Friday, May 29, 2015

The Flying Dutchmen

Today the Flying Dutchman is still a folklore of the sea. It is fun to read and see what our 19th Century characters read and saw as folklore and fear when traveling at sea. Enjoy this tidbit about the Flying Dutchman. It was written into an Opera in 1843 by Robert Wagner.

THE legend of the Flying Dutchman is the most picturesque and romantic of the many tales current among sailors half-acentury ago. It is also, perhaps, the best-known nautical legend. Novelists have used it as their theme; poets have embellished the tale with their verse; dramatists have familiarized the public with it, and it has been the subject of modern opera. The tale is told with variations in nearly every maritime country, and folklore tales of wonderful spectral and phantom ships are abundant. The usually accepted version of the story is thus given by M. Jal: *"An unbelieving Dutch captain had vainly tried to round Cape Horn against a head-gale. He swore he would do it, and, when the gale increased, laughed at the fears of his crew, smoked his pipe and drank his beer. He threw overboard some of them who tried to make him put into port. The Holy Ghost descended on the vessel, but he fired his pistol at it, and pierced his own hand and paralyzed his arm. He cursed God, and was then condemned by the apparition to navigate always without putting into port, only having gall to drink and red-hot iron to eat, and eternally to watch. He was to be the evil genius of the sea, to torment and punish sailors, the sight of his storm-tossed bark to carry presage of ill fortune to the luckless beholder. He sends white squalls, all disasters, and tempests. Should he visit a ship, wine sours, and all food becomes beans—the sailor's bete noir. Should he bring or send letters, none must touch them, or they are lost. He changes his mien at will, and is seldom seen twice under the same circumstances. His crew are all old sinners of the sea, sailor thieves, cowards, murderers, and such. They eternally toil and suffer, and have little to eat or drink. His ship is the true purgatory of the faithless and idle mariner."
*This is the Phantom Ship, of which Scott sings:
"Or of that Phantom Ship, whose form
Shoots like a meteor through the storm;
When the dark scud comes driving hard,
And lowered is every topsail yard,
And canvas, wove in earthly looms,
No more to brave the storm presumes!
Then, 'mid the war of sea and sky,
Top and topgallant hoisted high,
Full spread and crowded every sail,
The Demon Frigate braves the gale;
And well the doom'd spectators know
The harbinger of wreck and woe."

As the hero is a Dutchman, we should properly refer to Holland for the true version of the tale.
Several authorities give this as follows: "Falkenberg was a nobleman, who murdered his brother and his bride in a fit of passion, and was condemned therefor forever to wander toward the north. On arriving at the seashore, he found awaiting him a boat, with a man in it, who said, 'F.xpectamus te' He entered the boat, attended by his good and his evil spirit, and went on board a spectral bark in the harbor. There he still lingers, while these spirits play dice for his soul. For six hundred years the ship has wandered the seas, and mariners still see her in the German ocean, sailing northward, without helm or helmsman. She is painted gray, has colored sails, a pale flag, and no crew. Flames issue from the masthead at night."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tomato Recipes

I'm going to skip tomato sauce recipes for this post and concentrate on some different recipes from the 19th Century. I found one recipe that said, cut and/or slice sprinkle with salt and pepper and eat as fast as you can. LOL I loved that. Of course, I love fresh tomatoes and a little salt and pepper is perfect imho.

Chop fine one can of tomatoes, then run through a course sieve. Season to taste with a few drops of onion juice, a very little sugar, a drop of clove extract, a little tarragon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Turn into a freeze and freeze as usual. Fill a melon mold with frozen mixture, pack in ice and salt and let stand for two hours to ripen. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves with a garnish of mayonnaise.
Source: Table Talk ©1899

