Tag Archives: Recipes
How to Cook Potatoes

How to Cook Potatoes in Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.

Our collection provides the complete run of Godey’s Lady’s Book, and is the only one containing the color plates as they originally appeared.

These potato recipes appeared in the February 1867 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

BOILED POTATOES — There are really so many ways of even boiling potatoes that it is difficult to satisfy one’s mind which is the best, each being good, providing it is well done. The French, however, hold that by using too much water the flavor of the potatoes becomes seriously impaired; but it depends entirely upon the quality of the potatoes whether they are better done in their jackets or peeled: though towards the end of spring, when they get old, it is greatly preferable to pare them, as the skins then contain a narcotic property which gives the potatoes a strongly disagreeable flavor. In any case, potatoes should be boiled quickly, care being taken to choose them of an equal size, and cutting them in half when they are large. Rather small-sized potatoes are to be chosen in preference to those of overgrown proportions, and it is at all times in better taste to have potatoes rather underdone than boiled to pieces.

The following is the most generally received method of boiling potatoes. Thoroughly wash and pare them, place them in a small saucepan with sufficient cold water to cover them, place them upon a clear fire, and bring them to a boil as speedily as possible. Good potatoes of a proper size will be done in about fifteen or twenty minutes after beginning to boil. Strain off the water and serve as soon as possible, without sprinkling salt over them, or adding any to the water in which they were cooked. One thing against the addition of salt is that careless cooks generally use it with such a heavy hand. Some housekeepers advocate placing the saucepan of potatoes over the fire again after the water has been poured away, but if the potatoes are done as they should be, this process, instead of being an improvement, only tends to give the potatoes a bad flavor. When intended to be mashed or converted into a made-dish, potatoes should invariably be boiled without salt being employed, as it deadens them both in flavor and quality; but for made-dishes generally potatoes are preferable steamed instead of boiled.

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.



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…)

Godey’s Lady’s Book

Household Cleaning Recipes from Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book a magazine for American women published in Philadelphia. Godey’s was the most widely circulated magazine in the period before the Civil War. The magazine’s circulation over doubled from 70,000 in the 1840s to 150,000 in 1860.

Each issue contained poetry, articles, and engravings created by prominent writers and artists of the time. Sarah Josepha Hale (author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”) was its editor from 1837 until 1877. Under her editorship the magazing and only published original American manuscripts.

Household Recipes

  • TO REMOVE WINE STAINS FROM LINEN — Rub the part on each side with yellow soap, and lay on it a thick mixture of starch; rub it well in, and expose it to the sun and air until the stain is removed. If in two or three days this is not the case, repeat the, process; when dry, sprinkle with a little water.
  • TO REMOVE INK STAINS — The moment the ink is spilt take a little milk and saturate the stain: soak it up with a rag, and apply a little more milk, rubbing it well in. In a few minutes the ink will be completely removed.

    • Method 1 — Mix equal quantities of fresh spirit of vitriol and lemon-juice in a bottle; shake well; wet the spots, and in a few minutes rub with a soft rag until they disappear. Another mode is to sponge the spots with a weak solution of muriatic acid or aquafortis.
    • Method 2 — If the marble be stained with oils, mix soft soap, fuller’s earth, and hot water into a paste; cover the spots with the paste, and let it dry on. The next day scour it off with soft or yellow soap.
    • Method 3 — Boil half, a pound of soft soap in a quart of water, very slowly, until the water is reduced to a pint. Apply this in the same manner as the preceding.
  • TO REMOVE STAINS OF BLOOD — An accidental prick of the finger frequently spoils the appearance of work; and, if for sale, decreases its value. Stains may be entirely obliterated from almost any substance by laying a thick coating of common starch over the place. The starch is to be mixed as if for the laundry, and laid on quite wet. The free and early application of a weak solution of; soda or potash, and the subsequent application of the solution of alum, is recommended.
  • LIQUID FOR REMOVING STAINS FROM LEATHER AND PARCHMENT — One dram of oxymuriate of potash, two ounces of distilled water. Mix these in a phial, and when the salt is dissolved, add two ounces of muriatic acid. Take in another phial three ounces of rectified spirits of wine, and half an ounce of essential oil of lemon. Shake these two ingredients well together; and immediately pour into a bottle of the proper size the contents of the two phials. Keep this liquid closely corked. It should be applied with a clean sponge and dried by a gentle heat. This preparation is excellent for boot tops. When it has been applied, as directed above, they may be polished with a brush in the usual way, and will appear like new leather.


