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 Dish of the Day - II

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 20 Oct 2017, 20:21

I wonder when the idea that the dish was named after the battle, or indeed it was renamed in honour of the battle, first occurred. The Greek port known in English as Navarino, is, in French, written Navarin … so exactly like the dish.

I did find one cooking website (in French) which specifically says (my translation):

" .... To celebrate the victory on the next day, Admiral de Rigny, the fleet commander, ordered the meal to be improved over the ordinary fare. The chief cook had the idea to replace the rice ration with a variety of vegetables in different colours, thus inventing a new recipe which took the name of the Greek port, Navarin."

… but there’s no citation for this bold statement and as you say the general consensus seems to favour the navet/turnip origin.

The French culinary bible, the 'Larouse Gastronomique', states that a navarin is a ragout (stew) of mutton, and explains it is made with small onions and potatoes - it doesn't mention turnips up front - only when it says "or with different vegetables … that can include carrots, turnips, small onions, new potatoes and green peas .... in which case it should be described as à la printanière", (in the fashion of spring). Thus it need not be made only in springtime (just as well if it's to commemorate a battle in October), but does need to be made with fresh, young, small vegetables, which is also just as well because you’d be lucky to get fresh turnips much before the end of May, even in southern France. Larousse says a navarin should strictly be made with mutton, but does allow the use of lamb "in exceptional cases". It also notes, but deplores, the use of the word navarin for dishes made with poultry or shellfish.

Mrs Beeton, in her 1861 'Book of Household Management', adds this:

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 22 Oct 2017, 21:55

23 October 1707 – The Scillies naval disaster.

During the night of 22-23 October 1707, a fleet of 21 Royal Navy ships heading from Gibraltar to Portsmouth were driven by storms onto reefs off the Scilly Isles. Four of the ships were lost and about 1,500 seamen were killed, including the commanding officer, the rather splendidly-named Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in British history. The subsequent investigation found the main cause of the disaster to be the navigators' inability to accurately calculate their positions.

      

Admiral Sir Clousdesley Shovell ... and the demise of his flagship, HMS Association, off the Scillies.

The main cause of the catastrophe has often been portrayed as the navigators' inability to accurately calculate their longitude, and it is certainly true that the Scillies disaster spurred Parliament to take action on just this particular navigational issue. The Longitude Act was passed in 1714 which established the Board of Longitude and offered large financial rewards for anyone who could find a method of determining longitude accurately at sea. Eventually, after many years, the consequence of the Act was that accurate marine chronometers were produced, together with the development of the lunar distance method, both of which became used throughout the world for navigation at sea. See Dava Sobell’s excellent history 'Longitude'.

The method of establishing latitude - how far north or south one was - by determining the angular height of the sun at its noonday zenith (using a sextant or similar device) had been in widespread use since at least the 16th century. But establishing longitude – how far east or west one was – was considerably more problematic. Thus in the early 18th century navigation was still largely a matter of dead reckoning – calculating direction and speed, and hence the distance, from the last accurately-known, land-based, position.

However it is not certain that the navigational error that lead to the wrecking of Admiral Shovell's fleet, was simply one of longitude. On the night of the disaster the fleet was thought to be sailing safely west of Ushant off the coast of Brittany, but was actually almost due north of there in the vicinity of the Scilly Isles, so ostensibly an error of latitude rather than of longitude. During the subsequent enquiry there was little discussion relating to errors in longitude, rather it was the difficulty in ‘shooting the sun’ to determine latitude, as well as demonstrable errors in the ship’s compasses which were all found to be in poor state, that dominate the technical side of the investigation.



According to contemporary reports, on 21 October Shovell made an astronomical observation to try and determine his fleet's position - probably the first he had been able to take for many days due to the storms and cloud - as well as taking depth soundings. The next day the weather worsened and another storm struck the fleet. Shovell summoned the fleet’s sailing masters onboard his flagship, HMS Association, and consulted them as to the fleet's actual position. All were of the opinion that they were in the latitude of Ushant and near the coast of France … all that is except the sailing master of HMS Lenox, who judged they were further north nearer the Scillies and that three hours sail would bring them in sight of these islands.

Shovell understandably adopted the majority opinion and so the fleet then headed north-north-east (to be sure to be clear of the Cap de Finnistère) … only to find themselves a few hours later amongst the numerous rocks, shoals and islets to the south-west of the Isles of Scilly. Four ships were lost, two ships sustained damage but managed to get clear, and one ship was deliberately run ashore to save the crew. The flagship, HMS Association, went down in just a few minutes, taking her entire crew, including Sir Cloudesely Shovell, with her. His body washed up the next day in a cove on the island of St Mary’s, and, after temporary burial on the island, he ended up splendidly entombed in Westminster Abbey. The majority of his fellow crewmen, as well as most of the casualties from the other wrecked ships, are anonymous in a mass grave on the island of St Agnes.

In remembrance of the event, and with a nod to the astronomical/navigational problems at the heart of the disaster, I propose the traditional Cornish dish, a Stargazy Pie.

Here are Dorothy Hartley’s erudite words - and her accompanying drawing – about stargazy pies (from ‘Food in England’ , 1954).

