Tag Archives: Godey’s Lady’s Book

How to Make Beautiful Homes (1865)

The greater part of our population are waiting till they can afford to have pleasant homes, forgetting that they can at no time afford to have any other. We take the color of our daily surroundings, and are happier, more amiable, stronger to labor and firmer to endure, when those surroundings are pleasing and in good taste. To possess these important qualities they need not be expensive. True beauty is cheaper than we think.

"Our native grape. Grapes and their culture. Also descriptive list of old and new varieties" (1893)

“Our native grape. Grapes and their culture. Also descriptive list of old and new varieties” (1893)

The first charm of a home, within and without, is thorough neatness, and this is the result of habit, not outlay. It is oftener cheaper than filth. Paint the house if you can; if not, whitewash: but in any case let it be in thorough repair.

Let there be no loose shingles or dangling clapboards, or gates hanging by a broken hinge. These hints favor thrift as well as taste.

Let the house be sufficiently shaded. This will pay in comfort, wear of furniture, and lack of flies. If you cannot afford green blinds, you can always afford a green tree or two, that costs nothing but labor and patience, and will shelter you from the sun in summer and the wind in winter.

Let your turf be smooth and firm as velvet, and enforce the death penalty upon weeds with an unsparing hand. No man, rich or poor, can afford to raise weeds. They choose the richest spots, where flowers, or fruit, or vegetables might grow, and send abroad their seeds as missionaries of evil into every nook and corner.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.



House and Home: Going to School in 1887

At five or six years old, the school-life of the majority of children begins, and the food question, that which will best supply waste and build up the growing body, assumes a new importance. Children are sometimes difficult to manage in regard to food. They have their “notions,” they imbibe prejudices, and are distressed by tastes which parents frequently consider should be ignored. Children are quite dependent on the presiding genius of the family, not only for the kind of food they get to eat, but for the time allotted to them in which to eat it. After long years of experience, I have found few families in which children were considerately and deliberately and zealously provided for. A hasty and indigestible breakfast is generally gulped down; a piece of bread and butter, with or without a scrap of cold meat, and a piece of dried or soggy cake is picked up for lunch, and upon this the active young body does its work. No wonder children grow pinched and sallow, and either succumb to the early inroads of disease, or struggle with all forms of dyspepsia.

The food may and should be plain, but it should be of the best, carefully and thoroughly cooked for school children, and served so as to give them abundance of time to eat without hurry, and start well the process of digestion before starting upon the school work of the day. Mothers often complain that their children will not eat healthful food—oatmeal and the like. The reason of this is frequently because the meal is not good, or well, or at least not regularly well-cooked. Some mothers do not even know the difference between one kind of oatmeal and another, or how it should be cooked, or with what it is best and most healthfully served, and will not take the trouble to cultivate healthful tastes by preparing nourishing and simple food in its most attractive way.



Pickle Recipes: Godey’s Lady’s Book

These recipes appeared in the November 1862 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.


The flavoring ingredients of Indian pickles are a compound of curry powder, with a large proportion of mustard and garlic.

The following will be found something like the real mango pickle, especially if the garlic be used plentifully. To each gallon of the strongest vinegar put four ounces of curry powder, same of flower of mustard (some rub these together with half a pint of salad oil), three of ginger, bruised, and two of turmeric, half a pound (when skinned) of eschalots slightly baked in a Dutch oven, two ounces of garlic prepared in like manner, a quarter of a pound of salt, and two drachms of Cayenne pepper.

Put these ingredients into a stone jar, cover it with a bladder wetted with the pickle, and set it on a trivet by the side of the fire during three days, shaking it up three times a day; it will then be ready to receive gherkins, sliced cucumbers, sliced onions, button onions, cauliflowers, celery, broccoli, French beans, nasturtiums, capsicums, and small green melons. The latter must be slit in the middle sufficiently to admit a marrow-spoon, with which take out all the seeds; then parboil the melons in a brine that will bear an egg; dry them, and fill them with mustard seed, and two cloves of garlic, and bind the melon round with packthread.

Large cucumbers may be prepared in like manner.

Green peaches make the best imitation of the Indian mango.

The other articles are to be separately parboiled (excepting the capsicums) in a brine of salt and water strong enough to bear an egg; taken out and drained, and spread out, and thoroughly dried in the sun, on a stove, or before a fire for a couple of days, and then put into the pickle.

Anything may be put into this pickle, except red cabbage and walnuts.

It will keep several years.

Observations: — To the Indian mango pickle is added a considerable quantity of mustard-seed oil, which would also be an excellent warm ingredient in our salad sauces. (more…)


A Tribute to Old Maids

In a little work entitled “Our Peculiarities,” by Viscountess Combermere, there is the following fine tribute to the class of old maids:

These single women, whom it is the cant of society to ridicule, may have often postponed their own settlement in life from the highest motives; filial devotion has, perhaps, engrossed them so entirely in early life that no selfish object diverted them from its holy duties.

It was sufficient to satisfy affection and to supersede hope; for the devoted, generous child, from the intensity of her love, has felt that the future must ever be a blank, when the interest that engrosses the present is withdrawn by death; and this dreary prospect adds another motive to her tenderness.



Sleep Talking – Godey’s Lady’s Book May 1832

This is merely a modification of somnambulism, and proceeds from similar causes, namely, a distribution of sensorial power to the organs of speech, by which means they do not sympathize in the general slumber, but remain in a state fit for being called into action by particular trains of ideas.

If, for instance, we dream that we are talking to some one, and if these organs are endowed with their waking share of sensorial power, we are sure to speak. Again, the mere dream, without a waking state of the organs, will never produce speech; and we only suppose we are carrying on conversation, although, at the time, we are completely silent. To produce sleep talking, therefore, the mind, in some of its functions, must be awake and the organs of speech must be so also. The conversation, in this state, is of such subjects as our thoughts are most immediately occupied with; and its consistency or incongruity depends upon that of the prevailing ideas being sometimes perfectly rational and coherent: at other times full of absurdity.

The voice is seldom the same as in the waking state. This I would impute to the organs of hearing being mostly dormant, and consequently unable to guide the modulations of sound. The same fact is observable in very deaf persons, whose speech is usually harsh, unvaried, and monotonous. Sometimes the faculties are so far awake, that we can manage to carry on a conversation with the individual, and extract from him the most hidden secrets of his soul. By such means things have been detected, which would otherwise have remained in perpetual obscurity.