Bitter Bonds

The Dutch Larder,
page 9 of 13

Rolliches were made of lean beef and fat cut in pieces about as large as dice, then highly seasoned with herbs and spices, sewed in tripe and boiled for several hours. This roll was then pressed into an oblong loaf, which made pretty slices when cut and served cold. Head cheese, or hoofd-kaas, was similar in appearance, but was made of pigs’-feet and portions of the head chopped fine, boiled in a bag, and pressed into the shape of a cheese. This also was served in cold slices.

Speck ende kool, pork and cabbage, was another domestic stand-by; fried pork and apples were made into an appetizing dinner dish. Roast ducks were served with pork-dumplings,— of which the mystery of manufacture is unknown to me.

A great favorite of the Dutch is shown through this advertisement in the “New York Gazette” of December 17, 1750:—

“The Printer hereof, ever mindful to please and gratify his Customers, finding but little Entertainment at present suitable to the Genius of many; has been obliged to provide for the Winter Evening Diversion of such of his Friends as are that way inclined, A Parcel of the Nuts commonly called KESKATOMAS NUTS which he sells at One Shilling per Half a Peck. N. B. They are all right ’sopus and of the right sort.’”

A writer in the “Literary World” in 1850 thus defines and eulogizes these nuts:—

                “Hickory, shell-bark, kiskitomas nut!
                Or whatsoever thou art called, thy praise
                Has ne’er been sounded yet in poet’s lays.”

Michaux, in his “North American Sylva,” says that many descendants of the Dutch in New Jersey and New York still call the hickory-nut Kisky-Thomas-nuts. The name is derived from an Indian word, not from the Dutch. These nuts were served at every winter evening company, great or small. Mrs. Grant tells of their appearance on the tea-table.

Of the drinking, habits of the Dutch colonists I can say that they were those of all the colonies, —excessive. Tempered in their tastes somewhat by the universal brewing and drinking of beer, they did not use as much rum as the Puritans of New England, nor drink as deeply as the Virginia planters; but the use of liquor was universal.


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