Pearl Ash, Potash, and the Ashery

Pearl Ash, Potash, and the Ashery

I’ve recently covered leavening agents in Victorian Baking, including saleratus and baking soda (let’s not confuse salsoda!). But what of the “pearl ash” noted in early American cook books (1796)? Asheries were a significant part of 19th century life, as ashes (can you imagine?) were a significant export from the United States and Canada. Come see what pearl ash was, how it was made, and what an ashery was all about.

Vintage Coffee Cake

Vintage Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake… Yummm! Today, April 7th, is National Coffee Cake Day! Do you like the crumble-topped kind, varieties with coffee in the cake, or simply cake meant to be enjoyed with a cup (or five) of coffee? Come see the recipes and methods our Victorian ancestors found tasty enough to keep.

I Want Romance Giveaway: April 2-22 (2018)

I Want Romance Giveaway: April 2-22 (2018)

I WANT ROMANCE GIVEAWAY: April 2 – 22, 2018

67 Romance Authors have banded together to bring you a huge bundle of prizes, to be awarded to 8 lucky winners. Come see our offerings, check out our Book Fair, and enter our Rafflecopter event to win!

Ladies Fashions: Huge Sleeves of the 1890s

Ladies Fashions: Huge Sleeves of the 1890s

19th Century Ladies Fashions included gigantic sleeves known by many names: Leg of Mutton, Marquise, Balloon, etc. Highly fashionable, women wore them to work at home, to “walk out”, to sit for photographs, and on their wedding days. Highly fashionable for a period of time in the 1890s (through the turn of the century), they’ve returned at least twice: mid 1980s and in 2016. A favorite? You decide.

Victorian Cake: Tins, Pans, Moulds

Victorian Cake: Tins, Pans, Moulds

Cake tins are often mentioned in Victorian-era Cook Books (as spelled in nineteenth century publications). This post provides historic images of this era’s baking pans from both newspaper advertisements and catalog ads (such as Sears and Montgomery Ward’s catalogs). Many of the shapes and sizes are familiar to today’s baker’s options, and several have disappeared in the intervening years. My greatest surprise is the SIZE of Victorian cake pans. Compare to today’s, and see what I mean!

Victorians Say “I Love You”

Victorians Say “I Love You”

It’s Valentine’s Day! Millennials (and old folks like me) understand society’s expectations of how committed couples acknowledge Valentine’s, and how expression of love is done (or we believe should be done). But what about our Victorian ancestors?

How did Victorian Americans say “I love you”? …Or, did they?

Did advice of the era shed light on such matters?

Victorian Cooking: The Sifter ~ An American Victorian Invention?

Victorian Cooking: The Sifter ~ An American Victorian Invention?

Flour sifters are an important part of baking–today, and in the Victorian Era. Would you be surprised to learn the first flour sifter was patented by an American? See a timeline of Victorian-era advertisements for sifters and flour sieves, flour bins (canisters or extraordinary sizes) with built-in sieves, patents for early sifters and sieve holders, and a perspective of price. The advertising, alone, sheds light on why 19th century cooks were persuaded to purchase and use these devices.