Five Food Principles

Framework for an Early Food Pyramid. Or My Plate, they both work. This excerpt comes from the book Practical Cooking and Serving, 1902. As you read through it, you'll notice that the author has a very scientific orientation towards cooking. We're moving into an era when cooking becomes a science to be understood and mastered.... Continue Reading →

A Lesson on Beef ~1902

Cows in Old Cookbooks. Moo. Let beeves and home-bred kine partake The sweets of Burn-Mill meadow. - Wordsworth By the time we move into the late 1800s and early 1900s, cookbooks have settled into some predictable patterns. Chapters are mostly divided into the type of dish being served, for example cakes or soups, or the... Continue Reading →

Kitchen Design ~1827

1800s Kitchens.For your leisurely Sunday consumption, I offer you these remarks on the Victorian kitchen:It is an undisputed fact, that no person can work without tools; and in proportion to the completeness and fitness of the tools furnished, labour is facilitated, and a more perfect performance may be expected. These remarks apply, in no small... Continue Reading →

The New London Cookery ~1827

Frugality. Comfort. Elegance. Title page and frontispiece from the New London Cookery Book. Lovely. And... Numerous Useful Miscellaneous Receipts. Source: New London Cookery, By A Lady, 1827. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks The Farmer’s Wife Introduction ~1780 Summer Luncheon Menu ~1913 Household Finances ~1819  

Cookbook Subscribers ~1747

How Books Were Printed in the 1700s. Looking for Character Names? In the Introduction to The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (1747), written by A Lady, the authoress includes a list of names of subscribers. Here's what the interwebs have to say about subscribers, credit to U Penn Library for writing about the... Continue Reading →

Helps for Housekeepers ~1922

National League Cookbook. Lots of good tips here - from salting to searing. Any that you would add? Source: Everywoman's Cook Book, 1922. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Rice and Cheese 1913 What To Do With Stale Bread ~1897 Domestic Economy and Bliss in 1877

Everywoman’s Cook Book Introduction ~1922

National League Cookbook. New day! New cookbook! This little book is only about 50 pages long - publicized as being a Service for Women from the National League of out San Francisco. Introduction and Table of Contents follow. Note the popular reference to Fannie Farmer. Table of Contents Source: Everywoman's Cook Book, 1922. More Fun... Continue Reading →

Measurement Conversions ~1875

Understanding Antique Cookbook Measurements. Finally! A clear guide to all of those obscure weights and measures for the Victorian kitchen. From gills, to pecks, to tumblers. Butter the size of an egg has always been a bit of a mystery. #useful Source: In the Kitchen, 1875. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Carrot Soup ~1819... Continue Reading →

The Table ~1875

Victorian Table Etiquette. The Silent Educator. No silent educator in the household has higher rank than the table. Surrounded three times a day by the family, who gather from their various callings and duties, eager for refreshment of body and spirit... Source: In the Kitchen, 1875. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Carrot Soup ~1819... Continue Reading →

American Domestic Cookery ~1819

Introduction. Time for a new cookbook! We finished off The art of cookery made plain and easy, 1805, it was heavy on the meat butchery and dressing of meat. Which I enjoy as much as the next person, but I'm simply not in the position to go out and butcher me a pig... My life is... Continue Reading →

Give Us This Day ~1800

Gastronomic Library Bookplate. Happy Sunday! The household is recovering from the various ailments of man attributable to children and their love of sharing germs, so the blog is a little slow. Here's a lovely bookplate from the Katherine Golden Bitting gastronomy collection at the Library of Congress "Give us this day our daily bread" --... Continue Reading →

Cookery ~1825

Source: The cook's complete guide, on the principles of frugality, comfort, and elegance, 1825. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks The Farmer’s Wife Introduction ~1780 Rice Muffins ~1910 Lightning Tea Cakes ~1917

The Farmer’s Wife Introduction ~1780

The Farmer's Wife Cookbook. Complete Title: The Farmer's wife, or, Complete country housewife : containing ... to which is added the art of breeding and managing song birds in general, likewise a variety of receipts in cookery, and other particulars well worthy the attention of women of all ranks residing in the country. Whew! What... Continue Reading →

American Wild Fruits ~1910

List of Seasonal American Wild Fruits. Any regional favorites on this list? Any new ones? I've never heard of the Scarlet Thorn. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Medicinal Preparations And Herbs, Which Every Family Ought To Keep On Hand ~1856/2017 Cures: Teething, Scurvy, Rattlesnakes, Etc. ~1856 Chocolate and a Mysterious Ending ~1856

Camping Stoves ~1910

Camping Stoves Early 1900s. Oh, I do hope that you read this one in its entirety - if nothing more than for the mule's sake. Note that the Klondike Gold Rush happened between 1896 and 1899, hence this beauty's namesake. Here's a link to Camp Cookery, more to come. Happy camping! More Fun Discoveries from Antique... Continue Reading →

