Post-Civil War and the Gilded Age added home-canning to the preservation practices, instead of just drying and pickling. This industrial age brought more gadgets into the kitchen, and began the abundance of store-bought processed foods.

1870s Kitchen.
1880s Kitchen.
1890s Kitchen.

The following articles contain details of this time period:

Book of Home Made Candies.

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1888: Hood’s Book of Home Made Candies, C. I. Hood Co., Proprietors of Hood’s Sarsaparilla, Lowell, Mass.


Text Sample:

The whole difficulty of candy making is in understanding the boiling of sugar, and the effects of certain things on the boiled sugar…. Sugar, when boiled to what is known as the “snap” or the “crack,” will remain clear if not stirred. If, however, it is disturbed, either by the dipping of nuts into it or by stirring, it will become cloudy, and perhaps go back to sugar. For this reason vinegar or other acid is added to the syrup, which to a large extent prevents the clouding, and enables it to be handled for different purposes without spoiling the appearance. Here are three rules to remember:

  • Avoid stirring or disturbing candy that is meant to be clear, more than can be helped.
  • Never, when pouring out boiled candy, scrape the saucepan over it, not allow any of the scrapings of the saucpan to fall into it.
  • Always use a thick saucepan, iron or enamelled, to boil sugar.

To Boil Sugar for Clear Candy
Put one pound fo the best quality granulated sugar in a saucepan with half a pint of water; stir well before they boil, so that the sugar may not sink and burn; when dissolve, stir no more; when the sugar boils and fine bubbles appear, begin to try it in cold water; drop a little from the end of a fork into the water. If it snaps like glass between the teeth it has reached what is commonly called the “crack,” and is ready to make many kinds of candy. If the boiling is continued longer it will reach the point called caramel, when it takes a yellow color, and must be at once drawn from the fire. Caramel is a useful degree; the next one, however, means burning, and very few seconds are enough to do it.

Fruit Candies
These are far better when made of pure fruit juice than when only flavored with extracts. Boil a pound of sugar to the crack, add two teaspoonfuls of fruit juice, such as cherry, raspberry or currant, then boil till a bead dropped on a greased tin hardens. Drop the hot candy in buttons on the tins, and when cold put in air-tight boxes.

These candies when god are never very cheap, and as for this reason they are frequently adulterated, it is worth while to learn how to make them.

Lemon Lozenges.
Soak one ounce of picked gum tragacanth for several hours in two ounces of tepid water, then when it is all quite tender wringit in a cloth; work this gum with the palm of the hand on a marble table or slab till it is very white and elastic; then gradually work in a pound and a half of confectioners’ sugar, and when the paste is firm and compact, add a teaspoon of oil of lemon and a few drops of acetic acid. Use this paste as you would dough, rolling it out with sugar in place of flour. When you have rolled it to the thickness of a nickel (or thicker if you wish), use a tin tube or cutter the size of a quarter, and stamp out the lozenges. As you do them, place them in rows on sugared baking sheets to dry in a warm place. When the first lot are stamped out, work up the trimmings, roll them out and use them up to the last bit.

Marshmallows Paste.
Soak half a pound of gum arabic in a pint of water, until soft. Add to it a pound of powdered sugar, stir all together in a double boiler, or in a saucepan set in another, until it is thick and white. Try it in water as soon as it thickens. If it forms a firm but not hard ball, it is done. Remove from the fire. If you want what is called “inflated” marshmallow, that is to say rather spongy, beat the whites of two eggs and add them gradually to the paste, then flavor with orange flower or rose; the former is generally used. The paste may be poured out on a pan or dish covered with corn-starch, and when cool it can be cut into squares and packed away in confectioners’ sugar till wanted. It will grow hard and dry in a few days.

Cocoanut Cream Bonbons
Grate some cocoanut fine. Mix it with as much of the boiled cream as will bind it into a paste, flavor with lemon or vanilla, make into small balls, part of which drop into white cream. The other part may bedipped into cream mixed with chocolate. To do this melt a piece of unsweetened chocolate in a cup with a teaspoonful of water. Mix this with enough cream to sweeten it, and use it for coating the rest of the cocoanut balls.

