Feasting Afloat The Edwardian Dinner Table

Jim Kalafus

Dec 3, 2000
One minor correction- The Jungle was written by Upton Sinclair in 1906. One must read it with a grain of salt, as it was a novel and also a piece of socialist propaganda - although much of it was true, much of it was also exaggerated. Those factors are often ignored when its most glaringly disgusting passages are quoted in 'the old days were fairly vile' historical context.
Sep 2, 2009
Shelley wrote:

"Hard to imagine a Vanderbilt or Astor happily munching a hot dog but apparently it was the done thing at amusement parks."


Coming from my memory, so details might be a little foggy.

If it wasn't for Old Commadore Vanderbilt, complaining about the thickness of his potato slice's to the chief at a Saratoga Resort in the mid-1850's we would have one of today's best loved snack foods.

The chief got very mad at being chewed out by Vanderbilt, He vowed to get even so he sliced Vanderbilt's potato's paper thin then fried them in some cooking oil with a little salt. And thus created the potato chip. Vanderbilt loved these potato's along with many other of the Resort patrons.
Apr 11, 2001
Great story- lots of great recipes evolved from happy accidents I suspect- or out of necessity. The ice cream cone was actually invented first by Italo Marchiony in 1896- but totally independent of this, a Syrian named Ernest Hamwi was baking zalabis- a type of Syrian waffle cookie when a vendor in the next booth selling ice creams ran out of dishes at the 1904 St. Louis Fair (boy have we been THERE a lot lately). Ernest rolled his cookie while still warm into a cornucopia and thus the first American ice cream cone. Missouri became the cone state with an entrepreneur named Sullivan starting a cone factory and even good old Ernest opening the Cornucopia Waffle Company and in 1910, the Missouri Cone Company- later renamed the Western Cone Co. The new rolled cone machines today can churn out 150,000 in one day! Remember churning ice cream in those old wooden tubs packed with ice and rock salt? We used to turn the crank for what seemed like hours. Peach and strawberry ice cream in season - my favorite was plain vanilla but banana was pretty good too- and chocolate made with Hershey's syrup. Those were the days.
Jun 19, 2004
Being all of 20 years old I've never churned my own ice cream although I really would love to. (and fresh butter too!) I bet I could get an ice cream machine off ebay or something but where do you get rock salt? i'm guessing it's not the same stuff that melts ice on the sidewalks in winter.


Lee Gilliland

Feb 14, 2003
Actually, that can be used. Please remember, this does not come in contact with the ice cream, it's just around the outside to reduce the temperature.

Are you sure you want a hand-cranked model? It can take up to a half-hour before it will start to turn to ice cream - that's a lot of cranking - and there are any number of motorized versions on the market.
Jun 19, 2004
That is why ice cream can be so fattening after cranking the freezer for 30 or so minutes you've already worked off all the calories you're going to gain from eating a scoop or two =)

but all kidding aside I find a great connection to "living history" and would like to experience doing things the way my great grandparents did.

Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Shannon, if you like, you can get ice cream machines that will do all the hard work for you with the wonders of electricity. My folks have one that they use from time to time. You still have to make the mix, but it does the rest once you put it in. All you have to do when it's done is package the lot and put it in the freezer.

You could do it the hard way if you like, but don't be surprised if somewhere in the distant future, you'll be telling your grandchildren how you worked out to win the Olympic Weight Lifting competition!

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