I’m posting some eggnog recipes from the mid-1800s to help you get into the holiday cheer or to simply cope with the holidays. No judgment here.
Of course, these old versions are made with raw eggs, so if you want to try these recipes, you may want to find a technique to gently heat the eggs to the minimum temperature to destroy the pathogens.
According to Jerry Thomas in his 1862 book How to Mix Drinks: Or, The Bon-vivant’s Companion, “Egg Nogg is a beverage of American origin, but it has a popularity that is cosmopolitan. At the South it is almost indispensable at Christmas time, and at the North it is a favorite at all seasons.”
Here is Thomas’ basic eggnog recipe. I believe “do.” means ditto of the measure in the preceding line.
Egg Nogg (Use large bar glass.)
1 table-spoonful of fine sugar, dissolved with 1 do. cold water, 1 egg. 1 wine-glass of Cognac brandy. ½ do. Santa Cruz rum. 1/2 tumblerful of milk.
Fill the tumbler ¼ full with shaved ice, shake the
ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed together, and
grate a little nutmeg on top. Every well-ordered bar has a tin egg-nogg
“shaker,” which is a great aid in mixing this beverage.
Here is another version of Egg Nogg from Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, by William Terrington, 1869.
Hot Egg Nogg, or “Auld Man’s Milk”
Heat a pint of Scotch ale; add while warming 1/4 oz. bruised cinnamon, 1/4 oz. grated nutmeg, 1/4 oz. powdered ginger; beat up the yolks of 2 eggs with a little brown sugar; pour in the ale gradually; when well amalgamated, add glass of whiskey
The remainder of the recipes in this post are from Jerry Thomas.
Hot Egg Nogg (Use large bar glass)
This drink is very popular in California and is made in precisely the same manner as the cold egg nogg above, except that you must use boiling water instead of ice.
Sherry Egg Nogg
1 table-spoonful of white sugar. 1 egg. 2 wine-glasses of sherry.
Dissolve the sugar with a little water; break the yolk of the egg in a large glass; put in one-quarter tumblerful of broken ice; fill with milk, and shake up until the egg is thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients, then grate a little nutmeg on top, and quaff the nectar cup.
Mississippi Egg Nogg (Use large bar glass)
1 egg. 1 ½ teaspoonful of sugar. 2 or 3 small lumps of ice. Fill the tumbler with cider and shake well.
This is a splendid drink and is very popular on the Mississippi River.
Egg Nogg (For a party of forty)
1 dozen eggs.
2 quarts of brandy.
1 pint of Santa Cruz rum.
2 gallons of milk.
1 1/2 lbs. white sugar.
Separate the whites of the eggs from the yolks, beat them separately with an
egg-beater until the yolks are well cut up, and the whites assume a light
fleecy appearance. Mix all the ingredients (except the whites of the eggs) in a
large punch bowl, then let the whites float on top, and ornament with colored
sugars. Cool in a tub of ice, and serve.
Baltimore Egg Nogg (For a party of fifteen)
Take the yellow of sixteen eggs and twelve table-spoonfuls of pulverized loaf-sugar, and beat them to the consistence of cream; to this add two-thirds of a nutmeg grated, and beat well together; then mix in half a pint of good brandy or Jamaica rum, and two wine-glasses of Madeira wine. Have ready the whites of the eggs, beaten to a stiff froth, and beat them into the above-described mixture. When this is all done, stir in six pints of good rich milk. There is no heat used.
Egg Nogg made in this manner is digestible and will not cause headache. It makes an excellent drink for debilitated persons, and a nourishing diet for consumptives.
Last week I spent an evening researching the merits of various multi-cookers, slow cookers, pressure cookers, and rice cookers. Finally, hopelessly confused, I went with what America’s Test Kitchen recommended. In an oddly parallel situation, I spent a frustrating few hours yesterday researching cooking with antique open ranges, kitcheners, closed ranges, gas ovens, or on open grates in fireplaces. I wish there was a Victorian’s Test Kitchen with recommendations and explanations to guide the clueless.
IMPORTANT HINTS TO COOKS, which they will not regret
following with attention.
Let there be a place for every article, and when not in use
let every article be in its place.
Keep every utensil clean and ready for immediate use.
The stockpot should never be suffered to be empty, as almost any meats (save salt meats) or fowls make stock; the remnants should never be thrown anywhere but into the stockpot, and should too much stock be already in your possession, boil it down to a glaze: waste is thus avoided.
Keep your meat in a cool dry place, your fish on ice, and
your vegetables on a stone floor free from air.
Cut your soap when it comes in, and let it dry slowly.
Keep your sweet herbs in paper bags, each bag containing
only one description of herb. They should be dried in the wind and not in the
sun, and when ordered in a receipt should be cautiously used, as a
preponderance in any seasoning spoils it.
When oranges or lemons are used for juice, chop down the peel, put them in small pots and tie them down for use.
Apples.—In choosing apples, be guided by the weight; the
heaviest are the best, and those should always be selected which, on being
pressed by the thumb, yield with a slight crackling noise. Prefer large apples
to small, for waste is saved in peeling and coring.
