Here I am! In
for the Symposium on Food & Cookery, and looking forward to it enormously. I have been trying to get here for years. Oxford
I have given you some random snippets of
food history in the past. For those of you who are coffee fiends, the first record of coffee drinking in Oxford was in 1637 in England , and was noted in the diary of none other than Oxford John Evelyn. Our frequent friend Parson Woodforde’s early academic life was at , and he recorded a number of his meals there – one in particular feast of ‘tongue and udder’ in 1763 did not impress, and we have considered why that may be in another post. Oxford
I could regale you with a historic menu – if only I could chose which one is the most fun! You might have to wait until Menus from History is finally published!
As I will be staying at St Catherine’s college during the symposium I thought that something on college food might be interesting. I am confident that the food served at the symposium will be excellent, and far above what is normally associated with student accommodation. We have previously discussed the terrible plight of an undergraduate student at
in 1889 who had cause to complain about the rhubarb tart, on account of it not being apple. Within a couple of years after his complaint, the system had been modernised and lunch was now available in Hall, for a modest cost. A letter from the chief instigator of this change, Oscar Browning, to the Steward of Christ Church, summed it all up: Christ Church
“Our common luncheon in Hall is a great success. Things are ordered à la carte. The usual prices are Soup 6d., Fish or Entrée 6d., made dish 8d., Vegetables or salad 1d., Pudding 3d. Men order what they like but the whole style is simple. … Members of College entertain out [of] College friends at luncheon. The luncheon is served at the tables used for dinner and the most delightful part of the arrangement is that Dons, Undergraduates & their friends all sit together and the conversation is quite general and I may say unrestrained. … Some men still lunch in their rooms on bread and marmalade for the sake of economy, and some people I know find that the Hall is an occasion of expense. I think it saves me personally about ₤40 a year.”
I decided to give you a recipe with ‘
’ in the title, and had a difficult time chosing: there is Oxford Oxford John (mutton collops), dumplings, Oxford pancakes, Oxford pudding, Oxford sausages (with and without skins) for starters. There also seems to be a rather large number of alcoholic beverages named for Oxford . Now why would that be? I give you one of them today, as we have not had a beverage recipe in a little while. Oxford
Rub the rind of three fresh lemons with half a pound of loaf sugar, in lumps, until all the yellow part is taken off. Put the sugar into a large jug with the thin rind of a Seville orange and a lemon, the strained juice of three
[Cassells’ Dictionary of Cookery, 1870’s]
Monday’s Story …
Quotation for the Day …
I have just been all round the world and have formed a very poor opinion of it. Sir Thomas Beecham.