A nice gentleman contacted me recently with a question about 18th century lettuce and I promised to share some information. His question was about period recipes for cooking lettuce and whether lettuce then was anything like what we have now.
Long leaved, cos type lettuce is ancient and depicted in wall and tomb paintings as early as 4500 B.C. Lettuce is found among plants accompanying the Egyptian god, Min [4th Millennium BCE].
Cabbage-leaved lettuce is traced from 1543. Columella knew a few different varieties, and documented the Romans eating young tender lettuce and cooking older and tougher lettuce. They ate lettuce with hot dressing on it much like the wilted lettuce salads popular in the 20th century. Lettuce was cultivated to improve its texture and flavor and by the medieval era there were distinct varieties of three types – heading, loose-leaf, and tall or cos. William Woys Weaver credits the name Romaine, a cos, to it being grown in the papal gardens of Rome, although the name Romaine isn’t commonly found until the latter third of the 19th century.
“Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery”, 1744 is a good early source showing varieties during the 18th century. Some of those listed are available through heirloom seed companies. Dr. Weaver, in his heirloom vegetable treatise, tells us some of the early varieties later underwent name changes requiring some gardening knowledge to identify them and locate seed. For example, Green Capuchin is now Tennisball and Silesia is now White-Seeded Simpson or Early Curled Simpson.
Cos lettuce was common during the 18th century. Accounts such as the one from “The New London Family Cook” instructing the gardener to tie up the leaves of cos lettuce, “the same as endive”, to shield the inner leaves from the sun rendering them tender and crisp indicates that without special care some lettuce was tough. The center leaves would have been preferred for salads while the outer leaves would have benefitted from cooking.
Jamie Oliver’s braised peas and lettuce
Lettuce that formed a loose head was called cabbage lettuce and that which produced tall leafy to very loose-headed plants was cos. The varieties were divided further by season – that which could withstand a European winter, spring lettuce that headed rapidly, summer lettuce which were usually larger than spring lettuce and which tolerated more heat without bolting as fast. Cutting lettuces never form a head and are harvested a few leaves at a time as the plants grow. This is sometimes referred to as cut and come again. Southern Europe also had a, “perennial lettuce”, which resembled dandelion.
Lettuces varied in depth of color from very pale to very dark green.
In John Randolph’s eminent Gardening Treatise penned in 18th century Virginia, we see the cutting lettuce, Cabbage lettuce, and cos. Randolph found the cabbage lettuce the least pleasing of the three. “This sort of lettuce is the worst of all the kinds in my opinion. It is the most watery and flashy, does not grow to the size that many of the other sorts will do, and very soon runs to seed”.
Randolph found the cos the, “sweetest and finest”, because it washed the easiest, it remained longer before bolting, and, it was the, “crispest and most delicious of them all”.
Salads, raw and cooked, date to ancient times, however, here we will look only at ways in which lettuce was cooked. It was put into soup, made into ragout, cooked with green peas, etc. Elizabeth Lea  had this advice for her readers, “Where there is a large family, it is a good and economical way to cut the fat of ham in small pieces, fry it, and make a gravy with flour, water and pepper to eat with lettuce. To cook lettuce you must fry a little ham; put a spoonful of vinegar into the gravy; cut the lettuce, put it in the pan; give it a stir, and then dish it”. Your author remembers the delight of eating this prepared by her aunt Dora, who was a master of the “use what’s in the garden and larder” method of cooking before it became trendy with preppers.
TO MAKE GREEN PEASE SOUP. “The New Book of Cookery”. 1782. Take a small knuckle of veal, and a pint and a half of old green pease; put them in a saucepan with five or six quarts of water, a few blades of mace, a small onion stuck with cloves, some sweet herbs, salt, and whole pepper; cover them close, and boil them; then strain the liquor through a sieve, and put it in a fresh saucepan, with a pint of young pease, a lettuce, the heart of a cabbage, and three or four heads of celery, cut small; cover the pan and let them stew an hour. Pour the soup into your dish, and serve it up with the crust of a French roll.
EGGS WITH LETTUCE. “The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy. Glasse. 1786. Scald some cabbage-lettuce in fair water, squeeze them well, then slice them and toss them up in a saucepan with a piece of butter; season them with pepper, salt, and a little nutmeg. Let them stew half an hour, chop them well together; when they are enough, lay them in your dish, fry some eggs nicely in butter and lay on them. Garnish with Seville orange.
TURKISH MINCE. “Domestic Economy and Cookery”. 1827. Mince hard [boiled] eggs, white meat, and suet in equal quantities, season with sweet herbs and spices, mix it with boiled chopped lettuce, bread crums [sic], a little butter and a raw egg or two; dip lettuce, vine, or cabbage-leaves into boiling water, roll up the mince in them, and fry them of a nice light brown, or bake them in a quick oven, buttering them from a buttering pan, which is a better method than laying on bits; when rolled up for frying, fix the leaves with a little egg; meat may be used instead of egg.
LAITUES AU JUS. “How to Cook Vegetables in one Hundred Different Ways”. 1868. Blanch the lettuces for about five minutes in boiling water, drain them; place some nice slices of bacon in a stewpan; lay the lettuces upon them; add sufficient strong gravy [broth]; simmer for a quarter of an hour, and serve with the strained gravy.
LAITUES FARCIES. “How to Cook Vegetables in one Hundred Different Ways”. 1868. Remove the outer leaves from some good large white lettuces, blanch these for a few minutes in boiling water; drain them; make them hollow by cutting out from the stalk end; fill them with a very good white forcemeat, and stew them gently in consommé, or braise them. Serve with the gravy poured over.
LETTUCES—LAITUES AU LARD. “The Treasury of French Cookery. 1866. The salad being made, salt and pepper are added in the requisite quantities. Cut bacon up in small dice. Melt it in a heater [cook]. Pour it very hot over the lettuces. A little vinegar is immediately put into the heater, and when warm is poured over the salad.
LETTUCE SOUP. “The Master Books of Soups”. 1900. 2 pints veal stock, 1 large head of lettuce, 1 oz. butter, 1 oz. flour, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and paprika.
Cook lettuce in 1 pint of the stock and press through a sieve. Heat butter in a pan and add flour and the other 1 pint of stock. Cook till smooth and creamy. Add lettuce pureé, season to taste, re-heat, add lemon juice, and serve.
“Inferior heads, or the lettuce which does not form heads, is very nice if cooked just like spinach and dressed with cream. Some varieties which have large white veins and mid-ribs may be made to serve a double purpose. Strip out the thin parts of the leaf for use in the salads and then cook the stems and dress them just like asparagus. It will make a substitute for asparagus which will go unsuspected with a good many people”. – Cutler. 1903.
