This recipe for a Victorian fruit cake skips the poor-quality candied fruit that gives some pre-made modern fruitcakes a bad reputation (especially in the US). Instead, fresh coconut, citron and almonds fill this cake to bursting with natural flavors and textures.
Image courtesy of Sarah Chrisman.
This holiday season, Genealogy Gems Book Club featured author Sarah Chrisman is helping us celebrate all things Victorian, especially recipes! Keep reading to find links to the Victorian holiday recipes we’ve shared recently.
In this post: a fruit cake that lives up to its history as a rich, flavorful dessert that’s worthy of the season.
Image courtesy of Sarah Chrisman.
Victorian Fruit Cake Recipe
Sarah Chrisman shared this recipe for a white fruit cake with us, along with this picture of her cracking a coconut in preparation for making this dish:
“Stir to a cream one pound of butter and one pound of powdered sugar.
Add the beaten yolks of twelve eggs, one pound of flour and two teaspoons of baking powder.
Grate one coconut, blanch and chop one-half pound of almonds, and slice one-half pound of citron and stir into the stiffly beaten white of the eggs and add to the batter.
Put in pan lined with buttered paper, and bake slowly two hours.”
-By Mrs. W.S. Standish, Plymouth Union Cook Book, 1894. pp. 56-57.
Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to blanch almonds:
What is Citron?
It’s a citrus fruit that is something like a lemon. According to this blog post on using citron in fruitcakes, it’s not always easy to find fresh citrons, but you can ask at your best local markets for a supplier near you or look for high-quality prepared citron that can be shipped to you.
Genealogy Gems Book Club featured author Sarah Chrisman will join host Lisa Louise Cooke in the December Genealogy Gems and Genealogy Gems Premium podcasts to talk about her everyday Victorian lifestyle.
Victorian lifestyle expert and author Sarah Chrisman shares favorite–and authentic–recipes for tangy homemade cranberry sauce (served hot or cold) and a hearty vegetable hash.
Sarah Chrisman, who lives every day like it’s Victorian times and writes about it in several books, is the current featured author for the Genealogy Gems Book Club. She’ll join both the Genealogy Gems podcast and the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast in December to talk about Victorian-style holidays and her books, including This Victorian Life.
In the coming weeks, Sarah will share her favorite mouth-watering, made-from-scratch Victorian recipes here on the Genealogy Gems blog. Some of her recipes come straight from cookbooks of the time period, and others she has adapted for modern kitchens and tastes.
Below, she shares a simple recipe for tangy cranberry sauce, simmered from whole, fresh cranberries, and a hot, hearty vegetable hash side dish, which Sarah calls “a good way to use up leftovers after the holiday!”
“Pick over and wash two cupfuls of fine cranberries. Put them in an earthen dish, pour over a cup of sugar, add a cupful of boiling water, cover, and cook gently nearly an hour. Serve hot or cold.”
-From Catering for Two, by Alice L. James. G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York and London. (n.d.) p. 178.
Note: the above edition of Catering for Two isn’t dated, but a first edition found online is dated 1898.
Image courtesy of Sarah Chrisman.
Chop rather coarsely the remains of vegetables left from a boiled dinner, such as cabbage, parsnips, potatoes, etc.
Sprinkle over them a little pepper.
Place in a saucepan or frying-pan over the fire.
Put in a piece of butter the size of a hickory nut.
When it begins to melt, tip the dish so as to oil the bottom, and around the sides.
Then put in the chopped vegetables.
Pour in a spoonful or two of hot water from the tea-kettle.
Cover quickly so as to keep in the steam.
When heated thoroughly take off the cover and stir occasionally until well cooked.
“Persons fond of vegetables will relish this dish very much.”
–The Capitol Cook Book, 1896, p. 188
More Recipes for a Very Victorian Holiday Season
Click here to see last week’s Victorian-era recipe for a rich roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing and gravy. (We even included a quick how-to video tutorial for trussing the turkey!)
Getting genealogy organized is just one of the topics we cover here at Genealogy Gems, and Premium Members have exclusive access to podcast and video content to help you accomplish that goal.
We’ve put together a step-by-step plan for getting the most out of Premium Membership, and going from unorganized to organized in nothing flat!
A new Gem’s reader recently sent us the following email:
I have recently joined Genealogy Gems as a Premium member and wanted to ask if there is a good place to get started.
