How to Drink Milk ~1897

Drinking Milk in 1897. Happy National Milk Day! Do not swallow milk fast and in such big gulps. Sip it slowly. Take four minutes at least to finish a glassful, and do not take more than a good teaspoonful at one sip. When milk goes into your stomach it is instantly curdled. If you drink... Continue Reading →

Treating Frozen Limbs ~1820

The Successful Treatment of Frozen Limbs in Russia. Today's excerpt comes from The Husbandman and Housewife. The book is exhaustive in terms of breadth and the contents are arranged alphabetically instead of by category. This results in Dressing Fowls immediately preceding Frostbitten Feet. However, after spending time exploring the contents, I have never been so... Continue Reading →

Housekeeping Accounts ~1872

Tips for Household Management. When we think about managing our household budgets to maximize our savings (economy) today, what comes to mind? Certainly buying in bulk, perhaps with coupons or from club stores. Perhaps price checking at the store or even between stores in the weekly circulars that get mailed out. The advice given below... Continue Reading →

Celebrating New Year’s Eve Victorian Style.

Dinner. Dancing. Merriment. Starting with dinner. A full menu with oysters, crudités, bass, Hollandaise sauce, melted potatoes, prime beef, Yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, stuffed eggplant, a goose, sweet potatoes, celery, beets, mayonnaise, plum pudding with hard sauce, cheese, fruit and coffee. Moving to dancing. To general merriment. Bon-bon parties! Bean bag parties! And oh-so much more! How... Continue Reading →

Pineapple Beer ~1875

Pineapple Beer Recipe. Ever wonder what you can do with the inedible parts of the pineapple? Time for a fizzy drink! This recipe was originally posted a few months back, and I finally had some pineapple remnants to give it a try. The result is a refreshing, lightly-sweetened, non-alcoholic beverage. Mexicans have a similar drink... Continue Reading →

Unprofitable Christmas ~1897

Just a quick post for today. Not technically food-related, but had to share. Off to work on Christmas preparations! Have a great one, all! More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Happy Greasy Food Day ~1875 Orange Wine ~1837 Onion Sauce ~1855  

Roast Turkey ~1875

Roasting Turkey. Seven more days until turkey time! This roast turkey recipe is surprisingly detailed. You crush the point of the breast-bone with a rolling pint, serve with curled sausage, and cranberries. I might try rubbing my turkey in an onion. Fun read. Source: In the Kitchen, 1875. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Inseparable... Continue Reading →

Carving ~1875

How to Carve a Turkey Time to ramp up the Thanksgiving holiday cooking-theme. I always thought it was an interesting dichotomy growing up: The Matriarch did the roasting. The Patriarch did the carving. Here was see the gender divide as well. Today? Well, if you're going to fry it in peanut oil, then I'm fine... Continue Reading →

Election Cake ~1875

Election Cake Recipe. Election day here in the US. Time to get your bake on. This recipe is quite involved. Makes 9 loves - plenty to share at the polls! (Find out about measurements here.) In 1875, Ulysses S. Grant was the President of the US; he helped lead the Union to victory over the... Continue Reading →

Happy Greasy Food Day ~1875

Doughnut Recipes. Happy National Greasy Food Day! I could have brought you fried eggplant or fried eggs, but opted instead for some doughnuts. Something we can all appreciate with our morning coffee. Time to go grab a dozen for the office on the way to work! A slightly more involved version from Mrs. Boyd. Source:... Continue Reading →

Keeping Cider Sweet ~1875

Preserving Cider. Are we all busy making cider, yet? We have two tubs of apples waiting to be processes - will get to it soon. I was hoping to find a cider recipe, but only found two for preservation. Very surprised at the mustard seed in the first. And for the second, let's just say... Continue Reading →

Mother’s Pumpkin Pie ~1875

Pumpkin Pie Recipe.   Cookbooks back in the day often included blank pages to add your own recipes. I'm not sure when recipe boxes came of fashion, but this method certainly helps keep things all together. Today's post is just such a recipe, written with exquisite penmanship and attributed to Mother. Enjoy! Source: In the... Continue Reading →

Feeding a Family for a Week ~1875

How a Piece of Roast Beef and a Boiled Leg of Mutton May Serve a Small Family for a Week. This particular selection is familiar to me. My go-to meat is a whole chicken, however, mutton being unavailable locally. The Convivial chicken menu looks something like the following: Sunday - Roast whole chicken with rice... Continue Reading →

