Do you get your recommended ‘five a day’? Nutritionists suggest that we should all be eating four hundred grams of fruit and vegetables a day, made up from at least five different varieties (one serve is about half a cup of vegetables, or a cup of raw salad.) It can be quite a challenge to do this, even in the most motivated households. It seems to me that part of the solution might be to eat more vegetables for dessert.
To determinedly take up this challenge requires more choices than pumpkin pie and carrot cake however, lest boredom creep in after a few weeks. In previous posts we have had parsnip cake and sauerkraut cake – and no doubt there are others I have forgotten about, but there are still not enough choices for a long campaign. I have, therefore, collected some recipes from history to help you in your efforts. Bon appétit!
How to make a Pudding in a Turnep root.
Take your Turnep root, and wash it fair in warm water, and scrape it faire and make it hollow as you doo a Carret roote, and make your stuffe of grated bread, and Apples chopt fine, then take Corance [currants], and hard Egs, and season it with Sugar Sinamon, and Ginger, and yolks of hard egs and so temper your stuffe, and put it into the Turnep, then take faire water, and set it on the fire, and let it boyle or ever you put in your Turneps, then put in a good peece of sweet Butter, and Claret Wine, and a little Vinagre, and Rosemarye, and whole Mace, Sugar, and Corance, and Dates quartered, and when they are boyled inough, then willl they be tender, then serve it in.
Boke of Cokerye 1591
Boil a moderately sized carrot until tender. Pound it in a mortar, and pass the pulp through a fine hair sieve. Mix with an ounce of oiled butter, two dessert-spoonfuls of washed currants, two table-spoonfuls of sugar, half a nutmeg grated, a table-spoonful of fresh curd, and a well-beaten egg. Line some patty pans with good puff paste, half fill them with the mixture, and bake in a good oven for twenty minutes.
Cassells Dictionary of Cookery, London, 1877.
To make a carrot pudding.
You must take a raw carrot, scrape it very clean and grate: Take half a pound of the grated carrot, and a pound of grated bread, beat up eight eggs, leave out half the whites, and mix the eggs with half a pint of cream: then stir in the bread and carrot, half a pound of fresh butter melted, half a pint of sack, and three spoonfuls of orange-flower water, a nutmeg grated. Sweeten to your palate. Mix all well together, and if it is not thin enough, stir in a little new milk or cream. Let it be of a moderate thickness, lay a puff-paste all over the dish, and pour in the ingredients. Bake it; it will take an hours baking. Or you may boil it, but then you must melt butter and put in white wine and sugar.
Art of Cookery, Hannah Glasse, 1774.
Take equal quantities of potato flour and finely powdered loaf sugar, incorporate them well together by rubbing them with the back of a spoon until a perfectly smooth powder is produced; pour upon it some boiling water, keeping it stirred the while; when you think the jelly is of the proper consistency, flavor it with wine, brandy, vanilla, or orange-flower water, essence of lemon, noyeau, or anything you prefer.
This is quite as nourishing as arrowroot, and possesses the great advantage of not turning watery when it grows cold. Two good teaspoonfuls of the meal and the same quantity of sugar will be found to be sufficient for half a pint.
How to cook potatoes, apples, eggs, and fish; Georgiana Hill, 1869
Two cups sugar, one cup oil, three large eggs, two teaspoons cinnamon, one teaspoon ginger, one-half teaspoon salt, one teaspoon vanilla, two cups flour, two teaspoons baking powder, one eight-ounce can crushed pineapple, two cups grated or ground raw beets, one cup coconut, nuts if desired.
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together. Add the dry ingredients and continue beating until thoroughly blended. Stir in pineapple, beets, coconut and nuts in that order. Bake in 9 by 13 by 2 inch pans at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Frost with the following recipe.
Frosting: four teaspoons dry cherry gelatine, one-fourth cup melted margarine, four cups confectioners sugar. Blend ingredients thoroughly.
Syracuse Herald-American, 1980
And if we can have tomato marshmallows, why not tomato cake? The following recipe “uses the unlikely combination of tomatoes and raisins … stays moist and is “oh, so good.”
1 stick [½ cup] margarine, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups fresh tomatoes
1 cup raisins, 1 cup nuts, 2 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Cook tomatoes, add raisins to hot tomatoes and let mixture cool. Combine ingredients and beat. Bake at 250 degrees F [approx.150 degrees Centigrade] in fluted or angel food pan for 1 hour.
Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania), May 19, 1973
Quotation for the Day.
Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.