Friday, April 19, 2019

Victorian Rice Pudding Recipes

USA Today Bestselling Author

I’m having a bit too much fun writing a New England debutante with adequate skills in the kitchen, now on her own as a newlywed bride in Prosperity, Colorado. Not only is her groom slipping through her fingers, but her every attempt to hold his attention runs amok. Including her desire to please him with her cooking. BTW, that current WIP (work in progress) is The Silver-Strike Bride, book 2 in Prosperity’s Mail-Order Brides.

My personal preference is historical accuracy, especially when the information is easily come by. Today I suggested to my heroine Caroline that she please her husband’s sweet-tooth with a rice pudding.

Why? Because she’d likely have the ingredients on hand, even that short distance from the busy mining city of Leadville. Vintage cookbooks and historical newspapers illustrate that cooks made rice pudding throughout the nineteenth century.

The following recipes are listed in order by date, beginning with 1828, and concluding with 1887 (though the inclusion of this longtime favorite continued indefinitely). Note the Victorian kitchen measurements (like wine glass and gill).

Rice Pudding, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, published 1828.

Rice Custards.
Sweeten a pint of milk with loaf sugar, boil it with a stick of cinnamon, stir in sifted ground rice till quite thick. Take it off the fire; add the whites of 3 eggs well beaten; stir it again over the fire for two or three minutes, then put it into cups that have lain in cold water; do not wipe them. When cold, turn them out, and put them into the dish in which they are to be served; pour round them a custard made of the yolks of the eggs and little more than half a pint of milk. Put on the top a little red currant jelly, or raspberry jam. A pretty supper dish.
~ Rice Custards, The Summit County Beacon of Akron, Ohio on June 1, 1859.
Rice Custards recipe--a bit hard to read. See transcription.

Plain Rice Pudding, The Indiana Herald of Huntington, Indiana on August 11, 1880.

Rice Pudding with Eggs, Common Sense in the Household, published 1884.

Rice Pudding, The Homemade Cook Book, published 1885.

Rice Pudding au Caramel, The Boston Globe, December 31, 1885.

Rice Pudding Without Eggs, Alabama Beacon of Greensboro, Alabama on June 21, 1887.

Are you surprised to see that homemade pudding, made with milk and sugar and rice, could be made to thicken without eggs? I am.

Don’t these historical recipes make your mouth water? (I suppose you’d need to be a fan of vanilla and creamy puddings like I am.)

Do these recipes seem manageable over a wood- or coal-fired stove? Please scroll down and share your thoughts about these recipes and frontier homemakers making and serving rice pudding.

Here are a few related blog articles you might find interesting (click on the image(s)).

Might you be interested in other articles I've written for Sweet Americana Sweethearts? See my page!
Copyright © 2019 Kristin Holt LC

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the 1800's ...

Hi, Kit Morgan here, and today I want to talk a little bit about PTSD in the old west! An interesting subject, to say the least, and not something that gets tackled too often here, but as I just wrote a book with a character with PTSD, I thought I'd share my findings with you!

In the 1800's the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder didn't exist. In fact, the term didn't come into play until the 1980s. However, in the 1800s, talk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (back then they called it "battle exhaustion". Another term was soldier's fatigue) was used to describe someone who'd had repeated forays into battle. These traumatized soldiers would have adrenaline-fueled responses, particularly during long engagements with daily fire.

Another term given PTSD in the 1800s was the "thousand-yard stare," a reference to the blank look and dissociation of many traumatized soldiers. Men who fought in the gruesome battles of the Civil War suffered terribly from PTSD. In fact, the National Museum of Civil War is busy curating and digging up information about PTSD related to the War Between the States through an exhibit on the subject of PTSD and suicide in the 1860s and beyond.

In my latest book, The Sailor and the Suffragette, part of the
Sailors and Saints series, my hero was never in any battles and he didn't go to war. But PTSD doesn't only occur in combat. Difficult living conditions can lead to trauma through other experiences. My poor hero got shanghaied at age 10 and used as a cabin boy by not one, but two sadistic captains, one after another. He was never allowed to leave the ship which resulted in battles with agoraphobia (fear of open spaces, crowded areas, social anxiety) once he's out in the real world. He has to fight to understand what's happening to him and it isn't easy, as it wasn't for many who suffered PTSD in the past. They didn't understand the nightmares they would have years after the original trauma, or the overwhelming anxiety triggered by different things that seemingly had nothing to do with what traamatized them in the first place. Thankfully our understaning of PTSD has come a long way in the last thirty years. But back in the day, hope for these people began to glimmer.

