Today, December 30th, is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day.
Why recognize and celebrate such an obscure “foodie” day?
Victorian-era recipes containing saleratus, pearl ash, baking soda, baking powder (and more) can be confusing… and evoke a million questions. When were each used? Which were Victorian-era developments? Which did 19th century cooks prefer?
Today, June 20th, is National Ice Cream Soda Day! We’re all familiar with Ice Cream Sodas… any flavor ice cream, floating in any flavor soda, right? Yes, unless you’re a Victorian American at the oh, so popular Soda Fountain. The nineteenth century’s Ice Cream Soda just might surprise you!
Nineteenth Century Ice Cutting, Part 1 (of 3): Ice cutting was a boom business in the mid 1800s. Tons of ice were harvested each winter in the Northeast portion of the United States, housed near rivers and railway spurs, and shipped near and far for use in the remaining seasons of the year. An image from August 1884 Harper’s Weekly, a patent from 1841, a spot of Victorian humor, and newspaper clippings shed light on the significant ice trade.
“Mason Jars” (glass bottles for home food preservation) were invented and patented in the United Sates in the Victorian Era. Industrious homemakers grew large gardens, tended fruit trees, and bottled everything from jams and jellies to grape juice, apple sauce to soups, tomatoes to green beans. How did women accomplish this work?
Were pencils common in Old West households? How early were pencils invented?
Would you be surprised to learn mechanical pencils were invented and in vogue mid-nineteenth century?