boiling chicken

The Proper Way to Boil Meat

An easy way to cook meat was to boil it,  but it wasn’t the most flavorful. I have boiled chicken to make soup, but never beef or pork (except for hot dogs). INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: The method of preparing meat by boiling is not strongly advocated, for there is seldom a time when better results cannot be obtained by cooking meat at a lower temperature than at the boiling point. When water becomes […]

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tomatoes in garden

Ways to Use and Cook Tomatoes

Back in the 1800s, tomatoes were a seasonal food since there were no hot-houses to grow them in.  Since there was no refrigeration, people could only have tomatoes out of season by canning, drying, or making them into preserves. I rarely buy canned soups, but I’ll try making my own tomato soup when fresh tomatoes are available at farmer’s markets. The recipe for tomato croquettes sounds interesting, too. GLOSSARY: Gill – A liquid measurement. Four […]

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fresh spinach

Ways to Cook Fresh Spinach

I usually eat raw spinach in a salad and occasionally will order a spinach quiche in a restaurant.  But these spinach recipes from old 1800s cookbooks makes me want to experiment and add some variety to my diet. GLOSSARY Gill – A liquid measurement. Four ounces in the U.S. and five ounces in the U.K. Peck –  A measurement for dry volume. A peck is two gallons or eight dry quarts. Four pecks make a bushel. Moderate […]

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fresh beets

Ways to Cook Beets / Beetroot

Beets (also called beetroots) were an important root crop in the 1800s.  They kept well during the winter, were nutritious, and provided color to a meal. Beet tops (greens) and stalks were also cooked, but only when fresh. I had only eaten canned pickled beets until recently.  A friend baked some beets that were drizzled with olive oil and I liked them. The beet recipes below also sound interesting, especially the Beetroot Fritters. GLOSSARY: Arrowroot […]

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Homemade Cottage Cheese

Making Homemade Cottage Cheese from Raw Milk

My mother loves cottage cheese and told me her mother made it when she was a child. She put clabbered milk in a cloth bag and hung it from a clothes line to let all the liquid drain from it. In the past, people usually made cottage cheese from sour or clabber milk. Cottage cheese was also called “smearcase” and clabber milk was also known as “loppered milk.” Soured milk was fresh raw milk that […]

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escargot snails

How to Cook Snails

I’ve read through dozens of old cookbooks from the 1800s and this is the only time I’ve seen snails mentioned. This photo is of escargot (land snails) but they look bigger than any snails I’ve ever seen. The information below is from The Hand-Book of Practical Cookery For Ladies and Professional Cooks by Pierre Blot , New York, 1884 SNAILS A good many are now imported from Europe. HOW TO CLEAN AND PREPARE SNAILS Throw them […]

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basket of fresh eggs

Preserve Eggs With Slaked Lime or Water Glass

This post is a continuation of ways to preserve eggs.  You can read the previous post here, How to Preserve Eggs for Winter. Two more ways of preserving eggs in the 1800s, was to use slaked lime and water glass. DEFINITIONS: Slaked Lime is calcium hydroxide,  an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca(OH)2. It is obtained when calcium oxide (called lime or quicklime) is mixed, or “slaked” with water. It has many names including hydrated […]

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bowl of eggs

How to Preserve Eggs for Winter

Hens normally lay most of their eggs during the spring and summer when there is more natural daylight.  They slow down or stop laying eggs in the darker winter months. In the 1800s, people needed to preserve eggs that were laid in the spring so they would last through the winter. Today, poultry can be raised under artificial light and we have refrigeration, so we don’t have to worry about egg shortages. INFORMATION BELOW FROM […]

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