Monthly Archives: May 2014

Day 151: Lemonade

It is 10pm and I finally have a chance to make my daily recipe from The New Galt Cook Book (1898) after a busy day at work and at home. The weather has been beautiful and although it isn’t officially summer yet, it feels like it, so I’m going to make Lemonade. The recipe doesn’t have a contributor’s name under it so it is probably something that the cook book editors considered essential but no one sent it in.

Ad from St. George Sentinal 1898

Ad from St. George Sentinal 1898

I cut one lemon in half and squeezed the juice into a regular drinking glass. I filled it with cold water and stirred in a teaspoon of sugar. After my first sip I added a bit more sugar. I don’t know why I don’t make home-made lemonade more often in the summer. It is such a classic drink and is very easy to make. Best of all it tastes great and you can make it as strong as you like and sweeten to your preference. Next time I’ll try adding some orange too but plain lemonade is just fine.


One half of a lemon to each glass of lemonade, or one lemon for three glasses. Make it with cold water, sugar to taste. Sometimes the juice of part of an orange is added. A piece of ice in each glass is an improvement.


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Day 150: Egg Coffee

Today was a lovely day but also a day of challenges so I’ve decided to make a simple recipe from the Cookery for the Sick section of The New Galt Cook Book (1898). I was running around so much today that I forgot to eat until late afternoon and now nothing seems appealing. I don’t drink coffee but for some reason I decided to make Egg Coffee. This recipe was contributed by Miss Gibson.

Ad from The Canadian Grocer magazine.

Ad from The Canadian Grocer magazine.

I grabbed a large coffee cup and broke a medium egg in it. I beat it well and added 1 tablespoon of cream. I stirred the mixture as I poured in the coffee. By 1898 coffee had come a long way from the days of home roasting the beans. Coffee beans were now available pre-roasted and could be ground in a coffee mill by the grocer in the amount ordered by the customer. It was now possible to buy a specific brand of ground coffee rather than generic beans. I added a spoonful of sugar to the cup and prepared to taste something I expect will be horrible.

Miss Gibson contributed some of the cookery for the sick recipes. There are quite a few women in Galt who could be Miss Gibson but it is probably Elizabeth Gibson (1855-1945) since she became a nurse.  When the Galt Hospital opened Miss Gibson was the Lady Superintendent for five years. She had to resign to take care of herself and her father. Her parents Sarah Jane Jamieson and David Gibson were both born in Scotland. Elizabeth had several sisters and brothers. Her sister Mary Jane died at age 19 but I can’t find out what happened. I imagine her death was part of Elizabeth’s choice of a career in nursing career and perhaps some of the recipes she contributed had been used when her sister and other family members were sick. She moved on to a second career as a missionary and deaconess in the Presbyterian church. You can see a picture of her and read more about her here.

Chase & Sanbourn ad in The Canadian Grocer.

Chase & Sanborn ad in The Canadian Grocer.

I was surprised to discover that Egg Coffee tastes okay. I thought I’d taste the egg but the coffee covers up completely. This beverage is creamy and comforting and rather good. I might become a coffee drinker after all although I’ll skip the raw egg. I’m trying to imagine the illness which requires egg coffee. I suppose the coffee acts as a stimulant to both energy and appetite and the egg and cream would provide calories and some vitamins too.

Miss Gibson

Beat one egg into a large coffee cup, adding a tablespoonful of cream or one-third cupful of hot milk, pouring the cup full of hot coffee and sweeten to taste. This is very nourishing.

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Day 149: Boiled Salad Dressing

I have a day off tomorrow and will head out in the morning to restock my “ice box” and pantry. At the moment I’m a bit limited in my choice of available ingredients but I do have everything I need to make a salad. My lawn is full of dandelions at the moment so it is easy to find some greens and I seem to have everything necessary to make Mrs. J. Mowat Duff’s recipe for Boiled Salad Dressing. My quest to cook every day from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book continues and so you’ll find the recipe there on page 130 in the Salad section.

Ad for Keens Mustard in The Canadian Grocer magazine in 1898.

