Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve & Day

Happy New Year! Below are some tidbits from Harper's Magazine ©1866

New-Year's Eve, the 31st.—We would premise that the phrase "eve"or "even," though an abbreviation of the word evening, in its present acceptation applies to the whole day which precedes a festival. Formerly, Christians were in the habit of keeping "vigils" on the evenings prior to certain festivals, and by extraordinary devotions preparing for the better celebration of the feast on the following day. The words "eve" and "vigil" thus grew to be almost synonymous. New-Year's Eve, however, is not a vigil; for none of the festivals which occur between Christmas and Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification, February 2d, is preceded by a vigil; the period being regarded as one of joy and not proper for fasting. The same is true of the days which intervene between Easter and Whitsuntide. The eves of Christmas and of Easter were always esteemed the most important vigils of the year, and were observed with the greatest strictness by the devotional. The Christmas and Easter seasons were likewise considered periods for especial rejoicing, and were honored accordingly.
New-Year's Eve—
Yes, the year is growing old,
And his eye is pale and bleared!

Death with froflty band and cold
Plucks the old man by the beard,

Yes, the year is hastening to a close; soon it will be united to those which preceded it, and save by the influence it must exercise upon time to come, it will be known no more. No more 1 How touching is the expression! It is peculiar to our own language. To what sad thoughts it gives rise; what melancholy feelings it awakens! No more! Yes, the year has grown old. Time pursues its stealthy, steady, unfaltering progress; soon, too, we will grow old like the year. Jamicson supposes the name, says Mrs. Howitt, "to be derived from the carols sung on this day." The last stanza of one of those chanted on Christmas would seem to be appropriate to Singing E'en. It forms part of the collection presented to Mrs. Howitt by Mrs. Fletcher:
God bless the master of this house
And mistress also;
And all the little children

That round the table go
With their pockets full of money.

And their cellars full of beer;
And God send you a Happy New Year.

God bless the master of this house,
Mistress and children dear;
Joyful may their Christmas be,

And happy their New Year.
"To this day also belongs," adds Mrs. Howitt, "the Hogmanay, orHogmena, which has been supposed, and not without some appearance of reason, to be a corruption of a Druid rite, while the word itself would seem to have come to us from Normandy. Gue, or Guy, is the Celtic name for 'oak;' and Keysler tells us that on the 31st of December the boys and youths go about the towns and villages begging for gifts, while,byway ofwishingahappyNewYear, they say 'Au Guy L'An Nevf—To the Mistletoe, the New-Year's come;' by which word they designate not only the season but the gift received. "In Scotland the custom prevailed until very lately, if indeed it has ever ceased entirely to exist, of distributing sweet cakes and a particular kind of sugared bread for several days before and after the new year; and on the last night of the old year, especially called Hogmenai, the social meetings made a point of remaining together till the clock struck twelve, when they all rose up, kissed each other, and wished a Happy New Year around. Children and others went about for several nights from house to house in guisarts, or guisanh, that is to say, in masquerade disguises, singing at the same time:
'Rise up, good wife, and be no swier
To deale your bread as long's you're here;
The time will come when you'll be dead,
And neither want nor meal nor bread.'"

What can be said of a year? Of what one shall we speak? Each year differs from every other; and to every person each year presents quito a different aspect. The thoughts naturally dwell most upon that which is passing away. Let those to whom it has been illumined by the favoring smiles of a kind Heaven rejoice and be thankful; and let those to whom it has been sad and weary take heart of grace, and be strong in hope for the future.
Edwin Lee's "Christmas and New Year" concludes thus •
The clock strikes twelve, and the Old Year dies. Roys raixe his body on a bier, and maidtnis sing the foUo'icinn Dirge:
Bring the last December rose, Frosted o'er with wintry snows; Let the fading petals fall O'er the Year's funereal pall.
From the wood some oak leaves bring
That were green in early spring;
Scatter them about the bier
Of the now departing Year.

Let the bells upon their wheels,
While our fond ideas veer,
Ring the solemn midnight peals,
Ling'ring for the dying Yfar.

Hark! the peal has ceased to roll;
Silence rei(;n^; but now a toll
Breaks upon the startled ear—
Gone forever is tho Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sleds & Coastng

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as I did with my family. If you live in the north you may have received a sled when you were young for Christmas. Below are some tidbits about sleds and sledding which they called Coasting. This comes from the "Fourth Reader of the Popular Series" by Marcius Wilson ©1883

Beacon Hill, east of the school-house. "Old Beacon," the boys called it; and "coasting," they called the sport.
3. The boys had sleds of many shapes, and sizes, and names, and colors. There were some thick, heavy plank sleds; and these, the boys said, were like the great and strong, but slow dray-horses down at the Forges. Then there were the lighter board sleds; and these were like the regular road-way wagon horses: but the prettiest of all were the light but strong frame sleds, made of the toughest timber; and these, the boys said, were the regular racers.
4. Among these latter sleds were the "Arrow," the "Eover," the "Racer," the "Swallow," the "Eagle," and many others. There were red sleds, and yellow sleds, and green sleds, and blue sleds; but Freddy Jones's sled, the "Eagle," was the favorite with all; and it was painted red, white, and blue.
5. "These are the colors of the flag of our country," said the teacher, who often joined the boys in their sports, and especially in coasting. "Your sled," said he to Freddy, "bears the name of our national bird, and ought never to be beaten."
6. When it was pleasant out of doors, and there was good coasting, the boys would invite the girls to go out and enjoy the sport with them; but the teacher would not allow the girls to go in rough, stormy weather.
7. One stormy, blustering day, when the boys went out to enjoy their sport, in the half hour of recess that the teacher had promised them, they found an immense snowdrift right across the track, near the foot of the hill-side, where the light snow had been blown during the night.
8. As Freddy's sled was the largest, as well as the swiftest, of the " racers," the other boys said they would wait, and % let him try the hill first; and if the "Eagle" could go through the drift, they would follow. But Freddy told the boys to get on to his sled. "It will carry half a dozen of you at least," he said; "and if you will only hold on when we strike the drift, I think it will take us all safely through."
9. So all that could get on Freddy's sled did so. "Now hold fast, and 'don't give up the ship,'" said Freddy. Then swiftly down—down the hill they went, on the ice, Freddy steering straight for the drift away down below. The "Eagle," with Freddy still at his post and bending low his head as he struck the drift, went through the "mountain of snow," as the boys called it, making a narrow passage, like a tunnel, through it, and then going on far beyond.
10. But the "crew," as Freddy called them, all deserted him, and fell from the sled, or were thrown from it, just as they had reached the point of danger, although some of them said Oiey would have gone through with Freddy, if they had not been pulled off by their companions. But all were thrown far into the drift, and were completely buried in the snow, from which they crawled forth well whitened—as, indeed, Freddy himself was—but without the least injury to any of them.
11. It was not long after this that the following account of this coasting scene, written in pencil, was found on the teacher's table in the school-room. As it is a part of the same story, and as the boys were much pleased with the good words that the teacher wrote about them, and with the interest that he took in their sports, it may form a part of the present chapter.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hi all,
I'm taking this week off from posting new tidbits. For those of you working on your books, articles, research, enjoy the site. For me, I'll be enjoying family and finishing our holiday preparations.
In His grip,

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Decorations

Here's a little tidbit from Success with Flowers ©1898 and below is a tidbit from "The School Journal" ©1898

