Pairing Beer with Recipes of Quality

Photograph of Amelia Heurich, n.d. Photo by: Leet Brothers, Washington, D.C. Featured Item, Heurich House Collections
Photograph of Amelia Heurich, n.d.
Photo by: Leet Brothers, Washington, D.C.
Featured Item, Heurich House Collections

Based on entries in her personal diaries, oral family history, and the current condition of the Heurich House Museum, it is clear that Amelia Heurich took housekeeping very seriously; this made her a model wife of her time.  Amelia’s journals contain detailed entries about staff members and her opinions of their work and work ethic.  She was known to sit in the corner of the kitchen to watch the cook, Anna, while she went about her daily activities.  She collected recipes for cleaning solutions, medicines, and food.

One of the recipes that Amelia collected shares part of its name with this month’s History and Hops sponsor, Blue Mountain Brewery:

Amelia Heurich's Recipe for Quick Mountain Pudding, n.d. Featured Item, Heurich House Museum Collection
Amelia Heurich’s Recipe for Quick Mountain Pudding, n.d. Featured Item, Heurich House Museum Collection

Quick Mountain Pudding

4 eggs

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup sugar

A little vanilla

Beat the yolks and whites of eggs separately, would be better if whites of 7 eggs be used.

With the yolks of eggs beat the cocoa, sugar & vanilla.  Then beat this with the whites of eggs and then put in a moderate oven and bake.

This recipe seems simple, but it lacks the detailed level of instruction that would allow us to understand exactly how to make it or even which specific ingredients to use. It is unclear whether this was because Amelia jotted it down quickly as someone told it to her, or that she would have expected anyone reading the recipe (her cook) to have the requisite knowledge of technique needed to make it. For a further study of the recipe and a more detailed version, check out the next blog post.

Amelia’s journals were not the only cookbooks found around the Heurich household. The Chr. Heurich Brewing Co. published Recipes of Quality around 1914, and Amelia had her own copy.

Front Cover of Recipes of Quality, Presented by the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co, Washington, D.C.
Front Cover of Recipes of Quality, Presented by the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co, Washington, D.C.
Introduction page of Recipes of Quality, Featured Item, Heurich House Collection
Introduction page of Recipes of Quality c. 1914, Featured Item, Heurich House Collection
Examples of meals that would pair well with Senate or Maerzen beer, listed in Recipes of Quality.
Examples of meals that would pair well with Senate or Maerzen beer, listed in Recipes of Quality c.1914.
Supper menu, complete with either Senate or Maerzen recommendations
Appetizing Supper menu, complete with either Senate or Maerzen recommendations

The brewery gave away this promotional cookbook with the purchase of a case of “Home Brew” beer, a less than 2% ABV [alcohol by volume] beverage. Modern “sponsored cookbooks” typically incorporate the brand’s food product into the actual recipes.  In the Heurich cookbook, beer is a supporting character, rather than a main player; the beer is paired with a supper menu, not added as a dish’s ingredient.

Clipping of 1914 newspaper article, advertising Home Brew beer and Recipes of Quality, Collection of Jack Blush.
Clipping of 1914 newspaper article, advertising Home Brew beer and Recipes of Quality, Collection of Jack Blush.
Back side of Recipes of Quality Book, c. 1914 Featured Item, Heurich House Museum Collection
Back cover of Recipes of Quality Book, c. 1914 Featured Item, Heurich House Museum Collection

Heurich’s “Recipes of Quality” was 100 years ahead of its time; the modern craft beer landscape has adopted the beer pairing concept that Heurich’s cookbook highlighted.  Although official certification for wine sommeliers has been around since 1907, certified beer Cicerones have only existed since 2011.  The rise in popularity of food and beer pairings is largely due to the work of Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster, Garrett Oliver who set the tone with his 2005 publication The Brewmaster’s Table.

Now that there is no longer Senate-Maerzen to pair with Amelia’s Quick Mountain Pudding, which modern beer would work best?  Of the three beers that are being served at this month’s History & Hops, Blue Mountain co-owner Matt Nucci would choose one of the brewery’s bourbon barrel-aged beers:

“…Local Species has some sweetness and vanilla flavors that it picks up from the bourbon barrels its aged in.  We do make a beer called Dark Hollow which is a bourbon barrel aged Stout.  That goes super with any chocolaty desert….”

Blue Mountain Brewery Local Species, a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Belgo-American, Image Courtesy of Google Images
Blue Mountain Brewery Local Species, a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Belgo-American, Image Courtesy of Google Images
Advertisements