Thursday, September 22, 2011

Forgotten Foods, Part IV.

Today I want to continue the theme of the ‘top ten forgotten foods of Britain’, which I picked up yesterday with the story on Rook Pie. Six more to go after today, folks - but these will have to wait until another day.

To remind you of where we are at, here is the list, with links.

1.‘Eadles’ Bath Chaps
2. Mrs Grieve’s Fish Custard
3. Mrs Langland’s Faggots
4. Grey Squirrel Casserole
5. Rook Pie 
6. Rabbit with Prunes
7. Fife Brooth
8. Roman Pie
9. 16th C Pancakes
10. A Grand Sallet 

I don’t know who Mrs Grieve is, or why her fish custard was deemed the best in 2006, but I have a wonderful recipe for you from the Home Hints column of Berrow's Worcester Journal (Worcester, England), on May 18, 1889. This is surely a dish worthy of being un-forgotten? I can see individual servings in small ramekins for a light first course, or a luncheon dish, or maybe even for breakfast?

Fish Custard.

Three small whitings or haddock or a larger fish filleted, two eggs, one and a half tea-cups milk, pepper and salt, put the fish nicely prepared in a pudding dish; beat up the eggs well; pour the milk among them, add salt and pepper to taste; pour this over the fish, and put it in the oven till the custard gets firm; one dessertspoonful of flour mixed smooth with the milk does pretty well instead of one of the eggs.

Quotation for the Day.

So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.
Franz Kafka


srhcb said...

I'm generally pretty adventurous in culinary matters, and open minded about things that might not appeal to me, personally. But, fish custard? No ... no.

darius said...

Could that be the Mrs. (Maud) Grieve, who wrote the 2-volume "A Modern Herbal??

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Steve. I wonder if it is the word 'custard' that is the problem? The dish itself sounds good, I think?
Darius - that was my first thought, but I couldnt find any mention of fish custard associated with her name. I think she did work in association with other food writers though, so perhaps there is something in another work. I am intrigued so will keep looking

susanalbert said...

Mrs. Grieve was a well-known herbalist of the 1920s/30s--very active in keeping the herbal industry alive in Britain. She published the excellent 2-volume Modern Herbal (1931), still in print but available online

Paul R. Potts said...

It sounds pretty good to me -- the word "custard" has come to mean mostly a sweet dish these days, although there are savory custards and savory tarts and pies. Does it sound more appealing if you imagine a tuna salad or a salmon mousse or quiche?

The Old Foodie said...

Hello susanalbert: I considered the Mrs Grieve of herbal fame to be the author of the recipe, but couldnt find it in her books - maybe I need to go back and have another look? Do you know if it is hers?

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Paul - I think it does sound better! Like a tuna mornay without the pasta? Silly, our prejudices, arent they?