"Stargazy pies. These are properly made of pilchards, and are a good example of structural design. …. When eatable pastry was used, it was wasteful to cover the uneatable fish-head – yet, if the fish-head was cut off, the rich oil in it was lost. Therefore, it was better to cook the fish whole, so that this oil could drain back into the meat (as marrow out of the bones internally bastes a roasting joint). So the cooks covered the body of the fish – but left the head sticking out.

Now note the structural design of an economic idea! It becomes possible to construct a communal pasty, and divide it into slices  with great exactitude. For family use, the circular pie-plate. For market stalls and meetings, the fish can be laid side by side along the first strip of pastry and covered over with the second, quickly pressed down between individual slices and sold – by the yard."




Stargazy pie originates from the Cornish fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced mow’zol). According to legend one winter had been particularly stormy, meaning that none of the fishing boats had been able to leave the harbour. As Christmas approached, the villagers, who relied on fish as their primary source of food, were facing starvation. On 23 December (the year is never specified, but, as is the way of legends, it is always at least several generations before the present) the local fisherman, Tom Bawcock, decided to brave the storms and went out in his fishing boat. Despite the stormy weather and the difficult seas, he managed to catch enough fish to feed the entire village. The entire catch - including seven types of fish - was baked into a pie, which had the fish heads poking through the crust to prove that there were indeed fish inside. Ever since then, the Tom Bawcock's Eve festival, including the baking of a great stargazy pie, is held on 23rd December in Mousehole.



Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 21 Nov 2017, 16:03; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : at one crucial point I muddled my longitude with my latitude)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 25 Oct 2017, 21:07

What a fabulous account you have given us of stargazey pie and its origin. And also to remind us all of the great book by Dorothy Hartley, which I still have on my shelves. 

I read it avidly as a child, and have inherited that same battered tome from my mothers vast collection of loved books.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 31 Oct 2017, 20:05

Not quite up to MM's standard, I'm afraid, but this will have to do:





PS A date for MM's diary: at the beginning of Lent next year a sausage recipe would be nice to mark the Great Reformation Sausage Rebellion of 1522: the sausage incident involved Zwingli and his pals in Zurich.

Ulrich Zwingli was a pastor in Zurich, who was dedicated to the Reformation ideology of Martin Luther. His first rift with the established religious authorities in Switzerland came during the Lenten fast of 1522, when he was present during the eating of sausages at the house of Christoph Froschauer, a printer in the city...the Zurich sausage affair was interpreted as demonstration of Christian liberty...of similar importance for Switzerland as Martin Luther's 95 theses in Wittenberg for German reformation.

Zwingli admitted he was present, but apparently denied he had actually had a sausage. I don't believe him.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 01 Nov 2017, 09:47

I missed that - although I did do Luther's 'Farts with Farty-bread', on this date last year (Dish of the Day I - 31 Oct 2016).

This site, German Foods : Reformation Day Celebration gives a recipe for Luther Bread (Lutherbrodt) which is a round, sweet milk bread, similar to Christmas Stollen. This apparently is based on a very old recipe (don't they always say that) but I'm not sure how 'traditional' it really is. (In the same vein, that Lutherkuchen chocolate cake looks a bit suspect as chocolate was unknown in 1517 Germany). I had a quick look through Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, which was written in 1533, but while she has plenty of recipes for tarts, sweet fritters and puddings, I couldn't find a similar 16th century German cake recipe. Mind you Frau Welserin was from Augsburg in Swabia (Bavaria), while Martin Luther was originally from Thuringia, and Wittemberg where he nailed up his 95 Theses is even further away.

I've found a good recipe to mark your Sausage Rebellion but you'll have to wait.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:14

November 1st/2nd is the time of the "Day of the Dead" festival in Mexico.

This is a recipe for Pan de Muerto  (Dead Bread);

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4½ cups flour
  • 1 cup Cocoa Puffs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • cereal for decorating


Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine first three ingredients listed.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat milk, water and butter until just before boiling
  3. Add sauce mixture to dry ingredients and thoroughly combine.
  4. Add eggs and slowly add flour, one cup at a time and blending in between the cups.
  5. Fold in Cocoa Puffs.
  6. Knead the dough 10-15 minutes
  7. Allow dough to rest and rise for 60 minutes.
  8. Reshape dough how you wish and let rise additional 60 minutes.
  9. Decorate with cereal.
  10. Make an egg wash with the egg white and sugar and brush on top.
  11. Bake in 350 oven for 38-42 minutes.



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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 05 Nov 2017, 07:13

5 November 1605 - The Gunpowder Plot.

This seems appropriate ... it's from 'The Epicurean' by Charles Ranhofer (New York, 1894):
 
(3442). ROMAN BOMB
Add twelve ounces of sugar to one quart of cream; strain it through a sieve, freeze and work it briskly, adding gradually two gills of rum stirred with two ounces of sugar; incorporate two Italian meringue egg-whites (No.140). Coat a two quart bomb-shaped mold (Fig. 627) with pineapple ice cream (No.3451), fill it with the above, then cover, and pack it for two hours in salted ice. Take the mold from the salted ice, remove all drippings, and unmold on a folded napkin, garnishing around with strawberry lady bouchées (No.3376).





