Thursday, July 31, 2014

Marrow Bones, Part 2.

Yesterday we looked at the preparation of marrow bones for the table. Today I want to show you how the marrow was removed and used as an ingredient in other dishes.

First, some general advice from the famous Eliza Acton, in Modern Cookery, for Private Families (1860 ed.)

CLARIFIED MARROW FOR KEEPING.
Take the marrow from the bones while it is as fresh as possible; cut it small, put it into a very clean jar, and melt it with a gentle heat, either in a pan of water placed over the fire, or at the mouth of a cool oven; strain it through a muslin, let it settle for a minute or two, and pour it, clear of sediment, into small jars. Tie skins, or double folds of thick paper, over them as soon as the marrow is cold, and store it in a cool place. It will remain good for months.

TO PREPARE BEEP MARROW FOR FRYING CROUSTADES,
SAVOURY TOASTS, &C
At a season when butter of pure flavour is often procured with difficulty, beef-marrow, carefully clarified, is a valuable substitute for it; and, as it is abundantly contained in the joints which are in constant request for soup-making, it is of slight comparative cast in a well-managed kitchen. It is often thrown into the stockpot by careless or indolent cooks, instead of being rendered available for the many purposes to which it is admirably adapted. Take it from the bones as fresh as possible, put it into a white jar, and melt it with a very gentle degree of heat at the mouth of the oven, or by the side of the stove, taking all precaution to prevent its being smoked or discoloured; strain it off, through a very fine sieve or muslin, into a clean pan or pans, and set it aside for use. It will be entirely flavourless if prepared with due care and attention; but, if dissolved with too great a degree of heat, it will acquire the taste almost of dripping. A small quantity of fine salt maybe sprinkled into the pan with it when it is used for frying.

And her recipe for marrow as a frying medium for bread croutons:-

SMALL CROUSTADES, OR BREAD PATTIES, DRESSED IN MARROW.
(Author's Receipt.)
Cut very evenly, from a firm stale loaf, slices nearly an inch and a half thick, and with a plain or fluted paste-cutter of between two and three inches wide press out the number of patties required, loosening them gently from the tin, to prevent their breaking; then, with a plain cutter, scarcely more than half the size, mark out the space which is afterwards to be hollowed from it. Melt some clarified beef-marrow in a small saucepan or frying-pan, and, when it begins to boil, put in the patties, and fry them gently until they are equally coloured of a pale golden brown. In lifting them from the pan, let the marrow (or butter) drain well from them; take out the rounds which have been marked on the tops, and scoop out part of the inside crumb, but leave them thick enough to contain securely the gravy of the preparation put into them. Fill them with any good patty-meat, and serve them very hot on a napkin.
Obs.—These croustades are equally good if dipped into clarified butter or marrow, and baked in a tolerably quick oven. It is well, in either case, to place them on a warm sheet of double white blotting-paper while they are being filled, as it will absorb the superfluous fat. A rich mince, with a thick, well-adhering sauce, either of mutton and mushrooms, or oysters, or with fine herbs and an eschalot or two; or of venison, or hare, or partridges, may be appropriately used for them.

Marrow was also used in sweet puddings too, where we would use butter nowadays, as the following recipes show:-

A vermicelli pudding, with marrow.
FIRST make your vermicelli; take the yolks of two eggs, and mix it up with just as much flour as will make it to a stiff paste, roll it out as thin as a wafer, let it lie to dry till you can roll it up close without breaking, then with a sharp knife cut it very thin, beginning at the little end. Have ready some water boiling, into which throw the vermicelli; let it boil a minute or two at most; then throw it into a sieve, have ready a pound of marrow, lay a layer of marrow and a layer of vermicelli, and so on till all is laid in the dish. When it is a little cool, beat it up very well together, take ten eggs, beat them and mix them with the other, grate the crumb of a penny loaf, and mix with it a gill of sack, brandy, or a little rose-water, a teaspoonsful of salt, a small nutmeg grated, a little grated lemon-peel, two large blades of mace well dried and beat fine, half a pound of currants clean washed and picked, half a pound of raisins stoned, mix all well together, and sweeten to your palate; lay a good thin crust at the bottom and sides of the dish, pour in the ingredients, and bake it an hour and a half in an oven not too hot. You may either put marrow or beef-suet shred fine, or a pound of butter, which you please. When it comes out of the oven, strew some fine sugar over it, and send it to table. You may leave out the fruit, if you please, and you may for change add half an ounce of citron, and hair an ounce of candied orange-peel shred fine.
The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy ... by a Lady (Hannah Glasse) 177

Marrow Pudding a second way [of three ways.]
Half boil four ounces of rice, shred half a pound of marrow very fine, stone a quarter of a pound of raisins, chop them very small, with two ounces of currants well cleansed, beat four eggs a quarter of an hour, mix it all together, with a pint of good cream, a spoonful of brandy, sugar and nutmeg to your, taste: you may either bake it, or put it in hog's skins.