For home decorations individual taste may be freely indulged in. Use plenty of green Cedar, Pine, Holly, or any that is obtainable. Partridge berries, branches of Holly, and Bitter-sweet berries are lovely for decorative purposes. An unused fireplace may be very effectively banked with evergreens. Place branches of them in large vases and over pictures, mirrors and doors. Always arrange them artistically, so that the effect will be entirely pleasing.
Bunches of red and white berries or everlasting flowers may be worked in with the evergreens to advantage, but be careful not to use too many of them, or they will cheapen the appearance of the decorations very unpleasantly.
A drawing-room which held a beautiful Christmas tree last year was so exquisitely decorated that it looked a veritable woodland bower, yet so simple and natural did it all appear that one could quite easily imagine all of the lovely greenery had grown just where it was.
Above the door was the motto "Merry Christmas" in scarlet letters on a white ground, with an edging all around it of Holly leaves. A rather wide band of evergreens went all around the room over the picture moulding; from each corner a rope of the evergreen was festooned to the middle of the room, and the four pieces united in the center under the chandelier. From this hung a branch of gleaming Mistletoe. Another
branch of the latter hung from the draperies which shut in a cosy little retreat in the bay window, a bright fire glowed in the fireplace, and an evergreen band formed a graceful arch around it. The high mantel was gracefully festooned to its top. Palms, Ferns, small cedar and little Arborvitaj trees were banked together in front of the Oriental portieres draping the cosy corner of the room, forming a beautiful green archway to the tempting little recess revealed within. On a small table in the corner of the room most remote from the fire was a mound of dark-green Moss, from which tall slender spikes of exquisite white and purple Hyacinths swung their delicate waxen bells and filled the room with fragrance.
True, such decorations will doubtless be much too elaborate for the majority of homes, but possibly some one may obtain a hint that can be effectively worked out in a more humble manner.
The Christinas spirit of peace and good-will should be in every heart, and it is fitting that we should decorate our homes in a manner suitable to this sacred and joyous festival.— Mary Foster Snider.


Our Christmas Tree.
By M. E. Stone, Providence, R. I.
We have a forest of pine trees on our board in the back of the room. A week before the Christmas vacation we choose one to be transplanted to the front blackboard. It looks very pretty. We think how green it is while other trees -are bare. We read the story of the "Discontented Pine Tree." We have a snow-storm and like to see the white snow cling to the pine branches.
What a beautiful Christmas tree it would make! Let us trim it.
What shall be put on first? Why, our Christmas star, that we have been drawing and cutting. That must be put at the very top. Now we will buy a box of candles. There are a dozen in a box. Three are red, three white, three blue and three yellow. While we are at the store, let us get some of those pretty, shiny balls to hang on our tree. Half a dozen will do; red, blue and yellow, two of each. How much are they? The candles are a cent apiece and the balls are two cents each. I have money enough to buy the candles. Who will buy the balls?
I have now real candles and balls, and our brown circular tablets we use for money. The children always call them pennies unless I tell them some other name. Usually, however, I have drawn the box of candles and of balls, and the children copied them with pegs or colored crayon on paper. We thus practiced the horizontal and vertical lines and circles of our regular drawing work. Material is also afforded for a review of nearly all the combinations of number included in the fall work. For instance, the balls are arranged by twos, that we may talk about two twos or three twos, and the candles by threes for a similar purpose. There is one star having five points, and we make three candy-bags and four cornucopias. We make real cornucopias of colored paper by lapping and pasting two adjoining sides of a square. This may have a loop of thread, worsted or ribbon at the upper corner with which to attach it to a real tree. If sewing is in the first grade work, the candy-bags can be easily made by overcasting together with bright worsted, the edges of a piece of coarse muslin, cut in the shape of an oblong by the teacher.
One of the prettiest cutting and pasting lessons can be given in making a paper chain. Give the children four inch squares of various colors and let them cut the papers into strips a quarter of an inch wide. Have these arranged on each desk in rows (vertical, horizontal or oblique, if the drawing program calls for those words and directions) so that two strips of the same color will not be near each other. Then allow the children to paste the strips by lapping one end over the other, slipping the next strip thru this ring and pasting as before, being careful to take up the strips in the order in which they were laid on the desk. This will be new to the children, if old to the teacher, and can be done by the smallest. The picture presented by a roomful of smiling children festooned with these bright chains is good for the teacher to see.
We trim the blackboard tree day by day by proxy, carrying home the real stars, bags, cornucopias and chains. The children are delighted to decorate their chandeliers, mirrors, picture-frames and even the knobs on doors or bureaus if they have no tree on which to hang their handiwork. They make more at home, show other children how, and give to the ones too small to do such work.
Santa Claus comes during the night before the last day of school, and hangs horns, drums, dolls, jumping-jacks and other toys on the tree, and puts boxes of tools and dishes, tables, chairs, beds and bicycles near it. The children appear to enjoy the presents as well as if they were real and belonged to them. Often something has been left out that some child wants very much, but if I draw it he will be well satisfied. One little boy wanted "music" this Christmas; another, a train of cars. 1 draw everything asked for, whether I know how or not. I try to
find out how afterward, to be prepared for emergencies.
After vacation, when we must have the board room for other work the children are sorry to say good-bye to the Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Houghtalings Handbook

Since it is TBT (Through Back Thursday) on the web I thought I'd post a collection of older post. I first started this blog after I came across this great book of tidbits in an antique store. Below are links to all the posts of Houghtalings Handbook I put together over the years.

Spirits of Turpentine
Bogus Butter
U.S. Postal Salaries Part 1
U.S. Postal Salaries Part 2
U.S. Postal Salaries Part 3
U.S. Postal Salaries Part 4
U.S. Postal Salaries Part 5
U.S. Postal Salaries Part 6
U.S. Postal Salaries Part7
Weights & Measures for Cooks
Simple Interest Rates 1884
Legal Holidays in the United States
Height of Principal Monuments and Towers
Relative Value of Different Foods and Stock
Maxon Dixon Line
Fictitious Names of Cities
Benjamin Franklin's Words of Wisdom
Fictitious Names of States
New York & Brooklyn Bridge
Seed Vitality 1887
Average Annual Rainfall
Average Annual Temperatures 1887
Most Northern Point Reached by Arctic Explorers
Value of Bar Iron
Salaries of United States Officials 1887
Greatest Billiard Match
Friday an Eventful Day in America
Deepest Wells in the World
Time Required for Digesting Food Part 1
Time Required for Digesting Food Part 2
Language of Flowers Part 1
Language of Flowers Part 2
Herschel's Weather Table for Foretelling Weather
Years of Age for Animals
1887 Elections
How Southern Confederate Money Dropped
Number of Miles by Water from New York
Camphor Cure for Cholera
Tallest Man of Modern Times 1887
Origins of the Names of the Month
How to Rent a Farm
Salaries of the Offices of Indian Affairs 1887
Facts from 1880 Census
Broker's Technicalities
How to Preserve Eggs
Roofing Materials
Steamboat Inspection Service
How to Measure Corn
The Nations That Eat the Most
Signs of the Tongue
Business Laws in Brief
The Ways for Business Men to Get Rich
Speed of Trotting Horses per second
Civil War Confederate Soldiers Surrendered
Civil War Colored Troops
Soldiers in Civil War
Civil War Called For Service
How to Tell if a Person is Dead or Alive
Value of Foreign Money on a Gold Bases 1887
Strength of Ice Thickness
Law of Finding
A Lady's Chance of Marrying
Printing Papers Costs
American Wars during the 19th Century up to 1887
Navy Yards
United States in 1887
Prisoner's Commutation Table
Lighthouse Keepers
World's Largest Steam Hammer
Spirits of Turpentine a Valuable Remedy
Facts About the Sea
Census Office Salaries 1887
Postage Regulations 1889 Part 1
Postage Regulations 1889 Part 2
Great Canals of the World
How to Prevent Iron from Rusting
How to Sleep
How to Kill Grease Spots Before Painting
How to Start a Balky Horse
Bible Facts from Houghtalings 1889
Memorable Events in 1800's
The Wedding Anniversaries
Facts for Builders
Debt in 1887

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lord of Misrule

I'm not certain if I would like one someone with this name and charge in my home today but there are some fun aspects of this English tradition I thought I'd share with you today. This info comes from "The Christmas Book" ©1845

"We are come over the moor and the moss;
We dance an hobby horse;
A dragon you shall see,
And a wild worm for to flee.
Still we are all bravejovial boys,
And take delight in Christmas toys."—Ploughman's Play.

