Friday, April 18, 2008

Mock Food No. 5

April 18 ...

I have saved the best till last for you this week. I have had to make some tough choices. Sadly, in the morning rush (I have been writing on the fly this week, not in organised-ahead fashion), my computer has mislaid the recipe for Mock Tapioca that I know you would have loved.

Firstly, I give you a mock chicken recipe using up all those fish sounds you probably have languishing in your freezer, as you are probably tired of Eliza Acton’s recipe for them by now.

Cod Sounds to look like small Chickens.
A good maigre-day dish. Wash three large sounds nicely,, and boil in milk and water, but not too tender; when cold, put a forcemeat of chopped oysters, crums of bread, a bit of butter, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and the yolks of two eggs; spread it thin over the sounds, and roll up each in the form of a chicken, skewering it; then lard them as you would chickens, dust a little flour over, and roast them in a tin oven slowly. When done enough, pour over them a fine oyster-sauce. Serve for side or corner dish at the first course.
[From Mrs Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. 1824]

Secondly, a consolation prize from our source of yesterday, Richard Bradley’s The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director (1732) – a method of making artificial Cocks-Combs. Although there may not be much call today for them today, and most of us can no longer find our Jagging Irons, the truth of his final sentence still stands – that “the Eye must be pleased before we can taste any thing with Pleasure”.

To make Artificial Cocks-Combs.
Take Tripe, without any Fat, and with a sharp Knife pare away the fleshy Part, leaving only the brawny or horny Part about the Thickness of a Cock’s Comb. Then, with a Jagging-Iron, cut Pieces out of it, in the Shape of Cock’s Combs, and the remaining parts between may be cut into Pieces, and used in Pyes, and serve every whit as well as Cock’s Combs; but since those cut in Form please the Eye best, and as the Eye must be pleased before we can taste any thing with Pleasure, therefore in Fricassees we should ever be careful to put in those which are cut according to Art.

If you would like more to add to your Mock Food repertoire, may I point you to previous stories?

Ritz Cracker ‘Apple Pie’

White Mock Turtle Soup

Mock Turtle Soup, assembled from very convenient canned ingredients.

Mock Mock Turtle Soup (the name is not a typo!), and Mock Arrack

Mock Brawn. [1792]

Mock Chicken (Columbia War Papers)(1918)

Mock Asses’ Milk (2 recipes)

Monday’s Story …

Curry Crime.

Quotation for the Day …

I prefer milk because I am a Prohibitionist, but I do not go to it for inspiration. Mark Twain.


john said...

I do so enjoy your blog! Each morning, I can't wait to discover what savory or curious recipe or bit of food history you've served up to us.

As the Farmer said to Babe, in one of my top five favorite movies (Babe): "That'll do, Pig".

I've actually made Ritz mock apple pie, and it's quite life-like.

I've eaten cockscombs at dim-sum shops in Oakland CA Chinatown--never really understood their popularity, but a first plate of combs on top of baby arugula leaves, a spray of flowering chives & a zigzag of passionfruit puree will definitly put the wind up your dinner guests.

Thanx, John

The Old Foodie said...

Hello John; thankyou for your kind comments. No matter how many folk tell me that the Ritz apple pie tastes OK, somehow - even in the interests of food history experimentation - I cant quite bring myself to make it. Might try the cocks combs though, if I can source some.

Rosemary in Utah said...

A childhood dish, actually not bad, was chopped canned tomatoes mooshed up with saltines, formed into patties and fried 'til crispy. This was called "mock oysters", at least in my American home in the '50s.