Yesterday’s source - Pharmaceutical Formulas - A Book of Useful Recipes for the Drug Trade, published in 1898 – provides much other food for thought. The ‘Drug Trade’ includes all manner of fascinating formulas for household use, including cleaning materials, writing materials, perfumes, preparations for the hair and teeth and so on, as well as those with medicinal applications.
Quite a number of the recipes in the chapter on Household and Domestic Requisites (in which we found yesterday’s sauces), are decidedly difficult to reconcile with the health implications implicit in a publication for pharmaceutical professionals, but neither do they seem to fall on the industrial chemical side of things. Yesterday I said ‘I live in hope of the day when the friendly neighbourhood pharmacist will provide recipes for the daily dinner’. Even if this were to happen in the amazingly mysterious future, I cannot image that the meal prescription will ever, ever, ever, include sausages (although it should, with reservations, of course). In our source manual for the day however, we find the following recipe (without comments as to meat quality or type, it must be said) ….
Pork Sausage Flavouring.
White Pepper 2 oz.
Jamaica Pepper 6 dr.
Black Pepper 3 dr.
Ginger 3 dr.
Capsicum 2 dr.
Mace 1 dr.
All in fine powder, mixed. A little nitre helps to keep the colour of the meat.
(an alternative recipe suggests “tinting the powder a dark salmon colour by means of finely powdered red sanderswood.)
The pharmaceutical focus is evident in the use of pharmaceutical units of measurement in this recipe. The abbreviations and conversions are:
gr = grain (not gram!); one gram is about 60 grains
dr = dram, or drachm; one dram is approximately 3.89 gm.
Here is another lovely idea from the book.
Slit unpeeled lemons, previously cured, into quarters, without separating the pieces, sprinkle with salt, and lay aside in dishes for a week. Then pack in jars with two or three cayenne pods to each lemon and a good sprinkling of turmeric, and cover with hot vinegar.
[the instruction “previously cured” is odd here. It presumably means salted, but then the recipe goes on to describe the salting process. Perhaps an example of the inexact art of recipe writing?]
Quotation for the Day.
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.
Alfred E. Newman