Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cooked Spinach

The everyday Cookbook circa 1887

An excellent way to serve spinach is to first look it over carefully; wash it in two or three waters. If the stalks are not perfectly tender, cut the leaves from the stalk. Boil for twenty minutes in water with enough salt dissolved in it to salt the spinach sufficiently.

When done let it drain. then chop it fine, put it on the stove in a saucepan, with a lump of better, salt, and pepper, and enough milk to moisten it. When the butter is melted and spinach steaming, take from the fire and put it in a dish in which it is going to the table.

Garnish with hard-boiled eggs cut in slices or in rings- that is, with the yolk removed and rings of the white only left.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Items worth remembering

The Everyday Cookbook circa 1887

A sun-bath is of more worth than much warming by the fire

Books exposed to the atmosphere keep in better condition than if confined in a book-case.

Pictures are both for use and ornament. They serve to recall pleasant memories and scenes; they harmonize with the furnishing of the rooms. If they serve neither of these purposes they are worse than useless; they only help fill space which would look better empty, or gather dust and make work to keep them clean.

A room filled with quantities of trifling ornaments has a look of a bazaar and displays neither good taste nor good sense. Artistic excellence aims to have all the furnishings of a high order of workmanship combined with simplicity, while good sense understands the folly of dusting a lot of rubbish.

A poor book had best be burned to give place to a better, or even to an empty shelf, for the fire destroys its poison, and puts it out of the way of doing harm.

Better economize in purchasing of furniture or carpets than scrimp in buying good books or papers.

Our sitting-rooms need never be empty of guests or our libraries of society if the company of good books is admitted to them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eclairs and Puffs

The Century Cookbook circa 1894

Cream Puffs-
Stir together in a saucepan one cupful of butter with two of flour; when well mixed add half a pint of boiling water, stir smooth, and when it boils set aside to cool, when cool add five eggs and beat for two or three minutes; cover bottom of a baking pan with buttered paper and drop the mixture on it in small spoonfuls, or it can be put in muffin rings. Bake for twenty-five or thirty minutes in a brisk oven.

Cream for filling-
Boil one pint of milk, heat together 1 cupful of sugar, 2 eggs and 1/2 cupful of flour, stir this into the boiling milk and let it cook for three minutes; flavor with lemon or vanilla; cut a circular piece out of the top of each puff , fill with the custard and replace top.

One pint of milk, 6 ounces butter, 8 ounces corn starch, ten eggs. Boil milk and butter together, add corn starch and boil for three minutes. After removing the paste from the fire, let cool, and then add the eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly; bake in oval-shaped patty pans; when done, cut open and fill with whipped cream, (or cream filling above) flavored to taste; make an icing for the tops flavored the same as the filling.

Chocolate Eclairs-
Make the same as above, fill the center of the cakes with vanilla custard(or cream filling above) and ice with chocolate icing.

Transparent Puffs-
Mix together 1 pint of water, 2 ounces butter 6 ounces corn starch, then beat in 5 whole eggs and the white of five(more). Beat well and bake in patty pans or in small spoonfuls on buttered paper.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pie Crust

The Century Cookbook circa 1894

Take one quart of flour and rub into it a cupful of butter or lard, add a teaspoonful of salt, and enough very cold water to make a stiff dough.

Mix with as little handling as possible, and put on ice or in a cool place, an hour or two before using; roll out thin, put in the filling, and spread a little butter on the upper crust, before baking.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Beef

The everyday cookbook circa 1887

Have your meat ready for roasting on Saturday, always. Roast upon a grating of several clean sticks (not pine) laid over the dripping-pan. Dash a cup of boiling water over the beef when it goes into the oven; baste often, and see that the fat does not scorch. About three-quarters of an hour before it is done mix the pudding.

Yorkshire Pudding;
One pint of milk, four eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately; two cups of flour-prepared flour is best(white flour?); one teaspoon salt.
Use less flour if batter grows stiff. Mix quickly; pour off the fat from the top of the gravy in the dripping pan, leaving just enough to prevent the pudding from sticking to the bottom. Pour in the batter and continue to roast the beef, letting the dripping fall upon the pudding below. The oven should be brisk by this time. Baste the meat with the gravy you have taken out to make room for the batter.
In serving, cut the pudding into squares and lay about the meat in the dish.
It is very delicious.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eggs brouille

The everyday cookbook circa 1887

Six eggs, half a cupful of milk, or, better still cream; two mushrooms, one tablespoonful of salt, a little pepper, three tablespoonfuls of butter, a slight grating of nutmeg.
Cut the mushrooms into dice, and fry them for one minute in one tablespoonful of the butter.
Beat the eggs, salt, pepper, and cream together, and put them in a saucepan. Add the butter and mushrooms to these ingredients.
Stir over a moderate heat until the mixture begins to thicken.
Take from the fire and beat rapidly until the eggs become quite thick and creamy.
Have slices of toast on a hot dish.
Heap the mixture on these, and garnish with points of toast.
Serve immediately

