Finding Humor in a 1892 Cookbook

I was going through my books recently whilst trying to choose some to pass along, to make a bit of room on our bookshelves, and came across an old book I found at a yard sale or somewhere many years ago. It’s titled “Every-Day Cook-Book“- Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes, and was printed in 1892 in Chicago, Illinois, by the Mercantile Pub & Advertising CO. Having only glanced at it in the past, this time around I stopped to look through it, carefully turning the darkening pages, while lifting it to my nose to inhale that delightful scent of old books! After scanning a few recipes, I turned to the back of the book, and noticed a miscellaneous section there. As I began to read, something piqued my interest and I laughed out loud, finding it hard to believe some of what I was reading!

So to bring you a laugh, I’ve decided to share several of the remedies with you, and in NO way am I suggesting that you try any of these at home, or anywhere else for that matter! So here you go . . . LOL!

Every-day cook-book

I don’t know about you, but I don’t even know for sure what some of those items listed are! And how funny that they called it “vermin” in the hair, instead of just plain lice . . . HaHa! Or perhaps they did have vermin getting into their hair, who knows! Nonetheless, can you imagine rubbing a concoction with tobacco juice in it, all in your hair? . . . Not me!

Every-day cook-book4

Okay, now this one really made me laugh too, where it says “the sufferer is prompted to momentary laughter“,  I thought “Really? . . . put ammonia in your mouth!” 

Now check this one out, I thought this was absolutely hilarious, and you’d better just hope you were near a source of icy cold water during the thunderstorm . . . HaHa! 

Every-day cook-book5

Can you just imagine dragging the victim to the bathtub and showering them with cold water that long? Then if that didn’t work, using salt in the water? If you didn’t revive them, you’d sure pickle them in the process . . . HaHa! 

Okay, this is the last one for this week, but these are just so good and downright hilarious, that I think I’ll share one with you each week!

Every-day cook-book3

Well there you have it, as long as you don’t have bad breath, you ought to do okay socially in life . . . HaHa! Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed these funny old-time remedies and remember, I do NOT recommend you try any of these! However, I do recommend you laugh in life as much as possible, so I hope I helped you out with that today!

~ Here’s What’s Happening in the Studio ~

Wes has been busily working with SAA office work, and everything that goes with the process of jurying for new members this past week. He also hosting Zoom meetings for SAA members almost weekly, which are always enjoyable for everyone!

I was delighted and honored to be commissioned once again by the Woolaroc Museum &Wildlife Preserve, to paint the newly elected U.S. president, Joe Biden, for their collection of Presidential Portrait Miniatures. On January 2nd, 1914, A contract was signed between miniaturist A. J. Rowell and collector “Diamond” Jim Brady for the collection. The Woolaroc’s founder, Frank Phillips, purchased the museum’s collection in 1936 and was sent the original contract between the artist and Mr. Brady by A.J. Rowell. Wes painted one of the portraits, this will be the third U.S. President that I will have painted for this amazing collection! I will keep you updated on my progress.

presidential miniature portraits

I’ve spent much of my time at the easel laughing whilst painting on this hilarious zebra! I photographed it at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch near San Antonio, TX a couple of years ago, while there for the the opening weekend of the Society of Animal Artists 59th Annual Exhibition, at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. I’ve been videoing my painting process and will be sharing that with you, once the paintings completed. I’ve felt like I’m doing a dental check-up on it while painting . . . HaHa!

miniature zebra painting by Rachelle Siegrist

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website,

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Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Until next time ~ Rachelle

10 thoughts on “Finding Humor in a 1892 Cookbook

  1. Hi Rachelle
    Congratulations on getting the Presidential commission – very well deserved. Also fun to read your cookbook extracts . Hope you are both well . I’m painting ‘mosaic style’ large paintings at the moment. Last year I panted 25 miniatures – alas none were commissions
    Best wishes
    Bill and Claire x

    1. Hi Bill,
      Thank you! I am delighted to receive it!! I’ll certainly be sharing more of these entertaining remedies. We are doing well and hope that you both are too!! We love seeing your works shared online!! Happy painting 😄
      Hugs 🤗

  2. Marilynne

    What a fun post, Rachelle. Please, continue with those recipes, they are priceless! Congrats on your commission to paint President Biden, an honor for sure. Had to chuckle at the photo showing all the miniatures previously done. Donald Trump was smiling in his portrait, which in reality we rarely saw.

    1. Thank you Marilynne, I am delighted about receiving the commission! Trump looked very serious and not very happy in the official presidential photo, so we had to search other places to find one where he was actually smiling. We thought it would be better for him having a pleasant disposition in the portrait, to blend in with the others. 😉
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the entertaining remedies, I will certainly be sharing more of them on my blog posts! I always love a good laugh! 😂
      Rachelle 😊

    2. Marilynne Wasielewski

      Rachelle, your portraits always show your subject in the best light, so kudos to you. Wishing you well, stay safe and continue to share your adventures with us. I always enjoy your stories, as they brighten my day.

      1. Thank you SO very much Marilynne, I really appreciate that!!! It’s always nice to know that I have somehow brightened someone’s day!! I hope you stay safe as well, and I look forward to sharing many more adventures and laughs on my blog!!
        Take care 🤗

  3. Denise Horne-Kaplan

    I for one love these medical remedies pretty incredible and funny., not sure I remember seeing a recipe though I would enjoy seeing them, Congrats on being asked again to paint another President. I like the one of Trump he does have a nice smile.

    1. Denise,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed these hilarious remedies! I will be sharing plenty more, and will also share some of the recipes. Thank you, I’m delighted to be painting another one of these miniature portraits for the collection!
      Rachelle 😊

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