Friday, November 29, 2013

For Dispirited Dyspeptics and Toil-worn Students.

In the aftermath of the inevitable food excesses of Thanksgiving, I thought it might be interesting to look at the work of an evangelical vegetarian of the mid-nineteenth century. Our inspiration for the day is A Treatise on a Vegetable Diet, With Practical Results; Or, A Leaf From Nature's Own Book, Illustrated by Facts And Experiments of Many Years' Practice (1848) by Asenath Nicholson. I give you an extract from the Preface:

The following pages are written with a sincere desire that they may be read, and be read with that attention that the subject (not the style) demands. They are written with a view to direct some dispirited dyspeptic to nature's fount, where he can be healed; some toil-worn student, grown pale by the midnight lamp, how he can find rest to his body and wings to his mind; some tattered and torn inebriate, how he can rise out of the mire, put on a new coat, and slake his thirst for ever from the love of the burning lava that has scathed his vitals and frenzied his brain. They are written to admonish some tea-sipping maiden of the wrinkles and hollow eye she is prematurely inviting; some snuff-taking, tobacco-eating devotee of the sallow skin, the nasal voice, the besmeared teeth, and offensive breath, which are the undeviating companions of the filthy weed; and some care-worn mother how she may keep out the druggist's shop from her closet, and prevent night watchings over her too highly fed children, and eat her bread with a cheerful heart with the happy ones she loves, knowing that while she follows nature she follows God, and while she follows God she is safe. Will you read it?
This work makes no pretences to science. It gives no details of Anatomy, Surgery, or Medicine. Neither is it a hap hazard budget of odds and ends, flung together to be hung up in a dark closet for the hurried housekeeper in some exigency to find a string or bit of edging to eke out an inefficient cuff or collar. It is a work of fourteen years' practice, carrying out principles, and making the experiments here introduced. It is a work not to be proven, but a work that has been proven. Eleven years of the fourteen were spent in researches after truth, by practically testing the efficacy of a vegetable and fruit diet on about six thousand persons from every civilized country on earth.
The nature and effects of flesh eating have the Bible; the natural laws; the test of all vegetable eaters of every clime; the testimony of some able physicians, and a host of disciples converted from flesh eating by the lectures of Sylvester Graham, and residents in the house before named. The remarks on tea and coffee have been proven by actual experiment on living bodies. Those on spices, butter, and fat from ocular demonstration by Dr. Beaumont of New York, who had a person with him, whose stomach had been perforated by a ball, the ball extracted, and the wound never healed, giving an opportunity for the Dr., with the help of a glass tube, to see the process of digestion, which he carefully watched for years, on all kinds of food and drink, in almost every clime. ….
… The recipes, simple and unobtrusive as they may be, are the result of much persevering labour to bring them to their present perfection, without the aid of a deleterious substance, either butter, eggs, or deadening spices.

So, if Thanksgiving has left you a dispirited dyspeptic, this book may help heal you – although the missionary zeal with which the author promotes his cause may give you a slightly different form of indigestion in the process. I will save exposing you to the author’s hell-fire and damnation, and proceed directly to the recipes I have chosen from the book.  Some of you may be relieved to note that the simple, unobtrusive recipes are almost entirely free of “deadening spices.”

Gingerbread Without Ginger.—One pound of flour, one quarter of a pound of sugar, three quarters of treacle, two teacups of good cream, a little soda, made into a stiff paste, and boiled on tins, rolled thin.

Carrot Pudding.—Carrots should be well washed and scraped, then grated into cold milk, a little hard biscuit or flour stirred in, sweetened and well baked. They are a healthy, light food, having something the properties of eggs, in being light; a little cinnamon may be added.

Plum Cake.—Three tea-cupfuls of flour to one of oatmeal grits, one tea-cupful of cream to three of sour milk curdled, one half pound of raisins, one tea-cup of sugar, and two teaspoonfuls of soda, stirred with a spoon, and made into a thick loaf.

Pies.—Pies and pastries may be made to have a very bad effect on the stomach and blood, and they may be made to have at least no injurious effects.

