Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Greedy Book.

I wish I had written a book with the title ‘The Greedy Book.’ A man called Frank Schloesser did, however, and I must share some of it with you at this pinnacle of the greedy season.
The full title of our source today, and perhaps tomorrow, is The Greedy Book; a gastronomical anthology, and it was published in London in 1906. Here is a short section on his thoughts on the the make-up of a fine Christmas Dinner:-

“Let me recommend a Christmas dinner fashioned on somewhat the following lines:-

Consommé with Italian paste.
Oyster soup.
Turbot, Hollandaise sauce with capers.
Brill and Tartare sauce.
Turkey stuffed with chestnuts or fresh truffles.
Fillet of beef, horseradish sauce.
Soufflé of fowl.
Westphalian goose breast with winter spinach.
Stewed celery.
Plum pudding, brandy sauce.
Mince pies.
Chartreuse of oranges.
Welsh rabbit.
Devilled biscuit.

This is a special Christmas dinner prepared by the late Sir Henry Thompson, whose views on food and feeding are well known. It is most certainly a very happy combination of the necessities and delicacies of the season, and as such needs no further recommendation. It is perhaps especially applicable to country-house parties, where both sexes are wont to have a pretty appetite.
“Science can analyse a pork chop, and say how much of it is phosphorus and how much is protein, but science cannot analyse any man’s wish for a pork chop, and say how much of it is hunger, how much nervous fancy, how much haunting love of the beautiful. The man’s desire for the pork chop remains literally as mystical and ethereal as his desire for heaven.” Now, who wrote that ingenuous passage? Je vous le donne en trois. Charles Lamb? No. G.A Sala? No. Mr. lecky? Certainly not! It is by that inimitable humorist, G.K. Chesterton. And it is quite true.”

Stewed Celery a la Crème.
Ingredients. - 6 heads of celery; to each ½ gallon of water allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt, 1 blade of pounded mace, 1/3 pint of cream.
Mode.- Wash the celery thoroughly; trim and boil it in salt and water until tender. Put the cream and pounded mace into a stewpan; shake it over the fire until the cream thickens, dish the celery, pour over the sauce, and serve.
Time.- Large heads of celery, 25 minutes; small ones, 15 to 20 minutes.
Average cost. 2d per head. Seasonable- from October to April.
Household Manual, Isabella Beeton. 1861

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