Man, your mouth is going to water today! Historical author Linda Hubalek is talking about how the pioneers got by and may have some lessons for us so make her welcome.
In this unprecedented time, when we are all home due to the virus affecting the world, we have to prepare meals for ourselves and our families. Luckily, we still have electricity and the appliances that keep and prepare our foods.
Can you imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have electricity right now? Talk about shutting down the world!
Being a writer who has spent a lot of time researching history, I think we still have it easy in 2020 compared to pioneer ancestors.
Consider the work it took to prepare a meal back in 1870 on the frontier Plains compared to today. Here are photos from the KansasMemory.org to share with you the work which had to be done before you prepared your meal. And I’ve also added recipes from my book: EGG GRAVY: Authentic Recipies From the Butter in the Well series.
Want to make a cake and need two eggs?
First, you had to raise the chickens who will produce the eggs for you!
And you wouldn’t have a box cake mix on hand either. Here are recipes to make an Angel Food Cake, and Sunshine Cake to use up all those egg yolks.
ANGEL FOOD CAKE
Whites of 11 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cake flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift sugar and flour together seven times. Put cream of tartar and salt in eggs and beat very light, fold in sugar and flour, add vanilla. Put in a cold oven and bake slowly for 1 hour. (Make your cake flour by sifting 4 cups flour and 1 cup cornstarch together four times.)
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup sweet milk
11 egg yolks, beaten light
3 cups flour, sifted three times with 2 tps. baking powder
Bake in tube pan 45 minutes. Use any flavoring desired.
Need milk to drink or butter to use in a recipe?
Go milk a cow!
Pour ripened cream into butter chum and chum for about 30 to 35 minutes until the butter is about the size of wheat grains. Draw off the buttermilk and add cold water. Slowly chum for a few minutes, then draw off the water.
Put the butter in a wooden bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons of salt per pound of butter. Let stand a few minutes, then work the butter with a wooden paddle to get the last of the liquid out and the salt in. Press in crocks or butter molds and store in a cool place.
Bacon for breakfast?
Today, we pull a pound of bacon from the refrigerator and cook it in a skillet or the oven. In the past, you had to raise the pig before you butchered the animal for the meal.
Sugar Cured Meat
After butchering, cool the meat thoroughly and cut into family-sized chunks. Rub each chunk with coarse salt and set aside for 24 hours. Tightly pack the meat in an earthen vessel-a syrup barrel is good-putting hams and shoulders in the bottom and bacon slabs on top.
Heat 4 gallons of water. Let the water boil and then cool a little before adding the following ingredients. For each 100 lbs. meat, weigh out 10 lbs. salt, 4 lbs. brown sugar and 2 ounces saltpeter. Let mixture cool thoroughly and pour over meat. This amount should be sufficient to cover the meat in the vessel.
Put on a wooden or china cover over the top and weigh it down with a stone to keep meat under the brine. If it isn’t enough brine to cover the meat, add more. Put vessel in a cool place and let stand for six weeks (ham) and only one week for the bacon slabs. If hams are large, leave in for eight weeks. Take the meat out of the brine, then hang and smoke it.
Feel better about cooking a meal now?
After this brief memory back to the 1800s, I hope you enjoy having the convenience of cooking meals for a while, even if we have to wear a mask and gloves to shop at a grocery store.
Please stay safe and stay well!
Drawing for FIVE winners
Five readers will win an ebook copy of (The Mismatched Mail-Order Brides Book 2) by commenting on what you’d serve as a meal if you had no electricity today.
BOOK 1 is FREE! It sets the story theme for the Mismatched Mail-Order Brides series. Either click HERE or on the cover and grab your copy!
Linda Hubalek has written over forty books about strong women and honorable men, with a touch of humor, despair, and drama woven into the stories. The setting for all the series is the Kansas prairie, which Linda enjoys daily, whether by being outside or looking at it through her office window.
Her historical romance series include Brides with Grit, Grooms with Honor, and the Mismatched Mail-Order Brides. Linda’s historical fiction series, based on her ancestors’ pioneer lives, include Butter in the Well, Trail of Thread, and Planting Dreams.
When not writing, Linda is reading (usually with dark chocolate within reach), gardening (channeling her degree in Horticulture), or traveling with her husband to explore the world.
Linda loves to hear from her readers, so visit her website to contact her or browse the site to read about her books.