Purchase original booklet:

Original 1888 booklet is available, Hood’s Book of Home Made Candies. $24.00. The cooking booklet is in good condition, with paper creases, edges and corners bumped, spots, pencil price, mellowed paper. All pages present, 32-page booklet. Publisher: C. I. Hood Co. Select “Add to Cart.”

first dry flakes breakfast cereal, Cerealine Flakes.

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1888: New Cook Book for Cerealine Flakes; This Cook Book contains a Few Selected Recipes for the Use of Cerealine Flakes. They Will Be Found Economical and Palatable. Cerealine Manufacturing Co., Columbus, Indiana.


Text Sample:

These are only a very few Favorite Recipes for Preparing Cerealine Flakes (made from selected white corn.) in Dishes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Supper.

Cerealine Waffles

1/2 pint of scalded “Cerealine” (cold), 1/2 pint of water, 3 eggs, 3 tablespoonfuls of sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoonful of vanilla, 2 1/2 cupfuls of flour.
Mix the eggs and sugar together thoroughly; then add 1/2 pint of scalded “Cerealine,” vanilla, water, flour and baking powder. Lemon extract may be used instead of vanilla, and milk instead of water, to suit the taste; butter may also be used if desired; serve with powdered sugar.

Purchase original booklet:

Original 1888 booklet is available, New Cook Book for Cerealine Flakes. $90.00. The cooking booklet is in fair condition, with spots and foxing, creased paper, bent corners, chipped edges, highly mellowed paper. All pages present, unnumbered 16-page booklet. Publisher: Cerealine Manufacturing Co. Select “Add to Cart.”

1893 Liebig Cook Book.

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1893: Liebig Company’s Cook Book, containing new and original recipes written by Miss Maria Parloa; One hundred ways to use Liebig Company’s Extract of Beef, A Guide for American Housewives.
Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company, Limited, London.


Contents and Sample Recipes
Soups, Fish, Meats, Meat and Fish Sauces, Vegetables, Miscellaneous.

Curry of Lobster
One and one-half pints of lobster.
One pint of water.
Three tablespoonfuls of butter.
Two tablespoonfuls of flour.
One level tablespoonful of salt.
One teaspoonful of Liebig Company’s Extract.
One-eighth teaspoonful of cayenne.
Once tablespoonful of curry-powder.
One teaspoonful of onion sauce.
Cut the lobster into small pieces, and season with half the salt. Put the butter in a frying-pan, and set on the fire. When hot, add the flour and curry powder. Stir until smooth and frothy; then gradually add the water, stirring all the time. When this boils, add the pepper and lemon juice, besides the remainder of the salt. Cook for five minutes, and strain into a saucepan. Now add the lobster, and cook for six minutes longer. Serve with a dish of boiled rice, or on some slices of crisp toast.

Shepherd’s Pie
One quart of cold cooked meat.
One pint of water.
One-half pint of hot milk.
Six potatoes of good size.
One tablesppnful of minced onion.
three tablespoonfuls of butter.
Two level tablespoonfuls of flour.
Two and one-half teasoonfuls salt.
One-half teaspoonful of pepper.
One-half teaspoonful of Liebig Company’s Extract.
Put two tablespoonfuls of butter in a frying-pan, and set on the fire. When hot, add the flour, stirring until smooth and brown. Gradually pour the water upon this mixture, stirring all the time. When the gravy boils, add one-third of the pepper, half a teaspoonful of the salt, and the extract of meat. Have the cold meat cut in slices or small cubes, and seasoned with one teaspoonful of salt and one-third of a teaspoonful of pepper. Put this in a baking dish that will hold about two quarts. Pour the gravy over the meat, and then add the minced onion. Have the potatoes pared, and put them in a stewpan of good size. Cover with boiling water, and place on the fire. Cook for just thirty minutes; then pour off the water, and mash the potatoes light and fine. Beat into them the milk, one tablespoonful of butter, one teasponful of salt, and one-third of a teaspoonful of pepper. Spread the potatoes on the prepared meat, and bake in a moderately hot oven for forty-five minutes. Serve at once.

In making sauces…

…when the butter and flour are cooked together, if the sauce is to be white, cook only until the mixture is smooth and frothy. If, however, the sauce is to be brown, stir until the butter and flour turn dark brown.

