Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Genuine Afghan Dinner, Kandahar 1871.

Yesterday’s topic was an ‘Afghan war-themed’ dinner attended by British military and diplomats in India in 1880. The dishes themselves, as we saw, were indisputably British nineteenth century style, with the names of the dishes being the only concession to the conflict in question.

Less than a decade earlier, Henry Walter Bellew described a quite different meal taken in Afghanistan. Bellew was a surgeon in the Bengal Staff Corps during the British Raj, and had previously written of his experiences in Afghanistan in 1857-8. In 1871-2 he again travelled there, and on his return he published From the Indus to the Tigris: A Narrative of a Journey through the Countries of Balochistan, Afghanistan, Khorassan and Iran, in 1872.

In his introduction, Bellew has some rather prophetic words to say on the relevance of Afhanistan to Europe:

But as it is seldom than Europeans have an opportunity of visiting much of the country embraced within the limits of the journey of this mission, I have thought that a popular account of our experiences would not be unacceptable to the British public; particularly since the region covered by our travels, apart from its own special claims upon our interest, is, I believe, destined ere very long to attract the most serious attention of European politicians and statesmen.

In Chapter V he discusses a stay in Kandahar, during which he and his colleagues were entertained in very fine style:

We halted four days at Kandahar to recruit our cattle, and replace the broken-down ones by new purchases. Our entertainment all this time was most hospitable, and was really more than we could conveniently endure. The apartments were luxuriously furnished with Persian carpets, Herat felts, and Kashmir embroideries. Several coloured glass globes were suspended from the ceiling, and every niche that was not already occupied by an American clock - and there were some ten or twelve such -was ornamented with a glass lamp. The clocks were all of the same pattern, and brightly gilded all over, and, together with the globes and lamps, appeared to form
part of an investment ventured in this yet barbarous region by some enterprising merchant with a partiality for "Yankee notions."

We had hardly been left alone in our palatial quarters when a succession of huge trays of all sorts of sweetmeats began to arrive. Each was borne in by two servants, one supporting each end, and deposited one after the other on the floor. The array was quite alarming, for I knew they would go to our servants for disposal, and was certain they would exceed the bounds of prudence and
moderation ; a surmise in which I was not far wrong, for nearly all of them had to undergo a physicking before we set out on our onward journey. One of the trays in particular attracted our attention, on account of the variety of zoological forms its surface was crowded with. We dubbed it " Noah's Ark," and kept it till our departure, partly from a suspicion that the different species of animals might not all be good for the food of man, and partly as an amusing specimen of the artistic skill of the confectioners of Kandahar. Much cannot be said for their proficiency in the art of moulding. Their figures generally left a good deal for the imagination to supplement before their identity could be satisfactorily brought home to the mind; but some, with even the most liberal allowance of fancy, were altogether beyond recognition ….

