Belle’s Cookbook

I recently received a family copy of The Butterick Cook Book: with special chapters about casserole and fireless cooking. You can get one for yourself for only $7.00 at Abebooks! But what is special about this particular book is the writing inside: Belle Burch 1912. The cook book itself was published in 1911. How exciting to have a book that belonged to Adaline’s daughter.

There are some very interesting recipes inside. On May 26 Adaline mentioned a dinner of veal pot pie and strawberry shortcake. Interested in recreating that meal? This might be a good place to start!

VEAL STEW, OR POT PIE, WITH DUMPLINGS- The ends of the ribs, the neck and the knuckle may be utilized for a stew. Take three pounds of veal; two small onions; five potatoes; one tablespoon of butter; one cup of milk; salt and pepper. Cut the meat into pieces the size of a teacup, and place them in a kettle with the onion, salt and pepper and enough water just to cover them. Simmer gently until the meat is tender, about an hour being generally sufficient. Strips of salt pork are sometimes cooked in with the veal and add much to the flavor. Half an hour before serving add the potatoes, cut in halves, and boil them with the meat. Use for the dumplings; one pint of flour; one-half a large tablespoon of lard; one teaspoon of baking-powder; one teaspoon of salt; mix to moisten. Stir the baking-powder and salt into the flour, and rub in the lard with a spoon until the whole is thoroughly mixed. Add enough milk to moisten the flour, and make a dough, taking care not to make the mixture too wet. Flour the baking-board, roll the dough out an inch thick, and cut out as for biscuit. Put the pieces on a plate, set the plate in a steamer over the steam, and steam twenty minutes. When the dumplings are done, place them on a platter, and with a skimmer lift the meat and potato from the kettle and lay them on the platter. Add the milk and butter to the gravy in the kettle, and thicken with a little flour stirred to a thin, smooth paste with water. Pour the gravy over meat and dumplings. If the stew should seem quite boiled down, the dumplings should be steamed over a separate kettle of boiling water, as the rapid boiling necessary for their cooking reduces the stew very much. Another mode of cooking the dumplings is to boil them in with the stew; but they are very apt to be heavy unless served the moment they are done. Steamed dumplings can always be relied upon to be light.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE- Make a suitable quantity of baking powder biscuit dough; and instead of cutting it into biscuits, quickly roll it out about one-half inch thick, lay it upon a flat, buttered plate, and bake at once. While it is still hot cut the crust around the edge so the cake can be pulled apart in equal pieces, and spread the inner side of each half with butter. Crush a pint of ripe strawberries, sweeten them, and spread them upon the buttered sides of the cake. Now arrange upon the lower half an even layer of whole berries, using the smaller ones for the purpose; and sprinkle with sugar. Lay upon these berries the other half, crust side down, cover it with a layer of the finest berries, and sprinkle them generously with sugar. Serve cold with cream, or hot, as preferred.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Some pictures of Rochester

Adaline mentioned quite a few places they saw in Rochester. Here is some further information and a few photos. Some of the pictures are from ten or so years after she went through, so things might have looked a little different but it still gives a good idea of the city at that time:

Portsmouth Terrace Now this street is in The Neighborhood of the Arts

Information on Vick the seed man

Sibley, Lindsay and Curr Company The building Adaline saw burned down in 1904 and was then rebuilt. I could find no pictures of the building before the fire, although there are a couple of pictures of the building as it was burning. Photo 1 Photo 2 I am thinking the taller building on the left side must have been the 12 story building that Adaline wrote about.

Powers Block

Savings Bank

Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Visiting Churches in Rochester

They did a lot of church visiting in Rochester! Amazingly enough, at least one of the three churches that she mentions still exists. 3rd Presbyterian Church has been meeting since 1827, it seems like in the same location as well. And in case you don’t check out the site, yes, it was the third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. The first and second church aren’t around anymore under those names. It was the Second Presbyterian Church that Adaline referred to as the Brick church (unless there was another Brick Church around). You can see a picture here. I also found a website briefly describing all the Presbyterian Churches of the time. Apparently the Brick Church is now used by Central Church of Christ. And the Central Church complex is now home to the Hochstein School of Music (scroll down to read about the church).

Published in: on November 4, 2007 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s Planting Time

I have been wondering how exactly things were done on these farms during the time Adaline was writing, so I was really excited to get a little glimpse of that in her writing. It seems that Harvey is still doing things the “old-fashioned way” by planting his corn with a hoe, while “the boys” that she refers to from back in Nebraska are busy with their harrows, cultivators, and other farm equipment.

I found a time-line detailing the History of American Agriculture. It states that the first American Agricultural Revolution dates from the late 1860’s and early 1870’s with the shift from hand power to horses. Maybe Harvey really was behind the times! That site also states that the second American Agricultural Revolution didn’t occur until 1945-1970 with the change from horses to tractors along with other technological practices- that is almost 100 years later! Things have been changing quickly ever since. It is an interesting site to check out. It also lists differences in amounts of fertilizers used over time and how the yield per acre has changed. One other fact is that in the early 1890’s, farmers made up about 43% of the labor force while today people involved in agriculture only make up 2%.

On another note, Harvey is planting seeds when it is still freezing outside… at the end of May… This is crazy!

Published in: on April 25, 2007 at 6:14 am  Comments (1)  


Here is a fun site that adjusts dollar figures for you based on past inflation rates. I am not quite sure how it works or how accurate it is, but it is sure is entertaining!

So I can enter $65.00 (since that is how much Carrie will pay per acre) and voila! Today each acre would be worth $1,460.66. I wonder how they figured out how much she should pay? How much was land really worth? Like was that a reduced amount because she was family or was that really the market value of land back then? Anyway, if you run across some old dollar amounts, maybe you can use the calculator, too!

Published in: on April 3, 2007 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Meeting Sojourner Truth

While reading about Battle Creek, I found out about this fascinating woman named Sojourner Truth. One statement said that she was “perhaps the most famous African-American woman in 19th century America.” So why don’t I remember learning about her? By now I am pretty sure that I slept through any and all history classes I ever took. Or maybe she was never mentioned. I thought I would introduce you to her as well, just in case I wasn’t the only one asleep!

Sojourner Truth lived from 1797 until 1883. She was born into slavery as Isabella. She married in 1815 and had several children. In 1826 she walked to freedom with her youngest child; she had to leave the others but ended up seeing them all again. In fact she lived with a couple of her daughters in her later years. She became a Christian around 1828 and changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843. She wanted to travel, preach, and speak against injustices. She was illiterate and yet had no qualms about speaking against slavery, for women’s rights and sufferage, for temperance, and for the end of capital punishment. I found it incredible that she even filed and won three lawsuits… she was an ex-slave, a woman, illiterate, and apparently very determined. I especially like the story about how she went and retrieved her son, Peter, when he was sold illegally into slavery from New York into Alabama!

Adaline crossed through Battle Creek 12 years after the death of Sojourner Truth. I am glad that I got to learn about this incredible lady in our travels.

Published in: on March 5, 2007 at 1:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Battle Creek

For some reason Battle Creek was a name I felt like I should know. Maybe it was in some history book I read with the intention of filling in all the right answers on a test, or maybe I had heard this little bit of trivia somewhere along the line: Battle Creek is Cereal City. The place Kellogg invented corn flakes as a health food and where Post followed quickly behind.Battle Creek

In fact the Sanitarium that Adaline drove around was the very place that Kellogg made his now famous cereal. It began with a large number of Seventh Day Adventists who placed a high priority on diet and health. Dr. Kellogg was the director there where he viewed it as “a place where people learn to stay well.” Soon his brother joined him, and they formed the cereal we know today. In 1891 C.W. Post was there as a patient and picked up some ideas of his own. Other guests of “the San” were President Taft, Eleanor Roosevelt, J.C. Penny, and Amelia Earhart. The buildings that Adaline saw were destroyed in a fire in 1902 and had to be rebuilt.

Adaline also tells us of a surprise visit to Emma Snell. I was surprised to find a list of pictures from old streets and houses, and from what I can tell Emma’s house is listed! I love finding old pictures. I have been posting links but I know that they are hard to see in this font. On past entries, try running your mouse over the text if you think there might be a link there. Today, I am experimenting with making all the links bold. Does that help?

Published in: on March 4, 2007 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rockford, Ill.

Before we continue on from Rockford, Ill. with Chauncey and Adaline, how about taking a look around the town? I found a site with some old postcards that seem to date from around the time when they were visiting. The image of Bridge and State Street shows a wide view of the town and a great picture of one of the street cars. Adaline often mentions traveling on street cars while in some of these towns, so it is neat to see what she meant. The postcard of West State Street really shows the architecture of the time. The horse and carriage is still the primary mode of transportation, and there are some more street cars in the background. You can almost feel the pull of society from a rural existence to a more modern and industrial way of life. I think the picture of Mulberry Street is my favorite; a tree lined street, houses peeking through, and rails for the street car going right down the middle.

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 8:48 am  Comments (2)  

Seminary and Some Questions

My first thought when reading that Adaline attended Phipps Female Seminary was along the lines of a Bible college. A female Bible college in the 1800’s? What would a woman do with her education? It didn’t seem to fit in with my ideas of 19th century living. So I wasn’t very surprised when I found out that it could more appropriately be described as an academy or secondary education. A quote from an article entitled “Female Students and Denominational Affiliation: Sources of Success and Variation among Nineteenth-Century Academies” says that:

“From the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries, academies were the dominant form of schooling beyond the primary level in the United States. Until the 1880s the number of academies and academy students outnumbered high schools and high school students. At mid-century the proportion of 10 to 19-year olds that attended academies was approximately 13-21 percent, a figure that compares favorably with ranges of high school attendance as late as 1890.” American Journal of Education, vol 107, No. 2, pp 75-115.

Phipps Female Seminary was located in Albion, NY about 20 miles away from where Adaline grew up near Shelby and Medina. This area is northeast of Buffalo, right below Lake Ontario. The Seminary was started by Miss Caroline Phipps (later Mrs. Achilles) in the early 1830’s accepting both males and females, but Miss Phipps later chose to limit the teaching to young ladies.

Adaline attended secondary school with less than half of the population of young people her age. This raises so many questions for me. What members of society were able to go to school? What kind of a role did money play? Was it difficult or easy for Adaline to attend? What were her goals in attending school? What value systems were in place with regards to education? I don’t know about you, but I have always been told the benefits of a good education. Where did this value originate? Is it possible that family values over 100 years ago have trickled down to today? And that leads to the question: What values do I currently express that one might find evidence of 100 years in the future?

Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 4:04 pm  Comments (1)  

Figuring Out Family

I am really working at trying to figure out how all of Adaline’s family fits together. But so far I have not been able to figure out where Cousins May E. and Mamie belong! If anyone knows who they are, please share your information. I do, however, know that Uncle Buel is one of her father’s brothers. He was born in Sherman, Connecticut on July 31, 1811 and married Mary H. Adams on Sept. 3, 1857. Mary was born August 15, 1818 in Dover, NH. Apparently Buel Pickett was also a captain of the militia.

As far as their location in their journey, Adaline refers to the place as Nashua. Today, Oregon-Nashua is a township in Ogle County, IL.

Published in: on January 21, 2007 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment