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Making Your Own Yeast

Until the mid-1800s, people made their own yeasts to use in baking bread. In 1868, Charles and Max Fleischmann created a compressed yeast cake and began selling it commercially.  This was certainly easier than making your own! INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS The best kinds of yeast are dry yeast, soft hop yeast, and potato yeast. The hard yeast should be made in the month of May or early in June for summer use, and […]

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Boiling, Broiling, and Frying Fish

When I buy fish, I often pan-fry it in butter, rather than deep fry it. Sometimes I’ll bake fish, but I’ve never boiled it. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS DRESSING FISH In dressing fish of any kind for the table, great care is necessary in cleaning it. It is a common error to wash it too much, and by this means the flavor is diminished. If the fish is to be boiled after it is […]

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Canned Fruits

Commercial canning (in tin cans) was fairly common in the U.S. by the mid-1800s. But in 1858, John L. Mason invented a glass jar that had a screw thread around the outside rim. This allowed a reusable metal lid to be screwed on, rather than having to mess with sealing wax. People could now preserve pickles, relishes, sauces, and fruit. Later, people began to can vegetables and meats. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS CANNED FRUITS […]

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Foods For Children

Parents living in the 1800s fed their children for nourishment only. They would have been appalled to see all the sugary and processed foods children eat today. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: Children, in general, have very excellent appetites, and a sufficiency of nourishing food is absolutely necessary—not merely to renew the waste of their systems, but also to supply materials for their daily growth. Three, or perhaps four, light meals a day, will be found […]

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Foods for Infants / Babies

It’s interesting to read what foods were given to babies in the 1800s.  It sure is a lot different from feeding babies today. GLOSSARY Aliment – Food; nourishment Efficacious – Having the desired effect. Farinaceous – Mealy, having starch. Groats – Whole grains that include the cereal germ, bran, and endosperm. Hob – A flat metal shelf in a fireplace, used for heating pans. Rusks – A dry biscuit or twice-baked bread Semolina, or Manna Croup – The […]

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General Rules for Frying

I don’t deep-fry foods anymore, but I often pan-fry.  I no longer use vegetable oils or shortening, though. Instead, I use coconut oil, butter, or extra virgin olive oil. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: Frying, though one of the most common of culinary operations, is one that is least  performed perfectly well. GENERAL RULES FOR FRYING Heating the Fat — Since fat, when heated, reaches such a high temperature, the kettle in which it is […]

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Fats for Frying

When I was a child, my mother made delicious fried potatoes and fried chicken in a large Cast Iron Skillet.  She usually used bacon grease, but if she didn’t have enough, she used canned shortening.  My mother never did use lard, but I knew people who did. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: SCRAPS OF FAT All scraps of fat—cooked or uncooked—as well as any drippings from beef, veal, pork, and chicken, should be saved and […]

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Cooking Summer Squash

Summer squashes are picked before they’re mature. The rind is thin and edible, and you can also eat the seeds. But summer squashes can’t be stored like winter squashes. Some summer squashes in the U.S. are: Pattypan squash Crookneck squash Straightneck squash Zucchini (courgette) INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: SUMMER SQUASH is a fruit vegetable belonging to the same class as eggplant, peppers, etc. and occurring in many varieties. The different kinds of this vegetable vary […]

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