I admit it. I am a bit of a sucker for dishes with amusing names. I am pretty convinced that a dish by a fun name does not taste the same, but better. I am, therefore, a bit prone to skimming the indexes of old cookery books that I find online, and hoping that something interesting will jump out at me.
Recently I had reason to skim the index to the very comprehensive work The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts and Household Hints by Sarah Annie Frost, published in Philadelphia in 1870. I have chosen three treats from it for you today.
Below several recipes for ordinary, everyday, uninspiring rissoles was this:
Rissables are made with veal and ham, chopped very fine, or pounded lightly; add a few bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a little parsley and lemon-peel; mix all together with the yelks of eggs, well beaten; either roll them into shape like a flat sausage, or into the shape of pears, sticking a bit of horseradish in the ends to resemble the stalks. Egg each over, and grate bread crumbs. Fry them brown, and serve on crisp-fried parsley.
And further along was this variation on theme of cheese biscuits:
Quarter pound of stale bread, quarter pound of cheese, two ounces of butter, two eggs, a teaspoonful of mustard flour, half a teaspoonful of pepper, a few grains of Cayenne. Rub the bread into fine crumbs, grate the cheese, melt the butter, and mix with the rest of the ingredients, and the eggs, which should be previously beaten. Let the mixture stand for about an hour, and then knead it into a paste, roll it out very thin, cut into small pieces, and bake in a quick oven. Time, about fifteen or sixteen minutes.
And a marmalade pudding – a sort of hot trifle - with a most intriguing name. I suppose it is meant to be eaten while walking around and thinking philosophical thoughts..
Six sponge cakes, six eggs, a quarter of a pound of sifted sugar, half a pound of fresh butte, half a pound of marmalade, two glasses of sweet wine. Well mix these ingredients, paper the tin, and bake it about half an hour.
Godey's Magazine published from 1830 to 1878 under the original owner. It attempted to be totally apolitical, and possibly not to philosophical either. I wonder what time frame these recipes were from? Her recipe for Swiss dressing is one I found quite interesting.
The year before this book was published, she wrote Frost's Laws and By-Laws of American Society, which I think I'll add to my reading list. The table of contents lists:
Letters of Introduction,
Salutes and Salutations,
Morning and Evening Parties,
Riding and Driving,
Etiquette in Church,
Etiquette for Places of Amusement,
Etiquette at Weddings,
Baptisms and Funerals,
Etiquette with Children and at the Card Table,
The Lady's Toilet,
The Gentleman's Toilet.
I could probably learn a lot.
I wonder if 'rissables' is a very poor attempt to spell 'rissoles' since that is what they sound like. I like the name Cheesikins, though I immediately thought of serving them in ramekins.
Hi Kate. That was my initial thought too, but there are several other recipes in the book for 'rissoles.'
And thannkyou, Peter, for your (as usual) very informative post! I didnt know about her etiquette book. I am always confused about the correct salutes and salutations for each occasion, so I must obtain a copy :)
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