vintage ad for yeast, potato yeast, hop yeast

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 […]

Continue reading
sandwiches

Unusual Sandwiches from the 1800s

I don’t make sandwiches too often, but they’re boring compared to these from 1800s cookbooks.  I was especially intrigued by the bean sandwich recipe and the one for an anchovy sandwich. Bread was homemade and had to be sliced, as the first automatically sliced loaves of bread weren’t produced until 1928. INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS: Bread for sandwiches should be at least one day old. Cut into thin slices of uniform size (dip the […]

Continue reading
breakfast foods

Family Breakfasts For Winter

When I was growing up, we mostly ate buttered toast, Raisin Bran and Cheerios cold cereal before we went to school.  On weekends, my mother often cooked eggs, French toast, or pancakes. Now, as an adult, I like bacon or sausage with eggs, often with cheese and mushrooms. But I’ll eat anything, even leftovers from lunch or dinner. In the 1800s, people often ate eggs for breakfast if they had them, and most of the […]

Continue reading
dumplings in soup

How to Make Different Types of Dumplings

Most of the recipes from old cookbooks are for rounded dumplings. Some recipes say to wrap the dumplings in cloth, like when boiling a pudding.  Others say to roll the dumplings in a ball or drop the dumpling mixture from a spoon into hot liquid. The only dumplings I’ve ever eaten were in a Chicken and Dumplings recipe.  Those dumplings were rolled out flat and cut into small rectangular strips.   GLOSSARY: Dripping / Drippings […]

Continue reading

Uses For Stale Bread

In times past, food was never wasted. With no refrigeration, people could salt, pickle and dry foods to keep for another time, but with bread, they had to use it up before it molded. ADVICE FROM OLD COOKBOOKS: “Never waste stale bread, as it may be used to advantage in many ways. The economical housewife carefully inspects the contents of her bread box every morning before planning her meals for the day, and is particular […]

Continue reading
home made bread

What is a Bread Sponge?

Many bread recipes in old cookbooks say to “make a sponge and rise till morning,”   I knew you used yeast to make bread rise, but I had never heard of a bread sponge. **************************** AUNT SARAH’S WHITE BREAD (SPONGE METHOD) Prepare the following “Yeast Sponge” at noon, the day preceding that on which you bake bread: Place in a bowl (after the mid-day meal) one quart of potato water (containing no salt), in which potatoes […]

Continue reading
corn meal

Cooking with Corn Meal

In old cookbooks from the 1800s, corn meal was also called Indian corn. Back then, there was no refrigeration and people cooked over an open hearth or in a wood burning stove. There were also no thermometers, so people had to learn by experience how hot to make their fires  for cooking.   Below are some cooking terms you may not be  familiar with. Sour milk – raw milk that was not used quickly enough. Buttermilk – the […]

Continue reading
gingerbread in pan

Gingerbread Cake Recipes

Recipes from old cookbooks published in the 1800s SOFT MOLASSES GINGERBREAD Melt a teacup of butter—mix it with a pint of molasses, a tablespoonful of ginger, a pint of flour, and a couple of beaten eggs. Fresh lemon peel, cut into small strips, improves it. Dissolve a couple of teaspoonsful of saleratus* in half a pint of milk, and stir it into the cake. Add flour to render it of the consistency of unbaked pound […]

Continue reading