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Hygienic and Scientific Cooking
January 17, 2014 3:04 PM   Subscribe

"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
posted by The Whelk (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wonder how much Victorian "dyspepsia" was actually foodborne illness from lack of refrigeration and constipation from lack of dietary fibre.
posted by Ouisch at 3:17 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


"Many complain that they cannot drink milk without its disagreeing with them. The common reason why milk is not digested readily is that it is taken too rapidly into the stomach, where it becomes one solid mass, difficult of digestion."
...or lactose intolerance.
posted by Ouisch at 3:21 PM on January 17


Tapioca veal soup reads like one of the stupidest ways to make use of your spare veal and tapioca pearls.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:50 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


...or lactose intolerance.

Or problems caused by spoilage from a lack of refrigeration and/or contamination from poor sanitary conditions.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:15 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, their waffle recipe and broiled bluefish are both actually pretty spot on. Although they do advocate leaving cracked eggs out overnight, which is a mistake. And now I know that next time I have insomnia, I just need to eat more lettuce. And now I know macaroni is a vegetable. I feel better already.
posted by Hactar at 6:51 PM on January 17


All those recipes for oysters make you realize how much more common and inexpensive they must have been.

Turtles and pigeons though - that's zombie apocalypse food, far as I'm concerned.
posted by EinAtlanta at 8:08 PM on January 17


And now I know that next time I have insomnia, I just need to eat more lettuce.

I imagine her lettuce had more lettuce opium activity than ours does.
posted by jamjam at 8:42 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Time Table for Cooking Vegetables.

All green vegetables must be washed thoroughly in cold water, and then dropped into water just beginning to boil. Most of them will be improved by having a tablespoonful of salt added to the water at first. The time for boiling each is as follows : — White potatoes, boiled, 30 minutes ; white potatoes, baked, 45 minutes ; sweet potatoes, boiled, 45 minutes ; sweet potatoes, baked, 60 minutes ; green peas, boiled, 20 to 40 minutes ; shelled beans, boiled, 60 minutes ; string beans, boiled, 1 to 2 hours ; green corn, boiled, 25 to 60 minutes ; asparagus, boiled, 15 to 30 minutes; spinach, boiled, 1 hour; tomatoes, fresh, 1 hour ; tomatoes, canned, 1 hour ; cabbage, 1 to 2 hours ; dandelion greens, 2 to 3 hours ; cauliflower, 1 to 2 hours ; beet greens, 1 hour ; onions, 1 to 2 hours ; beets, 1 to 5 hours ; yellow turnips, 1 to 2 hours ; parsnips, 1 to 2 hours ; carrots, 1 to 2 hours ; white turnips, 45 to 60 minutes ; dried lima beans, 2 hours
(soak over night) ; squash, 1 hour.


What on earth did vegetables ever do to these people to deserve this treatment?
posted by nev at 8:21 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Sometimes you read period vegetarian cookbooks and feel so very very sad for the people writing them.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on January 18



Turtles and pigeons though - that's zombie apocalypse food, far as I'm concerned.


Fired Squab in plum sauce is delicious however.
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 AM on January 18


What on earth did vegetables ever do to these people to deserve this treatment?

That's a weird list. Some of the times are basically ok, like for the potatoes. But boiling spinach for an hour? Even if it was some kind of ancestral tough field spinach, you are still going to end up with green mush. You may as we'll just start with pond algae and save yourself all that boiling.


Turtles and pigeons though - that's zombie apocalypse food, far as I'm concerned.


Turtles and pigeons are both nicely tasty. I wouldn't want to eat a city pigeon because of yuck, and ethically I'd put turtles off limits, but how both taste is not a problem at all.

Sometimes you read period vegetarian cookbooks and feel so very very sad for the people writing them.

The worst are the ones from the 1970s, because by then there was no legitimate excuse for bland and mushy vegetarian food. In 1870 an author could get a pass for not knowing about cooking in India or Italy, say, but a century later there just isn't any reason other than sheer perversity for all those books of "nutloaf" and sad sprout salads.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:28 AM on January 18


Actually now that I tnk about it, the "old fashioned" way of cooking vegetables ( boil them until they are a grey mush) also turns up in " Half A Grapefruit." sooo why was it common knowledge that eating unsoiled vegetables would cause indigestion?
posted by The Whelk at 2:57 PM on January 18


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