Eoreign writers have expressed great astonishment at the curious customs which formerly prevailed in England in connection with Christmas, but the "Lord of Misrule" or the "Abbot of Unreason," as he was called in Scotland, seems to have astonished them more than any other. They always speak of his existence as peculiar to England, but, as Strutt correctly observes, this frolicsome monarch was known upon the continent before any acquaintance was made with him in England. His office was that of a Master and Lord of the Christmas revels. He was appointed some weeks before the arrival of the feast in order that he might be able to make proper provision in the way of jokes and sports, and from the Christmas Eve down to Twelfth Day, he was the absolute master of all in the house where he was. It rested with him to command the carol singers, the mummers, the jugglers, and players; he provided them, and produced them in such order as he thought best. So that all the sport depended upon having a good "Lord of Misrule," for the fuller of mirth he was, the more sport was made for the Christmas party.
Holingshed when speaking of Yule, calls it the time "there is "alwayes one appointed to make sport at courte, called commonly "Lord of Misrule, whose office is not unknown to such as have been "brought up in noblemen's houses and among great housekeepers, "which use liberal feasting during the Christmas.'" Stow, who is more communicative upon the nature of his office, says, "At the feast of "Christmas, there was in the king's house, wheresoever he was lodged, "a Lord of Misrule, or Master of merry disports, and the like had ye in "the house of honour or good worship, were he spiritual or temporal. "Amongst the which the mayor of London, and either of the sheriffs, "had their several Lords of Misrule, ever contending, without quarrel "or offence, who should make the rarest pastimes todelight the beholders. "These lords beginning their rule on Alhollon eve, continued the same "till the morrow after the Eeast of the Purification; commonly called "Candlemas day. In all which space there were fine and subtle disguis"ings, masks, and mummeries, with playing at cards for counters, nails, "and points, in every house, more for■ pastime than for gain."* The time named by Stow during which the sports continued, is longer than that generally- allotted, but probably not longer than was the custom in instances with which he was acquainted.
Illustrations abound in history, shewing how the games were carried on, and who were appointed to the office. In the reign of Edward VI., and in order probably to prevent him. from dwelling too much upon the recent execution of Somerset, the Christmas sports were conducted without regard to cost. A gentleman, named George Eerrars, who was a lawyer, a poet, and an historian, was appointed by the council to bear this office; "and he," says Holingshed, "being of "better calling than commonly his predecessors had been before, "received all his commissions and warrauntes by the name of master of "the kinge's pastimes; which gentleman so well supplied his office, both "of show of sundry sights, and devises of rare invention, and in act of "divers interludes, and matters of pastime, played by persons, as not only "satisfied the common sorte, but also were verie well liked and allowed "by the council, and others of skill in lyke pastimes; but best by the "young king himselfe, as appeared by his princely liberalitie in reward"ing that service." Eerrars was certainly well qualified for his task, and well supplied with the means of making sport. He complained to * "Stow's Survey," p. 37, ed. of 1842.
Sir Thomas Cawarden that the dresses provided for his assistants were not sufficient, and immediately an order was given for better provision. He provided clowns, jugglers, tumblers, men to dance the fool's dance, besides being assisted by the "Court fool '■' of the time— John Smyth. This man was newly supplied for the occasion, having a long fool's coat of yellow cloth of gold, fringed all over with white, red, and green velvet, containing 7| yards at £2 per yard, guarded with plain yellow cloth of gold, four yards at 33s. 4d. per yard; with a hood and a pair of buskins of the same figured gold containing 1\ yards at £5, and a girdle of yellow sarsenet containing one quarter 16d. The whole value of "the fools dress" being £26. 14s. 8d. Ferrars as the "Lord of Misrule" wore a robe of rich stuff made of silk and golden thread containing nine yards at 16s. a yard, guarded with embroidered cloth of gold, wrought in knots, fourteen yards at lis. 4d. a yard; having fur of red feathers, with a cape of camlet thrum. A coat of flat silver, fine with works, 5 yards at 50s. with an embroidered garb of leaves of gold and coloured silk, containing 15 yards at 20s. a yard. He wore a cap of maintenance, hose buskins, panticles of Bruges satin, a girdle of yellow sarsenet with various decorations, the cost of his dress being £52. 8s. 8d., which, considering the relative value of money, must be considered a very costly dress.
The titles assumed by the Lords of Misrule were occasionally very ridiculous. In 1607, there was a grand celebration of the Christmas festivity at St. John's College, Oxford, and the elected lord issued proclamations, in which he styled himself the most magnificent and renowned Thomas, by the favour of Fortune, Prince of Alba Fortunata, Lord of St. John's, High Eegent of the Hall, Duke of St. Giles's, Marquis of Magdalen's, Landgrave of the Grove, Count Palatine of the Cloysters, Chief Bailiff of Beaumont, High Ruler of Bbme (Rome is a piece of land, so called, near to the end of the walk called Non Ultra, on the North side of Oxon), Master of the Manor of Walton, Governor of Gloucester Green, sole Commander of all Titles, Tournaments, and Triumphs, Superintendent in all Solemnities whatever. A record of the sports and pastimes on this occasion has been preserved and printed* under the title of "A true and faithful relation of the rising and fall of "Thomas Tucker, &c," and contains a very full picture of what Christmas was in the old times.
The lawyers were very regular in their election of a Christmas lord. And they had the usual shows performed in their several Inns of Court. Their lord was up early in the morning hunting out his officers, and "pulling all the loiterers out of bed to make their early sport, but after "breakfast the fun was suspended until the evening, when it was opened "again day after day with great spirit until the holidays ended. The "Judges attended every evening, and the 'under barristers' were bound "to dance before their lordships. On one occasion, when this was "omitted, the whole bar was offended, and at Lincoln's Inn, the offenders "were by decimation put out of commons for example sake; and should * "Miscellanea Antiqua Anglicana," vol. i.
"the same omission be repeated, they were to be fined or disbarred; for "these dancings were thought necessary 'as much conducing to the "making of gentlemen more fit for their books at other times/ "*
At a Christmas celebrated in the Hall of the Middle Temple in the year 1635, the jurisdiction, privileges, and parade of this mock monarch are thus circumstantially described. "He was attended by his lord "keeper, lord treasurer, with eight white staves, a captain of his band '• of pensioners, and of his guardj and with two chaplains, who were so "seriously impressed with an idea of his regal dignity, that when they "preached before him on the preceding Sunday in the Temple Church, "on ascending the pulpit they saluted him with three low bows. He "dined both in the Hall and in his privy chamber, under a cloth of "estate. Tho poleaxes for his gentlemen pensioners were borrowed of "Lord Salisbury. Lord Holland, his temporary justice in eyre, supplied "him with venison, on demand; and the Lord Mayor and sheriffs of "London, with wine. On Twelfth Day, at going to church, he received "many petitions, which he gave to his master of requests: and, like "other kings, he had a favourite, whom with others, gentlemen of high "quality, he knighted at returning from church. His expenses, all from "his own purse, amounted to two thousand pounds." After he was deposed, the king knighted him at "Whitehall, f
But it occasionally happened that when My Lord went forth with his band of merry men, they got into trouble. An instance of this, which occurred in 1627, is recorded in one of Mede's letters to Sir Martin Stuteville. The letter is worth reprinting as an illustration of the manners of the age, and as relating to what was probably the last Lord of Misrule elected by the barristers. Mede writes, "On Saturday "the Templars chose one Mr. Palmer their Lord of Misrule, ,who, on "Twelfth-eve, rate in the night, sent out to gather up his rents at five "shillings a house in Ram-alley and Fleet street. At every door they "came they winded the Temple-horn, and if at the second blast or sum"mons they within opened not the door, then the Lord of Misrule cried "out, 'Give fire, gunner!' His gunner was a robustious Yulcan, and "the gun or petard itself was a huge overgrown smith's hammer. This "being complained of to my Lord Mayor, he said he would be with them "about eleven o'clock on Sunday night last; willing that all that ward "should attend him with their halberds, and that himself, besides those "that came out of his house, should bring the Watches along with him. "His lordship, thus attended, advanced as high as Ram-alley in martial "equipage: when forth came the Lord of Misrule, attended by his "gallants, out of the Temple-gate, with their swords, all armed in cuerpo. "A halberdier bade the Lord of Misrule come to my Lord Mayor. He "answered, No! let the Lord Mayor come to me! At length they "agreed to meet half way: and, as the interview of rival princes is never "without danger of some ill accident, so it happened in this: for first, "Mr. Palmer being quarrelled with for not pulling off his hat to my "Lord Mayor, and giving cross answers, the halberds began to fly about his ears, and he and his company to brandish their swords. At last 'being beaten to the ground, and the Lord of Misrule sore wounded, "they were fain to yield to the longer and more numerous weapon. My "Lord Mayor taking Mr. Palmer by the shoulder, led him to the "Compter, and thrust him in at the prison-gate with a kind of indigna"tion; and so, notwithstanding his hurts, he was forced to lie among the "common prisoners for two nights. On Tuesday the king's attorney "became a suitor to my Lord Mayor for their liberty; which his lord"ship granted, upon condition that they should repay the gathered rents, "and do reparations upon broken doors. Thus the game ended. Mr. "Attorney-General, being of the same house, fetched them in his own "coach, and carried them to the court, where the King himself reconciled "my Lord Mayor and them together with joining all hands; the gentle"men of the Temple being this shrovetide to present a Mask to their "majesties, over and besides the king's own great Mask, to be performed "at the Banqueting-house by an hundred actors."
The inhabitants of our cities and even villages had also their Lord of Misrule. He was elected by the common voice, and clothed at the cost of the voters. Having no particular place in which to exhibit, he chose a party of young fellows to go with him from house to house, where they sang and danced, and then moved off to others, until every large house had been visited. In this case, however, the Lord of Misrule and his party became the mummers of the season—the two ideas were confused, but as mumming was an important part of the sport, we shall consider it in the following section.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

