Household Recipes

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The Webster County Gazette: April 26, 1878

Household Recipes

Lemon Jelly Cake

Two cups sugar, two thirds cup butter, half cup of water cold, three and a half cups flour, two teaspoonsful baking powder, whites of seven eggs. For jelly between each layer, two eggs, two grated lemons, one cup sugar, small piece of butter. If the rind of your lemon is bitter, do not use the rind. Cook and stir.

To Prepare Lard to Keep Through the Summer

To one gallon of lard put one ounce of sal soda dissolved in a gill of water. Do not fill your kettles more than half full, for it will foam and perhaps boil over. No other water is required than what the soda is dissolved in. When it is done it will be very clear, and will keep two years. Strain through a coarse cloth and set away.

A Cheap Pudding

Select two deep earthen dishes, fill one with tart apples cut fine and half a pint of water or less. Cover the apples with a tender crust, then turn the empty dish over it and cook fifteen or twenty minutes in a hot oven. Do not remove the cover until the moment the pudding is to be eaten, and have it done at the right time. Serve with cream and sugar, or other sauce.

Baked Ham

Make a thick paste of flour and water (not boiled) and cover the entire ham with it, bone and all, put in a pan, on a spider or two muffin rings or anything that will keep it an inch from the bottom and bake in a hot oven. If a small ham, fifteen minutes to a pound, if large twenty minutes. The oven should be hot when put in. The paste forms a hard crust around the ham, and the skin comes off with it. Try this and you will never cook a ham in any other way. (Editor’s note: The words in italics are my best guess, as the copy was obscured.)

To Boil Rice

Rice to be used as a vegetable, should never be served mushy. The grains should be separate. Wash the rice in two or three waters until it is perfectly white and clean. To every cupful of rice add one and one half cupsful of water and a little salt. Boil until you see little dimples on the top; take off the cover and push the pipkin (in which it should be boiled) one side on the range or stove, where it will keep hot but not cook, until the moisture evaporates. Don’t stir it unless you wish to use it as a poultice.

Selecting Flour

First look to the color; if it is white, with a yellowish colored tint, buy it; If it is white with a bluish cast, or with white specs in it, refuse it. Second examine its adhesiveness – wet and knead a little of it between your fingers – it is works soft an sticky it is poor. Third, throw a little lump of dried flour against a smooth surface; if it falls like powder it is bad. Fourth, squeeze some of the flour tightly in your hand, if it retains the shape given by the pressure, that, too, is a good sign. It is safe to buy flour that will stand these tests.

Recipe for Preserving Eggs

Take of good salt one half pint; unslacked (sic) lime a piece the size of a tea cup; put both in a jar or tub; pour into the vessel two gallons of boiling water; let it stand  till perfectly cool then put in your eggs. Be sure they are  fresh and clean. Care must be taken not to crack any of them in putting them in, as they will spoil immediately, and spoil the others. Keep the eggs entirely covered with the brine and keep in a cool place, the cooler the better, if they don’t freeze. Two much salt will harden the yolkes. I have heard of eggs being kept good for two years in this way, by a commission merchant. – Mrs. G.A.D.

(Editor’s note:

  • Sal soda is sodium carbonite.
  • A gill is about 4 ounces.
  • According to Wikipedia, a pipkin is an earthenware cooking pot used for cooking over direct heat from coals or a wood fire. It has a handle and three feet.
  • I don’t recommend using the four methods for testing flour before buying – it won’t make  you popular in the local grocery stores.
  • Unslaked lime is calcium oxide.)


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