Today, June 23rd …
It is Solstice time, the night to pick magical herbs, make love potions, and frolic in the balmy night air … in the Northern hemisphere that is. In the Southern hemisphere it is cold, and somehow it seems a cheat, food-wise, for what would be appropriate in this winter season has already been misappropriated for the mid-summer/Christmas season.
In the interests of our global citizenship, The Old Foodie suggests “snow-themed” food for all of us – symbolic of the winter in the south, and desirable in the heat of the north. Apples are available everywhere, in some form or other, all year round, so they are appropriate too.
From a great range of choices from many centuries, here are two very different dishes:
From “A Book of Cookrye” (1591)
To make a dish of Snow
Take a pottle of sweet thick Cream, and the white of eight Egs, and beate them altogether with a spoone, then put them into your Creme with a dish full of Rosewater and a dish full of Sugar withall, then take a stick and make it clean, and then cut it in the end four square, and therwith beat all the aforesaid things together, and ever as it ariseth, take it off, and put it into a Cullender, this doon, take a platter and set an Apple in the midst of it, and stick a thick bush of Rosemary in the Apple. Then cast your Snow upon the Rosemary & fill your platter therwith, and if you have wafers, cast some withall, and so serve them forth.
From Elizabeth Raffald’s “The Experienced English Housewife” (1769)*
To make Snowballs.
Pare five large baking apples, take out the cores with a scoop, fill the holes with orange or quince marmalade. Then make a little good hot paste and roll your apples in it, and make your crust of an equal thickness and put them in a dripping pan. Bake them in a moderate oven. When you take them out make icing for them the same way as for the plum cake, and ice them all over with it about a quarter of an inch thick. Set them a good distance from the fire till they are hardened, but take care you don’t let them brown. Put one in the middle of a china dish and the other four round it. Garnish them with green sprigs and small flowers.
On Monday: Tomato Figs.
Above and Beyond …
Elizabeth Raffald also has a recipe for “A dish of Snow”.
Cassell’s “Dictionary of Cookery” (1870’s) has (amongst other "Snow" recipes: "Snow, Apple", and "Snow Cake"
Quotation for the Day …
The height of luxury was reached in the winter afternoons … lying in a tin bath in front of a coal fire, drinking tea, and eating well-buttered crumpets is an experience few can have today. J.C.Masterman.