After these encouraging signs of a peaceable division of the spoils, we were glad to see the trays removed, fortheir size and number incommoded our movements. On their removal, an excellent zujáfat or cooked dinner, was served up Afghan fashion, and with the profusion of Afghan hospitality. The principal dish, as a matter of course, was the puláo — a whole sheep stuffed with a rich and savoury store of pistacio and almond kernels, with raisins, dried apricots, and preserved plums, &c., and concealed under a tumulus of rice mixed with pomegranate seeds, caraways, cardamums, and other aids to digestion, and reeking with appetising perfumes. Around it were placed, in crowded confusion, a most substantial array of comestibles, the variety and excellence of which were rather puzzling to inquiring foreigners with only limited powers of digestion. There was the yakhni, the mattanjan, and the corma, the kabáb, the cuímá, and the cúrút, with the phirín, and falúda, and the nucl by way of dessert, together with sherbets of sorts, sweet preserves and sour preserves, and bread in the forms of the nán, paráta, bákir-kháni, and tuakí. Our host, the Saggid, with an inviting bismillah ("In the name of God,"used as an invitation to commence any act), stretched forth his hand against the puláo, and we followed suit, but without making the smallest impression on the savoury heap before us. With this as a secure foundation, we dipped from dish to dish to make acquaintance with their contents. Each had particular merits of its own, but as only an Afghan palate can distinguish them, of course they were not appreciated by us. The Saggid, who had seen a good deal of the English in India, and was familiar with our mode of living, was careful to point out the dishes most resembling our own; but alas! for the prejudice of human nature, I could trace no points of similarity, and would have preferred a good mutton-chop and some mealy potatoes to all the rich chef d'œuvres of the Afghan culinary science that loaded the table. As a nation the Afghans are gross feeders. They eat largely and consume astonishing quantities of fatty matter. The merit of any particular dish with them depends more upon the quantity and quality of the melted butter or fat in which it swims than on the tenderness or flavour of the flesh, and the more rancid the fatty matter is, the more highly is it esteemed. This is particularly the case amongst the peasantry and the nomads, amongst whom it is an ordinary occurrence to dispose of the tail of a dumba sheep between three or four mouths at a single meal. The tail of this variety of sheep is a mass of pure fat, and weighs from six to eighteen pounds. The hardy out-door life they lead requires that they should have a certain amount of carbonaceous pabulum in their food; and as by their religion they are debarred from the use of fermented liquors, the deficiency is very probably supplied by the abundant use of fat and butter. At all events, they lay great stress on a liberal supply of roghan, or grease, in all their food, and to its plentiful use, I believe, is to be attributed their physical superiority, combined, of course, with the influences of climate, which, taken alone, are not sufficient to account for their large limbs and robust frames.

As the recipe for the day I give you an English interpretation of puláo from the chapter on Oriental Cookery from A New System of Domestic Cookery (1808) by Maria Rundell.

Polao or Pillaw.
Wash a pound of rice, and boil it in a quart of white broth; when about a quarter of the grains remain hard, strain it. Rub smooth in a mortar half an ounce of coriander-seed, three onions, six peppercorns and four cloves; six ounces of salt butter in a saucepan on the fire; add the coriander-seed, spices, &c, with two ounces of curds; then put in a whole fowl, or two chickens, a rabbit, or half a dozen quails; fry of a nice brown, sprinkling water, if necessary, to keep the meat from burning, and keep it on the fire until the meat is tender; then add the rice; stir the whole gently so as not to break the grains, and place the pan near the fire to allow the rice to swell. In dishing up, surround the fowl with the rice. The broth in which the rice has been boiled may be used to moisten this polao: a vegetable curry is a good accompaniment.

P.S. I have previously given another version of pillau here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Afghan War Dinner of 1880.

On this day in 1880, a dinner was given in honour of Lord Frederick Roberts, to commemorate his actions as commander in the second Anglo-Afghan War. The Treaty of Gandamak which officially ended the first phase of the war was signed on 26 May 1879. Major-General Roberts had taken possession of Kabul by mid-October of that year, and by the end of August 1880 he had reached and successfully taken Kandahar. Roberts, who had been born in India, was, in 1881, appointed as commander-in-chief of the Madras army (1881)

The event – which became known as ‘the Afghan War Dinner’ - was held on October 20 1880, at Government House in Calcutta. This is the bill of fare:

Diner du 20 Octobre.

Consommé au soldat victorieux.
Purée a la Kurrum.

Hors d’Œuvres.
Petites Bombes à la Peiwar Kotal, sauce Goorkha.

Mouton rôti a l'Afghan.
Poules de Charasiab à la blanc.

Le Hachis de Sherpur à la Mahomed Jan.
Galantine a la General Roberts.
Côtelettes sans culottes à la quatre-vingt-douze.

Faisans et Perdreaux rôtis à la Ayoub.
Asperges en branches.

Pudding de Marza.
Pains de Kandahar à la Ghazi blanc.
Officiers Russes en paille.