Apple Pies.—Take wheaten meal and sift out the coarsest of the bran, grate a few boiled potatoes and rub them In as you would butter into the flour, then put soda into thick sour milk, adding more than half good cream, and wet it without much kneading quite dry, roll it in fine flour, and put it on a flat plate, then your green apples, if quite sour and tender, may be sliced very thin and laid over, adding sugar and one-half treacle if the treacle be pleasant, and sprinkle over this a little flour to thicken the juice, and a little cinnamon, but if no treacle be used, water must be poured in to make the pie juicy and more sugar used, this should be covered with a thin paste and a hole cut through the top. If the apples be tough they should be stewed a little before putting into the pie.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving in the State of Connecticut, 1817.

I have no idea how many turkeys will be eaten at Thanksgiving this year, nor of the number of pumpkin pies,  nor indeed of the quantities of any other of the standard dishes for the day. I can tell you, however, how many were consumed at Thanksgiving  in Connecticut in 1817 – assuming, that is, that the information in Niles' Weekly Register (Vol. XVI) of 1819 is accurate.

From the New-York Commercial Advertiser. Messrs. Lewis and Hall, - to shew the immense quantity of provisions &c. consumed in Connecticut at thanksgiving, I send you a calculation, made as accurate as possible, calculating the number of families in the state, which I think is not far from being correct.

Bill of fare for thanksgiving dinner in Connecticut, Nov. 1817.

Geese              50,000             DESSERT
Turkeys           5.550               Pumpkin pies               520,000
Chickens         65,000             Apple pies                   100,000
Ducks              2,000               Other pies and
Beef & Pork    25,000 lbs        puddings                     52,000
Potatoes          12,000 bush.    Wine                            gall. 150
Turnips            14,000             Brandy                         150
Beets               4,000               Gin                              120
Onions             5,000               Rum                            1,000
Cheese             10,000 lbs.       Cider, Brandy and     
Apple sauce     12,000 gall.                 Whiskey          600
Cranberry do.  1,000

Which would take 650 hhds. strained pumpkin; 81 do. of molasses; 4060 lbs. ginger; 7000 lbs. allspice; 86,665 hhds. of milk of 100 galls. Each; 1000 nutmegs; 50 lbs. cinnamon; 43,333 dozen eggs – all which would weigh about 504 tons, and would cost about 114,000 dollars.

As the recipe for the day I give you a simple apple sauce from an American cookery book of the same era as the above story.

Apple Sauce, for Goose or roast Pork.
Pare, core, and slice, some apples; and put them in a stone jar, into a saucepan of water, or on a hot hearth. If on a hearth, let a spoonful or two of water be put in, to hinder them from burning. When they are done, bruise them to a mush, and put to them a piece of butter the size of a nutmeg, and a little brown sugar. Serve it in a sauce-tureen,
American Domestic Cookery: Formed on Principles of Economy,

for the Use of Private Families (1823) by Maria Rundell.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Vermont Reform School Thanksgiving Dinner of 1867.

Yesterday I gave you details of a grand Thanksgiving dinner menu from 1863. Today we stay in the same decade, but find out about how an entirely different class of society celebrated the occasion.

The Vermont Reform School (later the Vermont Industrial School) was set up in 1866 to aid in the reformation of juvenile offenders. An extract from the journal of the Superintendent describes the events of the day:

November 28,1867—Thanksgiving.—Until twelve o'clock, work and school as usual. At twelve the work was arrested. The boys had till one o'clock to play ball in the yard. At one they were taken to the washroom, to prepare for dinner. For dinner we had: First course, chicken pie — side dishes, turnip and potatoes; second course, mince pie; dessert, raisins and apples. The table was common—the officers, their families, and the boys all eating together. Forty-one boys, members of the school, three former pupils returned as guests, forty-four boys in all; officers and their families, eleven; total at the table, fifty-five. The officers were seated at convenient distances among the boys, to serve the various dishes, and to see that every boy was well helped. Entire freedom of conversation was allowed, only the observance of good manners required. No larger or happier Thanksgiving board, I venture to say, was spread in the State on that day. The behavior of the boys was excellent, and every one seemed to enjoy himself. Time spent at the table, just one hour. Besides the eating, we had of “the feast of reason and flow of soul,” as much as we could muster. The boys were too bashful and unaccustomed to public dinners to furnish much in that way, and the officers more used to hearing speeches than making them. At two and one-half, the boys went into the yard to crack butternuts for half an hour. At three they went outside to play ball, and so continued till four and one-half; then to the school-room. On account of the late and sumptuous dinner, no supper. At six and one-half, prayers; at seven, to bed. Thus ended the happiest day yet enjoyed in the institution.

