Thursday, June 09, 2011

Dictionary Decisions

I hope soon to resume slightly more organised blogging time - my computer is home, bright new hard drive installed, and now is slowly having all its content restored. You don't know how much 'stuff' you have, until you start to restore it. A bit like unpacking after a house move, I suppose.

Speaking of house moves, I still dont have bookshelves so most of my books are in heaps here, there, and everywhere, which makes it quite hard to find the one I want. I have discovered one of my favourites however, so it is the source for the day. I do have a particular fondness for dictionary-type books, including culinary books, because they create the illusion that it will be easy to find what one wants. I say illusion, because for reasons known only to the un-identified editor of Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery (circa 1870), there is some potato and pudding confusion.

Under "P" for potatoes we have:

Potato and Almond Pudding.
Mash six ounces of boiled potatoes, dry and floury, till they are perfectly smooth. Blanch three ounces of sweet almonds and four bitter ones, and pound them, but not finely, with a little orange-flower water. Let them simmer in half a pint of new milk until the flavour is drawn out, and dissolve in the milk four ounces of fresh butter and four ounces of powdered sugar. Stir the mixture into the potatoes, add a pinch of salt, a little grated nutmeg, and the rind and juice of half a lemon. Beat the pudding ill it is light and smooth, and add separately the yolks and well-whisked whites of five eggs. Line a pie-dish with puff-paste, and pour in the mixture. Chop half a dozen almonds rather coarsely, strew them over the pudding, and bake in a well-heated oven for one hour.

Under "A" for Almonds we have:

Almond and Potato Pudding.
Blanch and pound three ounces of sweet almond and our or five bitter ones. Put these into half a pint of milk, and allow them to simmer slowly for quarter of an hour. Mix in smoothly half a pound of cold mealy potatoes, a quarter of a pound of butter, the grated rind and juice of a lemon, a little nutmeg, and three well-beaten eggs. Beat the mixture for some minutes with a wooden spoon. Put it into a well-buttered mould, and bake in a quick oven. Turn out carefully, and serve with sifted sugar or almond sauce.

Which one will you make?

Quotation for the Day.
“Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
but don't forget the potatoes.”
John Tyler Pettee, 'Prayer and Potatoes'

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