Monday, December 10, 2018

Selling Oysters

Oysters were sold on the streets 'on the half shell' and served with vinegar, salt, pepper, and/or cracknels.  The following images are from Cries of London, New York and Philadelphia from the late 1500s and 1688 through the 18th and 19th centuries. Click to enlarge. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Jewish cookery books

"American Foodways: The Jewish Contribution" was an exhibit at the Longone Culinary Archive, University of Michigan Library.  This fine online exhibit contains images and information about each book and author; menus, markets, and food festivals.  It may be viewed HERE and HERE

Monday, November 26, 2018

Pickled Pumpkin using honey

Pumpkin chips using vinegar, sugar or honey, cinnamon, mace and cloves are pictured, left.   The darker chips on the left were made with honey, those on the right with sugar. The honey ones are more mellow, covering the vinegar tang found in the sugared ones.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Turkeys for Thanksgiving

In 1878, three farms in CT raised 10,000 turkeys each year!  The following article described how turkeys were raised on a farm in "Washington Hollow" NY then slaughtered to be sold in the famed Washington Market and Fulton Market in New York City for Thanksgiving. Turkeys fed on grasshoppers and cracked corn, laid fifteen eggs which hatched in May and roosted for the night on an apple tree, left. Other images from the same time are listed below.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Happy 300th New Orleans - 1800s beignets, coffee and the French Market

After her husband traveled to New Orleans in 1850 (he missed Cafe du Monde, 1861), Jane Gilmor Howard (Mrs. B.C. Howard) included a recipe for beignets deep fried in lard in her Fifty years in a Maryland Kitchen cookbook, 1873. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

World War I - 100 years ago - rolling kitchen

This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War.  The photograph shows a World War I rolling kitchen from 1918.  Library of Congress: "Machine Gun Battalion, Company G, Second Brigade, rolling kitchen. Hermitage, France. March 11, 1918."

Monday, October 29, 2018

All-Hallow Eve games in Scotland: Snap-apple and bobbing for apples

Over the years I have written about various Halloween games, but my favorite is Snap-apple HERE - not that I would try it... The following 1871 excerpt described "the simple Halloween amusement commenced in the kitchen," snap-apple and diving for apples.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Buckwheat Honey for Honey Gingerbread

Dijon, France produced 60,000 pounds of buckwheat honey - very dark and too strong for "table use" but perfect for gingerbread, according to The British Bee Journal of 1906.  Other types of honey would sink after the gingerbread had risen.  However, a British author in 1848 wrote that the "French, whose gingerbread is vile stuff, use honey instead of treacle."  Recipes for honey gingerbread - medieval to early 20th - near end of post.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Milk cellars in the 1840s

By the 1840s  "cellars under houses... are coming to be preferred for the purpose of keeping milk to either milk-houses, milk-vaults, or even spring-houses."  In Delaware "dairymen charged higher price for 'cellar butter.'"  The picture is from 1873 North Carolina.

Monday, October 8, 2018

English store-room

The storeroom described in the 1835 book The English Housekeeper was to be kept dry by a flue from the kitchen fire.  Open shelves for preserves, flour, rice, "jars with closely fitting lids, for tea, sugar, coffee, cocoa, mustard, pepper, spices", hanging shelf, linen press, candles and soap...

Curiously, peas, gooseberries and dried fruit filled bottles were placed "with their necks downwards" in holes cut into shelves to exclude air.  Anyone heard of this before?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Selling cook stoves was like selling... new and used cars

"Horse trading is not to be compared to it" was how an 1888 article in a trade journal described closing the deal on a new stove where dealers were forced to buy the old one.

Which to buy... each family member wants something different. Yearly new features and "the neighbors' stoves are brought up for comparison."

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Farm - plowing, sowing, reaping, thrashing, winnowing and milling

This interesting farm image with tools is from a book published in London by 1844. Closeup of the sketches (click to enlarge) and description follow...

Monday, September 3, 2018

Wafers, Gaufres, Cornets, Cones & wafer irons on a stove

1630s thin "wafer biscuits" (left), "Fine French Wafers", "gaufres Cigarettes,"  Cornet (cone) or Horn Gaufres were baked in thin wafer irons and eaten flat or rolled. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fortune Cookies and Eliza Leslie's 'Secrets' with hidden messages

Kata irons made a 19th century Japanese cookie, a precursor to the Fortune Cookie.  More information - including a nice slide show -  available at the links below.  Thin wafers rolled into cylinders or cones.

And the Secrets?  Wrap nuts or sweets with a verse on a paper in colorful glazed paper.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cheese Toaster for Welsh Rarebit ... or Rabbit

"Cheese Toaster with double bottom for hot water" image from Bishop, 1852. 

A Toasted Cheese or Scotch sandwich, when mustard was added, became a Welsh-rabbit (described in 1827 book). 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Shoo fly! Protecting food on the table - Punkhas, fly covers, meat safes

Flies were a nuisance and a danger, such as "fly blown" - flies leaving eggs on meat which turned into maggots.  Punkas - large fans suspended from the ceiling moved by a cord - were popular in India and the American South.  Other methods described below included meat safes, dish (fly) covers, cloth over milk, meat or windows; spices or chemicals.  Painting from 1637 depicts a fly on the bread.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Cavendish bananas, the Duke of Devonshire & Sir Joseph Paxton

Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) was the gardener at Chatsworth House for 30+ years, built it’s Great Conservatory (left, 1830s) and later built the famed Crystal Palace in 1851. He named this variety of banana after his employer, William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire (1790-1858). Queen Victoria visited...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Neapolitan Cakes

While people may know about the tri-colored Neapolitan ice cream (past post HERE) there once was a notable layer cake.  Neapolitan Cakes were showy multilayer cakes of bright colors, different flavors and icings for each layer. Same name, but an 1846 cake of 12 thin layers with whipped cream up the center was created by Queen Victoria's chef Francatelli, left.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Neapolitan or Harlequin ice cream

The tri-colored Neapolitan ice cream was/is generally white, pink/red and chocolate like the 1806 Naples flag or other colors.  Add pistachio ice cream to make Harlequin ice cream.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Selling Ice Cream in 1850s Philadelphia - Street criers, Saloons, Parkinson, and Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton - not the Sir Isaac one - was a farmer, owned an ice cream saloon, and later became the first Commissioner (Director) of the Dept. of Agriculture in DC, created by Lincoln in 1862. He was a competitor of the more famous Parkinson family: Eleanor wrote a cookbook in 1844 and opened a saloon in 1818, and her son James a famed restaurateur, created a $1000 dinner, and for 20 years wrote in the Confectioners' Journal.