Apples should be kept on dry straw in a dry place, and pears
hung up by the stalk.
Batter for fish, meat, fritters, &c, —Prepare it with
fine flour, salt, a little oil, beer, vinegar, or white wine, and the whites of
eggs beaten up; when of a proper thickness, about the size of a nutmeg, it will
drop out of the spoon at once. Fry in oil or hog’s lard.
Carrots, if young, need only be wiped when boiled—if old
they must be scraped before boiling. Slice them into a dish, and pour over them
Cauliflowers.—Cut off the stalks, but leave a little of the green on; boil in spring water with a little salt in it: they must not boil too fast.
Celery.—Very little is sufficient for soups, as the flavour
is very predominating. It should be particularly cleanly washed and curled when
sent to table. To curl celery, wash well, and take off the outside stalks, cut
it to a proper length, split each stalk into three or four divisions with a
large needle, then place the head of celery in spring water with the root
uppermost, and let it remain for four or five hours—it may then be tastefully
arranged on the dish.
Game may often be made fit for eating when it seems spoiled, by cleaning it and washing with vinegar and water. Birds that are not likely to keep, should be drawn, cropped, and picked, then wash in two or three waters, and rub them with salt; have in readiness a large saucepan of boiling water, and plunge them into it one by one, drawing them up and down by the legs, so that the water may pass through them. Let them stay for five or six minutes, then hang them up in a cold place; when they are completely drained, well salt and pepper the insides, and thoroughly wash them before roasting.
Gravies.—The skirts of beef and the kidney will make quite
as good gravy as any other meat, if prepared in the same manner. The kidney of
an ox, or the milt, makes excellent gravy, cut all to pieces and prepared as
other meat, and so with the shank end of mutton that has been dressed, if much
gravy is not required. The shank bones of mutton add greatly to the richness of
gravies, but they should be first well soaked and scoured clean. The taste of
gravies is improved by tarragon, but it should be sparingly used, immediately
Lard should be carefully melted in a jar put in a kettle of
water and boiled, and run into bladders that have been strictly cleaned; the
bladders should not be too large, as the lard will become rank if the air gets
to it. While melting it, put in a sprig of rosemary.
Mustard mixed smooth with new milk, and a little cream added, will keep; it is very soft, and by no means bitter.
Sago should soak for an hour in water previous to using, to
take off the earthy taste.
Suet may be kept for a twelvemonth, thus: choose the firmest and most free from skin or veins, remove all trace of these, put the suet in a saucepan at some distance from the fire, and let it melt gradually; when melted, pour it into a pan of cold spring water; when hard, wipe it dry, fold it in white paper, put it into a linen bag, and keep it in a dry cool place; when used, it must be scraped, and will make an excellent crust, either with or without butter.
Tongue, which has been dried, should be soaked in water
three or four hours. One which has not been dried will require but little
soaking; put it in cold water, and boil gently till tender.
Raisin wine may be substituted for sherry, for sweets
Copper vessels, when the tinning is worn off, must never be used, or the poisoning of those who partake of whatever may have been cooked in them is inevitable. They should be sent to be re-tinned immediately they require it.
Keep tapes and jelly bags clean, or when again used they
will impart an unpleasant flavour.
All soups should be moderately thin and bright.
Meats such as beef, mutton, and venison, must rather be
underdone than overdone, excepting veal and pork, which require to be well
Fish should be quite done, but not overdone.
Pastry must be carefully baked; it should be sent to table a
pale gold colour.
Onions should be kept on ropes in a dry place—a specked one should be removed or it will contaminate the others.
Cold water cracks hot iron infallibly.
Pudding towels should be carefully washed, and kept clean in
a dry place. Put a clean round towel on the jack roller quite as often as
Be very particular in not letting your stocks and sauces pass over two days without boiling them up, and be careful to stir the thick soups and sauces all the time they are on the fire, and change all your cold meats into fresh clean dishes every morning, wiping down the dressers and shelves, and if allowed larding cloths see that they are clean. Keep your larder door shut, free from dust and damp; do not have your baked paste in the larder, but in your kitchen cupboard, and then see to your game larder, wiping and peppering and gingering your venison, arranging the game which requires to be dressed first, and see that all the blood which may have dropped from the game or venison is cleaned from the dressers and flooring. Then see to the vegetables, removing all stale and what is not wanted, giving it to the poor, either as dressed in some way or natural; do not be over-stocked, yet always keep a little reserve. This will save much trouble to the gardener, and frequently to the kitchen-maid, who will otherwise have to run from her work down to the garden, which, even if she likes it, takes her from other more important things. Be sure to look well every morning to your pickled pork and hams, keep and rub them well and turn them, marking those to be used first; your fish must be looked to and well cleaned and washed, and if intended for that day’s dinner, kept in water until required; if not, keep it on the marble or stones; your doors should always be shut.
Clean hands, always clean hands.
A dirty kitchen is a disgrace to every one connected with it.
