|hatam_soferet (hatam_soferet) wrote,|
@ 2006-05-28 09:35 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||food, mrs beeton|
She gives general discussions on the food groups - soups, fish, game, quadrupeds, puddings and so on, with useful outlines and random information, as for example this bit about Puddings:
HOWEVER GREAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE QUALIFICATIONS of the ancients, however, in the art of pudding-making, we apprehend that such preparations as gave gratification to their palates, would have generally found little favour amongst the insulated inhabitants of Great Britain. Here, from the simple suet dumpling up to the most complicated Christmas production, the grand feature of substantiality is primarily attended to.
I think my favourite bit is the entry on Pork, thus:
IN THE MOSAICAL LAW, the pig is condemned as an unclean beast, and consequently interdicted to the Israelites, as unfit for human food. “And the swine, though he divideth the hoof and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud. He is unclean to you.”—Lev. xi. 7. Strict, however, as the law was respecting the cud-chewing and hoof-divided animals, the Jews, with their usual perversity and violation of the divine commands, seem afterwards to have ignored the prohibition; for, unless they ate pork, it is difficult to conceive for what purpose they kept troves of swine...
The recipes, by and large, don't thrill; "Apples And Rice" sounds only marginally less disgusting than "A Sweet Dish of Macaroni," which features macaroni and custard - but there's something fascinating about them, all the same, and she does have some jolly sensible things to say about using things economically, and about making menus and so on at different times of year.
I am particularly fond of the Bill Of Fare for a Picnic of 40 Persons:
2149. A joint of cold roast beef, a joint of cold boiled beef, 2 ribs of lamb, 2 shoulders of lamb, 4 roast fowls, 2 roast ducks, 1 ham, 1 tongue, 2 veal-and-ham pies, 2 pigeon pies, 6 medium-sized lobsters, 1 piece of collared calf’s head, 18 lettuces, 6 baskets of salad, 6 cucumbers.
2150. Stewed fruit well sweetened, and put into glass bottles well corked; 3 or 4 dozen plain pastry biscuits to eat with the stewed fruit, 2 dozen fruit turnovers, 4 dozen cheesecakes, 2 cold cabinet puddings in moulds, 2 blancmanges in moulds, a few jam puffs, 1 large cold plum-pudding (this must be good), a few baskets of fresh fruit, 3 dozen plain biscuits, a piece of cheese, 6 lbs. of butter (this, of course, includes the butter for tea), 4 quartern loaves of household broad, 3 dozen rolls, 6 loaves of tin bread (for tea), 2 plain plum cakes, 2 pound cakes, 2 sponge cakes, a tin of mixed biscuits, 1/2 lb, of tea. Coffee is not suitable for a picnic, being difficult to make.
Things not to be forgotten at a Picnic.
2151. A stick of horseradish, a bottle of mint-sauce well corked, a bottle of salad dressing, a bottle of vinegar, made mustard, pepper, salt, good oil, and pounded sugar. If it can be managed, take a little ice. It is scarcely necessary to say that plates, tumblers, wine-glasses, knives, forks, and spoons, must not be forgotten; as also teacups and saucers, 3 or 4 teapots, some lump sugar, and milk, if this last-named article cannot be obtained in the neighbourhood. Take 3 corkscrews.
2152. Beverages.—3 dozen quart bottles of ale, packed in hampers; ginger-beer, soda-water, and lemonade, of each 2 dozen bottles; 6 bottles of sherry, 6 bottles of claret, champagne à discrétion, and any other light wine that may be preferred, and 2 bottles of brandy. Water can usually be obtained so it is useless to take it.
The recipe I find most fascinating is Toast-And-Water, which seems to resemble dunkie tea but made with a slice of toast instead of a teabag:
1876. INGREDIENTS - A slice of bread, 1 quart of boiling water.
Mode.—Cut a slice from a stale loaf (a piece of hard crust is better than anything else for the purpose), toast it of a nice brown on every side, but do not allow it to burn or blacken. Put it into a jug, pour the boiling water over it, cover it closely, and let it remain until cold. When strained, it will be ready for use. Toast-and-water should always be made a short time before it is required, to enable it to get cold: if drunk in a tepid or lukewarm state, it is an exceedingly disagreeable beverage. If, as is sometimes the case, this drink is wanted in a hurry, put the toasted bread into a jug, and only just cover it with the boiling water; when this is cool, cold water may be added in the proportion required,—the toast-and-water strained; it will then be ready for use, and is more expeditiously prepared than by the above method.
I'm also very fond of the chapter on the duties of servants, and how to do housework. And just in case you needed a further recommendation, she gives a summary of how you should set about equipping your kitchen, and puts a tea-kettle right at the top of the list - proof positive that she knows what she's talking about.