‘A New and Easy Method of Cookery’

The 18th Century has some fantastic recipes, which we love to read and perhaps occasionally try. This time we are looking at the book ‘ A New and Easy Method of Cookery’ by Elizabeth Cleland which was used by those women who attended her school.

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The recipes can be said to be varying by our standards, with everything from pork steaks, to eel soup and lemon puddings. Here’s just a few of our favourites.

Firstly, since it is Spring, here’s a recipe for a simple Spring Soup:

Spring Soup

Take twelve lettices, cut them in slices, and put them into strong broth, get six green cucumbers, pare them, and cut out the cores, cut them into little bits and scold them in boiling water, and put them into your broth; let them boil very tender, with a mutchkin of young pease and some crumbs of bread.

(Your mutchkin of peas, is essentially just less than a pint.) For the main course, we turn to a Scottish classic of Salmon.

To roast or bake a salmon,

Score it on the back, season it with salt, pepper, mace and nutmeg; put grated bread, the grate of a lemon, parsley, thyme salt and butter in every score, and in the belly; put it in a close cover’d pan in the oven, with some butter on the top and bottom. You may give it either oyster or lobster sauce, or plain butter.

Finally for desert, why not try some Almond Puffs.

Almond Puffs

Blanch two ounces of almonds, then take their weight of fine loaf-sugar, beat them together with orange-flower water; then whip up the whites of three eggs and put to them, and add as much sifted sugar as will make it into a paste; then make into little cakes, and bake them in a very slow oven.

We hope you enjoyed reading these recipes. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and feel free to try the recipes out for yourself.

All the best, K & D

 

 

 

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Time for some Birthday Cake!

With the 31st December marking Prince Charles Edward Stuarts birthday we thought we’d look at his options for a birthday cake!

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What we hope 18th Century cake will resemble

 

Firstly from ‘The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies’ we have a light sponge with lemon and caraway entitled ‘Mrs Townleys Cake’

Mrs Townleys Cake

A pd of sugar, dryed, pounded & sifted, half a pd of flower, 12 eggs, half ye whites. The yolks & whites beat seperately. Put the sugar to yr yolks, beat them till as white as cream. Then, put in the whites by degrees. As the froth rises, great in the rinds of 4 lemons, an ounce of carray seeds. Then put in yr flower. All together mix it well. Butter yr pan. An hour bakes it.

We don’t know who Mrs Townley was but the recipe sounds pretty good so we’re assuming she was a nice woman. Not much is said about decoration so we’re going to allow ourselves free reign to try and jazz it up a bit and make it look elegant and pretty.

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Secondly, from the book with our favourite title ‘The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or, an infallible Guide to the Fair Sex containing Rules, Directions and Observation, for their Conduct and Behavior through all Ages and Circumstances of Life, as Virgins, Wives, or Widows.’ little fruity cake that must be good as it is called a ‘Queens Cake’

Queen’s Cakes

You must take a pound of dry’d flour, a pound of refin’d sugar sifted, and a pound of currants wash’d, pick’d and rubb’d clean, and a pound of butter wash’d very well, and rub it into the flour and sugar, with a little beaten mace, and a little orange-flower-water; beat ten eggs, but half the whites, work it all well together with your hands, and put in the currants; sift over it double refin’d sugar, and put them immediately into a gentle oven to bake.

Most of the recipes and references seem to make these into small cakes, like cupcakes. Whilst Prince Charles never quite made it to being king we though a Queen’s Cake might be fitting allow him to take out some of his disappointment by devouring the entire batch himself.

Good luck if you try to make these recipes. As always please share, comment, like, tweet, follow, re-blog but try not to do too much over the festive period apart form have fun.

All the best, K & D

Bonnie Prince Charlies Flummery?

Flummery, when we first saw the word we had no idea either, but it turns out that flummery is rather interesting.

First a description, flummery is a sweet dessert pudding that was popular in the UK from the 17th to 19th Century. We first found the word upon seeing an interesting dish for Bonnie Prince Charlie Flummery and naturally had to discover more.

