Public holidays are a sacred element of Australian culture, and even the most ardent republican does not refuse to stay away from work on this day - the official Queens's Birthay holiday - in this old colonial outpost.
In honour therefore of my English heritage, my English visitors, and HRH herself, I give you a smattering of 'royal' recipes from Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery (1870's). Then I will be off taking the English visitors out on a day trip to the rainforest.
Royal Children's Puddings.
Slice a penny loaf, and pour upon it a pint and a half of boiling milk. Let is stand till soft, then beat it lightly with a fork, and add a heaped tablespoonful of moist sugar, a little grated nutmeg or any other flavouring, and four well-beaten eggs. Half fill some snail buttered teacups with the mixture, and bake the puddings in a well-heated oven. If liked, a slice of butter may be added, but its absence will make the puddings more digestible.
Put a pint of new milk into a saucepan over the fire, and as it rises in the pan stir into it half a pint of light wine. Pour it out, and let it stand a few minutes to cool. Skim off the curd, and put it into a basin. Beat it well with two tablespoonfuls of sugar, a little grated lemon rind or other flavoring, three well-whisked eggs, and as much flour as will make a stiff batter. Fry the fritters in the usual way. Drain them well, and serve on a hot dish. Send cut lemons to table with the fritters.
Royal Punch (to be served hot)
Put a quarter of a pound of doubly-refined sugar in large lumps into a bowl, and with it two limes and a thin slice of fresh lemon. With a bruiser rub the sugar and the fruit well together, then mix thoroughly with two glassfuls of calf's foot jelly in a hot state. Take brandy, rum, arrack, and curaçao in equal quantities, and stir them into the preparation. When thoroughly mixed, add a pint of boiling green tea, and serve hot. The quantity of the spirit must be regulated by taste; half a pint of each will generally be found sufficient.
Royal Sauce for Turkeys and Fowls.
Take the breast of a cold roast fowl, free it from skin, and pound it to a paste in a mortar with a slice of bread which has been soaked in milk and squeezed dry. Add as much white stock as will make the paste smooth and of the consistency of custard, and seasoning of pepper and salt, and simmer the sauce over a gentle fire. Let it cool, stir into it the yolks of two eggs which have been beaten up with half a cupful of cream, and stir the sauce again over the fire, but do not allow it to boil after the eggs are added. If liked, this sauce may be flavoured with five or six blanched and pounded almonds.
Quotation for the Day.
There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink, cannot reconcile themselves.
George Santayana (1863-1952