The Return of Mrs. D. A. Lincoln

There’s a lot of culinary news this week, especially if, like me (archivistkira, that is), you try to keep up with around 20 culinary/nutrition/food news blogs. And let’s not get started on the hundreds I don’t have time to follow.  I can’t say I read every article every day, but I try my best to stop and skim things that strike me. This week, it seemed there was plenty of inspiration to be had. NPR’s The Salt has a post on old ketchup recipes. We’ve blogged about the history of that favorite condiment before, but it’s hardly a smiple subject. There was plenty of talk about Smithfield Foods and the expected buy out by Shuanghui International, which got me thinking about a pork-based post of some kind. The Epicurious.com food blogs covered everything from fresh vegetable recipes to hostessing tips, topics certainly not absent from our collection. And Eatocracy featured recipes for food holidays (cocktails and blueberry muffins, among them), highlighted food from around the world, and reported on national food news.

But, in the end, July is, among other things, National Ice Cream Month, and my mind kept rolling back to Mrs. D. A. Lincoln and her product pamphlets. Last month, we featured Frozen Fancies from 1898.  This week, we’re taking a closer look at Frozen Dainties: Fifty Choice Receipts for Ice-Creams, Frozen Puddings, Frozen Fruits, Frozen Beverages, Sherbets, and Water Ices…. Published in 1899, this pamphlet was produced for the next generation of home ice cream freezers created by The White Mountain Freezer Co. of Nashau, NH.

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While there is some obvious re-use of recipes, the 1899 publication is an expanded edition for a new piece of equipment. And there are a few things that might make you stop and wonder, for better or worse.

This versions sees the addition of some new flavors: Brown Bread Ice-Cream, Mock Pistachio Ice-Cream (tinted with spinach coloring!), and Pomegranate Sherbet (that doesn’t contain pomegranates, but uses blood oranges). There are directions for creating frozen beverages–essentially coffee, tea, or eggnog slushes.

And there are some interesting techniques here, too. The “Ice-Cream en Deguiser” on page 24 is really what we know of as Baked Alaska. And although Mrs. Lincoln devotes half a page to the instructions, the recipes ends with “This is recommended chiefly for its novelty.” Hardly an overwhelming endorsement. The “Glace Cream” involves making both ice cream and candy before combining the two.

Technique and oddities aside, there are plenty of basic recipes for your pleasure while finding ways to stave off the summer heat. After all, we all scream for ice cream, right?

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