The Bay Village Historical Society has a number of recipe books in its collections. We hope you enjoy the examples you see here, as well as recipes that have been reconfigured to be cooked in a modern kitchen by North Coast Narrative’s Angie George.
The most important recipe book in our collections comes from Selden Osborn (b. 1809, d. 1867). Selden was the only son of Bay pioneers Reuben and Sarah Osborn. Selden was an herb doctor. He grew his own herbs and his wife, Nancy, brewed them for him to make medicines. The book also contains food recipes, family genealogy and financial dealings, among other notes.
In the introduction to his book, Selden writes: “Selden Osborn’s Recipe Book Dover, Wishing well for myself family & the world & believing that I understand some things that will be of use to be remembered I therefore reduce them to writing as I shall never think of Practicing medicine & shall therefore be liable to forget things that are valuable has induced me to write this Book -Selden Osborn”
Another book in our collections with recipes from the 1800s is one that was once on display at the Dover Sesquicentennial in 1961. The book is filled with recipes and how-tos, both handwritten and in pasted newspaper clippings. It contains instructions on things like preserving cider, whitening your teeth with borax and chalk, brewing grafting wax for plants, and killing bed bugs with quicksilver, as well as for cooking food.
The recipes at the end of this post were collected by Bay Village Historical Society Board Member Cynthia Schuster Eakin from historical cooking expert, Angie George, of the North Coast Narrative. Eakin’s article, Angie George of North Coast Narrative brings history to life, covers cooking in 1800s America and appeared in the October 2022 issue of the publication Currents. It was inspired by a presentation of the topic to our members by George, last fall 2022.
If you would like to find out more about membership in the Bay Village Historical Society contact us at (440) 871-7338 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also sign up via our website on the Support Us Page. Please note that the Rose Hill Museum and Osborn Learning Center buildings are currently closed to the general public until April 2023.
Macaroni Pipes with Cheese (The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child, 1832)
Put a piece of butter, half a pound of macaroni pipes, an onion stuck with two cloves and a little salt into boiling 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 farmers or parmesan cheese, a little pepper and grated 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.
Use eight ounces of macaroni, one small onion, two cloves, 1 tsp. salt, four tbsp. butter, 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ tsp. pepper, one tsp. ground nutmeg and three tbsp. cream or milk.
Boil macaroni until tender in water with a small peeled onion with two cloves stuck into it and one tbsp. butter. Drain macaroni and add remaining three tbsp. butter, cheese, pepper, nutmeg and cream. Stir until well mixed. Pour into a serving dish and serve hot.
Cider Cake (Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, 1839)
Beat together six ounces of butter, eight ounces of sugar and two powdered nutmegs. Add six beaten eggs, a pint of sweet cider and enough flour to make it a thick batter. Beat it very well. Put it into a buttered pan and bake it in a moderate oven.
¾ cup butter at room temperature, one cup sugar, two tsp. ground nutmeg, four well-beaten eggs, 1 ½ cups cider at room temperature, and three cups of flour.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs about 10 to 15 minutes as they provide the leavening for the cake. Add the cider and nutmeg to the butter and sugar mixture. Make sure the cider isn’t cold or the butter will seize. Fold in the beaten eggs. Slowly add the flour and stir to make the batter. You may need more flour if the batter is too runny. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until done.
Sugar Gingerbread Cakes (200 Receipts on the Art of Cookery, Chardon, Ohio, 1844)
A pound of flour, eight ounces of butter, a spoonful of ginger, a spoonful of rose water, well beat up. Knead it stiff enough to roll out. Cut into circles. Bake on flat pans in a moderate oven until lightly browned on the bottom.
Two cups flour, one cup sugar, one cup butter, 1 ½ tsp. rosewater, 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger.
Cream sugar and butter, add the rosewater and mix. Slowly add flour and ginger and mix well. Roll dough out on a floured board to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut in circles. Place on greased baking sheets in a 350-degree oven and bake 20 to 30 minutes. You may have to chill the dough before rolling it out if it is too sticky.