In researching old-time potato recipes for Easter, I came across “The “Home Queen” Cook Book, Two Thousand Valuable Recipes on Cookery and Household Economy, Table Etiquette, Etc.” Contributed by over Two Hundred World’s Fair Lady Managers, Wives of Governors and Other Ladies of Position and Influence, edited by James Edson White (1893). The World’s Fair would be referring to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.
I found the qualifications for submission interesting…
“In the preparation of the Recipe department of the “Home Queen” the plan has been to secure a few choice and well-tried recipes from each of hundreds of individuals scattered throughout every State and Territory in the Union… The recipes are not necessarily all original with the contributors, but are such as have become favorites by long use.
“The names attached to these recipes, together with the statement accompanying them that they were “all tried and known to be good,” is the best possible assurance as to their value and appropriateness.”
Grate 4 large sweet potatoes, then mix with them 3 well beaten eggs, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups molasses, 1 spoon butter, powdered ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. Bake in a moderate oven. Serve hot for dinner with hard sauce*, and slice cold for tea.
– Sewanee, Tennessee
Sweet Potato Custard
Take 1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes boiled or steamed, add 6 oz. butter, 3/4 lb. sugar, 4 eggs – leaving 2 whites – 1/2 pt. sweet milk, 1/2 grated nutmeg, wine glass brandy or wine. For meringue use whites of eggs with 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 spoon vanilla. Bake in pie plates with one crust in a moderate oven.
– Mrs. PH Hallenbeck, Winona, Minnesota
What, you may ask is “hard sauce?”
Glad you asked! I found the answer in yet another brilliant resource. “Old Doctor Carlin’s Recipes: Being a Complete Collection of Recipes on Every Know Subject, as Selected from the MSS. of Old Doctor William Carlin, of Bedford, England” By William Carlin (1881)
Stir to a cream 1 cupful of butter and 3 cupfuls of powdered sugar. When light, beat in 3/4 of a cupful of wine, the juice of a lemon and 2 teaspoonfuls of nutmeg. This must be beaten hard and long until creamy and higher in color than at first. Dip a broad knife into cold water and smooth the sauce into shape; then stamp it with a wooden mould, first scalded and then dipped in cold water. Keep upon the ice until you serve the pudding