How to get the flaming bomb-like appearence is explained in recipe 3439 for Bomb à la Constantine:

Take  a special hinged mold, the same as for Fig.627; it must have a hollow on top, into which place a double mold filled with cotton and alcohol and set on fire when serving …

... Or there's always parkin.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 09 Nov 2017, 23:30

10 November 1871 – "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

The explorer and missionary David Livingstone had been on the move for almost six years after departing on an expedition to try and discover the source of the White Nile in January 1866. Since then little had been heard from him and there was widespread speculation he was held captive, lost or dead.  In 1869 George Bennett, owner of the New York Herald engaged the newspaper reporter Henry Morton Stanley to try and locate the missing explorer as part of a wider roving commission in Africa and the Middle East. Stanley finally arrived in Zanzibar early in March 1871, and here he hired over 100 porters before setting off into the jungle. Stanley’s horse died within just a few days from a bite of  the tsetse fly, and many of the porters either deserted or succumbed to tropical diseases, but 8 months and 1,100km later, he finally found Livingstone in the small lakeside village of Ujiji in what is now western Tanzania on 10th November 1871.

The Herald's own first account of the meeting, published 1st July 1872, reports how Stanley came across a 'white man with a grey beard' who was 'pale, wearied and wearing a bluish cap with a faded gold band, a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of grey tweed trousers'. Then, 'Preserving a calmness of exterior before the Arabs which was hard to simulate as he reached the group, Mr. Stanley said: – "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?" A smile lit up the features of the pale white man as he answered: "Yes, and I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you".'

Or maybe not … that particular page is torn out from Stanley’s diary and neither man mentioned what they'd actually said to each other in the letters they wrote at this time.



The usual story is that Stanley brought with him much-needed food and medicine, and so Livingstone soon recovered. But in reality, although Livingstone was seriously unwell, he certainly wasn’t ill-fed, nor ill-cared for. Stanley’s own published account ('How I found Livingstone - Travels, Adventures and Discoveries in Central Africa', published in 1895) makes it clear that Ujiji was a prosperous agricultural village, well-provided with food which they willingly supplied to Stanley’s own expedition, and in fact it was the Arab traders who were already living alongside Livingstone in Ujiji who brought the first food to celebrate Stanley and Livingstone’s meeting:

'Not long after …. a dishful of hot hashed-meat cakes was sent to us by Sayd bin Majid, and a curried chicken was received from Mohammed bin Sali, and Moeni Kheri sent a dishful of stewed goat meat and rice; and thus presents of food came in succession, and as fast as they were brought we set to. I had a healthy, stubborn digestion, the exercise I had taken had put it in prime order, but Livingstone—he had been complaining that he had no appetite, that his stomach refused everything but a cup of tea now and then—he ate also—ate like a vigorous, hungry man; and as he vied with me in demolishing the pancakes, he kept repeating, "You have brought me new life".'

But Stanley had brought something unobtainable in Ujiji … champagne from Fortnum and Mason’s, presumably warm and rather shaken up.

' "Oh, by George," I said, "I have forgotten something. Hasten, Selim, and bring that bottle; you know which; and bring me the silver goblets. I brought this bottle on purpose for this event, which I hoped would come to pass, though often it seemed useless to expect it."
Selim knew where the bottle was, and he soon returned with it—a bottle of Sillery champagne; and, handing the doctor a silver goblet brimful of the exhilarating wine, and pouring a small quantity into my own, I said: "Dr. Livingstone, to your very good health, sir."
"And to yours," he responded.
And the champagne I had treasured for this happy meeting was drank with hearty good wishes to each other.'

 
Together, the pair ventured to the northern reaches of Lake Tanganyika and Unyanyembe, 200 miles east of the Ujiji, and established that there was no connection between Tanganyika and the Nile. Stanley left for England on 14th March 1872 and Dr Livingstone, despite a further downturn in his health, continued to explore the Lualaba region before returning to Lake Bangweulu to search for possible connecting waterways. Then in May 1873, at Chitambo in what is now northern Zambia, he died.

Stanley received a mixed reception on his return to Britain. His reports were disbelieved by some, his methods were criticised by others, and episodes of previous un-gentlemanly behaviour were brought up. The British were probably simply offended that he had taken up American citizenship. However time re-gilds many tarnished reputations and by the 1890s he was on the equivalent of the speakers’ circuit. For example on 9th June 1890 he was banqueted by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, the event being reported in detail the next day in 'The Scotsman'. There was "an influential company, numbering 120 gentlemen" – no ladies of course - and the theme was unashamedly African (apart from the obligatory Scottish pipers who played at intervals during the evening). Behind the chairman was "a miniature African forest, formed of tall palms and grasses, which had a fine appearance", and the menu "while including the usual dishes, had also a number suitable to such a gathering. There was, for example, White Nile soup, salmon with Red Sea sauce, Pigeon cutlets à la Congo, Zanzibar curry and rice, Egyptian quails and cresses, ivory jelly, Niam-Niam cream, and bananas à la Ruwenzori".