As can easily be seen, many of the dishes on the menu paid homage to significant names and places of the war. I will leave a full explanation to a military historian, if one of them sees fit to comment, but a few examples are:

Ayoub: the leader of the Afghan forces in Kandahar.
Peiwar Kotal: site of a battle fought on December 2, 1879.
Mahomed Jan: a Wardak ([Pashtun) general.
            Charasiab: site of a battle fought on October 6, 1879.

These names of course tell us nothing about the actual food, but they were almost certainly classic British Victorian-era dishes tweaked slightly (or not) and re-named for the occasion. Generally speaking, innovation in cookery was not a highly valued attribute at the time, – a fine cook was expected to reproduce and garnish the classic dishes well. And in any case –  to invent so many new dishes would have been a huge task.

The dish named for Roberts himself is a galantine, so that is what I will give you today – and a very fine and elegant one it is too.

Turkey Galantine
Pick, draw, and singe a fat hen-turkey; cut off the legs, pinions, and neck, leaving the crop skin whole; bone it entirely, and remove almost all the meat from the fillets and legs, and free the leg parts of all sinew;
Make some forcemeat, with:
4 lbs. of fillet of veal, well freed from skin and gristle;
4 lbs. of fat bacon, freed from rind and gristle;
Season with 2 ½ oz. of spiced salt;
Chop and pound both together in a mortar;
Make a salpicon of 1 ½ lb. of tongue, 1 ½ lb. of peeled truffles, and 1 ½ lb. of blanched fat bacon;
Cut the whole in ¾ inch dice;
Spread the turkey-skin on the board; on it make a 1-inch layer of the forcemeat; then a layer of the meat cut from the turkey; sprinkle over some spiced salt, and make a layer of salpicon, another layer of forcemeat; spread on it the remainder of the turkey-meat; season with spiced salt; make another layer of salpicon, and lastly a layer of forcemeat; fold over the skin to enclose the whole, and sew it together with a trussing needle and fine twine;
Wrap the galantine in a napkin, and tie each end securely; tie it across in two places, to keep the galantine of an oval shape with round ends; put it in a braizing stewpan; cover it well with Mirepoix;
Close the stewpan, and boil and simmer gently for four hours; when the galantine is done, take the stewpan off the fire; let the galantine cool in the liquor for an hour;
Drain and untie it; tie it up again in a clean napkin; and put it on a dish with a 7 lbs. weight on the top; when cold, take the galantine out of the napkin; put it on a baking-sheet in front of the open oven for two minutes to melt the fat; wipe it off with a cloth, and glaze the galantine with Chicken Glaze;
Make a rice socle 2 inches high, and of the size and shape of the galantine; spread some Montpellier Butter on it, and put it on a dish; place the galantine on it, and garnish the top of the galantine and round the bottom of the socle with croutons of Meat Jelly.
Three silver skewers, garnished with cocks' combs and truffles, may be stuck in the galantine, and will improve its appearance.

The Royal Cookery Book (1869) BY Jules Gouffé.

Friday, October 17, 2014

“Butter is a Health Safeguard”: advice from 1923.

In view of the recent apparent reversal of long-standing advice about the dangers of saturated fats in the diet, I thought some opinion and advice from the National Dairy Council of America in 1923 might be interesting.

The National Dairy Council published a small booklet in 1923 with the rather benign title of Better Recipes, and which appears to have been sponsored by the Blue Valley Creamery Company.  The purpose of the booklet becomes clear just inside the front cover:

                          BUTTER MAKES THE ROAD TO HEALTH SMOOTH
                         BUTTER, “A GOLD NUGGET” = 22-KARAT HEALTH
                “BUTTER” – BE SAFE THAN SORRY.

The butter industry was certainly suffering under the competition from the margarine industry at the time, and what better way to promote the real thing than by giving away a free cookery book – unless it is a free cookery book with appeals to both maternal responsibilities and patriotic sentiment? 

You and your children have plenty to eat three times a day. Do you fill your stomachs with “The Average American Diet?” Are you fed or just filled?

