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Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

08 January 2007

Kickshaws

As many of you know, I’m a reenactor. So on top of making historically accurate clothing, I sometimes need to make historically accurate food. Recently some friends and I had an 18th century Afternoon At Home. We all brought a “kickshaw” to share. I made mine out of Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels. If you’ve any interest at all in the food of the Regency period, I highly recommend this book.

Kickshaws, an English bastardization of the French quelque chose, are basically the same thing as hors d’oeuvres or amuse bouche. They’re tiny things one might put out for guests to nibble on.

I made Maids of Honour (p. 41-42). According to Grossman and Thomas, these were also known as “cheesecakes”, which is odd, as they haven’t any cheese in them. But they are eaqsy to make, really tasty, and they went over great.

Puff Pastry (I bought mine)

Filling:

2/3 cup almonds, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 drops rose water
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt

Preheat oven 350°

Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Roll the pastry out on a floured board to 1/8”. Cut rounds slighty larger than the top of the muffin cups (a fluted cookie cutter is pretty, but a cup will work just fine). Put one round in each cup and press down gently to the bottom. Spoon the filling into the cups, almost all the way to the top.

Bake 25 mintues.

9 Comments:

Blogger Victoria Dahl said...

Kalen, these sound delicious! Mmm.

So, do you have rose water laying around, or did you have to buy that special? What else did you guys eat?

4:06 PM  
Blogger Jolie Mathis said...

Mmmmmmm!! I'll have to try these out. I'm a foodie.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

Do you all drink watered down wine to go alone with the kickshaws? :) I had no idea you guys did the food also. Sounds like a hoot.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Ditto what jolie said. Sounds like I could eat about a dozen of these in one sitting . . .

I could never have tea with Regency ladies because I would actually want to EAT!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Kalen Hughes said...

Vicki, I got rose water at a local snootie food shop (which are a dime a dozen here in the Bay Area). You could make these without it though, and I think they'd be just as good.

Monica, the food is half the fun, but we're not a watered down wine kind of crowd. LOL! I made a kick-ass hasenfeffer for my last 16th century event, and another woman brought bear stew (gamey, but good, I have to say). I'll do a post on Medieval foods later.

We'll have to all go out to a high tea at one of the fancy hotels when RWA's conference is here in 2008. The St. Francis makes the most amazing scones . . .

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Judy T said...

Oh, my goodness, those sound delicious! And how fun! I love experimenting with cooking. Thank you so much for the info!

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Mary Blayney said...

After reading reviews of this book and hearing one of the authors speak at an all day seminar on the O'Brian books, I've always wonderd if the recipes were as doable as the author insisted. Thanks for trying it, Kalen. It was clear to me that I was never going to get beyond wondering about it.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Keira Soleore said...

Was rechecking here to read new comments on this post, when I discovered that Blogger ate my brilliant comments posted earlier in the day.

To paraphrase... Kalen, I'm impressed at your culinary attention to historical details. Thanks for the tip on the book.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Keira Soleore said...

BTW, When I first read the word kickshaws, my mind went to the three-wheeler taxis you see in India called rickshaws. I wondered if the names had a common link. Then you mentioned that kickshaws comes from quelque chose. Since the Brits named the Indian vehicle, I wonder which French phrase they used.

4:48 PM  

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