I cannot find out what any of these dishes actually were, but I’m pretty sure they were probably just the usual British fare, spiced up or decorated a bit, and then given suitably exotic names. I was though intrigued by the "Niam-Niam cream". In French, niam-niam, or more usually miam-miam, is the onomatpoeic, lip-smacking equivalent of the English yum-yum to denote something particularly tasty. I did therefore wonder if this was just used as a mock 'African' name, in much the same way that Gibert and Sullivan named the attractive female lead Yum-Yum, in their 1885 Japanese-based comic opera 'The Mikado'. But apparently in antiquity there was a legendary tribe called the Niam-Niam, who lived in "Ethiopia" and who all supposedly had tails, while in the 19th and early 20th century the term was used by Europeans as a general name for the Azande people of north-central Africa. The Niam-Niam name was said to derive from the word for 'meat' and to reflect their supposed, though untrue, cannibaliistic habits. Naturally these days the term is considered perjorative.

So as an alternative to the curried chicken, stewed goat and rice that were originally enjoyed by Livingstone and Stanley, and seeing that Niam-niam cream is now off the menu, I suggest something arrogantly Victorian and pseudo-African. Accordingly here are these two contemporary, 'African' recipes, although what connection they have with Africa, if any, is unclear.

Lamb Chops à l’Africaine.
Cut a lamb chop or cutlet, broil over a very sharp fire, turning it continually; when nearly done, season highly with salt and pepper and rub a spoonful of chutnee on both sides of each cutlet, put them again on the gridiron; broil for another minute and serve.


From ‘Dainty Dishes: receipts collected by Lady Harriet Elizabeth St. Clair’, (Edinburgh, 1866).

African Cakes.
Separate the yolks and whites of fifteen eggs, beat the yolks with 1lb. of caster sugar, and sift in 31 breakfast-cupfuls of flour; when quite smooth, whip the whites of the eggs, and stir them in with the yolks; put the mixture in a biscuit-bag with a funnel about fin. in diameter, and press out pieces of paste on to a buttered baking-sheet, making them about the size of a penny. Put them in the oven, and bake for half-an-hour. When they are done they should be of a light colour; take the Cakes off the tin and let them cool. Scoop a little out of the centre of each round, fill each hollow with a little sweetened vanilla-flavoured whipped cream, and put one Cake over another; when all are done this way, ice them over with chocolate icing, and serve when the icing is cold.


From 'The Encyclopedia of Cookery' by Theodore Garrett, (London, 1891).


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 16 Nov 2017, 18:20; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 11 Nov 2017, 17:35

11 November 1918 –  End of WW1 in Europe - Armistice Day.

I've hesitated for some years now about directly marking Armistice Day with something as trivial as a Dish-of-the Day recipe ... but this one does seem appropriate. It’s the recipe for Christmas pudding given by the British Ministry of Food as released for publication in all magazines and newspapers just a few days later on 15th November 1918. As with so much else during the war it was actually recycled, being exactly the same as the previous year’s recipe but with a new name, "Peace Christmas Pudding". But while joyfully acknowledging the war’s end it admitted that the recipe still "could not aspire to pre-war richness".

Peace Christmas Pudding.
(large enough for six)
Ingredients:
4 oz flour, 4 oz soaked bread, 6 oz chopped suet, ½ teas salt, 1 dessert spoonful mixed spice, 4 oz sultanas, 2 oz mixed chopped peel, ½ lb apples, 2 oz grated carrot, 1 egg (dried), ½ gill milk, 2 oz treacle, grated rind and juice half a lemon
Method
Weigh out and measure all the ingredients. Prepare the dry materials and put them in a mixing bowl, stir all well together, then add the egg and milk. When thoroughly mixed, put the mixture into two well-greased basins, cover each with a cloth and boil or steam for fully three hours.


At the same time as this appeared the Ministry of Food made some concessions to the season, and announcements were made about some essential Christmas ingredients. A maximum price for all eggs "except plovers’ eggs and gulls’ eggs" was set, although the customer was reminded that "in most cases, dried eggs will have to be used". There was an increased sugar allowance and generally bread was to become whiter with a smaller substraction of the grain allowed. There was also to be an effort to import supplies of apples, oranges and other fruits and nuts, "so that [this year] Christmas may be a more agreeable festival", but though "about 12,500 tons of currants, raisins and sultanas will be released for Christmas", for practical purposes this translated to only a limited quantity of dried fruit per family. The pudding cook was however advised that "this dried fruit deficiency can, however, be made good by the addition of apples, of which there will shortly be a large quantity on the market", and anyway the official recipe still included  plenty of carrots to help the dried fruit deficiency.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 16 Nov 2017, 10:14

16 November 1793 – Pain d’égalité (equality bread) was introduced by the French Convention Government.

In France bread was the staff of life and its ready availability, quality and price had always been sensitive issues: bread shortages following a series of bad harvests had been one of the triggers for the rioting that had led to the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Therefore a priority for the new revolutionary government was making sure everyone got their daily bread. On this date (Brumaire 26, year II, by the revolutionary calendar) the Convention ordered that only one type of bread could legally be made for sale - pain d'égalité - the idea being that all classes should eat the same bread.

"La richesse et la pauvreté devant également disparaître du régime de l’égalité, il ne sera plus composé un pain de fleur de farine pour le riche et un pain de son pour le pauvre, et que tous les boulangers seront tenus, sous peine d’incarcération, de faire une seule et bonne espèce de pain, le pain de l’égalité."