Peel and cut a solid tomato into slices half an inch thick, remove the seeds and roll them in crumbs. Put in a short-handled spider a little butter, and fry in it two slices of onion. Remove the onion and lay in the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and chopped parsley. Cover the slices with a buttered paper, and keep the spider in a hot oven from ten to fifteen minutes.
The tomato should first be peeled and then cut into slices three-quarters of an inch thick; small tomatoes are cut into halves. Put some olive oil into a soup plate and put each piece of tomato into the the oil, covering all the parts, before laying the pieces upon a fine wire broiler and cooking over a clear fire. Arrange on a hot platter and season with salt and pepper and chopped parsley. Another method is to peel and cut the tomatoes into thick slices and broil; have ready some grated cheese. and sprinkle it over the tomatoes while they are broiling, covering both sides; serve on a hot dish as soon as they are taken from the fire, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Still another mode is to leave the skins on; cut the tomato into halves; place them on a coarse broiler with the skins down; sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and broil without turning, over a fire not too strong, until the pulp is tender; when cooked, cover them with melted butter or a sauce if preferred.
Source: Good Housekeeping ©1897

Put one pint of milk to heat in a double boiler. Put one tablespoonful of butter in a saucepan and when bubbling add one tablespoonful of flour. Stir this into the hot milk. While this thin white sauce is cooking put a pint, or half a can of tomatoes into the saucepan. Add one teaspoonful of salt and a speck of pepper and when the tomatoes are thoroughly hot and soft, strain them into the milk. Serve at once.
Cream of Tomato Soup.
For the cream of tomato soup, which will be the next thing I will make, I will prepare the flour and butter in the same manner as for a white sauce, melt the butter and add the flour. Then I will turn this mixture into the hot milk and cook it over hot water. I then heat the tomatoes, add the salt and pepper and strain the two together into a dish to serve.
There are just two points in this cream of tomato soup that must be observed in order to have a smooth soup. One point is, do not over cook the tomatoes. The acid of the tomato is brought out and made stronger by cooking, and if the acid is too strong it will curdle the milk. You are at a little disadvantage sometimes, when using canned tomatoes, for you cannot tell how long the manufacturer has cooked them; but if you are using tomatoes that you have canned yourself you have no trouble. As a rule, however, I find no trouble with canned tomatoes that I get from the grocery. The other precaution to observe is not to add the milk to the tomatoes until ready to serve, and then do not heat the mixture after the milk and tomatoes are put together.. Observing, these
two rules I think you will have no trouble with the soup curdling. If It should curdle a little you may very often get it smooth again by using the Dover beater, which will restore its smoothness somewhat. This will also restore the smoothness to a boiled custard that is cooked a little too long. If you turn it into a cold bowl and beat it with a Dover beater your mixture will be almost as smooth as though it had not curdled.
Question—When do you strain your tomatoes?
Mrs. Jamison—I strain them after they are cooked because it is convenient. The recipe calls for a pint of strained tomatoes. I generally take a little more than the measure and strain them after they are cooked instead of before.
Just a word here in connection with these canned vegetables. Always turn them out of the tin can as soon as it is opened, whether you are going to use the entire can or not, because while there is no poison in the can as long as it is kept from the air, as soon as the air mixes with the acid of the fruit the acid begins to work on the tin and the poison is developed in that way. As long as they are air tight there is no danger of poison, nor is there if you observe the precaution of emptying the can as soon as it is opened.
Source: Bulletin ©1896