Kitchen Woodcut ~1810

And I complain about the dishes at my house! Ha! This is a lovely woodcut. Source: A new system of domestic cookery; formed upon principles of enonomy: and adapted to the use of private families. 1810. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Mutton Chops ~1855 Coffee Monday: Washington’s Coffee Ice Cream ~1866

Camp Cookery Provisions ~1910

Camp Cookery As Art and Science Camping in the Early 1900s. "The knack of camping outfitting consists in getting the best kit in the least weight and bulk." Here's a brief excerpt from Camp Cookery's Chapter 1: Provisions. A thoroughly enjoyable read as the author writes in a knowledgeable, yet conversational, manner. The reader immediately... Continue Reading →

Introduction to Camp Cookery ~1910

Camping This Summer? We are! Here's a really fantastic find: The book is organized around categories of food, but also time needed for preparation: Here are some sample recipes in the Quick, Medium and Slow categories All I can say is, thank goodness for pre-canned baked beans, cuz that's a camping staple for us and... Continue Reading →

Defining ‘Appetit’ ~ Late 1800s

The Very Definition of Appetite. This is my kind of dictionary. For your reading pleasure: "Motion and life create in the living body a constant loss of substance, and the human body, which is a most complicated machinery, would soon be unfit for the use if Providence did not provide it with a compensating balance,... Continue Reading →

Dictionary of Foods

Culinary Encyclopedia. New book! So excited! The Dictionary of Foods and Culinary Encyclopedia, 5th Edition, by C. Herman Senn. No idea when it was printed, and my cursory internet sleuthing only turned up the 1st Edition from 1898. Check it out here. C. Herman Senn was also known for the ever popular works of: Recherché Entreés, and... Continue Reading →

Mushrooms ~1855

Very Unique Mushroom Recipe. Alexis starts off in the typical style, with prose to Eloise...leading into the recipe proper for a mushroom sandwich, which is truly unique. If I understand correctly, the recipe came to Alexis through some divine intervention. Glass jars? Vapor? Check out that last sentence - I want to know what kind... Continue Reading →

On Pies ~1855

Introductory Material on Pies. Priceless line: "To pass in review these culinary victims..." I'm going to tuck that one aside for later use. It seems Alexis has a pet peeve for pies. Source: Soyer's Shilling Cookery for the People, 1855. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Potage au Choux ~1825 Crust and Lentil Puree Soup... Continue Reading →

Omelettes ~1855

Recipes for Omelettes. Just in time for Sunday brunch, the omelette round-up. "Where is the man or woman cook but says they know how to make an omelette, and that to perfection? But this is rarely the case..." Simple Omelette Recipe. Note: Adding milk makes the omelette puffy, and lighter. Giving it more bulk as... Continue Reading →

Eggs ~1855

Background on Eggs. Historical footnote on Orpheus, Pythagoras and their eggs, which you may or may not have known already: And then we find this footnote about Egyptians slinging their eggs around.  Is this true?!? Any other interesting tidbits on eggs out there?   Source: Soyer's Shilling Cookery for the People, 1855. More Fun Discoveries... Continue Reading →

How to Choose a Potato ~1855

Selecting Potatoes. If, on the contrary.... Wow. This is way more than I ever knew about selecting potatoes. I don't think that I realized there were gradients of flavor or texture. Huh. Learn something every day. Source: Soyer's Shilling Cookery for the People, 1855. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Ice Cream ~1866 Potato Puff... Continue Reading →

Cottage Cooking ~1855

Victorian Domestic Economy.   For those readers who enjoy peeking into the past, this excerpt offers a wonderful view of family life in a English cottage circa 1850. You have a multi-generational home, picky eaters, and a glimpse at food prices. Fascinating. Enjoy! Have a wonderful day! Source: Soyer's Shilling Cookery for the People, 1855.... Continue Reading →

Garlic ~1885

On Garlic In honor of National Garlic Day, a fine tribute to our bulbous friend. Note that according to this excerpt, garlic was not as popular with Americans as it was with Europeans (makes sense) and that cooks are urged to use garlic in moderation as it causes bad breath. To garlic! Source: The Physiology... Continue Reading →

Lamb ~1855

  On Lamb. Soyer's shilling cookery for the people  is a gift on every page. Here's a little smile to start your day. On lamb... The book treats us to one (1) simple recipe for lamb: More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks How Funny We Feel ~1831 Orange Salad ~1855 Pumpkin Diet Drink ~1885

Curing Ham ~1855

How to Cure Ham. Another gem from Soyer's shilling cookery for the people, this one on the essential skill of curing ham. Even if you don't think that you'll ever need to cure your own ham, this excerpt is immensely entertaining. Enjoy! Anyone who can work in mummification into a cookbook has a gift for written imagery!... Continue Reading →