"Wealth and poverty must both disappear from the government of equality, it will no longer make a bread of wheat for the rich and a bread of bran for the poor, and so all bakers will be held, under the penalty of imprisonment, to make only one type of bread, le pain de l’égalité."


There was a common expectation amongst the poor, mentioned by many writers of the time, that with the overthrow of the monarchy they would all get white bread. But it was not to be. Rather than choosing a common but average bread, the Convention opted, not for the lowest common denominator, but for something slightly below it. By several accounts the result was equality in at least one sense: people of all classes hated it equally.

Having made the announcement on November 16, the General Council followed this up on November 26 (Frimaire 6) with specific instructions to take effect on December 6 (Frimaire 16):

Bakers will only cook a single type of bread.
The quality of this bread will be that resulting from a mix of three quarts of wheat and one quart of rye.
Bakers will cook loaves of 8 pounds, of 4 pounds and of one pound; they will not be allowed to use other divisions.
The price of equality bread is fixed as follows:
The 8 pound loaf, 1 livre.
The 4 pound loaf, 10 sols, 6 deniers
The one pound loaf, 3 sols.


That fact that subsequent legislation exempted the very old, the very young and the infirm from having to eat pain d'égalité rather suggests the Convention were fully aware of how bad it was. Moreover since many bakers confessed to feeling no pride in making this standard bread, it was never made with any great finesse and remained universally just very bad and badly made, bran-heavy, coarse brown bread. It may be however, that modern, health-conscious consumers, would be less horrified by it than many in the period.


Last edited by Meles meles on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 15:27; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : rogue accents)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 16 Nov 2017, 22:22

"It may be however, that modern, health-conscious consumers, would be less horrified by it than many in the period."

"health-conscious consumers" Wink

Couldn't resist dear Meles meles...
You, you fine observer of the human nature...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 17 Nov 2017, 17:09

Pain d’égalité wasn’t very exciting fare, but yesterday was also the anniversary of this …

16 November 1532 – the Inca Atahualpa was captured by Francisco Pizarro and almost at a stroke the Inca Empire was conquered.

Since landing on the coast of what is now Ecuador in the spring of 1531, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro had travelled deep into the heart of the Inca Empire, lured on by a combination of his personal greed and Inca subterfuge and diplomacy. Finally Atahualpa, the Inca Emperor, invited Pizarro to meet him face-to-face at the city of Cajamarca, in what is now northern Peru. Pizarro had just 169 men with him, some horses and four light cannon. Atahualpa, having recently emerged triumphant in a civil war against his half-brother Huáscar, was supreme lord of an empire that stretched over 3,000 km from what is now Colombia to Chile, and as far eastwards as the head waters of the Amazon. As befitting his royal and divine status as the Sapa Inca, Atahualpa arrived at Cajamarca with his entire glittering court and an army of 80,000 battle-hardened soldiers.

Pizarro was massively outnumbered and fully aware of his extremely vulnerable position. On 15 November he entered the city, which by royal decree had been temporarily evacuated for his use, and then invited Atahualpa to meet him in the city’s central square the following afternoon. Within the confines of the city he planned to ambush the royal party and seize the Emperor. He placed his cannon and musketeers hidden in the buildings over-looking the square and concealed his cavalry in the adjacent alleyways.

It was a desperate plan but Pizarro's fortunes improved dramatically when Atahualpa not only accepted the invitation but announced that most of his host would set up camp outside the walls of the city and that only himself and his immediate retinue (although still numbering a few thousand) would enter the city. Moreover he pledged that they would forsake their weapons in a sign of amity and absolute confidence: his intention appears to have been to over-awe the small Spanish force with a display of splendour and he had no anticipation of an ambush. Atahualpa's attendants were richly dressed in ceremonial garments, many wore gold or silver discs on their heads and the main party was preceded by a group who sang while sweeping the roadway in front of the procession. The Sapa Inca himself was carried on a litter lined with vibrantly-coloured parrot feathers and partly covered in silver, carried by eighty high-ranking Inca courtiers dressed in magnificent vivid blue livery.

Upon entering the square the leading Incas in attendance on Atahualpa divided their ranks to enable his litter to be carried to the centre, where all stopped. An Inca herald carrying a banner approached the main building where Pizarro was lodged, while Atahualpa, surprised at seeing no Spanish called out an enquiry. After a brief pause Friar Vincente de Valverde, accompanied by an interpreter, emerged from the building. Carrying a cross and a missal the friar passed through the rows of attendants, approached the Atahualpa who was still enthroned on his litter and held aloft by his bearers, and announced himself as the emissary of God and the Spanish throne.


Francisco Pizarro meets Atahaulpa at Cajamarca in 1532, from the chronicle 'Nueva Corónica y Buen Gobierno' by Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala, also known as Wamán Poma, who was a Quechua nobleman born about 1535 and who lived through the conquest of Peru.