19th Century Recipes for Fruitcake

One pound of butter, one pound of sugar, twelve eggs, one pound of flour, one pound of currants, one pound of thinly-sliced citron, three pounds of Seeded raisins cut in pieces, one pound of chopped figs, one-half cupful of any preferred liquor, two tablespoonfuls of strained lemon juice, one-half teaspoonful of salt, two teaspoonfuls of cinnamon, one~half teaspoonful of cloves, three-quarters of a teaspoonful each of mace, allspice and nutmeg.
Dredge the prepared fruit with a little of the flour and mix the spice with the remainder. Cream the butter, gradually add the sugar and cream until light, then_slowly add the liquor beating until light and creamy. Add the beaten yolks of the eggs, then the whites; cut in the flour, add the remaining ingredients. Have the pans lined with several thicknesses of paper, turn in the batter and bake slowly in a moderate oven for from three to five hours according to the thickness of the cake. Cover with paper until half baked.
One-half pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pint of flour, nine eggs, one and one half pounds of currants, three quarters of a pound of citron, two pounds of seeded raisins, one-quarter of a pound of blanched almonds cut into strips, one-quarter of a pound of chopped hickory nut meats, two ounces of cinnamon, one-half ounce each of nutmeg, mace and clove, one-half teaspoonful of salt, one cupful of brandy.
With regard to the points you mention we would say that a mixture of candied fruits may be used in place of a part of the fruit; they should be cut fine and should be marinated in brandy or other liquor for several hours; the kind of fruit used is a matter of individual taste; we would suggest that you make up several mixtures and then settle upon the one best liked. The same is true of liquors; various kinds of rum or a good brandy are generally used; liqueurs, such as maraschino or kirschwasser, are sometimes added as well in small quantities. Baking powder is never used in a heavy fruit cake; it makes it crumbly and spoils the soft velvety texture.
Source: Table Talk ©1899

Fruit Cake
I cannot give you a better recipe for fruit cake than you will find in my cook book. Both those recipes, like the one just given, have been used many times individually, and even under my directions in the School I have never seen a single failure.
Beat ten eggs, without separating, until very light; beat one pound of butter to a cream; warm the bowl; put in a pound of butter; cut it into blocks; then, with the back of a spoon, mash it, and then begin to beat; now add to this, gradually, one pound of granulated sugar; beat again. Have ready one and a half pounds of washed currants, one and a half pounds of raisins (stoned), three-quarters of a pound of shredded citron; mix these together and lightly flour; add to the butter and sugar first the eggs; then stir in one pound of flour, one teaspoonful of cinnamon, a half teaspoonful of ground mace, one teaspoonful of allspice, half teaspoonful of cloves, one grated nutmeg, juice and grated rind of one orange and one lemon; beat vigorously for at least five minutes. Now stir in carefully the floured fruit. Line two fruit-cake pans with greased paper (bottom and sides), pour in the mixture, and bake in a very moderate oven four hours. If you use liquor, add it to the mixture before addirg the fruit. Put one gill of brandy, and then omit the orange and lemon juice.
Source: Household News ©1894

Fruit Cake.
One pound brown sugar, one of butter* one of eggs, one of flour, two of raisins, two of currants, half pound citron, a nutmeg, tablespoon cloves, one of allspice, half pint brandy, and two tea-epoons baking-powder. After baking, while yet warm, pour over cake a half pint wine. This makes the cake delicious.—Mm Angie Skinner,
Excellent Fruit Cake.
One and a half pounds raisins, one and a fourth pounds currants, three-fourths pound citron, pound butter, pound sugar, one and a fourth pounds flour, ten eggs, two table-spoons lemon, two tea-spoons yeast powder; mix a fourth pound of the flour in the fruit.—Mrs. J. W. Grubbs,
Poor Man's Fruit Cake.
One and a half cups brown sugar, two of flour, one each of butter and chopped raisins, three eggs, three table-spoons sour milk, half tea-spoon soda, half cup blackberry jam. This is excellent as well as economical.—Mrs. J. S. Robinson,
Scotch Fruit Cake.
A cup butter, two of white sugar, four of sifted flour, threefourths cup sour milk, half tea-spoon soda, nine eggs beaten separately, one pound raisins, half pound currants, a fourth pound citron; cream the butter and sugar, add milk gradually, then beaten yolks of eggs, and lastly, while stirring in flour, the whites well whipped. Flavor with one tea-spoon lemon, and one of vanilla extract, and have raisins chopped a little, or, better still, seeded, and citron sliced thin. Wash and dry currants before using, and flour all fruit slightly. In putting cuke in pan, place first a thin layer of cake, then sprinkle in some of the three kinds of fruit, then a layer of cake, and so on, always finishing off with a thin layer of cake. Bake in a moderate oven for two hours. Tested by many and has never failed. — Mrs. J. H. Shearer.
Thanksgiving Fruit Cake.
Six pounds flour, three of butter, three and a half of sugar, an ounce mace, two glasses wine, two glasses brandy, four pounds raisins, half pound citron, six eggs, one pint yeast, small tea-spoon soda put in at last moment. After tea, take all the flour (except one plate for dredging raisins), a small piece butter, and a quart or more of milk, and mix like biscuit; then mix butter and sugar, and at nine o'clock in the evening, if sufficiently light, put one-third of butter and sugar into dough; at twelve add another third, and very early in the morning the remainder; about eleven o'clock, if light enough, begin kneading, and continue for an hour, adding meanwhile all the other ingredients. This will make seven loaves.— Mrs. Woodworth, Springfield.
Source: Practical Housekeeping ©1883

