Learn how to make a tallow candle with kitchen waste and a DIY wick made from natural materials! Tallow candles are great as emergency candles and for the holiday season.
Tallow candles have a long history. They were the most widely used candles since ancient times before paraffin and stearin were discovered in the Victorian era. Tallow candles were a cheaper alternative to expensive beeswax candles.
While tallow candles could already be bought at shops in the Middle Ages, tallow candles were often made at home: Because tallow and other animal fats were readily available in households. As wick they either used cotton string or dried rushes. Read on to find out how to make a molded or dipped tallow candle with a DIY cotton or rush wick. Continue reading How To Make Tallow Candles→
The ‘door was thrown open leading into the great exhibition-room. Here was a magnificent Christmas-tree hung all over with colored wax tapers; here were tables covered with white cloths, and glittering from head to foot with the most bewitching doll-babies, work-boxes, card-cases, silk dresses, rattles, penny whistles, shawls, sashes, drawing-implements, and I don’t know what all, for big and little, with a name written upon each, and ever so many funny inscriptions to make it all the more merry.’ (An American Family In Germany, 1866, p. 183) Continue reading The Victorian Christmas Tree→
I wanted to sew woven fabric stockings for a long time, and now I’ve finally sewn a pair of medieval fabric stockings! I like how they turned out. And they’re really comfortable to wear! Continue reading Medieval Stockings→
Victorian bread recipes without commercial yeast and without sourdough starter – you don’t need commercial yeast to bake a loaf of bread! In the Victorian era it was quite common to make yeast substitutes at home. Here you’ll find 8 recipes for homemade yeast substitutes: hop yeast, fruit yeast, grape must yeast, flour yeast sponge, pea yeast, bark yeast & salt rising bread.
I often make homemade sourdough bread, but since I made Victorian Graham bread (with commercial yeast) for the Historical Food Fortnightly two month ago, I was interested in historical homemade bread recipes which were made without commercial yeast. So here I compiled Victorian bread recipes which are all made without commercial yeast and without traditional homemade sourdough starter.
‘Home-made liquid yeast is exceedingly easy to prepare. It simply requires a mixture of water and some material in which the plant cells will rapidly grow.’ (A Handbook Of Invalid Cooking, 1893)
In the Victorian era, yeast was usually made at home with boiled hops and mashed potatoes. But nearly all Victorian yeast recipes made with hops say to add some commercial yeast as well; but finally I found two Victorian yeast recipes without commercial yeast, which you’ll find below. There are also recipes for Victorian salt-risen bread, Roman bread made with grape must, Turkish pea bread and Siberian bark bread. Continue reading 10 Victorian Bread Recipes Without Commercial Yeast→
For the Historical Food Fortnightly challenge 18 – ‘Let’s get saucy!’ I tried to make a medieval natural blue sauce. I found the recipe in different languages all over the internet: in French it’s called ‘Sauce bleu céleste d’été’, and in English ‘Heavenly sky-blue summer sauce’ or ‘Summertime cerulean blue sauce‘. It’s a 1450s or 1460s recipe from the book ‘Libro de arte coquinaria’ by Maestro Martino, which is the most influential cookbook in the 15th century. The cookbook contains mainly sauce recipes, and it’s the first book which mentions a piece of cloth to strain sauces. The cookbook is written in Latin and the recipe I’m now making is called: ‘Sapor celeste de estate’. Continue reading Heavenly Sky-blue (Or Blood-red) Summer Sauce – Historical Food Fortnightly→
Blackthorn ink was one of the most used inks in medieval Europe; other ancient inks are oak gall ink and India ink. I was curious how blackthorn ink would write, so I’ve made some. The ink isn’t difficult to make, it just takes some time. I’ve written a tutorial, so that you can make your own blackthorn ink. Continue reading How To Make Medieval Blackthorn Ink – A Tutorial→