Each day, the costumed interpreters at Old Sturbridge Village demonstrate 19th-century cooking. The recipes for special dishes (or “receipts” as they were called in the 1830s) are frequently available to visitors who witness the demonstrations. A select list of the most frequently requested recipes is available here. Many include a video showing how to make the recipe.

Another Christmas Cookey

Original Recipe

To three pound flour, sprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander seed, rub in one pound butter, and one and half pound sugar, dissolve three tea spoonfuls of pearl ash in a tea cup of milk, kneed all together well, roll three quarters of an inch thick, and cut or stamp into shape and size you please, bake slowly fifteen or twenty minutes; tho’ hard and dry at first, if put into an earthern pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, softer and better when six months old.

                                     From American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1796

Modern Adaptation

3 cups of flour
1/4  cup (4 tbsps.) of coriander
¼ lb. of butter
1-2 cups of milk; mix until the dough feels like pie crust
¾ cup of sugar
¾ tsp. baking soda/cream of tartar mix

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease a baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, rub butter into flour, sugar, and coriander.  Dissolve baking soda & cream of tartar in the milk. Add to flour mixture and combine well.
  3. Roll out on a board ½ inch thick, cut with your favorite shaped cutters, bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas!

Apple and Pork Pie

Original Recipe

Make your crust in the usual manner, spread it over a large deep plate, cut some slices of fat pork very thin, also some slices of apple; place a layer of apples, and then of pork, with a very little allspice, and pepper, sugar, between–three or four layers of each, with crust over the top. Bake one hour.

The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book
Cincinatti: H.W. Derby, 1845.
Esther Allen Howland


Modern Adaptation

Pie crust enough for a double-crusted pie
2-3 lbs. pork (pork with some fat on it works best)
6-8 tart apples (Granny Smiths or Cortlands work well)
½ c brown sugar
1-2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, allspice, and pepper.
  3. Cut pork into small thin slices, the thinner the better, and set aside.
  4. Peel, core and cut apples into thin slices and set aside.
  5. Lay your bottom crust into your pie plate and trim to fit.
  6. Place a layer of apples in the bottom of your pie plate; sprinkle over a small amount of sugar and spice mixture.
  7. Add a layer of pork; sprinkle over a small amount of sugar and spice mixture.
    Repeat until pie is heaped high!
  8. Top with top crust, trim and crimp edges. Cut a few slits in top crust to allow venting.
  9. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft and crust is brown.
  10. Enjoy!

Bird's Nest Pudding

Original Receipt

If you wish to make what is called ‘Bird’s-nest puddings,’ prepare your custard,–take eight or ten pleasant apples, pare them and dig out the core, but leave them whole, set them in a pudding dish, pour your custard over them, and bake them about twenty or thirty minutes.

The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child, 1833

Modern Method

6-8+ apples
2 cups of milk
3 eggs
½ cup of brown sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F
  2. Grease a deep casserole dish (round or rectangular- 9 by 9 inches square or a 9 inch deep pie plate, or a 9 inch Bundt pan)
  3. Peel and core apples and leave whole, to fit snugly in the baking dish.
  4. Make the custard by beating the milk, eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon together well.
  5. Pour the custard over the apples in the dish.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the custard is set.

Eat hot or cold.

Bread Pudding

Original Receipt:

“Cut one loaf of  bread  in fine pieces, sprinkle with a little  salt, boil two quarts of  milk and pour over; cover close until well soaked; mash it well; add six  eggs, one pound of  butter,  some  cinnamon or nutmeg;  sweeten it; bake it, in a quick oven, one hour and a half.”

The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book by Esther Allen Howland (1845)

Modern Translation:



bread puddingNote: This receipt is half the quantity of the original to fill one bundt pan.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
  3. While milk is heating, cut or tear half a loaf of bread into small pieces.
  4. Put the bread into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle over salt and then carefully pour in the milk. Cover with a lid or a plate and let stand until the bread has soaked in most of the milk. About 20 minutes.
  5. Cut butter into small pieces and mix into milk and bread mixture until melted.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs well.
  7. Fold eggs into the bread mixture.
  8. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar or syrup.
  9. Pour mixture into a greased pudding pan (or a modern-day bundt pan) and bake for 90 minutes.
  10. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Brooks' Cake

To raise funds for the antislavery cause, Mary Brooks [Headmistress of the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society] baked and sold her signature tea cake, widely known as Brooks Cake. It was served at all Concord anti-slavery meetings. Directions were not provided in the original receipt.

One pound flour (4 cups)
One pound sugar (2 cups)
Half pound butter (2 sticks)
Four eggs
One cup milk
(2 tsp. Baking powder)
Half-pound currants (8 ounces),

  1. Mix ingredients together
  2. Bake at 350º F for approximately 1 hour or until done.

“This makes two loaves; and, if such faithful hands and careful eyes as
hers attend to its making, it will be fit for the banquet of the gods. The
devoted woman lived to see the cause for which she so earnestly
labored as successful as was always her recipe for “Brooks Cake.””

— from the writings of William S. Robinson, 1877


Ingredients & Tools:

Modern Method:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a jar, about half of the way full.
  2. Add a clean marble into the jar and screw the lid on tightly.
  3. Figure a

    Shake the jar until the cream forms a pad of butter at the bottom of the jar and there is very thin liquid (buttermilk) throughout the rest of the jar (see figure a)

  4. Pour the contents of the jar into a bowl, and remove the marble.
  5. Pour cold water into the bowl and squish it throughout your butter with the back of a spoon or paddle. Pour out water after thoroughly working it through the butter. Continue this step until the water runs clear.
  6. If you would like salted butter, as we would have enjoyed in the 1830s, add a pinch of salt to your butter and work it around with a spoon until it is completely folded into the butter.
  7. Enjoy!

Carrot Fritters

Original Receipt

Beat two or three boiled  carrots  to a pulp with a spoon; add to them six  eggs  and a handful of  flour;  moisten them with either  cream,   milk,  or  white wine,  and sweeten them. Beat all together well, and fry in boiling  lard.  When of a good color, take them off and squeeze on them the  juice of a Seville orange,  and strew over fine  sugar.

The Cook’s Own Book

Mrs. N. K. M. Lee


Modern Method

1. Peel or scrape your carrots. Cube them small and put them in a saucepan with a lid.

diced carrots

2. Add enough water to cover carrots. Cover pan and boil, on high until quite soft; 20 – 30 minutes.

Bring carrots to boil

3. Drain carrots and mash well.

mashed carrots

4. To mashed carrots add eggs, milk, sugar and flour, and mix well.

Mixed carrot fritter batter

5. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium/high heat.

6. Carefully add a large scoopful of the batter to the hot oil. The batter should start to brown and float to the top of the oil.

7. After 10-15 seconds gently flip fritter over and let simmer for another 10-15 seconds.

8. Remove golden brown fritter from oil and let drain on a towel.

9. Sprinkle over a bit of sugar and a bit of orange juice. [Tip! Roll the orange firmly on the counter before cutting open to more easily extract juice.]

