The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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Corn Beer.—Boil i quart of Indian corn until the grains begin to burst, then put them into a jug and pour in 2 gallons of boiling water into the water in which it was boiled ; add a quart of molasss, a handful of dried apples and a large tablespoonful of ginger. It will be ready for use in 2 or 3 days. In cold weather set it by the fire. It may be kept up several weeks with the same corn. Sweeten the water before pouring into the jug.
Persimmon Beer.—This is a favorite winter drink with the col­ored dames of the Southern States at Christmas times. It is made by taking 1 bushel of sweet, ripe persimmons well mashed and worked into 1-2 bushel of wheat bran ; mix well and bake in large loaves. Break the loaves in a clean barrel with some small sticks of wood laid at the bottom in the form of a pen, then put some clean wheat straw over this, then put in the bread, and over this pour 12 gallons of clear water sweetened with molasses. As soon as the fermentation ceases it may be bottled. The beer should be made in a warm room.
Cider, to Prepare for Medicinal Purposes.—Allow to each barrel of cider 1 lb. of whole mustard seeds, 1 oz. each of isinglass and pounded alum ; do not stop the barrel or cask, but shake it up once or twice every 24 hours, for 5 days, then beat 6 eggs and 2 pints of new milk well together, and pour into the cider and stir well 3 times in 49 hours; then let it stand until clear, and draw off and bottle, but do not cork them until the next day, or the bottles may burst. Note.—If the apples are sound and fully ripe, and the cider worked till clear, then poured off or racked "twice and then bottled, the cider will keep pure and sweet for a great number of years. Lay the bottles on the side.
Apples and Figs Drink.—Cut two or three apples in six or eight pieces, and cut in two six fresh dried figs, and put them in a stew pan with one-half gallon of boiling water, and boil them briskly for twenty minutes; then pour the fruit and liquor into a bowl; when cool, pour through a strainer. The liquor will be good to drink and the fruit excellent to eat, sweetened with sugar and flavored with a little grated lemon peel,
Cider can have the taste of Foreign Wine.—Pour it into fresh emptied wine casks or puncheons; add some brown sugar to it and it will have all the pungency and vinosity of foreign wine. The night before it is intended to be bottled, the bung should be taken out.                                                                        &
To make Bottled Cider Very Brisk.—When you are bottling the cider, put a large raisin into the bottom of each bottle before you put in the cider. Cork tightly. In bottling spruce or molasses beer, put in also a raisin.