wooden barrel to make vinegar

How to Make Your Own Vinegar

VINEGAR To every pound of coarse sugar add a gallon of water. Boil the mixture and take off the scum as long as any rises. Then pour it into proper vessels and when sufficiently cooled, put into it a warm toast covered with yeast. Let it work about twenty-four hours and then put it into an iron-bound cask, fixed either near a constant fire, or where the summer sun shines the greater part of the […]

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melon soup

Making Soups from Fruit

I never ate a soup made from fruit until a couple of years ago.  I was at a local restaurant in Makanda, Illinois, and they had cantaloupe soup on the menu.   Since I like to try new things, I ordered it and was surprised at how good it was. I was also surprised to see recipes for fruit based soups in an old cookbook. Much of the information below is from Mrs Mary Wilson’s […]

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bunch of bananas

Banana Recipes – Fried, Baked, Fritters, and More..

Many of the recipes below are from Mrs. Wilson’s Cook Book 1920. FRIED BANANAS Peel the bananas and then cut into two. Roll in flour, dip in beaten egg, and roll in fine crumbs. Fry until golden brown and serve with broiled steak, chops, or chicken fricassee. BAKED BANANAS Wash the bananas and remove just one strip from the top. Place in a baking pan and add one-half cup of water and bake in a […]

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basket of vegetables

Food Hints and Advice

Most old cookbooks also included cooking and household advice. Here are some hints from 1800s cookbooks. Please note that the advice about preserving meat and milk is not safe according to today’s food safety standards, but this was before electricity and refrigeration was available. Lemons will keep fresher and better in water than any other way. Put them in a crock and cover them with water. They will in winter keep two or three months, […]

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Molded Blanc-mange on plate

How to Make Blanc-Mange (Blancmange)

Blancmange is a sweet dessert usually made with milk or cream, sugar, and thickened with gelatin, cornstarch, Irish moss, or isinglass. It’s usually set in a mold, cups, or wine glasses and chilled before serving. In old cookbooks, blancmange was spelled using two words and sometimes with a hyphen in between. Before commercial gelatin was produced, isinglass was used in certain desserts. Isinglass is a form of collagen made from the dried fish bladders of fish. […]

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outdoor chickens

Ways to Cook Chicken

Chicken has always been a popular dish. I don’t often vary the ways I cook chicken, but I need to try some of these recipes. RECIPES  BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS SPANISH CHICKEN STEW Clean and joint two spring chickens. Brown in butter and add five sliced onions, a can of tomatoes, four cloves of garlic, two tablespoonfuls of butter, a pod of red pepper without the seeds, and salt to taste. Cook slowly for forty-five […]

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Ways to Cook Lobster

Lobster used to be plentiful along the U.S East Coast, but not anymore. It’s now quite expensive. I’ve never bought any to cook, but have had it a few times in restaurants. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS Very large lobsters are not the best, the meat being coarse and tough. The male is best for boiling; the flesh is firmer and the shell a brighter red. It may readily be distinguished from the female; the […]

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making rice pudding, recipes

Rice Pudding Recipes

I’ve never eaten rice pudding, although I’ve seen it for sale in grocery stores. Some of these recipes are quite elaborate and time-consuming. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS A PLAIN RICE PUDDING
 Swell the rice with a little milk over a fire, then put in acid apples pared and cut in thin slices, or gooseberries and currants. Add a couple of eggs and a teaspoon of salt. Fill your pudding bag half full and boil […]

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