The Experienced English Housekeeper (1808 edn.) by Elizabeth Raffald.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marrow Bones, Part 1.


Marrow is not well understood these days, methinks. Perhaps marrow bones are not considered worth the effort in our (so-called) time-poor lives. Perhaps they lost favour when refrigeration gave a block of butter a longer lifetime. Then again, maybe it is part of the general lack of popularity of ‘offal’ in these (apparently) more squeamish times. Fear of ‘Mad Cow’ disease can at least be ruled out as a cause, as marrow bone popularity was in decline long before that nasty condition became front-page news.

Whatever the reason, it is a sad paradox that marrow has fallen so far it now is mostly to be found only on the menus at high-end restaurants – an exception being perhaps in the comfortable dish of osso bucco. Not so long ago, historically speaking, marrow was such a prized source of rich, fatty deliciousness that specially designed spoons were provided to enable it to be scooped directly out of the tunnel of the marrow bone itself. And even though we might love osso bucco, I bet that not many of us have in the kitchen drawer a set of marrow spoons to enhance the enjoyment of the dish.

Marrow was used as a source of fat in many recipes, as we will see tomorrow, but today I want to show you how it was also sent to table in the bone itself, as an elegant stand-alone dish wrapped in a napkin, with one of the special marrow spoons alongside. The end of the bone was often sealed during cooking with a flour and water paste, to prevent the melting, fatty marrow leaking out. The following instructions are from Modern Cookery, for Private Families (1860) by Eliza Acton.

TO BOIL MARROW BONES.
Let the large ends of the bones be sawed by the butcher, so that when they are dished they may stand upright; and if it can be done conveniently, let them be placed in the same manner in the vessel in which they are boiled. Put a bit of paste, made with flour and water, over the ends where the marrow is visible, and tie a cloth tightly over them; take the paste off before the bones are sent to table, and serve them, placed upright in a napkin, with slices of dry toasted bread apart. When not wanted for immediate use, they may be partially boiled, and set into a cool place, where they will remain good for many days.
Large marrow bones, 2 hours; moderate sized, 1½ hour. To keep: boil them 1½ hour, and from ½ to ¾ hour more when wanted for table.

BAKED MARROW BONES.

When the bones have been sawed to the length of a deep pie-dish, wash and wipe them dry, lay them into it, and cover them entirely with a good batter. Send them to a moderate oven for an hour or more, and serve them in the batter.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Recommendation: Rabbit for Dinner.

Today, July 29, as with every other day in the year, the big question is - “What shall we have for dinner?” And what will we have for breakfast and supper too? Books have always been around to offer meal suggestions, and today to assist your decision, I give you the recommendations from Three meals a day: a diary for the kitchen, giving for every day of the year, according to seasons, a bill of fare for breakfast, dinner and supper, by an Old Epicure (New York, 1884.)

TUESDAY 29th [JULY]
BREAKFAST: - Shad, Mutton Chops, Fresh Calf’s Tongues, Eggs on Toast.
DINNER.- Veal Soup, Young Rabbit Patties, Fresh Cod fish, Roast Beef, Water Cress Salad, Gruyere Cheese, Stoned Cherry Pie.
SUPPER.- Mutton Stew, Bacon and Eggs, Crab Salad, Munster Cheese, Raspberry Jelly and Cake.


As it turns out, ‘the Old Epicure’ also wrote The Gourmet's Guide to Rabbit Cooking (1859) which therefore most conveniently provides us with several recipes for the day. In previous times a ‘patty’ was not a ‘rissole’ or ‘burger’ type disc of meat but a small pie, as the first recipe shows.

Small Patties.
Make a light paste with a little butter, flour, two eggs, and some milk; roll it thin. Take as much of the meat from a rabbit as you are likely to require; chop it up, adding a slice of ham, a little butter, a shallot, or artichoke-leaves shred fine, and a sufficiency of spices; sprinkle it with lemon-juice or white wine, wrap a portion of this preparation in pieces of paste, and either bake or fry them; if the former, rub them over with the yelk of egg before placing them iu the oven.

