At a recent event, I made three different recipes from "The Lady's Receipt Book, A Useful Companion for Large or Small Families" written by Eliza Leslie in 1847.
The first was "Turkey or Chicken Patties":
The name must come from the puff-paste shells being bakes in patty-pans, as there's nothing "pattyish" about them - but they sure did taste good and quickly disappeared!
Next was "Lettuce Chicken Salad":
Again, a winner! And pretty too.
Finally, "Columbus Eggs":
No pictures of these, as they were a visual disaster! I'm told they tasted good (I don't care for deviled eggs) and they certainly all were eaten, but I don't plan on trying these again - too much work and way too messy.
You may have picked up on a trend: lots and lots of eggs! In the middle of summer, hens would be laying well and all those eggs need to be used.
Preserving all matters of produce was an important task for the lady of the house and pickling was a very popular method; the Victorians pickled everything, vegetables, eggs, fruit, even walnuts.
I've wanted to try some pickle receipts, but following the methods published during the period wasn't going to work for me - the quantities are just too large and the techniques not terribly viable in the current world of food production. I was really pleased to find Food in Jars, modern canning methods combined with small batches, just what I needed. I've found that many use the same flavorings as the period recipes, so by choosing carefully I feel comfortable using them for historic meals.
I tried two, pickled cherries and green tomato chutney. I loved the cherries, but not everyone else did; they're just a very different flavor for the modern palate. The chutney (which would be called chow chow in the period) was a definite success; it tasted great with meats and breads.