Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Enterprising Housekeeper

The Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia produced a number of mechanical devices that were considered indispensable to the turn of the (20th) century cook including coffee grinders, meat and other food choppers, and cherry and raisin stoners.

Imagine having to stone your own raisins.

To help the consumer, the company also produced a little 78-page booklet called The Enterprising Housekeeper; 200 Tested Recipes, most of which called for the use of one of the items already mentioned.  Their coffee grinders came in three sizes and cost $3.50, $4.50, and $5.00, respectively.

“Drip Coffee.  Scald the coffee-pot and see that it is thoroughly heated.  Grind the coffee to a fine powder.  Have the water boiling, but use it at its first boil, before the gases have disseminated.  Put the coffee in the percolator, and pour the water on the upper sieve.  When there is much coffee to be made it takes some time for the percolation, and in order to have the coffee hot it is wise to stand the pot in hot water during the process.  Drip coffee must be served at once.”

Enterprise made sad irons too, a truly well-named object.  The booklet can be found online.

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