Scientists and Nutrition Experts remind us that one-third of our young men were physically unfit for service in the World War. They point to “The Average American Diet” as the chief cause. It needs careful watching.

Why? Because the modern diet is lacking in growth and health promoting elements which, in the natural foods of our grandfathers, insured good health and long life.

The remedy? Scientists and Nutrition Experts say – Eat Natural Foods. Chief among these are milk, fruit, vegetables, and butter.

Mrs. Homemaker, you can safeguard the family diet. Give your family plenty of these natural foods and build husky Americans for tomorrow.

Mothers, it’s up to you!


I do like that phrase “Are you fed or just filled?”

It is interesting, that almost a hundred years ago, concerns were already being expressed about the quality of the American diet, and the concept of “natural food” was also apparently well established.

Standard Cake Recipe
¾ cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
3 cups pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt.
Cream butter, add sugar and yolks of eggs well beaten. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Fold in stiffly beaten egg white.  Flavor. Fill a well-buttered and floured pan one-half full and bake in a moderate oven.
This recipe makes two medium loaves, one three-layer cake, or about eighteen individual cakes.
The eggs may be reduced to three, but the grain is not so fine. To use ordinary flour in a cake recipe, from each cup of sifted flour remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch; sift twice.
[several ways of varying the above cake mixture then follow.]

Another lovable feature of the book is epigram which appears at the bottom of each page. My favourite is the one which appears on the page from which this recipe was taken:


Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Famous Chefs used Marshmallows in 1930.

We have had a couple of days of heavy-duty information on historical methods of preserving meat and fish, and of how to make decomposing meat edible, so today I want to give you something sweet and frivolous. 

I have been having fun exploring promotional cookbooks and pamphlets, and one from an American marshmallow-manufacturing company caught my eye. It is called How Famous Chefs use Campfire Marshmallows, and it was published in 1930.  There are many recipes of course for the obvious – cakes and frostings and frozen desserts, but I want to share with you today a few of the less obvious choices (in name at least.)

Teddy Bear Cave Salad.
Pit and stuff each of two large dates with half marshmallows. Into each of three marshmallows press a nut meat and toast in the oven. Arrange lettuce leaves to resemble an open cave. Place stuffed dates and toasted Campfire Marshmallows inside the cave. Dress with fresh orange juice.
From Chef Charles of the Embassy Club, New York.

Cheese and Marshmallow Salad.
Mix Cottage Cheese with cream and a little salt. Put a good spoonful on a piece of lettuce. Make a border of Campfire Marshmallows cut in half. On top place half a walnut. Decorate with small pieces of pimento. Any dressing can be served with it.
From Chef Kircher of the Raquet Club of Philadelphia.

Paradise Toast.
2 ounces of cream
3 eggs
1 grated lemon peel
6 Campfire Marshmallows
12 slices of thin cut bread
Whip the cream into the eggs until quite light.
Cut each Campfire Marshmallow into four slices. Spread these on 6 slices of bread. Divide the grated lemon peel over the marshmallow then cover with the remaining 6 slices of bread.
To hold this together insert a toothpick from each side, dip this into the cream and eggs, and fry slowly in butter. Remove toothpicks and serve.
From Chef Amiet of the Palmer House, Chicago.

The final recipe is not credited to a famous chef, but is in a general recipe section of the book, but I thought the name was intriguing enough to warrant its entry.

Wermeil Globules a la Sue.

Roll Campfire Marshmallows into the shape of strawberries and cover with strawberry icing. With a pastry bag make a stem of chocolate icing. Decorate with small flowers and green leaves made of red and green cherries.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

To Recover Tainted Meat.

In a number of recent posts I have looked at methods of preserving meat in pre-refrigeration days, but have barely touched on the major problem of the era – what to do with a quantity of raw meat which is past its prime – but far too valuable a source of protein to simply discard.

