There are some regular themes in this blog that are beautifully illustrated in this week’s source (The Art of Cookery and Pastery … by J.Skeat, 1769). Some of them are:
- That there are dishes which were once desirable, popular, and common which are now unfashionable, unpopular, or just plain unavailable.
- Other dishes which seem wonderful and elegant and are still eminently do-able even in our time-poor, economically anxious, and servant-free lives - yet have inexplicably disappeared and should be considered for reinstatement.
- There are many dishes which we think are modern, yet can be found alive and well hundreds of years ago, their only disguise being a different name.
I would like to give you an example from each category, from Mr.Skeat’s book.
No one eats lamb’s ears anymore – at least not in recogniseable form (no doubt they get into sausage meat). The following recipe makes no attempt to disguise the ears, indeed, it flaunts their useful anatomical shape.
Ragou’d Lamb’s Ears.
Take care to have them well cleaned, and kept as whole as possible; fill the hollow part with good forcemeat; wash them over with an egg, and send them to the oven: have ready a rich gravy for the dish against they come from the oven, with stew’d sorrel around it.
The following recipe is a very glorious take on the humble rice pudding. May I suggest individual servings for a very elegant dinner-party dessert?
To force Oranges.
Fill two preserved oranges full of rich whole rice pudding boil’d in cream, eggs, sugar, nutmeg and wine, and stir in a piece of butter and some sugar; then have a set custard, and fill the dish; put the oranges in the middle, and garnish with sweetmeats and flowers.
And finally, the humble meat patty, rissole, or burger in a very superior pre-incarnation. Served with the recommended spinach it becomes Burgers Florentine, does it not?
Take a pound of the lean of veal, half a pound of beef suet, a quarter of a pound of bacon, and cut them small; then mix well together the yolks of six hard eggs, some crumbs of bread, half a shallot, nutmeg, pepper, and salt; and break up an egg to mix them to a sort of paste; make them up in round cakes, and fry them brown; lay them before the fire whilst the sauce is making, which is stew’s spinnage, melted butter, or a good ragout sauce in the dish; for either way is good.
Quotation for the Day.
"Offal" is used about 67 times out of a sample of 100 million words spoken or written in English. Its rank is based on over 700,000 words used in the English language
Webster’s Online Dictionary