According to eyewitness accounts, Valverde spoke about the Catholic religion but did not deliver the official requerimiento, a speech requiring the listener to submit to the authority of the Spanish Crown and accept the Christian faith. This was actually a formal responsibility that would have excused Pizarro’s subsequent actions in the eyes of the Spanish government and the Catholic Church if Atahualpa had refused to submit. At Atahualpa’s request, Valverde gave him his breviary but, after a brief examination, he threw it to the ground. Valverde hurried back to safety and Pizarro gave the signal to attack. The Spaniards unleashed gunfire at the vulnerable mass of Incans and the cavalry surged forward out of hiding. The effect was devastating and the shocked and unarmed Incans offered little resistance. Pizarro led the cavalry charge on the litter and swiftly took Atahualpa prisoner, whereupon the remaining Incas were either slaughtered or fled. Not a single Spanish soldier was killed although Pizarro received a sword cut accidentally inflicted by one of his own men.

The main Inca force, which had retained their weapons but remained "about quarter of a league" outside Cajamarca, scattered in confusion as the survivors of those who had accompanied Atahualpa fled from the square. The shock of the Spanish attack coupled with the spiritual significance of losing the Sapa Inca and most of his commanders in one fell swoop apparently shattered the army's morale, throwing their ranks into terror and initiating a massive rout. There is no evidence that any of the main Inca force attempted to engage the Spaniards in Cajamarca after the success of the initial ambush.

On 17 November the Spaniards sacked the abandoned Inca army camp, in which they found great treasures of gold, silver, and precious stones. Noticing their lust for precious metals, Atahualpa offered to fill a large room (7m long by 5m wide) up to a height of "as high as he could reach", once with gold and twice with silver, within two months. It is commonly believed that Atahualpa offered this ransom to regain his freedom, but he may have made the offer thinking it would just save his life, as none of the chroniclers mention any commitment by the Spanish to free Atahualpa once the valuables were delivered. And duly delivered they were.

After several months the outnumbered Spanish, now considerably richer but still in fear of an imminent attack from the remaining Inca army, considered Atahualpa to be too much of a liability and decided to execute him. Pizarro staged a mock trial and found Atahualpa guilty of revolt against the Spanish Crown (which was legally a fake accusation in the absence of the requerimento), practicing idolatry, and murdering Huáscar his half-brother. Atahualpa was sentenced to death by burning which particularly horrified him since the Inca believed the soul would not be able to go to the afterlife if the body was consumed by fire. Friar Valverde intervened, telling Atahualpa he would convince Pizarro to commute the sentence if he agreed to convert to Catholicism. Atahualpa was duly baptized into the Catholic faith and was given the name Francisco Atahualpa, in honour of Francisco Pizarro. Then in accordance with his request on 26 July 1533 he was executed by strangling with a garrotte and then given Christian burial.

Atahualpa was succeeded to the Inca throne by his brother Tupac Huallpa, and later by another brother Manco Inca, however, despite years of continued resistance, for all intents and purposes the independence of the Inca was over.

As well as great riches of gold, silver and precious stones, the Inca Empire yielded a wealth of agricultural treasures. Potatoes were a staple and there are still more varieties of potato grown in the Peruvian Andes than in the whole of the rest of the world, but there were also different types of bean, tomatoes, chilli peppers, maize, peanuts, quinoa, avocados, cassava, several varieties of squashes, and unusual vegetables such as oca, mashua and maca, which even now are little cultivated outside of the Andes. And for different sources of meat there were guinea pigs, llamas and alpacas.

Pachamanca is an Inca dish with a long history that predates the Spanish conquest, but a version of it is still made to this day, primarily in the central Peruvian Andes. The word, Pachamanca, comes from the Quechua pacha, "earth" and manca, "pot", that is, the earth is your pot. It is a method of cooking similar to the Maori hangi, Fijian lovo, or Hawaiian kalua.

The earth oven is known as a huatia and although the term is often used simply to refer to any simple cooking pit, this is not considered the proper way to build a huatia. The most traditional construction is to build a drystone hollow dome or pyramid over a shallow pit, leaving an entrance door.



A fire is built inside and fed with wood until the interior has become sufficiently heated.



Then the food - a mixture of marinated meat, vegetables and the ever-present potatoes, well wrapped in moist leaves - is put inside and the hot stones of the dome are collapsed on top. It is then left to cook for many hours before being uncovered and served.



Originally the meat would have been guinea pig or llama, but nowadays mutton, pork or chicken are more usual. The meat is always marinated in a spicy mix for many hours beforehand. A typical modern marinade might be made with chillies, onion, garlic, fresh coriander, dried oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, sugar, sunflower or peanut oil, and white wine vinegar … all blended to a paste, and the meat is usually cooked mixed with potatoes, beans, cassava, maize and other Andean produce.

A version of pachamanca can be slow cooked in a modern oven, all wrapped-up in foil or in a casserole pot with a well-fitted lid. That’s not very traditional but I imagine that is how many modern Peruvian restaurants make it. Alternatively, for something simpler yet still in the spirit of the original dish, there’s always baked potato with spicy baked beans … which again uses ingredients originally from the Andes: potato, tomato, chillies and haricot beans.



Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 02 Dec 2017, 19:52; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : tipos, typos, t'pos)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 17 Nov 2017, 18:41

Meles Meles, the mention of 'pain d'egalite' rings a bell - I'm sure it was covered in the U3A French conversation class I attend once a week.  It may have been in something in a song by the late French singer-songwriter, Jean Ferrat, because one member of the group brought in some words of songs and played from his laptop some songs by that gentleman.  I've been looking through the papers and I can't find the exact reference but I'll have another look.

