We know coffee was an every-day commodity in the Victorian American West, but how much do you know about its availability, preparation methods, the era’s tried-and-true substitutions, and where it was purchased? Come see!
A newspaper article published on November 25, 1897 (El Dorado, KS, syndicated from NY Tribune) sheds historical light on what Thanksgiving Day was to the late Victorians in the United States. Includes: origins, thanksgiving souvenirs, thanksgiving entertainments, and thanksgiving decorations… a glimpse into Thanksgiving in 1897.
At the outset of Unmistakably Yours, Hank Murphy, proprietor of a fine new grocery emporium, is desperate to ensure adequate supplies to see his community through winter have arrived safely in Mountain Home. Much like Aesop’s fables about ants and grasshoppers, the American-Victorian era is ripe with moral-rich stories urging hard work during the summer to secure safety and comfort in the winter. This vintage newspaper article from 1880 showcases an example of the era’s “stories with a moral”.
How did our Victorian-American ancestors select a turkey? How did they roast it (without a Reynold’s Oven Bag)? Were their Thanksgiving Dinner side dishes as complicated as restaurant menus made them appear?
This newspaper article, published in Vermont Journal of Windsor, Vermont, on November 30, 1889, instructs our Victorian ancestors (in the United States) how to properly carve a turkey. Picture the Thanksgiving table laden with fancy dishes, and the head of the household carving the bird from his place of honor at the head of the table.
Do you form a picture of characters in your mind as you read?
Would you like to see who I pictured while I write Unmistakably Yours and related Holidays in Mountain Home titles?
As today is National Apple Dumpling Day, I rounded up vintage apple dumplings recipes from various sources (19th century cookbooks and 19th century newspapers) that illustrate different cooking methods and a variety of “dumpling” options, including different sauces and serving methods. Welcome, Autumn!
Guest blogger Caryl McAdoo shares one component of fiction writing– the challenge of writing large casts of characters, and making them distinct personalities that sound different and are easy for readers to follow. She shares insights from her first novel (27 titles ago!) and her brand new release, Gone To Texas, that debuted today!
Cool, inexpensive dessert recipes appealed to our Victorian grandmothers, especially in summertime heat. These three recipes, published in the Saint Paul Globe of Saint Paul, Minnesota on June 24, 1888 were perfect for a cameo appearance in my Holidays in Mountain Home title 8– Unmistakably Yours.
Authors’ ideas come from the strangest places. Here, I’ll share one rhetorical question and one brief bit of poetry, both published in USA Victorian-era newspapers (within 6 years of my title’s setting), that contributed to the writing of Isabella’s Calico Groom.