Showing posts with label 18th century. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 18th century. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Avoid Stinks, 1706

H. W. Bunbury, "The Battle of the Cataplasm," 1773
"When you are where Stinks are, open your Mouth, and breath through, and you shall not smell it, nor receive prejudice by it." 
Thomas Lupton, A Thousand Notable Things (1706 ed.)
From the century that brought you the French and American Revolutions: a lesser-known revolution in Stinks management.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Choose Meat, 1772

Thomas Rowlandson, The Wonderful Pig (1785)
"Lamb is more Nutritious than any kind of Poultry, Mutton than Lamb, Veal than Mutton, and Beef than Veal; But Pork is more Nutricious than any of these; for the Juices of Pork, which is more like Human Flesh than any other Flesh is, are more adapted to the Nourishment of a Human Body than the Juices of any other Flesh." 
Directions and Observations Relative to Food, Exercise and Sleep (1772)
On reflection, I can understand why the US Pork Board chose "Pork: The Other White Meat"over "Pork: More Convenient than Cannibalism."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Make a Christmas Pie, 1784


"To make a Yorkshire Christmas-Pie. First make a good standing crust, let the wall and bottom be very thick; bone a turkey, a goose, a fowl, a partridge, and a pigeon, Season them all very well, take half an ounce of mace, half an ounce of nutmegs, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, and half an ounce of black-pepper, all beat fine together, two large spoonfuls of salt, and then mix them together. Open the fowls all down the back, and bone them; first the pigeon, then the partridge; cover them; then the fowl, then the goose, and then the turkey, which must be large; season them all well first, and lay them in the crust, so as it will look only like a whole turkey; then have a hare ready cased, and wiped with a clean cloth. Cut it to pieces, that is, joint it; season it, and lay it as close as you can on one side; on the other side woodcocks, moor game, and what sort of wild-fowl you can get. Season them well, and lay them close; put at least four pounds of butter into the pie, then lay on your lid, which must be a very thick one, and let it be well baked. It must have a very hot oven, and will take at least four hours." 
Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery (1784)
Holiday dining doesn't get more efficient than this Christmas pie. Just toss in your calling birds, French hens, turtle doves, and the partridge in a pear tree. You could probably fit a few lords a-leaping in there too, if you've got those on hand.


Friday, November 15, 2013

How to Make a Hedgehog, 1725

"Dear Ask the Past, I am looking for some vegetarian recipes for the holiday season. Any suggestions? Sincerely, A Vegetarian Jew"

"To make a Hedge-Hog. Take a Quart of New Cream and boil it, then beat an Egg and put into it, and take a quarter of a Pint of sowre Cream, and mix them well together, stirring it continually; let it boil till it be a little turn'd, then put it into a Cloth, and squeeze the Whey from it; when it's cold, mix it with pounded Almonds, and refin'd Sugar; then lay it like a Hedge-hog, and stick it with Almonds, cut small, and put good Cream about it; stick two or three Currans for the Nose and Eyes." 
Robert Smith, Court Cookery (1725)
Sometimes you want to serve a hedgehog, but dietary restrictions or scarcity stand in your way. Enter the Hedge-Log: part cheese ball, part Tiggy-Winkle, all eighteenth-century genius.

Friday, October 11, 2013

How to Make Pumpkin Ale, 1771

Vietz, Icones plantarum (1804)
"Let the Pompion be beaten in a Trough and pressed as Apples. The expressed Juice is to be boiled in a Copper a considerable Time and carefully skimmed that there may be no Remains of the fibrous Part of the Pulp. After that Intention is answered let the Liquor be hopped cooled fermented &c. as Malt Beer." 
American Philosophical Society papers (1771)
This fall, treat yourself to some pumpkin ale-- homebrew of 18th-century American philosophers.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to Catch a Rat, 1768


"Remember likewise, that they are a very subtle vermin, for if they in the least suspect what you are about, you cannot catch them... set your great cage out of the way at some distance that the other Rats may not hear them squeak, for that will baulk your sport and occasion them to run away." 
Robert Smith, The Universal Directory for Taking Alive and Destroying Rats (1768)
Dealing with an infestation of subtle vermin? Robert Smith offers a "method hitherto unattempted," in which you lure the little beasts into what looks like an exciting rat funhouse. Some assembly required.

