Victorian America’s Dandelions

Victorian America’s Dandelions

Dandelions were so much more than weeds to our Victorian ancestors. Not only were the tender plants sought for springtime vegetables and salads, but for tea, coffee, wine, beer, and prominent medicinal value. 19th century cook books and newspapers share the Victorian-American viewpoint on the value of dandelions from blossom to root. Recipes for edibles and curatives, advertisements, and more!

Victorian Jelly: Commercial Gelatin

Victorian Jelly: Commercial Gelatin

Credit goes to a Victorian-era inventor for out-of-a-box gelatin. What an amazing labor-saving invention! Until now, wives and daughters everywhere had been making gelatin out of pigs feet and a good deal of elbow grease.

How did nineteenth century scientists manage to capture the essence of gelatin and put it in a box? And how much did it cost?

Victorian Jelly: Fruit Jellies

Victorian Jelly: Fruit Jellies

Nineteenth-century recipes for fruit jellies–the kind spread on toast or between cake layers. Vintage details instruct cooks on jellies (and jams) made of raspberry, cranberry, apple, strawberry, quince, three hues of currant, peach, plum, cherry, gooseberry, and more. How they capped their jelly tumblers might surprise you…

Victorian America’s Marble Cakes

Victorian America’s Marble Cakes

German immigrants brought Marmorkuchen–marble cake–to the United States. Vintage cook books and newspapers show spice-and-yellow cake batters swirled together. Late-nineteenth-century bakers began to swap spice cake for chocolate. Delicious vintage baking!

Victorian-Era Hair Care

Victorian-Era Hair Care

Victorians took their hair seriously: “Want Good Hair?” asked Godey’s Lady’s Book (1861). Throughout the nineteenth century, much advice circulated in magazines, newspapers, and cook books regarding how to cleanse hair (long before shampoo was invented), use of combs, whether or not to cut kids’ hair and more!

Victorian Jelly: Molds

Victorian Jelly: Molds

Fancy jellies graced 19th century tables, molded in dishes made of tin, zinc, copper, and various ceramics. Photographs of antiques, together with vintage advertisements, illustrate this Victorian kitchen staple.

Victorian Jelly: Blanc Mange

Victorian Jelly: Blanc Mange

Blanc Mange (blancmange) was a favorite throughout the nineteenth century, in the UK and in the States. Victorians thickened this favorite gelled dessert with a wide variety of articles, old and new. Vintage recipes gathered from era cook books and newspapers, along with newspaper advertisements, show the wide range of blanc manges in Victorian dining.

Victorian Jelly: Isinglass and Irish Moss

Victorian Jelly: Isinglass and Irish Moss

Victorian Jellies were all the rage throughout nineteenth-century America and Victoria’s British Isles.

Through mid-century, cooks relied on various gelling agents to set up their moulded creations. Two of those articles from the sea–isinglass and Irish moss–are illustrated by means of Victorian-era recipe books and newspaper advertisements.

Victorian Jelly: Ivory Dust

Victorian Jelly: Ivory Dust

Victorian-era jellies were thickened with a variety of articles–including ivory dust.

Yes, the dust created from carving and shaping ivory into things like knife handles.

Victorian-era U.S. publications tell the story.