FRUIT CAKE. (Superior.)
Three pounds dry flour, one pound sweet butter, one pound sugar, three pounds stoned raisins, two pounds currants, three-quarters of a pound sweet almonds blanched, one pound citron, twelve eggs, one tablespoonful allspice, one teaspoonful cloves, two tablespoonfuls cinnamon, two nutmegs, one wineglass of wine, one wine-glass of brandy, one coffee cupful molasses with the spices in it; steep this gently twenty or thirty minutes, not boiling hot; beat the eggs very lightly; put the fruit in last, stirring it gradually, also a teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a tablespoonful of water; the fruit should be well floured; if necessary add flour after the fruit is in; butter a sheet of paper and lay it in the pan. Lay in some slices of citron, then a layer of the mixture, then of citron again, etc., till the pan is nearly full. Bake three or four hours, according to the thickness of the loaves, in a tolerably hot oven, and with steady heat. Let it cool in the oven gradually. Ice when cold. It improves this cake very much to add three teaspoonfuls of baking powder to the flour. A fine wedding-cake recipe.
Two scant teacupfuls of butter, three cupfuls of dark brown sugar, six eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately, one pound of raisins, seeded, one of currants, washed and dried, and half a pound of citron cut in thin strips; also half a cupful of cooking molasses, and half a cupful of sour milk. Stir the butter and sugar to a cream, add to that half a grated nutmeg, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, one teaspoonful of cloves, one teaspoonful of mace, add the molasses and sour milk. Stir all well; then put in the beaten yolks of egg, a wine-glass of brandy; stir again all thoroughly, and then add four cupfuls of sifted flour, alternately with the beaten whites of egg. Now dissolve a level teaspoonful of soda, and stir in thoroughly. Mix the fruit together, and stir into it two heaping tablespoonfuls of flour; then stir it in the cake. Butter two common sized baking tins carefully, line them with letter paper well buttered, and bake in a moderate oven two hours. After it is baked, let it cool in the pan. Afterward put it into a tight can, or let it remain in the pans and cover tightly. Best recipe of all.
—mrs. S. A. Camp, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Source: White House Cook Book ©1889

Monday, December 15, 2014

Table Manners & Goops

I stumbled across this illustrated poem and thought it a fun piece to share with all of you. Although I will admit that a "goop" was a new expression for me.

You can read more about Goops with Goops and How to Be Them, a Manual of Manners by Gelett Burgess. It is available from Google Books for free online. It was originally published in 1900. Here is the link to Guttunberg's page for the book with the links to the various types of format. Link Although I have seen references to the book in publications from 1893-1898.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ten Christmas Presents

A poem that was published several times during the 19th Century was by Carolyn Wells called "Christmas Gifts" but commonly referred to as "Ten Christmas Presents."

Ten Christmas presents standing in a line;
Robert took the bicycle, then there were nine.
Nine Christmas presents ranged in order straight;
Bob took the steam engine, then there were eight.
Eight Christmas presents--and one came from Devon;
Robbie took the jackknife, then there were seven.
Seven Christmas presents direct from St. Nick's;
Bobby took the candy box, then there were six.
Six Christmas presents, one of them alive;
Rob took the puppy dog, then there were five.
Five Christmas presents yet on the floor;
Bobbin took the soldier cap, then there were four.
Four Christmas presents underneath the tree;
Bobbet took the writing desk, then there were three.
Three Christmas presents still in full view;
Robin took the checker board, then there were two.
Two Christmas presents, promising fun,
Bobbles took the picture book, then there was one.
One Christmas present--and now the list is done;
Bobbinet took the sled, and then there were none.
And the same happy child received every toy,
So many nicknames had one little boy.

Here's the illustration that was in the St. Nicholas magazine from 1898

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Central Park NYC

I love Central Park, not because I've been there more than driving past it but I love how NYC designed this park and what they wanted and planned it for. I've seen it from across the street and I've been at it at the Tavern on the Green Restaurant. However, I've never had the time to thoroughly enjoy the park, perhaps some day I will.

Here is a link to a book published in 1869 about the park titled A Description of the New York Central Park it has great illustrations and I think you will enjoy it as well.

Here's a pic of the Belvedere Castle which was known simply as the Belvedere back then.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

19th Century Christmas Books

Hi all,
As you begin or finish up your Christmas shopping for this year, I'm certain you've looked at some possible books to give as gifts. (hint, hint) Seriously though, books are a great gift idea that has been around for well over a hundred years. And the 19th Century it was quite a gift to give and receive. Here is how Christmas books were described back then "For instance, suppose you and I had to announce the important news that some writers published what are called Christmas books; that Christmas books are so called because they are published at Christmas: and that the purpose of the authors is to try and amuse people"

So, for today's tidbit I thought I'd post are some links to Christmas books that were available.

The first is a book that was published in 1866 by Charles Dickens title Christmas Books He not only wrote A Christmas Carol but several other stories as well.

The Christmas Books of Mr. M.A. Titmarsh" by William Makepeace Thackeray.

The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke is another Christmas Classic.

Then like today there were books, or in this case more like a pamphlet about Keeping Christmas for the real purpose of the reason for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Blow is a copy of an advertisement for 1870 Beeton's Christmas Annual which means they put together a book each year for Christmas.

Pocket Books were also quite popular here's another advertisement to point this out.

Other books that were quite popular were dictionaries, almanacs, and travel books.

I hope you have fun with your historical characters going Christmas shopping this year.

Monday, December 8, 2014

19th Century Board Games Plus

Below are some images from an 1891 Youth's Companion displaying various games available at the time. Many you will already know, perhaps you have some in your game closets as well.

Basalinda (Looks to me like a very early version of battleship)

Bean Bag & Ring Toss

Fish Pond

Game of Halma
(apparently designed as a scientific game combining chess and checkers)

Jolly Marble Game

Parlor & Lawn Tennis

Royal Parchessi

Table Croquet

Tiddledy-winks, tennis, hop scotch.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Victorian Christmas Card

Here's a Victorian Christmas Card.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Electric Bell

Below is an image I found of the The Leclanché Electric Bell Outfit.

The cut illustrates the Leclanché Electric Bell Outfit complete. It consists of a large Leclanché Battry with Chemicals, fifty feet of insulated copper wire, a paper of Clamp Tacks for putting it up, one push button with porcelain knob, and an elegant nickel-plated Electric Bell mounted on a black-walnut base. It has a black-walnut cover. Any young man can easily put up this electric bell. For door-bells, for servants' call-bells, etc., there is nothing quite so handy and reliable as this outfit.
Some parties are doing quite a business by purchasing these outfits by the dozen, and putting them into houses at reasonable rates.