Daily use of the Tomato.—Cut up with salt, vinegar, and pepper, as you lo cucumbers, and eat away as fast as you can.
How to stew them.—Take your tomato from the vine ripe, slice up, put n the pot over the fire, without water; stew them slow, ana when done put it a small lump of butter, and eat as you do apple sauce. If you choose, a ittle crumb of bread or pnlverised crackers may be added. What you have eft, put away in a jar for winter.
Tomato Omelet.—When stewed, beat up a half dozen new-laid eggs, the yolk and white separated; when each are well beaten, mix them with the ;omato—put them in a pan and beat them up; you have a fine omelet.
To keep them the year round.—Take them full ripe, and scald in hot water, to facilitate the operation of taking off the skin ; when skinned, boil well in a little sugar and salt, but no water, and then spread in cakes about an eighth of an inch thick, in the sun. They will dry enough in three or four days to pack away in bags, which should be hun" in a dry room.
To pickle Tomatoes.—Pick them when they are ripe. Put them in layers in a jar, with garlic, mustard seed, horseradish, spices, &C., as you like, filling up the jar; occasionally putting a little fine salt, proportionally to the quantity laid down, and which is intended to preserve the tomato. When type jar is full, pour on the tomatoes cold cider vinegar (it must be pure,) till all is covered, and then cork up tight and set away for winter.
To make Tomato Preserves, —Take them while quite small and green— put them in cold clarified syrup, with an orange cut in slices to every two pounds of tomatoes. Simmer them over a slow fire for two or three'hours. There should be equal weights of sugar and tomatoes. If very superior preserves are wanted,allow two fresh lemons to three pounds of tomatoes—pare thin the rind of the lemons, so as to get none of the white part; squeeze out the juice, mix the parings, juice, and cold water sufficient to cover the tomatoes, and put in a few peach leaves and powdered ginger tied up in bags. Boil the whole gently, for three fourths of an hour, take up the tomatoes, strain the liquor, and put with it a pound and a half of white sugar for each pound of tomatoes. Put in the tomatoes and boil them gently till the syrup appears to have entered them. In the course of a week, turn the syrup from them, heat it scalding hot, and turn it on to the tomatoes. Prepared in this way, they resemble West India sweetmeats.
N. B.—Dr. Bennett, a medical professor in cie of our colleges, considers the tomato an invaluable article of diet. He ascribes to it high medical properties, and declares it to be one of the most powerful deohstruents; and' that when used as an article of diet, it is a sovereign remedy for dyspepsia er indigestion, and all those affections of ..w liver and other organs of the stomach.— Western Farmer.
Source: The Farmer's Almanack ©1841

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1883 Fashions

1883 fashions from Original Sources:




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Comparison of Speed

A French scientific journal states that the ordinary rate is per second,—

Of a man walking, 4 feet.
Of a good horse in harness, 12"
Of a reindeer in a sledge on ice, .... 26"
Of an English race-horse, 43"
Of a hare 88"
Of a good sailing ship 14"
Of the wind 82"
Of sound 1038"
Of a 24 pound cannon ball 1300"
Source: The Farmer's Almanack ©1841

Monday, May 25, 2015

1895 Rural House Plans 4

Here are the two final posts on rural house plans. I have more but I'll save them for a later date.

House Plans 1

House Plans 2

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Bull's Foot

I came across this game and while I've played something similar when I was a kid, or even with my children, I never knew the game to be called "The Bull's Foot". Below are two variations of the same game. Enjoy!

EVERYBODY knows this game, of which the idea consists in piling up hands, one above another, and then withdrawing successively each one as it becomes the under one, to place it on the top of the pile, saying, meantime, a number from one to nine. When the turn of nine comes, the pile is taken down, and the hands are hidden. It is then the turn of him who has said nine, to skilfully seize a hand, saying, "I hold my Bull's Foot." If he does not catch any, he owes a forfeit. If he succeeds in catching a hand, he says to the person to whom it belongs, "Of three things you must do one." A polite player will reply, "Yes, if I can." Others will add, "If I choose," "If it please me." Then the conqueror orders three things, of which one at least should be feasible. The order is executed, and the game begins again.
(Look for the choice of the forfeits at the end of the games.)
Source: The Book of Parlor Games ©1853

The ancient way of playing at this was very childish. The first player laid one hand upon the table, and her companions imitated her, laying their hands on hers, until a pile of nine were formed. The player whose hand was undermost, then withdrew it, and placed it on the top of the pile, saying, “one.” The next one did the same, counting “two,” and so on until it came to the turn of the ninth player, who attempted to seize one of the hastily-withdrawn hands, exclaiming, when she succeeded in accomplishing her object, “Nine ! The Bull's Foot is mine !” Now, the following addition has been made. The captor of the Bull's Foot wishes to dispose of it, so taking a key or any other small article, to represent it, she goes round the company, saying, “How much will you give me for my Bull's Foot?” Each person addressed has to instantly reply by stating a price, taking care, as she does so, to avoid any number capable of being divided by nine, thus, eighteen, thirty-six, forty-five, &c., are prohibited, as well as the number nine itself joined to another number, such as nineteen, twenty-nine, &c. The first person making a mistake, pays a forfeit, and becomes vendor of the Bull's Foot.
Source: Every Girls Book ©1860

