Strange But True

Strange But True

  • Inexpressibles

    The name given to the tight trousers worn by some Regency gentlemen, such as the notorious Beau Brummell and his ‘dandy’ followers,  as they showed off their leg muscles.

  • What did Victoria do first

    after her coronation in 1837?  Have a parliamentary meeting?  Have tea with all the royal dignitaries?  No – she gave her dog, Dash, a bath.

     

  • Now that’s what we call a cake!

    Victoria and Albert’s wedding cake was a colossal 9 feet wide and weighed 300 pounds.

     

  • Victorian ladies’ knickers had no middle

    Once they got all those big dresses on, they couldn’t reach their knickers to pull them down, so they could stand over a potty to wee with these on instead.

     

  • Would you wee in your dining room?

    Victorian gentlemen did! Some dining rooms (like ours) had a special cupboard to house a chamber pot so all the gentlemen could go for a wee without leaving the table (once the ladies had left the room, of course!).

     

  • The last ducking stool to be used in England

    (in 1809) can still be seen not far from us in the Priory Church, Leominster, Herefordshire. It’s huge.

     

Handy Hints

Handy Hints

  • An insect trap

    Scoop out the inside of a turnip, scallop the edges, and place it downward in the earth. The insects will pass into it as a place of retreat through the holes, and the cucumbers, squashes, melons etc., may soon be clear of them.  1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Anti-magnetic properties of the onion

    The magnetic power of a compass needle, will be entirely discharged or changed by being touched with the juice of an onion.

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To clean gilt buckles, chains &c.

    Dip a soft brush in water, rub a little soap on it, and brush the article for a minute or two, then wash it clean, wipe it, and place it near the fire till dry, then brush it with burnt bread finely powdered. 1823

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To remove grease from books

    Lay upon the spoon a little magnesium or powdered chalk, and under it the same; set on it a warm flat iron, and as soon as the grease is melted, it will be all absorbed, and leave the paper clean. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Antidote against mice

    Gather wild mint, put it where you wish to keep them out, and they will not trouble you. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Keeping your kettle clean

    To prevent teakettles coating with lime – put the shell of an oyster in the teakettle and the lime will adhere to it, instead of coating the sides. 1852

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

Recipes

A Cheshire Pork-Pye

Take a loin of pork, skin it, cut it into stakes, season it with salt, nutmeg and pepper; make a good crust, lay a layer of pork, and then a…

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Salamongundy

Take two or three roman or cabbage lettice, and when you have washed them clean, swing the pretty dry in a cloth; the beginning at the open end, cut the…

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Curried Beef

Ingredients – A few slices of tolerably lean cold roast or boiled beef,  3oz of butter, 2 onions, 1 wineglassful of beer, 1 desert-spoonful of curry powder. Mode – cut…

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Punch a la Romaine

Make a good lemon ice, as for dessert, (or take any left). To one quart of ice put the white of three eggs, well beaten, and rum and brandy till…

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Orange Cream

Ingredients – 1 oz isinglass, 6 large oranges, 1 lemon, sugar to taste, water, ½ pint of good cream. Mode –  Squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemon; strain…

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Coffee

To make Coffee, by a simple and good method -Pour boiling water in the proportion of six cupfuls to one cupful of freshly ground coffee, but double the quantity for…

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Raspberry Jelly for a Shape

Put fresh-picked fruit into an earthenware mortar, with sifted sugar, mash them well. Put in a little water, run this through a jelly-bag, and stir in what you think a…

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Colliflowers Fry’d

Take two fine colliflowers, boil them in milk and water, the leave one whole, and pull the other to pieces, take half a pound of butter, with two spoonfuls of…

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A Devonshire Squab Pie

Make a good crust, cover the dish all over, put at the bottom a layer of sliced pippins, strew over them some sugar, then a layer of mutton stakes, cut…

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Gooseberry Fool

Take two quarts of gooseberries, set them on the fire in about a quart of water; when they begin to simmer, and turn yellow, and begin to plump, throw them…

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Pears Portuguese Fashion

Take three or four boncretiens or other good winter pears, pare them, cut them in two, and take out the choke, boil them in water only half an hour, put…

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Brockely in Sallad

Brockely is a pretty dish, by way of Sallad in the middle of the table. Boil it like asparagus, lay it in a dish, and beat up oil and vinegar,…

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Cold Boiled Cod Curry

A large fish comes in fine flakes is best. Fry the pieces in butter, with plenty of sliced onions, of a fine brown, and stew them in a little white…

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To make a Salmon Pye

Make a good puff-paste, and lay it in your pattipan, then take the middle piece of salmon, season it pretty high with pepper, salt, cloves and mace, cut it in…

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Lemons filled with orange jelly

First, with a tin cutter, make an incision in the stalk end of a lemon or orange and then with the handle-end of a teaspoon, proceed to work out all…

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Tomato catsup

Take six pounds of tomatoes, and sprinkle with salt; let them remain a day or two, then boil, and press through a course sieve or cullender. Put into the liquor…

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George Pudding

Boil as for rice pudding  four ounces of rice with a roll of lemon-peel. Mix this, when drained dry, with the pulp of a dozen boiled, roasted or baked apples,…

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Apple Cheesecakes

1/2 lb of apple pulp, 1/4 lb of sugar, 1/4 lb of butter, 4 eggs, the rind and juice of 1 lemon. Pare, core, and boil sufficient apples to make…

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