Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Thanksgiving Day Without Turkeys

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 26, 1903

Thanksgiving Day Without Turkeys

To Take Place in Fort Dodge This Year if Present Scarcity Continues.

The Price Will Be High

Scarcity Due to Wet Weather – Other Items of Interest in Markets.

Thanksgiving turkeys will be scarce and high this year, dealers saying that they look for an unwonted famine in the supply of the birds which are the primary requisite to every well ordered Thanksgiving dinner table.

The wet, rainy, chilly weather this summer has been responsible for so much mischief already, it is said to have well nigh exterminated the young turkeys, who are unable to make much headway in dampness. For this reason not near as many as usual of the popular birds are roaming the fields and woods this fall.

Twenty cents a pound was the average price last season but housewives cannot expect to buy them for that figure this fall. Fortunately this condition of affairs is only local, that is in Iowa. The eastern states where the country’s chief supply is raised, has had fine turkey weather this summer, so that the American people in general will not on Thanksgiving have to forego the delights of  the fowl which when placed in a platter on the festive board makes such a harmonious companion piece to cranberry sauce.


Potato Famine Has Been Broken

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 21, 1903

Potato Famine Has Been Broken

And Joy Reigns in the Kitchens of Fort Dodge Once More.

Is Dry Enough to Dig Them

And As a Consequence Plenty of Mealy Tubers Come on Market.

Joy reigns supreme in the hearts of the Fort Dodge housewife today – the potato famine is broken.

After a week’s almost total absence, the ever edible tubers are again with us and once more occupy a prominent place on the boarding house table, as well as on the bill of fare of the ordinary home dinner table.

As has been stated, potatoes were off the market for a while last week, after the long continued rainy weather, and were hard to secure during the latter part of the week, but today murphies may again be had without any particular standin (sic) with the grocery man.

Beginning at a dollar a bushel ($24), the first of last week and steadily advancing until they could not be purchased for love or money, and closing the week at $1.25 ($30) potatoes were scarce all week, but the price has dropped to $1 today and dealers are looking forward to a further decline.

The return of ideal weather has besides saving the corn crop, brought about the return of the potato. The recent famine was due entirely to the rains, it being impossible to dig potatoes in damp ground, and almost similar conditions had prevailed in Minnesota, where Iowa receives most of her supply. Now that the ground is in condition to be worked, farmers are bringing many into the city and a car of Minnesotas was received today at one of the local commission houses, so that no one need be without potatoes today.

The crop is said to be bad in this vicinity this year, the wet weather having rotted many of the tubers, but a good harvest is looked for in Minnesota and the western states, so that the present figure of $1 per bushel can not continue long.


Many Victims of Soda Water Habit

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 18, 1903

Many Victims of Soda Water Habit

Fountain Habit is Almost as Hard to break as That Acquired at the Bar

Druggist Tells of Increase

Of Soda Drinkers This Summer, saying That More Soft Drinks Are Being Sold in Fort Dodge This Summer Than Ever Before

Fort Dodge lovers of soda water concoctions still continue to throng to their favorite refreshment resorts altho the weather during the last week would not seem a strong incentive. Those who are fond of creations such as “Hooligan’s Flip” Dust Chop Suey Sundae patronize the drug stores solely in search of such preparations. But the fact that the soda fountains are doing more business this year than ever before is not so much the stern necessity of quenching the thirst but the habit once formed by the fountain devotee is seemingly almost as hard to break as the one formed by the perpetual booze fighter for alcoholic beverages.

The fact is people, men as well as women are more restless in the summer. When they can think of nothing else to do they repair to the nearest soda fountain and there pass away the time downing some mixture prepared by the fizz water clerk.

“It’s got to be a steady drink,” explained the local druggist yesterday after he had declared that more soda water has been drunk in Fort Dodge this summer than ever before in spite of the cool weather. “They drink it now because afternoon is warm,” he continued, “and they drink it next day because the morning is cool. No doubt a very how season would have increased the receipts at the fountains; but the situation isn’t what it was ten years ago, when every chilly day in the summer meant practically no soda water sales at all.