Ad for Keens Mustard in The Canadian Grocer magazine in 1898.

This is a great recipe for me since it can be made in a saucepan. No need to mix in a separate bowl. I beat up 2 eggs in the pot and then started adding the rest of the ingredients. In went 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a small 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. I happened to have Keen’s mustard on hand — one of the brands of dry mustard available in 1898. Next I added 4 tablespoons of cream and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. I nearly curdled my cream until I realized I needed to stir as the vinegar was added. Then I popped the saucepan on the stove and heated it to boiling. I kept stirring to make sure it didn’t burn or “scramble”. Once it boiled I removed the pan from the stove and let it cool a little before sampling.

Mrs. J. Mowat Duff was such a tricky person to find and her story is complex so I’m going to simply copy and paste what I wrote when I tried her recipe for salted almonds back in February. Normally, if there is no city listed with the person’s name in the cook book, I assume she is living in Galt Ontario. I searched for J. Mowat Duff in Galt but he turned up in Guelph instead. The name is so distinctive that I think John Mowat Duff has to be the correct person. Another clue is that no one with that name appears on the Waterloo Region Generations website. John Mowat Duff was born in Kingston and Sir Oliver Mowat the premier of Ontario was his mother’s brother. I suspect J. Mowat Duff’s occupation as a bank manager might be the connection to Galt. He was in charge of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. You might be wondering why I haven’t talked about his wife, the woman who contributed the recipe. There’s a problem. He had two wives. The first wife was Jessie Langmuir Osborne. She was born in 1860 in Hamilton and died of diabetes in 1896 at the age of 36. The couple had been married just before Christmas in 1881 and their daughter Marjorie was born in 1886. She was ten when her mother died.

Mr. Duff’s second wife was Louisa Caroline Nelles. She was born in 1864 and they married in 1898.  The couple had a daughter Dorothy in 1899. John died in 1924 and Louisa died in 1950. Since the New Galt Cook Book is a revised edition of the book published in 1892, I think the first Mrs. J. Mowatt Duff (Jessie Langmuir Osborne) contributed the recipe  but his marriage to Louisa was brand new when the revised cookbook was published in 1898.

The combination of slightly bitter dandelion leaf and slightly sweet boiled salad dressing worked well together. I like this salad dressing and I was prepared to hate it since it includes the dreaded eggs. I was worried that the proportion of eggs to the other ingredients would make the dressing taste “eggy” a negative result for me. Instead it is very good and turned out creamy. I like a thick salad dressing since I use the “dip your fork in dressing and then into the salad” technique as a way to get flavour without excess calories. A thick dressing probably defeats this technique since more dressing sticks to the fork than with a thin one. However, if you like a thinner dressing it is easy to thin this one down with cream, milk or even a bit more vinegar if you like a slightly tangy dressing. I think this recipe has time travelled rather well.

Mrs. J. Mowat Duff

Take two eggs well beaten, one and a half tablespoonfuls brown sugar, one-half teaspoonful mustard, one-half teaspoonful salt, a little less pepper, four tablespoonfuls cream, two tablespoonfuls vinegar. Put all in a saucepan, and bring to a boil; if too thick when cool, add a little more cream or milk.

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Day 148: Muffins

I decided to make Muffins using a recipe contributed by Mrs. Howie of Waterloo. It appears in the Muffins section of The New Galt Cook Book (1898).

I mixed most of the dry ingredients first. I started with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar and mixed them with 1 cup of flour as a start. Next I mixed the wet ingredients. I blended 2 eggs and 1 pint (2 cups) of milk. I also melted 1 tablespoon of butter. I added the wet ingredients to the dry, added another 1 1/2 cups of flour, and finally mixed in the melted butter. I spooned the batter into muffin cups. I had mini muffin pans close to hand so I decided to try the batter in those. I baked them at 350 F. for 10 minutes but needed to add another 5 minutes to ensure they were done. I’d filled the cups a little too full but they did eventually bake. I suspect they’ll need at least 20 or 25 minutes if baked in regular cups and filled 3/4 full as usual.

