July 6th is (United States’) National Fried Chicken Day. A perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the love of fried chicken throughout the nineteenth century. Not only was this dish well-established in the colonies (17th and 18th centuries), it was a favorite throughout the States as the nation expanded to the California coast. Vintage newspaper clippings detail restaurant menus featuring fried chicken and provide vintage instructions for frying succulent drums, thighs, and breasts. Apparently folks said thank you with a good meal then, the same as they do now.
Near the year 1900, Victorian-American cooks finally started combining raisins (which they had plenty of uses for) and oatmeal–a grain they’d only recently begun accepting. This article contains several vintage recipes from nineteenth century newspapers: raisins in other late-Victorian recipes, and at last–chopped raisins IN oatmeal cookies.
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?
The Victorian Era drew to a close in January, 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria. The newspaper article I share within this post comes from July, 1902 (technically the Edwardian Era), but society’s expectations of table manners and propriety at a summer resort hadn’t changed. This article covers a few of the many, many “Summer Resorts” in the Victorian-Era United States and touches on why these resorts were so loved.
Picnics were a common and notable diversion for Victorian Americans whenever weather permitted. Schools, churches, families, and organizations hosted picnics. Reasons varied from welcome-home parties to gatherings to hear a speaker or minster to holiday celebrations. This article contains recommendations for preparing and transporting picnic foods properly, protecting young ladies from harm (let’s keep those chaperones in place!), and a peek inside my new release Courting Miss Cartwright–specifically the picnic basket auction scene.