Finished fritters

10. Serve hot and enjoy!

Finished carrot fritters on a plate with a carrot and orange on the side

Carrot Pie

Original Receipt

Carrot pies are made like squash pies. The carrots should be boiled very tender, skinned and sifted. Both carrot pies and squash pies should be baked without an upper  crust, in deep plates. To be baked an hour, in quite a warm oven.

The Frugal Housewife
Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1830.
Lydia Maria Child

Modern Adaptation

Pie crust enough for a single crusted pie
4 cups of diced carrots
¾ cup of sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Put chopped carrots in a sauce pan and scarcely cover with water. Simmer until carrots are quite soft, this might take a couple hours.
  3. Strain carrots by pressing them through a sieve; alternatively, mash with a potato masher until as smooth as possible. Let cool.
  4. To cooled carrot puree add milk, eggs, sugar and spice and mix well.
  5. Lay your pie crust into your pie plate and trim to fit, crimping edges.
  6. Pour carrot mixture carefully into prepared pie shell.
  7. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until crust is brown. Let cool to set.
  8. Enjoy!


Please Note: This 19th-century recipe for chowder is more like what modern cooks would call a casserole rather than a soup.


Original Receipt

Four pounds of fish are enough to make a chowder, for four or five people,–half dozen slices of salt pork in the bottom of the pot,–hang it high, so that the pork may not burn,–take it out when done very brown,–put in a layer of fish, cut in lengthwise slices,–then a layer formed of crackers, small or sliced onions, and potatoes sliced as thin as a four-pence, mixed with pieces of pork you have fried; then a layer of fish again, and so on. Six crackers are enough. Strew a little salt and pepper over each layer; over the whole pour a bowl full of flour and water, enough to come up even with the surface of what you have in the pot. A sliced lemon adds to the flavor. A cup of Tomato catsup is very excellent. Some people put in a cup of beer. A few clams are a pleasant addition. It should be covered so as not to let a particle of steam escape, if possible. Do not open it, except when nearly done, to taste if it be well seasoned.

The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child, 1830

Modern Method

3 medium onions
4-5 slices thick cut bacon
Salted fish (soaked overnight)
4 potatoes
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Juice of one lemon
½ cup flour
1 cup homemade tomato ketchup

*Historic crackers can be found at the Vermont Country Store. Alternately, you can use oyster crackers or unsalted saltines. You will need enough crackers to cover each layer of fish, (roughly 25-30 common crackers or 20-30 saltines).

  1. Fry bacon until the fat coats the bottom of the pan. Add sliced onions and fry until the onions are soft and golden.
  2. Break up the salted fish (after soaking overnight) into small pieces, discarding any skin or bones.
  3. Layer fish, crackers, onions, potatoes, bacon, salt, and pepper in a crockpot or a casserole dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice, ketchup, 1-quart water, and flour. Pour mixture over the layered items in the crockpot or casserole dish.
  5. Cook in the crockpot on low for 6 to 8 hours. If using a casserole dish, bake in covered casserole dish at 350° for 45 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Cranberry Pie

Original Receipt

Cranberry pies need very little spice.  A little nutmeg or cinnamon improves them. They need a great deal of sweetening. It is well to stew the sweetening with them; at least a part of it. It is easy to add if you find them too sour for your taste.  When cranberries are strained, and added to about their own weight in sugar, they make very delicious tarts.    No upper crust.

From: The Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child (1830)

Modern Translation

Pie crust enough for a single crusted pie
12oz bag of cranberries
1½ cups of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Put cranberries and sugar into a small saucepan with about ¼ cup of water and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally until cranberries burst.
  3. Strain cranberries by pressing them through a sieve; alternatively, mash with a potato masher until as smooth as possible.
  4. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and extra sugar, if needed, to taste.
  5. Lay your pie crust into your pie plate and trim to fit, crimping edges.
  6. Pour cranberry mixture carefully into prepared pie shell.
  7. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until crust is brown. Let cool to set.
  8. Enjoy!


Cranberry Sauce

This receipt was originally published in 1851 in Eliza Leslie’s Directions for Cookery (Henry Carey Baird, Philadelphia).

Original Receipt

Wash a quart of ripe cranberries, and put them into a pan with about a wine-glass of water. Stew them slowly, and stir them frequently, particularly after they begin to burst. They require a great deal of stewing, and should be like a marmalade when done. After you take them from the fire, stir in a pound of brown sugar. You may strain the pulp through a cullendar or sieve into a mould, and when it is in a firm shape send it to table on a glass dish.

Modern Adaptation

1 pound cranberries
2-3 cups sweetening, sugar or molasses or a combination

  1. Simmer cranberries over low heat, until soft, approximately 12-15 minutes.
  2. Straining is optional. To remove seeds and skins, use a food mill or strain
    pulp through a very coarse strainer. Reheat before adding sugar or molasses. Use only about 2 cups of sugar or molasses if skins and seeds have been discarded.
  3. Stir sugar or molasses into hot sauce and remove from heat when completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 6 cups

Reprinted from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook (Globe Pequot Press, 1995), with permission.

Crookneck or Winter Squash Pudding

Original Receipt:

Core, boil and skin a good squash, and bruize it well; take 6 large apples, pared, cored, and stewed tender, mix together; add 6 or 7 spoonsful of dry bread or biscuit, rendered fine as meal, half pint milk or cream, 2 spoons of rose-water, 2 do. wine, 5 or 6 eggs, beaten and strained, nutmeg, salt and sugar to your taste, one spoon flour, beat all smartly together, bake.

The above is a good receipt for Pompkins, Potatoes or Yams, adding more moistening or milk and rose water, and to the two latter a few black or Lisbon currants, or dry whortleberries scattered in, will make it better.

From American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1798

Modern Adaptation:

ingredients for squash pudding

1 ¼ c pumpkin puree
1 c apple sauce
1 c milk
5 eggs
2 tbsp. white wine
5 tbsp. bread crumbs (unflavored)
¾ c white sugar
1 tsp. rosewater
1 tsp. nutmeg

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix applesauce and pumpkin together in a large bowl.
  3. Add milk, sugar and breadcrumbs and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk eggs before adding to squash and apple mixture.
  5. Add wine, rosewater and nutmeg mixing to incorporate.
  6. Pour into ungreased pudding pan or modern day bunt pan.
  7. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Let cool to set.
  8. Enjoy!

For a more historic feel try boiled and pureeing your own winter squash, making your own applesauce, or even grating your own breadcrumbs from stale bread!

fresh pumpkin squash

Dressed Macaroni (19th-Century Style Macaroni & Cheese)

Original Receipt

Put a piece of butter, half a pound of macaroni, an onion stick with two cloves, and a little salt into hot water, boil them for three quarters of an hour, and then, if the macaroni is flexible, take it out and drain it well. Put it into another saucepan with two ounces of butter, three of grated Parmesan cheese, a little pepper and nutmeg; Toss up the whole together, adding two or three spoonfuls of cream; When done, put it on a dish, and serve it very hot.

