Monday, June 30, 2008

Food & Finance.

June 30 ...

Today here in Australia it is the last day of the financial year – the day, depending on one’s financial capabilities - when one either resolves to embrace future frugality, or plans the shopping spree when the tax cheque comes in.

It made me think of a financial theme for the day. I have often wondered how the classic French garnish that entitles a dish to be styled ‘à la Financière. ’ This garnish (and I am quoting Larousse here) consists of ‘cock’s combs, cock’s kidneys, quenelles, lamb’s sweetbreads, mushrooms, olives, and strips of truffles’. Methinks it sounds like a meal all on its own, not a mere garnish. An alternative gives it as including a sauce made with Madeira and Truffles, which probably explains the name - it is obviously short for ‘à la clever Financière. ’

Cookbooks authors almost always stress the necessity of economy in the kitchen (apart from the Baron Brisse, that is). Cookbooks of the Victorian era seemed to particularly delight in giving recipes whose very names suggested that they were suitable for economically distraught times. We had ‘Half Pay Pudding’ in a previous story, but there are many others – Save-All Pudding, Miser’s Sauce, Poor-Man’s Soup, for example. All quite gloomy, really. I want to assume that at least a few of you are clever, even elegant, economists. To you I dedicate this pudding, from Cassell’s Shilling Cookery (1888).

The Elegant Economist’s Pudding.
Cut the remains of any plum pudding into neat slices and lay them in a buttered pie-dish, pressing them down to make them adhere. Make as much custard as will fill the dish. Let it go cold. Pour it upon the pudding; cover the top with thin slices of pudding, and bake in a gentle oven. When the custard is set, the pudding is done enough. It will take from half an hour to an hour, depending on its size. The custard may be plain or rich, according to taste.

Any ideas (ridiculous or otherwise) as to how this pudding got its name?

Tomorrow’s Story.

Dominion Day, 1933.

Quotation for the Day.

When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint.
When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist.
Archbishop Helder Camara.


Jayne said...

Great now I know what to do with the umpteen puddings I get at Xmas lol ;)

Rochelle R. said...

This might actually be a good way to use up leftovers from the December holidays. Kind of like a bread pudding made with lingering fruit cake or panettone etc.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Jayne and Rochelle. It is a good idea, isnt it? A sort of hot, robust trifle pudding. Might try it myself next December.

Unknown said...

Surely it is the use of leftovers that makes it typical of an "elegant economist," that is, one who keeps the household economies with flair. Although if you prefer to think of it as produced by John Maynard Keynes in a very nice suit, go ahead.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello nbm - I prefer your first definition, by a long way!