In conclusion, the mistress of the household will understand that the well-being of her establishment depends upon her surveillance; and though her too frequent presence in the kitchen would be unnecessary and annoying to the cook, yet she should not be deterred from visiting it by any false delicacy, or deference to an absurd custom which makes it vulgar for a lady to visit her cook in her own domains. If the cook is thrifty and clean, she will be glad to receive the praise to which she is fairly entitled; if dirty and careless, it is very essential that the lady should be acquainted with the fact in order to remedy it by a change.
Good housewifery provides, ere a sickness do come, Of sundry good things in her house to have some— Good aqua composita, and vinegar tart, Rose water, and treacle, to comfort thine heart. Cold herbs in her garden, for agues to burn, That over strong heat to good temper may turn, White endive and succory, with spinach enow— All such, with good pot-herbs, should follow the plough. Get water of fumitory, liver to cool, And others the like, or else lie like a fool. Conserves of barbary, quinces, and such, With sirops that easeth the sickly so much. Ask medicas‘ counsel, ere medicine ye take, And honour that man for necessity’s sake: Though thousands hate physic because of the cost, Yet thousands it helpeth that else should be lost.; Good broth and good keeping do much now and then— Good diet, with wisdom, best comforteth man. In health, to be stirring, shall profit thee best— In sickness hate trouble; seek quiet and rest. Remember thy soul; let no fancy prevail; Make ready to God-ward; let faith never quail :— The sooner thyself thou submittest to God, The sooner he ceaseth to scourge with his rod.
y family and I have been enjoying the Victorian Farm and Victorian Pharmacy BBC series on YouTube. We enjoy watching faux Victorians toil while munching on our microwaved popcorn from the comfort of our sofa. I’ve had the companion books to both serieslying about for a year or two, but I hadn’t had a chance to peruse them because, up until recently, my life had been rather chaotic because of long, tiring commutes.
Yesterday as I was flipping through the pages of the companion book to Victorian Farm, the reference to The Family Save-All book jumped out at me. I looked up the book on Google books and found a delightful volume published in 1861 about how to use what we would call “leftovers” so that they possess “all the warmth and nicety of appearance of the original Cookery”, and how to cook with “secondary parts of animals” such as liver, tripe, feet and head, and hints for the “practical matters” of household. The author writes, “Perhaps there are none but the houses of the wealthier classes in which joints and other eatables are not, as a general rule, sent to the table twice or even thrice.” The book comprises thousands of hints, and, in small print at the bottom of the pages, are humorous anecdotes from Victorian life. The author, Robert Kemp Philp, wrote several books about practical daily life matters in Victorian times.
For hint one, he recommends making a pudding from cold roast beef. MINCE about a pound of the cold Beef, add to it one teaspoonful of salt, the same of flour, and half that quantity of pepper ; mix well ; fill the paste with the prepared meat, and add a gill of water ; a little chopped onions and parsley may be added ; cover in the ordinary manner, shake well, and tie in a cloth. Boil for half an hour, or longer, if the paste is thick. Chopped gherkins, pickled walnuts, or mushrooms, may be added, or a little of the vinegar of any well-seasoned pickle.
For hint 538, he recommends saving coal by lighting fires with the following method: BEFORE lighting the fire in the morning, thoroughly clean out the grate ; lay a piece of thick paper, cut to the form and size of the grate, at the bottom; pile up fresh coal, nearly as high as the level of the top bar; the pieces should be about the size of small potatoes or walnuts, but this is not absolutely necessary; the larger lumps should be laid in front, the smaller ones behind ; then put a liberal supply of paper, or shavings, and sticks, on the top, and cover the whole with yesterday’s cinders, adding a very little coal. Thus, it will be seen, the fire is to be lighted at the top. The results will be not only satisfactory, but astonishing… One fair trial of this system will satisfy everybody; and the servant will soon find that it will not only save her master an incredible quantity of coals, but that it will also save her a vast amount of trouble : the bell will be rung less frequently for the coal-scuttle, and the hearth will not require sweeping so often ; the fire, if properly made, will never require to be relighted during the day; there will be no soot-flakes on the furniture, and so little even in the chimney, that the services of the sweep will seldom be required.
Hint 555 is a suggestion for how to make a bed for an impoverished person. BEECH leaves are recommended for this purpose, as they are very springy, and will not harbour vermin. They should be gathered on a dry day in the autumn, and be perfectly dried.
Hint 572 is a clever way to kill pesky flies. TAKE some jars, mugs, or tumblers, fill them half-full with soapy water; cover them as jam-pots are covered, with a piece of paper, either tied down or tucked under the rim. Let this paper rubbed inside with wet sugar, treacle, honey, or jam-in fact anything sweet, and it must have a small hole cut in the centre, large enough for a fly to enter. The flies settle on the top, attracted by the smell of the bait; they then crawl through the hole, to feed upon the sweet beneath. Meanwhile the warmth of the weather causes the soapy water to ferment, and produces a gas which overpowers the flies, and they drop down into the vessel. Thousands may be destroyed this way, and the traps last a long time.