Raised Pie.
Make a raised crust as for a pork-pie; take a fine young rabbit, disjoint it, and cut the meat from the bones; season it highly; add to it half a pound of fat bacon, the yelks of four hard-boiled eggs cut into slices, and sufficient tomato-sauce to make it of an agreeable colour. Pack the meat pretty tightly, and bake in a very gentle oven for an hour and a-half. This is usually eaten cold; but a vol a vent may be made with paste baked round a buttered mould, and when done, removed from the mould, and filled with a rich ragout of rabbit, which is eaten hot.

Rabbit Pie.
Cut up a couple of rabbits, nicely shaping your pieces of meat, and adding to it a pound of good fat bacon, cut rather small; season with pepper, salt, and powdered cloves. If agreeable, you may also join a shred shallot. Make some forcemeat balls with the livers parboiled and pounded in a mortar, eight fine oysters, mace, Cayenne, and savoury herbs. Form these ingredients into balls with the yelks of two eggs, and add them to your meat. Put a good crust round your dish, lay in your rabbits and forcemeat, pour in half a pint of port wine and the same quantity of water, cover it

Rabbit and Hare Patties.
Take a nice piece of cold roasted hare or rabbit, and mince it very fine with half a pound of suet. Thicken some strong gravy with a little butter and flour; season with nutmeg, mace, lemon grate, and a very little salt; then put in the mince-meat, with six ounces of cleaned currants. Boil the whole about six minutes, and fill up the patties.

The Practice of Cookery, Pastry, and Confectionary (1820) by Mrs. Frazer.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Bone Bean.

In the complex, confusing quagmire of nutrition advice, one thing remains undisputed by every stakeholder – vegetables are good. And if vegetables in general are good, then surely legumes are best in class.

I have for you today a selection of ideas from an interesting book in the ‘Three Meals a Day Series.’ It is the volume entitled Legumes: dried beans, peas, lentils for breakfast, dinner, supper (Chicago,1920) compiled and edited by Bessie R Murphy ( Southern Food Expert and Lecturer) The dedication in this work seems particularly appropriate to the importance of the topic – “Dedicated to Someone Somewhere to be used by Everyone Everywhere.”

First, some general notes on beans from the introductory paragraphs:

Every nation and country has some variety of the bean: The Mongol eats his rice, but for his protein has the soy bean; the Mexican, whose meat supply is scant, uses the frijole bean; the Spaniard has his lentils, while India has a proverb, “Rice is good, but lentils are my life.” South America claims the lima bean as a native, and Scotland the bone bean. The United States has one hundred and fifty varieties of beans being cultivated. The famous Boston baked beans are known everywhere. In fact, for all ages among all nations the pea and bean have held an important place as food for mankind.

This paragraph provides the mystery of the week, and the title of the post. If anyone has an idea what constitutes the “bone bean” of Scotland, I would be most grateful!

And now for my selections from amongst the recipes for each meal of the day.

Breakfast:

Baked Beans with Rice.
4 cups navy beans                   ½ pound salt pork
1 teaspoon salt                        1 cup rice (cooked)
Soak beans overnight. In the morning put them into a saucepan and cook them with the pork slowly until they are tender. Remove pork, drain the beans, turn them into baking dish, and add the rice. Cook 30 minutes without stirring, so that the rice will remain on top. (Cover to prevent rice from burning.)
                                                     
Dinner:

Baked Cowpeas and Cheese.
2 cups cooked peas                 1½ tablespoons butter
½ cup grated cheese                1 tablespoon onion
1teaspoon salt                                     I tablespoon chopped sweet green pepper
Press the peas through a sieve and mix them with the cheese. Cook the onion and pepper in the butter, but do not brown them; add mixture to peas and cheese. Form into a roll and bake in a moderate over until brown. Baste occasionally with butter and water.

Bean Polenta.
1 pint white beans                   1tablespoon butter
1½ tablespoons molasses        1tablespoon vinegar
½ teaspoon mustard                Salt and pepper
Wash the beans and soak them over night. In the morning drain off this water, cover beans with fresh water, and boil slowly 1 hour. Drain again, cover with 1quart freshly boiled water, and boil slowly another hour. When beans are done, press them through a sieve, return them to the kettle, add the butter, molasses, mustard, salt, pepper, and vinegar, stir, and boil 10 minutes.