The ad goes on to say you can use these for burglar alarms as well with an attachment.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

1891 Pocket Cutlery

Below are five knives from 1891 advertised in Youth's Companion. They were being offered as a gift with the price of a subscription to the magazine. I left most of that information out from their advertisements. However the magazine is available on Google books if you'd like further information. What I find interesting is that pocket knives haven't changed all that much. However, some of the tools within the knives have changed, like the hook for cleaning out horse hooves. Perhaps one of your characters might be in the need of purchasing a knife. Here are some choices.

This first image is of Farmer's English Knife this knife comprises nine distinct tools, --two Blades, a Lancet, Corkscrew, Reamer, Tweezers, Pick, Screw Driver, and a Hook for cleaning a horses's hoof. It is of special service to the farmer.

The next knife is Pearl Handle Boys knife. The Boy's Own Knife is a beauty, but it's more; it's made to cut and to kep its edge. No better-cutting Knife to be had at any price. German Silver Bolster, Rivet and Shield, and best of Pearl Handle

The next knife is a Lady's Pearl Handle Knife. The cut illustrates how our Lady's knife looks. We give the plan of this knife to our manufacturer, and this is the result. Fine English steel, faultless pearl and perfect finish are embodied in the knife. For a lady nothing would be better; for a gentleman, too, will find it a most useful vest-pocket companion. Large blade, nail blade and file, glove and boot-buttoner.

The fourth knife is a Four-Blade Pearl Knife, this is a find knife, --a Wostenholm pattern. It is made only to our order, and expressly for our subscribers. By controlling this special knife ourselves we are able to offer a rare premium at a low price. The cut will show you just how the knife looks, and its exact size. It is made from the best English steel, the pearl is the first quality and the hands is brass lined. The tips are German Silver.

The last knife is the Granger's Knife. The Blades of this fine knife are the best English steel and will cut like a razor. Stag-Handle, double German Silver Bolsters, Rivets and shields are brass lined.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Christmas Carol

The classic "A Christmas Carol" has been rewritten, played and put into film more times than I can count. Dickens did a fine job on this classic. And it only seems fitting that we would include it in our tidbits about 19th Century Christmas Tidbits. It was first published in 1843. The link below to Google books is a copy printed in 1858. Here is a picture of the first publication that can be found in wikipedia.

An interesting tidbit about A Christmas Carol is that it was a novella. I love writing novellas and have often been told how amazed my readers are about the amount of story that is included in the novella. A novella challenges an author to tightly write their stories.

A Christmas Carol

Here is a page with illustrations for
A Christmas Carol in 1933.

So how are you going to enjoy A Christmas Carol this holiday season? Better yet, how are your characters going to enjoy it?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Old English Plum Pudding

Personally I've never had Plum Pudding but you read and hear all about it during the Christmas season so I thought it might be fitting to start our holiday plans with some recipes of Old English Plum Pudding. This tidbit begins with a poem about said item.

We've long sung the praise of old English roast beef,
The mighty Sir Loin, and the Baron his chief,
But beef without pudding, with turkey no chine,
That is not the way that we Englishmen dine.

Then here's "the plum pudding of England!"
Old English plum pudding for me!

Plum pudding's a mixture of all that is good,
No Frenchman to make it ere yet understood;
To plain roast and boiled he too vain is to stoop,
Roast beef he makes brick bats, and plum pudding

That's not the plum pudding of England!
The sort of plum pudding for me!

The commerce of England extends o'er the world,
"Where'er the winds whistle our sails are unfurled,
Then home come our ships with plums, sugar and spice,
With currants and citrons, and all that is nice
To make the plum pudding of England.
Old English plum pudding for me!

The corn growing fields of old England ne'er fail,
Our flour it is sweet and our eggs never stale,
Our suet is fresh, but the taste to enhance
We don't mind a dash of the Brandy from France
To make the plum puddings of England.
Old English plum pudding for me!

The man who plum pudding refuses to eat
I'd hold you a wager at heart is a cheat,
While he who well loves it deserves a good wife
For he feels himself young, and a boy all his life
While he eats the plum pudding of England.
Old English plum pudding for me!

May solid plum pudding then, year after year,
At Christmas ne'er fail us to make us good cheer;
Well boiled—plump and round—deck'd with holly—

I wish Merry Christmas to all, and for ever a dish
Of the jolly plum pudding of England!
Old English plum pudding—Hurrah!
1878 John Edwards Carpenter

Old English Christmas Plumb Puddings.
The Harrisburg Telegraph furnishes its readers with a recipe for the real "Old English Christmas Plumb Pudding." After having given this pudding a fair test, I am willing to endorse every word of it; and wish for the holiday to come oftener than once a year:
"To make what is called a pound pudding; take of raisins well stoned but not chopped, currants thoroughly washed, 1 lb. each; chop suet, 1 lb., very finely, and mix with them; add 1/4 lb. of flour or bread very finely crumbled; 3 ozs. of suger; 1 1/2 ozs. of grated lemon peel, a blade of mace,1/2 of a small nutmeg, 1 tea-spoon of ginger; 1/2 doz. of eggs, well beaten; work it well together, put it in a cloth, tie it firmly, allowing room to swell; put it into boiling water, and boil not less than two hours. It should not be suffered to stop boiling.
The cloth, when about to be used, should be dipped into boiling water, squeezed dry, and floured; and when the pudding is done, have a pan of cold water ready, and dip it in for a moment, as soon as It conies out of the pot, which prevents the pudding from sticking to the cloth. For a dip gravy for this or other puddings, see the'• Biscuit Pudding without fie-Baking,"or "Spreading Sauce for Pudding."
Source: Dr. Chase's Recipes ©1875

Plum Pudding.
(Family Recipes.)—(1.) Beat two eggs and a little salt well together, then put to them three-quarters of a pound of stoned rasins (or currants), the same quantity of minced suet, and of flour. Add as much skim milk as will make it very stiff. Boil the pudding full five hours, for on this depends its being so good. No wine, brandy, or sugar the least necessary.
(2.) Small Plum Pudding.—One pound of minced suet, one pound of stoned raisins, six ounces of flour, four ounces of sugar, five whole eggs well beaten. A little cinnamon if liked. Boil full five hours.

Plum Pudding.—Mince finely one pound of fresh suet, picked from every scrap of skin, half a pound of stoned raisins, five ounoes of flour and the same of breadcrumbs, five ounces of brown sugar, the peel of two Seville Oranges (lemons if you cannot possibly get Seville Oranges), and four eggs, leaving out two of the whites. Mix together with as much milk as will just make it too thick to pour, but not as stiff as a paste. Do not beat or knead the pudding, but mix it all thoroughly together. Tie it tight in a cloth, as tight as possible, and boil it for six hours precisely.

Some people boil Plum Pudding in a mould. If so, let the pudding made as above rest for six hours before it is put in. Line the mould with buttered paper, press the pudding in, put a buttered paper on the top, tie a thick pudding-cloth closely over it, and boil as above for exactly six hours.

Oronoeo Sauce fop Plum Pudding.—(Family Recipe.)— A quarter of a pound of butter, and rather more of finely powdered sugar, beat well together with a wooden spoon till quite light and white, then add, drop by drop, a tablespoonful of brandy, and work it again till thoroughly mixed—which is troublesome to do. Put it in a sauce-boat, and set on ice till wanted. (This sauce is now called Brandy Butter.)
Source: Mrs. Roundell's Practical Cookry Book ©1898

Plum Pudding—Two cups flour, 1 heaping cup of bread crumbs, 1 cup of molasses, 1 1/2 cups stoned raisins, Y2 cup citron (cut fine), 1 cup suet chopped fine, 1 cup sweet milk, 1 tablespoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cloves and cinnamon; steam two and a half hours. To be eaten with butter sauce.—Mrs. J. H. Porter, Atlanta.