I'm more likely to do the jacket potato and baked beans than bread though tonight I'm having an omelette (though considering it's Sincerely Thine preparing it, it may end up more like scrambled eggs). I am still weighing up the pros and cons of getting a breadmaker to prepare some gluten free bread for myself.  At the moment I've only got one of those little things with a grill and a fryer on top. I do need to get a new microwave since the old one went to microwave heaven.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 18 Nov 2017, 21:43

Lady in retirement and Meles meles,


First of all Meles meles your last one, was one of the best among all your good ones...


Lady (in retirement),

"Meles Meles, the mention of 'pain d'egalite' rings a bell - I'm sure it was covered in the U3A French conversation class I attend once a week.  It may have been in something in a song by the late French singer-songwriter, Jean Ferrat, because one member of the group brought in some words of songs and played from his laptop some songs by that gentleman.  I've been looking through the papers and I can't find the exact reference but I'll have another look."

Lady, I did some quick research about Jean Ferrat and it lead me as far as the French Fifth Republic of which I had up to now not that much knowledge about. Only that de Gaulle was so-called called back (is that good English with this two "called" Wink ). From Colombey les-deux -églises if I recall it well. But now I learned that de Gaulle did a kind of coup-d'état, while a referendum was not foreseen in the constitution of the Fourth Republic to make the new constitution constitutional... (a subject for the Brexit thread)
And if I understand it well Jean Ferrat was critizising that the former liberté, égalité, fraternité was usurpated by de Gaulle in his Fifth Republic
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/jean-ferrat-politically-committed-singer-and-songwriter-who-maintained-the-french-chanson-tradition-2012091.html
http://lyricstranslate.com/en/ma-france-my-france.html-0



Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 20 Nov 2017, 10:26

20 November 1947 – Princess Elizabeth Windsor married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, the aristo previously known as Prince ... Philip of Greece and Denmark.

In 1947 Britain was still under rationing. Indeed food restrictions seemed to be getting worse rather than better: just a year earlier the sweet ration had been halved and even bread and flour were briefly put onto ration, and then over the winter even potatoes were rationed although this was more a result of the severe weather rather than any real shortage. To replace American tinned fish - now unobtainable with the end of lease-lend and Britain’s shortage of dollars – ten million half-pound tins of South African snoek were imported, but despite the Ministry of Food’s valiant attempts to encourage people to "try something new", two years later more than a third of the tins remained unsold, and most eventually turned up many years later re-labelled as cat food. For most people bananas, oranges, lemons and pineapples remained strange or just a forlorn memory, and even dried fruit and fresh eggs were often unobtainable.

As during the war, the Royal Family were careful to be seen to be suffering equally with the rest of the population, and so the problem of where to get sufficient ingredients for the Big Day had to be solved by the Commonwealth, who loyally came to the rescue with donations of food parcels. There were in fact ten cakes made for the occasion but the official one – the one cut by the couple on the day – was made from ingredients donated by Australian Girl Guides and made by the firm of McVitie and Price. The recipe was kept a secret, or was simply never written down, but such was the nation’s acute obsession with food that the newspapers reported in detail on the ingredients, and one can imagine the readership salivating with envy as they read of such unobtainable delights as;

"… butter, caster sugar, moist Tate & Lyle pieces, flour (Clark & Butcher), frozen whole egg, honey, salt, spice, cassia, nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground almonds, cherries, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, caramel powder, glycerine, egg colour, oil of lemon, oil of orange, brandy, sherry, rum, …"


The resulting cake was nine feet tall, had four tiers, and weighed about 500lb. It was decorated with English roses, Scottish heather and "emblems of cricket, tennis, and racing".

    

The wedding cake has come a long way since its ancient Greek and Roman beginnings as a simple loaf of bread broken over the head of the happy couple as a symbolic wish for fertility. By the middle ages it had developed into an enormous pie rather than a cake, as pies were the usual showy medieval dish for all sorts of banquets, although of course in this period they usually had fillings that combined together sweet, spicy, fruity and meaty ingredients.


Four big ceremonial pies precede the wedding procession in a detail from 'A Marriage Feast at Bermondsey', by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder, circa 1569.

Such 'Bride Pies', were no less ornate for being un–iced, and it was as a pie that they first seem to have been built up in tiers. Here’s how Robert May says it should be done, from 'The Accomplish’t Cook' (1660) .... the live snake, as a novelty surprise "to pass away the time", is optional:
 
To make an extraordinary Pie, or a Bride Pie, of severall Compounds, being several distinct Pies on one bottom.
Provide cock-stones and combs, or lamb-stones and sweet-breads of veal, a little set in hot water and cut to pieces; also two or three oxe pallets blanched and slic’t, a pint of oysters, sliced dates, a handful of pine kernels, a little quantity of broom-buds pickled, some fine interlarded bacon sliced, nine or ten chestnuts roasted and blanched, season them with the salt, nutmeg, and some large mace, and close it up with some butter. For the caudle, beat up some butter, with three yolks of eggs, some white wine or claret wine, the juyce of a lemon or two, cut up the lid, and pour on the lear, shaking it well together, then lay on the meat, slic’t lemon, and pickled barberries, and cover it again, let these Ingredients be put into the middle or scollops of the Pie.