Mrs. Howie is Mary Ann Gardham. She was born in Kingston Ontario on February 23, 1837 to English-born parents John Gardham and Mary Kendall. Mary Ann married Alexander Howie sometime before 1863 when their first child was born. They eventually had five children and lived in several communities before ending up in Waterloo. Alexander was born in Scotland and worked as a silver plater early in their marriage and later he was an excise officer. Mary Ann died in 1923 when she was 85.

These muffins are okay. The batter tasted better than the end result and that makes no sense to me. I tasted the completed muffins plain, with butter, and with my wonderful rhubarb marmalade. The marmalade certainly perked them up. However, I’m not sure I’d bother making these muffins again.

Mrs. Howie, Waterloo

One pint milk, two eggs, one tablespoonful of butter, half teaspoonful salt, one and a half teaspoonfuls baking powder, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, flour enough to make a stiff batter; melt the butter and put in the last thing. Bake twenty minutes.

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Day 147: Cottage Pudding

I started to make bread pudding tonight only to discover I didn’t have any bread! I found another recipe that uses the same amount of ingredients that I’d already measured and mixed (milk and egg) and in some ways it is a more appropriate recipe. It is called Cottage Pudding and today the weather was truly hot and muggy enough to make me want to out at a cottage with a cool breeze blowing. The summer cottage season was just launched on Victoria Day weekend in Canada and the recent Memorial Day weekend in the United States. This recipe appears in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) under the name Mrs. Skeene.

I mixed 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 cups of flour and 3 teaspoons of baking powder all together in a bowl. Ideally the butter and sugar would be mixed first and then the egg added and finally the flour, baking powder and milk but dumping it all in seemed to work fine too. I baked the pudding in the oven at 350 degrees F. for almost an hour. It was nicely golden on top so I scooped some out to sample.

Mrs. Skeene was a little challenging to find. It looks like the family name was changed in the 1891 census to Skene. She’s probably Annie Powrie the second wife of William Sangster Skene. William is also Annie’s second husband. Her first husband Alexander Gerrie was a harness maker and he died of consumption in 1886. They’d been married for 13 years and based on information in the Waterloo Region Generations website, I think they had two daughters who were about ten and eight when their father died. Annie and William married in 1888. William’s first wife Margaret Black died in 1883 leaving a three year old daughter. This blended family moved to Galt where William was an oatmeal miller. I’m not sure what happens after 1891 was once again the mix of surnames and spellings is making them more challenging to locate.

The batter tasted good so I hoped the finished product would be equally good. It lived up to my expectations. This isn’t an exciting pudding but it is a good basic dessert and was especially nice with some of my rhubarb marmalade as a sauce. I’m not sure I consider this a pudding. It is more like a dense cake. I liked it but I’m not sure it will suit everyone.


Mrs. Skeene

One cupful sugar, one cupful milk, one egg, one pint flour, butter size of an egg, three teaspoonfuls baking powder. Bake in an oven.

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Day 146: Rolled Jelly Cake

I have been dipping into the delicious rhubarb marmalade I made two days ago and so I thought I should try using it for another recipe. I’m going to make Rolled Jelly Cake. It’s a recipe Mrs. J. McQueen contributed to the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.

Rolled Jelly Cake

Rolled Jelly Cake

I mixed 3 eggs with 1 cup white granulated sugar. I added 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder along with 1 cup flour.  Once everything was well mixed I prepared the pan. Most cookie sheets sold today are actually jelly roll pans so that’s what I used. I decided to place a sheet of parchment paper in the pan first before adding the cake batter. I suddenly realized that this recipe sounded very familiar. Yes, the recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book for Roll Jelly Cake is the same except for a slight difference in the amount of baking powder. It turned out well back in April 2012 when I made it for my other blog so I’m going to follow the directions I used then. I baked it at 350 F for 12 minutes. As soon as it came from the oven I spread the rhubarb marmalade on top and started rolling. I sliced one end and was ready to sample.