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Similes.—" Pray, mother, what arc similes?" "They are resemblances, my child; the word simile means a thing that is like another."
As proud as a peacocft—as round as a pea;
As blithe as a lark—as brisk as a bee;
As light as a feather—as sure as a gun;
As green as the grass—as brown as a nut;
As rich as a Jew—as warm as toast;
As cross as two sticks—as deaf as a post;
As sharp as a needle—as strong as an ox;
As grave as a judge—as sly as a fox;
As old as the hills—as straight aa a dart;
As solid as marble—as firm as a rock;
As soft as a plum—as dull as a block;
As paie as death—as blind as a bat;
As white as a sheet—as black as my hat;
A.s yellow as gold—as red as a cherry;
As W*m as water—as brown as a berry;
As plain as ;j pickaxe—as big as a house;
As flat as It- table—as sleek as a mouse;
As tall as lie- steeple—as round as a wheel;
As broad as 'tis long—Bs long as you please.
. Merry's Museum.
Source: The Farmer's Almanack ©1841

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

1898 Fashion commenting on turn of the century from the previous century

That title was a mouthful, sorry. Basically what I found was a publication published in 1898 giving a history of fashions from Paris during the previous century. The first two images are from 1798. The last two are from 1800. The ones in the middle are from 1899. What I find interesting is that the outfits look like the everyday type of outfits worn by folks during the 19th Century. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


A couple years ago I posted some scallop recipes. Here is some additional information and recipes.

There is a difference between Bay & Sea Scallops. The first noticeable difference is the size and the shell. While the shape is the similar the Sea Scallop doesn't have the ridges that the bay scallop has. Personally I enjoy both but the bay scallop in my opinion has a richer flavor.

I'm including a link to a you tube video on cleaning bay scallops. Now our historical characters might not have ice to chill the scallops as mentioned in the video but it is a good illustration of cleaning the scallop. We used a scallop knife to clean ours scallops when I was growing up. This same knife is used for oysters and hard shell clams.

No. 1.—Cover the fish in its own shell with very fine bread crumbs, pepper, butter, salt, &c; in fact, in precisely the same manner in which oysters are scalloped; let it then be put in a very hot oven, which is indispensable, and when done add a little Worcestershire sauce.
No. 2.—Clear them from the shell; take off the beards, as also the black marks they bear: then cut them into four pieces. Pry some bread-crumbs with butter, pepper, and salt, to a light-brown colour. Then throw in your scallops, and fry all together for about three minutes and a half, taking care to shake the frying-pan all the time. Last of all, press them tight into shells or a dish, and brown them with a salamander, and send them to table.
No. 3—Clean and wash the scallops well, removing all the beard; take a quantity of stale bread-crumbs, grated and rubbed through a colander, and mix with it a little pepper and salt; cover the bottom of a dish with a layer of the bread-crumbs about a ^in. thick; on this lay the scallops, and cover them with more crumbs; on the top of this place some butter cut into small pieces. Bake in a moderate oven for twenty or thirty minutes, and finish by browning before the fire in a Dutch or American oven. They require plenty of butter.
No. 4.—Scallops browned: Wash the shells, rub them dry before being opened; put them into a saucepan, close covered, without water, until the shells open. Strain the liquor, take off the skirts (outer edge), leave on the red and black tongues; wash them in the strained liquor, freed from sand; butter the shells well, lay in as many scallops and crumbs of grated bread, with small pieces of butter, white pepper, mace, nutmeg, some of the liquor, well covered with grated bread-crumbs. Cook them in a Dutch oven until quite browned.
No. 5.—To stew scallops: Open, and separate the liquor from them, then wash them from the grit, strain the liquor, and put to the scallops a little mace, nutmeg, lemon peel, and a few white peppers. Simmer them very gently, and add a gill of cream, a little butter, and a little flour.
Source: The Country House ©1866

Below are two illustrations of scallops. The first is the scallop shell the second is the muscle (edible) part of the scallop and it's location in the shell.

Monday, May 18, 2015

1895 Rural House Plans 3

Some additional house plans from 1895.