Eggs A La Suisse

The everyday cookbook circa 1887

Spread the bottom of a dish with two ounces of fresh butter; cover this with grated cheese; break eight whole eggs upon the cheese without breaking the yolks.
Season with red pepper and salt if necessary; pour a little cream on the surface, strew about two ounces of grated cheese on the top, and set the eggs in a moderate oven for about a quarter hour.
Pass a hot salamander (A hot fire poker) over the top to brown it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lemon Pie

Very old newspaper clipping

One cup sugar, one cup boiling water, butter the size of a walnut, juice and grated rind of one lemon, yolk of one egg (reserving the white for frosting), one tablespoonful of corn-starch, moistened with a little cold water.

Heat all, except the corn-starch together to boiling. Then stir in the starch, and let cook until thickens.

Have any rich crust ready baked in a pie-plate, pour in the filling, frost with the white of egg beaten to a stiff froth with sugar, and set in the oven to brown.

Mrs.W.D. Delmore

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wood lubricator

Household discoveries circa 1908

Lubricate wooden bearings, as pulleys and the like, with common hard yellow soap or soft soap, taking care to evaporate with gentle heat any excess of water the latter may contain.
Rub window casings, bureau drawers, and the like freely with hard yellow soap slightly moistened with water.
This lubricates them permanently and prevents their sticking.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stewed Cucumbers

The Century Cookbook circa 1894

Needed, 3 large cucumbers, flour, butter, rather more than 1/2 pint of good brown gravy.

Cut cucumbers lengthwise the size of the dish they are intended to be served in; empty them of the seeds, and put them into boiling water, with a little salt, and let them simmer for 5 minutes; then take out, place them in another stewpan with the gravy, and let them boil over a brisk fire until the cucumbers are tender.

Should these be bitter, add a lump of sugar; carefully dish them, skim the sauce, pour over the cucumbers, and serve.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Red , White and Blue

(for flag day unofficially celebrated since 1861)
Twentieth Century speaker circa 1899

Oh, flag of a resolute nation,
Oh, flag if the strong and the free,
The cherished of true-hearted millions,
We hallow thy colors three!

Three proud, floating emblems of glory,
Our guide for the coming time;
The red, white and blue, in their beauty,
Love gives them a meaning sublime.

Thy red is the deep crimson life-stream
Which flowed on the battle-plain,
Redeeming our land from oppression,
And leaving no servile stain.

Thy white is a proud people's honor,
Kept spotless and clear as light;
A pledge of unfaltering justice,
A symbol of truth and right.

Thy blue is our nation's endurance,
And points to the blue above;
The limitless, measureless azure,
A type of our Father's love.

Thy stars are God's witness of blessing,
And smile at the foeman's frown;
They sparkle and gleam in their splendor,
Bright gems in the world's great crown.

By Montgomery

Monday, June 13, 2011


Yes I should of posted this one before....
The Century Cookbook circa 1894

In preparing stock, which is the basis of most soups and meat sauces, it is not necessary to go through the tedious process prescribed by some. It is simply to extract the juices of meats and bones by long and gentle simmering.
A shank or other meat bones, the carcass of a roast turkey or chicken, the trimmings of roast or steaks are all excellent to prepare stock from.
Put in a pot and cover with cold water, add a handful of salt and boil gently for several hours. Do not add any vegetables or spices, as all vegetables lose their freshness and flavor by long continued cooking and the flavor of spice might conflict with the other ingredients of the soup for which the stock is intended. Skim off all scum that may rise and add water from time to time as the stock boils away.
When you are ready to make the soup, take out all the meat and bones and strain the stock through a sieve, a hair one if you have it; the stock is now ready for use unless you want a perfectly clear soup. In that case, after the stock is strained put it back in the pot and stir in one or two beaten eggs; put back on the fire and as it boils up the egg will rise; skim off and strain again and your stock will be clear.
If you have more than you need for immediate use, put aside in a stone or earthen jar, it will keep for several days in a cold place.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The Century Cookbook circa 1894

Brown an onion and a turnip with half a pound of lean chipped ham in a sauce pan; stir in one cupful of flour and pour over all three quarts of hot stock(Three quarts of your basic soup stock, or see soup stock (forthcoming)), through a sieve. Have ready the meat of a chicken cut in dices and a cupful of boiled rice.
Season with a tablespoonful of curry powder, salt and pepper.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Walnut Hair Dye

Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis's Cookbook circa 1908

Press the juice from the bark or shell of green walnuts. Add a small quantity of rectified alcohol and a little allspice or a few cloves.
Let the mixture stand for a week or ten days and shake occasionally.
Filter through a linen cloth and add a small amount of common salt as a preservative.
Keep in a cool, dark place.

