Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America
Father likes mincemeat pie the best. It takes a long time to make. I helped to do that. I stoned the raisins. First you have to chop the boiled meat and suet very, very fine. Then the apples are peeled. They have to be chopped very fine also. Mother ground the spices and made sure I had stoned the raisins (removing the seed) properly. I stood on a stool with my apron on so I could reach the table. It made me taller. Mother had to strain the raisins just one more time after I was done. This will be the best mincemeat pie Father has EVER had. I think Mother will put some brandy in. I don’t really like this kind of pie.
I said some of my alphabet from the Primer while I was working.
A was an Angler, and fished with a hook,
B was a Blockhead, and ne’er learn’d his book,
C The Cat doth play and after slay.*
Everyone was so busy that Josh and Brent came to sing with me. Their alphabet song was different than mine. I had never head it before. But we sang anyway. Mother told me I had done very well with my song. I don’t think she can hear Josh and Brent. It is easy to stay busy today. It is warm in the kitchen even though the wind is blowing outside. And I can see the clouds run in the sky and the leaves dance to the ground. Part of the window has water running down on the inside.
My favorite pie is Pumpkin Pie: Take the pumpkin and peel the rind off, then stew it till it is quite soft, and put thereto one pint of pumpkin, one pint of milk, one glass of malaga wine, one glass of rose water, if you like it, seven eggs, half a pound of fresh butter, one small nut meg and sugar and salt to your taste*. This is not as hard to make as the mincemeat pie.
*American Children Through Their Books: 1700-1835
* The Frugel House Wife:or complete woman cook – Sussannah Carter