I was going through some old cookbooks and found this advice. It’s called, HOW to Cook Husbands. A good many husbands are entirely spoiled by mismanagement in cooking and so are not tender and good. Some women go about it as if their husbands were bladders and blow them up. Others let them freeze by their carelessness and indifference. Others keep them constantly in hot water. Some keep them in a stew by irritating ways and words. Others roast them, while some keep them in a pickle all their lives.
It can not be supposed that any husband will be tender and good managed in this way, but they are really delicious when properly treated. In selecting your husband, you should not be guided by the silvery appearance as in buying mackeral, nor by the golden tint, as if you wanted salmon. Be sure and select him yourself, as tastes differ. Do not go to market for him, as the best is always brought to the door. It is far better to have none, unless you patiently learn how to cook him. A preserving kettle of the finest porcelain is the best, but if you have nothing but an earthenware pipkin, it will do…with care.
See that the linen in which you wrap him is nicely washed and mended, with the requisite number of buttons and strings nicely sewed on. Tie him in the kettle by a strong silken cord, called comfort; duty is apt to be weak. Husbands are apt to fly out of the kettle and be burned and crusty on the edge, since like crabs and lobsters, you have to cook them while alive. Make a clear steady fire of love, neatness, and cheerfulness. Set your husband as near this as seems to agree with him. If he sputters and fizzes, do not be anxious. Some husbands do this until they are quite done. Add a little sugar in the form of what confectioners call kisses, but no vinegar or pepper on any account. A little spice improves him, but it must be used with judgement. Do not stick a sharp instrument into him to see if he is becoming tender. Stir him gently; watch the while, lest he lie too flat and close to kettle and so becomes useless; you can not fail to know when he is done. If thus treated, you will find him very digestible, agreeing nicely with you and the children, and he will keep as long as you want, unless you become careless and set him in too cold a place.