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Flummery tin – a similar one can be seen at Glenfinnan

 

According to one legend Flora MacDonald was half way through a dish of flummery when she was arrested for her part in helping Prince Charles escape following his defeat at Culloden. Another says that she made the dish for Prince Charles before he escaped, but who knows which, if either, is true. Even so it was enough for us to find out what on earth flummery is!

There appear to be variations on flummery from as early as the middle ages where it was more of a broth that could be made by pretty much anyone. Oats were a staple food of many and thus even the poor could make their own flummery. Most recipes seem to follow along the lines of soaking cereal (oats appear most popular), the liquid from which is then set to form a clear jelly. Thankfully this then seems to have been flavoured with orange or rosewater and topped with honey.

Whilst we are calling the dish flummery in England it was said to have been called ‘wash-brew’, no doubt because the resulting grey liquid resembled dishwater. Regardless of its appearance the dish was considered healthy and was served to many invalids believing that its bland but hardy nature would strengthen those who were unwell. This practice of eating flummery when sick looks to have continued until the 20th Century though variations in the dish were becoming more common. As time went on the jelly like texture was achieved with gelatin and the basic dish was enhanced with cream, eggs, fruit and even wine.

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Flummery (from http://www.historicfood.com)

 

If you want to give it a go here’s one of the best recipes we can find from ‘The Cook and Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary’ from 1822:

Steep in cold water, for a day and a night, three large handfuls of very fine white oatmeal. Pour it off clear, add as much more water, and let it stand the same time. Strain it through a fine hair sieve, and boil it till it is as thick as hasty pudding, stirring it well all the time. When first strained, put to it one large spoonful of white sugar, and two of orange flower water. Pour it into shallow dishes, and serve it up with wine, cider, and milk; or it will be very good with cream and sugar.

Rather unappetizingly flummery became known as a word to mean bland or unsatisfying food and today the word is still used to mean an empty compliment or nonsense.

We think we’ll stick with having our oats in porridge or flapjack but if you want to give it a shot you can find more recent recipes for flummery on the internet. As always please like, tweet, comment, share and let us know how you enjoy your flummery!

All the best, K&D

 

A Few Tasty Treats

18th Century cuisine was certainly interesting but a lot of recipes we’ve found don’t sound all that appetising.

Luckily we’ve found a few sweet treats that might be able to tempt you. These are all from a brilliantly titled book from 1737 called ‘The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or, an infallible Guide to the Fair Sex containing Rules, Directions, and Observations, for their Conduct and Behaviour through all Ages and Circumstances of Life, as Virgins, Wives, or Widows.’

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Firstly a Jelly of Raspberries.

First take six pounds of raspberries, then three pounds of currants and seven pounds and a half of sugar brought to the cracked boiling; strip in the fruits, and them let all boil together, scumming it ’til no more scum will rise, and the syrup is become between smooth and pearled; then pour it out into a sieve, set over a copper pan; take the jelly that passes through, and give it another boiling, scum it well, and put it in pots, or glasses.

With seven and a half pounds of sugar, this will certainly be sweet but, if that doesn’t strike you, why not try some Macaroons.

Having provided a pound of almonds, let them be scalded, blanched and thrown into fair water; Then they must be drained, wiped and pounded in a mortar, moistening them with orange flower water, or the white of an egg, left they should turn to oil. Afterwards taking an equal quantity of powder sugar, with three or four other whites of eggs, and a little musk, beat all well together, and dress your Macaroons on paper, with a spoon, that they may be bak’d with a gentle fire.

Finally to try, another classic, some Apple Fritters.

Beat the yolk of eight eggs, the whites of four, well together, and strain them into a pan; then take a quart of cream, warm it as hot as you can endure your finger in it; then put to it a quarter of a pint of sack, three quarters of a pint of ale, and make a posset of it; when your posset is cool, put it to your eggs, beating them well together; then put in nutmeg, ginger, salt and flour to your liking: Your batter should be pretty thick; then put in pippins sliced or scraped; fry them in good store of hot lard with a quick fire.