I have a ton of family information collected, but as yet have not figured out a plan of attack.
I was wondering if you could guide me in which podcasts, premium podcasts, and videos would be good ones to start with. I need to put this information into some semblance of order so that I can move constructively on it, as well as to be able to share the family history with others and have it make sense. Thanks, Gerri.
Getting Genealogy Organized with Premium Content
We are so glad to have you as a Genealogy Gems Premium Member. Welcome!
The best place to start is by digging into these blog posts that I highly recommend:
When you are ready to move onto the Premium Podcast episodes, I suggest you focus first on:
Hard Drive Organization Part 1 and Part 2
Use Evernote to Create a Research Plan
Podcast episode 114: Paper Organization
Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast episodes 31 & 32: Organizing Your Genealogy Files.
Getting genealogy organized is one of the most overwhelming tasks new and seasoned genealogists deal with. Whether you’re new to Premium Membership or a long time member, make sure you have a solid basic structure for your genealogy organization, as it is the backbone of everything that follows. That basic structure for getting genealogy organized might look like this:
A Quick Plan for Getting Genealogy Organized
Assess what you have.
Pick a genealogy database software program. We recommend RootsMagic.
Set-up a few 3-ring binders with acid free sheet protectors so you have a place to put documents and other important things.
Set-up a basic folder and file structure for your hard drive based on the Premium videos Hard Drive Organization.
Have a back-up plan for your precious family history files. We recommend BackBlaze as a way to automatically back-up your computer files.
If you are not a Genealogy Gems Premium Member, take a look at what you are missing! Premium Members are able to listen to our Premium podcasts packed with even more tips and techniques for all things genealogy. You also have access to my most popular training videos.
For a limited time, new members will receive
this exclusive digital PDF e-book,
a collection of my most popular
articles from Family Tree Magazine!
(the e-book will be emailed to you
within 24 hours of purchase)
Like I said, there is more than one web-browser out there. Maybe you are a fan of Firefox or Internet Explorer, but I want you to head on over to Google Chrome to see this really slick feature.
Why Google Chrome Image Search Works
Google Chrome can do a lot of amazing tech things. By learning how to use Google Images, you may be able to finally identify some of those old pictures you have stuffed around the house! This technique works especially well for identifying locations, maps, and high profile buildings. Why does this work? Google has a stellar process for surfing the web (they call it “crawling”) and indexing everything it finds. This effort builds an incredible wealth of information, including information on all of the photos and images it comes across. Google Chrome, Google’s web-browser, can use this data to quickly match your image to other images Google has crawled on the web. Not only can it find the image, but it can bring along with it any other information (such as details about the image) that is attached to the image. And that can all mean big answers for you!
Take It Further: Identify Original Locations of Images and Photos
In my video, I share with you how I used Google Chrome to identify an old family postcard. In this blog post today, I want to share another tip for using Google Chrome to identify old photos. It never fails.
If you’re like me, you get pretty excited as you make family history discoveries. You might find yourself saving documents and pictures to your computer without accurately sourcing from whence they came. Six months later you find yourself wondering, “Where in the world did that image come from?”
Google Chrome can help. Just use the step-by-step instructions found in the video to upload the image to Google Images, and click the Search by Image button. Voila! Google finds the match and you uncover the website where the image came from! This saves valuable time (and I think we can all use more of that) and provides the information you need to properly cite your image source.
Sharing is Caring
Thanks for watching and reading, friends. Did you share this tech-tip video with your genie buddies? I hope you did. For more tech-tips and savvy tricks, be sure to subscribe to our Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel.
There’s a new video tutorial on genealogy apps for Genealogy Gems Premium website members: “How to Find Essential Genealogy Apps for Genealogists.”
What are the best apps for genealogy? The ones that accomplish whatever you want to GET DONE. Like:
working on your family tree
translating an old church register
digitally restoring an old photo.
Having your mobile device read you an e-book or blog post (yes, you can do this for free).
But to make the most of the many mobile tools out there for the genealogist, you need to strategically look for them rather than hope you stumble across them. Because most of them aren’t conveniently marked “for the genealogist.”
Save 10% off Mobile Genealogy with Coupon code web10
The How to Find Essential Genealogy Apps for Genealogists video is one of nearly 30 full-length video tutorials (and an Evernote mini-series tutorial) that you will have access to as a Genealogy Gems Premium Member. To learn more about membership, click here.)