Hint 966 explains the tedious process of washing clothes with lime. The method of Washing with Lime is as follows : Take half a pound of quicklime, half a pound of Soap, and half a pound of Soda. Shred the soap and dissolve it in half a gallon of boiling water ; pour half a gallon of boiling water over the soda ; and enough boiling water over the quicklime to cover it. The lime must be quite fresh. Prepare each of these in separate vessels. Put the dissolved lime and soda together, and boil them for twenty minutes. Then pour them into a jar to settle. Set aside the Flannels and Coloured things, as they must not be washed in this way. The night before washing, the collars and wristbands of shirts, the feet of steckings, &c., should be rubbed well with soap and set to soak. In the morning pour ten gallons of water into the copper,· and having strained the mixture of lime and soda well, taking great care not to disturb the settlings, put it, together with the soap, into the water, and make the whole boil before putting in the clothes. A plate should be placed at the bottom of the copper to prevent the clothes from burning. Boil each lot of clothes from half an hour to an hour. Wash the finer things first. Then rinse them well in cold blue water. When dry they will be beautifully white. The same water will do for three lots.
• Susanna’s Note: blue dye was a chemical brightener.
The last pages of the book contain many small, handy hints that I’ve excerpted below. 1057 Port Wine sediment, is excellent as a flavouring to coffee. 1058 Biscuits, broken, and biscuit dust are good for puddings. 1059 Chestnuts may be made into soups or puddings. 1060 Milk, morning, is richer than that of the evening. 1061 Leeks, green tops of, sliced thin, capital flavouring for soups. 1062 Wood ashes form a good lye for softening water. 1063 Bricks covered with baize, serve to keep open doors. 1064 Rye roasted, is the best substitute for coffee, with chicory. 1065 Turnip-peel, washed clean, and tied in a net, imparts good flavour to soups. 1066 Gold green tea, well sweetened, put into saucers, will destroy flies. 1067 Celery leaves and ends, are useful for flavouring soups, gravies, sauces, &c. 1068 Beans, roasted, form an agreeable substitute for coffee, with chicory. 1069 Walnuts, the outer green husks supply, with vinegar, a very good catchup. 1070 Cherry kernels, broken, steeped in brandy, make a nice flavouring for tarts. 1071 Mulberry juice in small quantity greatly improves the colour and flavour of cider. 1072 Wheat, roasted, forms an agreeable substitute for coffee, with chicory. 1073 Cloth of old clothes, may be made into door mats, pen-wipers, &c. 1074 Bay leaves, in their green state, allay the inflammation of bee-stings. 1075 Linen rags should be washed and preserved for various domestic uses. 1076 Apple pips impart a fine flavour to tarts and dumplings. 1077 Old shoes make excellent slippers, and being occasionally polished look very well. 1078 The Soot should be brushed from the backs of kettles daily, and the front parts be polished. 1079 Sage leaves in small quantity, make an excellent addition to tea. 1080 Lemon juice will allay the irritation caused by the bites of gnats and flies. 1081 Clothes lines should be well wiped before they are put away. Gutta percha lines are best. 1082 Ashes and soap-suds are a good manure for shrubs and young plants. 1083 Oyster shell, put into a teakettle, will prevent its becoming furred. 1084 The white of egg, beaten to a froth with a little butter, is a good substitute for cream in tea or coffee. 1085 Honey and castor oil mixed are excellent for the asthmatic. A tea-spoonful night and morning. 1086 Soap suds, and soapy water, supply a good manure for garden soils. 1087 Cold potatoes, mashed with peas, make an excellent and light peas pudding. 1088 Wooden spoons are generally best for articles that require beating or stirring in cookery. 1089 Milk when slightly acid, mixed with a little lukewarm water, is a cooling drink for invalids. 1090 Bran, dusted over joints of meat when hung, will keep them good for an extra time. 1091 As much carbonate of soda as will lie on a four-penny piece, added to tea, will increase its strength. 1092 Parsley eaten with vinegar will remove the unpleasant effects of eating onions. 1093 Fine coals are excellent for cleaning bottles. Put them in with a little hot or cold water, and shake well. 1094 Lemon Peel is useful for flavouring gravies, sauces, puddings, punch, grog, &c. 1095 Plum stones, broken, and steeped in brandy, afford an excellent flavouring for tarts. 1096 The juice of Bean Pods is an effective cure for warts. 1097 Eggs white of, useful for clearing coffee; and as a cement for broken china, with lime. 1098 A little cider added to apple tarts, greatly improves them. 1099 Fried cucumber, added to Soups, greatly improves them. They should be fried in slices. 1100 Gras meters may be prevented from freezing by keeping one burner lighted during the whole day. 1101 Scotch oatmeal, carefully dried, will keep cream cheese good and dry, if laid over it. 1102 The leaves and roots of the blackberry shrub make an excellent and refreshing tea. The berries are a corrective of dysentery. 1103 Stale bread, after being steeped in water, and re-baked for about an hour, will be nearly equal to new. 1104 Pea-shells and haulm are excellent food for horses, mixed with bruised oats, or bran. Good also for pigs. 1105 Butter which has been used for covering potted meats, may be used for basting, or in paste for meat pies. 1106 Bleeding from the nose may be stopped by putting bits of lint into the nostrils; and by raising the arms over the head. 1107 Egg shells, are useful for the stock-pot, to clarify the stock. 1108 In winter, get the work forward by daylight, which will prevent many accidents and inconveniences with candles, &c. 1109 In ironing, be careful first to rub the iron over something of little value; this will prevent the scorching and smearing of many articles.