Supper:

Soy-Bean Souffle.
2 cups soy-bean pulp               1 teaspoon onion juice
2 eggs                                      2 tablespoons parsley

Separate the eggs and beat well, add the onion juice, soy-bean pulp, and parsley, and fold in the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs. Pour mixture into a baking pan and bake slowly 20 minutes.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dining in Greece in 1903.


Yesterday we glimpsed early twentieth century Romanian cuisine through the eyes of
Lieut.-Col. Nathaniel Newnham-Davis, the author of Gourmet's Guide to Europe, published in London in 1903.  I don’t want to leave this fascinating book without giving you one more opinion on European cuisine from the ‘Anglo-Saxon gourmet.’ I have chosen his description of Greece, I confess in part because of the frighteningly funny suggestion in the final paragraph.

GREECE
Grecian Dishes - Athenian Restaurants.
No one lives better than a well-to-do Greek outside his own country, and when he is in Greece his cook manages to do a great deal with comparatively slight material. A Greek cook can make a skewered pigeon quite palatable, and the number of ways he has of cooking quails, from the simple method of roasting them cased in bay leaves to all kinds of mysterious bakings after they have been soused in oil, are innumerable. There are pillaus or pilafis without number in the Greek cuisine, chiefly of lamb, and it is safe to take for granted that anything à la Grec is likely to be something savoury, with a good deal of oil, a suspicion of onion, a flavour of parsley, and a good deal of rice with it. These, however, are some of the most distinctive dishes: Coucouretzi, the entrails and liver of lamb, roasted on a spit; Dolmades, meat balls wrapped in vine or white cabbage leaves, and served with a cream sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice; Tomates Yermistes, which are tomatoes stuffed with forcemeat; Youvarlakia, balls of rice and chopped meat covered with tomato sauce; and Bligouri, wheat coarsely ground, cooked in
broth, and eaten with grated cheese. Argokalamara, a paste of flour and yolk of egg fried in butter with honey poured over it, and Chaha and Loukoumia, are some of the sweets of the cuisine. All Grecian cookery is done over a charcoal fire. A too great use of oil is the besetting sin of the indifferent Greek cook. The egg-plant is the great "stand-by" of the Grecian kitchen ; it is stuffed in a dozen different ways.

The food of the peasant is grain, rice, goat-flesh when he can get it, a skinny fowl on the great festivals, milk, and strong-tasting cheese. A bunch of grapes and a hunch of sour bread is his usual hot weather meal.

The Grecian wines, though some of them taste shockingly of resin, are not unpalatable. Solon, Soutzos, Kephista, Kephallenia, are all quite drinkable; and the better-class wines of Kephallenia, and those of Patras, made by a German firm, are enjoyable. Much of the Greek wine goes to Vienna and other centres of the wine trade, and reappears with labels on the bottles having no connection with Greece.

ATHENIAN RESTAURANTS

The restaurants of Athens are not happy hunting-grounds for the Anglo-Saxon gourmet. The Restaurant Splendid, in the Hotel des Etrangers, Place de la Constitucion, the Minerva, and the D'Athenes, both in the Rue de Stade, are the pick of a not too promising bunch ; and Murray recommends one in Amalias Street, near the Palace, which I do not remember to have seen.

A most grave litterateur to whom, as he had been lately travelling in Greece, I applied for supplementary information, applied the adjective "beastly" to all Greek restaurants, and added that the one great crying need of Greece and Athens is an American bar for the sale of cooling drinks in the Parthenon.

As the recipe for the day I feel compelled to again use as my source Foods of the foreign-born in relation to health, by Bertha M. Wood (Boston, 1922.)

Bean Stew (Greek)
¾ quart shelled beans (fresh)              ½ teaspoon salt
2 cups tomatoes (canned)                   ¼ teaspoon pepper
1 small onion                                       4 tablespns. olive oil
¾ cup lamb (cut into small pieces)

Put meat in hot oil and fry until nearly cooked, adding onion, chopped fine. Add tomato, beans, water, salt, and pepper. Cover well and cook over a rather slow fire.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dining in Romania, in 1903.

Restaurant and hotel reviewing is a relatively recent phenomenon, historically speaking, and I thought it might be fun to look at some early examples. One of the first ‘experts’ in the process was the London gourmet and newspaper columnist, Lieut.-Col. Nathaniel Newnham-Davis. He authored a book on dining in London, and then, with a rather mysterious friend with the interesting name of Algernon Bastard, took on the hotels and restaurants of Europe. Their book,
Gourmet's Guide to Europe, was published in London in 1903.

