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Jun 3, 2009 10:31 AM

Vintage Recipes

Looking for a recipe for chicken croquettes I came across this site for recipes dating back to the 1600's but most from the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Not only is it a treasure for long forgotten foods, but it has some recipes that look tasty.

I like pumpkin a lot and there are lots of interesting pumpkin recipes such as French fried pumpkin in lard (sweet potato fries aren’t so new), Pumpkin Chips (interesting - sugar/lemon), Pumpkin Porridge (with buttermilk & nutmeg), Pumpkin "Alla Parmegiana", Dried Pumpkin (for later pie use), Pumpkin Jam,

There was even a pumpkin tip “The water in which pumpkin has been boiled, is said to be very good to mix bread with, it having a tendency to improve it in sweetness and to keep it moist”

These all sounded lovely - Conserve of Violets, Syrup of Roses, or of any other Flower, Raspberry Sugar, Frosted Holly-Leaves, for Garnishing

There’s Curds and Whey … haven’t you always wondered what that was … well, ick … though it sort of sounds like cottage cheese.

Tennis stew is, um, deep-fried mashed potato balls served with carrots carved in the shape of tennis ‘bats’.

There’s a surprising number of vegetarian recipes such as Vegetable Browned Hash, Herb Pie (the first quiche?), Dandelion with Sour Sauce,

There were non food items made mainly from food …
Vinegar of the Four Thieves (an early air freshener), whitewash/paint (unslacked lime and rice), Face Powder (wheat starch), Instantaneous Hair Dye (walnuts), Ox marrow-Pomade for the Hair, Cold cream (walnut oil, rose oil), An Agreeable Disinfectant (fresh ground coffee on a shovel of hot coals)

Even the titles of the source cookbooks are fascinating, and the actual books are online if you click the name

Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them (1918)

The Suffrage Cook Book (1915)
The intro is really something else

365 Foreign Dishes - A Foreign Dish for every day in the year (1908)
This is a hoot to read

The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet - Very Pleasant and Beneficial to All Ingenious Persons of the Female Sex (1672)

Some of the instructions for the older recipes are interesting. There's a recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk or "To Preserve Milk to Use at Sea" that includes instructions such as "To every quart of new milk put a pound of loaf-sugar; let it boil very slowly in an iron pot, over clear coals,"

There are even menus ...

Diet to Reduce Weight: Dinner ... Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book (1920).

"This amount of food will not only satisfy, but also will, if persisted in, give satisfactory results in a reduction of flesh"

Dinners for Twelve ... Miss Parloa's New Cook Book.

There's Larded Grouse with Bread Sauce, Smelts à la Tartare and Royal Diplomatic Pudding (lemon gelatin with wine)

Bill of Fare for Fish Days in Great Houses and at Familiar Times

Includes drool-inducing diehs such as boiled Gurnet, Skirret Pie, Eels spitchcockt, pickled Oysters

Bill of Fare for Gentlemens Houses of Lesser Quality
By which you may also know how to order any Family beneath another, which is very requisite

Don't know ... I'm preferring this one ...while there is Calves head Pie, there is also A Sallad, the best in season, A Dish of fat Chickens rosted, A couple of lobsters, A Dish of fryed Pasties, A Dish of Tarts

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  1. How delightful! I will definitelly look these over. Thanks for sharing.

    1. wow...this is a great find! Thanks for shaing it!

      1. tworange mentions -

        There’s Curds and Whey … haven’t you always wondered what that was … well, ick … though it sort of sounds like cottage cheese.

        When she was very young, my daughter got a book of nursery rhymes, and memorized some of them. She used to recite

        "Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
        Eating her curves away . . ."

        And also, I wonder what foods will win the war. Perhaps the Germans were told that if they invaded France, they would have to eat snails and frogs' legs.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ekammin

          It had more to do with food shortages and having food to feed the troops as she says in the intro

          "Food will win the war, and the nation whose food resources are best conserved will be the victor."

          But gee, she really gets into facts and figures in the sections on saving sugar, wheat, meat and fat. Just about saving wheat she goes on for paragraphs concluding "It would take the product of some 470,000 acres just to provide a single slice of bread to be wasted daily in every home"

          And then she gets into wasting energy by firing up ovens,etc.

          So there are a lot of things like corn bread, Wheatless, Eggless, Butterless, Milkless, Sugarless Cake (no kidding), meat extenders such as tamale pie (in 1918?).

          What kills me is it seems she uses more meat, fat and flour than most people would use today. I am starting to blame WW1 for corn syrup.

          The really confounding recipe is mock duck ... made from flank steak

          There was a duck shortage?

          1. re: rworange

            I think duck was expensive (or you had to shoot your own) - as was chicken, hence "city chicken" (cubes of veal and pork skewered together and cooked as faux drumsticks).

        2. Hi there--do you recall where you saw the Ox Marrow pomade recipe? Believe it or not, I am actually researching this for a project...thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: brooklynroxie

            There is a search box on the vintage recipe sie . Here is the recipe page

            Don't know if you Googled, but there might be more here.

          2. "An Agreeable Disinfectant (fresh ground coffee on a shovel of hot coals)" --this reminds me-- true story--

            A policeman friend of mine once responded to a call from a landlady--who's elderly tenant had unfortunately passed away undiscovered for a few days. After the body was taken away, the cop kindly told her to sprinkle a scant handful of ground coffee directly on the hot stove burners--he knew this to be a good way to mask the smell. It worked well, and he was about to leave, when the woman wanted to know when the city would reimburse her for the coffee!

            1 Reply
            1. re: blue room

              Oh dear me.

              On a similar note, my thoroughly skunked dog came in the house and rubbed the scent all over the rug before I figured out what was going on. The house smelled so bad I forgot to unplug the coffee maker that day and, serendipity, when I got home the house smelled like burned coffee, which was a lot better than skunk.

              Thanks rworange for the website - wasting way too much time browsing the 25 cent dinners and working class dinners (don't forget to cut the magotty bits off your meat before you cook it).