To help anyone who is wondering, a quarter pint of sack refers typically to sherry or fortified wine so there should be a bit of kick to the batter.

We hope you enjoyed these recipes, as always please like, share, tweet, comment and let us know who your desserts turned out.

All the best, K & D

An 18th Century Meal

It’s been a while since we shared some of our 18th Century recipes so today we chose a classic meal for you to enjoy.

For main course we have selected ‘A Forc’d Turkey’ which could quite possibly become the new Thanksgiving or Christmas staple if you’re feeling brave.

A Forc’d Turkey

Take a large turkey. After a day kild, slit it down ye back, & bone it & then wash it. Clean stuf it as much in ye shape it was as you can with forc’d meat made of 2 pullits yt has been skin’d, 2 handfulls of crumbs of bread, 3 handfulls of sheeps sewit, some thyme, & parsley, 3 anchoves, some pepper & allspice, a whole lemon sliced thin, ye seeds pick’d out & minced small, a raw egg. Mix all well together stuf yr turkey & sow it up nicely at ye back so as not to be seen. Then spit it & rost it with paper on the breast to preserve ye coler of it nicely. Then have a sauce made of strong greavy, white wine, anchoves, oysters, mushrooms slic’d, salary first boyl’d a littile, some harticholk bottoms, some blades of mace, a lump of butter roll’d in flower. Toss up all together & put ym in yr dish. Don’t pour any over ye turkey least you spoyl ye coler. Put ye gisard & liver in ye wings. Put sliced lemon & forc’d balls for garnish.

A pretty straight forward recipe but if anyone is wondering a pullit, or pullet, is a young hen typically less than a year old. Overall, we think we could handle this recipe, apart from the boning as we’d probably take our fingers off if we tried, we are rather clumsy. However, this one certainly makes our mouths water far more than other 18th Century recipes.

 

To follow this extravagant main we have a homely dessert of bread pudding.

To Make a Bread Pudding

Take a  meonshit [manchet]. Cut of the crust, slice it in thin slices the pour a quart of boyling milk on it. Then take 12 eggs, half the whites. Beat them very well with a little nutmeg, a qr of a pd of sugar, 2 or 3 spoonfulls of rose water, a glass of sack. Mix all the ingredients well together. Butter yr pan. 3 qrs of an hour bakes it. The same way for boyling, only put in a small spoonfull of flower. An hour for boyling. You may put in sewit if you please. Sack, butter & sugar for sauce. When boyled, don’t mix the pudding till the milk is cold.

This recipe uses a manchet or a small loaf, sack which is sherry and the addition of rose water which sounds lovely and once again is definitely among our favourite 18th Century recipes.

Let us know if you make either of these delights and as always please share, tweet, like, follow and comment.

All the best K & D

Anyone for Sheep’s Head Soup?

Just when we thought we couldn’t get anything more gruesome for you to make than haggis we found a recipe for the classic ‘Sheeps Head Soop’.

A Sheeps Head Soop

Take the sheeps head & put it down with as much water as will cover it, a faggot of sweet herbs, a little all spice & pepper. Let it stew softly till the head be very tender. Then, take up the head & strain the broth & have 2 or 3 onions cut small & an head of white cabbage cut small. Put these in the broth & let it stew till it be very tender. Than have a qrt of new milk boyled, the yolks of 2 eggs brewed in it. Stir this into the soop. You must have one side of the head kept very hot & serve it in the middle of the soop. Put a little salt in.

To be fair we didn’t think it sounded too bad until the end where one side of the head was to be served in the middle of the soup. We didn’t fancy staring down and seeing half a head looking back at us!

Luckily puddings have proved to be much nicer including this recipe for Plum Cakes.