Plum Pudding.—This pudding is best when prepared, all but eggs, the day before using. Three-fourths pound picked and finely-chopped suet, 3/4 pound of stoned raisins, 3/4 pound of currants, 1/4, pound of citron cut in small slices, 3/4 pound of powdered sugar, 3/4 pound of bread crumbs grated, 1 lemon, grated yellow rind and juice, 1 tablespoon of powdered mace and cinnamon mixed and 2 powdered nutmegs, 12 eggs beaten separately. Steep allspice in 1/2 pint of mixed wine and brandy over night closely covered. Beat wine and eggs together until thick and smooth, then add bread crumbs. Mix with the sugar, grated yellow rind and juice of lemon, then add gradually prepared ingredients, stirring hard. Butter pudding mold, fill with mixture and boil four hours. Sprinkle hot dish with powdered sugar. Turn out pudding; pour 1/2 pint warm rum and light when taking to the table. This is sufficient for twenty persons.—Mrs. Willie Conyers Cook, Inman Park.
Source Tested Recipe Cook Book ©1895

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bedroom Furnishings

Below is an image from 1880 of a set of bedroom furnishings. These items were made of walnut, can you image how much they would cost today? Anyway, note the large cabinet with the chest of drawers. Often times rooms were built with no closets and cabinets were needed to store their clothing.

And here's a little tidbit on the art of being a cabinet maker:
The art of the Cabinet-maker differs from most other arts in many particulars. In the first place, the articles made by him, are not only very numerous, but there are not, even from the same shop, two articles of the same description, which do not vary in their form and manufacture; and fashion is continually, changing the forms of almost all Cabinetmakers' articles, so that it must be obvious no rules can be laid down, as to the formation of particular articles of furniture; and, indeed, were it practicable, it would be necessary that cabinet, like female fashions, should be published monthly: in fact, this is, in some degree, done in a publication by Mr. Ackerman. . The Cabinet-maker furnishes chairs, tables, chests of drawers, desks, scrutoires, bureaus, sofas, book-cases, and bedsteads, of all sorts of prices. But, in almost all places, the business of the Cabinet-maker is united to that of the upholsterer; and the furniture collected in one of their warehouses is worth from ten to thirty thousand pounds. Such
warehouses may be seen in St. Paul's ChurchYard, Bond-Street, and other parts of London.
Source: The book of English Trades ©1818

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Menus Part 4

And last but not least I thought this menu was quite unique as a Vegetarian Menu for Thanksgiving meal. This comes from Guide for Nut Cookery ©1899

The Thanksgiving dinner has been a great puzzler to the vegetarian housewife. "How can we ever celebrate Thanksgiving without a turkey ?" has been a question which it has been hard to solve. I propose that we do have a turkey for Thanksgiving,— not the corpse of a bird whose life was sacrificed to satisfy our perverted appetites, but something which, although it looks like a real turkey, with neck, wings, legs, and even the drum-stick bones protruding, is only one made of nuts and grains. Then let us have the pumpkin pie, chicken croquettes, and fish all stuffed and baked, the salads, and lettuce,— in fact, all that Thanksgiving calls for; but we will use only wholesome material. We will substitute nut foods for the different meats, lemon-juice will take the place of vinegar, and nuts the place of animal fats. With painstaking, we shall have a better dinner than our sisters who have their platters ladened with the remains of a barn-yard fowl, and with cakes and pies filled with animal fats and spices. Besides this, we shall have a clearer mind, as well as a clear conscience; while those who eat meat are taking poisons into the system which benumb the brain, cloud the conscience, and render man unfit to meet the vesper hour and hold communion with his God.

Canned-corn soup, canned-pea soup, or vegetable oyster soup, seasoned with raw peanut cream.

A stuffed baked trout.

Mock chicken croquettes. Serve with it mock salmon salad.
Stewed salsify (vegetable oyster) with cream.

THANKSGIVING TURKEY. With the turkey send a sauce-boat of gravy, sweet potatoes, curled celery or lettuce, and cranberry sauce.

Nut crisps, nice buns, and cream rolls.

Pumpkin pie with cocoanut cream crust.

Fresh fruit, red-cheeked apples, oranges, and any other fruits desired.

Salted almonds, salted pine-nuts, and roasted chestnuts.

Butternut coffee with peanut cream.

Take 6 cups of water; i A cups of white corn grits or white corn-meal; I teaspoonful of salt.
When the water boils, add the salt and stir in the grits, continuing to stir until it boils; let it boil gently for a few minutes, and then place in a steam-cooker, and steam for three or four hours. Make a stuffing of 2 tablespoonfuls of zwieola, I tablespoonful gluten No 3, 2 tablespoonfuls pecan meal, and 1 tablespoonful peanut butter, 1 tablespoonful almond butter, 1 hard-boiled egg, \ teaspoonful sage, 1 teaspoonful grated onion, \ teaspoonful salt; add just a little water until the mixture makes a stiff batter. Mix thoroughly. When the corn grits are done, oil a bake tin and put some of the cooked grits on it, spreading them in the form of a fish, making it as long as can be easily served on the platter you intend to serve it on. Then put some of the dressing the whole length of the fish. Make a little trough in the dressing, and put in the yolks of two eggs, chopped and seasoned with celery salt, then cover the egg with the dressing paste, and cover that with the cooked grits. Form more perfectly into the shape of a fish, and spread with a diluted nut butter, using the slices of the white of egg for the gills and mouth, and filberts for the eyes. Press in a row of blanched Jordan almonds down the center of the back to represent the dorsal fins, also use the almonds to make the tail. Lard it across the back (see cut) by sticking in pine-nuts. Bake in a moderate oven for half an hour; if it browns too fast on top, cover with a brown paper, until ten minutes before taking from the oven. Garnish with parsley and curled celery, bank the sides with potato balls made by cutting them from raw potatoes with a scoop made for the purpose, or make balls of mashed potatoes. Roll them in pine-nut butter and bake in the oven until nicely browned. To make the curled celery, take some nice crisp celery, split it into four parts from both ends, leaving about one inch in the center to hold it. Place it into ice-cold water for twenty minutes and it will be curled nicely. If the water is not very cold, leave it in longer.

Take 1J pounds or ij pints of nutmeato chopped quite fine; add nearly as much mashed potato, 4 tablespoonfuls of zwieola which has been soaked for fifteen minutes in \ cup of warm water, and 4 tablespoonfuls of gluten, 2 teaspoonfuls of sage, 2 teaspoonfuls of onion grated, salt to suit the aste, 4 hard-boiled eggs put through a sieve, and 1 raw egg. Mix the sifted eggs with the zwieola, and work till smooth; then add the other ingredients, and mix all very thoroughly. Take a large tablespoonful, and work in the hands quickly, handling with care, and form into cylindershaped croquettes, making the ends as square across as pos
[graphic][merged small]
sible ; then roll them in a beaten egg and then in gluten, or what is better, fine cracker-crumbs; crisps or rolls that are perfectly dry and ground fine are also nice, and give them more of a meaty flavor. Bake on well-oiled tins for an hour or more. The above amount will make twenty good-sized croquettes. In serving, they can be arranged as in the accompanying cut, which represents them garnished with sprigs of parsley, or if a smaller quantity is desired, they may be made into funnel shapes by molding in an ice-cream mold or a small funnel with the hole stopped up with a piece of raw turnip or potato. Then when baked, they are nice served on a plate covered with curly lettuce leaves; serve a lettuce leaf with each croquette, placing the croquette upon the leaf.
Take 2 cups of nut butter, 1 cup of tomato juice without the pulp, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoonful of corn-starch. Mix thoroughly; cook in cans.

