Victorian Americans adored novelty parties, with new fashions cropping up regularly. In the 1890s, amateur photography soared in popularity. With more and more professional and amateur photographers around, more people had cabinet card photos of themselves… which led to the fun of parlor guessing games. But Victorian photograph parties were so much more!
Victorian Americans favored many different kinds of puddings for desserts, during all seasons of the year. One type was tapioca–which hasn’t changed much in the intervening hundred-plus years. See many similar recipes in vintage era cook books and newspapers; plain, apple, peach, (and early in the 20th century, caramel).
Can you imagine baking cookies like a Victorian? Given many ingredients and measuring methods are unfamiliar to today’s cooks, I’ve shared brief info about those mystery ingredients and 19th-century measuring implements.
True-to-history, Victorian (and one Edwardian) Cake Recipes published in era newspapers share not only a love for cake (as today is National Cake Day), but share a slice of life with amateur historians. Basic baking ingredients, methods, a desire to practice economy (“cheap” was a positive and desirable compliment)–all give today’s cake-lover a glimpse into America’s Victorian life.
It’s no surprise in today’s environment that women (and men) can choose any color hair they desire, piercings and tattoos at will, and permanent makeup (tattooed eyeliner and lip-liner). I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn today’s plastic surgeons offer dimple surgery to create the desirable feature Mother Nature forgot to grant. What shocked me was the inventive Victorian who figured out how to artificially bring about dimples.