Stock ~1855

Simple Stock Recipe. I'm exploring Soyer's shilling cookery for the people. The author has an absolutely delightful writing style, writing the book in a correspondence style to Eloise. Here's the introduction to soup: And here's the first lesson for Stock for Clear Soup: More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Potato Omelet ~ 1900 Risot a la... Continue Reading →

French Culinary System: Advantage 4 ~1825

(Final) Prefatory Matter on French Cooking.   TL;DR: Fourth Advantage of French Cooking Practical facility Source: French Domestic Cookery, 1825 More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Fun Antique Cookbook Titles Cream Custard ~1866 Eating an Artichoke ~1886

French Culinary System: Advantage 3 ~1825

(More) Prefatory Matter on French Cooking.   TL;DR: Third Advantage of French Cooking Combines "Luxury with health and economy" i.e., healthy! Source: French Domestic Cookery, 1825 More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Fun Antique Cookbook Titles Cream Custard ~1866 Eating an Artichoke ~1886

French Culinary System: Advantage 2 ~1825

Prefatory Matter on French Cooking.   TL;DR: Second Advantage of French Cooking Seriously economical You may not even have to cook some days No waste! Source: French Domestic Cookery, 1825 More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Fun Antique Cookbook Titles Cream Custard ~1866 Eating an Artichoke ~1886

French Culinary System: Advantage 1 ~1825

Prefatory Matter on French Cooking. TL;DR: First Advantage of French Cooking Inexpensive Re-use ingredients/recipes Easy to prepare Agreeable and elegant family fare Source: French Domestic Cookery, 1825 More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Fun Antique Cookbook Titles Cream Custard ~1866 Eating an Artichoke ~1886

Simple Italian Cookery 1912

By Antonia Isola Who's feeling in the mood for some old-fashioned, classic Italian home cooking? ME!!!! With a name like Antonia Isola, you know it's going to be good! This is a short text, about 60 pages, 5x8, but don't judge this book by its cover. Tucked inside are some amazing recipes packed with flavor!... Continue Reading →

Household Management: 4 Cultures 1915

English, French, German, Italian, and American Household Management in the Early 1900s Apologies for the more lengthy excerpt, but I thought this was too delightful not to share! The English household comes across as 'just-so'. This would be the Downton Abby - era household. As for the French, I've never heard of a "dot" before,... Continue Reading →

Advice on Most Useful Vegetables ~1847

Advice on Vegetables. Discovered this list of the most useful vegetables. How does this compare with your average shopping list? Our common household vegetables: Carrots Onions Potatoes Celery Cabbage Cauliflower Beets Broccoli Peas (frozen) Herbs hanging in my window: Mint Basil Dill Parsley (in cupboard, actually)   More Fun Discoveries. The Housewife ~1897 A Bachelor’s... Continue Reading →

Fun Antique Cookbook Titles

Antique Cookbook Titles. The cook and housewife's manual : a practical system of modern domestic cookery and family management 1837 American cookery, or, The art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables : and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves : and all kinds of cakes, from the... Continue Reading →

Common Sense Papers on Cookery Overview

  Introduction: Common Sense Papers on Cookery. The introduction in Common Sense Papers on Cookery is highly entertaining. The author proclaims: "This work is intended more for the drawing room than the kitchen..." what a way to sell a cookbook to the genteel middle class! Introduction: The cookbook is actually written from a series of... Continue Reading →

Tea Party ~1897

Source: Motgomery Ward and Co's Common Sense Cookery, 1897. More Fun Discoveries Simple Five O’Clock Tea ~1897 Five O’Clock Tea ~1897 Pumpkin Diet Drink ~1885  

The Kitchen ~1897

We can live without books, we can Live without winning But where is the man who can Live without dining? Source: Motgomery Ward and Co's Common Sense Cookery, 1897. More Fun Discoveries History of Aunt Jemima ~1919 Wine Sangree ~1866 Potato Omelet ~ 1900  

Harder’s Practical American Cookery ~1885

Cover Page. Lovely cover page inset that reflects an interesting blend of Romanticism and Realism. Source: Harder's Practical American Cookery, 1885. More Fun Discoveries Five O’Clock Tea ~1897 Golden Sunshine Cake – 1922 Meets 2017 Teen Dine we must ~1880  

12 General Principles of Cooking ~1866

  12 General Principles of Cooking ~1866 (Make sure you read #12.) The object of cooking is to make food healthful, and palatable; the secrete (sic) is therefore, how to combine elements and flavors, so as to produce the best results. The best meat requires the simplest preparation. A cardinal principle in cooking is cleanliness;... Continue Reading →

