One of the biggest treasures I have found online is from Michigan State University. It’s a site called Feeding America and features over 70 American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. I really can’t begin to tell you how much computer space I have in old cookbooks. If only I could have physical copies of them ALL.
Here’s one of the first I found (and tried recipes from). Please consider investigating the old cookbooks that are out there still. They can be invaluable, especially since they teach us so many things we have lost over the generations.
Here are just some of the recipes, which are fantastic!
Pickles and Ketchup
Cut boiled beets in slices. Lay these in a large glass jar or earthen pot. For every beet, put in one slice of onion, on tablespoonful of grated horseradish, six cloves, and vinegar enough to cover. The beets will be ready to use in ten or twelve hours. They will not keep more than a week.
Nearly fill a jar with ripe berries, and fill up with good molasses. Cover, and set away. In a few weeks they will be ready to use.
Use ripe citron melons. Pare them, cut them in slices and remove the seeds. To five pounds of melon allow two an one-half pounds of sugar and one quart of vinegar. The vinegar and sugar must be heated to the boiling point and poured over the fruit six times, or once on each of six successive days. In the last boiling of the syrup add half an ounce of stick cinnamon, half an ounce of white ginger root and a few cloves. When the syrup boils, put in the melon, and boil ten minutes; then put in jars. Skim the syrup clear and pour it over the melon.
For six pounds of fruit use three of sugar, about five dozen cloves and a pint of vinegar. Into each apple, pear or peach, stick two cloves. Have the syrup hot, and cook until tender.
One peck of green tomatoes and six large onions, sliced. Sprinkle with one cupful of salt, and let them stand over night. In the morning, drain. Add to the tomatoes two quarts of water and one quart of vinegar. Boil fifteen minutes; then drain again, and throw this vinegar and water away. Add to the pickle two pounds of sugar, two quarts of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of clove, two of allspice, two of ginger, two of mustard, two of cinnamon, and one teaspoonful of cayenne, and boil fifteen minutes.
Make a syrup of three pounds of sugar, one pint of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of cinnamon, two tablespoonfuls of clove, and half a teaspoonful of salt. Add six pounds of currants, and boil half an hour.
Make a syrup, allowing one pound of sugar to one of plums, and to every three pounds of sugar, a scant pint of vinegar. Allow one ounce each of ground cinnamon, cloves, mace and allspice, to a peck of plums. Prick the plums. Add the spices to the syrup, and pour, boiling, over the plums. Let these stand three days; then skim them out and boil down the syrup until it is quite thick, and pour hot over the plums in the jar in which they are to be kept.
Six hundred small cucumbers, two quarts of peppers, two quarts of small onions. Make enough brine to cover the pickles, allowing one pint of salt to four quarts of water, and pour it, boiling, over the pickles. Let them stand until the next morning; then pour off the brine, throw it away, make a new one, and scald again. The third morning scald this same brine and pour it over again. The fourth morning rinse the pickles well in cold water, and cover them with boiling vinegar. Add a little piece of alum and two tablespoonfuls each of whole cloves and allspice, tied in a bit of muslin, if you like the spice.
Wash and wipe six hundred small cucumbers and two quarts of peppers. Put them In a tub with one and a half cupfuls of salt and a piece of alum as large as an egg. Heat to the boiling point three gallons of cider vinegar and three pints of water. Add a quarter of a pound each of whole cloves, whole allspice and stick cinnamon, and two ounces of white mustard seed, and pour over pickles. Cover with cabbage leaves.
Get large bell peppers. Cut around the stem, remove it, and take out all the seeds. For the stuffing use two quarts of chopped cabbage, a cupful of white mustard seed, three tablespoonfuls of celery seed, two tablespoonfuls of salt, half a cupful of grated horseradish. Fill each pepper with part of this mixture, and into each one put a small onion and a little cucumber. Tie the stem on again, put the peppers in a jar, and cover with cold vinegar.
One peck of green tomatoes, two quarts of onions and two of peppers. Chop all fine, separately, and mix, adding three cupfuls of salt. Let them stand over night, and in the morning drain well. Add half a pound of mustard seed, two tablespoonfuls of ground allspice, two of ground cloves and one cupful of grated horseradish. Pour over it three quarts of boiling vinegar.