The seventeenth century Londoner Samuel Pepys described an encounter with some unpleasantly tainted venison in one of the entries in his famous diary, and this was the subject of a blog post some time ago (here.) Cookery books generally record practices which have been in actual use for some time (sometimes a considerable time) before the date of publication, so it is possible that, had he had the opportunity, Pepys could have used the suggestion in Hannah Wooley’s  Gentlewoman’s Companion  (1673): 

Venison how to recover when tainted.
Take a clean cloth and wrap your Venison therin, then bury it in the Earth one whole night, and it will take away the ill scent or favour.

If you had a piece of stinky venison, it was still considered possible to bake it in a pie, with proper preparation:

To recover venison when it stinks.
Take as much cold Water in a Tub as will cover it a Handful over, and put in good Store of Salt, and let it be three or four Hours; then take your Venison out, and let it lie in as much hot Water and Salt, and let it lie as long as before; then have your Crust in Readiness, and take it out, and dry it very well, and season it with Pepper and Salt pretty high, and put it in your Pastry.
Do not use the Bones of your Venison for Gravy, but get fresh Beef or other Bones.
The complete family-piece : and, country gentleman, and farmer's best guide (London, 1737)

Prevention is always better than cure however, and here is a recipe that helps do both:

To Keep Venison Sweet, and to recover it when tainted.
To keep venifon sweet, you only need to wipe it clean with a dry cloth, and hang it in a place where the air can come to it freely. If it is necessary to keep it a considerable time, then it will be proper to rub it very well with dry clean cloths, and to rub it all over with beaten or powder'd ginger, hanging it in an airy place as before. When it is musty, or smells strong, take some luke-warm water, and wash it well and clean. Then take some new milk and water, make it luke-warm and wash it again. Afterwards dry it very well with clean cloths, and rub it all over with powder'd ginger. It will be necessary to hang it in an airy place, till the time of use, which must not be long. When it is roasted, rub it with a clean cloth, and paper it as above*.
Cookery reformed; or, The Lady's assistant. (London, 1755)

And for completeness sake, I give you the instructions from the preceding recipe in the book so you may know ho ‘to paper as above,’ whether your venison be sweet or not.

To Roast Venison
Take a haunch of venison and put it on the spit, then roll four meets of white paper about it, well butter'd -, tie the paper on with a small string, and baste the haunch well all the time it is roasting. Take care that the fire be very good and brisk; and then it will be sufficiently done in two hours ; if the haunch be small, an hour and a half; if large, two hours and a half. When it is enough take off the paper, and dredge it a little to make a froth. But you must be as quick as you can, to prevent the fat from melting and dripping away. Put some very good gravy in a boat or bason, and sweet sauce in another. A neck and shoulder must be roasted in the same manner, and will take an hour and a half.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Of the Food and Drink of Iceland in 1682.

Yesterday’s source, Salt and Fishery (1682) has some interesting seventeenth century English perspectives on the country and inhabitants of Iceland. I have never given you a piece on Iceland before, apart from several mentions of Iceland Moss (including a menu in which it featured, here,) so am delighted to be able to share this find with you.
The chapter entitled Of Iceland in Salt and Fishery covers the geography, government and laws, militia, and sundry other topics as well as the fish and fishing methods of that country, but I am of course going to focus on the food-related matter. The author of Salt and Fishery notes the commodities of Iceland, those they want, and how these are supplied - all inevitably embellished with his own opinions.
He says Of the Inhabitants:
They are a lusty, comely, affable People, accounted sincere in their Dealings, addicted to Learning, having three Universities (such as they are,) and divers of them have Travailed far; they are long Liv’d, Healthful, their Drink and Food being but mean, as we shall hereafter intimate.
Of their Commodies.
1.      They abound with great plenty of Sheep, Cows, Bullocks, Horses, with admirable Pasture Ground in the Valleys.
2.      Great plenty of most sorts of Sea-Fish, all the year, round their Coasts.
3.      They abound with many Lakes on high Mountains, well stored with fresh-Water-Fish, and with Rivers well stored with Salmon, and Salmon-Trouts, of which they sometimes take 20 or 30 at a draught.
4.      In Summer-time they have great plenty of Wild-Fowle, as Mallard, Ducks, Teal, Partridge, Wild-Geese, Plovers.
5.      In Winter-time, they have Ravens, Eagles, Wild-Ducks, Swans.