From The Housekeeper’s Book, 1838

Modern Adaptation

8 ounces dry pasta (see how to make pasta from scratch below!)
1 small onion
2 whole cloves
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
3 tablespoons cream
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (optional)

  1. Boil noodles with one tablespoon of butter and with the onion studded with two cloves for about 10 minutes (onion and cloves are to be discarded in this recipe, but you can also choose to slice the onion and layer it among the pasta before baking).
  2. Drain and toss the noodles with two more tablespoons of butter, cheese, nutmeg and cream.
  3. Optional: place dressed noodles in a baking dish and cover with bread crumbs and another tablespoon of butter and bake at 350⁰F for 20 minutes or broil in the oven until breadcrumbs are brown. This comes from several other historic receipts for dressing macaroni.


Dried Apple and Cranberry Pie

Original Receipt

Take two quarts dried apples, put them into an earthen pot that contains one gallon, fill it with water and set it in a hot oven, adding one handful of cranberries; after baking one hour fill the pot again with water; when done and the apple cold, strain it and add thereto the juice of three or four limes, raisins, sugar, orange peel and cinnamon to your taste.

From: American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (1796)

Modern Adaptation:

Pie crust enough for a double-crusted pie
3-4 cups dried apples
½ cup cranberries
¾ cup sugar
2 limes, juiced
½ cups raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp orange peel

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

2. Put dried apples and cranberries into a saucepan with enough water to cover. Simmer 10-15 minutes or until apples have softened.

3. Strain the apples and cranberries, discarding the water, and pour into a large bowl. Add raisins, lime juice, sugar orange peel and cinnamon and mix well.

4. Lay your bottom pie crust into your pie plate and trim to fit.

5. Pour pie filling carefully into prepared pie shell.

6. Top with top crust, trim and crimp edges. Cut a few slits in top crust to allow venting.

7. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until crust is brown.

8. Enjoy!


“To make a quart of flip: – Put the ale on the fire to warm, and beat up three or four eggs, with four ounces of moist sugar, a tea-spoonful of grated nutmeg or ginger, and a quartern of good old rum or brandy. When the ale nearly boils put it into one pitcher, and the rum, eggs, &c. into another; turn it from one another till it is as smooth as cream. This is called a Yard of Flannel.”

From The Cook’s Own Book (1832)

Fowl (Chicken or Turkey) Pie

Original Receipt

A nice way of serving up  cold chicken,  or  pieces of cold fresh meat,  is to make them into a meat pie. The  gizzards, livers, and necks of poultry  parboiled, are good for the same purpose. If you wish to bake your meat pie, line a deep earthen or tin pan with paste made of  flour,   cold water,  and  lard;  use but little  lard,  for the fat of the meat will shorten the crust. Lay in your bits of  meat,  or  chicken,  with two or three slices of  salt pork;  place a few thin slices of your paste here and there; drop in an  egg,  if you have plenty. Fill the pan with  flour  and  water,  seasoned with a little  pepper  and  salt.  If the meat be very lean, put in a piece of  butter,  or such  sweet gravies  as you may happen to have. Cover the top with crust, and put it in the oven, or  bake-kettle,  to cook twenty minutes or half an hour, or an hour, according to the size of the pie.

From The Frugal Housewife (1830) by Lydia Maria Child

Modern Translation

Pie crust enough for a double crusted pie
2-3 lbs. cooked chicken or turkey
¼ lb. of bacon or salt pork
1 egg (optional)
2-3 tbsp. butter
Poultry gravy
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Shred cold chicken or turkey into small pieces into a large bowl.
  3. Optional, chop up parboiled gizzard, liver or neck from bird and add to the shredded poultry.
  4. Chop salt pork or bacon fine and mix in with shredded poultry.
  5. Add enough prepared gravy to coat the meat, mixing well. You may also add one beaten egg if you’d like to make the gravy a bit richer. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Lay your bottom crust into your pie plate and trim to fit.
  7. Add poultry and gravy mixture until pie is heaped high!
  8. Top with top crust, trim and crimp edges. Cut a few slits in top crust to allow venting.
  9. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until crust is brown.
  10. Enjoy!

Fricassee of Parsnips

Original Receipt

Boil in milk till they are soft. Then cut them lengthwise into bits two or three inches long; and simmer in a white sauce, made of two spoonsful of broth, a bit of mace, half a cupful of cream, a bit of butter, and some flour, pepper, and salt.

From A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Eliza Rundell (1827)

Modern Translation

Medium/large saucepan
Skillet, non-stick is best
Whisk and spoon

6 – 7 parsnips
Milk enough to cover parsnips in saucepan, about 2 pints. [tip: Short on milk, thin it out a bit with water]
2 tbsp butter
1 – 1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup cream
2-3 tbsp broth or stock* of choice
Salt & pepper (to taste)

1. Wash, peel and trim your parsnips. Put them into a saucepan and add enough milk to cover.

Parsnips on board

2. Boil until fork-tender, stirring occasionally. [tip: Short on milk? Thin it out a bit with water]

parsnips covered with milk

3. Drain parsnips and set aside to cool a bit.

4. Once cool enough to handle, slice parsnips into spears 2-3” long. Set aside.

sliced cooked parsnips

5. Start your white sauce. Melt 2tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.

6. Whisk in 1-1.5tbsp flour and simmer for 2-3 minutes to cook out the flour flavor, whisking the whole time.

Melted butter and flour

7. Add 1/2 cup cream and whisk to combine for about 30 seconds. The sauce should start to thicken.

8. Add 2-3 tbsp of broth, or enough to bring it back to a smooth, creamy consistency.

9. Add 1/2 tsp of mace and salt and pepper to taste.

Adding mace, salt, and pepper

10. Reduce heat to low, add parsnips and stir to coat parsnips in sauce.

add parsnips to cream sauce

11. Serve hot.

Finished dish

*Tip from Victoria, Coordinator of Households and Foodways:

I save all the veggie scraps like onion peels, outer cabbage leaves, herb stems and the end and peels of these parsnips in a container in my freezer. When it gets full I transfer it to a stock pot, add a bay leaf, a bit of salt and water enough to cover and let it simmer for a few hours to make a yummy aromatic stock. Stock can be canned, frozen or used within the week.

Fricasseed Jerusalem Artichokes

Original Receipt

“Wash and scrape or pare them: boil them in milk and water till they are soft, which will be from a quarter to a half of an hour. Take them out and stew them a few minutes in the following sauce: Roll a bit of butter, the size of a walnut, in flour, mix it with a half pint of cream or milk; season it with pepper, salt, and grated nutmeg.”

The Practice of Cookery, 1830

Modern Adaptation

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes*
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt to taste

*Note: Jerusalem artichokes are knobby tubers related to the North American sunflower. Not associated with Jerusalem, the name is probably derived from a corruption of girasole, Italian for sunflower.

