Thanksgiving Eve or Coffee Musings

I was going to share some 1815 era advice about “Turkies” but the Swedish Method of Fattening Turkies is brutal at best and anyway, for those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, it’s too late to fatten your bird in that manner.

I can, however, share To Make Chocolate From Cocoa Nuts

Chocolate is made of the small cocao bean separated from its shells, which being first coarsely pounded in a stone mortar, is afterward levigated on a slab of the finest grained marble; to this a small quantity of vanilla is added. The mixture is heated, and put into tin molds of the size in which the cakes appear.

I’m still getting my head around the size of the tin molds which appears to be recursively defined.

Then there’s this, which I advise you to read closely as it applies to most everyone who reads this.


[blah blah blah Coffee] and when mixed with a large proportion of milk, is a proper article of diet for literary and sedentary people.

 Woot! I had Vietnamese coffee when I was in New York and it was awesome. There was a pretty good proportion of cream in it, too. We were talking about books mostly and there you have it. The wisdom of the ages.

File this one under LIES and Inventions Before Their Time

Cheap and valuable Substitute for Coffee
The flour of rye, and English yellow potatoes, are found an excellent substitute for coffee. These ingredients are first boiled, then made into a cake, which is to be dried in an oven, and afterwards reduced to a powder, which will make a beverage very similar to coffee in its taste, as well as in other properties, and not in the least detrimental to health.

 You see what this is? It’s not a coffee substitute, it’s Regency Instant Mashed Potatoes. Except they drank it. Ick.

Here’s an interesting comment found in a recipe for Acorn Coffee:

Since the duty was taken off, West India coffee is so cheap that the substitutes are not worth making.

And then there’s this from a section titled For Improving Coffee:

To an ounce of coffee add a common teaspoonful of the best flour of mustard seed, previous to the boiling. To those unacquainted with the method, it is inconceivable how much it improves the fragancy [sic], fineness, transparency, and gratefully quick flavor of the beverage, and probably too it adds to its wholesomeness.

 Also this, which I actually find rather interesting:

Let one ounce of fresh ground coffee be put into a clean coffee-pot, or other proper vessel well tinned; pour a pint and a quarter of boiling water upon it, set it on the fire, let it boil thoroughly, afterwards put by to settle; this should be done on the preceding night, and on the following morning pour off the clear liquid; add to it one pint of new milk; set it again over the fire, but do not let it boil. Sweetened to every person’s taste, coffee thus made is a most wholesome and agreeable breakfast, summer or winter, with toast, bread and butter, rusks, biscuits, &c.

I might try that one.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I will be making pies. I baked three pumpkins this weekend and have already made my special super duper to die for pumpkin bread (with and without cranberries). I’m making pumpkin pie and also coconut cream pie (by special request).

What are you making?

About carolyn

Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has two cats and a dog. Also a son. One of the cats is his.
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Zoe Archer
11 years ago

My FIL can’t have caffeine, so the last time we traveled to visit him, we were excited when his wife suggested we have coffee for breakfast. Turned out it was some kind of barley coffee substitute. I didn’t need coffee to wake me up that morning–the adrenalin from rage did the trick.

Miranda Neville
11 years ago

This explains why, before the invention of Starbucks, English coffee was almost universally vile.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Very interesting, Carolyn.

I have almost totally transferred from coffee to tea, but if I don’t have two spoonsful of instant coffee in my breakfast shake each day I’ll get that caffeine headache. Horrible caffeine headache, which is why there is really no substitute for coffee.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

11 years ago

Oh, the caffeine pain! About 5 years ago now, I got the flu and was down for the count for 3 days. When I was back amongst the living, I realized I’d been through the caffeine withdrawal and was too sick to notice. Other than the Vietnamese coffee in NY, I haven’t had coffee since.

11 years ago

If coffee is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I’m baking pies today too, Carolyn. Pecan, pumpkin, apple and blueberry. Too many, given the relatively small family gathering we’re attending, but no one in my family objects to leftover pie.

I’m also making the mashed potatoes and the vegetarian dressing and gravy. Because someone has to.

Jeanne M
11 years ago

Today after I get off a work I’ll stop by the store and make dinner before my Thanksgiving preparations will begin!

Nest it will be time to make my family’s favorite – sweet potatoe casserole seasoned with brown sugar and marshmellows and lots of butter than baked until gooey! Of course there will be a pumpkin pie to make and also getting the beginning of the stuffing going to be prepared for tomorrow.

My family will love all the special treats – I’ll be watching and savoring my black coffee while they eat those yummy creations – oh well, I might not be able to enjoy eating them since I’m a juvenille diabetic but I’m be celebrating Thanksgiving knowing my family gives thanks for their favorites made with love.

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

My Southern Mawmaw was horrified to discover when her three grandchildren returned from their three year stay in Jolly Olde England they had become devoted TEA DRINKERS! And NOT ICED TEA! Well, we DO drink iced tea, but in the winter the three of us are far more likely to be found with a cup of tea in our hands than a cup of coffee. We spend the years when most Southern kids learn to drink coffee in a little village in England so we never acquired a taste for hot coffee. My brothers have been known to take a thermos of coffee with them when they go hunting, but any other time it is tea, a bit of milk and some sugar that wakes us up in the morning. The only time I drink coffee is when I am visiting New Orleans. The chickory coffee they serve there is amazing and is guaranteed to keep you up for three days!

And Miranda, I do recall my parents calling English coffee some of the worst names imaginable!

Tomorrow I will be making …. myself scarce, hiding out in the back of the bakery while the last minute shoppers strip my bread racks bare. I have to work! I think they are having our Thanksgiving dinner catered by Ruby Tuesday’s so the food won’t be bad. But it won’t be my Mom’s dressing, my SIL’s turkey or my other SIL’s Italian Creme cake. DARN IT!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I am thankful for the Riskies every day!

11 years ago

I should have made pies this evening, but haven’t felt well all day. I should be in bed. I’ll have to get up early and start baking, then get the turkey in, and finish everything else. Our house is a mess, so we will eat at my daughter’s down the road. Their house is gutted and they are remodeling. We will cook here and eat there on tables and chairs borrowed from their church. They have no plumbing, sow the “facilities” will be out in their camper. My pregnant daughter coming to town for dinner will appreciate that. This will be a Thanksgiving we won’t forget.