I owe you an apology, dear readers. I have given you the same menu in two posts. Friday’s story on the daily meals aboard RMS Tantallon Castle had already featured in a post entitled The DailyDilemma.
If a menu or story idea seems to have been languishing in my “potential” file for some time, I usually search my single-document archive to make sure I have not already used it, (and then forgotten to delete it from that file.) I have winged it on a few occasions, as searching over two thousand posts containing over a million words is tedious – and if the key words are common, is not helpful anyway – but until this episode, I am pretty sure I have not given the same menu twice. I guess some might say I owe you another post, to compensate. In my own defense I say that at least the recipes were different.
I did note in both stories that Barcelona Nuts were somewhat of a mystery to me. It turns out that they are a variety of filbert, which is a type of hazelnut. I don’t doubt that you could use any variety of filbert in the recipes I have found for you today, but there is something special about using the real thing, surely?
It also turns out that The Cook's Dictionary and House-keeper's Directory: A New Family Manual of Cookery and Confectionery, on a Plan of Ready Reference, Never Hitherto Attempted (1830) by Richard Dolby is a real treasure-trove of ideas for Barcelona Nuts.
Take some Barcelona filbert nuts, and put them in a mortar to break their shells; pick all the shells from them clean, pound them in a mortar very fine, and mix whites of eggs with them; take care they do not oil; mix three pounds of powdered sugar, with the nuts and whites of eggs, to a proper thickness; let your oven be of a moderate heat, then with the spaddle and knife, drop small pieces, about half as big as a nutmeg; put two or three sheets of paper under them, let them bake of a fine brown, and all alike; and let them be cold before you take them off the paper.
Filbert Burnt, Ice Cream.
Roast some Barcelona nuts well in the oven, and pound them a little with some cream; put four eggs into a stewpan, with one pint of cream and two gills of syrup; boil it till it becomes thick, pass it through a sieve, and freeze it; then mix the filberts with it before you put it into your moulds.
Filbert Pralines (burnt) Red.
Take some Barcelona filbert nuts, and crack them, put the kernels into a copper pan or sheet, and put them in the oven to roast, have a pan with syrup boiling, and let it boil till it comes almost to caramel; put a little cochineal into a cup; when the sugar is boiled, add to it the cochineal and the filberts, and stir them with a large wooden spoon, till you find the sugar has got hard round them; put them in a sieve, and separate those which stick together; have another pan with syrup in, and boil it as before and as high; put the same quantity of cochineal in, and mix them as before, as doing them a second time they will become a much finer colour: then put them into a box.
Filberts (burnt) White.
Take some Barcelona filbert nuts, and crack them; put the kernels in a copper pan or sheet, and put them in the oven to roast; then have a pan with syrup boiling and let it boil till it comes almost to caramel; put your filberts in, stir them till they are all covered with sugar, pick them in a sieve, break those which stick together, and then have another pan with syrup boiled the same as the first, and give the filberts a second coat of sugar.
The other slight mystery was the Canton Pudding. Most of the recipes I have found are for a ginger-flavoured pudding, which makes sense. Here is one version:
Ingredients: 3oz. each of flour, sugar, margarine, and preserved ginger, ½ pint of milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoonsful of ginger syrup.
Method: Put the milk and margarine into a pan, bring to the boil. Blend the flour with a little cold milk; pour on the boiling milk, stirring all the time; return the pan to the fire and stir until the mixture boils; simmer for five minutes, then cool slightly; add the yolks of the eggs one by one, stirring each in well, then add the ginger cut up small, and mix thoroughly. Whip the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth and stir in gently. Put into a greased mould or souffle dish and steam for an hour, or until firm when pressed. Turn out on to a hot dish and pour the syrup round.
The Daily News (Perth, WA), August 22, 1925
And a different version from the same newspaper, some years later:
Take 1 ½ cups S.R. flour, 2 tablespoonsful each of sugar, butter and treacle, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda, a pinch of salt, and mixed spice. Rub butter in dry ingredients, make a well in the middle, put in the treacle, and mix well with a little milk,. about ½ cupful. Steam in a buttered mould for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Serve with custard.
The Daily News (Perth, WA), August 26, 1936
I do hope I have redeemed myself somewhat with the extra recipes!