1. Wash Jerusalem artichokes and pare if needed. Boil in milk combined with water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

2. Roll butter into flour. Warm cream over low heat. Add butter and flour mixture to cream, whisking to dissolve. Stir until it thickens.

3. Season with pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Add Jerusalem artichokes to sauce and serve.

Yield: 4 servings


Gourd Soup

Original Recipe

Should be made of full-grown gourds but not those that have hard skins; slice three or four and put them in a stewpan, with two or three onions, and a good bit of butter; set them over a slow fire till quite tender (be careful not to let them burn); then add two ounces of crust of bread and two quarts of good consomme, season with salt and cayenne pepper; boil ten minutes or a quarter of an hour; skim off all the fat, and pass it through a tamis; then make it quite hot, and serve up with fried bread.

(For “gourds” use small squash or pumpkin. A tamis is a sieve.)

Modern Adaptation

3 onions
4-5 pounds butternut squash
¼ lb. butter
½ loaf of stale, crusty bread
2 quarts either beef or chicken broth
cayenne pepper
additional butter or oil for frying bread

  1. Peel and slice onions. Peel and slice squash.
  2. Melt ¼ lb. butter in largest pot. Saute onions and squash in butter until tender, stirring frequently.
  3. Cover with broth and simmer until squash and onions are very tender. While soup is simmering, grate 1 cup bread crumbs from loaf.
  4. Cut remaining bread into cubes and fry in butter or oil in batches.
  5. Just before serving, press soup through colander or sieve to puree. Thicken with bread crumbs. Add salt and cayenne pepper (careful not to add too much cayenne!) to taste.
  6. Serve with 3-4 pieces of fried bread on top.

This receipt was originally published in 1832 in The Cook’s Own Book (Munroe and Francis, Boston). Modern Adaptation offered by the foodways staff at Old Sturbridge Village.

Grilled Meat Cakes

Original Receipt:

“Chop lean, raw beef quite fine.  Season with salt, pepper, and a little chopped onion, or onion juice.  Make it into small flat cakes, and broil on a well-greased gridiron or on a hot frying pan. Serve very hot with butter or Maitre de’ Hotel sauce.”

Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln (Mary Bailey) (1844)

Modern Translation:

1 lb lean beef
1/2 medium onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

  1. Chop beef fine. If you do not have a chopping knife or grinder or do not want to chop your own meat, start with ground beef.
  2. Dice onion fine and mix or chop it into beef.*
  3. Mix in salt & pepper, more or less to taste..
  4. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Form 1/4 cup scoops of beef mixture into small, dense cakes with your hands.
  6. Melt a small amount of butter in a skillet and fry for about 2 minutes per side.
  7. Serve hot with more butter melted over the top.

Makes about 14 small patties.

*If you like the onion flavor but not the texture try adding onion “juice”, made by chopping onion fine in a food processor or adding onion powder instead.

Lemon Pudding

This receipt was originally published in 1839 in Sarah Josepha Hale’s “The Good Housekeeper”. It has been adapted for the modern cook by Debra L. Friedman, at Old Sturbridge Village, who describes the one-crust pie as “very lemony.”

Original Recipe

Boil in water, in a closely covered sauce-pan, two large lemons till quite tender; take out the seeds, and pound the lemons to a paste; add a quarter of a pound of pounded loaf sugar, the same of fresh butter beaten to a cream, and three well-beaten eggs; mix all together and bake in a tin lined with puff paste; take it out, strew over the top grated loaf sugar.

Modern Adaptation

2 lemons
4 oz. butter
½ cup white sugar
3 eggs
Prepared Pie Crust

  1. In covered saucepan, cover lemons with water and boil until very tender (check water level to insure they are covered).
  2. Remove lemons and cool. Cut in half to remove seeds and mash until whole lemons form a fine puree.
  3. Cream butter and sugar and add to lemon puree.
  4. Beat eggs and add to mixture.
  5. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 35-45 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with sugar and cool before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Macaroni (Homemade Noodles)

Original Receipt

Beat four eggs for eight or ten minutes, strain them and stir them in flour till stiff enough to work into a paste upon a marble or stone slab, add flour till it be a stiff paste, and work it well; cut off a small bit at a time, roll it out thin as paper, and cut it with a paste-cutter or knife into very narrow strips; twist and lay them down upon a clean cloth in a dry, warm place; in a few hours it will be perfectly dry and hard; put it into a box with white paper under and over it. It may be cut into small stars or circles to be used for soup and not require so much cooking as the Italian macaroni.

The Cook’s Own Book, Mrs. N.K.M. Lee, 1832

Modern Adaptation

4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Beat eggs. Put flour and salt into bowl and make a well in center of flour. Pour beaten eggs into well in flour and gently mix flour and eggs together, using your fingers. When lightly mixed, turn mixture onto floured board and knead for 10 minutes. (The kneading process may also be done in a food processor).
  2. Divide dough into six pieces. With rolling pin, roll into sheets of desired thickness. Slice with knife into desired width. Twist and place on towel to dry.

Yields 6-8 servings

Maple Apple Fritters

Original Receipt

Four well-beaten eggs, half a pint of cream, two table spoonfuls of yeast, three of white wine, and two of rose water; half a tea spoonful of grated nutmeg, and of salt; make it into a thick batter with flour, peel and core two or three apples, cut them into thin bits, and mix them with the batter; cover it over, let it stand, placed near the fire, about an hour; drop it into boiling lard, and serve them in a napkin with sugar strewed over them. Gooseberries previously stewed may be done in the same way.

The Cook’s Own Book, Mrs. N.K.M. Lee, 1832

Modern Adaptation

4 eggs
1 cup cream
Prepared yeast (2 tsp. yeast, 1 tbsp. flour, ½ cup water, 1 tsp. sugar; mix and set in a warm place for 15 minutes)
3 tbsp. white wine
2 tbsp. rose water (or  1 tsp. vanilla extract)
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups flour
4-6 small apples
Lard or vegetable oil for frying (should be 1 ½ to 2 inches deep when hot)

  1. Beat eggs
  2. Mix beaten eggs with cream, yeast, white wine, rose water, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Make into a thick batter using flour, adding one cup of flour at a time and mixing before adding more flour.
  4. Peel and core apples and cut them into small pieces. Mix piece with batter.
  5. Drop approximately 1/3 cup of batter in oil/melted lard heated between 350°F and 375°F. Fritters should float to the top immediately.
  6. Flip fritters over when golden. Fritters should fry for approximately 2 minutes per side.
  7. Scoop fritters out and place on a towel to absorb excess oil.
  8. Sprinkle with maple sugar to taste.

Marlborough Pudding

One of our most requested recipes is this one for Marlborough Pudding, which is reproduced here for your own enjoyment and taken from Amelia Simmons’ “American Cookery” (1796).

Original Recipe

Take 12 spoons of stewed apples, 12 of wine, 12 of sugar, 12 of melted butter, and 12 of beaten eggs, a little cream, spice to your taste; lay in paste No. 3, in a deep dish; bake one hour and a quarter.