See: Vilmorin-Andrieux, “The Vegetable Garden”, 1920. Randolph, John, “A Treatise on Gardening”, mid-18th c. Weaver, William Woys. “Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener’s Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History”. 1997. Weaver. “100 Vegetables and Where they Came From”. 2000. Lindquist, K. “On the Origin of Cultivated Lettuce”. Landskrona, Sweden. April 1960. Eaton, Katherine. “Ancient Egyptian Temple Ritual: Performance, Pastterns, and Practice”. 2013. Cookery books listed above.
So go the lyrics to a poem about Kentucky, lyrics which probably described farms all through the country.
Green-up time is a colloquialism for spring when plants emerge from beneath the earth and bask in the warm sunshine. One can look through the woods and see a pale green color in the trees as leaves begin to put out. It also refers to the time when winter grown plants “green up” with warmer weather as with winter wheat. In the early 20th century Agricultural Bulletins farmers reported on when the grasses and wheat began to green up each spring. When families raised their own food grass to feed farm animals was as important as plants to feed families.
“Everything looked hopeful. The garden was greening up beautifully; the hens were laying or sitting; we should be all right if we could keep our heads above water and keep out of debt.”
In times past when families had nothing but canned, salted, dried or smoked food from fall to mid-spring green-up time was eagerly awaited so that the enlightened country cook could gather from Mother Nature’s store house a variety of fresh greens. Whether cooked separately or several varieties combined to make enough for a “mess”, those greens were mighty welcome especially when prepared with some side meat or bacon grease and served with hot cornbread.
“Soon after sassafras time, it was green-up time, with the first shoots coming up out of the ground. We watched the sprouts hopefully, for this was the time of year for Granny to go to the fields and woods to pick her wild greens, the “sallets” of the old frontier. Granny Fanny taught us all the plants, and how to tell the good greens from the bad. We gathered new poke sprouts, always being careful not to snip them too close to their poison roots; and we gathered “spotted leaf,” leaves of “lamb’s tongue,” butter-and-eggs, curly dock, new blackberry sprouts, dandelions, and a few violet leaves.
Green-up time was also ramp season, but Mama wouldn’t let a ramp come into the house, for the ramp is a vile-smelling wood’s onion whose odor, like memory, lingers on. Some of our neighbors and cousins hunted ramps every spring and carried them home in gunnysacks to boil and fry. In the spring down at school, the teacher would sometimes have to throw the windows wide open to air out the smell of ramps, wet woolen stockings, and kid sweat.” — McNeill.
Greens meant different things to different people depending on where they lived but probably the most common included poke, dock, dandelion, nettles, cowslips, chickweed, lamb’s quarters or pigweed, milkweed, plantain, purslane, watercress, ramps, mallow, mustard, greenbriar, chicory, sorrel, bracken, clover, young blackberry shoots, etc. Dandelion is an excellent example of a green that escaped its boundaries and began to grow wild.
Sometimes turnips left in the field would throw up new greens when the weather turned nice and these could be added to the mix. Cabbage and collard stalks that weren’t treated too badly by Old Man Winter likewise produced sprouts for the pot. While usually not technically a wild food, young hop tops were common greens.
Perhaps the most often eaten wild plant in my family was poke. The tender young shoots were parboiled, then cooked with meat or drippings, and when a little larger the stalks were peeled, sliced, battered, and fried like okra. Foragers today think they’re going to die if they eat poke, but if that were true few country families would have survived the Depression era. In the spring mama even canned and froze it to last through the year.
“Poke Sallet and Branch Lettuce. Cowskull Mountain. This is the time of year in the hills when the jaded appetite turns to turnip greens and poke sallet, speckled dock and branch lettuce. To mountain folks, weary from a dreary winter-long diet of store bought vittles, it is a very special season. They call it green–up time. And in the hills green–up time, which comes when spring starts bustin’ out all over, sends folks into the old fields and along the branches in search of wild greens.”
Before I wish you my usual Blissful Meals, I will beseech you to get out this weekend and enjoy green up time. While out and about look for those first tender leaves of spring and consider feasting as your grandparents probably did.
Bib: Stuart, Jesse. “Kentucky is My Land”. 1952.
McNeill, Louise. “The Milkweed Ladies”, page 45 and 46.
Dominiques were brought to America early on and though they once faced extinction have recovered. They will be my next acquisition for the poultry yard we call home. The following is an exact account of the lovely chickens published in 1920.
“In color they resemble the Barred Plymouth Rock. In size they are not so large, they have a longer tail, and a rose comb. Dominiques are one of the oldest varieties and a pure American breed. They are very hardy; chicks grow rapidly and mature early. The pullets often begin laying when five to six months old. The hens not being clumsy and heavy, make excellent setters and splendid mothers. They seldom break an egg while setting.
American Dominiques are excellent layers of eggs. The color of the shells is from a light to a dark brown, and the eggs are of good size. The birds make splendid table fowls, many claiming them superior to all others. They have a fine yellow skin, dress well, and are plump at all ages. The birds are active, and are very gay, stylish and fine in appearance.
They are well adapted for confinement in yards, or if left to roam at will they are good foragers. On account of their old-fashioned ‘dominecker’ color, they are adapted for city, country or village poultry keepers; the soot, smoke or dirt will not mar their appearance; their homespun clothes are always clean and attractive.
For general utility they have few, if any superiors. In weight they are large enough for most people not as heavy as the Plymouth Rock and heavier than the Leghorns. Having a rose comb and being a rugged and hardy fowl the American Dominiques are a splendid fowl for our northern climate.
Many people want a rose combed bird; they also want an intermediate one in size—something between the Leghorn and the Rock—one as active and prolific a layer as the Leghorn, yet carrying some of the meat properties of the Plymouth Rock. To these people I would recommend the old Dominiques which have been my favorites for years. As chicks they feather more quickly than the Rock, mature more quickly and are more active.
The present day Barred Rock is the result of crossing a Dominique male on Black Cochin hens. The barring of the Dominique is not the same straight across the feather barring found in the Rock, nor does it show the same black and white contrasts between the light and dark bar. The Standard calls for irregular barring and the color should be of a bluish tone. On full blooded birds, the last bar at the tip of the feather is shaped like a new moon.
Double mating is not required as the Standard calls for a male one or two shades lighter than the female. The Standard under color is slate.
This may be considered a followup to yesterday’s post on Orpington chickens. It will chronicle the lives of the creator and of his children who carried on the business after his death.
All agree that William Cook created the Orpington breed of chickens, first the black, then the buff, but the waters are somewhat muddied regarding the creation of subsequent breeds like the Cuckoo. With that in mind, let’s look at the Cook family and see what part each member played in Wm. Cook & Sons.
