Tag Archives: recipe

Campbell Cuisine » Morel Season

A patch of whim­si­cal-look­ing morels.

One of the most deli­cious bell­wethers of spring is morel sea­son. A prized vari­ety of mush­room that is found in damp con­di­tions at the base of cer­tain vari­eties of trees, morels are extra­or­di­nar­i­ly tasty and are sought after by dis­cern­ing chefs and gour­mands alike. Morels are at their peak begin­ning in April, but they can be found as ear­ly as Feb­ru­ary. Though cul­ti­vat­ed, morels appear in the wild, thus peo­ple who go look­ing for them are “hunters.” Hike through the many pub­lic morel-hunt­ing spots here in Mis­souri and across the coun­try, and you’ll find these dis­tinc­tive-look­ing fun­gi grow­ing in patch­es.  To learn more about more about morels in Mis­souri, check out the Mis­souri Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s page on Munch­able Morels.

Are you a lucky morel hunter and need a new recipe? We’ve got you cov­ered. We found a deca­dent recipe in Vir­ginia Campbell”s cook­book for Stewed Mush­rooms. (And we mean deca­dent: cream, an egg-sized slab of but­ter and eggs. Holy cho­les­terol, Batman!)

Vir­gini­a’s cook­book is sig­nif­i­cant for a num­ber of rea­sons, but pri­mar­i­ly because it is so old and it’s in such good shape. Dat­ing to the 1840s, this was her per­son­al, hand-writ­ten cook­book that con­tains recipes that were reg­u­lar­ly pre­pared by the cook in our kitchen. You’ll notice that Vir­gini­a’s recipes do not have the same for­mat we’re used to (the list of ingre­di­ents on top, direc­tions under­neath); they read more like short nar­ra­tives. Our mod­ern palates con­sid­er a dish of stewed mush­rooms fair­ly nor­mal, but we have recipes for calves feet (and jel­ly!), boiled turkey, cough med­i­cine and ter­rapin stew. The Camp­bells also ate things we still eat reg­u­lar­ly, includ­ing donuts, mac­a­roni and cheese, and fried chick­en, but after flip­ping through the cook­book, you get a glimpse of how dif­fer­ent culi­nary life — and life in gen­er­al — was in the sec­ond half of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. As time goes on, we’ll share many more of her recipes with you, but with­out fur­ther ado, here’s an image of her recipe:

The tran­scrip­tion with orig­i­nal punc­tu­a­tion and spelling:

Stewed Mush­rooms.

Take a qt of fresh Mush­rooms, peel them and cut off the stems, sea­son them
with Pep­per and Salt. Put them in a saucepan or skil­let, with a lump of
fresh But­ter the size of an Egg, and suf­fi­cient Cream or rich Milk to cover
them. Put on the lid of the pan, and stew the Mush­rooms about a 1/4 of an
hour, keep­ing them well cov­ered, or the fla­vors will evap­o­rate. When you take them
off the fire have ready 1 or 2 well beat­en Eggs. Stir the eggs grad­u­al­ly into the stew,
and send them to table in a cov­ered dish.

This sounds pret­ty tasty, but if you would rather stick with a recipe that has more exact mea­sure­ments, give this one a shot. Enjoy! 

Valentine’s Day at Campbell House with the London Tea Room

It’s time to start plan­ning a spe­cial Valen­tine’s Day fete with your sweet­iekins! For­get the same ol’ crowd­ed bars and restau­rants, and let Camp­bell House take care of your night. At 6:00 PM on Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 14, 2012, bring your spe­cial some­one over to the house for a high tea host­ed by our pals from the Lon­don Tea Room.

This is what’s cookin:

  • Upon arrival, toast this day of romance and love with a glass of Vir­ginia Camp­bel­l’s Roman (read: Cham­pagne) Punch.* While wait­ing for the culi­nary bac­cha­na­lia, you can explore our house, one of the coun­try’s finest exam­ples of high Vic­to­ri­an inte­ri­or decor.
  • After you get com­fort­able seat­ed at a table in the Par­lor, Morn­ing Room, Din­ing Room or Kitchen, you will enjoy the fol­low­ing delicacies: 
    • An assort­ment of fin­ger sand­wich­es, includ­ing smoked salmon on wheat; ham on rye with grain mus­tard mayo; and cucum­ber on cream cheese with dill and chives.
    • Tra­di­tion­al Eng­lish black cur­rant scone, served with Devon­shire cream and jam.
    • Selec­tion of beau­ti­ful petit fours.
    • A per­son­al pot of tea, reg­u­lar or decaf.
  • We’re going to dig through our archive to find some excep­tion­al lovey-dovey-themed Camp­bell pieces (yep, we have a lot of these…Robert and Vir­ginia were crazy about each oth­er) to dis­play for this evening only.
  • When you leave, you’ll receive a good­ie bag with tea dis­count cards, pass­es for free admis­sion to Camp­bell House, infor­ma­tion on Vic­to­ri­an Valen­tine’s Day tra­di­tions, and a copy of one of Robert and Vir­gini­a’s love let­ters, along with some oth­er choice loot.

Tick­ets are $45.00 each, and Lon­don Tea Room will be donat­ing $12.50 of each tick­et to Camp­bell House. Ready to make your reser­va­tion? Give us a ring at 314/421‑0325 with your Visa, Mas­ter­card or Dis­cov­er to hold your seats. We only have 36 seats avail­able, so call us ear­ly — we think this is going to be a big hit.

*Roman Punch is a tra­di­tion­al palate-cleans­ing drink that was often served between savory cours­es. If you want to make a batch at home, here’s a mod­ern­ized ver­sion of Vir­gini­a’s recipe:

Vir­ginia Camp­bel­l’s Roman Punch
1 12-oz can frozen lemonade
1 12-oz can of water
4 T frozen orange concentrate
Zest of one orange
2/3 bot­tle of champagne
In a blender, blitz lemon­ade, water, orange con­cen­trate, and zest. Pour mix­ture into a con­tain­er suit­able for freez­ing and add cham­pagne. Mix well and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw to make a slush and serve. Enjoy!

Virginia Campbell’s Washington Cake

In hon­or of the hol­i­day week­end, we’re post­ing one of Vir­ginia Camp­bel­l’s patri­ot­ic recipes from her own hand-writ­ten cook­book.  This appears to be an adap­ta­tion of Martha Wash­ing­ton’s recipe, and it’s no sur­prise Vir­ginia has a ver­sion of this in her own cook­book; Vir­ginia was the Mis­souri Vice-Regent for the Mount Ver­non Ladies Asso­ci­a­tion, and she was instru­men­tal in rais­ing mon­ey to restore Mount Ver­non.  (We even have a pic­ture of Martha hang­ing in Camp­bell House right out­side Vir­gini­a’s bed­room as homage to her.)

Notice, Vir­ginia does not give direc­tions out­side the list of ingre­di­ents, assum­ing the cook will know how to add the ingre­di­ents at prop­er inter­vals.  If you’re an adven­tur­ous cook, give this one a try to hon­or the Wash­ing­tons this Fourth of July weekend:

Wash­ing­ton Cake
1–3/4 pounds flour
1–1/2 pounds sugar
3/4 pound butter
8 eggs
1 pint warm milk
1 tea­spoon of pearl ash dis­solved in French brandy
2 pounds cur­rants or raisins or 1 pound of each
2 nutmegs
6 cloves
1 tea cup brandy

Tried and good.

Vir­ginia Camp­bel­l’s Wash­ing­ton Cake

Hap­py Fourth of July from all of us here at Camp­bell House Museum!