1110 When chamber towels wear thin in the middle, cut them in two, sew the selvages together, and hem the sides. 1111 One flannel petticoat will wear nearly as long as two, if turned hind part before, when the front begins to wear thin. 1112 For turning meats while broiling or frying, small tongs are better than a fork. The latter lets out the juice of the meat. 1113 Persons of weak sight, when threading a needle, should hold it over something white, by which the sight will be assisted. 1114 Lemon and orange seeds either steeped in spirits, or stewed in syrups, supply an excellent bitter tonic. 1115 Gutta Percha is useful for filling decayed teeth, stopping crevices in windows and floors, preventing windows from rattling, &c. 1116 Potatoes may be prevented from sprouting in the spring season, by momentarily dipping them into hot water. 1117 To loosen a glass stopper, pour round it a little sweet oil, close to the stopper, and let it stand in a warm place. 1118 Raspberries, green, impart an acidity to spirit more grateful than that of the lemon. A decoction in spirit may be kept for flavouring. 1119 Acorns, roasted, form a substitute for coffee, and produce a beverage scarcely less agreeable especially if with an addition of chicory. 1120 The presence of copper in liquids may be detected by a few drops of hartshorn, which produces, when copper is present, a blue colour. 1121 Cold melted butter may be warmed by putting the vessel containing it into boiling water, and allowing it to stand until warm. 1122 Cabbages, (red), for pickling, should be cut with a silver knife. This keeps them from turning black, as they do when touched with iron. 1123 Common radishes, when young, tied in bunches, boiled for twenty minutes, and served on buttered toast, are excellent. 1124 Eel skins, well cleansed, to clarify coffee, &c. Sole skins, well cleansed, to clarify coffee, &c, and making fish soups and gravies. 1125 Charcoal powder is good for polishing knives, without destroying the blades. It is also a good toothpowder, when finely pulverised. 1126 The earthy mould should never be washed from potatoes, carrots, or other roots, until immediately before they are to be cooked. 1127 Apple pips, and also the pips of pears, should be saved, and put into tarts, bruised. They impart a delicious flavour. 1128 Potatoe water, in which potatoes have been scraped, the water being allowed to settle, and afterwards strained, is good for sponging dirt out of silk. 1129 Sitting to sew by candle-light, before a table with a black cloth on it, is injurious to the eyes. When such work must be done, lay a black cloth before you. 1130 Straw matting may be cleaned with a large coarse cloth, dipped in salt and water, and then wiped dry. The salt prevents the straw from turning yellow, 1131 Cold boiled potatoes used as soap, will cleanse the hands, and keep the skin soft and healthy. Those not over-boiled are best. 1132 In mending sheets, shirts, or other articles, let the pieces put on be fully large, or when washed the thin parts will give way, and the work be all undone. 1133 Leaves, green, of any kind, worn inside the hat in the heat of summer, are said to be an effectual preventive of sun-stroke. 1134 Cakes, Puddings, &c, are always improved by making the currants, sugar, and flour hot, before using them. 1135 It is an error to give fowls egg shells, with the object of supplying them with lime. It frequently induces in fowls a habit of eating eggs. 1136 Buttermilk is excellent for cleaning sponges. Steep the sponge in the milk for some hours, then squeeze it out, and wash in cold water. 1137 Lamp shades of ground glass should be cleaned with soap or pearlash; these will not injure noi discolour them. 1138 When reading by candle-light, place the candle behind you, that the light may pass over your shoulder and fall upon the book from behind. 1139 Walnut pickle, after the walnuts are consumed, is useful for adding to gravies and sauces, especially for minced cold meats, and hashes. 1140 Coffee grounds are a disinfectant and deodorizer, being burnt upon a hot fire-shovel, and borne through any apartment. 1141 Cold boiled eggs may be warmed by putting them into cold water and warming them gradually, taking them out before the water boils. 1142 The best plan to collect dripping is, to put it while warm into water nearly cold. Any impurities it may contain will sink to the bottom. 1143 Hay, sprinkled with a little chloride of lime, and left for one hour in a closed room, will remove the smell of new paint. 1144 Tea leaves, used for keeping down the dust when sweeping carpets, are apt to stain light colours; in which case, use newly-mown damp grass instead. 1145 Moths deposit their eggs in May and June. This, therefore, is the time to dust furs, &c, and to place bits of camphor in drawers and boxes. 1146 Bran may be used for cleaning damask or chintz. It should be rubbed over them with a piece of flannel. 1147 A cut lemon kept on the washing-stand, and rubbed over the hands daily after washing, and not wiped off for some minutes, is the best remedy for chapped hands. Lemon juice, or Salts of Lemon, will clean Sponges perfectly. 1148 Elder flowers, prepared in precisely the same manner as 1153, furnish a very cooling ointment, for all kinds of local irritation, and especially for the skin when sun-burnt. 1149 Common washing soda dissolved in water, until the liquid will take up no more, is an effective remedy for warts. Moisten the warts with it, and let them dry, without wiping.
