Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fattening Recipes.

I have heard it said that the best time to have lived was in a country estate in England, between the wars – if one lived upstairs, of course. If you have seen the movie Gosford Park, you will know what I mean.
I was browsing a cookery book of this era recently – New Standard Cookery Illustrated, by Elizabeth Craig (1933), when I came across a chapter heading I don’t believe I have ever seen in a modern cookery book. Page number 545 begins with the heading ‘To Put on Weight’. A few pages later there is the sub-headings ‘Fattening Recipes.’ This sort of advice being sadly lacking in modern cookery books, we are lucky that history has come to the rescue.

Generally speaking, it is easy to prescribe a diet for leanness, which is usually caused through run-down tendencies. Very often the introduction into the diet of foods containing plenty of vitamins will build up the body, but care should be taken to provide only food that is easy to digest. For unless the food that is taken is easily assimilated, the indigestion that will result will cancel the value of the food itself.
One should start a campaign for putting on weight by planning well-balanced menus, and then by adhering strictly to them.

BREAKFAST:- Half a grapefruit. Cereal and milk. One steamed egg and 2 grilled rashers of bacon. Toast, butter, and honey. Coffee or tea.
LUNCHEON OR SUPPER:- Tripe and onions, mashed potatoes. Baked rice pudding, stewed figs. Celery, biscuits or toast, cream cheese. Small cup of black coffee.
TEA:- Brown bread and butter, as much as liked, jam, bloater cream. Ham, tongue, and celery sandwiches, or sandwiches made of brisling paste. One piece of plum, cherry, seed, madeira, or sponge cake, or a choice of ginger snaps and gingerbread.
DINNER:- Barley mutton broth. Large portion of roast beef, chicken or game, large portion of buttered greens, spinach or Brussels sprouts, baked potatoes. Pancakes, followed by fresh fruit, if liked.

Much other general advice follows, and then comes the sample of fattening recipes, from which I give you the Potato Soufflé. It will make a nice change from mashed potato, I think - and you don’t have the bother of making a béchamel sauce.

Potato Soufflé.
2 cupfuls hot mashed potatoes, 1 tablespoonful of butter, 1 tablespoonful chopped Parsley, ½ cupful tepid milk, Mint, 4 whites of eggs.
Utensils: Saucepan, soufflé dish, knife, chopping board, tablespoon, wooden spoon, cup, basin, wire whisk, grater. Enough for 2 persons.
Season the potatoes very delicately with powdered mint, then stir in the parsley, butter and salt, and pepper to taste. Add the milk, and beat well till smooth, then stir in the egg whites and bake at once in a buttered soufflé dish till puffy and brown on top. Serve sprinkled with grated cheese.

Quotation for the Day.

I worry about scientists discovering that lettuce has been fattening all along.
Erma Bombeck


Ellen Lee said...

What is "bloater cream", Janet? Is it clotted cream, or something like that?

Heiko said...

At last! I've been trying to gain weight for years and my wife is getting worryingly thin. If we can now find a way of putting on some while living in poverty like we do and still carry on a very active lifestyle I'll be happy. I'd be interested to hear more fattening recipes. I can't remember the last time I stopped eating because I was completely full. I sometimes think I might have worms!

Anonymous said...

This is clearly one of those recipes that assumes you know what you're doing, and they're just giving a variation. There's no mention of whipping the egg whites (though there is a wire whisk in the list of utensils). Rather like a lot of medieval recipes that probably leave out steps that "everybody knows."

The Old Foodie said...

Ellen - bloaters are smoked fish, a bit like herrings/kippers but with a short shelf-life. Bloater paste is a sort of 'pate' of fish.
Heiko: best of luck with your fattening up project!
Sandra: I think you are right,it is assumed that the egg whites are whipped up. It must have been difficult for novice cooks reading cookery books in the past, mustnt it?