“This visiting the fountain is a habit of course. But humanity and especially the American humanity must have its little habits, we can safely say for the soda water tipplers that their indulgence is usually harmless. A man and particularly a women may take too much iced stuff; too much sugar, too many nuts and other rich things as a soda water fountain. But after all it’s merely the same danger to which the community is exposed daily at it’s (sic) dinner table. And there are few persons either, who find it convenient to drink soda water more than once or twice a day; the fact that you can’t carry the fountain home is a might good thing for you and for us. As to the adulterants the poisonous preservatives that you read about, that’s an abuse confined to the cheap, second-rate fountains. A first class concern does too much business, has too much as stake, to trifle with its customer’s health.

“Yes, hitting the fizz water is a habit and a growing one. I can’t say tho that he habit has increased any more, proportionately among the women than among the men. It’s true that many girls look on a “sundae” after the matinee as an artistic and necessary part of the play – the curtain is pulled down, to their young eyes by the boy with the white jacket. It can’t be doubted, either, that women console themselves at the fountain after shopping in bad luck, and celebrate at the same spot, their victories over the girl behind the bargain counter much as the lads on change keep up their equilibrium of soul by prescriptions from the bar. But the soda menu has gained popularity quite as rapidly among the men. Many a business man is a regular visitor at our fountain to day who would no more have called for a ‘Pineapple Frappe’ five years ago than he would have put his hat on with a pin.

“Among the male customers an egg phosphate is probably the favorite drink. It’s nutritious, a real tonic and quite harmless. Fellows come in after that as they would call at a saloon for a ‘life preserver’ in the morning or a ‘bracer’ later in the day. But the ladies smile the brightest when they’re meeting an appointment with a ‘sundae.’ I think I have guessed the reason. There isn’t any soda in a sundae, so the contrary creatures like to buy it at a soda fountain.

“As a matter of fact – tho I wouldn’t want the girls to know it – anybody can serve sundae anywhere. With a pail of ice cream and a few bottles of syrup, chocolate and fresh fruit; any person could furnish very good sundaes on the street corner. Any woman could put things up at home to entertain her friends. Indeed a sundae is, strictly speaking a cafe dish and it originated some years ago in a big Chicago restaurant. At present the ‘nut sundae’ is the thing for which sweethearts are forgetting their respective ‘noblest men in the world’; and the nut sundae is merely a spoonful of ice cream underneath a mixture of chocolate cream and nuts.

“But only a reformer who views with horror has to be told that our fountains supply something besides eggs phosphates and sundaes. It’s a neck-and-neck race with the barkeeper and the fountain boy to see which one will have the most glorious inspirations. At some Fort Dodge fountains you could surround a new drink every day from now until the middle of next August. Altho the sale of cold drinks fall off in the winter, they are still be had at some fountains, and hot drinks come in, of course, with snowstorms.”


A Banana Famine Seems Imminent

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 10, 1905

A Banana Famine Seems Imminent

If Yellow Fever Continues There May Be a Shortage of the Product.

Unless the yellow fever quarantine is raised within three weeks, said a well-known Fort Dodge fruit dealer today there is an excellent chance of this city as well as many others thru the Mississippi valley having the novel experience of a banana famine.

New Orleans is the port at which the entire supply of bananas is landed for the Mississipp (sic) valley. The fruit is shipped in on board ships and unloaded by the thousands of bunches on the big wharves at New Orleans. From there the Illinois Central railway ships the products of the Honduras and Nicaraguan groves to the northern cities and distributes where ordered.

At the present time it is said the market is beginning to be affected and in a few weeks a shortage of the worst kind may result. Bananas have gone up a few cents on the Chicago market within the last week and higher raises may be looked for at any time. For the present Fort Dodge is not affected and unless the quarantine hangs on for at least three weeks the city will still have its supply of bananas.


Meat Has Reached Its Highest Mark

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 8, 1904

Meat Has Reached Its Highest Mark

Fort Dodge Butchers Say Advance in Prices Will Now Cease

First Beef Received Today

Armour Packing Co. Send in Monday Morning Car as Usual – Chickens and Turkeys Have Gone Up in Sympathy With Other Meats.

