Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Receipts of the 1800s - Part 3

I'm a bit of a book pack rat. The annual Friends of the Library sale in Honolulu, Hawaii, is my crack... errr laudanum. I have more books than I could possibly read in  my lifetime and perhaps a few more besides. Part of my excessive collection is comprised of Civil War Era Ladies Magazines bound by year.

I thought I'd share some of the 'gems' I found in these editions, as it fits the Old West/Historical books that I write and I think it informs the world around my characters.

The first thing to note is that Recipes were called RECEIPTS. When I mentioned Receipts on another blog, people always wanted to correct me. I completely understand why, since we don't use Receipts in that manner in our modern world.

**Please Keep in Mind that I have NOT tested any of these recipes, so try them at your own risk**

Folks had to do a lot of 'doctoring' at home... not every community had a 'saw bones' or a trained medical professional anywhere in the vicinity. So 'home remedies' made up a lot of the medical care that was available to regular everyday folks, especially in small towns and homesteads.

So, today, I have some receipts from  Peterson's 1878 under their NEW COOKBOOK section -


Lemonade. – Peel a fine lemon as thinly as possible, and let the peel lie for half an hour in a quart of cold filtered water; then add the strained juice of the lemon, remove the peel, and sweeten to taste with lump sugar. Capillaire, or simple syrup, is very good for sweetening all invalid drinks, and is useful for a variety of purposes. To make it, take a pound of the finest loaf sugar, and drop it in four lumps at a time into a pint and a half of boiling water; let it boil gently, removing every particle of scum as it rises, until it begins to thicken and assumes a golden tinge. When finished, it should be perfectly bright and clear, and if well made will last a long time. It should be put away in small bottles, and be well corked. Provision should be made in families for supplying lemonade at any moment. This may be done by putting the peel of lemons when cheap into a bottle, and covering them with gin, draining away the liquor when it has stood a month, and bottling it. This can be used to flavor lemonade with citric acid, which is perfectly wholesome. A syrup can be made of the juice of the lemons thus: Add half a pint of strained juice to a pint of capillaire made as directed above, and allow both to boil together for an hour. If care is taken to remove all scum as it rises, the syrup will be clear and bright. Put away in small bottles closely corked, and it will keep for years. A little of this syrup, with a few drops of the extract of lemon peel, makes a delicious and refreshing drink.

Black Currant Jam Water. – Put two tablespoonfuls of the jam, with a pint of water, into a perfectly bright tin sauce pan, and allow them to simmer for half an hour; strain it, and if for a cold, take it as hot as possible. When required to allay thirst, the drink will be given cold. In cases of sore throat a tablespoonful more jam will be used. This method of making jam water is better and more economically than merely pouring boiling water on the jam.

Apple Water. – Wash three of four fine sharp apples, and bake them slowly until done; then break them up, put into a jug with a quart of water, stir up briskly with a silver spoon, and allow it to stand an hour or two. Strain through a fine sieve, and sweeten to taste. Lemon flavoring may be added.

Dystentery Chlorea Cordial. – Two ounces tincture cayenne, one ounce spirits camphor, one ounce tincture rhubarb, two ounces essence peppermint, two ounces best brandy, two drachms laudanum. Dose for an adult, one teaspoonful every hour until relief is obtained. 

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My next book has a hero who likes to live away from the press of society... I wonder if from time to time, receipts like these would be helpful to a man like Quinn... and any woman who is strong enough to join him on his homestead.

--- Home to Roost (currently available for pre-sale) ---

She didn’t have a place to belong. He thought he was happy by his lonesome. When she stumbled into his life, everything changed.
Brigid Belham had always done what was expected. She worked for her father in his accounting office and managed his home. When he married, she knew it was her time to move on, and traveled to Jubilee Springs to meet a prospective husband. Her ‘best laid plan’ goes horribly awry, leaving her stranded. Caught in a storm of both rain and tumultuous emotions she ends up lost in the woods, until she’s found by a mountain man grumpier than a bear. All he wants to do is send her away. What if she wants to stay?

Most people in Jubilee Springs know him as a hermit, a mountain man who hardly talks and likes company even less. His parents named him Livingstone Quinn, but unlike his namesake, he doesn’t want to explore. He doesn’t want to discover. He just wants his peace and quiet, all by his lonesome with his animals on his homestead. When Brigid literally falls at his feet, he keeps telling her she needs to leave, but shocks himself when he keeps finding reasons for her to stay. What will he do when he runs out of excuses?

In the whole wide world they managed to find each other. Would they walk away from their happiness, or would they bring their love home to roost?