An article in the Northern Advocate , on Jan. 26, 1901 discussed a local man who had ordered Orpington chickens and ducks from William Cook & Sons of Orpington House, St. Mary Cray, Kent, whom the writer referred to as one of the greatest poultry breeders in England, if not the world. “He exports hundreds of birds every year to all parts of the Empire, and on a recent trip which he made to Australia he brought out no less than two hundred thoroughbred fowls. It was on his farm of 3000 acres in Kent where he keeps no less than 8,000 birds that the now famous breeds of Orpingtons were produced, taking their name from his house and farm. Mr. Cook is among that unfortunately small number of breeders who believe in breeding for utility more than for ‘show points’. Before the Orpingtons were introduced, it was thought to be well nigh impossible to combine in one fowl all the best qualities of the table and laying varieties. But Mr. Cook by judicious selection and crossing at last succeeded, and all those who keep fowls for profit owe him a debt of gratitude.”
William Cook was born in 1849 in St. Neots, Huntingdon, England. He began working as a carriage driver at age 14. One account said he was breeding poultry by 1869 and established a poultry business at St. Mary Cray, near the town of Orpington, Kent, England in 1886. If those dates are correct, then he spent several years raising and cross-breeding chickens before making a career of it. His son said in an interview, years later that his father spent 10 years developing the first Orpington chicken which means he would have started work in developing them around 1876 which probably leaves about 7 years for the transition from beginning to professional. An article on Orpingtons said William Cook spent 15 years breeding and perfecting the first Orpington.
He began publication of a magazine in 1886. He was a keen businessman who promoted his poultry with tours, lectures, and the magazine which he edited and also contributed articles to. He called it, William Cook’s Poultry Journal. The title was later changed to William Cook & Sons’ Poultry Journal. The journal was filled with ads for Cook’s poultry – namely the Orpington chickens and Orpington ducks.
The blue duck (1896) was the first of the Orpington ducks followed by the buff (1897). They are good layers and quick-growing meat ducks. Apparently they were first shown in the U.S. in 1908, and were admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1914. Like Orpington chickens, Orpington ducks are a dual-purpose breed.
William Cook & Sons created a bird hospital and sold medicines, vitamins, and feed for poultry. There were Cook’s Poultry Powders, Cook’s Roup Powders, Cook’s Improved Insect Powder, Ointment for Destroying Nits on Fowls, W. Cook’s Fattening Powders, Poultry houses, sitting coops, drinking fountains and corn bins, W. Cook’s book, The Poultry Keeper’s Account Book, W. Cook’s Flint Grit, etc. Between selling poultry and selling all the products needed to keep them they had quite a monopoly going.
William Cook was also a horse breeder and developed products for horses such as W. Cook’s Horse Powders.
Percy Cook was using peat moss brought over from England on the floor of his chicken houses because it absorbed odors, it could be stirred occasionally so it continued to absorb the droppings, and when it was changed, the material was used as fertilizer.
All of Cook’s children had a hand in running the business at one time or another. There were Elizabeth Jane, the oldest; William Henry, the oldest son; sons Messrs. Albert Lockley and Percy A. Cook; and a young daughter, Lily, who married Arthur C. Gilbert. No indication was found that Lily took part in the business, but her husband did.
Elizabeth Jane married R. Wakeman Clarke. She was forward-thinking in many ways, such as being the first to ship poultry via airplane. Accounts credit her with having created the Cuckoo Orpington although other accounts gave that honor to her brother-in-law, A. C. Gilbert.
Elizabeth Jane ran the poultry yard when her father was away on business or in seclusion writing and became quite talented in raising poultry. After her father died she managed the firm.
William Cook wrote in 1901 that the Orpington ducks were being marketed under a different name by a different party. He named no names, but his children would not always be as discreet. He could have meant Mrs. A. Campbell who is credited with having created the Khaki Campbells, Miss N. Edwards who bred a fawn colored duck, or he most likely meant his eldest son, William Henry Cook, who by that time had left the firm and gone out on his own. It has been written that the family squabbles stemmed from William Cook having lent William Henry money to buy his home, Elm Cottage, which was not paid back in a timely manner. Some accounts claim he did eventually repay the debt hoping to share in the inheritance, but there is no indication he received anything.
Tragedy struck June 25, 1903 and took the life of William Cook’s wife, Jane. She accompanied her son, William Henry, and daughter-in-law, Catherine, on a visit to Lily and A. C. Gilbert’s home. Afterward, she went with them to the property owned by William Henry and Catherine which was undergoing restoration. Noticing a gas chandelier that was lowered, William Henry raised it, when the flame set off an explosion that destroyed the house and rattled the nearby neighborhood. Jane’s death was recorded in The Express July 3, 1903. William’s death was reported by Feathered Life on July 6, 1904. Both are buried at St. Mary Cray Cemetery, Greater London, England.
William Henry first carried out his wife and went back inside to rescue his mother. All three suffered serious burns, with Jane’s being the worst. She died the next day. William Cook died almost one year later of emphysema at age 55. In William’s obituary it was noted that all his children (Elizabeth Jane was now the wife of R. W. Clarke) and Lily’s husband, A. C. Gilbert, would be running the business. Mr. W. H. Cook was said to have relinquished his connection prior to his father’s death. Elizabeth Jane then bought out her other two brothers’ and her sister’s interest in the English branch of the business.
William Henry was called, “Poultry Farmer of the Model Farm” in documents related to his father’s estate. When William Henry advertised his poultry claiming that as the eldest son he had managed his father’s concern until 1903, his sister, Elizabeth Jane, did some advertising of her own claiming her brother had no ties to William Cook & Sons and that anyone who wished to correspond with the business should address their requests to Orpington House where she would receive it.
One of those ads in the International Poultry Book noted William Cook & Sons, originators of all the Orpingtons, had been in business upwards of half a century. “The Original Cook Strains are only obtainable from their one address in England, St. Mary Cray, Kent. They have NO BRANCHES ANYWHERE and no connection whatever with anyone else of same name”. – Woodard, George. Victoria Australia. 1913.
That wasn’t exactly true as her brother, Percy, was operating in New Jersey, USA, and brother Albert operated another branch in South Africa, but Elizabeth Jane’s admonishment was probably never seen outside England in which case it would have had no effect on either of the brothers.
William Cook and Sons became an international entity, operating simultaneously in England, South Africa, and the U.S , each under the care of a different child of William and Jane Cook. “The first foreign plant was started at Sydney, in Australia. After this got under way and a manager placed in charge, another plant was started in England by P. A. Cook, called the St. Leonard’s Poultry Farm. This was sold at a good profit after running for seven months. Then after one month Mr. Cook started for South Africa with eight hundred birds.