By the late 1800s and early 1900s, something called the "talking cure" (popularized by Sigmund Freud) was used as a method to treat symptoms caused by PTSD. This early therapeutic treatment was the first step in helping people who had survived traumatic events, such as my poor hero in the Sailor and Suffragette. With the help of the heroine and some of the townsfolk, he is on his way to healing. Love and a listening ear back in the day was all there was for many suffering from PTSD. For many, there was nothing. Thankfully for our hero, he got love and listening.

The Sailor and the Suffragette doesn't release until 4/29. Until then feel free to check out my books on my Amazon page.
Happy Reading!


Monday, April 15, 2019

New Release - "The Sailor & the Siren"

Congrats and Best Wishes to all of our Lockets and Lace Authors!!

While the Sweet Americana Sweetheart Authors were experiencing all of the excitement and fun of their book releases, I had a little one of my own.

The Sailor and the Siren is the 2nd book of the "Sailors & Saints" Series -

In January 2019,  a group of adventurous and exciting authors released the "Alphabet Mail Order Bride" Series - Where 25 (yes, 25) girls from A to Z (with the exception of X) all leave home to find their futures! My daughter was Imogene... her lover story is found in Imogene's Ingenuity

After the books were released, readers wanted to know where the mysterious X had gone. So, we decided to answer that leading to the "Sailors & Saints" series -

The Sailor and the School Teacher by: Danni Roan

The Sailor and the Siren by: Reina Torres

As a child, Andrew Brooks was pressed into service on a merchant ship, but a boy who lacked sea legs was little use. Before they decided to throw him overboard, they discovered a talent worthy of a place on board. Little Andrew was a gifted musician.
Now a man grown, he hears of a school that offers sailors a chance to better themselves and takes a chance to walk away from the high seas.
Taking what he learns at the Sailor’s Rest School, he finds a job managing the cargo on a steamboat working its way up and down the Mississippi River.

Working aboard a steamboat named The Siren, Rosemary Tillman has worked her way up in the kitchen as an assistant to the cook, but every free minute she has is spent watching the shows in the concert room, dreaming of singing before adoring crowds and sharing her love of music. When her talent is discovered her world begins to change.
Rosemary and Andrew begin to forge futures for themselves on the Mississippi, but like all bright stars in the sky there are clouds waiting to douse their light. Can these two glide along the river of life together, or will they run aground when trouble comes a calling?

You have three ways to read this book:

If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read the book as part of your membership - with no additional charge!

If you want to read it on your kindle forever and ever - you can purchase your copy on amazon!

Or, you can get a paperback book as well!

And there are more books coming!!

Hope you'll enjoy all of our Sailors and their lady loves!!

Friday, April 12, 2019

New Release-VIRGINIA'S VOCATION by Zina Abbott

Welcome to the release day for 
Virginia's Vocation 
by Zina Abbott
Lockets and Lace ~ Book 19

Book Description: 

Will Virginia’s chosen vocation fill the empty spaces in her heart?

It is 1858. With both parents dead, Virginia Atwell lives with her older brother, Jefferson, and his family in Boonville, Missouri. Under a pseudonym, she secretly has been submitting articles to a well-respected investigative journal about controversial topics. To her dismay, she learns her family plans to buy new farmland in the wilds of central Kansas Territory, making it almost impossible for her to continue her clandestine article submissions. More importantly, Virginia is terrified of the prospect of living so close to hostile Indian tribes and dying by their hands because they resent white Americans moving onto their traditional buffalo hunting grounds.

Virginia’s brother, Jefferson, learns of her writings and decides it is time to get her out of Missouri. He yields to her persuasion and escorts her to Ohio so she may attend one of the few colleges in country that accept female students. There, she meets Avery Wilson, an aspiring writer, a teacher of two of her classes, and a fellow boarder at Drusilla Chilton’s boarding house. In spite of his impeccable politeness, Virginia cannot help but believe he disapproves of her.

Virginia’s publisher orders her to his office to discuss a special assignment. She must make a trip to St. Louis, but her landlady insists she cannot travel alone. Avery, curious about Virginia’s secretive meeting, and unable to resist his growing attraction to the irritating, but brilliant student, offers pose as her fiancĂ© in order to escort her. While he is in St. Louis, he hopes to visit the Heartland Monthly offices to increase his chances the publisher will start accepting his submissions.

What happens when the publisher is not the only one shocked and dismayed to learn that the investigative journal’s star writer is a woman? Will Avery keep her secret? What about the assignment to visit the Kaw Reservation? Who will go to investigate and write the article? What will happen when the two return to Ohio?


