Victorian America’s Brown Betty

Victorian America’s Brown Betty

Victorian America’s BROWN BETTY: a teapot, and an economical dessert.

A smattering of recipes from mid- to late-nineteenth century cook books and newspapers paint an image of “brown Betty.” Victorian-era economy shines in these vintage instructions.

Victorian Baking: Saleratus, Baking Soda, and Salsoda

Victorian Baking: Saleratus, Baking Soda, and Salsoda

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?

For Sale: WIFE (Part 2)

For Sale: WIFE (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this blog series, I share 70 newspaper clippings from Victorian America, wherein reports abound that husbands have sold their wives. Prices range from $0.05 (5 cents) to thousands of dollars (US, Victorian). I provided price comparisons, just for impact. Throughout, I provided my opinions regarding TRUTH or JOKE. Ultimately, there had to be some of both. What a bizarre practice!

Old West Barber Shop

Old West Barber Shop

Old West Barber Shops used the traditional sign of the striped pole, advertised in newspapers, and usually hired men. Comparing for time passage and inflation, the low rates barbers charged then still seem ridiculously low. This is the first of many posts about Old West Barber Shops and Ladies Hair Salons.

Victorian Refrigerators (a.k.a. Icebox)

Victorian Refrigerators (a.k.a. Icebox)

Our Victorian American ancestors were inventive people. They needed a solution for perishable food in the worst of summer’s heat (and beyond). They came up with a remarkably well-insulated icebox (officially called a refrigerator far earlier than you might guess), designed to be a beautiful piece of furniture and functional. Some iceboxes went so far as to serve the melted ice water by silver tap. This article contains Victorian instructions for care and cleaning of 19th century refrigerators, advertisements, a crime committed with an industrial-sized (believe it or not: a walk-in) refrigerator, current images of antique iceboxes (both family size and commercial size), the icebox’s impact on beer, and so much more.