The authors outlined their mission in the Preface:

Often enough, staying in a hotel in a foreign town, I have wished to sally forth and to dine or breakfast at the typical restaurant of the place, should there be one. Almost invariably I have found great difficulty in obtaining any information regarding any such restaurant. The proprietor of the caravanserai at which one is staying may admit vaguely that there are eating-houses in the town, but asks why one should be anxious to seek for second-class establishments when the best restaurant in the country is to be found under his roof. The hall-porter has even less scruples, and stigmatises every feeding-place outside the hotel as a den of thieves, where the stranger foolishly venturing is certain to be poisoned and then robbed. This book is an attempt to help the man who finds himself in such a position. His guide-book may possibly give him the names of the restaurants, but it does no more. My co-author and myself attempt to give him some details - what his surroundings will be, what dishes are the specialities of the house, what wine a wise man will order, and what bill he is likely to be asked to pay.

Our ambition was to deal fully with the capitals of all the countries of Europe, the great seaports, the pleasure resorts, and the "show places." The most acute critic will not be more fully aware how far we have fallen short of our ideal than we are, and no critic can have any idea of the difficulty of making such a book as we hope this will someday be when complete. At all events we have always gone to the best authorities where we had not the knowledge ourselves. Our publisher, Mr. Grant Richards, quite entered into the idea that no advertisements of any kind from hotels or restaurants should be allowed within the covers of the book; and though we have asked for information from all classes of gourmets - from ambassadors to the simple globe-trotter- we have not listened to any man interested directly or indirectly in any hotel or restaurant.

I have chosen the authors’ review of Romania to give you today. I don’t believe I have ever covered Romanian food (or rather, an outsider’s view of Romanian food) in any previous post, so here goes:

ROUMANIA
In Roumania you must never be astonished at the items set down in the bill of fare, and if "bear" happens to be one try it, for bruin does not make at all bad eating. The list of game is generally surprisingly large, and one learns in Roumania the difference there is in the venison which comes from the different breeds of deer. Caviar, being the produce of the country, is a splendid dish, and you are always asked which of the three varieties, easily distinguishable by their variety of colour, you will take. A caviar salade is a dish very frequently served. The following are some of the dishes of the country:- Ciulama,  chicken with a sauce in which flour and butter are used; Scordolea, in which crawfish, garlic, minced nuts, and oil all play a part; Baclava, a cake of almonds served with sirop of roses. These three dishes, though now Roumanian, were originally introduced from Turkey. Ardei Ungelute is a dish of green pepper, meat, and rice; Sarmalute are vine leaves filled with meat and served with a preparation of milk; Militei is minced beef fried on a grill in the shape of a sausage. Cheslas and Mamaliguzza, the food of the peasant, much resemble the Italian Polenta and are eaten with cold milk. Ghiveci, a ragout with all kinds of vegetables mixed in it, is a great dish of the country.

Bucarest

When in Bucarest, as it should be spelt, go straight to Capsa's in the Calea Victorici, a first-rate restaurant. It is perhaps not quite equal to the best of the London and Paris establishments, but the cooking is really good, and certainly superior to anything you can find in Vienna. The French chef will provide you with a recherche dinner ordered a la carte. Fresh caviar is in perfection there, as also the sterlet or young sturgeon; the latter is caught in the Danube, and is a most dainty and much prized fish. The prices are fairly high, - about 2 francs 50 centimes for an ordinary plat. The wines are all rather expensive, that of the country being perhaps best left alone, although the Dragasani is a wine which tastes strangely at first, but to which one becomes used. A liqueur tasting of carraway seeds is pleasant, but that made from the wild plum is not to be rashly ventured upon.

This is the menu of a little dinner for two eaten at Capsa's:-

          Caviar.
      Ciorba de Poulet.
      Turbot a la Grec.
    Mousaka aux Courzes.
          Gateaux.

And this a breakfast at the same establishment:--

    Glachi de Carpe (froid).
         Oeufs Polenta.
             Pilau.
     Aubergines aux Tomates.

There is also a confectioner's shop kept by Capsa, who was for some considerable time at Boissier's in Paris, afterwards returning to Bucarest and opening this establishment. It is as good as that of any Parisian confiseur, with the result that all Bucarest are his customers, and his business is an extremely lucrative one.

A cheap dinner can be obtained, a la carte, at the Hotel Continental in the Calea Victorici, opposite the Theatre Nationale.