Modern Adaptation

6 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup stewed, pureed apples
3/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 recipe for pie crust
2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (or to taste)

  1. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Squeeze lemon and remove seeds.
  3. Add lemon to stewed apples, sherry, cream, and sugar and mix well.
  4. Add melted butter to mixture, blending well.
  5. Beat eggs and add to mixture.
  6. Prepare pastry and line deep, 8-inch pie plate.
  7. Season with grated nutmeg and spoon mixture into prepared pie plate.
  8. Bake 15 minutes at 400°F. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 45 minutes more or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.


Yield: one 8-inch deep dish pie

Mince Pies

Mincemeat – commonly thought of as a traditional Thanksgiving dish – actually traces its roots back to medieval times, when preparing meat with fruit and spices was one form of preservation. Early New Englanders would make large batches of mincemeat and store it in crocks sealed with a layer of lard for use over many months. Most modern versions no longer include meat, but here is an early New England “receipt” (or recipe), originally published in Lydia Maria Child’s “American Frugal Housewife” (1832), along with an adaptation for the modern cook, published in the Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook (Globe Pequot Press, 1995). The recipe yields filling for two pies.

Original Recipe

Boil a tender, nice piece of beef — any piece that is clear from sinew and gristle; boil it till it is perfectly tender. When it is cold, chop it very fine, and be very careful to get out every particle of bone and gristle. The suet is sweeter and better to boil half an hour or more in the liquor the beef has been boiled in; but few people do this. Pare, core, and chop the apples fine. If you use raisins, stone them. If you use currants, wash and dry them at the fire. Two pounds of beef, after it is chopped; three quarters of a pound of suet; one pound and a quarter of sugar; three pounds of apples; two pounds of currants, or raisins. Put in a gill of brandy; lemon-brandy is better, if you have any prepared. Make it quite moist with new cider. I should not think a quart would be too much; the more moist the better, if it does not spill out into the oven. A very little pepper. If you use corn meat, or tongue, for pies, it should be well soaked, and boiled very tender. If you use fresh beef, salt is necessary in the seasoning. One ounce of cinnamon, one ounce of cloves. Two nutmegs add to the pleasantness of the flavor; and a bit of sweet butter put upon the top of each pie, makes them rich; but these are not necessary. Baked three quarters of an hour. If your apples are rather sweet, grate in a whole lemon.

From The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child (1832)

Modern Adaptation

1¼ pounds of beef round or leftover roast
¼ pound suet
1½ pounds apples
1 cup raisins or currants
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons nutmeg
¼ cup brandy
2 cups cider or apple juice
Double recipe for Pie Crust
1 tablespoon butter (optional)

  1. If uncooked meat is used, simmer beef 2-3 hours or until very tender, adding suet for last ½ hour of cooking.
  2. When cooked, chop beef and suet very fine, into about ¼-inch pieces.
  3. Pare, core, and chop apples to make 3 cups.
  4. Mix beef, suet, apples, raisins or currants, white and brown sugars, spices, brandy, and cider or apple juice.
  5. Prepare pie crust.
  6. Line pie plates with pastry, fill each with half of meat mixture. Cover with top crusts, seal edges, slit holes on top for steam to escape. If desired, spread a thick layer of butter on pastry for flaky upper crust.
  7. Bake ¾ hour in 400°-425° oven.

Yield: two 9-inch pies

Reprinted from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook (Globe Pequot Press, 1995), with permission.

Mulled Cider

1 gallon cider or hard cider*
9 whole allspice
9 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Add spices to a gallon pitcher of cider. Heat a mulling iron to cherry red in your hearth and quench it in the cider until it ceases to bubble.  Do this once or twice more, immediately before serving.

The hot poker will caramelize the sugars in fresh cider and make the drink sweeter while blending the spices without having their oils turn bitter. If you use hard cider, the action of mulling with the iron will caramelize sugars without evaporating much of the alcohol content. You may mull hard or fresh cider with the addition of the spirits of your choice without compromising their strength.

* If using hard cider, add a ½ cup of sugar to a gallon (or more to your taste) and stir until dissolved if you desire sweet cider.

New Years' Cakes

Original Recipe

Take 14 pound flour, to which add one pint milk, and one quart yeast, put these together over night, and let it lie in the sponge till morning, 5 pound sugar and 4 pound butter, dissolve these together, 6 eggs well beat, and carroway seed; put the whole together, and when light bake them in cakes, similar to breakfast biscuit, 20 minutes.

                                     From American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1796

Modern Adaptation

6-8 cups of sifted flour
2 cups of milk (warmed, not hot)
1 tsp. (two packages) yeast
1 cup white sugar
8 oz melted butter
2 well-beaten eggs
4 tbsps. caraway seed (or more, to your taste)

  1. Put 4 cups of sifted flour in a bowl. Add warm milk and yeast and blend together. Let sit until yeast froths.
  2. Add sugar and melted butter and mix together thoroughly. Add the beaten eggs and then whisk in another cup of flour to the mix and blend well. Add caraway seeds. Add more flour if necessary to make it a dough.
  3. Gently knead the dough until it pulls away from your hands cleanly. Let it rise in a bowl in a warm place for an hour.
  4. Take the dough and break it up into 3 inch spheres. Place them, flattened, onto a greased baking sheet and put them in an oven at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown and risen. It is similar to a modern scone. Happy New Years!

Parmesan Ice Cream

Original Receipt

Take six eggs, half pint of syrup, and a pint of cream, put them into a stewpan, and boil them until they begin to thicken; then rasp three ounces of Parmesan cheese, mix the whole well together, and pass it through a sieve; then freeze it according to custom.

From: The Cook’s Dictionary, and Housekeeper’s Directory, by Richard Dolby, 1833

Modern Adaptation

6 eggs beaten
1 cup simple syrup*
2 cups light cream
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan (using grated canned parmesan will give less desirable results)


  1. Grate 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.
  2. Beat eggs.
  3. Add 1 cup simple syrup to eggs.
  4. Add egg/cheese/syrup mix to cream.
  5. Cook gently over medium low heat until the custard coats the spoon.
  6. Cool custard,
  7. Strain through a sieve.
  8. Freeze by building layers of 1 inch ice and 1/4 inch rock salt in large bowl. Build layers up around a smaller metal bowl that will hold 2 quarts of liquid.
  9. Scrape down mix as it freezes.
  10. Serve immediately.

*For simple syrup, take two cups granulated sugar and one cup water and bring to a simmer over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool before use.

Taken from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook

Pear Marmalade

Original Receipt

Boil the pear with the skins on. When soft, rub them through a sieve and to each pound of pulp three quarters of a pound of brown sugar. Stew it over a slow fire till it becomes a thick jelly. It should be stirred constantly.

