PURDUE UNIVERSITY LIBRAIRIES
Here's a recipe for home-made condensed milk I found in the Lafayette, Indiana "Daily Journal" for 30 June 1864:
"The following is the process to condense milk for the soldiers: Place two quarts of new milk in a vessel over a slow fire, stir it to prevent burning, until it is about the thickness of cream, add one pound of sugar, a little at a time; stirring constantly till it becomes thick and stiff, then spread on plates and dry in the oven or the sun, and powder it with a knife or spoon. It can be sent in papers, and serves for both milk and sugar when dissolved in coffee or tea. Let our dairy women try it, and they will get the thanks of the "Sanitary [Commission]" and the soldiers."
I presume "new" milk is milk straight from the cow?
On a somewhat related note, I've also found advertisements for the civilian equivalent of "essence of coffee," beginning with the 17 January 1862 issue of the Indianapolis "Daily Journal":
ECONOMY, ECONOMY! -- Economise these hard times, by using Hummel's Essence of Coffee, a 10 cent box of which will go as far as four pounds of coffee, with a finer flavor, and more wholesome. For sale at the "Cheap Corner
Grocery," corner [of] Washington and Illinois streets [in Indianapolis].
This product seems to have been popular (at least as a novelty) since the 20 January 1862 "Journal" also carries this:
ESSENCE OF COFFEE. -- We are having a great run on Hummel's Essence of Coffee at the "Cheap Corner Grocery," corner of Washington and Illinois street[s]. The people like it, for its fine flavor, and great saving of coffee and money.
Mark D. Jaeger
Purdue University Libraries