Jordachi's in the Strada Coatch, and Enesco's in the Strada Sfantu Tonica, also deserve mention; they are cheap, second-rate restaurants, but you get there the dishes of the country. In both these places a capital band of Tziganes play the music of the country. Enesco's is, perhaps, the better of the two. If you require any specialites the waiter will be sure to know what to advise; one dish, called Brochettes de Filet, may be recommended. The waiters at Enesco's and Jordachi's are intelligible in German and Roumanian; at the Continental, and especially at Capsa's, they are mostly French.

If you pay a call in Bucarest you will be offered Dolceazza, a kind of sweetmeat, and a glass of water.

I had not come across the word ‘ciorba’ (ciorbă) before I saw the dinner menu given in this book.  It is apparently a sour soup made with a variety of ingredients – the key feature that distinguishes it from ‘ordinary’ soup is the sourness.  Sadly, I have been unable to find a historical recipe, written in English, for a Romanian sour soup. Instead, I give you a version of ‘baklava’ (spelled with a ‘P’) from Foods of the foreign-born in relation to health, by Bertha M. Wood (Boston, 1922)

Paklava
(Used by all Near East)
2 eggs                          2 teaspoons baking powder
I cup butter                 2 tablespns. melted butter
I pint milk                   1 ½ cups chopped nuts
Flour                            ½ cup sugar or ½ cup honey

Mix two eggs, one cup butter, one pint milk, as much flour as you need, and two teaspoons baking powder. Let stand overnight. Make into balls. Mix cornstarch and flour, and put on board. Roll balls out thin. Put into pan and cover with melted butter, chopped nuts, and sugar or honey. Add another layer of dough, then one of nuts — pistachio, walnuts, or pinto, etc. Cut in pieces, diamond shaped. Bake. Serve with syrup.

Perhaps we will accompany the ‘Anglo-Saxon gourmet’ on a visit to another European destination tomorrow?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Naval Dinner, 1868.

It is some time since I gave you a menu, and today’s should appeal to those of you with an interest in military history too. My source is a newspaper from New Zealand – the Daily Southern Cross, of 25 July 1868.

COMPLIMENTARY DINNER TO OFFICERS OF H.I.M.S. ' DORADE.'
On Thursday evening [July 23] the officers of the 2nd battalion of the 18th Royal Irish entertained Commander Villemsens and officers of the French ship 'Dorade,' at present in harbour, to dinner at their mess-rooms, Karangahape Road. The dinner was served in a most recherché style by Mr. Gallagher, caterer to the mess. The bill of fare was as follows : —Mock turtle soup, boiled mullet, sirloin beef, lamb cutlets, sausages a la pomme de terre, curried chicken, braised turkey, ham, rissoles of veal and ham, devilled kidney, fricasseed turkey, fried gar fish, roast saddle of mutton, roast pheasants, curaçoa jelly, tartlets, apple tart, Italian cream, pineapple jelly, Cape gooseberry tart, anchovy toasts ; a superb dessert of all fruits in season. The band, under Mr. Quinn, performed a choice selection of music. The usual toasts of the Queen and Royal Family were duly honoured, also the toast of H. I.M. the Emperor of the French, and appropriate tunes played by the band. The proceedings terminated at a late hour, all having thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The menu is typical of the Victorian era, with nothing unsettlingly novel or innovative presented to the diners. Curaçoa Jelly appears to have been a popular dish at the time, and with the substitution of gelatin for the labour-intensive calves’ feet jelly it would make a fine dessert for today.

Curaçoa Jelly.
Take two calves' feet, chop them into convenient pieces, and put them into a saucepan with rather more than two quarts of cold water; set the saucepan on the fire; directly the water boils throw it away, and wash the pieces carefully; then put them on again with two quarts of cold water, and let them boil slowly for three hours, removing the scum carefully during the process; then strain the liquor into a basin, and when quite cold and set, take off all the fat, and wash the top of the jelly with a little hot water, so as to get rid of every vestige of fat. Put the jelly in a saucepan on the fire; directly it is melted add sugar to taste, the juice and the thin rind of one lemon, and the whites of three eggs whisked to a froth. Beat up the mixture till it boils. Place the thin rind of a lemon at the bottom of a jelly bag, and pour the mixture over it. The bag should have been previously rinsed in boiling water, and the first half-pint of jelly that comes through must be returned to the bag. If the jelly does not come out quite clear, the operation of straining must be repeated. Add sufficient dry Curaçoa to the clarified jelly to flavour it well. Fill a mould with it and place it on ice to set.

Practical dinners: with plain directions for their preparation (London, 1887)