Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rx: Custard Powder.

Will the idea of ‘food as medicine and medicine’ ever be revived to the extent that recipes appear again in official pharmacopoeia? I would like to think so, but doubt it. If they do, I suspect they will not include the likes of the recipes I give you today, from The Druggist's general receipt book (1863), by Henry Beasley. The author included ‘beverages, dietetic articles and condiments’ in his book, which he justified thus:

“As the ingredients of some of the following compounds are usually sold by druggists, who may be expected to furnish information as to the manner of using them, and as they all may be regarded as auxiliaries to medical treatment, some notice of them here seems desirable, though it must necessarily be brief and incomplete.”

Custard Powder.
Rub up together gum tragacanth 2 oz., potato starch 1 lb., powdered turmeric 2 ½ dr., with oil of bitter almonds ½ dr., and essence of lemon 1 dr. Put up into 1-ounce packets. (From 1 pint of new milk take 2 tablespoonfuls to work up with the powder; boil the remaining milk with 2 ounces of lump sugar, and pour it, while boiling, into the basin, stirring quickly until thoroughly mixed. Bake as a custard.)
Without the colouring, this forms Blanc-mange Powder.

White Chocolate.
White sugar 3 lb., rice flour 27 ½ oz., English or Indian arrow root 8 oz., tincture of vanilla ½ oz., butter of cacao 8 oz. powdered gum Arabic 4 oz., form a paste with boiling water and put it into moulds.

William Beasley also references Dr Kitchener's Magazine of Taste in his book, and includes a few of the good doctor's recipes for flavouring powders and the like. The Magazine of Taste has been featured previously in the blog on:
May 12,
May 13
May 14
May 15
May 16

Quotation for the Day …

An old-fashioned vegetable soup, without any enhancement, is a more powerful anti carcinogen than any known medicine.
James Duke, ethnobotanist.

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