          Virginia listened to the measured footsteps coming down the stairs. Her curiosity grew as they approached the dining room. She caught her first sight of the man responsible for them as he slid past the jam of bodies crowding the doorway and crossed the room until he stood behind the chair opposite hers. He appeared to be several years older than the others but definitely younger than Jefferson. She guessed the gentlemen to be the teacher Drusilla had mentioned, the Mr. Wilson she said they were waiting on.
         His brown suit with its matching waistcoat complemented his chiseled features and brown hair a few shades darker than hers. His complexion appeared to be paler than that of her family. Then again, it could be due either to living in a more northerly clime, or because his occupation did not require him to work long hours out of doors. A glance at the other young men led her to suspect the second possibility was more likely.
          His gray eyes that studied her conveyed no warmth. With a sinking feeling, Virginia forced a slight upturn of her lips and nodded a greeting. Until they were formally introduced, it would be impolite for her to initiate a conversation. However, he did not need to speak for her to know he did not welcome her presence.

Please CLICK HERE for the Amazon purchase link.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Petticoat Ball

by Shanna Hatfield

It's that time again!

invitation 3
The annual Petticoat Ball is today! I hope you’ll join me 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific Time (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain, Noon to 4 p.m. Central, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern) at this gathering of my friends on Facebook.
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Join in four hours of fun, games, giveaways and more! Even if you can’t attend the ball live, check in later to get in on the freebies and enter to win great goodies!
Petticoat Ball_Guest List
Those who attend will have the opportunity to interact with a dozen amazing authors (including some Sweet Americana Sweetheart Authors)!
The guest list includes:
10 a.m. Julie Lence
10:20 a.m. Melanie D. Snitker
10:40 a.m. Kristy McCaffrey
11 a.m. Kit Morgan
11:20 a.m. Caroline Lee
11:40 a.m. Danni Roan
Noon – Josie Riviera
12:20 p.m. Cindy Caldwell
12:40 p.m. Heidi Vanlandingham
1 p.m.  Kay P. Dawson
1:20 p.m.  – Kristin Holt
1:40 p.m. Zina Abbott
Don't miss out! I hope to see you there today!
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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Promise of Home ~ Lockets and Lace #18

Hi Sweethearts!

I'm a new author in the Lockets and Lace Collection, and I hope you'll give my story a chance! This one is near and dear to my heart as it deals with two things I've always had a great interest in--the Orphan Train, and those who are disabled, specifically deafness.

Here's the summary:
A daring young woman with a disability. An orphan train filled with hope. A dream that won't be denied.

Julia is a deaf girl raised as an orphan who is working with the Children’s Aid Society to help find homes across the country for orphans from New York. But each time one of the orphans she’s grown close to is adopted, she finds her heart breaking. And the farther the train goes, the farther from home she feels.

But feelings can be deceiving. And there might just be a home waiting for her at the end of the journey she didn’t expect.
Here's a snippet:

Finally, Mrs. Jansen pulled away, swiping the tears that spilled over her cheeks. “It’s just so good to see you. You look healthy and well. That’s a blessing and more than I could have asked for.”
Julia nodded. “I got your letters.”
The wide smile Mrs. Jansen had for a moment slipped just a bit, and her lips became thin. “Savannah. She’s quite a handful. You and she couldn’t be more different. Where you were quieter than a church mouse and introspective, Savannah spends much of her time voicing her frustrations in the form of screaming. She’s impossible to communicate with and shows no interest in learning to read and write.”
“And she’s deaf, like me?”
Mrs. Jansen nodded slowly.
Her letters had said as much. Mrs. Jansen couldn’t afford to send Savannah to Connecticut to the School for the Deaf, nor could she ask for Mr. and Mrs. Milne to take on another ward like they had taken on Julia. It would have been too much. Though Julia had worked with some tough cases at the school—deaf children who showed their frustration with being unable to communicate their needs and feelings through violence—she’d had the Milne family’s help. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as Mrs. Jansen’s gaze shut toward the upstairs.
With a finger pointing toward the kitchen’s ceiling, Mrs. Jansen said, “That would be her, now.”
Julia nodded. “Take me to her.”
Mrs. Jansen’s tight-lipped smile continued as she turned about and headed toward the back of the kitchen and to a narrow wooden staircase. The familiar yet musty scent of old books and lemon wood polish assailed Julia’s nose. She’d forgotten this smell. The Jansens opened the home to about five or six orphaned children at a time. Some of the children had incapacitations, like she had, though few were deaf or blind. Many left their care early on to earn a living for themselves in factories and on the wharf. Some children would run away, presumably to look for their parents. The few who stayed were fed and clothed well by the parishioners of the church and cared for by the Jansen family in their home behind the rectory of the church.
When they reached the top of the stairs, they found four children standing in the hallway in their night clothes, staring into what Julia remembered as the play room. One of the children ducked out of the way as a wooden toy train whizzed past her head and smashed against the wall opposite the doorway, leaving a dark smudge on the white paint. The children’s eyes were filled with sadness and confusion as they all turned their gazes toward Mrs. Jansen and Julia. Julia offered the children a friendly smile and eyed them all with nods as Mrs. Jensen introduced them.
Alice, with beautiful sparkling blue eyes and dark hair, pale complexion and a cleft lip, looked to be only about six or seven years old. Mary, with fiery red hair and hazel green eyes looked at her with suspicion. She seemed the oldest of the two girls, probably closer to thirteen, with more freckles covering her face than clear white skin peering through. One of the boys, William, appeared to have dwarfism, but his smile shone like the sun as he looked up at her. The other boy, George, a Chinese, backed away from her and hid behind Mary’s skirts when Julia approached. He couldn’t have been more than five and barely looked at Julia.
Then Mrs. Jensen gestured toward the play room. “And Savannah is just inside.”
Julia peered into the room and found a six or seven-year-old child on the floor, her nightgown hiked half way up her thighs, her hands in her matted hair as she pulled at it and stared at the ceiling above her. Tear tracks streamed down her face. Then her brown eyes met Julia’s and widened. She backed away quickly, picking up the nearest wooden block and throwing it at Julia. The wooden block bounced off the thick skirt of Julia’s traveling dress.
A hand rested on Julia’s arm, and Mrs. Jensen’s worry-filled eyes met hers. “She’s weary of strangers. It may take her a moment more to calm down.”
Julia rested her hand atop Mrs. Jensen’s and set her carpet bag on the floor beside her feet. “I’ll be okay.”
Then she took a deep breath and focused on the young, wild girl who sat in the corner, terrified eyes fixed upon Julia. Julia took three steps forward and then knelt down, reveling in the weight of silence for a moment, ignoring the presence of those behind her. She offered Savannah a soft smile, but the child frowned, narrowed her eyes at Julia and then threw another wooden block.
Even though Julia didn’t often understand the rules when it came to sports, she liked to play them. And the Milne family loved a new game they had learned during their stay in Brooklyn when they met her—baseball. Julia reached out and caught the block in her hand, ignoring the sting on her palm and fingers. The child’s eyes went wide and her mouth formed an “O.” Keeping her smile on her face, Julia set down the wooden block on the floor and tilted her head toward Savannah.
The child studied her with curiosity more than suspicion now. Progress. Julia edged just a bit closer to the corner Savannah had backed herself into and the sat on the floor, straightening her skirts around her legs. For a long moment, the two of them sat quietly. When the sun outside had set, it leeched out the last of the natural light that had come in through the window when she’d first arrived. Though she didn’t look, Julia saw Mrs. Jensen set a lantern on the nearby table from the corner of her eye. 
Julia’s stomach growled. She hadn’t had dinner since getting off the train from Hartford, but she ignored the annoyance. She ignored everything except the silence and the child whose tension slowly slipped away as she sat in the corner. Savannah’s eyes half closed, and her head nodded once before she ripped it upward and opened her eyes wide. Julia offered her another smile and finally, reached a hand out toward her.
Savannah lifted a brow and looked at her hand for a long moment, a frown returning to her face.
Together, they had been sitting there for the better part of two hours. In silence. In patience. In stubbornness. And Julia had her arm outstretched and the small smile on her face for long enough that her arm grew tired and her elbow began to hurt from the weight of her own hand. Savannah didn’t nod off again. Instead she continued to stare at Julia incredulously. Then, finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Savannah leaned forward and crawled to Julia. She bypassed Julia’s outstretched hand and crawled directly into Julia’s lap. 
Julia stayed utterly still, her hand still outstretched while the child’s knees dug into her numbed calves. Though pain shot through her body. Julia ignored it, fighting to keep a smile on her face though she wanted to wince. Then Savannah’s fingers gently touched the locket on Julia’s neck. She fingered the oval and lifted the pendant. Julia remained still, her breath becoming bated as Savannah gripped the locket in her palm, and the chain bit into the back of Julia’s neck a moment just before the chain broke when Savannah yanked on the locket.