1150 Bran water, or water in which bran has been steeped, greatly improves bread, instead of plain water. The bran may afterwards be given to fowls, or pigs. 1151 After washings, look over linen, and stitch on buttons, hooks and eyes. For this purpose keep a box or bag well supplied with sundry threads, cottons, buttons, hooks and eyes, &c. 1152 It has been suggested that the sea; of eggs may be determined by the situation of the air-cell; but careful experiments have shown that no dependence can be put upon this criterion. 1153 The leaf of the common dock, bruised and rubbed over the part affected, will cure the stings caused by nettles. Leaves of sage, mint, or rosemary are also good for the same purpose. 1154 Pudding cloths should never be washed with soap. They should be rinsed in clean water, dried, and be put away in a drawer, where they will be free from dust. 1155 Add a tea-spoonful of Alum, and a tea-spoonful of Salt, to each three gallons of Vinegar for Pickling, and immerse in it whole pepper, ginger root, and mixed spices, and it will be greatly improved. 1156 It is a great economy in serving Dinners to provide a plentiful supply of good vegetables, thoroughly hot. For which purpose they should not be served up all at once, but a reserve “to follow” should be the plan. 1157 It is an error to wash weak children, in cold water, with the view of strengthening them. The temperature should be modified to their condition, and be lowered as they are found to improve. 1158 Onions, eschalots, scallions, chives, garlic, and rocambole are pretty much the same, and may be substituted one for the other in many instances, as a matter oi convenience or economy. 1159 For Soft Corns, dip a piece of linen rag in Turpentine, and wrap it round the toe on “which the corn is situated, night and morning. The relief will be immediate, and after a few days the corn will disappear. 1160 The Juice of an Onion will relieve the pain from a bee-sting; dusting the blue from a washerwoman’s “blue bag ” will have a similar effect. The venom must first be pressed out.
Nothing is more absurd than dosing the infant with medicine of any kind immediately on its entrance into the world. It is of importance to know, that in this early stage of infancy, drugs are wholly unnecessary, and often very improper, the first milk of the mother, which the child should be placed at the breast to obtain as soon as she has recovered by rest from the immediate fatigue of her labour, or a little thin gruel, with a small quantity of soft sugar, being all that is necessary to promote those evacuations which nature herself, in general, most faithfully ejects; the early application of the infant to the breast will besides cause the milk to be much sooner supplied, and more certainly prevent puerperal fever and inflammations of the breast, than any other method which can be adopted.
The health of women while suckling their infants is, in general, better than at any other period of their lives. But should their functions, from any cause whatever, be disturbed, the quantity or quality of the milk, or both, will be often very materially affected. The quality of the food and drink taken by the mother will also very materially affect her child; so also will medicine. Thus if a nurse eat garlick, her milk will become impregnated with it, and disagreeable. If she indulge too freely in wine or porter, the infant will become sick; and if a nurse take jalap or any other opening medicine, the infant will be purged; and such as are affected with gripes or pains in the bowels, are often cured by giving the nurse a larger proportion of animal food. The milk of a suckling woman may also be altered by the affections of the mind, such as anger, fear, grief, or anxiety. In mothers as well as nurses, a good temper and an even mind are grand requisites in promoting the health of the child. The food of nurses should not be different from their ordinary food; but they in general eat and drink considerably more, and with greater relish, than at other times, which of course should not be denied to them.
During the first month, the infant should, if possible, receive its nourishment from its mother’s breast, not only as being beneficial to the infant, but also, by its discharge, to the mother herself. If, however, from peculiar circumstances, the mother cannot suckle her own child, a young woman should be chosen to do so whose milk is nearly of the same age as that of the mother. But no trifling consideration ought to induce any mother to abandon her offspring to be suckled by another, provided she has health and strength to do it herself.
An infant should be early accustomed to feeding, as it will thereby suffer less inconvenience on being weaned. It should be fed two or three times a day, and, if not suckled during the night, which some medical writers think is not necessary, it may require feeding once or twice during that period. We cannot, however, avoid remarking, that suckling during the night, at least for the first two or three months, is preferable to feeding.
An infant in health, and which has been brought to feed regularly, may be safely, and is best weaned at seven or eight months: it should seldom, if ever, be suckled more than ten. The period of weaning, however, must be regulated by the strength of the mother, as well as that of the infant. It should never be taken from the breast, if possible, before the end of the fourth month.
