Catching up

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Millions 1857?

3712.  Prevention of Baldness –Eau de Cologne two ounces, tincture of cantharides two dachms, oil of rosemary, oil of nutmeg and oil of lavender, each ten drops. To be rubbed on the bald part of the head every night.

Just a short note.  Had a fantastic time at the English Encampment 150th anniversary of the Pig War.  Got over on a Friday evening, in time for dinner and set up in a tent, then up early for coffee and breakfast from Dutch ovens and stoves.

The Hawaiian Chief fired off two shots at 8:00 AM. Our battery returned. The rest of day was busy, topped off with a grand ball in a packed barracks and a thunder and lightening storm.  Father Ted and all the fixings I taught school all day as Miss Lydia. Guests from the British Consul, Mary Gilbert and a representative from the British Royal Navy and his wife made presentations and joined in the dance.

Dinner was a crowd of soldiers, Royal Marines, HBC employees, Fort Nisqually folk, grand and not so grand ladies and the crews from the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chief, looking somewhat like pirates and very hungry after a day of rowing tourists out to their ships. (Did I actually see someone boarding the Lady Washington on Sunday for a sail dressed like Johnny Depp?)

Home late Sunday evening after two days of visitors numbering nearly 4,000?  The ferry was crowded with tourists and a truck suspicously carrying the wheels and parts to two battery guns.

Ah, history.  I breathe it and write about. A grand research weekend indeed. I now know how a longboat operates. Those oars are heavy!

Miss Lydia’s Academy

Miss Lydia's AcademyWhat’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipt for the Million 1857?

Ink—To make five gallons of good ink, costing but twelve-and-a half cents, take half a pound of extract of logwood, and dissolve it in five gallons of hot water, and add half an ounce of bichromate potash. Strain and bottle it.

Just a quick note. I’m off to Friday Harbor in the afternoon where I’ll be participating in the 150th anniversary of the Pig War. I’ll be Miss Lydia for the 12th time as I teach reading, writing and comportment

Logger Coffee

What’s in Mrs. Hales’ Receipts for the Million 1857?Green coffee beans3American soldier

Substitute for Cream in Tea or Coffee. — Beat the white of an egg to a froth, put to it a very small lump of butter, and mix well. Then turn the coffee to it gradually, so that it may not curdle. If perfectly done, it will be an excellent substitute for cream. For tea, omit the butter, using only the egg. This might be of great use at sea, as eggs can be preserve fresh in various ways.

I’m preparing for my annual trip to San Juan Island to demonstrate 19th century folkways at English Camp. This year I hope to roast my coffee beans on the fire and then make logger coffee.  It is something 19th century folk did all the time.  The soldiers stationed at American Camp and in camps throughout the Civil War did it in their pans.

Mrs. Hale’s, unfortunately was no help as she assumes that everyone knows HOW to do it. Coffee, after all, is for the literary and sedentary (See earlier post) My copy of  The American Frugal Housewife is AWOL off my research bookshelf.  So I went down to our local farmer’s market and spoke to an Ethiopian immigrant who has a popular food stand there. I was told by a local coffee roaster that she does it every day at home.  It’s tradition.

“Just put some green coffee beans in a  pan on top of the stove on medium heat and it will roast.”

“How will I know it’s done?”

“The color will look right.  You will be able to tell.”

I suppose that it will smell good too. I’ll practice this week.  Next step: Should I use a rifle butt like the soldiers did or a coffee grinder? Hmm.

Here’s the receipt for logger coffee. Notice a green alder “chip” off a freshly felled tree.  It works.  It settles the grounds and I believe, takes the acidity out of coffee.

Logger coffee (Old Pacific NW receipt)

1. Fill pot halfway with water.

2. Add an alder “chip” preferably green.

3. Bring it to a boil.

4. Throw in about 2/3 cup of coffee.

5. Bring to a full boil and let boil for 1 Minute.

6. Remove from heat.

7. Check to see if grounds have settled.


The Pig War

On June 15th, 1859 the incident known as the Pig War occurred on San Juan Island.  I’ll be writing more about it in another post, but suffice to say, there will be doings at the San Juan Island National Historical Park this summer for the 150th anniversary.

The “English Encampment” is one of them. Sat Morning Meeting 3 An annual event for the past 12 + years, it is very dear to my heart for the friends and history that I have learned there.  I’ll be returning as Miss Lydia to run my Academy on July 24thFather Ted and all the fixings through 26th with about 80 other enactors. Miss Lydia's Academy