peas in pods

Cooking Fresh Green Peas

GREEN PEAS When green peas are purchased, they are always found in the pods. For the peas to be most satisfactory, the pods should be fresh and green and should appear to be well filled. Flat-looking pods mean that the peas have not matured sufficiently. After being purchased, the peas should not be removed from the pods until they are to be cooked. However, if it is necessary that they stand for any length of […]

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black walnuts on tree

How to Make Pickled Walnuts and Walnut Catsup

Although these old recipes don’t specify what type walnuts they used, I’m sure they used black walnuts, which are native to eastern North America. When black walnuts are mature, they fall to the ground. The recipes below use the immature nuts still on the tree in the summertime. ========================================= WALNUT PICKLE The nuts for pickling should be picked as early as the first of July. If a pin will go through them easily, they are in a […]

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cauliflower growing

Fried Vegetables

FRIED CAULIFLOWER Having laid a fine cauliflower in cold water for an hour, put it into a pot of boiling water that has been slightly salted (milk and water will be still better) and boil it twenty-five minutes, or till the large stalk is perfectly tender. Then divide it equally into small tufts, and spread it on a dish to cool. Prepare a sufficient quantity of batter made in the proportion of a tablespoonful of […]

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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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