The first plant started in South Africa was near Durban in Natal, a beautiful spot. Then a manager was left in charge there and a hurried trip was made to England and from there to the show at Madison Square in New York. Mr. Cook and his father visited this show and won 23 firsts out of 25, then on to Boston and Chicago. They brought 108 birds and sold 107. This was in 1902, and since then they made the raising of Orpingtons worth while in the United States.
Mr. Cook reports that people told them that it would be impossible to sell a bird for more than $50. They said nothing but thought the more, and by the end of the week all their best birds were sold for $200 each, and breeders were looking for more.
After the shows in America, Mr. Cook sailed for England then to Belgium and France to some shows, and back to South Africa, where he started another farm at Johannesburg, having a town office in that town, and the farm eighteen miles out at Misgund, a ride on horseback of thirty-six miles every day. There Mr. Cook demonstrated that an egg will stand more rough usage than was thought possible and still hatch. He tied a box of thirteen eggs on my back, and rode thirty-six miles each day for two weeks, and jumped everything in the way, then set the eggs under a hen and hatched and raised ten good chicks”.
That article said Cook had shown birds and lectured in South Central and Northern Africa, Tasmania, India, Ceylon, New Zealand, South America, Bermuda, Russia, Spain, and Austria.
“It was in 1904 that he came to this country to live [U.S.], and he has never regretted it, and has succeeded in building up one of the largest poultry businesses in the world”. It was in 1904 that Percy’s father died. – Poultry Success. Dec. 1916.
Percy Alexander Cook was born in 1882 and was involved in poultry raising by the time he was seven years old. He married the very wealthy Beatrice M. Davidson on Jan. 2, 1915, the ceremony taking place at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. Anna F. Davidson in Saratoga, NY. Beatrice was 34 years old when the couple married. The couple honeymooned in Bermuda and Florida.
Beatrice Cook and her mother were well placed financially in the motor car industry prior to her marriage with Percy which meant they were a very wealthy couple. Margaret E. Knight and Anna Davidson, of Saratoga Springs, received credit for a patent on a “resilient wheel” in 1910. Anna and Beatrice were listed as Corporators for K-D Motor Co. with $100,000 capital to manufacture motors the same year.
“The Knight-Davidson [K-D] Motor Co. was formed with three women, namely, the inventor of the motor, Margaret E. Knight of South Farmington, Mass; Anna E. Davidson and Beatrice M. Davidson, both of 259 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY.” For three women to form a company with that much working capital in 1912, was unheard of. They were certainly ahead of their time.
These ladies were related, however the exact nature of their kinship is not known. Over the course of 45 years Knight was granted 22 patents. Her first was for a machine that manufactured “satchel-bottomed” paper bags [modern grocery bag], her last for improvements in the internal combustion engine in 1915. Knight was awarded the Decoration of the Royal Legion of Honour by Queen Victoria in 1871.
The K-D Motor Co. produced an automobile with the little known K-D engine invented by Knight and Anna Davidson. It was a five passenger touring car and it sold for $6,000.
An obituary in The Westfield Leader [NJ] on November 20, 1958 for Mrs. Percy Cook says she died Monday, Nov. 10 at Cook Island, Summerland Key, Fla. She was “of the Cook Bird Farm, Route 22. She was the wife of Capt. Percy A. Cook, noted sea explorer and retired officer of the British and U.S. navies”. She was buried in Key West, FL. As an author I am reluctant to pass along information without being certain of the facts, in this case I am not certain this refers to the Percy Cook of Wm. Cook & Sons, but it certainly does seem to. The obituary appeared in a New Jersey newspaper where the Cooks were known to live, it references Cook bird farm, and it is true that Percy Cook, son of William, served in the British and American navies, having achieved at least the rank of Lieutenant. The reader will decide whether or not the obituary applies. No obituary was found for Percy as of this writing.
In 1909, Percy Cook attended the Crystal Palace Show after which he brought home to New Jersey 250 Orpingtons, several of which had won first prizes at the show. [This may have been the same year his father exhibited poultry at that facility.] In 1914, he was elected Vice President of the American White Orpington Club and served on the Executive Committee. – American Poultry Advocate. April 1914. – Poultry Journal. April 1909.
After William Cook showed Orpingtons in Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. demand was high and Percy opened the breeding yard at Scotch Plains, N. J., also named Wm. Cook & Sons, to help fill orders for chicks and eggs. “Every one of the old school remembers Peggy the Kellerstrass White Orpington hen valued at $10,000., a 99 score fowl. The many eggs laid by that hen and her prodigy sold at $5 an egg”.
“About 1,500 fowls, including all the varieties of Orpingtons are kept constantly on hand and fresh pedigreed birds are imported from England at the rate of four to six hundred a month. Thus purchasers are sure of stock directly imported from the offspring of the original flock or from birds raised in America from the same stock; the same may be said of the eggs. A careful record is kept of every bird sold so that if a buyer wishes unrelated fowls for the sake of new blood they can always be furnished to him. All fowls coming from the Wm. Cook & Sons Farms are guaranteed to be in good condition.” – Country Life in America. March 1905.
American Poultry Journal called William Cook & Sons the, “well-known originators of all the Orpingtons”. They voiced the opinion that Scotch Plains would have been better called Cookstown, “as nearly everything belongs to them anyway”. Their record was over 12,000 first prizes won in the U.S. shows and the exhibition at the Crystal Palace in England. – June 1910.
“Cook’s Farm”, operated by Percy Cook was once owned by Wesley Roll, a local farmer. It sat on the, “old Springfield Road”, between Springfield and Scotch Plains, NJ. The Roll home was torn down prior to 1855 when Wesley Roll died. Ownership of the property passed to at least one other party who then sold it to Percy Cook about 1904. – Franz, R. J. The Roll Family Windmill: Genealoty of the Roll Family. 1977. http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~windmill/html/letter.html
“During the World War Percy joined the forces of the United States in Uncle Sam’s uniform, and the plant at Scotch Plains discontinued furnishing stock, but under a skillful poultryman the breeding stock was kept up and increased in order to take care of the demand after the war. I had a long talk with Mr. Cook a short time ago and he told me he was proud to say that his stock is better than ever and the stock and eggs he will sell will sure make his customers happy. Besides being the originator and breeder of Orpingtons, Mr. Cook breeds most every kind of water fowl and ornamental bird. He is also a lover of animals even to lions. One large African lion used to be chained like a huge dog on the front lawn. Instead of a flivver [car] Percy Cook rides in an airplane.” – Poultry Success. June 1921.
