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

Baked Orange Pudding

Ingredients – 6oz of stale sponge cake or bruised ratafias, 6 oranges, 1 pint of milk, 6 eggs, ½ lb of sugar,  paste. Mode – bruise the sponge cake or…

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To Make Macaroons

Take a pound of almonds, let them be scal’d, blanched and thrown into cold water, then dry them in a cloth, and pound them in a mortar, moisten them with…

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Ginger & Orange Water Ice

Pound 8 ounces of preserved ginger, mix it with one quart of orange ice water; pass it through a tammy and freeze.  To make orange ice water – 1 pint…

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Banana Cream Ice

Peel 6 ripe bananas and pound them to a pulp, add the juice of 2 lemons and a glass of curacoa. Pass through a tammy cloth and finish with 1…

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Lime Marmalade Cream Ice

Mix a teacupful of marmalade with 1 pint of cream or unsweetened custard and the juice of two of the fruit and 1 wineglassful of fruit syrup. Pass through a…

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A Westminster Fool

Take a penny-loaf, cut it in thin slices, wet them with sack, lay them in the bottom of a dish, take a quart of cream, beat up six eggs, two…

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Potted Stilton

To pot cheese- cut down half a pound of good sound mellow stilton, with two ounces of fresh butter; add a little mace and made mustard. Beat this well in…

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To Pot Mushrooms

Take of the best mushrooms, and rub them with a woollen cloth; those that will not rub, peel, and take out the gills, and throw them into water, as you…

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Spinach with Cream & Eggs

‘Spinage’ with Cream and Eggs This being a pretty genteel dish, it is a pity to leave it out. Scald it in a morsel of butter and water and salt,…

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To Make Fine Sausages

Take six pounds of good pork, free from skin and grisles and fat, cut it very small, and beat it in a mortar till it is very fine; shread six…

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Koobbe (bread stuffed with meat)

We have been favoured with a receipt for this savoury preparation, which, at sea, in camp, on Indian hunting excursions, and long marches in India, is found to be very…

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Salads, the Victorian way

Of  Salads: Salad herbs are cooling and refreshing. They correct the putrescent tendency of animal food, and are anti-scorbutic. Salads are at any rate a harmless luxury where they agree…

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To Make Caraway Brandy

Steep an ounce of caraway-seeds and six ounces of sugar in a quart of brandy for nine days, and clear it off; it is a good cordial. Eliza Smith  …

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Sliced Beef & Wow Wow Sauce

Chop some parsley leaves very finely, quarter two or three pickled cucumbers, or walnuts, and divide them into small squares, and set them by ready; -put into a saucepan a…

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Vanilla Cream

Ingredients – 1 pint of milk, the yolks of 8 eggs, 6 oz. Of sugar, 1 oz of isinglass, flavouring to taste of essence of vanilla. Mode –  Put the…

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Cook books we like to use

Don’t be put off by these books being old – many of them are still available in modern editions, if you want to look at them further.   Eliza Acton…

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