Meat, which has been steadily advancing ever since the strike began, is now, according to the local butchers, at the highest point it is expected to reach. For this the public will be truly thankful, as the choice cuts are now higher than they have been in the city for several years. The usual Monday morning’s car arrived in the city this morning on time for the first time since the strike was called and it is thought the packing houses are getting in shape to handle the trade once more.

Have Sold All Home Dressed Beef.

For the past two weeks nearly all of the butchers in the city have been compelled to supply the trade altogether with home dressed beef, doing all their own killing. They have had the greatest difficulty in supplying their customers, as there are so very few cattle in the country that are fit to kill.

“Yes,” said Charles Wolverton of Wolverton Bros. meat market, th is morning to a Messenger representative, “I think meat has gone as high as it will. I believe we will be better able to cope with the situation from now on. This morning the regular Monday morning car arrived in the city from the Armour Packing company, bring practically the first beef from that firm that has arrived in Fort Dodge since the strike began. From this we infer that the packers are getting in shape to handle their regular business again. We have been supplying the trade for the past few weeks almost entirely from local stock, and we have found it very difficult to find cattle that were fit to kill. There is never a day passes that we are not offered cattle, but on driving out to look at them we generally find they are far from what they should be to make good meat. The farmers are anxious to sell and there are plenty of cattle, but there has been no grain to feed them, and the grass, their only food, has not been fattening this year, so really good cattle are very scarce.

Chickens and Turkeys Up.

Chickens and turkeys have gone up rapidly in sympathy with the advance of beef and pork and are now selling at about the price they brought earlier in the season when they were considered more of a luxury. Neither turkeys or chickens are of very good size or quality as a general thing and acceptable birds are rather hard to secure.


Meat Famine in the City Monday

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 14, 1903

Meat Famine in the City Monday

Non-Arrival of a Shipment From Omaha Causes Shortage Which is Felt All Over City.

Markets Are Well Supplied

Peculiar Instance When Meat Market Proprietors Depend for Supply on One Shipment Which Fails to Arrive – Epicures Go to Bed Hungry.

A genuine meat famine existed in Fort Dodge Monday. A canvass of the meat markets yesterday afternoon in search of a tender steak or succulent roast resulted only in obtaining such replies at “Sorry but we are clean out.” “We haven’t got a pork chop in the house.” It is said that the only thing remaining in the meat line in the local butcher shops was a strong of bologna or a half a pound of wieners.

The famine, which was a stern reality for the many working people in the city who depend on meat at the chief means of subsistance (sic), was apparent to every market in the city. The cause was the non-arrival of the car of meat from the Armour Packing company of Omaha. The car in question was scheduled to arrive in the city on Monday mornings and seldom fails to come a (sic) the appointed time. In some way however the car missed connections Monday and the dealers who rely on this car for yesterday morning’s supply were disappointed in their expectations, as were many lovers of porterhouse who were doomed to be disappointed when they sat down to Monday evening’s repasts. The car is known as an “open car.” In other words, dealers may take from it whatever amount they need, it not being necessary to place orders ahead before the shipment leaves Omaha.

Ordinarily the butchers would not have suffered, but unfortunately every shop in the city was particularly low during the latter part of last week, and therefore had planned to secure an extra supply this week.

The delayed car, together with two other cars from other companies which regularly arrive on Tuesday, came in this morning so that all the markets are well stocked today.

With two exceptions, all of the meat dealers in the city rely entirely on packing house meats for their supply. These two firms, however, were both short on Monday morning and had expected to stock up from the Armour car. After ten Monday there was no meat to be secured in the city.


A Bread War Has Commenced

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 22, 1903

A Bread War Has Commenced

Fort Dodge Bakers are at Outs Over the Delivery Wagon Question

Price Cutting May Be Expected

Columbia Restaurant Has Dropped From 3 Loaves for 10 Cents to 2 for 5 Cents

For (sic) Dodge is having a bread war which will vie in fierceness with the sewing machine war, if present indications are followed to their logical conclusion. As a result, Fort Dodge people may expect to have cheap bread for some little time to come.

Hostilities have been pending for some little time and have grown out of the action of some of the bakers in putting delivery wagons on the street.