House Plans 1

House Plans 2

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Agricultural Facts

The following curious facts, showing the great variety of agricultural productions, are taken from the statistics of agriculture, furnished by the government:
1. That wheat, oats, rye, Indian corn, potatoes, hay, and tobacco, ar raised in every state and territory of the Union.
2. That barley is raised in all except Louisiana.
3. That buckwheat is raised in all except Louisiana and Florida.
4. That New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin do not raise cotton.
Source: The Farmer's Almanack ©1841

Friday, May 15, 2015


Pomatum is mostly a hairdressing which includes perfumed oil or an ointment. It is also used for skin and lips.

POMATUM. A greasy substance, made from suet, perfumed or medicated. The process of making pomatum is tedious, as the fat must be thoroughly cleansed, to prevent rancidity, which would soon overpower the perfume. The mode of proceeding is as follows:—Take any quantity of lteef or mutton suet, separate the membraneous parts, and cut the suet into small pieces, which are first to be washed in several waters; then pound the suet in a mortar, and drain off any moisture which may remain in it. When it has been reduced by long beating into a fine paste, melt it in a stewpan, and skim repeatedly, stirring well the whole time; when the scum has all risen, turn it out through a fine sieve, and let it get cold. Lay it by for use in a very cold situation.
Pomatum A Le Rose. Take some of the fat prepared as above, and put it into the water bath, (see Water Bath,) or if you have none, into a jar, which is to stand in a saucepan containing water, and melt it; then add an equal weight of freshly gathered rose leaves, (all flowers must be gathered very dry, and when the sun is not upon them,) and leave the whole to simmer for four hours; then strain through a sieve, and pass the leaves through a press, or wring them in a cloth, to get out all the grease. Put the pomatum into a cold place, and a few days afterwards" melt it again at a very slow heat, and pour it into pots. The same process is to be observed with all other flowers. A much more rapid way of making perfumed pomatums, is to melt the prepared suet, and just before it begins to get so cold as to set, and not before, otherwise the perfumes would be injured by heat, stir m a few drops of the essential oil, or essence, of any flowers, as otto of roses, oil of lavender, bergamot, &c.; but prepared in this way, there is not quite so delicate a perfume. If the pomatum is to be medicated by the addition of any drug, it is to be done in melting the grease, allowing it to remain sufficiently long in the water bath to extract all the virtues, then straining through a fine sieve, and allowing the pomatum to stand a few days before it is melted a second time. The colouring matter is to be introduced in the same way as the drugs, if it be in a solid state; but if in powder, it may be stirred in a few minutes before taking the melted fat from the fire. The quantity of
essence or essential oil to be used, may be ascertained by the smell; stir it in a little at a time, and continue until all the odour required is given to the mass.
Glove Pomatum. Melt two pounds of prepared suet, half beef and half mutton, and when it is beginning to melt, stir in half an ounce of oil of cloves, proceed as above stated, taking care in this, as in all cases where the pomatum is perfumed by essential oils or essences, that the second melting is performed by a very gentle heat.
Vanilla Pomatum. In this case, take two pounds of prepared fat, half of pork, (the fat from pork may be made by washing very fresh lard in several waters, and purifying it afterwards by heat and skimming, as for beef and mutton suet,) and the remainder of equal parts of beef and mutton; whilst the fat is hot, stir in one ounce of vanilla, in powder, and just as the fat is getting cool, an ounce of the essence of vanilla, which is made by infusing vanilla in spirits of wine, in such quantity as to give a high perfume. To give additional colour to this pomatum, some very finely powdered chocolate may be stirred in just before the fat is taken off and strained.