On Oysters ~1897

Late 1800s Introduction to Shellfish. No doubt that many will be celebrating the New Year with oysters. Delicious! Here is some sage advice on choosing and preparing these bivalves. Paragraph two - on storing oysters - is fantastic: Cellar floor Sheets Salt Corn meal Water Source: Motgomery Ward and Co's Common Sense Cookery, 1897. More... Continue Reading →

Rules for Eating ~1866

  Rules for Eating (1866). Eat slowly as if it was a pleasure you desired to prolong, rather than a duty to be got rid of as quickly as possible. Don't bring your prejudices, your dislikes, your annoyances, your past misfortunes, or future forebodings, to the table - they would spoil the best dinner. Respect... Continue Reading →

Directions for Setting Refreshment Tables ~1866

Directions for Setting a Victorian Refreshment Table Now that the holiday season is upon us, hosts and hostesses should take note of how to properly arrange refreshments for your guests' gustatory pleasure! More Fun Discoveries 10 Victorian Jokes Spinach…Contains Little Nourishment ~1856 3 Course May Menu 1808   Source: Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book,... Continue Reading →

Introduction: Homemade WWII Cookbook

This is a delightful homemade cookbook brought to you by Elmina H. Allen, of Syracuse, NY. While a bit more modern than Convivial Supper's typical find, it holds some fun - and funky - treasures! Enjoy! More Fun Discoveries Interpreting Victorian Baking Temperatures ~1866 Eating an Artichoke ~1886 Boiled Celery Recipe ~1886

Navigating Antique Cookbooks 101

From Mrs. Beeton. Open up any pre-1900 cookbook and you're in for a treat! Depending on the particular tome's scope, you'll find the Contents, Appendix, and Analytical Index. I found Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management at the local library's monthly book sale last week, and wow! What a treasure! The first edition came out... Continue Reading →

A Model Housewife ~1887

This image of 'A Model Housewife' was taken from the very first column dedicated to cooking recipes in the St. Paul Daily Globe newspaper. The introduction states that they received more cake recipes than any other submission (because who doesn't love cake?!?!) and that the newspaper will make this a permanent column. If you're interested... Continue Reading →

Table Covers ~1886

Miss Corson goes into great detail on the table setting, decorative centerpiece foliage, linens, etc. Please let me know if this interests you and I will post those excerpts as well! Source: Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery and Household Management, 1886.

A Toast to Fannie Farmer: Documentary

Those of you who have been following Victorian cooking for some time probably already know about Fannie Farmer. At the turn of the last century, Fannie worked as the head of a Boston cooking school. She authored an enormously popular cookbook and helped to standardize recipes and cooking practices. A truly remarkable woman. Back in... Continue Reading →

  Carving presents no difficulties... All displays of exertion or violence are in very bad taste. More Fun Discoveries Beef Stewed (ragoo) ~1866 How to Buy Meat ~1866 Advice on Mushroom Foraging ~1866 Source: Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, E. Hall. (1856).

Why all the masquerade I ask?

Why all this masquerade I ask? Are we a parcel of children that we require victuals in the shape of toys? Is it because of the cook's ancient, but silly, privilege to show us they, too, can be painters and sculptors?  No, it is because of our insane desire to dish up everything in some... Continue Reading →

How to Buy Meat ~1866

Advice for the savvy shopper: Buy of some one particular butcher, and let him choose for you...You will find a uniformity of prices for the same cuts of the best stock, go where you will in the same city. What I enjoy about this excerpt is that it highlights the honest nature of the hardworking... Continue Reading →

Advice on Mushroom Foraging ~1866

For all of you mycologists and mycophagists out there, how reliable are these general guidelines for mushroom foraging? Does this spell certain death? Or will we, the gentle reader, be enjoying a lovely sauteed mushroom repast? Leave your comments below! More Fun Discoveries Eating an Artichoke ~1886 The Well-trained Mary Jane & No Greenery-Yallery ~1893... Continue Reading →

Always Good and Fat Poultry…1856

Always have good and fat poultry where possible; in the country you may command it! And here's a peak at the Dorking breed, note the 5 toes: Source: Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, E. Hall, 1856. More Fun Discoveries It Is Not Merely a Question of How Long the Bird Has Been Dead –... Continue Reading →

The Dining-Room and Its Fittings ~1886

  A fascinating peak into the daily lives of our fore-families... Of all rooms in the house, the dining-room should be the cheeriest, because it is there that all the members of the family are most likely to congregate. No matter how widely the interests and occupations of father, mother, and children may separate them... Continue Reading →

Miss Corson’s Practical American Cookery, Front Matter ~1886

An everyday book for American housekeepers, giving the most acceptable etiquette for American hospitality, and comprehensive and minute directions for marketing, carving, and general table-service; together with suggestions for the diet of children and the sick. By Miss Juliet Corson, Author of "The Cooking-School Text-Book and Housekeeper's Guide," "The Cooking Manual," "Meals for the Million,"... Continue Reading →

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