The ornamental fowl shown by William Cook & Sons, Scotch Plaines, NJ in Atlantic City included: cranes from Austria, India, and Madagascar; white and gray Java Sparrows; Cut-throat and assorted Finches; Austrian Paraquets; talking Beebee Parrots; Brazilian Cardinals, Canaries, and the Dove with the bleeding heart. Besides, they showed Buff Orpington Ducks from England; Cayuga Ducks from East Indies; Mallard, Pin Tail and White Call Ducks from America; Rouen Ducks from France; Famosa Teal Ducks from East Indies; Chinese Mandarin Ducks from China; Tree Ducks from Japan; and a White Trumpeter Swan from America. He also showed Black, Buff, and Blue Orpington chickens. – American Poultry Advocate. Sept. 1913.
Many of the land birds were killed or scattered when a storm blew away the aviary in which they were housed. There were twelve species of cranes, “some costing up to $200 each”, many pheasants and other birds. “Up to the present all the cranes, peafowl, and storks have been caught, and a number of the pheasants but some three dozen are still at liberty but around the place, they will now be left to roam around the gardens and make rather a pretty sight…The damage done amounted to about $2,000 but no part of the poultry plant suffered.” Percy had won 170 first and 106 second prizes during the year 1913 alone.
Percy sold various birds other than chickens and ducks from the New Jersey plant which incidentally was referred to as the largest in America. “Wm. Cook & Sons also breed a fine line of ornamental land and water fowls that they offer at reasonable prices.”
Something happened just prior to 1913 that caused a reduction in orders for chickens, not just from the Cook’s, but nationwide. What exactly caused the “nationwide panic…which has affected the demand for all varieties of poultry more or less”, is not yet known, but Percy Cook said in an interview with Poultry Success that Wm. Cook & Sons was seeing a renewed interest in Orpingtons and an increase in orders. Perhaps the panic was WWI (1914-1918), but it seems a little odd that economic recovery would come during the war. – Dec. 1916.
William’s son, Albert Loxley Cook, established and managed a branch of the business in South Africa and the Orpington club of South Africa still exists today.
Arthur C. Gilbert, Cook’s son-in-law, continued to show Orpingtons after William Cook died, exhibiting birds in a show at Madison Square Garden in Feb. 1905 for which he took several prizes and was still showing blue Orpingtons in Madison Square Garden in April 1918. He was almost certainly living in the U.S. at that time as the American Poultry Journal noted that “A. C. Gilbert, who for a number of years was manager of William Cook & Sons plant in England, has accepted the position of assistant manager of the American plant. P. A. [Percy] Cook is still active manager and will continue to personally attend to the selection of all orders. Both Mr. Cook and Mr. Gilbert are well known in Orpington circles”.
William Henry Cook moved his business to Orpington where he seems to have had great success, enjoying, in addition to his mail orders, increased chance sales at his farm from passengers arriving or departing from the train station as his farm sat within sight of the station and the name Cook was easily recognized by everyone interested in poultry. William Henry Cook operated his business until he retired at age 75 in 1949. He died the next year in London.
His sister, Elizabeth Jane, produced two editions of her father’s book, “The Practical Poultry Breeder and Feeder”. She managed William Cook & Sons until 1936 when the company may have gone bankrupt. She died in 1947 at home in Orpington House. Some accounts say she died of a massive stroke, another says she was attacked and may have died of injuries afterward. Her actual cause of death remains unknown.
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
Show Poultry of South Africa
Nielson, Bent. “The Story of Orpington”. Translated online.
The Poultry Item. April 1918.
Ohio Farmer. Aug. 12, 1916
The Westfield Leader [NJ] on November 20, 1958
Poultry Success. Feb. 1916.
Poultry. April 1906
Poultry Success. March 1916.
Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent Office. 1912.
Motor World. June 27, 1912. NY.
Automobile Topics. June 29, 1912.
Khan, B. Zorina. The Democratization of Invention. 2005. NY.
1901 England census
I will be transplanting daffodils this weekend along with setting out two rhubarb plants. I will first find a sunny location where they can grow over the coming years without crowding each other or competing for space with other plants as they grow quite large.
I chose Victoria – not because it happens to be my name, but because it is one of the best varieties, or as William Woys Weaver put it, “the variety has established the gold standard by which to judge good rhubarb: large, fat stems, bright red skin, lack of stringiness, and a tart, apple-gooseberry flavor…”. It is a true heirloom, dating from 1837, the year of Queen Victoria’s accession, and it was named in her honor.
Initially rhubarb was considered a medicinal plant, but by the early 19th century it was recommended as a market crop and could not be, “too highly recommended as a very salubrious vegetable for the family, either stewed or in tarts and pies”. “Family Kitchen Gardener”. 1847. NY.
Mary Eaton’s book  contained receipts for Rhubarb tart, sherbet, soup, pie, pudding and sauce indicative of the many ways the English prepared it. The “Magazine of Horticulture & Botany, 1837, noted rhubarb growing in the vicinity of Newark, N.J., New York, Hartford, and Boston in July 1837, too early for Victoria to be grown in America, but almost certainly older varieties were being grown for culinary purposes.
Joseph Myatt’s Victoria was described as, “…a red variety, of great excellence and richly flavored, grows very strong, equal to the Giant, and much earlier than that variety; is richly deserving of extensive culture”. – Buist, Robert. “Family Kitchen Gardener”. 1847. NY.
Joseph Myatt was exhibiting specimens of his Victoria Rhubarb by 1839 in England, just two years after its introduction, as reported in the “London and Paris Observer”, April 28, 1839.
Joseph Myatt was born in Maer, Staffordshire, in 1770, and moved to Deptford, England around 1880 where he began growing strawberries, quite successfully. He presented his “British Queen” strawberries to Queen Victoria, and was in turn presented a silver medal by Prince Albert, probably in the 1840’s. He began offering rhubarb for sale in markets about 1809, but it did not become fully appreciated until sugar became inexpensive enough for common families to purchase it and the introduction of his Victoria, a much improved variety.
Myatt died in 1855 and is buried in Nunhead Cemetery, remembered as having done more to promote the culinary use of rhubarb than any other person. In fact, in 1851, “The Plough, the Loom, and the Anvil” said of Myatt (then over 70 years of age), he was a kind and most benevolent man. “It is now nearly forty years since he sent his two sons to the borough market with five bunches, of which they could only sell three, so little was the value of this excellent vegetable then known. The other two bunches they brought home with them. The next time they went to market they took ten bunches with them, all of which were sold.” – Published 1851. Philadelphia.
The article, which was widely re-circulated, went on to say Myatt immediately set about increasing his stock, predicting it would become increasingly more popular as word spread, confident enough to ignore remarks from his neighbors to the contrary. “When one of his sons said in market one day that his father intended to plant an acre next year, they said, “Your father, poor man, is fast taking leave of his senses”.