Pommade Au Bouquet. Mix equal quantities of rose, jessamine, and orange pomatum, (all made as recommended in the first receipt,) mix them well, and melt them in the water bath, stirring well. This pomatum may be put into pots at once, without a second melting, as the pomatums had already been prepared, and it is to remain in the water bath only a sufficient time to melt.
Pommade A La Marechaxe. Take a pound and a half of prepared fat, of beef and mutton in equal quantities, and proceed as in the first receipt; whilst it is warm, stir in one ounce of powdered cloves (sifted), two grains of amber, two grains of musk, and a quarter of a drachm of neroli. Do not strain or melt a second time, but put into pots at once.
Pommade Au Pot Pourri. The same quantity of prepared fat, of which onethird pork; proceed as above, and stir in half an ounce of bergamot, a quarter of an ounce of balsam of Peru, a drachm of neroli, and four grains of amber; have ready two ounces of each of jessamine, jonquille, and tuberose pomatum, previously melted, and stir up the whole together. Put into pots at once.
The above general instructions, pomatum making will dispense w
necessity of giving further receipts for perfumed pomatums for the hair. By changing the perfumes, and their quantities, any varieties may be made. Neither will it be necessary to say much about medicated pomatums, which, forthe greater part, are sold by druggists, in the forms of salves and ointments. In Paris, where the finest pomatums are made, [the above receipts have all been supplied by one of the first pomatum makers of the French capital,] all salves are also called Pommades; but as salves do not fall within the scope of this dictionary, only two or three celebrated receipts of medicated pomatums connected with the toilet will be added.
Pomatum To Restore The Growth Of The Hair. Melt half a pound of prepared beef fat, and half a pound of genuine bears' grease, with one ounce of virgin wax, and two ounces of olive oil. Keep them in the water bath for two hours, with a muslin bag, containing one ounce of bruised cloves, half an ounce of cinnamon, two bruised tonquin beans, and four grains of musk; let the bag in which the spices &c. are contained be large enough to allow them to swell. Strain, and put into pots. Colour may be given by putting a little carmine into the bag. This pomatum is in high repute on the Continent, under the name of the Sultana Pomatum. Dr. Bonnetti recommends that before using it the bald or thinly covered parts of the head should be washed several times with the following preparation :—Boil an ounce of cloves in a quart of water for an hour; strain and filter; put into this, when cold, one ounce of quick lime, and having shaken it up, let it settle, then decant carefully. This stimulant, which is perfectly safe, is said to have an extraordinary effect in restoring vitality; and if the hair be washed with it, it is made strong, and does not fall off.
Cucumber Pomatum. For the skin, said to have been used by the celebrated Ninon de l'Enclos. Melt two pounds of prepared lard, with three large cucumbers, peeled, and cut into small pieces; let these • remain in the water bath for three or four hours; then strain and press the cucumbers, adding what comes from them to the other fat; put by to cool, and three days afterwards reduce again to a liquid, by gradual heat; set by to cool, and repeat this once more; the third time, just before the fat cools, stir in some neroli, sufficient to give a fine perfume.
Pomatum For The Lips. Take of sweet oil of almonds, eight ounces; virgin wax, three ounces; orcanetteroot,bruised, two ounces; put them in the water bath for one hour, then strain through a fine sieve, and beat it up in a mortar with six drops of essence of rose. Put into pots.
Source: The Domestic Dictionary and Housekeeper's Manual ©1842