Should an infant, from accidental or other circumstances, be deprived of its food from the breast of its mother or nurse, a substitute for it must be supplied, and the closer we can imitate nature the better. For this purpose, a sucking bottle should be procured, the mouth of which should be as wide as that of an eight-ounce phial, which is to be stopped with sponge covered with gauze, and made in size and shape to resemble a nipple. The following preparation is most suitable, as it comes nearest to the mother’s milk, and may be sucked through the sponge: On a small quantity of a crumb of bread, pour some boiling water; after soaking for about ten minutes, press it, and throw away the water, the bread by this process being purified from alum or other saline substances which it might contain; then boil it in as much soft water as will dissolve the bread, and make a decoction of the consistence of barley-water; to a sufficient quantity of this decoction, about a fifth part of fresh cows’ milk is to be added, and sweetened with the best soft sugar. After each feeding, the bottle and sponge should be carefully rinsed with warm water. As the infant advances in growth, the proportion of milk is to be increased, and that of the sugar lessened, until the stomach is able to digest simple bread and milk, Indian arrow-root, &c. In this way very fine children have been reared.
Last evening I stumbled across this little piece from Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine, volume 41, published in 1873. I don’t know if the story is a true account, but it made me rather sad for multiple reasons.
My First Literary Venture
by Rosella Rick
I HAD always wanted to do something to help my husband; he was poor, and his health was not good, and he had a family of four to provide for. I could churn and sell the batter for a good price, and I could raise chickens, and sell eggs; and the product of the garden was no small item, but I didn’t like slavish toil, I didn’t want a freckled face and sunburnt hands and a stout waist.
It was easy work to write stories, purely; anybody could do that; love stories were always read with a relish, and, judging from the abundance of them, they were marketable enough.
I consulted no one. I wanted to surprise my husband some day; I wanted lie should find himself famous as the husband of the distinguished Mrs.—-, the new star that had arisen in the literary horizon. My children were very troublesome, the baby was teething; I found that I could not write love-stories and hear them crying, and fighting, and falling and bumping their heads. I baked a jar full of sugar cakes, and made some molasses taffy, and drove a spike in the joists overhead and put up a swing on it, and did everything I could one day that I might commence my literary career on the following morning. I likewise sent to a neighbor’s to borrow her little poor house girl to tend the children and be company for them.
In the morning I went to my bedroom upstairs to begin my work. I had laid the plot of my story in the night, while my husband was snoring obliviously by my side.
My plot was beautiful. Gustavus Le Claire, a runner for a city firm, was to fall in love with a lovely girl, an orphan, Melissa Medina, the niece of the landlady at the village hotel, where Gustavus had stopped for a few days. His friends were to oppose the marriage, and use all their influence against the proposed union. She was to pine, and be sent away to her grandmother’s; letters were to be intercepted; he was to cut his throat with a razor, and be discovered in time to be restored to life. A tobacco firm were to employ him as a runner on a new route that would carry him away in an opposite direction. In time he was to forget her and marry another, and, at the close of a long life, fall into abject poverty, and be assisted by his former sweetheart. He was to recognize her by a mark on her wrist, and she was to recognize him by a lock of red hair that grew on the side of his head. He was to die in her sheltering arms, murmuring: “Thine—thine only!”
I knew if I could grow inspired while writing, that this plot would work a thrilling tale, and my humble name would become a household word in my native land, and my fertile pen would be a resource of pleasure and of profit.
I wrote two days, stopping to cook the three meals, rising early, churning after the family were abed, baking biscuit to save baking bread, spreading up the beds instead of making them, sweeping in a temporary manner, and cuffing the children instead of coaxing them. All this I did with my brows drawn in a thoughtful mood, and my pencil sticking above my ear.
The third day I wrote, Harry, my baby fell downstairs and struck his forehead on the rough stone wall, and cut a gash through to the skull. An Italian was in the kitchen with his little shoulder-stand full of gay nick-nacks, and Harry was hurrying down to see them. After he had cried himself to sleep, and I had recovered from my faint and my fright, I resumed the pen.
When he awoke he was unusually fretful, and I tried to keep him with me. I gave him my slippers, and my comb and brush, and a little silver bell, and everything that could possibly amuse him for even a minute at a time.
Just when my story was reaching its acme, the baby wearied of all things, and kicked and cried most piteously.
How could I come down from the delectable heights of fancy and tend a mortal child, when the children of my brain, my immortal darlings, clamored for my undivided attention? The thought was mortifying, aggravating—how could I soar with all these human ties tugging at my heart?
I looked all around me to devise a newer plaything. A small mirror seemed to recommend itself. I held it before the baby, and he laughed aloud, while the tears like dewdrops hung on his long lashes.
“See a baby!” I said, “see a baby!” I sat him down on the floor and placed the mirror before him, so he could bend forward and look into it. He shouted in his rare glee. I resumed my story, occasionally peeping over my shoulder and saying: “He sees a baby! sees a baby I”
After while I looked round, thankful I had found a plaything that pleased Harry, and I discovered him very deliberately sitting on it, peeping over first at one side then the other, to see how nearly it adapted itself to his ample proportions The glass was broken into a thousand pieces, and he sat there as delighted as a boy who has mounted a fractious colt for the first time. He crowed, he tried to tip up his heels into the air, and he threw back his head as though he was tossing a flowing mane. I really believe the little human baby, with a touch of the bully spirit that often comes with mature growth, thought he had that other fellow down, and that after some fashion or manner he was a little man victorious.
