I have been working on preparing next years' school lessons, and seeing as I've finished MUCH earlier than planned I thought I would search the internet for fun recipes & crafts to augment our lessons. My daughter will be studying the 19th century this next year, so recipes are positively everywhere & many of them will be used. I just stumbled across this gem however, and HAD to share it with everyone. As I understand, seeing as this is well over 100 years old it should be free of copywrite laws & therefore safe to share.
Apparently this recipe has been found in dozens of old cookbooks though *I* have never seen it before today! The oldest cookbook that seems to claim this recipe is "The Yankee Kitchen Cookbook" published in 1808 - but oh, how true it still is! Enjoy!
How to Cook A Husband
A good many husbands are utterly spoiled by mismanagement in cooking and are so not tender and good. Some women keep them constantly in hot water; others let them freeze by their carelessness and indifference. Some keep them in a stew with irritating ways and words. Some wives keep them pickled, while others waste them shamefully. It cannot be supposed that any husband will be tender and good when so managed, but they are really delicious when prepared properly.
In selecting a husband, you should be guided by the silvery appearance as in buying a mackerel; not by the golden tint as if you wanted salmon. Do not go to the market for him as the best ones are always brought to the door. Be sure to select him yourself as tastes differ. It is far better to have none unless you will patiently learn how to cook him.
Of course, as preserving kettle of the finest porcelain is best, but if you have nothing better than an earthenware pippin, it will do---with care. Like crabs and lobsters, husbands are cooked alive. They sometimes fly out of the kettle and do so become burned and crusty on the edges, so it is wise to secure him in the kettle with a strong silken cord called Comfort, as the once called Duty is apt to be weak. Make a clear, steady flame of love, warmth and cheerfulness. Set him as near this as seems to agree with him.
If he sputters, do not be anxious, for some husbands do this until they are quite done. Add a little sugar in the form of what confectioners call kisses, but use no pepper or vinegar on any account. Season to taste with spices, good humor and gaiety preferred, but seasoning must always with great discretion and caution. Avoid sharpness in testing him for tenderness. Stir im gently, lest he lie to flat and close to the kettle and so become useless. You cannot fail to know when he is done. If so treated, you will find him very digestible, agreeing with you perfectly; and he will keep as long as you choose, unless you become careless and slow the home fires to grow cold. Thus prepared, he will serve a lifetime of happiness!