Nature’s Own Book

May 12, 2013 by

nature's ownSo, Nature’s Own Book was actually written by Asenath Nicholson and on February 13, 1835 he deposited his book at the Southern New York Copyright office, and it was checked in by Fred J. Betts.  Soooo, with all apologies to Mr. Nicholson it appears Fred Betts is getting the credit for this book.  But! have not fear, the inside is pure Asenath Nicholson and you won’t be disappointed in his dietary gems.

Mr. Nicholson has a number of “Rules” he swears by, and here is a peek at just a few of his rules:

“Rule VI.
No boarder should sleep on a feather bed during any part of the year ; but his bed should be a hair, moss, or straw mattrass, or any thing harder if he chooses.

Rule VII. Breakfast.
No animal food of any kind (including fowl and fish — salt and fresh) should be brought upon the breakfast table ; nor should any such food be eaten by any of the boarders for their breakfast. But the best bread that can be made or procured, of unboulted and coarsely ground wheaten meal, should always be provided for the table ; also, rye, indian, barley, and oatmeal bread, may be eaten at each and every meal: but these varieties are not all to be used at the same meal, and they should be regulated by a rule of the house, established by a majority of Ihe boarders, so as to protect the keeper of the house from unreasonable and capricious demands for change and variety. The bread should not be eaten until at least twelve hours after it comes from the oven, and it is better at twenty-four hours old ; and if toasted, it should not be buttered till it is quite cold ; and no warm cakes, buck-wheat nor any other kind, should be brought upon the table at any time. Indian samp, hominy, and mush, and plain boiled rice, with milk, sugar, or molasses, but without butter, may be taken at breakfast, or either of the other meals.

Slightly boiled eggs may be eaten, but not exceeding two (and one would be preferable) by each boarder at a meal. Fruit of various kinds, according to the season, should be uniformly furnished for the breakfast table; such as stewed, dried, or fresh apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, cranberries, etc etc. And in their season, a reasonable quantity of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, &c. &c. should be furnished for the table, if the quantity in the market will afford them at a reasonable price. The butter used upon the table should be of the sweetest and best kind that can be procured, and very sparingly eaten; and only on such bread and other things as will not melt it.

Rule VIII. Dinner.
The dining table should be furnished with great neatness, plainness and simplicity. If animal food is used at all, (which is not necessary nor best,) not more than one kind of flesh should be brought on the table at the same meal, and that should be either boiled, roasted, broiled or baked, and furnished only with its own juices as a gravy ; nor should any other article of seasoning be used upon it in cooking, nor by the boarders in eating, besides a moderate quantity of salt. Black and red pepper, mustard, and such kinds of seasonings, together with all made gravies, should be totally, and utterly excluded from the table and from the kitchen.  Butter, at best, is a questionable article, and should be very sparingly used by the healthy, and not at all by the diseased.

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