As the recipe for the day, I give you the instructions for Chicken Pie from an American cookery book of the same era as the menu above.
Chicken Pie.
Cut off the legs and vent, cut a slit and take out the entrails; cut off the hips, and cut it in two at the legjoint, cut off the wings with as much flesh attached as possible ; split the body up the sides, cut the back in two and flatten the bone; cut the small bone from the upper part of the breast, with some of the meat, rinse in cold water, and unless the chickens are very young, put them in a stew-pan with water to cover them ; add a large teaspoonful of salt, or half a pound of corned pork, cut in thin slices ; add a saltspoonful of pepper; cover the stew-pan and let them boil slowly, until tender; skim it clear.
Make a paste crust, or as directed for pot-pie; rub butter over the sides of a pudding-pan or tin basin, and line it with the paste, rolled to quarter of an inch thickness ; put in the pieces of chicken, and pork, if it is used; put in butter the size of a small egg ; cut it small. If pork is not used, take twice as much butter; dredge flour over until it is white; then put in water from the stew-pan ; if there is not enough to fill nearly to the top of the pie, add more water; roll out a paste or puff paste crust; cut a slit in the centre; make three or four small incisions on either side of it; lay skewers across the pie ; lay the crust over ; trim off the edges and bake for three quarters of an hour in a moderately hot oven ; ten or fifteen minutes before it is done, brush the top of the pie with the yolk of egg beaten with a little milk, and finish baking. Serve mashed potatoes and pickles, with meat or chicken pies.
The edge of the pie may be ornamented with leaves cut with a tin cutter, from sheets of paste; put them on twenty minutes before it is done baking. One full grown chicken will make two, two quart basin pies.
The American System of Cookery: Comprising Every Variety of Information for Ordinary and Holiday Occasions, Mrs. T.J. Crowen (1864)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Americans in England, Thanksgiving Dinner 1863.

The date of Thanksgiving was determined in a proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The proclamation read, in part:

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise … Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

A matter of weeks later, at three o’clock in the afternoon of November 26, a group Americans in London, England held a Thanksgiving Dinner “in accordance with the above Proclamation”, at St. James's Hall, Regent Street. The menu to which these patriotic expatriates sat down included roast turkey and pumpkin pie – along with so many other dishes that it surely makes even the most exhausting modern dinner seem like a pale imitation of the real thing.


A la Condè.     Brunvillier.      Bisque aux Écrevisses.

Turbot, Sauce Hollandaise.
Cabillaud, Sauce aux Huîtres.
Turbans de Filets de Merlans au Gratia.
Eperlans frits.

Petites Bouchées garni de Coq de Bruyère.
Fricassée de Poulet à la Washington.
Côtelettes de Lièvre aux Truffes.
Ris de Veau piqué à l'Oseille. .
Pâté chaud de Poulardes aux Champignons.
Quenelles de Gibier à la Lincoln.

Dindons rôtis farci aux Truffes.
Poulardes braisé à la Prairie.
Oisons rôtis, Sauce aux Pommes.
Selle Mouton.              Quartier de Beeuf.


Faisans.           Perdreaux.       Canards sauvages.

Gelée à la Macedoine.             Crême d'Amérique.
Gelée à la Victoria.                 Suedoise d'Orange.
Crême de Maizena à la Glen Cove.
Abricôt a la Régence.              Meringues Suisses à la Chantilly.
Gateaux à la Napolitaine.        Patisserie assortie.
Pumpkin Pie à l'Americaine.               Mince Pie à l'Anglaise.
Pouding à la Diplomatique.                Pouding glace à la St. James.

I have chosen one of the simplest dishes on this menu to inspire the recipe for the day:

Smelts. Eperlans.
Smelt is a small fish much esteemed; but only a short time in season during the spring; has a beautiful green, silvery, shining colour; and a strong odour of violets, or cucumbers.
To fry Smelts. Eperlans frits.
Scale, gut, and wipe a sufficient quantity; if very small, pass a skewer through the eyes; dip them iu milk, and flour them; fry, and serve upon a napkin.

The Art of French Cookery (1827) by Antoine Beauvilliers.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thanksgiving Retrospective.

In the event that at this late date you are looking for historical inspiration for your Thanksgiving Dinner, I give you the links to previous relevant posts over the years:

Thanksgiving menus (over a dozen historic menus over four posts)

Thanksgiving pies:

Other Dishes:
Sweet Potato
Vegetarian ‘Mock Turkey’
Thanksgiving breakfast
Cranberry Sauce
Turkey Dressing
Thanksgiving Ideas for the Bride Housewife

Things to do with Rosellas.

No, there will not be any instructions for cooking parrots in this post. The rosella that I am talking about is Hibiscus sabdariffa, and it is – or was – a popular ingredient for jams and jellies in Queensland. I understand that the rosella (or roselle) probably originated in West Africa, and grows throughout the tropical regions of the Old World. The shoots, stems, and leaves are edible, but it is the calyx of the plant that is of most culinary interest.  It is from this part of the plant that the deliciously tart jelly and jam are made – and this is a labour of love indeed. The Queenslander of April 30, 1931 sums up the plant and the fiddly process of preserving, and also includes a couple of other alternative rosella dishes.

It seems a pity that the rosella appears to be so little known. It is one of the most useful products we have for the home preserver. Many years ago it was much more popular than it is at present, and in almost every farm and garden a bed of rosellas was to be found. The rosella makes excellent jam and jelly, while it forms a delicious relish to be eaten with cold meat. Rosella pie, when properly made, is a dish to be remembered with pleasure. In many households there is a prejudice against rosella preserves on account of the sharp flavour, but that can be overcome by the addition of a very small quantity of baking soda when cooking; care should be used however in making this addition or the product will be rendered tasteless. For most tastes a considerable proportion of sugar should be added to the jam. Those who prefer their preserves a little on the tart side are satisfied with the standard quantity of 1 lb. of sugar to each pound of fruit; while if it is to be used as a relish for meat, the proportion of ¾ lb of sugar is sufficient.

Although the rosella is spoken of a s a “fruit,” the part which is used for jam is more correctly described as a bract, serving the same purpose in growth oas the small ring of “leaves” which enclose the strawberry; only in the case of the rosella the bract is large and fleshy. The real fruit is the oval body enclosed within the bract, and which contains numerous seeds. This fruit plays an important part in the process of preserving, as it contains most of the jelly material, without which it is not easy to produce jam of a firm consistency. But the seeds cannot be included in the jam, so the capsules are boiled separately and the juice added to the bracts or “leaves.” When jelly is made the bracts and seed capsules are boiled together, as they are strained off,  and  only the juice is used.

In preparing rosellas for cooking, the common practice is to cut off the stalk with a ring of the fleshy bract and then push out the seed capsule with the blunt end of a lead pencil or other similar instrument ….A convenient little instrument for removing the capsules was devised many years ago … It materially lightens the task of preparation of the rosellas, which leaves the fingers in a rather uncomfortable condition for a few hours after cutting off the stems if many are done.

Rosella Jam.
Push the seeds out of the husks with a pencil. Cut the seeds in halves, put onto boil, just covered with water, for half an hour, stirring occasionally. Strain, and add  juice to husks. Boil until quite tender, then measure, and add either cupful for cupful or weight for weight of sugar, and boil again for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
[Jam and jelly are often used as a condiment with cold meats.]

Rosella Pickle.
Cut the rosellas, wash, but do not allow them to stand in the water. Place on a sieve to drain for a few minutes, and then put in a cool oven to dry for about eight or ten minutes. When ready, put into bottles, and pour the hot pickle over them. Fit for use in a week.
The pickle. – To each pint of vinegar, 6 cloves, 10 peppercorns, a piece of mace, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Boil all together for ten minutes.

