Wednesday, November 12, 2008


In the early 19th century kitchens were often located in the basement of houses or even in another building outside the home. They did this because they wanted to keep the cooking odors and grease away from the other parts of the house and not "pollute" the other rooms.

Pots, pans and dishes were stored in open shelves because they would often be greasy and closed shelves attracted mice and other creatures.

Since Victorian homes did not have hot running water, the stove was also used to heat water for baths and washing dishes.

Victorian homes did not have refrigeration, but, most kitchens had an icebox made out of oak.

Because the ice box didn't not hold much, Victorian ladies had to shop daily for most items. They had local bakers, butchers and small grocery stores near them.

I thought it may be fun to post a few recipes that are actually from the Victorian times. Perhaps you you may like to try them out.

Potato Soup
3 slices of bacon
1 small onion
5 medium potatoes
pinch of salt
3 cups milk
2 tbs butter
dash of pepper
Fry bacon over medium heat until done. Remove and let cool on paper towels.
Peel and chop onion into small pieces. Peel and cup potatoes into 4 pieces.
Put the potatoes, onion and salt into a medium sized sauce pan. Add col water to cover them. Turn heat to medium high and cook until the water boils. Turn heat down and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off the burner. Drain and mash the potatoes and onions. Place back on the burner over medium high heat. Add milk. When the soup begins to simmer add the pepper and butter. Nest, crumble the bacon into the soup. Continue to stir the soup until it is hot and smooth in texture.

Victorian Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
5 cups flour
In a medium sized bowl, cream together butter, sugar and molasses. Add well beaten eggs. In another bowl mix the flour, salt, soda and cream of tartar. Combine the two mixtures. Add milk. Pour into a well greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 17 minutes. Serve with fresh fruit or apple butter.
Of course the ladies in the Victorian era didn't have a way to control the oven temp other then adding and moving around the wood in the oven. However, for your help the oven temp is given.

Apple Butter
12 medium sized apples
4 cups brown sugar
1 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1tsp cinnamon
Prepare the apples: Peel, ore and slice them and cook them in a large pan. Be sure to add 1/2 inch water. Cook on medium heat until a good sauce is achieved.
In a larger pan measure out 10 cups of apple sauce. Add the brown sugar, cider, ground cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook on medium heat until the mixture is thick. Let cool then enjoy.


  1. What a fun post. Can you imagine cooking on one of those stoves? We are so spoiled with our modern appliances. Thanks for entering my giveaway.

  2. Hi Joanne,

    I have been catching up on your blog. The new look is beautiful. Love the design.

    This is a recipe I will definitely try. Thanks for sharing it.


  3. Hi Joanne!
    What great posts! I love looking back into the past to see how they did things and what the customs were. That looked like a fabulous place you visited!
    Hugs, sherry

  4. What a beautiful new page you have put together!
    I just put a pot of corn/potato soup on to simmer and found your recipe! It's very similar only I add corn.

  5. hello Joanne; I love the Victorian photos of the kitchens. I love potato soup, yummmyy.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great week.


  6. Wow, thanks for the mini education on Victorian times. I love the romance of victoriana, however, I'm so grateful to live at this time of so many conveniences!

  7. The southern plantations I have visited have a kitchen in a cottage out back. It is an interesting concept that we consider the kitchen the heart of the home.

    Maybe that is how picnics started, it was closer to deliver.

    Love your blog BTW!

  8. I come across your blog searching for refurbished antique stoves:)So glad I did, Just Love it!!! I'll be following now:)
    Much Love,
    Oh BTW, I Love the Witch Luncheon~ CUTE!!!!