Chocolate Cake | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Chocolate Cake

Valuable “windows to the past,” diaries provide fascinating comparisons to life today, offering a slice of someone’s thoughts, activities and other memories from a particular period in time. Since cooking has been an important part of everyday life, recipes (or receipts as they were often called years ago) frequently worked their way into women’s diaries…

Lemon Pie | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Lemon Pie

Lemon pie is often considered a Southern confection, conjuring up images of plantation parties with lovely slices of the sky-high pie served on fancy china. Others may think of it as a Diner restaurant staple, a featured highlight in the revolving glass dessert case alongside other luscious treats such as cream puffs, éclairs and cheesecake.…

Plum Pudding | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Plum Pudding

Cookies, cakes and pies are the desserts most Americans associate with Christmas today, but back in the Victorian era, plum pudding was the highlight of the holiday feast. Even the poor Cratchit family in the Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol had one on their holiday table. We have the British to thank for bringing their…

Hot Water Sponge Cake | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Sponge Cake

Simple, light and elegant, sponge cake was the quintessential cake of the Victorian era, transformed into endless style and flavor combinations. Some were served plain, garnished simply with fruit, whipped cream or a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar. Others took it up a notch by adding flavorings such as lemon or orange. The most elegant were…

Strawberry Shortcake | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Strawberry Shortcake

True strawberry shortcake incorporates a rich, crumbly, biscuit-like cake that is not too sweet – very similar to a scone. The biscuit dough can be shaped into one large cake and then cut into pieces, or baked as separate little cakes, either by cutting the dough into rounds with a biscuit cutter, or dropping spoonfuls…

Salad | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Winter Salads

“Salads are supposed by a large class of people to be difficult to prepare; but such is not the case. They are really simple of construction, and one needs only to use a little judgment in their preparation.” ~ Murrey’s Salads and Sauces by Thomas Jefferson Murrey, 1884. A salad of fresh, tender lettuces is…

Jelly Roll | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Jelly Rolls

A perfect springtime treat, pretty, dainty Jelly Rolls conjure up images of ladies tea parties, bridal showers and fancy brunches. A Victorian era creation, these delicious confections are made from very thin layers of sponge cake spread with fruit preserves or jelly, rolled up into a neat cylinder, and then sliced into elegant spirals. Light…

Lady Cake Recipe | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Lady Cake

Browse through any Victorian era cookbook and you will be rewarded with pages and pages of luscious cake recipes. Some names are familiar, such as Sponge Cake, Lemon Cake or Pound Cake, but many have long been forgotten – Election Cake, Queen Cake, Composition Cake, Taylor Cake and Black Cake (also known as plum cake).…

Turkey | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Turkey

he turkey is one of the most quintessential American foods, through its association with Thanksgiving and its reputation as one of the bounteous foods that Europeans encountered in the New World. But our modern feast actually bears little resemblance to the 1621 Pilgrim harvest celebration commonly known as the “first Thanksgiving,” or the Puritan tradition…

Charlotte Ruse | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Charlotte Ruse

In the Victorian era it was especially fashionable to name foods after famous people and places. Naming a dish after a geographical location lent a mysterious element to a meal, summoning up images of distant horizons and alluring travel possibilities. Dishes named for people were either a favorite of that famous person or created in…