At that timeo (sic), bread was selling for five cents a loaf for six for a quarter. Soon after that, some of the bakers who were without wagons, lowered the price of their bread to 10 cents for three loaves, claiming that in this way, they were making no more money than their brethren who had the expense of wagons to bear, and were charging 5 cents a loaf or six loaves for a quarter.

This caused other price cutting until finally a meeting was called on Wednesday evening at which an effort was made by the bakers who do not deliver bread to have the delivery wagons taken off, and sell the bread thru grocery stores or from the bakeries, as the straight price of five cents or six loaves for a quarter. Some of the bakers with wagons agreed to this, but others refused, and the meeting broke up, after a protracted session, without accomplishing anything.

The first gun in the bread war was fired this morning, when the Columbia restaurant began to sell at the rate of two loaves for 5 cents, dropping from three loaves for ten cents, which they had been previously charging. Counter action on the part of the other bakeries came and the situation will probably become interesting within a short time.


Planting Time in Earnest

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 14, 1906

Planting Time in Earnest

Seed Men Sell Large Quantities – Everyone Has an Early Garden in The Back Yard.

“Planting time is on in earnest,” said a groceryman who handles large quantities of garden seeds. “The sales this year have been the best for three seasons. Two times my stock of seeds has been nearly exhausted and has had to be replenished. Nearly everybody has at least a little back ward (sic) garden where they can spend their spare time and which gives them pride in its appearance. Some peculiar things happen in selling garden seeds. Though nothing as ludicrous at that old story of the man who wanted to plant dried apples ever happened here, yet I can recall a good many occasions where the greenness of the purchaser was pretty apparent. I’ve had them ask if egg plant grew on a tree or a vine, if watermelon planted right away wouldn’t be ready to eat by July 4th, if it was possible to raise prunes in this climate and lots more I can’t think of.”


Household Recipes

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The Webster County Gazette: May 9, 1878

Household Recipes

Rice Pudding. – To each quart of milk one tablespoon of rice, sugar to taste; bake three hours. Frequent stirring makes the pudding creamy.

Boiled Batter Pudding. – One pint of milk, two eggs, one ounce of butter, one teaspoonful salt, eight heaping tablespoonfuls flour; boil one and a quarter hours.

Macaroons. – One and one-quarter pounds powdered sugar, one pound sweet almonds bleached and pounded to a paste, whites of six eggs, grated peel of two lemons.

Imperial Cake. – One pound of flour, one of sugar, one of butter, one of raisins, blanched almonds, split, ten eggs, three-quarters of a ound of citron, one wine-glass of brandy, and one of rose-water.

Snow Sponge Cake. – One cupful of flour, a little heated, one and one-half cupfuls sugar, two teaspoonfuls cream tartar, mixed with flour (no soda), whites of ten eggs. This makes a very white, beautiful cake.

Dried Apple Jelly. – To one quart of apples put four quarts of water; let them stand all night; boil till the goodness is out of hte apples; add a pint of sugar to every quart of juice, and boil till it comes to a jelly.

Indian Pudding. – One flat cup yellow Indian meal, one quart boiling milk poured upon it; allow it to cool; add two eggs, well beaten, and one teaspoon baking powder; a metingue (sic) top, if liked, bake twenty minutes.

Baked Suet Pudding. – One-half pound beef suet, chopped fine; one pint milk, three eggs; salt to taste, flour enough to make thin batter. Bake half an hour and serve hot. Sauce: One and a half cups powdered sugar; tablespoonful butter, white of one egg, one teaspoonful vanilla.

Molasses Fruit Cake. – One large cup sugar, one of molasses, one small cup sour milk, one teaspoonful soda dissolved in the milk, one-half pound butter, three eggs, one and a half pounds raising and currants, one-quarter pound citron, one nutmeg, one tablespoonful cloves.

Blanc Mange. – One package gelatin, two quarts of milk poured boiling hot on the gelatine (sic), which must previously have been soaked one hour in a pint of water; add twelve teaspoonfuls crushed sugar. Stir all until quite dissolved; then pour into molds and stand in a cool place.

