To let something steep in wine or spirits

Marzipan: A sugary almond paste, also called almond candy dough, used to make decorative edible shapes

Mold: To shape in a shaped mold (also may be spelled mould) – this does not refer to the fungi

Mull: To heat a liquid (often cider or wine) with spices so the beverage takes on the smell and flavor of the aromatics

Oleo: Margarine — a butter substitute (also called oleomargarine back in the 40s/50s)

Paraffin: A white wax — specifically petroleum wax, used in canning and preserving

Paraffin paper: Waxed paper

Pipe: To squeeze frosting, whipped cream, mashed potatoes, or another similarly soft mixture through a pastry tube

Plump: To soak raisins or other dried fruits in liquid until they are rehydrated and plump up

Poach: To cook in simmering liquid

Ragout: A stew, usually with meat and vegetables

Ramekin: A small individual-size baking dish

Saleratus: A leavening agent — potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda. The first known use of the term was in 1837.

Shortening: Fat used to make cakes, pastries, cookies and bread flaky and tender (usually made with vegetable oil now)

Steep: To let food soak in liquid until the liquid absorbs its flavor, as in steeping tea in hot water

Stew: To cook meat and/or vegetabnles in hot liquid, then serve in the gravy created by the cooking process

Stock: Meat, poultry, fish or vegetable broth

Stud: To stick cloves, pieces of garlic, or another seasoning into the surface of a food to be cooked

Stuff: To fill the body cavity of fish or poultry

Timbale: A savory custard made with meat, fish, poultry or vegetables

Top of the bottle: The rich cream that rises to the top of a glass bottle of whole milk

Truss: To tie poultry (such as a Thanksgiving turkey) into a compact shape before roasting

Zest: The fragrant, oily and colored part of citrus fruit skin

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