At last, after much tribulation, my tender lovestory was written, revised, copied, punctuated carefully, put into an envelope without rolling or folding and sent off. Because it was a first attempt, I affixed to it the modest price of fifteen dollars.
Elated by the success that I was sure would attend my first effort, I wrote another story, called “My Grandmother’s Prophecy.” The grandmother was a superstitious old lady, and, following the bent of her whims, she prophesied over every event that transpired. One of her granddaughters came suddenly upon a nest of eggs under the lilacs, and the old lady said that it was an infallible sign that she would receive an offer of marriage unexpectedly. The offer did come in a very droll, dry, business-like way from a renovated old widower in a blue silk cravat. I thought I made a splendid story of the incident.
Oh, I seemed to feel the cool chaplet of fame on my heated brow, and to hear the chink of the yellow twenty dollar gold pieces in my humble little black velvet wallet.
Life was very sweet to me in those summer mornings and noons and nights. I waited patiently until I thought it was time for replies to come, and for the newspapers to shout out the name of the new star, already in the zenith.
Hadn’t I for years felt the burning desire to write! Hadn’t I felt that I was one of the anointed I—one of the few set apart!
I don’t like to be laughed at, and yet I always enjoy a joke on myself as well as on others. I’ll put my hands over my face while I tell it.
A peddler came along with a fine assortment of Irish poplins. Now, I always had a weakness for lustrous poplin. I am tall and slender. I knew a dress of dark-green poplin would fall in such magnificent folds from my waist down to my feet, that I would be the admiration of all Lenox and vicinity.
I had felt a desire to help my poor husband. Fudge! Wouldn’t that be inverting the order of marriage?—wouldn’t that be making of myself the strong oak, and of him the clinging vine? I, a free woman, able to earn my own living by my pen, would none of this.
I bought the beautiful pattern, and promised to pay for it as soon as I heard from “my publishers.” I said this with a great deal of zest and satisfaction.
The dress was twenty dollars. I could pay for that easily, and have money left—and how nice that would be. Not another woman in Lenox could such things as that, they were all burdens to their husbands. They leaned on them.
Well, well, no Italian sunsets were finer than ours in Lenox; no sunrise in the tropics softer, or mellower, or more delightful.
In a few weeks came a bulky envelope, accompanied by a letter. My beautiful love-story of “Augustus the Runner, and Melissa Melsina the Orphan” came back to me, and the letter read:
“Madam : We shall not be able to use your story of ‘Augustus the True Hero.’ We return you the MSS., etc., etc.”
Why wouldn’t they use it? Perhaps an ill-disposed clerk had sent it back to me; or, maybe, they had organized rings, and favored no new contributors. I wrote back immediately, and asked why they refused it I wanted they should point out the errors, and if it was not worth fifteen dollars, perhaps they would pay me twelve for it; and, rather than miss a sale, and because it was my first attempt, I was willing to sell it for ten dollars. I didn’t mind making a little sacrifice. I could afford to be generous. I received no reply. I wrote again with a like result.
I hoped a better fate for the ‘Grandmother’s Prophecy;” but though I waited long and patiently, I never heard a word from it. I presume it was consigned to the waste-basket.
The days were not so beautiful then. My star of hope had gone down—the sunsets and sunrises were very common. I wondered wherein had ever lain the burnished glow and the tender shimmer on the hazy hill-tops, and the soft, caressing touch that seemed to come to my glad face in the twilight breeze that dallied on the billowy meadows, and shook the over ripe roses until their pale petals fell like fragrant flakes at my feet.
I took up the burden of life again; it was a little heavy at first; its tasks were often performed in tears, that fell freely when I thought of my great mistake. Though I shrank from facing the truth, I could call my error by no other name.
How I hated the fight of my green poplin dress! It brought up such painful memories; and then it did not harmonize with my shawl or hat or veil. What a mountain loomed up before me when I tried to pay for it myself.
I sold butter and eggs, chickens and berries and cucumbers and radishes, and took in washings and boarded the music-teacher, but I couldn’t pay for it all myself, and I couldn’t trade it off. It haunted me like the dead body haunted Eugene Aram.
At last, in a fit of despair. I cried right out one night, and owned up to the whole thing. I was very miserable; I hid my face in Joey’s bosom, and with sobs that shook me like an ague fit, I confessed the whole truth. It was very humiliating, but Joey said it only made me dearer to him than ever, and that I must never play the strong oak again, and keep secrets from him anymore. He said the public should never have the opportunity of criticizing his dear wife’s pretty stories, that they couldn’t appreciate them; a greedy gourmand of a public never should tear from the sanctity of home her precious name, and flaunt it in the papers.
He paid for the ugly green dress willingly, and the tender love-light in his blue eyes, as he did it, was worth more to me than all the huzzas and noisy plaudits of a hollow-hearted public.
I never recovered from the humiliation. My soul is sick yet, when I think of the bright dreams that for a few months dazzled my eyes, and bewildered and biased my better judgment.
Note: I couldn’t find much information on Rosella Rick. However, she did have stories published in other volumes of Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine.