}); World Turn'd Upside Down

September 12, 2019

Easy World War 1 Bran Muffins Recipe

World War 1 Recipes Bran Muffins WW1

This recipe is from the book Allied Cookery (1916), a book written to raise funds to support World War 1 victims in France. It contains recipes from the allied nations. I spent last week in New England and we had bran muffins with butter. It was my first time there although I've lived fairly close by my whole life. I was happy to find this New England Bran Muffin recipe which contains no butter, sugar or eggs and thought it would be a fun recipe to try out.

My grammy and I mixed this up in her kitchen and I'm not going to lie, it looked like something you might remove from a sloppy gerbil's cage. They didn't rise much and also didn't look very pretty until they cooled about 5 minutes. This makes 6 extra large muffins or 12 regular muffins. We used these pans here if you are in the market and want to support me: Jumbo Baking Pans.

They were surprisingly tasty, filling and healthy. My grammy said she used to add bran to her meatballs when my mom and uncles were young because they wouldn't eat it otherwise. She also said this was the sort of this promoted during "her war," (World War 2) as you "just couldn't get sugar."

World War 1 Recipes Bran Muffins


- 2 Cups Bran
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Molasses
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
-1/2 Cup Raisins (if wanted)


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix dry ingredients and slowly mix in wet ingredients and raisins. Butter a muffin pan and fill pans 1/2 way with batter. Top with a few raisins if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and let cool on a cooling rack.

September 5, 2019

Civil War Era Cheesikins Recipe, What?

Yes, I made this recipe just because of the name, and yes, it's an early cheese-based nibble snack. This recipe if from Cre-Fydd's Family Fare (1864.) A very similar recipe for cheesikins was printed in Godey's Lady's Book in 1865 as well.

The book gives a suggestion about how to serve the cheesikins, as a side dish to lamb and veal. They have a strong flavor from the mustard and pepper. I can't see eating a ton of these in one sitting but they are a nice change of pace that could be used to make an otherwise bland meal a bit more exciting  while using up stale bread.

Civil War Era Cheesikins Recipe


- 4 ounces (1 cup) Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)
- 3 ounces (3/4 cup) Breadcrumbs
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper


Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, cover bowl with a cloth and let it sit for an hour.  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Knead the dough, roll out to 1/8 inch and cut into triangles. Bake on a cookie sheet for 16-18 minutes.  

August 27, 2019

18th Century Lemon Cheese Recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

18th Century Lemon Cheese Forgotten Recipe

I was excited to try this recipe. I have yet to see anyone else attempt it and it is from a handwritten recipe book in Westminster City Archives in London known as the Cookbook of Unknown Ladies. Little is known about the recipe book or the women who contributed to it only that it was written by "various unknown women about the year 1761," as is printed on a title page.  Be sure to check out all of the recipes from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies.

This was a mystery recipe.  I can generally read and approximate what the finished product of a recipe will be. For this recipe I didn't have a clue. I thought it sounded most like a cream cheese but it was whipped before being hung to separate the whey out. Would that make a difference? My grandma and I kept testing it throughout the process to try and get an idea of what it would turn into.

I was very afraid that the minute I added lemon to the cream that it would separate the way it does when making cheese but it didn't. I waited until the cream was whipped then quickly stirred in the juice and the rind.

It turned out that this makes a spread that tastes like a delicious lemon cheesecake. It was delicious on the 1796 pound cake I happened to make the same night. It would also be good on scones or toast.

Excerpt from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies:

Lemmon Cheese
A qurt of good thick sweet creame. Put to it the juce of four lemons as as mutch peel as well give it an agreeable flavour. Sweeten it to your taste & add a littile peach or orange flower water if you like it. Whip it up as you would for sellabubs but very solid. If you have a tin vat, put a thin cloath in it & pour in your cream. If not, put it in a napkin and tye it pritty close. Hang it up to let the whey run from it. Make it the night be fore you use it. Garnish it with currant jelliy or candied oranges.


- 16 ounces Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 Lemons (Juice and Peel)
- 1 Tablespoon  Orange Flower Water
- 2+/- Tablespoons sweetener (Sugar, Honey, Molasses, )


Zest and juice your lemons. Put cream in large bowl, add sugar and orange flower water and whisk until you have whipped cream. Stir in lemon juice and peel gently to avoid over whipping. Pour into doubled cheese cloth and tie it up. Hang it overnight. In the morning press all the remaining juice out with your hands, make into a ball or press into a mold and serve with jelly or candied oranges.

I had this hanging over a bowl in my living room and my puppy was terrified of it. 

August 20, 2019

Amelia Simmons' 18th Century Pound Cake Recipe

We had a little teaser of fall over the last few days but that light breeze has been replaced with an Indian monsoon season. Again. I haven't wanted to look at the oven, let alone turn it on. I took advantage of the nice weekend weather to get a little baking done.

This recipe is from Amelia Simmons' cookbook American Cookery, famous for being the first American written cookbook intended for American cooks utilizing the ingredients local to them.

This is a true pound cake recipe. A true pound cake is a cake made from a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Traditional pound cakes do not use any additional leavening agents and rely on the eggs to puff them up a bit. This recipe gives the vague "spice to taste" so I had to do a little rummaging to see what spices were popular in cakes like this and settled on cinnamon, nutmeg and carraway.

18th Century Pound Cake 


- 2 Sticks Butter (1/2 Pound)
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cups Flour (3+ if you you don't have small tins and want to bake them "cookie" style)
- 1/3 Cup (2 ounces) Rosewater
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- Caraway Seeds


This is only half the recipe which made about 20, 3 inch cakes.

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Cream the butter, add the sugar, rosewater, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Crack the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk 10-15 minutes by hand. Add eggs to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Slowly mix in the flour.

If using small tins, grease the tins and fill with batter. Add carrayway on top.

If using cookie cutters, add enough flour to create a dough you can roll out. I kneaded it with my hands a little bit. This made a very light dough. Place cakes on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle carraway over the cakes.

Bake cakes for 15 minutes. They won't brown more than a slight orange at the rim on the base of the cakes.

The first thing I noticed about this cake was that it tasted good soft but probably tastes even better crunchy which is probably the point. These probably get better over time which is good because if you made a whole batch you'd have around 40 small cakes on your hands.  

August 15, 2019

1920s Sealing Wax Art Jewelry

Over the weekend we went antiquing and I found this really pretty booklet on sealing wax art. Sealing wax art involves melting sealing wax, originally used to seal letters, and shaping the softened wax into different beads and pendant shapes. I had seen wax flowers and pearls before but this was new and I never thought to try and make some myself.

DIY Your Own Vintage Style Jewelry with the whole book here: Sealing Wax Art

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry

Some of my friends and I have been mailing each other letters with wax seals so I already had the materials and thought I might as well try and get some practice in before all those Roaring '20s parties start happening. I still need a lot of practice but it was fun to do. The book shows some very pretty, intricate examples. 

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry
My attempt. I still need more practice!

The only advice I can give so far is that the harder, wax pellets that are melted in a spoon were giving me better results than the sticks with the wicks in them.

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry

1920s Sealing-Wax Art Jewelry
Advertisement from 1924

You can read the whole book here: Sealing Wax Art

If you try it out, I'd love to see photos of what you come up with!