Rosella Pie.

Remove the seeds, stew the husks in a little water with cup for cup of sugar added, until quite tender. If too watery, add a little sago to thicken. Put in a piedish, cover with piecrust, and bake in the oven. When cooked, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with custard.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Cook with Paw-Paw.

Yesterday I talked briefly about the custard apple, and I want to continue the theme of tropical fruits of the New World today by considering Carica papaya. The plant is native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. There are two varieties of the fruit, but no consistency in the use of the common names of paw-paw and papaya. In Queensland, paw-paw is generally used for the yellow type, and papaya for the red-fleshed version as well as the unripe green fruit.

As with the custard apple, the ripe pawpaw is most commonly prepared very simply by peeling and eating raw. Unlike the custard apple however, the unripe green pawpaw is also eaten – either raw in salads, or cooked as a vegetable. The pawpaw also lends itself very well to the preparation of jam, pickle and chutney.

Pawpaw chutney.
Cut the pawpaw into strips, cover with weak lime-water and after 12 hours drain well, and place in a saucepan; barely cover with cold water. Boil gently for 20 minutes, and drain again. To 4 bs. of pawpaw allow 3 small chillies, ¼ b. sugar, a dessertspoon of tumeric, 1 oz. crushed ginger, a teaspoon mustard, and 1 tablespoon cornflour. Boil all these together in a quart of vinegar, and when boiling stir in the pawpaw and boil for 20 minutes. When cool, put into bottles and
cover till airtight.
Pawpaw jam.
Line a nicely-coloured, firm pawpaw and cut it into very tiny diced pieces, and allow one level cup of sugar to every heaped cup of pawpaw, and to every 7 cups of fruit 1 cup of fresh lemon juice, and another cup of sugar. Boil briskly for 15 or 20 minutes or until pawpaw is soft.
This jam is delicious, but does not keep too long, so should be put in small pots, and not too much made at once.
The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld.)  2 March 1933

Pawpaw 'Tart.
Ingredients: l cups self-raising flour, 1 tablespoon butter, I teaspoon sugar, pinch of salt, pawpaw, orange juice, passion fruit.
Method: Sift flour into a basin, rub in the butter, add sugar and salt. Mix with unboiled milk, roll out, and spread over a plate. Fill with thin slices of pawnpaw, well-sprinkled with sugar, a little orange juice and passionfruit on top. Cover with pastry and bake in a moderate oven
Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld.) 20 November, 1933

And some slightly more unusual ideas from Australian newspapers of a time when nothing was wasted, and a pawpaw tree could be found in many backyards:

Baked Pawpaw and Tomato Sauce
One half-ripe pawpaw,
Half a cup grated cheese,
A lump of butter the size of a walnut.
Salt, pepper, cayenne,
Half a cup of tomato sauce.
Two ounces macaroni, boiled and drained,
Half a cup of breadcrumbs.
Method: Peel the pawpaw and remove the seeds, then cut it into lengths about three-quarters of an inch thick. Grease a piedish and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs, put in a layer of pawpaw, then a layer of macaroni. Continue with these layers, adding a little of the cheese each time until the dish is nearly full. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne as the layers proceed. Add about half the cheese to the tomato sauce and stir over the fire until the sauce is smooth. Then pour over the pawpaw mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and put small pieces of butter on the top. Bake in a moderate oven about half an hour, or until the pawpaw is cooked. Serve hot.
The Mail (Adelaide, SA) 24 May 1947

Baked Pawpaw.
The pawpaw can be used as a vegetable as well as a fruit. Get a pawpaw that is just, turning ripe, cut it into quarters, then cut each quarter again, but do not peel it; put it into a baking tin, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, put some good dripping or butter in the pan, bake in a very hot oven for twenty minutes.
Boiled Pawpaw.
Get some green pawpaws, put them into an enamelled saucepan of boiling water, with out either peeling or cutting them at all. Put about a tablespoonful of salt in the water and boil for half-an-hour or until tender. Place them in a dish, cut them in half, and put a large piece of butter in each piece, sprinkle with pepper and salt, and serve very hot.
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld) 17 March 1900

Stuffed Pawpaw.
Peel a ripe pawpaw, cut a small square hole in the side, remove all seeds and fill with a well-seasoned mince or breadcrumbs and onions. Replace square plug in hole and place in a meat dish, with a little butter, spread over It. Cook in a good oven until tender, basting occasionally. Serve with sauce made of thickened marmite or a rich butter sauce.

