A Concise History of Home Distillery

What Is Distillation? Distillation is a process of purifying liquids through controlled boiling and condensation. A liquid is converted into a gas/vapour through heat, and then recondensed through cooling to return the vapor to a liquid form. Distillation was used to make fragrances, medicinal cordials, and liquors.

Plain Cake for Children ~1861

Procuring Dough. Curious ingredients. The cake recipe outsources the dough to the local baker, which, as a busy mom, I think is a brilliant solution. They didn't have biscuit tubes or box cake mixes, but this would have been the next best thing. A quartern of dough is about four pounds, so quite a bit.... Continue Reading →

On Beverages ~1861

General Observations. Beverages are innumerable in their variety... and may be divided into three classes. We will, however, forthwith treat on the most popular of our beverages beginning with the one which makes "the cup that cheers but not inebriates." Any recipe requests from the list? From Mrs. Beeton's recipe collection c. 1861. More Fun Discoveries... Continue Reading →

Coffee Monday ~1861

A Very Simple Method of Making Coffee. All I have to say is: Thank goodness for paper filters! Which leads us to some very interesting trivia. The paper coffee filter was invented by a woman, Melitta Bentz, in 1908. No surprise that a woman would have invented the paper filter. I would have been searching... Continue Reading →

Cocoa ~1861

To Make Cocoa. Who doesn't love a mug of hot cocoa in mid-winter? This particular recipe, I believe, is missing a key ingredient: sugar. I was out of instant hot chocolate the other weekend and was scouring the cupboard for a special breakfast treat for the kids. The Hershey's powdered baking cocoa has a phenomenal... Continue Reading →

Mulled Wine ~1861

How to Mull Wine Do you mull wine?  Time to ramp up the recipes for dark winter nights. As a general rule, mulled wine isn't on the top of my list: A) probably because it's bordering on hypocraphal for good wine, and B) it's a lot of work if only one or two people are... Continue Reading →

Thick Gingerbread ~1861

Gingerbread Recipe. Another seasonal recipe from Mrs. Beeton's recipe collection c. 1861. Come to think of it, ginger 'bread' typically refers to the cookie sort of dessert, not the cake 'bread' version - at least here regionally. Why is that? Treacle is the British term for molasses, lest there be any confusion. Confession time. I tried... Continue Reading →

Christmas Cake ~1861

Simple Christmas Cake Recipe. This Christmas Cake recipe is from the famous Mrs. Beeton's recipe collection c. 1861. A few things about this particular recipe. First, I think it's fascinating how the editors include the average cost of the recipe at the end of each recipe. 1 s. = 1 shilling 6 d. = 6... Continue Reading →

Mistletoe ~1898

With her defiant air she sits beneath the chandelier; There hangs a spray of mistletoe, but still she shows no fear. Who wants to kiss his sweetheart when her brother's standing near? More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Plain and Elaborate Christmas Dinners ~1904 Holiday Beverages ~1902 A Christmas Party ~1866

October Menu ~1884

October Menu. Welcome October! Fall is truly here. This month's menu comes from the Franco-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year. This menu is quite the production! From stewed frogs to French fries, there's something for everyone. The poor snipe is featured, again. I'm surprised there... Continue Reading →

September Menu ~1884

September Menu 1884. Welcome September! Where did the summer go? This month's menu comes from the Franco-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year. Today's menu features Ox-Cheeck, a la Nelson, fish with a chili sauce (which actually looks delicious - omitting catawba wine), veal, duck, lots... Continue Reading →

August Menu ~1884

August Menu 1884. Welcome August! This month's menu comes from the Franco-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year. It's meat heavy, which is surprising given that in most places August delivers wonderful bounty from the garden. The Bevarois aux peches recipe gets my vote! More Fun... Continue Reading →

July Menu ~1884

July Menu 1884. Welcome July! This month's menu comes from the Franco-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year (Check out last July's menu, here). Here's to summer! This is a truly seasonal menu, you find a vegetable soup with asparagus and carrots, boiled artichokes, and raspberry ice-cream.... Continue Reading →

