Monday, November 04, 2013

Food in Flames.

Tomorrow night in England is “Guy Fawkes Night,” or the night of “Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot” – the anniversary of the (failed) attempt to blow up the British House of Parliament in 1605. It used to be celebrated with great fun by children of all ages who made ‘guys’ or effigies of poor Mr Fawkes – the fall guy for the group of conspirators – to burn on great bonfires, accompanied by fireworks, apples and gingerbread. Political correctness, parental anxiety, and various regulatory bodies have neutered the event, and it is now a pale shadow of its previous excitingly dangerous self. Such is progress.

I have posted stories and recipes inspired by the events of the night on previous ‘Fifths of November’ and wanted to continue on the theme, so I looked back at these old posts so that I didn’t repeat the stories. The previous posts were:

So, in the absence of bonfires and fireworks, how about we set our food (and drink) aflame tomorrow?

Truite à l’Allemande.
Trout, German Fashion.
Prepare a trout with a little farce as the former*; put it into a brazing-pan much of its own bigness, with bits of carrots and one onion stuck with two or three cloves; put two-thirds of white wine, and one of red, sufficient to cover it above an inch over, and place it on a smart fire; when it boils, set fire to the wine, and let it burn until it goes out of itself, or that it is reduced sufficiently to leave only sauce enough; takeout the carrots and onions;  add a good bit of butter, which stir in the sauce as it melts, to mix it well, and serve upon the fish. Observe to add seasoning, if the cullis is not sufficiently relishing.
[*stuff it with chopped parsley, shallots, pepper, salt, and butter, well mixed together]
The professed cook; or, The modern art of cookery, pastry, & confectionary,
made plain and easy (London, 1812) by B. Clermont.

Orange Salad.
Cut one dozen fine ripe oranges into slices without peeling. Sprinkle over them one teaspoonful of pounded cinnamon, and a quarter of a pound of lump sugar. Pour over the whole one pint of Cognac brandy. Set fire to the spirit, and stir as long as it will burn. When the flame expires, help the salad round while hot. Let the slices fall as you cut them, either into a silver punch-bowl or a porcelain one that will stand fire.
Mrs. Chadwick’s Home Cookery: A Collection of Tried Receipts, Both
Foreign and Domestic (Boston, 1853)

Take a very sound lemon, rub the rind on a piece of fine sugar about half a pound, upon this sugar pour half a pint of strong green tea boiling hot, a little syrup of capillaire, the juice of two lemons strained; to these add a quart of brandy. Set the whole on fire, agitate the flame with the punch ladle, and when the liquor is reduced one third extinguish it, and pour the hot punch into glasses. By the introduction of other articles such as arrack, champagne, &c., to the above, it is called arrack punch, champagne punch, &c.

And my personal favourite – Apples Vesuvius!

Pommes Vesuve
Pile some apple marmalade high in a dish. Get ready some macaroni boiled in water, but well drained, and afterwards sweetened with white sugar and flavoured with brandy; cut it into short lengths, but do not mince it; lay it as a bordering round the mountain of marmalade; plentifully dust the whole over with powdered white sugar, and on the apex form a crater with about half a dozen good-sized lumps of sugar; pour a good gill of brandy over the top, and immediately before serving set fire to it, and introduce it at table flaming.
The English Cookery Book: Uniting a Good Style with Economy
(1857) by John Henry Walsh.
[Apple ‘marmalade’ is a thick apple conserve.]


Anonymous said...

Any idea what "syrup of cappilaire" is?

The Old Foodie said...

Hello ladycelia: I did a post on capillaire sometime back - you can read it here

Shay said...

I am reminded of a dinner party I went to at the home of a fellow Marine who was, honestly, not a very good cook. She managed to set fire to the wall of her porch while preparing barbecued chicken, causing another guest to dub the dish "Chicken Vesuvius."

The Old Foodie said...

Ha! Ha! Shay! i think there is a book in there somewhere: house fires caused by cooking!