In the early nineteenth century, running the household like a well oiled machine was a source of pride for many women. They ran the household, managed the budgets and often had to deliver quality meals in an economical fashion. They were professionals in this domain. Their husband were away at work and expected to come home to a pleasant home and meal. Although not all aspects of this timeline are agreeable to me, running a household is a full time occupation. Modern day living where we are juggling children, the home and a career can make one yearn for a simpler time where you could stay home and be proud of running your household. I suppose for many homesteaders, we are in fact moving closer to this “old” ideal, where a woman can have her finger on the pulse of her family.
I have just finished reading “A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes”. This is a recipe book with a delightful narrative of early 19th century living from a woman’s perspective. Meet Bettina, a practical, resourceful newlywed. Her recipes are thoughtful, practical and economical. A resourceful woman, she offers tips and trick that are just as relevant today as they were over hundred years ago.
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The narrative will give you a glimpse into everyday 19th century life. The book was written in a time when cooking meals from scratch was commonplace. Keeping house was a job filled with pride and being a “stay at home” mom was the norm, not a niche thing to be marveled over or envied. Budgeting & planning was a large part of managing a household, it was in fact a profession that required many skills. Most people lived within their means and were not dealing with credit card and mortgage debt. Homesteading just might be the answer to bringing back some of the nineteenth century family life and balance that many people mourn the loss of but with the addition of equality and mutual respect between husband and wife.
The chief thing is to live within your means, and save as well as invest something—and at the same time be comfortable and happy.
I was quickly drawn into this book and quickly read it cover to cover, something that I don’t usually do with a recipe book. It is a very enjoyable read. You can read the PDF version of this book for free. Just click on the link. You can download it to your desktop for later reading as well.
Let us know what you think of this book. I think that many homesteaders can relate to the 19th century lifestyle quite well, don’t you? You can find a large collection of vintage e-books on our website. Topics range from carpentry, recipes, home brewing, gardening, animal husbandry and more! You can find the catalogue of free e-books here!