Know Your Onions Or Mrs Beeton's Hinterland

Know Your Onions or Mrs Beeton's Hinterland

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was and is hugely popular. First published in 1861, nearly two million copies were sold by 1868.

Know Your Onions or Mrs Beeton's Hinterland by Susan Watkin contains recipes and household hints from books and magazines published from about 1820 to the 1860s; books and magazines that may have influenced Mrs Beeton. Some of the recipes and household hints are from Samuel Beeton's "Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine" and may well have been contributed by Mrs Beeton herself.

How did I come to produce the book? Very much in the same way as I got the idea for Old Groaners and And The Baboon Played Chess With The Emperor. I had books with contents that were crying out to be allowed to see the light of day again. At least that's what I say - and I'm sure that you would agree too if you were to read the books!

I have copied below some extracts from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management

The book is arranged alphabetically. I have added a list of contents - index - to give you a better idea of the wide range of material in the book.

Drop some quicklime on the mouth of their nest, and wash it in with boiling water; or dissolve some camphor in spirits of wine, then mix with water, and pour into their haunts; or tobacco water, which has been found effectual. They are averse to strong scents. Camphor will prevent their infesting a cupboard, or a sponge saturated with creosote. To prevent their climbing up trees, place a ring of tar about the trunk, or a circle of rag moistened occasionally with creosote.

"Elder, will you have a glass of cider?" inquired a farmer of an old temperance man, who was spending the evening at his house. "No thank ye," said the old man, "I never drink liquor of any kind, 'specially cider; but if you call it apple juice, I don't care if I do take a leetle."

APPLES (Varieties of)
The varieties of apples are so numerous, and the same species bear such different names in distant localities, that the task of making a true and complete list would be laborious indeed. We quote from an article by an eminent horticulturalist a brief one for table and kitchen fruit, which, however, must be understood as only a selection of some of the best kinds.

Table apples: Early red Margaret, Early Harvest, Quarrenden, Oslin, Kerry Pippin, Summer Golden Pippin, Wormsley Pippin, Golden Reinette, Blenheim Pippin, Cambusnethan Pippin, Claygate Permain, Margil, Court of Wick, Boston Russet, Baxter's Permain, Pearson's Plate, Ribston Pippin, Braddick's Nonpareil, Scarlet Nonpareil, Court-perdu Plat, Sturmer Pippin.

Kitchen apples: Dutch Codlin, Monk's Codlin, Hawthornden, Alexander, Tower of Glammis, Dumelow's Seedling, Beauty of Kent, Waltham Abbey Seedling, Bedfordshire Foundling, Northern Greening, Rymer or Caldwell's Keeper.

In many parts of Devonshire it is a common custom to keep a peculiar sour apple for the purpose of making poultices, which are used for festers, swellings, &c.; and in Poland, where goitre or swelling of the throat is common, they apply a poultice of wild sour crab apple, for the purpose of reducing the swelling. The apples thus used are peeled, cored, and boiled in a very little water, and a small quantity of vinegar is mixed with them.

at Hauteville, has for many years past given a produce which would be incredible if the fact were not notorious. In the year 1855 this tree yielded no less than 16,000 apricots, and this year the produce has been at least 10,000 full-sized and perfectly ripened apricots. The tree, which is, we believe, upwards of 40 years old, measures 20 feet in height, and has a span of 60 feet, thus covering a surface of 1,200 feet.

Boil together a quart of water, a quart of new milk, an ounce of white sugar-candy, half an ounce of eringo-root, and half an ounce of conserve of roses, till half be wasted.
This is astringent, therefore proportion the doses to the effect, and the quantity to what will be used while sweet. [NB in the "Cookery for the Sick" section]

In the midst of its screaming, press your finger gently and repeatedly across the cartilage of that useful organ, the nose, and in less than two minutes it will be asleep. The eastern paper from whence this important discovery is derived, says "in one minute," but we allow two, to prevent any disappointment.

is the sides of killed hogs, soaked in brine, and then dried in a smoky situation. In general, it is very difficult of digestion.

An inhabitant of British woods now becoming extremely rare. The flesh of the badger, although strong, is sometimes eaten.

an ornamental market-place, adopted in England for the purpose of getting multiplied rents from large buildings, otherwise useless, and serving as a covered promenade for idle persons.

Small - an undrinkable drink, which if it were set upon a cullender to let the water run out, would leave a residuum of - nothing. Of whatever else it may be guilty, it is generally innocent of malt and hops.

Several beer-house keepers at West Bromwich were lately fined each £50 for using grains of Paradise in their brewing. Samuel Meldon was also fined £50 for having in his possession a mixture of burnt sugar and sulphuric acid - for mixing with the beer, to give it a deep colour and an appearance of strength.

Three ounces of ivory black; two ounces of treacle; half an ounce of vitriol; half an ounce of sweet oil; quarter of a pint of vinegar, and three-quarters of a pint of water. Mix the oil, treacle, and ivory black gradually to a paste; then add the vitriol, and, by degrees, the vinegar and water. It will produce a beautiful polish.

Leaves of parsley, eaten with vinegar, will prevent the disagreeable consequences of eating onions.

may be improved greatly by dissolving it thoroughly in hot water; let it cool, then skim it off, and churn again, adding a little good salt and sugar. A small quantity can be tried and approved before doing a larger one. The water should be merely hot enough to melt the butter, or it will become oily.

An officer in the Bengal army had such an horror of cats, that while on a visit of ceremony to some young ladies who had just arrived at his station, one of these domestic animals having walked into the room, frightened him to such a degree that he leaped upon the table with his drawn sabre. On all other occasions this gentleman was as brave as a lion.

To destroy flies in a room, take half a tea-spoonful of black pepper in powder, one tea-spoonful of brown sugar, and one table-spoonful of cream, mix them well together, and place them in the room on a plate, where the flies are troublesome, and they will soon disappear.

Mix together two ounces of pure alcohol, two tea-spoonsful of hydrochloric acid, and one pint of distilled water.

It was the custom of the higher order of Teutones, a people who inhabited the northern part of Europe, to drink mead or metheglin, a beverage made with honey, for thirty days after the wedding. From this custom comes the expression, "to spend the honeymoon."

whether covered with cloth, damask, or chintz, will look much better for being cleaned occasionally with bran and flannel.

a bird to which the Squirearchy are so strangely attached, that they will shoot, trap, and transport their fellow-creatures for the pleasure of destroying it themselves.

Take two drachms of borax, one drachm of Roman alum, one drachm of camphor, half an ounce of sugar-candy, and a pound of ox-gall. Mix, and stir well for ten minutes or so, and repeat this stirring three or four times a-day for a fortnight, till it appears clear and transparent. Strain through blotting-paper, and bottle up for use.

a house kept for those who are not house-keepers.

Procure a small piece of gutta percha, drop it into boiling water, then, with the thumb and finger, take off as much as you suppose will fill up the tooth nearly level, and while in this soft state press it into the tooth; then hold on that side of the mouth cold water two or three times, which will harden it.

A well-known penurious character invited a friend to dinner, and provided two mutton chops. On removing the cover he said, "My friend, you see your dinner;" his friend immediately with his knife and fork took to himself both chops, remarking, "I do - I wish I could see yours."

an article which, by the morality of society, you may steal from friend or foe, and which, for the same reason, you should not lend to either.


Know Your Onions or Mrs Beeton's Hinterland