Today I am going to introduce you to The Milky Way Cookbook, published in 1914 by the Nestlé company to promotes its condensed milk. This is the Australian version, I don’t know if it appears elsewhere.
It is a very little book, measuring only a little over 11 x 14 cm (4 ¼ x by 5 ½ inches) – but what a powerhouse of wisdom it is! Some of the wisdom is a little scary – like the advice on how to prepare condensed milk for babies. I am pretty sure that whatever you do to condensed milk it is never suitable for babies, but Nestlé clearly disagree. The book is no mere recipe book. It includes ‘Hints on Etiquette’, plus ‘an amusing extract from a seventeenth century work called The Ladies Dictionary’ (also etiquette advice). There is an article on ‘Frauds and Swindles: Traps for Housewives: A number of the most widely practiced frauds by which swindlers seek to victimize the female occupants of the home’ by the well known writer Mr. G. Sidney Paternoster of the Truth newspaper (when did we stop using ‘swindler’ and start using ‘con-man’?). Every single page, in addition to a recipe has one or two household remedies or pieces of advice on such things as ‘Pores, to contract’, ‘Unpermissable Jests’, ‘Husbands, Treatment of’ and ‘Parental ignorance.’
There is yet more! Every page also has at its top and bottom, some little aphorism such as ‘Pleasure that comes too thick grows Fulsome’, and ‘Better a portion in a wife than with a wife’ and ‘Do in the Hole as you would in the Hall.’
This recipe sounds quite good.
Ginger Cream Ice.
½ pint Nestlé’s Milk [prepared to a formula of four tablespoons of the milk to three quarters of a pint of water.]
1 pint water
3 tablespoonfuls Ginger Syrup
6 oz. Preserved Ginger.
¼ pint Nestlé’s (whipped) Cream
Heat the condensed milk and water together, pour on to the beaten eggs, strain into a jar standing in a pan of boiling water, and stir till the custard thickens. Pound the ginger and rub through a hair sieve, then add it to the custard with the syrup. When quite cold, stir in the stiffly beaten whipped cream, and freeze.