Take 3 cups of sifted lentils, 1 cup of walnut butter, 1 pound of zwieback moistened with water, 3 heaping teaspoonfuls of powdered sage, 1 cup of gluten, and 2 teaspoonfuls of salt. Add 2 eggs. Form into loaf or turkey. The walnuts should be the black walnuts, as they give it more of a turkey flavor. The whole-wheat zwieback is best, but the white will do. Beat the eggs well, and mix all the ingredients together, adding enough water to the zwieback to moisten it before adding the other ingredients. If formed into a turkey, it should be real stiff, but it does not require to be so stiff when cooked in a loaf.

If you would like to search for the rest of the recipes here's a link Guide to Nut Cookery

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Decorations

For some of you today is the day you take down your fall decorations and begin putting up your Christmas decorations. Since I am traveling and won't be home for a few more days, I'll be starting a few days later. Anyway, here is some information about decorating for Christmas from Floral Decorations for the Dwelling House ©1876 It's a fairly lengthy text but you'll have the entire weekend to go over it.

ONE could hardly believe it was Christmas in the absence of Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe, which have so long at that season occupied prominent places in our households. The custom of decorating with evergreens is far from being a modern one. The Romans, 2,000 years ago, did the same thing; indeed,, it is more than probable that the origin of adorning our homes with Ivy, Holly, and Bay, must be sought for in the Roman Saturnalia, held every year towards the end of December. Formerly, the decorations of rooms consisted of a few branches of evergreens stuck here and there as might be convenient; but now they are of a much more complicated character, and require time and skill in their manufacture. Where decorations of any extent are annually employed, the week before Christmas is a busy time with the ladies of the household, as the making of the decorations principally falls to their share. To make effective and pretty designs requires good taste, practice, skill, and a general knowledge of the materials to be employed. A few hints on this subject, therefore, may prove acceptable, as I have assisted in making many decorations at Christmas-time, and so can speak from experience. First come under our notice the shrubs to be selected. Though' Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe are principally used, many other materials may be enumerated that are admirably adapted to intersperse with those mentioned above, and thereby tend to relieve the sameness which would occur were Holly and other ordinary Christmas evergreens only employed. Amongst others I may mention the following:— Mediterranean Arbutus, Aucuba, Bay, Euonymus, Gold and Silver Hollies, Ivies of different colors, Laurels, Laurustinus, Portugal Laurel, Spruce and Silver Firs, Yew, etc., also branchlets of Arbor-vitae, Cypress, Deodar, Juniper, Thuja, or any other ornamental shrubs obtainable. Having said so much for evergreens, let me refer to the foundations on which they are to be worked. These consist of the following, for, according to the style of decoration, so the foundation must be selected :—For garlands, wire or strong cord should be used—the latter is, however, preferable, as it is not so liable to twist as wire; and, for what are called upright wreaths or panels, fine iron rods are the best. For ornamental devices perforated zinc should be used; for letters, strong brown paper; for narrow headings, where single leaves only are employed, tape wire; for crosses, picture-frames, texts, etc., flat laths, such as are used in the construction of ceilings by plasterers, or Hazel rods; and for wreaths, strong wire; for small garlands fine twine is serviceable. In addition to the above, several balls of hemp twine (fine and coarse), large needles and strong linen thread (dark green or black), a pair of scissors, penknife, and reels of bindingwire, must also be at hand; and, though last on the list, one of the most important articles to be supplied with is
a strong pair of kid gloves to guarantee the hands from the scratches and cuts which they are certain to receive if unprotected from the prickly leaves of Holly or from the binding wire. Although I recommend strong kid gloves, I do not mean them to be thick or in any way clumsy, as, if that were the case, it would be impossible to do any of the fine work—such as letters in single leaves— neatly. Having thus alluded to the different materials required, let me now direct attention to the manner in which particular designs are manufactured.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Poem

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

[Read at Thanksgiving Service in Waverly Church.]

All hail, thou grand Festival! glad are the hands
That crown thee with blossoms, and joyous the bands
Round thy tables of plenty, thine altars of praise,
Where the millions have gathered, their anthems to raise.

Thanksgiving for blessings a century old;
Ah, well may our hearts in their fulness unfold
As we wait on the threshold of an era sublime,
The pride of the nations, the marvel of time.

We join the glad anthems that tremble and ring
From ocean to ocean in praise of our King,
And then a new altar of gratitude rear
For blessings peculiar, vouchsafed to us here.

No temple more sacred than ours, to-day,
Nor feet ever readier to tread the glad way
To the Holy of Holies, to gratefully raise
Our prayers of thanksgiving, our peans of praise.
One year with its mercies; recount them to-day,
These love-laden mercies that garland our way,
The year that began with foreboding and fears,
Whose bow in the clouds was prayer shining through tears.
Ah! the shadows were dark that were over us then,
And we looked lor the "lining of silver," in vain;
Our faltering faith scarce could pilot us through;
Our courage was waning, our numbers were few.

Then came to our rescue, (Heaven sent her this way,)
Our sister, God honored, we bless her to-day,
Her hands held the sickle for the reapers to come,
And we shouted together the glad "harvest home."

Unstop the glad organ, send strain after strain,
'Till these old walls shall echo and echo again
With an anthem more glorious, a thousand times o'er
Than ever has rung through its portals before.

For Heaven has bent till the sun of its love
Has tinged these dull walls like the glory above,
And the wing of the seraph has rustled, I ween,
The darkness of sin and God's sunlight, between.

The young man and maiden, and life in its prime,
And the child in the freshness of life's sweet spring-time,
And the husband and wife, blest bethrothal ta share,
Have knelt at the altar for pardon and prayer.

There are voices to-day in thanksgiving and song
That were silent and tuneless in years that are gone,
And the shout of the angels has sounded again
As they wrote on the fair book of life each new name.

But a shepherd was asked, lest the lambs lose their way,
And the flock should be scattered, and wander astray,
And now to the prayer " Lord, by whonq wilt thou send?"
We greeted our brother as pastor and friend.

So we gather to-day in this home ot our God,
With a greeting for loved ones anear and abroad,
And as here, with our greetings and gladness we come,
We would we might welcome each wanderer home.

How I love the old custom, grown dearer with time.
The genuine thanksgiving of "Auld Lang Syne,"

When the family, wide scattered, back thronging would come
To meet the warm kiss and the s,weet welcome home.

When the old-fashioned table with dainties was spread,
And father sat down in his place at the head
With his family around him, once children at home,
With a plate in reserve for the wandering one.

And the mother's eye glistened as they drew round the board,
And the father's voice choked in the blessing implored,
With a prayer for the "wanderer" echoed by all.
As they hoped for his coming and longed for his call.

Such the olden " thanksgiving" remembered and blest,
That points to a grander re-union at last,
When the children shall come from the West and the East
To song and rejoicing, to welcome and feast.

O! to hear the "Come in" from the royal pearl-gate
Where the Father for each of his children shall wait,
While the bright hills of glory shall echo and ring,
As they welcome the long coming wanderer in.

All Hail! then, Thanksgiving, like mile-posts that stand
Each, in turn drawing nearer some city at hand,
So ye are the waymarks that yearly ascend
Toward a glorious thanksgiving that never shall end.
Source: For Friendship's Sake ©1882

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1882 Coat Fashions

Okay so it's cold in Florida this morning (last Wednesday when I was putting together this blog post) so I thought winter fashions might be in order. There are eleven coat choices below. What's your character going to wear?