Ginger Wine

Every day cookbook circa 1887

One-half pound cinnamon bark, four ounces of pimento, two ounces of mace, three-quarters ounce of capsicum, three-quarters pound of ginger root, five gallons of alcohol; Macerate and strain or filter, after standing fifteen day. now make a syrup, thirty pounds of white sugar, half a pound of tartaric acid, one and a half pounds of cream of tartar, dissolved with warm water, clarify with whites of two eggs, and add soft water to make forty gallons.
Color with cochineal and let stand six months before use.

This is a direct copy from the book. If you are ambitious enough to make it let us know how it turns out.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cherry Sauce

Century cookbook circa 1894

Cherry sauce (for sweet puddings. German recipe)

You need one pound of cherries, one tablespoonful of flour, on ounce of butter, one half pint of water, one wineglassful of port, a little grated lemon rind, four pounded cloves, two teaspoonfuls of lemon juice, sugar to taste.

Stone cherries, and pond the kernels in a mortar to a smooth paste; put the butter and flour into a sauce pan; stir them over the fire until of a(it is a) pale brown; then add the cherries, the pounded kernels, the wine and the water.

Simmer these gently for a quarter of an hour, or until the cherries are quit cooked, and rub the whole through a hair sieve; add the remaining ingredients, let the sauce boil for another five minutes and serve.

This is a delicious sauce the serve with boiled batter pudding, and when thus used, should be sent to the table poured over the pudding.

French Rarebit

The Farm and Fireside circa 1903

In a well-buttered baking dish place a layer of buttered toasted bread, and over this a thin layer of grated cheese.
Alternate, (layers) placing cheese on top. Add two cupfuls of milk to which has been added two beaten eggs, one half teaspoonful of salt, one half teaspoonful of mustard and a little red pepper.
Pour this over the bread and cheese.
Bake , covered in a slow oven thirty minutes.
Remove the cover and brown slightly.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Raspberry Jelly

From Journal and messenger circa 1905

Allow one pint of water to every three pounds of berries, and simmer for a few minutes until the fruit is soft. Then strain out the juice and allow one pound of sugar to one pint of juice.
Let the juice boil rapidly for ten minutes, add sugar, which should be made very hot in the oven, and boil rapidly again for ten to twelve minutes.
Then pour into glasses, and seal the following day.
One third red current juice will make a firmer jelly.
This make a very delicious, rich crimson jelly.

Raspberry Puffs

From journal and messenger circa 1905

Make a paste with one pound of self-raising flour, a pinch of salt and one-quarter pound of butter; add two well beaten eggs and a half pint of milk.
Mix well together, roll the pastry out thin, cut into rounds, and line well greased pan with them. Fill with raspberries which have been stewed to a jam with plenty of sugar, and bake for fifteen minutes.
Serve cold, with a spoonful of whipped cream on top of each.

Raspberry Jam

From Journal and messenger circa 1905

Allow equal weights of sugar and raspberries, and cook them together, stirring frequently, for one hour.
It should not be boiled rapidly, but allowed to simmer very slowly on the back of the range.
Seal while hot in glass fruit jars, screwing the covers on tightly at once, and again when cold.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tapioca Custard Pudding

By Martha (hand written recipe from Martha(?))

One cup tapioca soaked overnight in cold water enough to cover it.
one quart of milk
One large cup powdered sugar
5 egg (separated)
half the grated peel of one lemon
a very little salt
make a custard of the yolks sugar and milk
warm the milk slightly before mixing in with other ingredients
Beat this custard into the soaked tapioca,
Whisk the whites of the eggs to a standing froth
Stir in swiftly and lightly
Set the pudding dish (well buttered) into a pan of boiling water and bake covered in a moderate oven until the custard is well set.
Brown delicately by setting it for a minute on the upper grate of a hot oven.
This may be eaten warm or cold with or without sauce.

Small sugar cakes

from Martha

One heaping teacup of Sugar
3/4 teacup of Butter
1/4 teacup of sweet milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of baking power
1 teaspoon of soda dissolved in hot water
flour sufficient to enable you to roll out the dough
one spoonful salt
nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.
Cut in round cakes and bake quickly

Mrs Foulkes Cookies

This is a hand written recipe "Mrs Foulkse's Cookies" (sic)

2 eggs
2 cups Sugar
1 cup butter or lard
1 teaspoon soda
4 tablespoon hot water

This is one of the let the cook figure out the rest type of recipes,

A word about olde time recipes

Many old recipes assumed that the cook knew how to cook.

Many of the 100+ year old hand written recipes just list ingredients and let the cook figure out for themselves how to proceed.

Some of the recipes on this site will be just that, a list of ingredients.

Whenever possible I have included exact wording just to show the "flavor" of the writing or the mindset of the writer.

If I feel I need to add something I will put it in color in parenthesis (like this)

Some of these may be newer but most of the newspaper articles right along side them are circa 1905