Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to wash silk

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

The idea of washing silk dresses, and other articles of wearing apparel or furniture made of silk, will be novel to most of our readers.

For a dress to be washed, the seams of a skirt do not require to be ripped apart, though it must be removed from the band at the waist, and the lining taken from the bottom.

Trimmings or drapings, where there are deep folds, the bottom of which is very difficult to reach, should be undone so as to remain flat.

A black silk dress, without being previously washed, may be refreshed by being soaked during twenty-four hours in soft, clear water; clearness in water being indispensable. If dirty the black dress may be previously washed.

When very old and rusty, a pint of gin or whisky (sic) should be mixed with each gallon of water. This addition is an improvement under any circumstances, whether the silk be previously washed or not. After soaking, the dress should be hung up to drain dry without being wrung.

The mode of washing silk is this: The article should be laid upon a clean smooth table. A flannel should be well soaped, just made wet with lukewarm water, and the surface of the silk rubbed one way with it, care taken that this rubbing is quite even.

When dirt has disappeared, the soap must be washed off with a sponge and plenty of cold water, of which the sponge must be made to imbibe as much as possible. As soon as one side is finished, the other must be washed precisely in the same manner.

Let it be understood that not more of either surface must be done at a time than can be spread perfectly flat upon the table, and the hand can conveniently reach; likewise the soap must be quite sponged off one portion before the soaped flannel is applied to another portion.

Silks when washed should always be dried in the shade, on a linen horse, and alone.

If black or dark blue, they will be improved if, when dry, they are placed on a table and well sponged with gin or whisky , and again dried. Either of these spirits alone will remove, without washing, the dirt and grease from a black necktie or handkerchief of the same color, which will be so renovated by the application as to appear almost new.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to make Elderberry Syrup

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

Elderberry Syrup
Take elderberries perfectly ripe, wash and strain them, put a pint of molasses to a pint of the juice, boil in twenty minutes, stirring constantly; when cold, add to each quart a pint of French brandy; bottle and cork it tight.

It is an excellent remedy for cough.

Friday, July 15, 2011

How to cook fish

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

General instructions-

Fish cannot be too fresh. The sooner it is eaten after coming out of the water the better.

In selecting fish for the table see that the flesh is firm, the eyes bright, the gills red, and the fins stiff. Nothing deteriorates more quickly than fish; as soon as it has lost its first freshness it has also lost its delicate flavor, and moreover becomes decidedly unwholesome.

The principal ways of cooking fish are Frying, Boiling, Broiling, Baking and Stewing, and with but a few exceptions all varieties can be rendered palatable by any of the above processes.

In preparing fish for cooking, cleanse and wash thoroughly in cold water, be careful not to bruise or break, and do not leave it in water longer than is absolutely necessary, as it destroys the flavor. An exception can be made in case of some varieties of fresh water fish which have a muddy flavor. These can be dressed, washed, and left in salt and water for two or three hours. Be sure and have cold water.

In boiling fish a fish kettle with a perforated bottom is a great convenience, but is not absolutely indispensable. Fish can be boiled very nicely in a deep dripping pan by wrapping it up in a thin cloth and if the pan is not deep enough to cover the fish is can be turned over once or twice.

The time required to boil a medium sized fish is from twenty to thirty minutes if the water is kept bubbling all the time. But the surest test is to insert the blade of a knife between the fish and the bone; if it flakes readily and separates easily it is ready to take from the fire.

Fish that is to be broiled whole should be split down the back.

With regard to sauces for fish it is difficult to give advice. There are many who would consider fish served without sauce utterly flat, stale and unprofitable. And again there are others, and they are by no means in the minority, who assume that delicate flavors are disguised if not utterly destroyed by the addition of highly flavored sauces.

As a rule people who live near a seashore, and who can obtain fish in the highest state of excellence, seldom use anything besides pepper and salt as seasoning. It is therefore a nice plan for the cook to study the tastes of those to whom she caters.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Irish Stew

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

Blanch Three pounds of mutton chops by dipping alternately in hot and cold water, put in a stewpan and barely cover with water;

let come to a boil;

skim carefully;

season with salt, parsley, mace and a few whole pepper-corns, boil half an hour;

then add a quart of small onions, boil until done;

lay the chops around the edge of a platter, skim out the potatoes and onions, and put in the middle;

thicken the gravy with a very little flour and pour over the vegetables.