While Victoria Rhubarb’s earliest glory days stem from the environs of London, Americans were growing Victoria rhubarb by 1840 when the “Genesee Farmer”, reported it a relatively new variety. By searching early notices we can see at least a few of the states where it was grown during the early 19th century.
Henry Ward Beecher wrote that he had obtained from New York seeds for Victoria rhubarb in 1842. He was living in Indiana at that time as he did not become minister of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn until 1847. He advised much greater success in transplanting roots than with growing from seed. – Plain and Pleasant Talk About Fruits, Flowers and Farming. 1859. NY.
In 1843, Mr. S. A. Halsey submitted a dozen stems weighing 16 ½ lbs. at the New York Farmer’s Club. Shortly thereafter, The Michigan Farmer and Western Horticulturalist included Victoria rhubarb in a list of seeds sent to them by the Patent office in Washington [March 1845].
The Cincinnati Horticultural Society noted Mr. J. T. Plummer of Richmond, Indiana had reported on his success with it and a committee was formed to evaluate the potential of growing it commercially. On the same page, it was noted that Amos D. Worthington had exhibited seven stalks of Victoria in Ohio. – The Western Farmer and Gardener. Aug. 1848.
Growing Victoria rhubarb was not limited to northern gardens. William White of Georgia, wrote of successfully growing it after having received Myatt’s Victoria roots from Mr. Buist. – Gardening For The South. 1856. Athens, GA.
Advertisements are found in newspapers throughout the 1850’s and 1860’s, and in 1861, Charles Downing wrote from Rochester, NY, for the Gardener’s Monthly and Horticultural Advertiser, Vol. 3. 1861, saying some 15 years prior  he had attempted to purchase from an old friend in England a supply of Victoria rhubarb but instead received a letter stating that it, “could not be packed to send to America under a great expense of glass cases and personal attention on the voyage”. Glass cases were in essence terrariums used to keep live plants fresh and viable during sea voyages when they otherwise might have wilted and died.
I won’t make any effort to harvest stems from my plants the first year, but by year number two, I should be able to follow Mary Eaton’s example and prepare a variety of dishes made from my own Victoria rhubarb.
North West Kent Family History Society. Vol. 5, No. 3. Sept., 1989. Editor: Mrs. M. Alderman, 16 Crescent Rd., Sidcup, Kent. DA15 7HN.
Even couch potatoes can grow a bumper crop of real potatoes following one of the simple methods below. Make the venture especially interesting by growing different colors and shapes like blue potatoes or fingerlings. Enjoy century old advice from an Illinois farmer and then get serious in choosing a method and location. Spring is on its way. If there is not sufficient rain, water the potatoes regularly whatever method you choose and use dirt or mulch to shield the potatoes from the sun.
“About the first week in February I cut potatoes as for planting, and lay them in a warm place a few days until the cut side is somewhat dried. Then I take a box and put in a layer of dirt one inch deep, a layer of potatoes with the cut side down, then another layer of dirt one inch deep and continue until I have three or four layers of potatoes, keeping them well moistened and in a warm place until planting time, when they will have good sprouts and roots. If there is any danger of frost after they are up, I hoe dirt over them. I tend them well and have potatoes three or four weeks sooner than when I cut them at planting time.” [from an Illinois farmer about 1910]
Purchase seed potatoes instead of using old grocery-store potatoes which were probably treated to prevent them from sprouting easily. Even if they have sprouts, they won’t produce well. In hot climates, choose potatoes with an early or mid-season maturing date and shoot for planting them as soon as possible after the last expected frost date.
When cutting them into pieces, leave at least two eyes (baby sprouts) on each piece and get them ready 1-2 days ahead of your planned planting date so the cut surface dries before planting.
Mix rotted manure or organic compost in the bottom of each trench before putting in the potatoes. Space them about a foot apart and 2 to 4 inches deep. Place them with the eye up.
Before the potato plants start blooming and when about 6 inches tall, hoe loose dirt around them covering the stems of the potato plants. Hilling them, as this procedure is called, helps maintain moisture, supports the plants, and keeps the sun from turning the potatoes green. It may be necessary to pull more dirt onto the potatoes a few times as they grow.
New, or baby, potatoes can be “grappled” [Southern word] in about 10 weeks, and when the plants die back all the potatoes should be harvested. Choose a dry day and take care not to cut or puncture the potatoes while digging them out of the ground. Although we did when I was a child, it is not recommended that the potatoes be washed prior to storing them. Brush off the dirt and put them away.
Method #2. IF your soil is loose and rich, or if you take the time to turn in compost to enrich it, the seed potatoes can be placed on top of the soil and leaf or pine straw mulch heaped on top of them instead of trenching and hilling them. Results will probably be disappointing if the soil underneath the seed potatoes is nutritionally poor. Straw or hay can be used for the mulch but may introduce weeds into the potato bed.
Method #3. Prepare seed potatoes as for the previous methods. Dig a shallow trench (3 to 4 inches), press the prepared seed potatoes into the loose soil a half inch deep. Instead of filling in the trench with garden soil, cover it with straw. As the plants start to grow add additional hay or other mulch. The benefit of methods 2 and 3 is that the new potatoes will form in the mulch and require little effort in harvesting.
If these methods seem like more work than you care to put into growing spuds, try one of these methods:
Place large bags of potting soil flat on the ground, puncture the bag a couple of times on the bottom for drainage, and cut holes in top of the bag, and press the prepared seed potatoes into the loose soil with the eye up so the plant will grow out through the holes. When ready to harvest, simply cut the bag open and shake out the contents, potatoes and all. After you do this a couple of years then try method #3 placing the seed potatoes on top of the emptied soil.
Fill a container half full of straw, place the potatoes on it, eye side up, and finish filling with straw. Make sure the container has a hole for drainage. Containers can be just about anything – cloth shopping/tote bags, laundry baskets, flower pots, trash bags with drainage holes, burlap bags, old tires, old barrels with holes cut in them for the plants to grow through (make sure they have not held toxic contents), old baskets, trash cans, 5-gallon buckets, cardboard boxes, raised beds, wire cages, etc. Even paper bags (doubled for durability) can hold potato plants if you place several bags together, side to side, inside a wooden or wire frame so that the plants don’t collapse when the bags give way.
Place rolls or bales of hay in a sunny location, cut out small openings, and insert a prepared seed potato in each hole. Place the seed potatoes so that the eyes are pointed toward the opening. Fill the hole with soil or more hay. When the plants die back, tear open the hay and remove the potatoes.
Cover an area of sunny ground with cardboard, sheet plastic, or layers of newspaper (no colored ink) for a weed barrier. Spread hay over it and place the seed potatoes on top of the hay. Cover them with a generous layer of hay.
