Before I start today, I want to thank those of you who have made comments on the blog recently – and I apologise for not responding immediately. I really, absolutely, appreciate your thoughts and effort. I will, absolutely, definitely get back to you soon. My pathetic excuse (explanation?) is that I have been madly catching up to several deadlines which had lain in waiting (and, I swear, multiplying like rabbits) for me until I returned from holiday, and which have now more or less been brought under control.
This sense of gratitude reminded me that once upon a time things – such as food and beverages – were also described as ‘grateful’. The Oxford English Dictionary gives one of the usages of the word (from mid-sixteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries) as meaning ‘pleasing to the mind or the senses, agreeable, acceptable, welcome’, and I most ardently hope that all of your daily food can be described this way.
I give you, along with my gratitude, two eighteenth century recipes for puddings which the cookery book authors assure us are ‘grateful.’
Take three fair Oranges,cut them and squeeze off the Juice into a clean Pan, boil the Peels in two or three Waters, ‘till the bitterness is off, then pick out the Pulp and Strings, and beat the Peel very fine in your Mortar, with Orange-flower-Water; then mid it up with the strain’d Juice; add to it nine Eggs, leaving out four Whites, half a pound of Butter, and Sugar to your Taste; put a Puff-paste at the bottom of the Dish; and Garnish the edge of the Dish with Paste: Some People only grate in the Peels raw, and leave out the Juice, but I think the above-written way is the most Grateful and Pleasant.
A Collection of Above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick, and Surgery, (1714)
A Grateful Pudding.
TO a pound of flour, add a pound of white bread grated. Take eight eggs, but only half the whites. Beat them up, and mix with them a pint of new milk. Then stir in the bread and flour, a pound of raisins stoned, a pound of currants, half a pound of sugar, and a little beaten ginger. Mix it well together, and either bake or boil it. It will take three quarters of an hour baking. Put cream in, instead of, milk, if you have it, which will be a great addition.
The London Art of Cookery, (1787), John Farley.
“....if a man hates tapioca pudding he is a good fellow and my friend.”
A.A. Milne, 'Lunch' (1934)