Thursday 29 June 2023

Friday 16 June 2023

June Fashion Friday

 For this month's Fashion Friday we have a video concerning protective clothes, outer garments that protected the regular clothes when working or travelling.
These garments were common in all places during Victorian times not just the "Wild West".

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Tuesday 6 June 2023

June Book Tuesday and Recipe test

For June's post the ever resourceful Marian Gibbard has prepared a wonderful combination Book  Tuesday and Recipe test!

Combining a tasty Picnic for One with links to lots of resources at the Internet Archive to get us inspired for our Summer.

The Victoria Society of Alberta


An Early Summer Picnic Lunch

A Google search for ‘Victorian picnics’ will soon overwhelm the curious explorer with extensive menus, numerous recipes and complex social etiquette instructions. I scaled the affair down to a simple outdoor lunch for one, and put together a basket of tasty late Victorian and Edwardian style food to enjoy on a beautiful May afternoon in my backyard.

The menu:

  • Cucumber sandwich
  • Ham sandwich
  • Rhubarb cake
  • Gingersnaps
  • Blackberries (purchased)
  • Roasted and salted almonds (purchased)
  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Lemonade

Picnic for One

The recipes:

Cucumber Sandwich

From the "North End Club Cook Book".

Ham Sandwich

Based on instructions for similar sandwiches, but using modern conveniences: store bought light rye bread spread with a grainy mustard, lettuce leaves, and thin sliced deli ham.

Rhubarb Cake

A simple cake, similar to some Victorian era recipes I have seen, but using a modern recipe.  Rhubarb is often of the first fruits or vegetables available in this area, and the first picking had arrived in my kitchen the day before this picnic, making for an unexpected but welcome addition to the menu.

The recipe came from the Western Producer, a farm/agricultural newspaper, May 26, 2022 edition. You’ll find article with the Old-fashioned Rhubarb Crunch Cake and three other rhubarb recipes on their website here:


Made from a vintage family recipe, which is very similar to this one found in the "North End Club Cook Book".  

Chill the dough overnight in the fridge before slicing and baking. Leave plenty of room between  the cookies to allow for spreading when they bake, and then let them cool for a few seconds on the cookie sheet before removing them.

Raspberry Vinegar

Sweetened vinegar based syrups are an excellent way to preserve strongly flavoured berries beyond their regrettably short season as fresh fruit. This was made last summer using an old family recipe which is very similar to the instructions found in multiple period cook books.

Raspberry Vinegar

  • 3 quarts raspberries
  • 1 quart vinegar (white)
  • Let stand in crock for 2 or 3 days, mashing raspberries thoroughly. Strain.
  • To 1 pint syrup add 1 pound white sugar. Let set in cool place, stirring frequently.
  • When sugar is dissolved, strain and bottle.

To make a drink, dilute the vinegar syrup to taste - usually a spoonful or two to a glass of cold water. Stir well, and enjoy.


Made using this Lemon Syrup recipe from the "White House Cook Book".  Originally published in 1886, the "White House Cook Book" went through numerous editions; this one is from 1908.

I had made the syrup last year, and put it up in pint canning jars. A dilution of 1part lemon syrup to 6 parts water seems to work well for this batch. Preferred dilution ratios will vary with personal taste and may vary between batches of syrup.

The sources:

The "North End Club Cook Book": a collection of choice and tested recipes. 1905. North End Club, Chicago, Illinois.

The "White House Cook Book": a comprehensive cyclopedia of information for the home, containing cooking, toilet and household recipes, menus, dinner-giving, table etiquette, care of the sick, health suggestions, facts worth knowing, etc.. Fanny L. Gillette and Hugo Ziemann, editors. 1908 edition.

The Western Producer. ‘Rhubarb among Mother Nature’s first garden offerings’. May 26 2022.

Personal collection of family recipes.

It was a fine repast indeed!