Three Good Ways Of Making Cheap PomaTum.—First: Half an ounce of white wax; half an ounce of spermaceti; eight ounces of olive oil; dissolve in a basin set in hot water before the fir*; add perfume just before pouring into bottles.
Second: A quarter of a pound of hog's lard, and three quarters of a tumbler full of olive oil; a dessert spoonful of eau de Cologne, and a little gum. \Varm the lard and oil, till the lard melts, and then stir in the other ingredients. Cool before using.
Third: Half a pint of olive oil; half an ounce of yellow beeswax; half an ounce of spermaceti, and some perfume. Cut the wax and sperm small, and melt in the oil. Then add the perfume.
Source: The Ladies' Home Magazine ©1859

To make Jessamine Butter, or Pomatum.
Hog's lard melted, and well washed in fair water, laid an inch thick in a dish, and strewed over with jessamine flowers, will imbibe the scent, and make a very fragrant pomatum.
Source: The New Family Receipt Book ©1837

In this, and all other similar cases, the pomatum must be cut up into very small pieces, after the domestic manner of "chopping suet," prior to its being infused in the alcohol. The action of the mixture is simply a change of place in the odoriferous matter, which leaves the fat body by the superior attraction, or affinity, as the chemists say, of the spirits of wine, in which it freely dissolves.
The major part of the extract can be poured or drawn off the pomatum without trouble, but it still retains a portion in the interstices, which requires time to drain away, and this must be assisted by placing the pomatum in a large funnel, supported by a bottle, in order to collect the remainder. Finally, all the pomatum, which is now called washed pomatum, is to be put into a tin, which tin must lie set into hot water, for the purpose of melting its contents ; when the pomatum thus becomes liquefied, any extract that is still in it rises to the surface, and can be skimmed off.
The washed pomatum is preserved for use in the manufacture of dressing for the hair, for which purpose it is exceedingly well adapted, on account of the purity of the grease from which it was originally prepared, but more particularly on account of a certain portion of odor which it still retains, and were it not used up in this way, it would be advisable to put for a second infusion in spirit, and thus a weaker extract could be made serviceable for lower priced articles.
Source: American Journal of Pharmacy ©1854

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Clam Recipes

Clams were being canned during the 19th Century, which allowed people not living on coast access to them. Below are some recipes from the era.

Clam Fritters.
Two dozen clams chopped. Stir into them three well beaten eggs and three tablespoonsful of their own liquor; add flour enough to make a thin batter; fry in a spider in hot butter and lard. When brown on one side, turn the other side.
Margery Daw in the Kitchen.
Source: Riverside Recipe Book ©1890

Clam Cocktails
Select firm, small, round tomatoes, scald, peel them, chill on ice, remove the centers, drain and chill again. For six persons allow three dozen little neck clams. Mix together six tablespoons of lemon juice, six tablespoons of tomato catsup, one third of teaspoon of a teaspoonful of tabasco sauce and one and a half teaspoonfuls of salt. Into each tomato cup put half a dozen clams, add two tablespoons of dressing and serve each on a lettuce leaf.
Source: Table Talk ©1899

One pint raw clams, take out the soft part, remove the black end and chop the tough parts very fine.
Put one tablespoon of butter in a stew pan with one-half teaspoon salt and a salt spoon of paprika, add the clams and simmer ten minutes. Then add two tablespoons of sherry and the soft part. Beat yolks of two eggs, mix with half a cup of cream, and stir in quickly and remove as soon as the egg thickens.
Cook one-fourth cup of soft bread crumbs in half cup milk, and when thick add one tablespoon butter, one salt spoon of salt and pepper, one teaspoon chopped parsley, and one dozen large clams chopped fine. Sift in the
yolks of two hard boiled eggs, and then the whites, using a potato ricer. Fill large clean shells with the mixture, cover with buttered cracker crumbs and bake until brown.
Chop twelve large raw clams very fine, season them with salt and black pepper and stir in half a cup of flour, and two well beaten eggs. When well mixed add more flour if too thin, then drop by tablespoonfuls into hot lard, and when brown skim out, drain on paper and serve.
Procure clams in the shell, wash and scrub thoroughly and steam until shells open, using only half a cup of water or enough to keep them from
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"burning. When cool enough to handle, remove from the shell, strip off the dark membranes, cut off the black end, and separate the soft body from the tough strap. Chop that fine, then mix and set away to cool. Dress them with a French dressing made quite acid, and serve with lettuce.
Prepare as for the former recipe, but use only the tough part chopped fine. Use twice as much sliced potato, and the yolk of one hard boiled egg and one teaspoon of sliced onion for each cup of potato. Season highly with salt and black pepper, then pour on as much oil as the potato will absorb, and half as much vinegar as oil.
Or omit the egg and oil, and moisten with a boiled dressing.
Select clams in the shell, wash and scrub thoroughly and change the water until clean. Put them in a kettle with a pint of cold water for half a peck of clams. Cover tightly and let them cook until the shells open. Skim out the clams, pour off the liquor carefully into a pitcher, and let it stand until clear. Then pour off again from the sediment, and if too strong dilute it with water as desired, and to each quart of liquid, add the white and crumbled shell of one egg, and a little pepper.
Place over the fire and let it boil five minutes, constantly stirring until the egg has thickened. Draw it back and when it is clear, strain it carefully. Serve hot or cold, in cups with whipped cream and wafers.
Recipes for Clam Chowder, Fritters and Steamed Clams were given in the August, '95, number, page 238; Cream of Clams in May, '96; Clam Frappe, June, '97; Gam Juice and Puree in January, '98; Clam Fritters and Clam Soup in March, '98.
Source: Everyday Housekeeping ©1898

