Before there was Martha…

In going through a “cook book” dating to the late 1800s, I found a small snippet from an Illinois newspaper containing the following:

TEA TABLE CHOCOLATE.—That is what I call a delicious little beverage we all enjoy. A cut glass covered jar on my tea table is filled with instantaneous chocolate, which comes put up in tin cans for just this purpose. Next to it stands a hand painted jar holding condensed milk. While my teakettle is boiling over the little alcohol lamp, I mix in each chocolate cup of medium size two heaping teaspoonfuls of the chocolate and two of the condensed milk, beating them until they foam. Over this I pour the boiling water and stir thoroughly. In this way my table is always ready for service, there is no accumulation of dishes, no waste, the chocolate is always steaming hot, and is declared to be better than the best.

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