Before adding the liquid, the pan should be drawn back to a cooler place, to reduce the temperature of the flour and butter. The liquid should be cool when added. If these precautions be heeded the sauce will always be smooth.

If vegetables be used to flavor the sauce they should be fried slowly in the butter, being careful not to scorch them….

Original Booklet:

One 1893 original cookbook is available, Liebig Company’s Cook Book. $65.00. The cooking booklet is in good condition with creased chipped cover, stains, rubbed edges, heavily scuffed, dented corners, edges worn, creased paper and page corners, and mellowed interior. All pages present. 96-pages. Click “Add to Cart.”

Antique Shredded Wheat from antique scrapbook.

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c. 1800s Trade Card
Wheat-Shred Baby Food
Shredded Whole Wheat Biscuit


Original Cereal Machine Company Tradecard, 1890s, no date. Condition is poor with chipped, ragged edges, and paper stuck to back of tradecard, probably taken from an antique scrapbook:

Shredded Wheat Trade Card.

Antique Shredded Wheat from antique scrapbook.

Emma Wilson's cooking class, c. 1907.

Born five years before the Civil War as the daughter of an enslaved cook, little Emma Wilson wanted to go to school with her white friends. She was told she couldn’t because of her race, and after the Civil War she was told she couldn’t because she was a girl. Through her determination, she kept pace with the class outside of school. When the time finally came that she could attend school, she was placed within her grade.

Emma Wilson, c. 1900.

Emma Wilson, founder and principal of the Maysville Industrial and Educational Institute

Wilson’s commitment to education and her great desire to assist others of her locale and race made her change her plans from ministering in Africa to building a local school in her hometown of Maysville, South Carolina. The school began in the kitchen of her mother’s cabin in 1885. It quickly grew and was incorporated as the Maysville Industrial and Educational Institute. After a few years Wilson became committed to teaching not only liberal arts, but also skills such as blacksmithing, sewing, and cooking.

The first cookbook known to be authored by an African-American woman is the 1866 book, A Domestic Cook Book: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen by Malinda Russell.

Pray what do they do at the club?
Tis ever the question they ask; But to answer it fully, I fear, Were rather a serious task; And yet, if you’ll listen to me, And pardon my rhyming with “grub,” I’ll venture a bit of a song To tell what they do at the club.

Imprimis, I’ll tell you they cook.
Oh, thoughtful and careful the eyes
That study the recipe book.
With glances so eager and wise!
Or they listen, as if In a trance,
To lectures and hints and the rules
From their sisters, their cousins and aunts
Who have learned in experience schools.

Then they measure, they pound and they sift,
They bake and they stew and they fry;
They roast and they stir and they lift,
They mold and they shake and they try–
Till from cellars and pantries and fire,
From kitchens and ovens and shelves
Come dainties I’m sure you’d admire.
And say they were made by the elves.

With a flutter of fans and of lace,
They meet for their “six o’clock tea”
With a smile of content on each face
And appetites startling to see.
They have jellies that melt like a dream
And patties and salads and meat
And coffee and biscuit and cream
And pickles and “sweets for the sweet.”

Then the cooks all laughingly chat.
As the moments so merrily fly.
Not forgetting their duty and-—that
Is to taste every dish passing by.
And they talk upon frivolous fun,
Or on subjects as grave as the “Hub,”
And they eat and they eat and they eat
And that’s what they do at the club.

— from Cook book of the Young Ladies Cooking Club, Monroe, Michigan,

Wood-burning Stove cooking class at Living History Farms, 2012.Today kicked off the first class of 2012 at the Living History Farm near Des Moines, Iowa. The class was “Cooking on a Wood-burning Stove.” Besides learning how to build a fire in the 1871 cast iron stove, complete with working the drafts, the 5 adult students made Beef Stew, French-style Green Beans with lemon, Braided Onion Bread, and a chocolate dessert–all while working under lights of the oil lamps. Like

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The Historical Museum Bern in Switzerland portrays Caleb Bradham, inventor of Pepsi Cola, at his North Carolina drugstore. Pepsi was first called Brad’s Drink, and in 1903 Bradham changed the name to Pepsi (referring to pepsin) Cola (referring to the original ingrediant Kola nuts). Like