From The American Housewife, [author anonymous], 1841 (3rd edition), New York

Modern Adaptation

1-2 pounds of pairs (about 6 pears)
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon powdered ginger

  1. Take pears, clean, and boil whole until soft.
  2. Cool the pears.
  3. Push them through a wire sieve or ricer.
  4. To every pint (2 cups) of sieved pears, add 1 ½ cups of brown sugar.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Optional: Add 1 teaspoon powdered ginger per 2 cups of pear puree and stir well.
  7. Place mixture in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  8. When marmalade slightly sticks on a spoon and does not dissolve in a cup of cold water, place it in a jar. Either use modern canning methods to keep for long term use or place it in the refrigerator for use in the next month or two. It is best eaten on pound cake or home-made bread.


Plumb Cake

“Mix one pound currants, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon on qr. of an ounce each, 12 eggs, one quart milk, and fufficient quantity of raifins, 6 pound of flour, 3 pound of fugar, 2 pound of butter and I pint of yeaft.”

American Cookery, Amelia Simmons. 1796 (Second edition)


Original Receipt: 

Quartered Receipt:

Quartered receipt fills one approximately 12”x17” sheet pan.

*To proof yeast: For a 1/2 cup proofed yeast, mix 1 tbsp of yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp flour, and 1/2 a cup of warm water and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.


  1. 15 minutes or so before you start:
    1. Proof yeast, if not already done.
    2. Soak raisins and currants in enough wine to cover (soak at least 15 minutes, though overnight is best).
  2. In a large mixing bowl:
    1. Cream butter and sugar (minus the one 1tbsp sugar added earlier to yeast).
    2. Mix in spices.
    3. Add eggs, room temperature, one at a time, mixing well.
    4. Add milk (slightly warmed), yeast, and raisins and currants (strained of their excess wine). Mix well.
    5. Add flour by degrees being careful to not overmix, least the dough becomes tough.
  3. Transfer to buttered pan. Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes until set and golden on top.


Potatoe Pasty

Original Receipt

Boil, peel, and mash potatoes as fine as possible ; then mix pepper, salt, and a little thick cream, or, if you prefer it, butter. Make a paste, and, rolling it out like a large puff, put the potatoe into it, and bake it.

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell (1807)

Modern Adaptation

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F
  2. Wash and peel your potatoes. Cut them into uniform pieces and boil in plenty of water until fork tender.
  3. Strain potatoes well, then return to pot.
  4. Mash potatoes, the smoother the better. Add to taste salt and pepper and plenty of butter and milk or cream to make your potatoes nice and rich. Careful to not make them too soggy or runny, they should be scoop-able, like ice cream.
  5. Set potatoes aside and let cool to room temperature.
  6. While potatoes cool prepare you piecrust in the usual mannerstore bought is fine.
  7. Carefully cut circles out of your crust about an inch bigger in diameter than you would like your finished pasty. The original receipt calls for making one large pasty, about the size of half a pie. If you are nervous about freehanding your circle, try using an overturned pie plate, or a dinner plate as a pattern. Want to make individual-sized pasties instead? Small bowls and large mugs make great templates.
  8. Put a few spoonfuls of the cooled mashed potatoes (too warm and the fat in the pie crust will melt) in the middle of a pie crust circle. Fold the crust in half, like a calzone or turnover, and fold the edges over to seal.
  9. With a fork poke a few air holes in the top and crimp the edges if you like.
  10. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden and flaky.
  11. Let cool and enjoy!



Potted Cheese

This receipt was originally published in Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell’s “A New System of Domestic Cookery” (W. Andrews, Boston: 1807).

Original Recipe

Cut and pound four ounces of Cheshire cheese, one ounce and a half of fine butter, a teaspoonful of white pounded sugar, a little bit of mace, and a glass of white wine. Press it down in a deep pot.

Modern Adaptation

2 cups grated hard cheese (assorted sharp cheese such as cheddar or Romano)
2 ounces butter
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon mace
¼ cup white port wine

Using food processor or mixer, combine all ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning according to taste.

Modern adaptation offered by Old Sturbridge Village’s Department of Education and Public Programs

Pounded Cheese

Original Recipe

Cut one pound of good mellow Cheddar, Cheshire, or North Wiltshire cheese into thin bits, add to it two and if the Cheese is dry, three ounces of fresh butter, pound and rub them well together in a mortar till it is quite smooth.

Obs.- When cheese is dry, and for those whose digestion is feeble, this is the best way of eating it and spread it on Bread, it makes an excellent Luncheon or Supper.

N.B. The piquance of this buttery, caseous relish, is sometimes increased by pounding with it Curry Powder, Ground Spice, Cayenne Pepper, and a little made mustard; and some moisten it with a glass of Sherry.

If pressed down hard in a jar, and covered with clarified butter, it will keep for several days in cool weather.

Modern Adaptation

2 cups grated cheese (assorted hard, sharp cheese such as cheddar or Romano)
¼ cup butter
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon sherry

Using either food processor or mixer, combine all ingredients until smooth. Adjust spice according to taste.

Yield: 1½ cups of spread

Reprinted from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook (Globe Pequot Press, 1995), with permission.

Pumpkin and Squash Pie

Original Receipt

For common family pumpkin pies, three eggs do very well to a quart of milk. Stew your pumpkin, and strain it through a sieve, or colander. Take out the seeds, and pare the pumpkin, or squash, before you stew it; but do not scrape the inside; the part nearest the seed is the sweetest part of the squash. Stir in the stewed pumpkin, till it is as thick as you can stir it round rapidly and easily. If you want to make your pie richer, make it thinner, and add another egg. One egg to a quart of milk makes very decent pies. Sweeten it to your taste, with molasses or sugar; some pumpkins require more sweetening than others. Two tea-spoonfuls of salt; two great spoonfuls of sifted cinnamon; one great spoonful of ginger. Ginger will answer very well alone for spice, if you use enough of it. The outside of a lemon grated in is nice. The more eggs, the better the pie; some put an egg to a gill of milk. They should bake from forty to fifty minutes, and even ten minutes longer, if very deep.

From The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child. 1832

Modern Adaptation

Pie crust enough for a single crusted pie
1 winter squash
¾ cup of sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp salt
1 lemon, zested

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Put pared and cubed pumpkin in a saucepan and scarcely cover with water. Simmer until pumpkin is quite soft.
  3. Strain pumpkin by pressing it through a sieve; alternatively, mash with a potato masher until as smooth as possible. Let cool.
  4. To about 2 cups of the cooled pumpkin puree add milk, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and spice and mix well.
  5. Lay your piecrust into your pie plate and trim to fit, crimping edges.
  6. Pour pumpkin mixture carefully into prepared pie shell.
  7. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and continue to bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until crust is brown. Let cool to set.
  8. Enjoy!