Dig a wide shallow pit in the ground. Place hay in the pit and place the seed potatoes on top of it. Cover with more hay adding more as the plants grow.
Whatever method you choose, Mother Nature is going to do the bulk of the work and still reward you with the best tasting potatoes you’ve ever had. Blissful meals, yall.
I was recently asked by a reader what type water access her ancestors might have had in 19th century London, and I thought the question was something we might explore further as a supply to water is essential in running a home.
The earliest pipes that conveyed water included stone blocks with cylindrical holes cut through and earthen pipes, often encased in masonry. The Romans used lead pipes for distributing water and later during the Middle Ages logs with holes drilled through them and connected end to end and later lead pipes came into use again.
By the early 20th century, water pipes were made of steel, cast iron, wrought iron, lead, wood, vitrified clay (think terra cotta), or even cement or concrete. We recently saw a section of wooden water pipe in an antique store and were thrilled to have discovered it. Wooden pipes were made from spruce, yellow pine, oak, etc., and were usually about 12 feet long. The bark was usually removed but not always. The earliest models were bored by hand, but machinery was soon invented that was more efficient at hollowing the logs.
Edward Wegmann wrote that in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Detroit pipes were dug up that were perfectly sound having been laid a hundred years before. When buried in the ground and kept from atmospheric changes they lasted a very long time without rotting. The Journal of New England Water Works Assoc., 1916, XXX, p. 318, claimed that such log pipes had been discovered in Boston and Portsmouth, N.H. that were sound and over two hundred years old.
Wegmann dated the earliest log pipes in America to 1652 located in Boston. About 1796 they were replaced with new log pipes where many were used until 1848 when the city replaced all pipes with those made of cast-iron. He dated those first used in New York and Philadelphia to 1774 and 1799. Interestingly enough, London seems to have regressed in its use of piping materials, as he states the lead pipes which melted in the great fire of 1807, were replaced with log pipes. He stated further that there were over 400 miles of wooden log pipes in London during subsequent years.
In 1855, A. Wyckoff, of Elmira, NY, received a patent for an improved water pipe which was spirally bound by a band of iron, steel, or bronze and the whole then coated with an asphalt coating. In Bay City, Mich., the Michigan Pipe Co. acquired the rights to manufacture the Wyckoff pipes in 1880. Companies in Williamsport, PA, Seattle Wash., San Francisco, Tacoma, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, BC were also engaged in making the Wyckoff pipes during the first decade of the 20th century.
Cast-iron pipes are thought to date to the 1660’s when Louis XIV of France ordered their use, and possibly earlier. Chelsea Water Co. of London laid a 12 inch cast iron pipe in 1746 which was re-laid in 1791 because the joints were faulty. The engineer, Thomas Simpson, designed the first bell-and-spigot pipe with lead joints about 1785, and the system was soon adopted throughout London.
Cast-iron pipes were imported from England about 1817 and used in Philadelphia where they remained in use a century later. – Wegmann, Edward. Conveyance and Distribution of Water for Water Supply. 1918. NY.
Pumps have been used since 200 BC, with regular boosts in technology. I once lived where water came from a natural spring and was fed into the house by gravity flow (requiring no pump) but had the house been uphill from the spring we would have required a pump of some sort to get the water from the collection tank to a higher level .
Time doesn’t allow for researching early pumps at present, but they have operated off steam power, wind power, turbine power, etc. and for those who want a back-up system for power outages, options still include wind power, hand pumps, ram pumps, and buckets, including those for drilled wells operated by a windlass (a rope and crank which can lower and raise a long narrow vessel designed to fit into the piping for drilled wells). Photo: From Lehman’s Hardware catalog.
Peter Gruber was born in 1857 or ’58 in Oil City, PA and as a youngster learned about rattlesnakes from Native Americans who lived in the hills. As a young man he reluctantly entered the restaurant and saloon business with his father where he remained until Oil City was devastated by a flood and subsequent fire on June 5th. Peter removed himself and along with his reputation for housing poisonous snakes in 1893 went to Pittsburgh, but remained there only a short time when the city officials refused to grant him a business license to operate a saloon in which he kept snakes.
Apparently Rochester, NY wasn’t as particular about housing reptiles as Pete established himself there where he operated his business for some years with his serpent friends, despite being bitten by rattlesnakes 29 times and four times by copperheads. He operated the museum until 1931 and on Oct. 11, 1932 died at his home at the age of 75. He died not from snake bite as one might suspect, but from cardio-renal syndrome complicated by chronic nephritis, chronic endocarditis with lesions of the mitral and aortic valves, and arteriosclerosis. Following a burial mass at St. Mary’s Church he was buried in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery.
In 1901, Peter Gruber, known as Rattlesnake Pete, presided over a rather unique dinner given in honor of a fellow snake handler from Colorado who had previously hosted Pete in his home. The dinner took place in New York. “He first intended to pay a little compliment to his friend with a specially prepared dinner of rattlesnake, served in various toothsome ways, but becoming more and more enthusiastic over the idea, he enlarged the scope of the menu, adding watersnake stew, boiled python with egg sauce, and as the piéce de résistance served a large platter of roast boa-constrictor.”
Eighteen guests were present. The dinner was served in Pete’s den, “an odd little room off his place of business, for Pete, in the hours he can spare from playing with his pets, runs a saloon and restaurant, a quiet pleasant place. Only a favoured few are allowed to pass the door of the sanctum sanctorum where the snakes, sometimes more than a dozen, sometimes several score, live, watched over by their proud owner. The table decorations were striking and appropriate. A big rattler, caged in glass, served as a centerpiece, and stuffed reptiles in various attitudes took the place of the usual sprays of fern and smilax. The foot of the table was presided over by a huge cobra, stuffed of course, and around each plate were two or three diminutive black snakes, all alive. The walls of the room kept their everyday hangings of snake skins, rattlers’ rattles, canes made from wrigglers’ skins and many other curios.” Pete’s coat made entirely of rattlesnake skins was probably displayed there as well.
While your author would flatly refuse to eat dinner with a black snake crawling around the plate, apparently the eighteen guests enjoyed the food and the experience. “The ordinary guests proved rather nervous at first and made half-hearted motions with their spoons, but the two experts soon inspired them with more enthusiasm [to eat the watersnake stew].”
Some guests compared the stew to fish chowder, frogs’ legs, or eel, but when asked for the recipe the host refrained from offering it. The rattlesnake was thought similar to chicken or veal, but most guests claimed their hunger quite satiated before the python with egg sauce and roast boa constrictor were served.