To Make Little Plumb Cakes

Take a pnd of flower well dryed, 1 pnd of butter & a pnd of currants well washed &  pickd, 3 qrt of a pound of white sugar well sifted, six yolks and 2 white well beaten. Beat the butter with a little orange flower water with yr hand till it cream, then put in yr corrants & a whole nutmeg. Then beat it again. Then mix the flower & sugar & put it in by handfulls, till all be in. Keep itt beating an hour after and when the oven is hot, butter yr pans. Yr oven must be as hot as for cheesecakes. 

This one sounded much nicer especially the addition of nutmeg and is definitely one we would be tempted to try.

One final recipe to share with you this week, though this one is slightly different. Instead of something to eat we found a recipe for some lip balm!

Recipe for a Lip Salve – Mammas Way

Take a pint & half of claret, a qr of a pd of currants, 1 pd of butter without salt, 4 or 5 ounces of Virgins Wax & 2 ounces of ye root Alkanet, otherwise call’d Alcony.  This last with ye wine & currants must be boyl’d a pritty while. Afterwards, ye butter & wax being put in, must be boyl’d a little, then strain all into a bason. If, when cold, you find it too soft, add more wax. If too hard, add more butter. When it tis cold, ye top must be taken of & melted by it self & strain’d into little cups for use. If you have a mind to sweeten it, strain it with orange flower water or what else you think fit.

We looked into it and Alkanet, or Alcony, is a herb which can be cultivated for its dye. The rind of the root can be used to produce a deep red colour, perfect for the lips.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading these recipes and might just give them a go.

As always do like, follow, tweet, comment, share, but please don’t terrify us with pictures of half a sheep’s head! All the best K & D

Some more 18th Century Recipes…

Another couple of recipes for you all to enjoy. Since the Scottish Short Bread went down so well we’ve stuck with the Scottish theme to start with a classic Haggis!

This recipe comes from ‘The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies.’

A  Good Scotch Haggis

Make the haggis bag perfectly clean. Parboil the draught. Boil the liver very well so as it will grate. Dry the meal before the fire. Mince the draught and a pretty large piece of beef very small. Grate about half of the liver. Mince plenty of the suet and some onions small. Mix all these well together with a handful or two of the dried meal. Spread them on the table and season them with salt and mixed spices. Take any of the scraps of beef and some of the water that boiled the draught and make about a choppin a quart of good stock of it. Then put all the haggis meat into the bag and that broth in it. Sew up the bag, but be sure to put out all the wind before you sew it quite close. If you think the bag is thin, you may put it in a cloth. A large one will take two hours boiling. From Mrs Maciver of Edinburgh

I’m going to be honest and say we’re not too keen to try this one. Liver is not something we generally buy so we think instead we might adapt it a little and as for the ‘haggis bag’, if any of you wish to use the traditional sheep’s stomach you again may well be on your own.

For our second recipe we’ve chosen something a bit more fun to recover from the haggis experience.

To Make Orange Wine

Take forty gallons of water, a hundred best Jam[aic]a sugar, the whites of 32 eggs beaten well. Mix all thes together. Pare two hundred and forty oranges very thin. Boil the liquor an hour & skim it while any skim rises, then pour it on the rind of the oranges & when it is neare cold, strain 12 quarts of orange juice into it & barm it rather warmer than you would ale. Stir it twice a day for 3 days, then tun it the third day. When it has done working in the cask, put in seven quarts of brandy. This quantity makes a barrel. There will be some liquor left after tunning, which must be carefully kept to fill your cask while working. If it should not work well in the tubs, tun it sooner than the 3 days. If the oranges be large, you need not pare so many.

For those who aren’t familiar a barm is the yeasty foam that rises to the surface of fermenting liquors and is basically an archaic word for yeast.

Again we may have to adapt, simply based on the quantities. I don’t about you but a barrel of Orange Wine seems a little excessive, even for us and there is no one willing to pare two hundred and forty oranges! Still if you’re planning a party maybe you’ll be willing to try for the whole barrel. In which case we have to insist on seeing proof of the final result.

As always like, tweet, share, follow, comment and stagger down the streets yelling our name when you’re tipsy on Orange Wine. Have fun. K & D