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To Preserve Lime-Juice

Early attempts to used preserved juices to halt the progression of scurvy were unsuccessful due to the fact that cooking and storage destroy the vitamin C in fresh fruits and vegetables. Still, the preserved juices were very popular for cooking and mixed drinks.

limes

In her book, A New System of Domestic Cookery (1806), Eliza Rundell offers the following recipe for preserving Lime-Juice.

To Preserve Lime-Juice
Take any quantity of fresh lime-juice, strain it through a fine cloth, put it into an earthen vessel, and evaporate in a sand-bath, or over a gentle fire, constantly stirring it until it acquires the consistence of a thick syrup. This, kept in small bottles, will for years preserve the flavor of the lime. Tamarind-juice may be preserved the same way, and will be found exceedingly useful, being excellent in punch or sherbet, and invaluable as a fever drink.

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Make A Mob Cap

Make a mob cap

The Mob Cap, synonymous with the early American “founding mothers” Martha Washington and Betsy Ross, was actually a fashionable accessory worn by many women throughout the Georgian Era. Named for it’s association with the French “mobs” of that Revolution, it could be as exquisite or serviceable as the the wearer could afford or require.

The Washington Family. Martha, at right, in her decorated "Mob Cap".
“Washington’s Family” by Edward Savage, painted between 1789 and 1796, shows (from left to right): George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis, Martha, and an enslaved servant: probably William Lee or Christopher Sheels .

 

Jane Austen, herself, was fond of caps and wrote to her sister,

“I have made myself two or three caps to wear of evenings since I came home, and they save me a world of torment as to hairdressing which at present gives me no trouble beyond washing and brushing, for my long hair is always plaited up out of sight, and my short hair curls well enough to want no papering.”

So, how do we make a mob cap?

To make your own cap, here’s a video by ‘Modesty Matters’. It’s simple without embellishment but is a great starting point. Have fun.

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Rural Residences: Designs for Cottages, Small Villas and Other Buildings 1817

One of the services Ackerman’s Repository of the Arts provided for it’s readers (both at the time of publication and today) was the inclusion of colored fashion plates depicting not only the styles prevalent in Women’s wear, but also in home fashion. Under normal circumstances, each issue would include at least one depiction of home furnishings (drapery, furniture, fire places, etc.) However, in 1816, a new series was designed, entitled Architectural Hints. When this series concluded in 1817, these illustrations were published together in 1818, in a separate book in titled “Rural Residences Consisting of a Series of Designs for Cottages, Small Villas and Other Ornamental Buildings”. The drawings included in this series delightfully depict country living and might have been drawn straight from the pages of Sense and Sensibility, with their cottages, vicarage, and even out buildings.

“I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me and be happy. I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage.”
―Robert Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility

Enjoy the following drawings and blueprints from Ackerman’s 1817 run.  Right click on each image and choose “view image” for a full size view.

Ackermann's Repository - 1821 Poultry House plate 19

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Mead: Home Brewed Honey-Wine

mead

A recipe for, and overview of, mead

Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, grains or hops. (Hops act as a preservative and produce a bitter, beer-like flavor.) The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage’s fermentable sugar is derived from honey.  It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.

A Homemade Orange Mead.
A Homemade Orange Mead.

Mead is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. “It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks,” Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat has speculated, “antedating the cultivation of the soil.” Hornsey considers archaeological evidence of it ambiguous, however McGovern and other archaeological chemists consider the presence of beeswax markers and gluconic acid, in the presence of other substances known to ferment, to be reasonably conclusive evidence of the use of honey in ancient fermented beverages.

Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a case for the invention of mead as a marker of the passage “from nature to culture.” Mead has played an important role in the beliefs and mythology of some peoples. One such example is the Mead of Poetry, a mead of Norse mythology crafted from the blood of the wise being Kvasir which turns the drinker into a poet or scholar. The terms “mead” and “honey-wine” are often used synonymously.

Continue reading Mead: Home Brewed Honey-Wine