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 →

Zucchini! I Found You! ~1880

Ah, late summer...The only time of year when Smalltown America locks its car doors so that neighbors can't offload their zucchini in the front seat. Our vegetable co-op box comes each Friday, and tis the season for zucchini. So I said to myself, "Self, why not find a great zucchini recipe from past?" Ha! If... Continue Reading →

Navigating Antique Cookbooks 101

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 in 1861 and... Continue Reading →

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