The Charleville Times (Qld.) 6 November 1931

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cooking with Custard Apples in the 1930’s.

The custard apple (Annona reticulate) is an interesting tropical fruit. It belongs to the family Annonaceae, which includes several other desirable fruits such as the Cherimoya, (A. cherimoya,) and the Sour Sop (A. muricata.) The custard apple is native to South America, but it took readily to the climate in my home state of Queensland, Australia, and specimens were recorded in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in 1874. The state of Queensland is, I understand, the largest commercial producer of the custard apple in the world – although we export most of it to Asia.

The fruit has a very sweet, soft, creamy, custardy-textured flesh studded with large black seeds, and it must be very ripe for eating. The flesh is usually simply spooned out from the knobbly green skin, although it can be used as an ingredient in various dishes – even cooked dishes.

Jellied Custard Apple
Two cups water, ¼ cup sugar, 3 teaspoons granulated gelatine, juice of lemon, 3 medium-sized custard apples. Boil water and sugar for 3 minutes, then add gelatine dissolved in little boiling
water. When nearly cold, add lemon juice and custard apples, which should be seeded and broken into good-sized pieces. Serve with cream, or cream sauce made ae follows: ¼ cup butter, 2 cups icing sugar, ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, or sherry. Cream butter, add sugar gradually, then add milk and flavoring slowly, taking care that it does not curdle. Serve in glass bowl with little nutmeg grated on top.
The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld) Thursday 9 June 1938

Custard Apple Pudding.
Make a batter of 2 eggs, half a cup of milk, one cup of sugar, 1 tablspoonful of butter, and 1 ½ cups of self-raising flour. Fill a basin half full of custard apples (scoop out the fleshy part and take out the seeds), sprinkle half a cup of sugar over it, squeeze a lemon over this, then spread the batter over, and steam for one hour. Serve with cream or custard.
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.) 11 Sept 1930

Custard Apple Tart.
Line a tin platewith a good sweet pastry, fill with custard apple mixture, and bake for 20 minutes; place meringue on top and brown.
Custard apple mixture: Carefully remove seeds and skin from the custard apple. Place in a saucepan with ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon blended cornflour, and bring to the boil; dd juice of half a lemon, 2 egg yolks, and quickly place in tart. If necessary add 1 dessertspoon of sugar.
Meringue: Beat whites of eggs stiffly, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat again; place on cooked tart.

The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld.)  29 September 1938

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Australian Drinking Terms, 1859.

I came across a lovely little article in The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA) of March 31, 1859 recently, and wanted to share it with you.

Merchants keep the bottle in their offices, and the first question put to you, even by respectable men, is, "What are you going to drink?"  In fact, not to drink is considered a crime. Aut bibat, aut abeat - which means, in Australia, if you will not "stand" you may walk. Here, too, as in America, the bottle has its literature. To pay for liquor for another is to "stand" or to "shout," or to sacrifice." The measure is called a ''nobbler," or a “breakdown," and the following are a few of the names of the favorite beverages :-A stonefence, ginger-beer and brandy; a spider, lemonade and brandy; a sensation, half-a-glass of sherry ; a constitutional, glass of gin and bitters ; a cocktail, brandy, bitters, and sugar ; a smash, ice, brandy, and water ; a julip, brandy, sugar, and peppermint ; a maiden, peppermint or cloves ; a Catherine Hayes, claret, sugar, and orange ; a Madame Bishop, port, sugar, and nutmeg ; a Lola Montez,  old tom, ginger, lemon, and hot water; a land of hope, lemon syrup. At some of the taverns they serve bread and-cheese, salads, and sandwiches for luncheon. The vernacular for these stands thus - Bread-and-cheese, roll and rind; salad, Nebuchadnezzar.
Southern Lights and Shadows; or, Life in. Australia. By Fran Fowler.

