Home Cooking, 1840s-style

Group seated at the dinner table, via Ohio Memory.
Group seated at the dinner table, via Ohio Memory.

When November comes, many of us here in the United States begin to think of the food-filled holiday that is Thanksgiving.  We’re grateful for family, for friends, and for health, of course.  But we’re also grateful for a plate loaded with all our favorites: turkey, sides, and dessert.

Thanksgiving didn’t become an annual tradition until 1863, but recipe books published prior to then are loaded with recipes for the foods we have come to associate with the holiday.  One such example, from the State Library of Ohio Rare Book Room, is the 1841 imprint entitled Manual of Domestic Economy, or House-Keeper’s Guide.  Soups to meats to sides to desserts to drinks are all represented.

Apple soup…yum!
Apple soup…yum!

If your traditional meal starts with a soup, why not try recipe number 78, apple soup?  It sounds delicious – honest! – and takes advantage of in-season fruit, as was necessary for Americans at the time the book was published.

The cookbook doesn’t offer directions for roasting turkey but does include recipes for turkey with truffles, turkey in a variety of sauces, minced turkey, and turkey wings two ways: roasted or fried.  For some turkey-lovers, these recipes would be a blessing when faced with turkey leftovers!

Show your appreciation for the cook and make him or her a Perfect Love Cordial.
Show your appreciation for the cook and make him or her a Perfect Love Cordial.

Recipes number 462 and 463 share delicious ways to make potatoes, and number 486 gives directions for stuffed squash.  If you would like to make a pumpkin pie, 1840s-style, turn to recipe number 502.  And to drink, check out number 672, which is eggnog, or try number 771, which is charmingly named “Perfect love cordial.”

And if your cook burns himself or herself while cooking – and who doesn’t? – the Manual offers first-aid information (tip number 831).  It probably works great, if you keep allum and plaster of cerat in your medicine cabinet.

Take a look at the entire book in Ohio Memory–you might find the perfect recipe to start a tradition!

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Thank you to Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger at the State Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!

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