Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Interesting Recipes

A friend, knowing that I collect cookbooks presented me with a real gem. Printed in 1880. The pages are very lightly yellowed with age, but who ever had it must have taken really good care of it because it is still in surprisingly great condition.

I have been enjoying reading through it. Most of the recipes I wouldn't even think of trying their instructions nearly non existent. They range from incredibly bland and boring to some of the weirdest things I have ever heard of. There are some unique tips that I might try out some day but overall reading this book makes me very thankful that I got to grow up a century later when recipes had evolved to something much better.

Here is a sample of the things found in the book.

Pot Pie
One pint sour cream, two eggs, one teaspoonful of soda, flour to stiffen. Bake or boil.

Needless to say I will not be making it.

Breaded Eggs
Boil hard and cut in slices, pepper and salt and dip in beaten raw egg, then in bread or cracker crumbs and fry in butter. Serve hot.

There are instructions on how to prevent a felon and the several cures. All sorts of home remedies are sprinkled through out the book with no rhyme or reason. With no index and no categories it must have been hard to find what you were looking for.

According to this book plans made on a Sunday will not hold. Any promises made on a Sunday can not be fulfilled.

Cure for corns .... Easy shoes.

Chickens may be cured of gapes by inhaling tobacco smoke.  I don't have a clue what gapes are. And the thought of trying to get them to inhale tobacco smoke. Mind boggling!

Croup can be cured in one minute with sugar and alum. take a teaspoon full of fine alum mixed with twice sugar. Be in haste.   Yowza! I was always under the impression alum was not something you want to ingest.

I will be enjoying this book a lot for the vast amount of entertainment between the covers. And now if you'll excuse me I need to read how to cure all manner of other diseases in humans and animals, tucked charmingly between a recipe for ice cream and veal soup.


  1. The recipe for breaded eggs sounds sort of like a Scotch Egg, without the sausage coating.

    Alum is a common ingredient in pickling, so I doubt ingesting it would hurt you - but I doubt it would taste good.

  2. Wow, that's a very interesting cookbook, and it sounds a lot wilder than the ones I've read. I would value it highly for its historical worth for sure. The Carolina Housewife is another 19th century recipe book published in 1847 - you may enjoy it, too. Enjoy your book and have a great week.

  3. Ok that is really cool! That book is one of those little treasures that you don't often get to see in a lifetime! I love all the crazy advice from the 1880's - Soooo glad I live in more modern times.
    It kind of makes me wonder what these same people would think if they could live in the modern world for a week.

  4. Hilarious! Those breaded eggs sound horrible, and the pot pie recipe is the most confusing thing I ever read. I have a small collection of antique homemaking books and some of my favorite recipes to laugh to include broiled grapefruit, gelatin meat mold, and fish loaf.

  5. Several years ago I found an old note book with recipes written down by one of my great grandmothers. Many of the food recipes just sounded gross and were a lot like yours - just ingredients and not much more. There are also many recipes to cure things. I kept it because it was a piece of family history but I'm NOT making any of those recipes lol.

  6. Several years ago I found an old note book with recipes written down by one of my great grandmothers. Many of the food recipes just sounded gross and were a lot like yours - just ingredients and not much more. There are also many recipes to cure things. I kept it because it was a piece of family history but I'm NOT making any of those recipes lol.

  7. My family (and my chickens) have all been suffering terribly from our gapes!! So painful...or ugly...or something. I absolutely love old books, and old cookbooks are even more hilarious!

    @Monica - WOW, sure wish we had that gelatin meat mold recipe at Christmastime, darn it. Now I know where to find it.

  8. I love it! I teach Colonial history, and have several Williamsburg reprints of cookbooks and such. Some of the remedies in "Every Man His Own Doctor" will make you feel better just reading them. "Oh, I'm all better now. I don't need to be dosed with quince juice and the liquid squeezed from fresh mare's dung. Really, I'm juuust FINE, do you hear me!" (Honest - that's supposed to cure both piles and dropsy.)

    I have a cookbook that belonged to a distant ancestor, and the recipe for Hassenpfeffer begins "First, catch your rabbit" which seems to be good advice for just about any undertaking. Another is for a dish to be garnished with bacon, and ends "fry up your bacon crisp and throw it all around" which conjurs up such a delightful vision!

  9. Your post was such fun to read! Wonder why they don't include more than recipes in our books today? The most creative we usually see are "if you want buttermilk try..." I'm all for entertaining myself while I'm cooking. :-)

  10. Enjoy your book!

    It was very entertaining to hear about!

  11. Thanks for some LOL time. I like the "Fry up some bacon and throw it all around." I'll give it a try! I do believe my dogs will love it.

  12. That is too funny! Well, like you say, it's very entertaining and if you happen to run across an actual enticing recipe, then it's twice as nice - he, he, he....can you believe that?

  13. When Herald Press bought Amish Cooking from Pathway Publishers in the early 1980's we had to go through every recipe and write every instruction down to the nitty-gritty detail for every recipe, or else pitch the recipe. It was then when I realized that the Amish just know how to cook and bake without every detail. And the proof was in the pudding, over weigh people.

  14. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I grew up in a small town in Missouri with an active Amish community. People thought it so strange that we had a hitching post at our grocery store. But it was just the norm to us. My dad is a plumber and would barter work for the Amish in exchange for us getting to fish in their ponds. Those are wonderful childhood memories of mine. I was always as fascinated with the Amish children as they were with me.

  15. HAHAHAHA!!!! I could feel the indigestion creeping in! I love old cook books, too ... but I don't think I've ever come across one that had cures mixed in between the recipes!

  16. I also collect cookbooks and the older they are the more I like them.
    I would guess the pot pie recipe is for the pie crust portion. The sour cream would have eliminated the need to add lard/shortening or ice water.
    The fried eggs are something I would probably try. Being from the south, we enjoy all sorts of things fried ... fried pickles, fried zuchinni & squash, fried green tomatoes, fried cucumbers, fried green beans, fried okra, fried ice cream .... and all sorts of other "frieds".
    Happy Reading ...

  17. The Gapes - I had a vague memory of my grandmother, who raised chickens, talking about "the gapes", so I looked it up online.

    It is caused by a worm which lodges in the bird's windpipe. Since the chicken cannot breathe properly, it walks about with its mouth open, gaping. And yes, tobacco smoke is definitely a recommended cure. Take the chicken(s) into a warm, dry and darkened room, and taking each bird seperately, hold it in your lap and puff tobacco smoke down its throat. This causes the chicken to "expectorate" and cough up the worm. Future cases can be prevented by adding chopped garlic to the drinking water. This beats the other home remedy I mentioned all to heck, and this one actually works!

    Speaking of tobacco smoke - when I was a child, I got ear aches a lot. My dad would hold me in his lap, sing to me, and blow pipe smoke into my ears. The warm smoke would soften the wax and ease the pain, and I don't doubt just being held by my dad was also a major factor.

    Oh, Monica, broiled grapefruit is delicious. Section it, sweeten it with sugar or honey, and run under the broiler for a few minutes. Divine!

  18. I’m w/ Mrs B., the Pot pie sounds like either noodles or crust. Not the whole dish. And fried egg thing? Interesting enough to try!

  19. This book sounds like quite a treasure. We love reading old literature and cookbooks..they are so interesting!

  20. I would so enjoy reading this book.

    I wonder how the PotPie turned out.

    I had croup as a child, maybe my mom should have tried this...Hmmm

  21. I just wanted to say hello, and thanks for following my blog! I'm always so excited to meet new ladies and from looking around at your blog I am very excited to start following yours as well.

    That cookbook sounds like such a jewel! I hope you enjoy all those unique treasures tucked inside.


  22. Hee-hee-hee!! I love these old books too. I have never seen the Pot Pie recipe. I wouldn't be trying it either.

  23. Quite a few years ago, my dear husband and I were out yard saling. He being the one who heads to the books first, found a wonderful PA Dutch cookbook for a mere quarter. He absolutely LOVES it when I bake out of it. What a wonderful find.

    More recently, we found another cookbook from the 1880s that sounds very similar to yours. We may never use the recipes, but it sure is enterataining! :0)

  24. I see I'm quite late in posting this, but pot pie are big noodles that are boiled with a broth. It's an Eastern Pennsylvania thing. Where I grew up, pot pie would have been chicken, gravy, peas, and carrots in a crust. Out in Eastylvania, pot pie is large rectangular noodles that are simmered with beef or chicken broth and meat. Quite tasty, actually. The recipe sounds pretty good for making a nice stiff dough to roll out and cut into pot pie squares.


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