One peck of green tomatoes, a dozen onions, sliced thin; two cupfuls of salt, a small (quarter of a pound) box of mustard, one quarter of a pound of mustard seed, one ounce each of ground allspice, clove and pepper. Cut the tomatoes in thin slices, sprinkle with the salt, and let them stand two days; then drain them. Mix the spices. Put layers of tomato, onion and spice in the kettle, and cover with vinegar. Cook slowly until the tomato looks clear–about half an hour.
Two cauliflowers, cut up; one pint of small onions, three medium-sized red peppers. Dissolve half a pint of salt in water enough to cover the vegetables, and let these stand over night. In the morning drain them. Heat two quarts of vinegar with four tablespoonfuls of mustard, until it boils. Add the vegetables, and boil for about fifteen minutes, or until a fork can be thrust through the cauliflower.
Twelve ripe tomatoes, peeled; two large onions, four green peppers, chopped fine; two tablespoonfuls of salt, two of brown sugar, two of ginger, one of cinnamon, one of mustard, a nutmeg, grated; four cupfuls of vinegar. Boil all together till thoroughly cooked (about three hours), stirring frequently. Bottle while hot.
Skin the tomatoes, and cook them well. Press them through a sieve, and to each five pints add three pints of good cider vinegar. Boil slowly a long while (about two hours), until it begins to thicken; then add one tablespoonful of ground clove, one of allspice, one of cinnamon and one of pepper, and three grated nutmegs. Boil until very thick (between six and eight hours), and add two tablespoonfuls of fine salt. When thoroughly cold, bottle, cork and seal it.
Three quarts of barberries, stewed and strained; four quarts of cranberries, one cupful of raisins, a large quince and four small onions, all stewed with a quart of water, and strained. Mix these ingredients with the barberries, and add half a cupful of vinegar, three-fourths of a cupful of salt, two cupfuls of sugar, one dessert-spoonful of ground clove and one of ground allspice, two tablespoonfuls of black pepper, two of celery seed, and one of ground mustard, one teaspoonful of cayenne, one of cinnamon and one of ginger, and a nutmeg. Let the whole boil one minute. If too thick, add vinegar or water. With the quantities given, about three quarts of ketchup can be made.
Salt Fish Recipes
The fish should be thoroughly washed, and soaked in cold water over night. In the morning change the water, and put on to cook. As soon as the water comes to the boiling point set back where it will keep hot, but will not boil. From four to six hours will cook a very dry, hard fish, and there are kinds which will cook in half an hour.
1 pint of cooked salt fish
1 pint of milk or cream
2 tablespoonfuls of flour
1 tablespoonfuls of butter
6 slices of bread, toasted
Put milk on to boil, keeping half a cupful of it to mix the flour. When it boils, stir in the flour, which has been mixed smooth with the milk; then add the fish, which has been flaked. Season, and cook ten minutes. Have six slices of toasted bread on a platter. Drop six eggs into boiling water, being careful to keep the shape. Turn the fish and
cream on to the toast. Lift the eggs carefully from the water, as soon as the whites are set, and place very gently on the fish. Garnish the dish with points of toast and parsley.
6 large potatoes
1 pint and one cupful of milk
2 tablespoonfuls of butter
1 small slice of onion (about the size of a silver quarter)
1 pint of cooked salt codfish
1 large tablespoonful of flour
Pare the potatoes and boil half an hour; then drain off the water, and mash them light and fine. Add the salt, pepper, one tablespoonful of butter, and the cupful of milk, which has been allowed to come to a boil. Beat very thoroughly, and spread a thin layer of the potatoes on the centre of a hot platter. Heap the remainder around the edge, making a wall to keep in the cream and fish, which should then be poured in. Garnish the border with parsley, and serve.
To prepare the fish: Put the pint of milk on to boil with the onion. Mix flour and butter together, and when well mixed, add two tablespoonfuls of the hot milk. Stir all into the boiling milk, skim out the onion , add the fish and cook ten minutes. Season with pepper, and if not salt enough, with salt. This is a nice dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
1 pint of finely chopped cooked salt fish
8 good sized potatoes
3/4 cupful of milk or cream
2 generous tablespoonfuls of butter
Pare the potatoes and boil thirty minutes. Drain the water from them, and mash very fine; then mix thoroughly with the fish. Add butter, seasoning and the hot milk. Have two of the eggs beaten, which stir into the mixture, and heap this in the dish in which it is to be served. Place in the oven for ten minutes. Beat the whites of the two remaining eggs to a stiff froth, and add a quarter of a teaspoonful of salt; then add yolks. Spread this over the dish of fish; return to the oven to brown, and serve.