Sprinkle over the whole two or three tablespoonfuls of finely chopped parsley.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fried or Stuffed Eggplant

News Paper clipping circa 1900 (?)

Fried Egg-Plant-

Slice the egg-plant about one fourth of an inch thick. Pare and remove the seeds, and soak in very cold water for half an hour.

Drain, and dip first into beaten egg, and then into corn-meal, and fry in hot fat.

Cracker- or bread-crumbs may be used in place of the corn-meal if liked.

Serve hot.

Stuffed Egg-Plant-

Remove the inside portions of the egg-plant, and soak the remainder in cold salt and water.

Drain and fill with a dressing made of one pint of bread crumbs, two good sized tomatoes, a teaspoonful of onion- juice, butter the size of an egg, a teaspoonful of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cover each egg-plant again with a piece that was cut off in order to remove the seeds, and place in the oven to bake.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Celery Sauce

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

Cut up fine two stalks of fine celery, leaves and all, and boil in a sauce pan for ten or fifteen minutes, drain off water and put in a sauce pan with the celery a lump of butter the size of an egg, and a tablespoonful of flour; cook, but do not brown, then add a pint of milk and season with salt and pepper, stir until smooth and serve hot.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Republic

For the fourth of July,
The Twentieth Century Speaker circa 1899

Thou, too sail on, O ship of state!
Sail on, O union, strong and great!

Humanity with all its fears,
With all its hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

We know what masters laid thy keel,
What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of hope!

Fear not each sudden sound and shock;
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!

In spite of rock and tempest roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee;
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee - are all with thee!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pork Cake

The Century Cook Book circa 1894

Chop one pound of fat pork very fine, and pour over it a pint of boiling water, then stir in three cupfuls of brown sugar, one of molasses, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, one of ground cloves, one pound of stoned raisins, eight cups of flour, and two teaspoonfuls of soda dissolved in a little water; stir four or five minutes and bake same as fruit cake. (Bake two to three hours in pans lined with buttered paper)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How to sweep a carpet

The Century Cookbook circa 1894

It is an easy matter to sweep well, at any rate, if we may judge by experience; for when a broom is put into the hands of the uninitiated, more harm than good generally results from the use of it.

Without the greatest care and some little knowledge, furniture and paint, by being knocked about with the broom , may soon receive irreparable amount of damage.

Before sweeping rooms, the floors should be strewed with a good amount of dry tea leaves, which should be saved for the purpose; these will attract the dust and save much harm to the other furniture, which, as far as possible, should be covered up during the process.

Tea leaves also may be used with advantage upon drugget and short-piled carpets.

Light sweeping and soft brooms are here desirable. Many a carpet is prematurely worn out by judicious sweeping. Stiff carpet brooms and stout arms of inexperienced servants are their destruction.

In sweeping thick-piled carpets, such as Axminster and Turkey carpets, the servant should be instructed to brush always the way of the pile; by so doing they may be kept clean for years; but if the broom is used in a different way, all the dust will enter the carpet and soon spoil it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Frozen Tapioca Custard

Newspaper clipping- Journal and Messenger July 6, 1905

Cook a cup of fine tapioca in a quart of warm milk in a double boiler until it looks clear and is quite thick, stirring frequently to prevent lumping.
Beat together the whites of two eggs and the yolks of three until very light, then add gradually a cup of sugar and beat again.
Stir this into the cooked tapioca and stir until it is as thick as custard.
Remove from the fire, cover, and set away to cool.
Add two teaspoonfuls of vanilla and turn into the freezer, well packed in ice, and freeze quite stiff. Beat up the remaining white of egg and mix a cup of thick cream, whipped to a stiff, dry froth.
Mix this thoroughly through the cream(Tapioca mixture) and finish freezing.
Repack in coarser ice and salt and let stand several hours.