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 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.

Peanut Butter in Victorian America

Peanut Butter in Victorian America

Today, January 24th, is the United States’ National Peanut Butter Day. On March 1st, calendars declare the day National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day.

Who first invented peanut butter? Doctors worried about elderly patients’ nutrition, right? Sometime in the nineteenth century?

Uh, no. Not exactly.

But peanut butter–an “All American” spread–was enjoyed by our Victorian-American ancestors. Read vintage articles instructing knowledgeable housewives of the many dietary uses of the peanut, vintage recipes instructing the proper making of “peanut paste”, the inclusion of pulverized peanut (paste, flour, finely chopped), and ultimately, advertised brands to buy at their grocers’ markets.

Vintage Quips and Poetry Spark Fictional Ideas

Vintage Quips and Poetry Spark Fictional Ideas

Authors’ ideas come from the strangest places. Here, I’ll share one rhetorical question and one brief bit of poetry, both published in USA Victorian-era newspapers (within 6 years of my title’s setting), that contributed to the writing of Isabella’s Calico Groom.

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.