Raspberry Charlotte

Original Recipe

Take a dozen of the square or oblong sponge cakes that are commonly called Naples biscuits. They should be quite fresh. Spread over each a thick layer of raspberry jam and place them in the bottom and round the sides of a glass bowl. Take the whites of six eggs, and mix with them six table-spoonfuls of raspberry or current jelly. Beat the egg and jelly with rods till very light and then fill up the bowl with it. For this purpose, cream (if you can conveniently procure it) is still better than white of egg. You may make a charlotte with any sort of jam, marmalade or fruit jelly. It can be prepared at a short notice, and is very generally liked. You may use ripe strawberries, mashed and sweetened.

n.b. Naples biscuit: large (8” x 3”), thick (1”) sponge cakes or cookies used mainly as a base for nourishing drinks or trifles. In the nineteenth century, small and thin.

Modern Adaptation

1 sponge cake
1 pint fresh strawberries (or raspberries)
1 cup raspberry jelly
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar

  1. Slice strawberries and sprinkle with ½ cup sugar. Mash and set aside.
  2. Add ½ cup sugar to whipping cream. Beat until stiff.
  3. Slice sponge cake into one-inch slices. Spread with raspberry jelly.
  4. Line glass bowl with slice of sponge cake, jellied side facing in. Fold strawberries into whipped cream. Fill cake lined bowl with cream mixture. Chill before serving.

This receipt was originally published in 1851 in Eliza Leslie’s “Directions for Cookery” (Henry Carey Baird, Philadelphia). Modern Adaptation offered by the foodways staff at Old Sturbridge Village

Raspberry Shrub

Original Receipt

Put raspberries in a pan and scarcely cover them with strong vinegar. Add a pint of sugar to a pint of juice; (of this you can judge by first trying your pan to see how much it holds) scald it, skim it, and bottle it when cold.

Taken from The American Frugal Housewife, by Lydia Maria Child, 1833

Modern Adaptation:

2 cups raspberries
1 ½ to 2 cups cider vinegar
sugar (1 cup for every pint of juice)
¼ cup to one quart of water
Optional:  add ½ cup of light rum or liquor of choice for a refreshing cocktail

  1. Take 2 cups of raspberries and cover them in cider vinegar in a sauce pot (until the vinegar reaches to top of the raspberries in the pot)
  2. Simmer over medium heat until raspberries break apart.
  3. Strain the raspberries through a cloth or sieve to collect the juice.
  4. Measure the juice. For every cup of juice, add a cup of sugar. Stir to dissolve.
  5. Bring to a high simmer.
  6. Take off just when bubbles start to form. Cool.
  7. Add ¼ cup mixture to one quart of water.
  8. Optional: Add ½ cup of light rum or liquor of choice for a refreshing cocktail.


Roasted Cheese

This receipt, originally published in “Domestic Cookery” (1829), has been adapted for the modern cook and is included in the “Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook” (Globe Pequot Press, 1995), in both original and modern versions

Original Recipe

Grate three ounces of fat cheese, mix it with the yolk of two eggs, four ounces of grated bread and three ounces of butter; beat the whole well in a mortar, with a dessert spoonful of mustard and a little salt and pepper. Toast some bread, cut it in to proper pieces; lay the paste, as above, thick upon them, put them into a Dutch oven covered with a dish, till hot through, remove the dish, and let the cheese brown a little. Serve as hot as possible.

Modern Adaptation

1¼ cups cheddar or other hard cheese
2 hard-boiled egg yolks mashed
2-3 cups soft bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon mustard
Dash of salt and pepper
8 slices lightly toasted bread

  1. Blend cheese, mashed egg yolks, bread crumbs, butter, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  2. Spread paste on toast. Bake in 350º oven covered for 15 minutes. Remove cover for last 5 minutes to brown the cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

Reprinted from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook (Globe Pequot Press, 1995), with permission.

Roman Punch

“Grate the yellow rinds of four lemons and two oranges upon two pounds of loaf-sugar. Squeeze on the juice of the lemons and oranges; cover it, and let it stand till the next day. Then stir it through a sieve, add a bottle of champagne, and the whites of eight eggs beaten to a froth. You may freeze it or not.”

From Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery by Eliza Leslie

Scots Collops

Original Receipt

Cut some very thin slices of beef; rub with butter the bottom of an iron stew-pan that has a cover to fit quite closely; put in the meat, some pepper, and a little salt, a large onion and an appleminced very small. Cover the stewpan, and let it simmer till the meat is very tender. Serve it hot.

From The Cooks Own Book by Mrs. N. K. M. Lee (1854)

Modern Adaptation

2-3 lbs beef
2 large onions
3 apples
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter, or more

1. Prepare ingredients. Peel, core and slice apples. Peel, half and slice onions thinly.
Slice beef against the grain into thin slices, or

Prepped beef, apples, and onions

2. Heat a deep skillet, with a lid, over medium-high heat; a dutch oven works
particularly well. Once skillet is hot add 2 tbsp of butter and let melt.

3. Brown beef in skillet, taking caution to not crowd the pan; salt and pepper to
taste. Remove beef as it browns and set aside.

browned beef

4. Once all the beef has been browned reduce heat to medium and add onion slices.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to caramelize. Add more butter if
pan is dry. Salt and pepper to taste.

caramalized onions

5. Add apple slices to pan with onions and cook until apples start to soften, stirring

apples and onions in a pan

6. Return beef to the plan and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and
let stew, stirring occasionally. The apples should produce plenty of moisture, but if
the pan is dry add a bit more butter or water a tbsp at a time.

7. Let stew for 20 minutes to an hour (or more!). The apples and onions will continue
to break down and produce a sweet and savory sauce for the beef.

8. Serve hot.

Soft Cheese

Time to make: 1 hour (25 minutes preparing, 45 minutes waiting)

Things You’ll Need:


  1. Heat milk in a pot over medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until “body temperature” (when the milk feels about the same temperature as your body).
  2. Figure a

    Remove from heat and pour in apple cider vinegar and stir using the whisk until it separates into curds and whey, then salt the mixture (see figure a).

  3. Place cloth over a bowl then strain the curds away from the whey, then lift the sides of the cheese cloth and drain.
  4. Hang cloth with curds from sink faucet for about 45 minutes, or until the whey has stopped dripping and the cheese feels solid.
  5. Enjoy!


Soft Gingerbread

Baking GingerbreadHard and soft gingerbread has been baked in Europe and the United States for centuries. While the precise origins are murky, gingerbread was a relatively popular treat in medieval Europe.

Original Receipt:

“Six teacups of flour, three cups of molasses, three cups of cream, two of butter, one tablespoon of pearlash, and the same of ginger.  Bake in a quick oven about half an hour.”

The Good Housekeeper by Sarah Josepha Hale, 1841

Modern Adaptation:



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour and ginger.
  3. Dissolve baking soda and cream of tartar in the cream.
  4. Cut butter into dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.
  5. Stir in cream mixture and molasses into dry ingredients.
  6. Pour into two greased 9-inch pans.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Stewed Pompions or Pumpkins

Stewed Pompions or Pumpkins

“The ancient New-England standing Dish.”