Clam soup is a common dish in America. Clam is a shell-fish, in shape like our oyster, and tins of clams can now be bought in England. For clam soup, take twenty-five chopped clams, to their liquor add two quarts of water, and boil slowly for an hour, and then add a quart of milk; mix five tablespoonfuls of flour, with a good-sized piece of butter, and stir gently into the broth, then beat up three eggs, and add them carefully, or the soup will curdle, for which reason the milk must be warmed separately before it is added to the broth; now strain out the clams to make it clear, and serve at once. Pepper, salt, and a little chopped parsley should be added before the milk is poured into the broth.
Source: The Girl's Own Indoor Book ©1892

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

1883 Fashions

All these fashion images come from 1883 sources.

House Dress
Garden Party Dress
Bathing Suit
Walking Dress
House Dress
Breakfast Costume
Morning as in the morning


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


I know it is the wrong time of year for making Apple Cider however this tidbit is quite helpful, since we write our books at any time of the year. Perhaps it is harvesting time for your character. Or perhaps they make a mistake while bottling the cider. Hmm, what could happen? LOL only the fruitful mind of the writer knows. Enjoy!

In making cider see that the mill, the press, and all the materials be sweet an clean and the straw free from must. The fruit should be ripe, but not rotten, and when the apples are ground, if the juice is left in pumice 24 hours, the cider will be richer, softer and higher colored. If the fruit be all of one kind it is generally thought that the cider will be better; as the fermentation will be more regular. The juice of the fruit, as it comes from the press should be placed in open headed casks or vats: in this situation, it is likely to undergo a proper fermentation, and the person attending may, with great correctness, ascertain when the first fermentation ceases; this is of great importance, and must be particularly attended to. The fermentation is attended with a hissing noise, bubbles rising to the surface and there forming a soft spongy crust over the liquor. When this crust begins to crack, and a white froth appears x in the cracks level with the surface of the head, the fermentation is about stopping. At this time the liquor is in the fine genuine clear state, and mW be drawn off immediately into clean casks; and this is the time to fumigate it with sulphur. To do this, take a strip of canvass or rag, about two inches broad and twelve inches long, dip this into melted sulphur, and when a few pails of worked cider are put into the cask, set this match on fire and hold it in the cask till it is consumed, then bung the cask and shake it that the liquor may incorporate with, and retain the fumes; after this, fill the cask and bung it Bp. This cider should be racked off again the latter part of February, or first of March; and if not as clear as you wish it, put in isinglass, to fine; and stir it well; then put the cask in a cool place where it will not be disturbed, for the finery to settle. Cider, prepared in this manner will keep sweet for years.
Mr. Deane observes "I have found it answer well to do nothing to cider till March, or the beginning of April, except giving a cask a small vent hole, and keeping it open till the first fermentation is over; then draw it off into good casks; and then fine it with skim milk, eggs broke up with the shells, or molasses. A quart of molasses will give a fine flavour to a barrel of cider, as well as carry all the lees to the bottom. But lest it should incline the liquor to prick I put in at the same time a quart of rum or brandy; and it seldom fails of keeping well to the end of summer. Cellars in which cider is kept should have neither doors nor windows kept open in the summer, and the casks should stand steady and not be shaken to disturb the sediment.
The casks which contains new cider should be filled perfectly full to permit the froth or pummice to discharge itself at the bung. The pressure of the pummice should be slow that the liquor may run the clearer. Some say that if the cider be racked off in a week after it is made, ceasing the moment it becomes muddy; in ten days a second time, and in fifteen days a third time, it will need no other process for fining or purifying it. In every instance the casks should be clean, and perfectly filled, and when filled for the last time should be bunged up close, and placed in a deep, dry cellar, never to be moved _.till drawn off for use. *
The later the apples hang on the trees, the more spirit the cider will contain. In bottling cider it is recommended to raise the proof of the cider by putting in about two tea spoonfuls of French brandy to each bottle, which will check fermentation, and prevent the bursting of the bottled.
Source Family Receipts ©1831

Monday, May 11, 2015

1895 Rural House Plans 2

Continuing with the designs of rural house plans here are two more examples.

House Plans 1

House Plans 2