Now, this article brings up a number of questions.  For example - who was Catherine Hayes? Most sources say she was the Irish-born opera singer who caused a sensation when she arrived in Sydney in 1854. In spite of the time-lag however, I wonder if she was the Catharine Hayes who was executed for the particularly nasty murder and dismemberment of her husband in about 1726? He was made drunk on claret before the deed was committed, and surely the claret could represent the bloody mess made by his murderers in their attempts to dispose of his body.
For the Nebuchadnezzar connection we must go to the biblical Book of Daniel, which tells us that the legendary King of Babylon was severely punished by God for his pride – his punishment lasting seven years, during which time (amongst many other things) he was “driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen.”

In place of the recipe for the day, I give you some general advice on making a salad from The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.)  of July 7, 1877:-

SALAD. A salad well prepared is a changing compound, and, when taken with plenty of oil, very wholesome, attractive, and agreeable; "badly prepared it is an abomination. A Spanish proverb says that, four persons are needed to make a good salad—a spendthrift to throw in the oil, a miser to drop in the vinegar, a lawyer to administer the seasoning, and a madman to stir the whole together. Lettuce is generally supposed to form the foundation of a salad, but there are few fresh vegetables that may not be used; and on the continent every known vegetable is, when plainly dressed, used cold for salads ; and cold meat, fish, and game are served in the same way. Amongst the vegetables appropriate for salads may be named asparagus, artichokes, beetroot boiled, basil, celery, chives, cucumbers, chervil, cauliflowers, dandelion-leaves, endive, French beans, garlic, lettuces of all kinds, lentils, mustard and cress, mint, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, shallots, sorrel, tarragon, tomatoes, Windsor beans, and watercress. Though a variety in salads is easily secured, great care is necessary in the preparation of the dish, and three or four rules must be closely observed if the salad is to be a success. First, the vegetables must be young, freshly cut, in season, and in good condition. If possible, they should be gathered early in the morning, or late in the evening, and should be kept in a cool damp place. Secondly, the vegetables should not be allowed to lie long in water. If withered, they may be put in for a short time to render them a little crisp, but if fresh, they should be simply rinsed through the water and dried immediately. Thirdly - and this point requires most careful attention - the vegetables must be rendered perfectly dry after washing. The best way of doing this is to drain the salad, and shake it first in a colander, or salad-basket, and afterwards in a clean napkin held by the corners, and shaken lightly till the salad is dry. Fourthly, cut the salad with a silver knife, or tear it in shreds; do not prepare it until a short time before it is wanted, and on no account mix the salad-dressing with it until the last moment. It is a very usual and excellent plan to pour the liquid into the bottom of the bowl, lay the shred vegetables upon it, and mix the salad at table. A wooden fork and spoon are the best for this purpose. Salads may be garnished in various ways, and afford ample opportunity for the display of artistic taste. Boiled beetroot cut into slices, stamped into fancy shapes, or cut into trellis-work, sliced cucumbers, olives, hard boiled eggs cut into quarters or rings, radishes, nasturtium leaves, and flowers, etc, may all be used. When these are arranged tastefully the salad presents a very attractive appearance.—
Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery.

And here is a recipe for salad dressing taken from another Australian newspaper of the era:

Salad Dressing to Keep.
Mix the yolks of two unboiled eggs in a basin with a teaspoonful of salt; whisk ; then add by small quantities, one pint of the finest Florence oil (salad); mix thoroughly, and add one tablespoonful of made mustard, three tablespoonfuls of vinegar, one of tarragon vinegar, a dessertspoonful of elder vinegar; add to the whole a small spoonful of pounded sugar, a little cayenne, and a small quantity of salt. Bottle for use.
Australian Town and Country Journal, 6 October 1877.

I am not at all sure how I started off with a story about nineteenth century Australian drinking slang, and ended up with salad recipes, but there it is.