Original Receipt:

But the housewives’ manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day; and, as they sink, they fill again with fresh pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and, when it is stew’d enough. It will look like bak’d apples. This they dish; putting butter to it, and a little vinegar (with some spice, as ginger, &c.); which makes it tart, like an apple; and so serve it up, to be eaten with fish or flesh.

New England’s Rarities Discovered by John Josselyn. 1640

Modern Adaptation – Made using a Crockpot! 

1 small pumpkin or winter squash (this should make about 2 cups cooked)
1tbsp. water
1 tsp. ginger
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. butter
Pinch of salt


  1. Rinse pumpkin and divide in half.
  2. Scoop out seeds* and stringy bits.
  3. Peel pumpkin and cut into 1” cubes.
  4. Fill small crockpot with as much pumpkin as will fit with lid on.
  5. Add 1 tbsp. water and lid. Turn on crockpot.
  6. Let pumpkin slowly reduce adding more pumpkin as space allows.
  7. Cook until pumpkin is soft and broken down, like home-style applesauce. 8-10 hours.
  8. Sieve cooked pumpkin to drain excess water.
  9. Return pumpkin to crockpot or separate bowl.
  10. Melt in butter, seasoning with ginger, apple cider vinegar and a good pinch of salt.
  11. Serve warm along with meats like beef or pork, or on its own!

*For an extra treat, save these seeds for roasting. Early Americans would separate and dried seeds from foods like pumpkins and squash for planting the following year. Not all seeds are worth saving though, round convex seeds may grow, but the flat ones will not. Families may also only choose to save the seeds from pumpkins with desirable characteristics such as length of storage or good size and shape.




Tunbridge Cakes

Original Receipt

Rub six ounces of butter into a quart of flour; then mix six ounces of sugar into three well beaten eggs, and make the flour into paste, adding a little rose-water and what spices you like. Roll the paste very thin and cut with the top of a glass, prick the cakes with a fork, and cover with caraways, or wash with the white of an egg and dust a little sugar over. Bake on tins in a moderate oven.

The Good Housekeeper by Sarah Josepha Hale, 1839

Modern Adaptation

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
4 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of granulated or grated maple sugar (not maple syrup)
1/4 cup of sugar for sprinkling atop the cakes
3 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
1 moderately beaten egg white

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Add rosewater (if desired) and eggs; blend in until smooth.
  3. Add the sifted flour (and spices if desired) a cup at a time while mixing until the dough has formed. If it is still sticky, add additional sifted flour until it is the consistency of pie crust (firm yet moist, not sticky- it needs to hold together to be rolled out).
  4. Roll out cookie dough to about 1/4 of an inch. Cut cakes out with the lip of a small water glass or your favorite cookie cutter. Lay cookies on a buttered or greased baking sheet. Brush cookies with egg whites and sprinkle with maple sugar or caraway seeds.
  5. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden.

Omit the rosewater, spices, and caraway seeds if you want the maple sugar flavor to shine. Maple sugar has a delicate flavor that can be lost with the addition of other flavorings.

Turnip Sauce

Original Receipt

Mashed turnip in a bowlBoil your turnips and mash them fine; add the same amount of mealy mashed potatoes;  season with salt and pepper,  moisten it with cream or butter.

The American Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book by Esther Allen Howland, 1845

Modern Adaptation

  1. Peel and chop potatoes and turnip into even-sized chunks
  2. Put potatoes into one saucepan and turnips into a second. Add water to each pan until the pieces are completely covered by about an inch.*
  3. Over high heat boil potatoes and turnips until a fork passes through a piece with ease; about 10-15 minutes for potatoes and 20-30 minutes for turnips
  4. Drain turnips and potatoes well and return to one saucepan or a separate large bowl.
  5. Add butter and mash well. For a creamier Turnip Sauce add milk or cream too!
  6. Season to taste and serve hot.

*Want to use fewer pans? Start boiling turnips in a large saucepan with a lot of extra water, boil for about 10 minutes and then add potatoes.

Washington Cake

Original Receipt

Beat together 1 1/2 lb. of sugar, and three quarters of pound of butter; add 4 eggs well beaten, half pint of sour milk, and 1 tea-spoonful of saleratus, dissolved in a little hot water. Stir in gradually 1 3/4 lb. of flour, 1 wine glassful of wine or brandy, and 1 nutmeg grated. Beat all well together. This will make two round cakes. It should be baked in a quick oven, and will take from 15 to 30 minutes, according to the thickness of the cakes.From: The Ladies’ New Book of Cookery: Practical System for Private Families in Town and Country by Sarah Josepha Hale. New York: H.Long & Brothers, 1852 Ingredients

Modern Adaptation:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup wine
2 1/2 – 3 Cups flour, measured after sifting
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 pint buttermilk

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light.
  2. Beat eggs, add wine. Combine with butter and sugar mixture.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and spices.
  4. Add one-third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk then add one-third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk, and then add the remaining flour mixture, blending well after each addition.
  5. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, pour in the batter, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or use a tube pan and bake for 70 minutes.

Hearth Method

  1. Follow steps 1-4 in Modern Method recipe.
  2. Pour batter in two 9-inch pottery pie plates or two round, straight-sided oven proof dishes of 8-9 inches in diameter. Bake for 1 1/4 hours in a moderate bake oven.

Yield: two 8-inch or 9-inch layers or one tube cake.

Taken from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook


Winter Vegetable Soup

Original Receipt

To every gallon of water allow, when cut down small, a quart of the following vegetables, equal quantities of turnip, carrots, and potatoes, three onions, two heads of celery, and a bunch of sweet herbs; fry them brown in one-quarter of a pound of butter, add the water with the salt & pepper, and boil it till reduced to three quarts and serve it with fried toasted bread.

From The Practice of Cookery: Adapted to the Business of Every Day Life by Mrs. Dalgairns (1829)

Modern Adaptation

  1. Chop all veggies into even, bitesized pieces—for a nicer soup peel and cut the veggies small, for a more “rustic” family soup leave larger, unpeeled pieces.
  2. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat—a stick of butter makes for the tastiest soup but you can make due with less.
  3. Add onions and celery and cook until slightly soft, this will provide much of the flavor for your soup stock. Salt to taste.
  4. Add remaining veggies and cook, stirring for 8-10 minutes letting the veggies brown a bit.
  5. Add enough water to cover, reduce heat to medium and let simmer until veggies are fork-tender.
  6. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sweet herbs and serve with fried bread*

*Fried bread — much like croutons, can be easily made by browning buttered bread in a hot skillet. Seasoned with salt and pepper these little morsels are a nice addition to many soups.

Note from Victoria, Coordinator of Households and Foodways:

I love Winter Veggie Soup! We make it in the households at Old Sturbridge Village, I make it at home; it’s a simple, easy and pleases almost everyone.  Though the receipt calls for specific vegetables, most root vegetables could be easily added or substituted based on what you like or have on hand. I personally love adding parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes to mine, particularly in the spring when we can start digging up the ones we let overwinter in the garden and add them to the vegetables stored in the root cellar. What will make in into yours? Happy cooking!

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