Monday, October 26, 2009

A Rhyming Recipe.

Silly me. A post popped up “yesterday” (Sunday) instead of “today”(Monday), because I accidentally typed the wrong date into the post-ahead schedule. Lucky you, because this means you get an extra post this week (I have undertaken to post every Monday to Friday, you know, so any Sunday posts, inadvertent or intended, must count as extras.) I will make up the mistake, by giving you a couple more recipes on the same theme.

It seems that producing cookery books was an early consciousness-raising and fund-raising effort of women suffrage advocates. It probably worked well – bringing home a new cookbook must have been a delightfully subversive act for some young wives and daughters, as even the most chauvinistic of the menfolk in the family would hardly have thought it necessary to check the culinary literature entering the household. Similarly, being seen writing or compiling a cookbook would hardly have raised any suspicious eyebrows. There were very few ways for decent women to earn a living in the late nineteenth century, and very few had few a disposeable income that was not scrutinised by a husband or father.

The Woman Suffrage Cook Book: Containing thoroughly tested and reliable recipes for cooking, directions for care of the sick, and practical suggestions... by Hattie A.Burr was published in Boston in about 1886. Many famous women contributed, including Julia Ward Howe, who provided “yesterday’s” quotation. The social activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) contributed the following rhyming recipe for a breakfast dish.

Breakfast Dish.

Cut smoothly from a wheaten loaf
Ten slices, good and true,
And brown them nicely, o'er the coals,
As you for toast would do.

Prepare a pint of thickened milk,
Some cod-fish shredded small;
And have on hand six hard-boiled eggs,
Just right to slice withal.

Moisten two pieces of the bread,
And lay them in a dish,
Upon them slice a hard-boiled egg,
Then scatter o'er with fish.

And for a seasoning you will need
Of pepper just one shake,
Then spread above the milky juice,
And this one layer make.

And thus, five times, bread, fish and egg,
Or bread and egg and fish,
Then place one egg upon the top,
To crown this breakfast dish.

Quotation for the Day.

Any influence I may happen to have is gladly extended in favor of woman suffrage.
Lydia Maria Child (famous cookery book author)

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