Of the Commodities they want.
1.      They have no Coals, Wood, or Trees, for Fuel or building. Some very few Sallow sans Birch growe there, but not above half the height of a man.
2.      They have no Corn or Grain whatsoever, consequently no Wheat, Barly, Oates, Pease or Beanes, consequently no Beer; some few Berries they have called Ashberries or Anberries.
3.      By consequence (as ‘tis likewise most certain upon Evidence, they have no Swine, Hogs, nor Poultry, consequently no Hen Eggs, albeit possibly some few Hens may be kept upon Corn imported by the Gentry.)
4.      No Hemp or Flax, consequently no Linnen.
5.      No Salt, Glass, or Metal, consequently no Lead, Tin, Iron, or Copper.
6.      No Fruit, good Roots, or Flowers, except Daisies and Cowslips.
7.      No Townes, Markets, Trades, or Shopkeepers.

Now these being their Defects, we shall Expiate in shewing how they are supplied.
1.The want of Coals and Fewel is supplied by Turf, which they have in abundance, Cow Dung, &c. The want of Timber is supplied ……
2.Their Drink is Milk mingled with Water. In Winter time they are forced to drive their Cattle into their Caves, and there fodder them with Hay; and many People barrel up Milk for a Winter supply, when the Cows can yield but little, for before they are driven out into Pastures they are almost famished, and reduced to exceeding Leanness.
They feed on the Ground from March to Midsummer, or longer before they are fit to Sell to such Ships as Arrive. The Inhabitants kill them not until about a Fortnight after Michaelmas, and then cutting the Flesh into Collops, the Frost will save it, and these they also Smoak-dry in their Caves or Stoves for Winter-Food, which is good Broyled upon Coals.
When they Broile them they Butter them, and indeed Iceland affords incredible plenty of Butter, as is mentioned by Olaus Magnus, Fournier, &c. which they crowd into large Fats and long Chests without Salting it, and it will have many Colours like a Rainbow, our Seamen think it not so good as Kitchenstuff.
Some few Cheese Curds they make, but I do not hear of any Cheese.
Most of their Sheep they fodder in Wintertime, in other Caves adjoining those they dwell in, and some of their Sheep and Horse make shrift to live upon the Grass under the Snow, and the Coralline Moss called Mucus Marinus.
 If a Sheepe, Cow, or Bullock die a natural death, it is accounted Vension, and I am informed, that sometimes they take out the Guts of a Cow or Bullock, and leave him standing in his Skin on Legs, or propped up in the Air of Frost all the Winter to be Eat the next Summer, and this is accounted a Rarity, because it is an Adventure, in regard of Bears that come over upon the Ice from Groenland.

Of their fishing the author says:

Their Bread is Cod caught in Winter-time and dry’d in the Frost, commonly called Stockfish. In the Summer-time they catch much of it, wherewith they make most excellent Haberdine, after the manner of Poor Jack at Newfoundland, and out of these Commodietes Flesh, Oyle, Wadmall, and Brimstone ….

As I mentioned yesterday, Salt and Fishery includes a chapter of recipes, and the first is one for stockfish, the absolutely invaluable salt-fish staple of the time:

Beat it soundly with a Mallet for half an hour or more, and lay it three days a soaking, then Boyl it on a simmering Fire about an hour, with as much water as will cover till it be soft, then take it up, and put in Butter, Eggs, and Mustard champed together, otherwise take 6 Potatoes (which may be had all the year at Seed-Shops;) [this most likely refers to sweet potatoes] Boyl them very tender, then Skin them, Chop them, and beat up the Butter thick with them, and put it on the Fish and serve them up. Some use Parsnips.
The like for Haberdine and Poor-Jack, I should be ashamed of this Receipt if we had no better to follow, and think it too mean to mention anything about Green-Fish or barrel’d Cod, but the watering or soaking before they are Boyled.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Salt, Fish, and Diverse Other Food Topics of 1682.