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Make Ketchup, 1774


"To make catchup to keep twenty years. Take a gallon of strong stale beer, one pound of anchovies washed from the pickle, a pound of shalots, peeled, half an ounce of mace, half an ounce of cloves, a quarter of an ounce of whole pepper, three or four large races of ginger, two quarts of the large mushroom-flaps rubbed to pieces. Cover all this close, and let it simmer till it is half wasted, then strain it through a flannel-bag; let it stand till it is quite cold, then bottle it. You may carry it to the Indies."

Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery (1774)

Planning a twenty-year sea voyage to the Indies, but unsure which condiments to pack? This mushroomy ketchup will sustain and console you for decades. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Use Tomatoes, 1794


"Love-Apples... The fruit of the wild sort is no bigger than a cherry; but those that grow in gardens are as big as a small apple, very round and red, and therefore called pomum amoris; some call them tomatoes. It hath a small sharp-pointed jagged leaf, growing very thick upon its stalk and branches; its fruit is round and red, or of an orange colour. I have eat five or six raw at a time: They are full of a pulpy juice, and of small seeds, which you swallow with the pulp, and have something of a gravy taste... the fruit, boiled in oil, is good for the itch." 
Henry Barham, Hortus Americanus (1794)
Do you like gravy? Are you itchy? Then the love-apple is the New World fruit for you-- perfect for snacking and for smearing all over yourself.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to Cure Cramps, 1739


"For the Cramp. Take of rosemary-leaves, and chop them very small, and sew them in fine linen, and make them into garters, and wear them night and day."

Eliza Smith, The Compleat Housewife (1739)

You know what they say: one person's cramp remedy is another person's herbal undergarment.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Eat Seasonally, 1746

Peter Jacob Horemans, Still Life (1769)
"Experience teacheth, that Hens are best in January; Eggs in February; Lamb, Kid, Pidgeons and Veal in March; Herbs in April; Cockles in May; Bucks and Salmon in June, July, and August; Gunards in September; Oysters in all Months in whose name an R is found; Pork, Bacon, and Cabbage in frosty Weather, &c.
Thomas Moffet, Health's Improvement (1746)
That pesky no-oysters-in-no-R-months rule is a venerable tradition. Perhaps it's time to rename the summer months: Mray, Juner, Jurly, and Augurst. In the meantime, enjoy your bucks and salmon!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Say 'Drunk,' 1770

"[T]he simple idea of having drunk too much liquor, is expressed in near FOURSCORE different ways...

 Drunk,
Intoxicated,
William Hogarth, A Midnight Modern Conversation (1732)
Fuddled,
Flustered,
Rocky,
Tipsey,
Chuck full,
Hocky,
Crop-sick,
Hot-headed,
A little how came ye so?
Crank,
Cherry-merry,
Bosky,
As wise as Solomon,

        It is also said that he has
Business on both sides of the way,
Got his little Hat on,
Bung'd his Eye,
Got a spur in his head,
Got a crumb in his beard,
Got his beer on board." 

