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 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.
Oktoberfest is a multi-national celebration of German culture, held annually in Munich, Germany and in many other locations worldwide. German immigrants to the United States before and during the Victorian Era brought the custom with them. The sixteen-day festival of parades, music, food, and folkloric dancing begins on the third Saturday of September each year. The 2016 holiday begins today, September 17, 2016.
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.