Fannie Farmer Cream of Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup - Attempt #1. CAUTION: Do not make this recipe as described below. Soup is big in our household, and I wanted to give this one a try. Canned tomato soup is fine, but what if you could make your own tomato soup? The fact that this recipe uses canned tomatoes is besides the... Continue Reading →

June Menu ~1884

June Menu 1884. Welcome June! This month's menu comes from the Franco-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year (Check out last June's menu, here). Here's to summer! This Garbure a la Clermont looks delicious - something akin to a French onion soup, which makes sense given that... Continue Reading →

Alarum Clock ~1855

Alarm Clock - New Kitchen Invention. No microwave timer? No smartphone alarm? No problem! Check out this newest and most handiest of inventions, the alarum, or cooking clock. (Alarum is the British spelling) Note the N.B. - If the fire isn't the correct temperature, the alarm clock will not serve much of a purpose. Makes... Continue Reading →

May Menu ~1884

May Menu 1884. Welcome May! This month's menu again comes from the Franco-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year. Here's to spring! The prawn sauce looks delicious! Sirloin of Beef: That is a lot of beef for 8 people. More Fun Menus from Antique Cookbooks April... Continue Reading →

Happy National Banana Day!

Bananarchist 1898. You can't make something this good up! Happy national banana day. Source: Kansas Agitator, 1898. More Fun Discoveries. Market Notes: Vegetables and Fruit ~1866 Victorian Kitchen Gadgets ~1897 Dried Peaches ~1866  

April Menu ~1884

April Menu 1884. Welcome April! This month's menu again comes from the Franc-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year. The puree of asparagus looks fantastic! Let us take a moment to appreciate the food processor and blender. Mashing asparagus through a sieve would so not be... Continue Reading →

March Menu ~1884

      March Menu 1884. Welcome March! This month's menu comes from the Franc-American Cookery Book; Or, how to live well and eat wisely every day of the year. Today's menu features salep soup, boiled skate, calf's head, stewed beets with cream, bermuda potatoes, quail pie, lettuce and tomato salad, and compote of oranges.... Continue Reading →

A Pickle Recipe for Elzerena 1877

Rain Water Pickle Recipe. Back in the late 1800s, the Chicago Tribune newspaper would run a page in every issue where women would write in questions asking readers for advice and recipes. For example, someone in one small town might write in asking what a good matching color would be to decorate a rose colored... Continue Reading →

Fannie Farmer Mint Glazed Carrots

Carrots and Peas Recipe. Confession time: Vegetables in my house are typically of the frozen varietal with some salt and pepper thrown on for good measure. Unexciting at best. Today's recipe for mint glazed carrots and peas comes from the famous Fannie Farmer Boston School of Cooking cookbook, which I picked up at a local... Continue Reading →

On Oyster ~1897

On Oysters 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 Fun Discoveries Simple... Continue Reading →

Christmas Dinner Menu ~1889

  Victorian Era Christmas Dinner Menu. This Christmas Dinner menu will look familiar to today's reader. Is it missing anything? More Fun Discoveries A Christmas Party ~1866 Turkey Scalloped 1881 Apples Prepared for Nice Pies ~1851 Source: Salt Lake Herald, December 25, 1889.

Risot a la Piemontaise ~1844

A simple delicious risotto! You'll need five ingredients: Italian rice (arborio) Butter One onion Broth Parmesan I think of something like a Parmesan risotto as a more modern dish. Nope. Not at all. Folks were enjoying risotto 150 years ago! More Fun Discoveries Satisfaction in Repast: Judicious Selection and Perfect Cookery Chocolate and a Mysterious... 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 →

August Menu ~1808

Welcome, August! This month the cookbook brings you: Scallops, Almond Custard, Onion Soup, Ham Pie, and Fry'd Salmon. Source: Art of Cookery, 1808. More Fun Discoveries Coffee Custard ~1905 To Bottle Fruit (With Hay?) ~1866 How to Make Ice Cream ~1866 July Menu ~1808 Discover More.

French and English Bills of Fare ~1886

These two menus, or bills of fare, appear to be direct translations - one in French and one in English - demonstrating the corresponding layout for each per the tradition. While the food is similar, the accompanying wine list is conspicuously absent from the English menu. Any ideas as to why this may be the... Continue Reading →

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