• Ricki King

Pandemic cooks-Recipes from 1857


Special Family Recipes

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"Jelly Cheese.-Clean, very carefully, two sets of pig's feet, put them into hot, salted water, sufficient to cover them, let them boil slowly until perfectly tender, and the meat falls from the bone. Then put them on the dish, and take out all the bones, cut up the meat into small pieces, and return it to the kettle, and stir well with two quarts of the liquor in which they were boiled. Then season with salt, cayenne, sage, sweet marjoram, and four or five red peppers, cut fine.

Stir all well together, and after letting it simmer slowly ten minutes, put it into deep dishes. When cold, cut into slices and warm in a pan with a little vinegar, or eat cold, as preferred.[1]


"Potato Yeast.-Pare and boil very tender, fifteen medium sized potatoes, mash fine while hot, add one large spoonful of flour, and two spoonfuls of sugar, stir them in one cup of common yeast, and set it in a warm place overnight. This yeast will keep good two weeks in cold weather, but in summer should be made fresh for use. This yeast in quantity is sufficient to make eight large loaves, and is preferable for biscuit, muffins, rusks, &c., to any other kind. In using, it should be strained through a colander, by pouring the milk upon it to free it from any lumps of potato which remained unmashed. Much is said and written of the injurious effects of saleratus in cooking, and we can assure those who will try it. Bread made with this yeast retains its freshness, and is tender and good much longer than with common yeast."[2]


"Corn Cake or Pone.-A correspondent of the Ohio Cultivator gives the following recipe for making the above:

To one pint of sour buttermilk, add three eggs, one tea-spoonful of saleratus, one quarter pound of butter thicken with fine meal; do not make it too stiff, spread on a buttered pan and bake quickly.

The following makes a very nice breakfast cake: To one pint of buttermilk or sour cream, add two tea-spoonsfuls of saleratus, three eggs, two table spoonfuls of molasses, salt and spice or nutmeg to suit the taste, and thicken with fine Indian meal; mix over night, and bake quickly for breakfast."[3]


"Pork Cake: One pound of fat salt-pork chopped very fine, and a cup of boiling water poured over it; three cups of molasses, one table spoonfuls of soda, two pounds of raisins, one egg, one glass of brandy, one table spoonful of mace, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and lemon.-This will make two large loaves.[4]


"To Keep Eggs For Winter Use.- Pour a full gallon of boiling water on two quarts of quicklime and half a pound of salt; when cold, mix it into an ounce of cream of tartar. The day following put in the eggs. After the lime has been stirred well into the boiling water, a large part of it will settle at the bottom of the vessel, on which the eggs will remain.-Keep them covered with the liquor, and they will keep for two years."[5]


"Potato Pudding.-One pound of potatoes, one gill of wine, one gill of cream, seven eggs, the juice and peel of two lemons, one-quarter pound of butter; sugar to your taste. Strew over the top an ounce of citron, shred fine."[6]

[1] "Jelly Cheese," The Quasqueton [Iowa] Guardian, December 13, 1856, page 4, column 1. [2] "Potato Yeast," The Quasqueton [Iowa] Guardian, January 3, 1857, page 4, column 1. [3] "Corn Cake or Pone," The Quasqueton [Iowa] Guardian, January 3, 1857, page 4, column 1. [4] "Pork Cake," The Quasqueton [Iowa] Guardian, January 24, 1857, page 4, column 1. [5] "To Keep Eggs For Winter Use," The Quasqueton [Iowa] Guardian, February 7, 1857, page 4, column 1. [6] "Potato Pudding," The Quasqueton [Iowa] Guardian, February 7, 1857, page 4, column 1.



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