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: January, 1855
Title: Household Recipes
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Molasses from Apples by Steaming

The following excellent method for making use of apples, for the two-fold purpose of obtaining molasses from them and converting the remainder into excellent feed for farm stock, has just been described to us by a friend.

The apples are placed in a hogshead made tight for the purpose, and subjected to the operation of steam.  The saccharine juice soon begins to ooze from them, and drops down to the bottom of the hogshead into the vessel, covering the bottom, placed there for the purpose, from which it passes off to proper receivers This juice is subsequently evaporated by boiling.

Sour apples only, have been experimented on in this way. The quantity of molasses obtained from them is ten gallons for every fifteen bushels of apples, or a gallon from a bushel and a half. This molasses differs from sweet apple molasses in possessing a peculiar tart flavor.

The apples remaining in the hogshead, being softened and well cooked, are mixed with bread or meal, and thus constitutes an excellent article of food for hogs and cattle.

Source: National Anti-Slavery Standard August 25, 1842


The Toilet – Recipes from Godey’s Lady’s Book

While Godey’s Lady’s Book avoided mentioning the Civil War while it was occurring,  the effects, including scarcities of some products, of the war on its readership is hinted at in some articles.

This February 1863 item provides instructions for making several women’s toiletries at home.

  • POMADE DIVINE — Take a pound and a half of beef marrow, put it into spring water ten days, changing the water twice each day; then drain it, put it into a pint of rose-water for twenty-four hours, and drain it in a cloth quite dry. Then add storax, benjamin, cypress, and orris, of each one and a half ounce, half an ounce of cinnamon, two drachms of cloves and nutmeg, all finely powdered and well mixed with the marrow. Then put it into a pewter vessel with a top that screws on, and over that a paste, that nothing may evaporate. Hang the vessel in a copper of boiling water, and let it boil two hours without ceasing; then put it through fine muslin into pots for keeping, and when cold cover it closely. If a pewter vessel is not at hand, a stone jar; with a paste between two bladders, will do.
    Another receipt — Take four pounds of mutton suet, one pound of white wax, an ounce and a half each of essence of bergamot and essence of lemon, and half an ounce each of oil of lavender and oil of origanum. Melt the suet, and when nearly cold stir in the other ingredients. The origanum has considerable power in stimulating the growth of the hair.
  • HONEY WATER — Take a pint of proof spirit, as above, and three drachms of essence of ambergris; shake them well daily.
  • HUNGARY WATER — To one pint of proof spirits of wine put an ounce of oil of rosemary, and two drachms of essence of ambergris; shake the bottle well several times, then let the cork remain out twenty-four hours. After a month, during which time shake it daily, put the water into small bottles.
  • COLD CREAM — Take a quarter of an ounce of white wax, and shred it into a basin with one ounce of almond oil. Place the basin by the fire till the wax is dissolved; then add very slowly one ounce of rose-water, little by little, and during this beat smartly with a fork, to make the water incorporate, and continue beating till it is accomplished; then pour it into jars for use.
    Another receipt — Takeof best lard one pound, spermaceti four ounces; melt the two together, and add one ounce of rose-water, beating it as above directed.
  • RED LIP SALVE — Take of white wax, four ounces; olive oil, four ounces; spermaceti, half an ounce; oil of lavender twenty drops; alkanet root, two ounces. Macerate the alkanet for three or four days in the olive oil; then strain and melt in it the wax and spermaceti; when nearly cold, add the oil of lavender, and stir it till quite firmly set.
  • LAVENDER WATER — Take a pint of proof spirit, as above, essential oil of lavender, one ounce; essence of ambergris, two drachms. Put all into a quart bottle, and shake it extremely well.


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