        The Gentleman's Magazine (1770)

Sometimes I think that the entire eighteenth century had a crumb in its little hat, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Interview People Abroad, 1789

"A traveller's memory will be greatly relieved, by putting down the questions he wishes to have answered... 
Is it easy for ships of war to land on the sea coast, or is landing rendered hazardous by sands? and rocks? 
Which are the favourite herbs of the sheep of this country? 
How are the merchants of this country secured against the pyratical powers of Barbary? 
What is the general value of whales of different sizes? 
What celebrated ladies are still living, and worth to be taken notice of for their extraordinary qualifications?"
Leopold Berchtold, An Essay to Direct and Extend the Inquiries of Patriotic Travellers (1789)  
Careful with your questions there, traveler. The natives will assume you're plotting to raid their coasts, beguile their sheep, sell their whales of different sizes, and take notice of their celebrated ladies.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Intoxicate Waterfowl, 1777

Widgeon Duck, 1790
"Way to intoxicate Water-Fowl. First clean, and then steep in clear Water, for full 4 hours, the Roots, Leaves, and Seeds of the herb Bellenge; then boil them in the same Water, till it is almost all evaporated; and after it is cold, throw it in the places where the Fowls frequent, who, eating eagerly of it, will be made so drunk as to be readily taken; but no time must be lost in catching them, for they will soon recover." 
The Complete Vermin-Killer (1777)
No doubt there are also remedies to cure your newly-caught waterfowl of their hangovers.





Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Garden with Lobsters, 1777

"Dear Past, Bugs are eating my squash plants. How can I get rid of them? Sincerely, A Gardener"

"Procure the hollow claws of Lobsters, Crabs, &c. and hanging them in different parts of the garden, the insects creep into them, and are easily taken; but the claws must be often searched." 
The Complete Vermin-Killer (1777)
The problem with this remedy is that you'll have to eat a lot of lobsters. Organic gardening is full of hardships.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How to Trim Your Toenails Underwater, 1789


"To cut the Nails of the Toes in the Water... You must hold your knife in your right hand (if you are right handed) and take up your left leg, and lay the foot on the right knee; there you may take it from the left hand, and with the right cut your Nails without any danger. Thus you may also pick your Toes; and if this has no other use or advantage yet the dexterity of the management may serve to recommend it." 
Melchisédech Thévenot, The Art of Swimming (1789)
Want to take your backstroke to the next level? Tired of spending valuable exercise time on grooming and vice versa? Here is the lifehack for you! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Kill Bedbugs, 1777

"Spread Gun-powder, beaten small, about the crevices of your bedstead; fire it with a match, and keep the smoak in; do this for an  hour or more; and keep the room close several hours."
The Complete Vermin-Killer: A Valuable and Useful Companion for Families, in Town and Country (1777)
Oh, you want to kill the bedbugs without exploding your bed and reducing your neighborhood to a smoking pile of debris? Then you have never had bedbugs.

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Make Pink Pancakes, 1786


"To make a pink-coloured Pancake. Boil a large beet root tender, and beat it fine in a marble mortar, then add the yolks of four eggs, two spoonfuls of flour, and three spoonfuls of good cream, sweeten it to your taste, and grate in half a nutmeg, and put in a glass of brandy; beat them all together half an hour, fry them in butter, and garnish them with green sweetmeats, preserved apricots, or green sprigs of myrtle."

Elizabeth Raffald, The Experienced English Housekeeper, For the Use and Ease of Ladies, Housekeepers, Cooks, &c. (1786)

If your pancakes aren't pink, you are no lady. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Make Waffles, 1714

"The Right Dutch-Wafer. Take four Eggs, and beat them very well, then take a good spoonful of fine Sugar, one Nutmeg grated, a pint of Cream, and a pound of Flower, a pound of Butter melted, two or three spoonfuls of Rose-water, and two good spoonfuls of Yeast; mix all well together, and bake them in your Wafer-tongs on the Fire. For the Sauce, take grated Cinnamon, Sack, and melted Butter, sweeten'd to your Taste." 
A Collection of Above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick and Surgery; for the Use of All Good Wives, Tender Mothers, and Careful Nurses (1714)
The waffle of All Good Wives, Tender Mothers, and Careful Nurses. Leave cheap imitations to the wicked wives, malicious mothers, and negligent nurses, and ready the Wafer-tongs!