Mrs. J. McQueen is probably Jane Black. Her parents were Margaret and William and lived in Garafraxa township in Wellington county when Jane was born 1855. Later they moved to Eramosa township where she married James McQueen in March 1876 at the home of Mr. George Scott one of their witnesses. They eventually had a daughter Margaret and two sons Alexander and William. The household in 1881 included a farm servant named Jessie Dodge. James was a farmer initially and later a coal merchant but sadly he died in 1897 when he was only 46. His death record says it was due to something called hemipligia. Jane eventually moved in with her daughter and son-in-law in Toronto but I lose track of her after the 1911 census except for a couple of border crossings in1915 after her son Alexander had moved to Philadelphia. From them I’ve learned that Jane was 5ft 6inches tall and had grey eyes.

A slice of rolled jelly cake.

A slice of rolled jelly cake.

Oh my! This is good. I wasn’t sure if rhubarb marmalade would suit jelly roll since the typical filling is strawberry or raspberry jam but the mild citrus flavour went very well with the sponge cake base of the jelly roll. Be sure not to over cook the sponge cake and spread the batter nice and thin. After that let your imagine go if you are a modern cook. Add some fruit to whipped cream and use it as a filling. Try all sorts of different jams. Experiment with chocolate. Dust the roll with icing sugar to make it look “pretty” since it will likely come out a bit rough-looking. You’ll need to eat this dessert up quickly as the sponge cake dries out unless well sealed.

Mrs. J. McQueen

Three eggs, one cup sugar, one and one-half teaspoonfuls baking powder, one cup flour. Bake in a shallow pan. Spread with jelly while warm and roll.

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Day 145: Shepherd’s Pie

Although today is Sunday it is more like my Friday night and it is actually day seven for me. I like to prepare something simple for supper on these nights so I’m going to make one of the Shepherd’s Pie recipes in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) before we hit the really hot weather next month. This version was contributed by Mrs. T. Dalgleish of Galt Ontario.

The crispy top of my shepherd's pie.

The crispy top of my shepherd’s pie.

I have some leftover beef and can quickly prepare some potatoes although I’m not sure about “nice” potatoes. Are they raw or cooked? Mashed or just chopped? Typically shepherd’s pie today is ground beef topped with mashed potatoes but what about 1898? I decided to use mashed potatoes so I peeled a couple and got them cooking. Meanwhile I chopped my beef and added some salt and pepper. I like onion so I chopped some to add to the mix along with a bit of water so that every thing was moist. I put the mixture in a dish and one the taters were ready I put them on top. I wasn’t sure what temperature to use but decided to fall back to my usual 350 degrees F. I popped it in the oven for 20 minutes and once it was heated through and a bit crispy on top it was ready to taste.

Margaret and Thomas Dalgleish and their children.

Margaret and Thomas Dalgleish and their children.

Mrs. T. Dalgleish is Margaret Barrie. She was born in Scotland in 1829 and came to Canada some time before 1848 when she married Thomas Dalgleish, a mason in Dumfries township. He continued working as a mason and builder until at least 1881. The couple had nine children and it looks like they all made it to adulthood and several had very long lives.  Thomas senior died in 1890  and Margaret in 1904.

The steamy inside of my shepherd's pie.

The steamy inside of my shepherd’s pie.

I liked this simple shepherd’s pie although I wish I’d added a little more seasoning than just salt and pepper. The onion was a good addition. I imagine Mrs. Dalgleish would make her shepherd’s pie quite often since she can prepare an amount suitable for the number of family members at home.

Update: May 26, 2014 – I’ve just received permission from a decendent to use her picture of Mrs. Thomas Dalgleish! I’ve added it to this post. I’ve also been hearing from my friends about how much they like shepherd’s pie and at least one prefers a chopped meat version like this rather than the ground beef based type.

Mrs. T. Dalgleish

Chop cold beef fine, moisten well with water, season to taste. Put in a deep dish cover with nice potatoes. Bake in the oven twenty minutes. If desired a small onion may be added.

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