Thursday, September 10, 2009

London Pudding.

I am still in London (Oxford tomorrow), so some London-themed food seems a good fun idea. I have previously given you the curious recipe for London Pie, from the curiously named cookery book of the mid-seventeenth century - Archimagirus Anglo-Gallicus, by the physician to King Charles I, Theodore Mayerne, so today we must find the other dishes for our meal.

Pea soup would be appropriate for a London dinner. The the thick yellow smogs that used to plague London before the enactment of the Clean Air Laws used to be called “pea-soupers” – and in turn, the famous historic London restaurant Simpson’s in the Strand calls its pea-soup “London Particular”.

We can wash down our dinner with a draught of “London Ale” – the ale preferred by fourteenth century ale connoisseurs, if we are to believe Chaucer, who mentions it in his Canterbury Tales, and one of the beverages served at the enthronement feast of William Warham as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1504. Was it the superior quality of the Kentish hops that made London ale particularly good? Or was it the water?

We must have a London Pudding to follow the soup and pie. Here are two examples, from the year 1915.

London Pudding.
2 oz. of Allinson steamed cooked oats (to be obtained from any grocer in 2 lb. boxes), 1 large tablespoonful of sugar, ½ pint of milk, 1 oz of butter and 1 pint of custard made with Allinson custard powder. Boil the milk with the oats, butter, sugar, cook gently for 15 minutes, then pour into a pie-dish and add to the mixture 1 pint of custard made according to the recipe given, stir carefully, and bake for 1 ½ or 2 hours; let it cook for a short time before serving.
N.B. This is a most delicious pudding.
The Allinson Vegetarian Cookery Book, 1915.

London Pudding.
(For using up stale buns)
Cut the buns in two, and spread with a little jam; make into sandwiches. Lay at the bottom of a pie-dish and sprinkle with a little grated suet; then beat up two eggs with one dessertspoonful of sugar and three-quarters of a pint of milk. Pour over the buns and bake in a moderate oven. Bits of cake may be used up in the same way.
The Best Way – A Book of Household Hints & Recipes, 1915

Quotation for the Day.

It is lamentably true that, too often, has a carefully planned society dry raid been spoiled because the host noticed that one of his guests was wearing white socks with a black tie, or that the intruder was using his dessert spoon on the hors d’oeuvres.
Donald Ogden Stuart; Perfect Behaviour.

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