Aunt Laura’s Breakfast Potatoes ~1875

Scalloped Potato Recipe. Aunt Laura's Breakfast Potatoes - part recipe, part glimpse at another life in another era. These are some of my favorite discoveries. I sit contemplating whether Aunt Laura would have been happier born 100 years later, pursuing a high-powered managerial career, eating California fusion cuisine delivered by Blue Apron at the end... Continue Reading →

Apples! Apples! Apples! ~1875

6 Apple Recipes. Gearing up for apple season. The Girl and The Boy still enjoy going out to the orchards and doing u-pick apples. Something infinitely gratifying about harvesting your own food. Pulled out the dehydrator and making space in the freezer. Located the apple peeler/corer/slicer - ingenious invention. How about some apple side dishes... Continue Reading →

Pineapple Beer ~1875

Pineapple Beer Recipe. Not a big beer fan because, as a rule, it's not gluten free. This recipe seems easy enough. It would hardly be alcoholic if you use it within 24 hours. Maybe that's what makes it a beer instead of a sparkling wine. What I love is that the recipe uses the rind... Continue Reading →

Fairy Butter ~1875

Fairy Butter Recipe. May your day be filled with the whimsey of fairies, nestled in sugary folds. To be used as icing. Source: In the Kitchen, 1875. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Tomato Stuffed with Rice ~1917 Preserved Violets ~1890 Lighthouse Kitchen ~1855

Autumn Leaves ~1875

How to Preserve Leaves. Crisp fall day here. Was looking for a cake recipe, and stumbled across this seasonal gem. A little weekend craft time, perhaps? Source: In the Kitchen, 1875. More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks Tomato Stuffed with Rice ~1917 Preserved Violets ~1890 Lighthouse Kitchen ~1855

Measurement Conversions ~1875

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 Pastry... Continue Reading →

The Table ~1875

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 Pastry Rules ~1917... Continue Reading →

Orange Wine ~1837

Orange Wine Recipe. This post is 9 months in the making! Just bottled my first orange wine. To each gallon of water add: 2 Lbs. white sugar (4 cups) 1 Lb. raisins Juice and peel of 1 Seville orange Other Ingredients: 1 Package white wine yeast (Montrachet) Re-hydrate the raisins by letting them soak in... 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 →

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

Currant Wine ~1929

Currant Wine Recipe. The bounty of summer is upon us! Time to think about making fruit wines. A week or so ago, one of the young men working at the famers market asked the lady in front of us if she'd like some free strawberries and handed her a flat - told her she could... Continue Reading →

Macaroni and Cheese ~1897

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. For all of you macaroni and cheese lovers out there, here's one for you! My nieces are big fans, but this isn't your typical box style mac & cheese... Talk about a unique preparation! The sauce and cheese are layered separately throughout the dish. Here's another macaroni and cheese recipe from... Continue Reading →

Rainy Days ~1866

Rainy Day Advice from 1866. For those enduring April Showers - Determine at least to have sunshine in the house, if you cannot have it outside... More Fun Discoveries Chocolate Caramels ~1897 Snowballs for Dessert ~1866 Mulled Wine ~ 1876

Easter Egg Recipe ~1886

This is a fun excerpt with so many different ways to decorate eggs! Dye tabs (used today) Wrap the egg in patterned fabric and boil Boil with the skin of red onions Rub designs with tallow candles, then boil with dye tabs (used today with crayons) Dye and engrave with a needle Several natural dyes... Continue Reading →

Fried Cauliflower ~1887

Fried Cauliflower Recipe. Servings: 4 Time: 25 min. Ingredients 1 small cauliflower 2 eggs, separated 2 Tbsp. flour Salt Oil for frying This was a fun recipe. It takes some work to get egg whites stiff - and then when you mix together with the yolk past everything just sort of combines (it almost seems... Continue Reading →

Fannie Farmer Beverages

Chapter III Beverages. Lovely chapter introduction in Fannie Farmer's iconic book for Beverages. Her cookbook was published starting 1887. My version is a 1924 edition. This would have been the height of Prohibition, so no wine, beer, or distilled liquors. We see that section VII covers beverages for medicinal purposes, which could be inclusive of... 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 →

Soup for the Poor ~1847

Hearty Soup Recipe. Winter! When will it end? Here's a hearty vegetarian winter soup recipe to keep the frost at bay. Peameal refers to ground yellow peas. This would be used to coat pork tips. In this case, however, it's probably just referring to the peas. I don't use oats in my soups. Nor do... Continue Reading →