I don’t know about you, but deeply regret the disappearance of the detailed, informative, decorative and enticing title pages of previous times. I blame progress in the production and insertion of images for this text loss. I have given you transcriptions of title pages of a number of books in the past, although sadly, I have not been able to reproduce them in all their font- and style-glory. Our source today is another lovely example. It is from a seventeenth century book on the salt and fishing industries of Britain and other places, and was written by one John Collins, and published in 1682.

A discourse thereof
Insisting on the following HEADS:

1. The several ways of making Salt in England, and foreign parts.
2. The Character and Qualities good and bad, of these several sorts of Salt, English refin'd asserted to be much better than any Foreign.
3. The Catching and Curing, or Salting of the most eminent or staple sorts of Fish, for long or short keeping.
4. The salting of Flesh.
5. The cookery of Fish and Flesh.
6. Extraordinary experiments in preserving Butter, Flesh, Fish, Fowl, Fruit, and Roots, fresh and sweet for long keeping.
7. The case and sufferings of the Saltworkers.
8. Proposals for their relief, and for the advancement of the Fishery, the Woollen, Tin, and divers other Manufactures.

Although the main topics are salt and fish, the discourse, as noted in the title page, covers many other things. I have chosen a couple of random ideas for your delectation today.

Of Salt upon Sand, Embodyed by the Sun.
Where the Sun shines hot, and the Tides vary but little, ‘tis easie to have Salt enough, as they have in many places of the Streights.
With Salt of the like kind made near Smyrna, Beef at Midsummer hath been extremely well preserved in manner following.
The Ox hath been killed one day, and cut out into pieces and salted the next, the Salt hath been beat very small, and the Beef being well rubbed therewith, it was footed or pressed into a Cask, with sprinklings of Salt between each Lay, in which condition it was permitted to stand 48 hours, for close packing made the Blood to arise above the Meat which was powred [poured] off, then a Brine was made of fresh-water, and Salt as strong as might be sufficient to cause the Salt to Dissolve (which it will not, if too little water be put in,) then the Meat was washed in this Brine, and well salted again as before, and then the cask filled up with the Brine aforesaid. This was imparted by Mr. Richard Norris, and ancient experienced Master or Mate, who now teacheth Navigation and Mathematicks in Crutched-Fryers and saith he hath often seen it so done, and none of the Meat stunk.

There is a selection of recipes in the book, including ones for such things as pease pottage, tripes, and a-la-mode beef. The author does not claim them as his own, but says:

I am beholding to Mr. John Bull for the following Receipts, it being well known that he served an apprenticeship to a Cook, and hath been eminent for his Skill therein, which he hath put into Practice for about 30 years together.

I give you from the book an alarming and cruel method for cooking fresh cod - without for one minute suggesting that you use this method today. It does indicate however that on the whole, in spite of current controversies and outrages and the need for further progress in this regard, we have come some way in the ethical handling of our food in the last few hundred years.
To Stew Carps.
Take two living Carps, prick them in the Tail with a great Pin, rub the Scales off with a handful of Salt as clean as may be, lay them in a deep Pan, and put to them a quart of Claret which makes them Bleed and kills them; open their Bellies and take out their Roes, then put them into a Kettle with their Roes in the middle, into which put a quart of Oysters, two Anchovies, a bunch of sweet Herbs, Stew them over a gentle Fire for about an hour, in which time they will be almost enough, and then put in a quarter of a pound of fresh Butter, take out a little of their Sawce, into which put three yolks of Eggs beat up together, then putting all together in a Dish stir it about and serve it up.