It is said that the first fork to arrive in
11th century: It appears that the Greeks may in fact have been the first to use forks, if the story of the bride of Domenico Selvo, Doge of Venice, is true. The Greek princess was so refined she had a eunuch to cut her food into small pieces which she then proceeded to eat with a golden fork. This was considered to be so decadent and delicate that her death a short while later was seen as evidence of Divine Retribution.
1364 - 80: Charles V of
1533: Oft-repeated history says that Catherine de Médici of
1611: An English traveller, Thomas Coryat, observed the use of forks in
It was not until well into the eighteenth century that forks became common-place, but a slow start was compensated for by the Victorians in the nineteenth century. Their love of dining table knick-knackery meant that special forks (and other utensils) were designed for specific foods: bacon forks, lettuce forks, asparagus forks, strawberry forks, sardine forks, oyster forks …. You get the idea.
Until there were forks, there were no fork luncheons of course, so may of the little recipes in For Luncheon and Supper Guests by Alice Bradley (1912) would have had to have been eaten very inelegantly with spoons or fingers.
Creamed Eggs And Mushrooms With Bacon Curls.
Put 6 eggs in top of double boiler. Cover with hot water, bring to boiling point, place over boiling water or on back of range and let stand 60 minutes. Remove shells and cut eggs in eighths lengthwise.
Remove skins and stems from ½ pound mushroom caps and cut in slices lengthwise.
Cover stems and skins with 1 ½ cups cold water, heat slowly to boiling point, simmer gently 20 minutes and strain.
Melt ⅓ cup butter, add ⅓ cup flour mixed with ¾ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. When smooth add stock strained from mushroom skins, with enough top milk or thin cream to make 3 cups. Stir until sauce boils.
Sauté mushroom caps in 1 tablespoon butter for 3 minutes. Add to sauce with the hard cooked eggs. When thoroughly heated turn out on a platter and arrange bacon curls over the top.
4 small cooked potatoes cut in pieces or 1 cup cooked macaroni or 1 small can asparagus cut in pieces may be used instead of mushrooms.
Place thin strips of bacon on a board and with a broad-bladed knife press strips out as thin as possible. Roll each slice into a curl and fasten with a wooden toothpick. Cook until crisp and delicately brown in hot bacon fat deep enough to cover the curls of bacon. Drain on brown paper and remove toothpicks.
Tomorrow’s Story …
Recipes from Scutari.
Quotation for the Day …
The Italian and also most strangers that are commorant in Italy, do alwayes at their meales use forke when they cut their meat for while with their knife which they hold in one hand they cut the meate out of the dish, they fasten their forke, which they hold in their other hand, upon the same dish; so that whosoever he be that sitting in the company of any others at meale, should unadvisedly touch the dish of meate with his fingers which all at the table doe cut, he will give occasion of offence unto his company, as having transgressed the lawes of good manners, insomuch that for his error he shall least be brow beaten if not reprehended in wordes. This form of feeding I understand is generally used in all places of