Stewed Squirrels Recipe ~1886

Squirrel Recipe. In honor of National Squirrel Appreciation Day, a token recipe for our furry friends! What I love about this recipe is that it is written in the plural, so we know that the cook would be preparing multiples of squirrels for the meal. Coming from the squirrel-obsessed towns of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, this is... Continue Reading →

Wine and Heaven in 1837

Wine Logic from 1837 - "Of wine may be verified the merry induction, that good wine maketh good blood, good blood causeth good humours, good humours cause good thoughts, good thoughts bring forth good works, good works carry a man to heaven; ergo, good wine carrieth a man to heaven" -Howell Source: The Cook and... Continue Reading →

The Art of Pouring Coffee ~1897

The Art of Pouring Coffee As a rule, the guest of honor is offered the first cup, which is the weakest, and the children, if served at all, are given the last and strongest. Okay, then. We'll go with that. This reminds me of those signs in cafes that state: Unattended children will be given... Continue Reading →

Dear Santa ~1900

I stumbled across this treasure of a find and had to share. There is an entire page of letters to read here. Happy holidays! More Fun Discoveries Dinner Party Preparations ~1897 Fortified Egg-Nog ~1886 Cream Peppermints ~1897 Source: The Monroe City Democrat, December 13, 1900.

To Carve Roast Turkey ~1886

  How to Carve a Turkey Ah, the 1 day a year when you get to wield your knives in an unwieldy fashion. Fear not! Your trusty Practical American Cookery book has your back and gives step-by-step instructions on how to carve the Thanksgiving turkey.If you look really closely, you can see the dotted lines... 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 →

To Make Lemonade ~1866

All of the details in this recipe are simply delightful, from dollar-piece lemon wedges to crushed raspberries and strawberries. The kids could make some sidewalk money with this one, guaranteed! Welcome Summer! More Fun Discoveries Mrs. Madison’s Whim ~1866 Army Slap-Jacks ~1886 You Will Slay Them By The Thousand ~1856 Source: Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's... Continue Reading →

Currie Powder ~1866

  I always think of curry as a relatively modern cooking flavor in American cuisine. Probably because curry was an uncommon seasoning in my rural American childhood home. That said, curry recipes are found in practically every circa 1800s American cookbook I've come across, which, if you think about it, is only logical. The British... Continue Reading →

Illustration: Pastry ~1886

Today's post is dedicated to all of the Cook's Illustrated enthusiasts out there! Thank you, Miss Corson, for keeping it real for all 19th century home cooks. More Fun Discoveries Corn Bread Recipe ~1905 At the Head of the Vegetable Class Stands Bread ~1856 Cannelons With Cream ~1886 Source: Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery and... Continue Reading →

Whortleberry Fried-Cakes ~1886

What, you are probably asking yourself, is a whortleberry? Well, I'm glad you did asked. Other names include: bilberry and lingonberry. The name huckleberry is derived from whortleberry (Huckle/Whortle - I suppose I see the similarity). Whortleberries are often confused with blueberries. Blueberries were cultivated from hybrids only about 100 years ago, which I did... Continue Reading →

Easter Egg Recipe ~1886

This is a fun excerpt with so many different ways to decorate eggs! Dye tabs (used today) Wrap the egg in patterned fabric and boil Boil with the skin of red onions Rub designs with tallow candles, then boil with dye tabs (used today with crayons) Dye and engrave with a needle Several natural dyes... Continue Reading →

Prairie Chicken Recipe ~1886

What, you are probably asking, are prairie chickens? Well, having lived in Illinois for some time now, I actually know! Prairie chickens are a threatened species due to hunting (see recipe above) and habitat loss - in this case thanks to industrial agriculture. You can spot them in the early mornings on farm roads, but... Continue Reading →

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 →

Spinach…Contains Little Nourishment ~1856

Source: Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, E. Hall, 1856. "Spinach affords a soft lubricating aliment, but contains little nourishment. In weak stomachs it is apt to produce acidity, and frequently a looseness. To obviate these effects, it ought always to be well beaten, and but little butter mixed with it." Well, if this isn't... 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 →

Chocolate and a Mysterious Ending ~1856

Source: Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, E. Hall, 1856. Right after extolling the virtues of Chocolate, and prior to the General Index, we find this mysterious excerpt: Men with unassuming wives never fail. It is the husbands of such women as Mrs. Dash and Lady Brilliant who find themselves face to face with the... Continue Reading →

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