Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Blow pipes, Iron blowers, Fire-blowing tubes

Six 'iron blowers' were in the 1818 inventory of Virginia Gov. Preston taken in the Virginia Governor's Mansion, built in 1811. They were long thin tubes with a mouth piece, which were also called ‘fender blower,’ ‘blower,’ 'iron blow,’ ‘blow tube’ or ‘blow pipe.’  Bellows were also available to start or intensify the kitchen fire.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Selling matches on the street

Boys and women sold matches in cities for a modest fee.  They whittled pine or cedar sticks, dipped the pointed end in brimstone or bought the matches from match manufacturers from the "low parts of London."   By 1827 an author claimed "the itinerant Matchseller, will, of consequence, become obsolete."  Pictures from prints and books of "Cries" from London, New York City and Boston...

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

5 centuries of Picnics

Beautiful picnics in paintings from the 1530s to the 21st century.  A couple early ones involve "Halte de Chasse" or a break in the Hunt.

The image on the left is by the Frenchman James Tissot in 1870.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Ruined Picnics

Robert Seymour (c1800-1836) drew a series of humorous sketches (including several on pic-nics) from 1834-1836.  Picnic problems included being "cow'd," a no trespassing type sign on the riverbank, and items in the picnic basket shifting and breaking.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Maryland Peaches: Baltimore Peach Cake & Ellizabeth Ellicott Lea's Peach Marmalade

The fluffy, yeast cake topped with peaches existed by 1910 when it was mentioned in a poem by a Baltimore Sun writer.  It was and is sold in Baltimore bakeries during peach season.  Recently, marmalade is spread over the cake as a glaze. Maryland cookbook author Elizabeth Ellicott Lea's 1846 marmalade recipe is easy and delicious.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Garlick flour

Wild garlic, grown among the wheat plants, caused problems in the mills by gumming up the mill stones and later, the rollers.  Although it was almost impossible to "destroy the garlick" in the fields, farmers shared their attempts such as using plaster of Paris.  One early author claimed that the Hessians during the Rev War introduced it.  As for grinding the grain with the garlic seeds - Oliver Evans wrote his method to "dress" the mill stones and several inventions were patented.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Niagara's International Hotel waiters marched and served to music in 1860

To feed the hundreds of guests, the waiters marched to the band's music: "Norma" to lay down the place settings; a march to enter; piscicato for fish, and removed the covers to "a crash of trombones, cymbals and gongs."

Monday, July 29, 2019

Ice cream bombs, plombieres, fromage moulds, iced souffles, Iced Charlotte and more in "Queen" Cookery Book of ices

Ending this Ice Cream Month with a late 19th century cookbook with wonderful descriptions of types of ice creams and molds.  Bombs, introduced by Francatelli (more HERE) were no longer round with a spun sugar flame, but longer shell shape (left).

Monday, July 22, 2019

'Gunter's Tea Shop' was Negri's 'Pot and Pineapple' founded in 1757 at Berkeley Sq., London ... ice cream recipes in 6 cookbooks

Incredibly, six confectioners who worked at the Berkeley Square shop wrote cookbooks - Nutt, Jarrin, and lesser known Jeanes, Abbott, Barnes and William Gunter (son of the owner James). 

In 1757, famed confectioner Domenico Negri opened the 'Pot and Pineapple' at 7 Berkeley Square.  By 1784 James Gunter (1731-1819) became a partner and by 1799, as sole owner renamed it 'Gunter's Tea Shop'. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Spongati, Spongada, Spumante - meringue in ice cream

The "very light form of whipped" ice cream was popular in Italy, but less known in the UK.    Francatelli, chef to Queen Victoria, included several recipes in one of his books The Modern Cook, and suggested "the rich variety" of flavors "for the second course."

Monday, July 8, 2019

Fuller's Freezing Machine, Manual with recipes & ice cream made with flowers

William Fuller of London invented his "Neopolitan Freezing Machine" (an early mechanized ice cream maker, replacing the sorbetiere) and wrote A Manual: containing original recipes for preparing ices, in 1851 before his patent.  Some interesting ice cream recipes included Spumoni, Spongati, Flowers, Candied eggs and many flavors. By 1847 he was the "ice pail maker" to Queen Victoria and other royals.

Monday, July 1, 2019

4th of July 1819 in Philadelphia

"Independence Day celebration in Centre Square" Philadelphia, 1819 by John Lewis Krimmel [Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia].

Monday, June 24, 2019

Watermelon street sellers in Philadelphia


The 1850 City Cries book of Philadelphia contained this image and description below.  By this time great amounts were raised in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey and watermelons sold for 1/4 less than 20 years before.  The new type, called Spanish Watermelon was the most popular.

Monday, June 10, 2019

"When they fall ill -- of course they must"

This 1861 sketch "dining under difficulties" depicted the large hoop skirt dilemma; but food "dripping with grease," bread made with "strong alkalies" and twenty dishes at breakfast lead to taking "loads of all the medicines."

Monday, June 3, 2019

19th century Strawberry Parties

During strawberry season the demand "is enormous" and in an 1857 article they sold for 12 or 15 cents a quart so "even the moderately rich buy berries daily." Maryland Strawberry Parties 1831-2 and Jane Austen

Monday, May 27, 2019

Military campaign chairs and tables

Years ago I wrote a post on Army tables and chairs with creative ways to close and transport on mules or wagons during the Rev War and Civil War ... 39 examples HERE

Monday, May 20, 2019

1607 Italian book with mills powered by water and animals

For those of us who like mechanical devices - check out Vittorio Zonca’s (1568-1603)  Novo Teatro Di Machine Et Edificii.   Padoua: 1607.  Click to enlarge.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

Macaroni sellers in Naples, Italy - 18th and 19th centuries

Visitors to Naples noted the "great coppers filled with macaroni ready prepared, sprinkled over with cheese" and customers "taking it securely between the finger and thumb, they raise it very high, and let it fall into the mouth." The Naples area produced the best pasta - either "by their skilful method of compounding and kneading the flour, or from some peculiar excellence in the water and climate."

Monday, May 6, 2019

Dolly Varden Cake - Doll Cake

This cake was named for a Dickens character in an 1839 novel and the ensuing 1870s dress style.  The earliest recipe, in 1877, had four layers - chocolate, white (egg whites), rose (cochineal), and yellow (egg yolks) - with frosting.  The new cake had appeared in several state fair lists in 1876.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Advice from the creator of Kentucky Derby Benedictine sandwiches - Jennie C. Benedict

Virginia "Jennie" Carter Benedict (1860-1928) created Benedictines - the green cucumber sandwich common at Kentucky Derby parties.  In the late 1890s she was forced to earn a living and rapidly developed her cooking business.  She wrote two cookbooks, both contained advice for women wanting to enter the cooking profession.