Yorkshire Pudding. – One quart of milk, six eggs, a little salt, and as much flour as will make a stiff batter; pour into a dripping pan (meat pan), putting a few pieces of dripping on it here and there; bake for an hour. In Yorkshire, where the meat turns on a spit in front of the fire, the pudding is placed underneath the beef and receives the gravy as it drips.

Beef Sandwich. – Scrape a little raw beef from a tender, juicy piece, and spread it on a thin slice of buttered bread; season with pepper and salt, and cover it with another slice of buttered bread; divide it into small pieces of equal shape and size, and strip off the crust. Raw beef is very nutritious, and easily digested, and if scraped very fine, is exceedingly nutritious.


The Progress of Butter Making

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 20, 1904

The Progress of Butter Making

Evolution of Methods Employed by Farmers in Getting This Product.

A Great Advance is Made

By Making their Own Butter Farmers Save About 25 Per Cent.

During the last few years the dairy business in the rural districts thruout Iowa, Illinois and other western states has passed thru a great revolution. The drudgery and inconvenience in connection with keeping milch (sic) cows a few years ago has passed, and now up-to-date methods are employed by nearly every farmer engaged in the dairy business, whether on a large or on a small scale.

It has not been many years since the milk was was strained into crocks or shallow tin pans, where it was left until sour, when the cream was skimmed off. The cream was then turned into a stone dash church, or perhaps into the more modern barrel or paddle churn, after which the tedious work of turning the fat into butter began.

The boys and girls who grew up on a farm a few years ago will remember the tedious hours that were spent in some spot in a seemingly vain effort to make the butter gather. If the cream was not of a right temperature, the task was a weary one.

After the butter had been gathered the tedious task of working it, usually without ice, occupied the attention of the housewife. The butter was placed in stone jars and set away in the coolest part of the cellar. Once a week the farmer would drive to market with the butter, many times traveling a good many miles thru the heat of the summer, the butter carefully covered with green leaves to keep it cool. The butter was traded for provisions, after which the farmer would wend his weary way home in the dust and heat of an August day.

This period was followed by the establishment of the creameries, but of a much different type from those which are now so numerous in Iowa, Illinois and the great dairying states. The milk was not delivered by the farmers to the creamery, but drivers for the butter making establishmen (sic) could make a tour of many miles, gathering up the cream. This was done every alternate day. The farmers were paid so much an inch for the cream, which was measured by a glass in the top of the can.

The old fashioned creameries were later converted into the more modern establishments with separators and the numerous improved methods of butter making. The farmers load their milk into the wagons early in the morning, and drive many miles to the separator, making additional work for themselves, but saving their good wives much drudgery.

These separators became numerous, and soon they were to be found at intervals of a few miles on every country road. The patronage of these institutions was marvelous at first, and the companies realized a good income on their money, but like many other kinds of busines, the field became overcrowded and many creameries suspended, and a new and still better method of dairying was introduced.

After the cream separators had been perfected with a capacity of several thousand pounds of milk per hour, the attention of the farmers were turned to smaller machiens of a similar character, which could be operated at home by hand or by some light power. Farmers invested in these reluctantly at first, but as soon as one appeared in a neighborhood and was pronounced a success, others invested – for it must be remembered that today farmers are earnest advocates of labor-saving devices – until at present nearly every farmer that keeps any great number of cows has his own private creamery, equipped in a manner to do first class work.

In a few minutes the product from a dozen cows can be separated, and thus the trip to the creamery, which took from one to two hours, is obviated. The rich cream runs from the separator thru a spout, while from the other side the skimmed milk, robbed entirely of butter fat, streams from another spout. The separator holds about a gallon of milk and revolves very rapidly. The cream, being lighter, goes to the top and escapes thru a small hole, while the heavier milk runs out thru an opening at the bottom.

In some instances the cream is shipped direct to milk depots in the cities, where it is sold, while others prefer to make butter and deliver it to their patrons in the cities, who are willing to pay fancy prices for the superior quality which is manufactured by the private creamery.

By making their own butter farmers are enabled to increase the income from their cows at least 25 per cent and in some instances even more than this figure.