cracked egg

The Breaking of Eggs

I never thought much about cracking eggs, since I’ve never used a recipe where I needed to separate the yolk from the white.   INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: TO SEE THAT EGGS ARE GOOD Whenever you break eggs, never mind what quantity, always break each egg separately into a cup first. See that it is good, and then throw it into a basin with the rest. One bad egg would spoil fifty. Supposing you […]

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Chestnuts in a bowl

How to Cook Chestnuts

I’ve only seen chestnuts in grocery stores during December.  I’ve eaten them roasted, but the recipes below show many other ways to cook them.   INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: Chestnuts should always be roasted or boiled before they are eaten. SHELL AND BLANCH CHESTNUTS – BOIL Boil whole chestnuts rapidly for ten minutes. Leave in the hot water, shell, and remove the brown covering while warm. SHELL AND BLANCH CHESTNUTS – ROAST Score* each […]

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1916 Advertisement for Pure Lard

How to Make Lard

My mother never used lard when I was growing up.  She used Crisco shortening in a can. It was thick like lard or butter.  As an adult, I used both shortening and vegetable oils. But lately, I’ve begun using butter, or coconut and other healthy oils.  I haven’t tried using lard yet, but will when I find some that are not processed, and where the pigs are pasture-raised  INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: THE FINE POINTS […]

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link sausages

How to Make Sausage

I love sausage and buy it often. One time I tried some sausage that was homemade, but didn’t like it because it was too coarse.   In the days before refrigeration, people had to make sure they preserved their sausage so it would last for several months. Words You May Not Know: chine – a cut of meat along the backbone. gill –  four ounces in the U.S. and five ounces in the U.K. saltpeter […]

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warm drink

Drinks for Invalids and Convalescents

Doctors and nurses were in short supply in the 1800s, so most of the time the ill were treated at home.  If the patient didn’t feel like eating, it was important to offer a variety of nourishing drinks INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: The preparation of food for the sick and convalescent person is even more important than the preparation for the strong and well. For invalids, never make a large quantity of one thing, as […]

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fresh cod fish

Cooking Codfish Heads, Sounds, and Tongues

I’ve seen a whole fish for sale in grocery stores, but never just the fish’s head. I never heard of a fish sound, and didn’t even know they had tongues. The things I learn from reading old cookbooks! The Sound is the swim bladder of many of the bony fishes.  Fish that have a skeleton made of cartilage instead of bone don’t have bladders. Fish Tongues are almost always attached to the bottom of the […]

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winter squashes

Cooking Winter Squash

I never ate squash when I was a child, but I’ve eaten summer squashes like green zucchini and yellow squash as an adult. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve tried any of the winter squashes: Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash, and Delicata Squash. When people in the 1800s cooked foods in their wood burning stoves, there were no thermometers. So recipes referred to the oven temperature as a slow, moderate, or hot oven. […]

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quinces on tree

Ways to Use Quinces (Fruit)

Quinces are yellow when ripe and resemble a pear, but the exterior is bumpy. They have a sour, astrigent taste unless completely ripened, so they’re usually cooked. The quince tree was brought to the American colonies by English settlers. During the 18th century, there was usually a quince at the lower corner of the vegetable garden [reference]. Today, there aren’t many commercial quince tree orchards in the U.S.  They’re considered a specialty fruit and aren’t […]

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