The guest of honor took the caged rattler from its glass-walled den, wrapped it about himself quite playfully, and discussed the habits of the rattlesnake with his fellow guests who did not share his enthusiasm. When one of the attendees doubted the snake was capable of inflicting harm, the gentleman pried its jaws apart with a pen-knife whereupon drops of venom dripped from its fangs onto the knife blade.
In departing from the dinner, those present, “complimented its originator upon the success of his novel scheme”. They were far more polite than I in their appreciation of the strange goings-on much as were the many tourists who took a brief respite from the trains to rush to Pete’s establishment over the years. –
Source: The Strand Magazine. Nov. 1901. Various issues of the “Rochester Democrat and Chronicle”. Stilson, Charles B. “The Biography of Rattlesnake Pete”. 1923. Postcard images.
This man and child are eating pancakes as they cook, or hot and hot, rather than everyone being served together at the table.
A reader sent an email asking if I knew what a, “hot and hot”, was, with regard to food and drink. I was not familiar with the term, but I love a challenge so I set out to see what I could find. Hot and Hot is not any particular food or drink, instead, it means to serve food, or drink, as soon as it comes out of the pan. In other words, to serve pancakes hot and hot means to serve them as they cook rather than putting them all on a platter and serving them all at the same time.
From the Oxford English Dictionary, comes this definition: “HOT AND HOT: Said of dishes of meat, etc. served in succession as soon as cooked; also as noun for the food thus served.” As a noun, a “hot and hot” could be any food or drink served hot to each guest as soon as it was prepared, as an adjective it describes the method of serving the food or drink, – “Serve them the steaks, hot and hot”.
From a grammatical standpoint, the phrase is called a reduplicative doublet – a small group of idioms in which a word is repeated after the conjunction “and” when the repetition is intended to provide emphasis to the statement. A doublet is the use of two words with close meaning – like warranty and guarantee, a reduplicative doublet is when the same word is used twice. An example of the latter would be, “again and again”, or, “by and by”.
Below are some examples of how the phrase was used, and perhaps perusing them will shed some light on when and why the phrase, “hot and hot”, was used instead of just saying, for example, “Serve Hot,” as it would be today.
1771. “…and you will own I give you them like a beef-steak at Dolly’s, hot and hot, without ceremony and parade, just as they come from the recollections…”. Smollet, Tobias. The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker.
1808. Mrs. Rundell used the phrase with reference to serving mutton steaks, calves liver, and sprats. – Rundell, Maria Eliza. A New System of Domestic Cookery. 1808 and 1833 editions.
1812. In a poem about food that cooked itself, was found the following lines:
“Fish without frying-pans come hot and hot, And Dumplings boil themselves without a pot.”
– Pindar, Peter. The Works of Peter Pindar, Esq. [pseudonym]. Vol. 5. 1812. London.
1815. Louis Simond wrote: “Three successive beef-steaks were broiled under our eyes, over a clear strong fire, incessantly turned, and served hot and hot, tender, delicate and juicy.” Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain During the Years 1810 and 1811. Vol. 2. 1815. NY.
1817. Robert Brown’s collection of poems from 1685 and 1793 contained a poem about food in which was found a line about sheep’s trotters, hot and hot. Comic Poems of the Years 1685 and 1793 on Rustic Scenes in Scotland. 1817. Edinburgh.
1825. “In tippling purl, you drunken sot, Mull’d ale and amber, hot and hot…” came from the same source as these lines: “You’ve only to put on the pot, You’ll roast your pig, and boil your bream, And have your dinner hot and hot; So excellent a cook is Steam!” – The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal. Vol. 9. Part I. 1825. London.
1826. Christian Johnstone’s use of the phrase is perhaps a little more illuminating. “The coal fire was always in prime condition,–and short way between the brander and the mouth, Doctor,–served hot and hot—no distance between the kitchen and the hall; before the collop tongs had collapsed in the hands of the cook, in rushed the red-legged waiting wench with the smoking wooden platter.” – The Cook and Housewife’s Manual by Margaret Dods. 1826.
1830. “Dealers vended bread and cheese or squatted beside their baskets…oat-meal and groats for stir-about, or for griddle-cake; or cakes in reality, made from new barley; or old pease boiled soft and black, and kept hot and hot, for immediate consumption—a great rarity; and the last of the motley and picturesquely-grouped traffickers under the market-house, whom we shall notice, was a little and very old man, who dealt in the buying and selling books and pamphlets, generally as worn and as obsolete as himself.” – Banim, John and Michael. – The Denounced. Vols. I and II. 1830. NY.
1831. “We arrived in less than three hours, and in a few minutes sat down to a regular eastern-shore-dinner, of nice ham and chicken, potatoes and pone bread;–but what were these, good as they were in our eye, compared to the dishes of fresh fish, coming in rapid succession ‘hot and hot’ from the pan?” – American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine. Vol. 3. No. 1. Sept. 1831.
1832. “Serve up tortillas hot and hot”. – The Young Gentleman’s Book. 1832.
1833. “From a little corner cupboard she fetched forth cold meat; and when all her materials were ready, Rose spread a nice white cloth over her little round work table; arranged them on it; drew the table near to the fire where William sat, and finally took a seat opposite to him, occupying herself in supplying him, hot and hot, with potatoes roasted to a certain luxurious crispness, by careful and judicious turning on the fire”. – Banim, Michael. The Ghost Hunter and his Family. 1833. Philadelphia.
1837. Mary Holland’s receipt for Sprats reads: “Dress these the same as herrings, except in the broiling: which, if you have not a sprat gridiron, do as follows: when properly cleaned, they should be fastened in rows by a skewer run through the heads, then broiled, and served hot and hot.” – The Complete Economical Cook, and Frugal Housewife. 1837. London.
1842. “I will give you them like a beef-steak at Dolly’s, hot and hot”. Tennyson, Alfred, Lord. Will Waterproof.
1848. “Mutton-chops which were brought in Hot and Hot, between two plates.” Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son.
1854. “Here his vehemence inciting him to physical action, he began to walk the deck, with something of the mein of a rampant red lion; but still serving up to me concoctions of his wrathe, HOT AND HOT.” Hood, Thomas. The Choice Works . Page 66.
1857. “Pancakes should be served hot and hot to table.” – Traill, Catherine. The Canadian Settler’s Guide. 1857. Toronto.
1872 “They [pancakes] were served ‘HOT AND NOT’ with superb butter and other appropriate accompaniments,..”. —Chicago Tribune. 4 March. Page 3.
1885. “Journalism amongst our cousins lies under a supreme obligation to be swift and tasty. Its courses must be served up to the national table ‘HOT AND HOT,’ with plenty of condiments to give jaded palates a perception of pungency.”—The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 26, No. 508, June. Page 320.