Several other Pies belong to the first form, but you must be sure to make the three fashions proportionably answering one the other; you may set them on one bottom of paste, which will be more convenient; or if you set them several you may bake the middle one of flour, it being baked and cold, take out the flour in the bottom, and put in live birds, or a snake, which will seem strange to the beholders, which cut up the Pie at the table. This is onely for a Wedding to pass away time.

Now for the other Pies you may fill them with several Ingredients, as in one you may put oysters, being parboild and bearded, season them with large mace, pepper, some beaten ginger, and salt, season them lightly, and fill the Pie, then lay on marrow and some good butter, close it up and bake it. Then make a lear for it with white wine, the oyster liquor, three or four oysters bruised in pieces to make it stronger, but take out the pieces, and an onion, or rub the bottom of the dish with a clove of garlick; it being boild, put in a piece of butter, with a lemon, sweet hearbs will be good boild in it, bound up fast together; cut up the lid, or make a hole to let the lear in, &C. Another you may make of Prawns and Cockles, being seasoned as the first, but no marrow: a few pickled mushrooms (if you have them) it being baked, beat up a piece of butter, a little vinegar, a slic’d nutmeg, and the juyce of two or three oranges thick, and pour it into the Pie.

A third you may make a Bird Pie; take young Birds, as larks, pulled and drawn, and a force meat to put in the bellies made of grated bread, sweet herbs minced very small, beef suet, or marrow minced, almonds beat with a little cream to keep them from oyling, a little parmisan (or none) or old cheese; season this meat with nutmeg, ginger, and salt; then mix them together with cream and eggs like a pudding, stuff the larks with it, then season the larks with nutmeg, pepper, and salt, and lay them in the Pie, put in some butter, and scatter between them pine-kernels, yolks of eggs, and sweet herbs, the eggs and herbs being minced very small; being baked make a lear with the juice of oranges and butter beat up thick, and shaken well together.For another of the Pies, you may boil artichocks, and take onely the bottoms for the Pie, cut them into quarters or less, and season them with nutmeg. Thus with several Ingredients you may fill up the other Pies.


.... cockscombs, lamb testicles, veal sweetbreads, ox pallats, prawns, oysters, cockles, larks, bacon ... parmesan, dates, chestnuts, pinenuts, ... onions, garlic, artichokes, mushrooms, .... oranges, lemons, barberries, broom buds ... mace, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, sugar, ... and not forgetting the snake! Even in these days of global trade, air freight, frozen foods and on-line shopping, it would be a quite a task just to acquire all the ingredients ... however did they do it in the 17th century?


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 17:47; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 20 Nov 2017, 19:59

Thank you very much for another historical dish, Meles meles.

She also my message to Caro on the Gutenberg thread.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 21 Nov 2017, 14:28

Incidentally my parents were married just four weeks before Liz and Phil ... but not having an Empire to subsidise them, they just had to rely on the generosity of friends and family who had all been carefully hoarding stocks of sugar and dried egg, or home-drying apples and plums in place of imported currants and dates, for weeks before. Even so they only managed to get enough for one small cake ... the bottom tier of their 2-tier wedding cake was actually an empty biscuit-tin covered with plaster to look like icing. Here are my mum and dad 'cutting' the biscuit-tin:



They couldn't afford any champagne or even wine for the toast but they managed to get two bottles of sherry (probably on the black market) to be shared between about sixty guests  ... otherwise to drink there was just lemonade, tea, or weak 'national' beer.

Paul, have you ever seen the 1984 comedy film 'A Private Function', with Michael Palin and Maggie Smith? It's set in the run-up to the 1947 Royal Wedding, against the backdrop of post-war rationing, petty bureaucracy, the black market, and small-town snobbery and hypocrisy. It's quiet comedy but keenly observed.



Of course for a more contemporaneous satirical view of post-war rationing in Britain, there's always that wonderful Ealing comedy, 'Passport to Pimlico':

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 21 Nov 2017, 22:28

Thank you very much Meles meles for sharing these intimate pictures from your parents.
And yes we already had a thread overhere about rationing in Belgium, France and Britain. I recently read also for a thread on this forum about the Fourth French Republic that the post war rationing was nearly as long as in Britain.
I tried to find the "full" film of Michael Palin: "A private function" on youtube and dailymotion but noppes always only maximum 3 minutes or so Wink . But from this comical Michael Palin I have seen all his "seriously" series as "around the world in eighty days" and "from pole to pole" and all that.
"Passport to Pimlico" I have posted somewhere overhere (and in that time it "worked").
As for yours: It is sadly not available in Belgium. I will tomorrow seek for a workable one overhere.
But yes as I remember it from this forum: Great film indeed.

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 22 Nov 2017, 21:17

MM, quoting Robert May's recipe, wrote:
 ...or a snake, which will seem strange to the beholders...

Dear Lord, MM, you have given me nightmares - not snakes-on-the-plane, but snakes-in-the-cake. What a horrible idea for a "novelty" - or was it May's idea for a very unsubtle "subtlety"?!

PS How pretty your mum looks in her wedding photo.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 23 Nov 2017, 13:12

@Temperance wrote:

Dear Lord, MM, you have given me nightmares - not snakes-on-the-plane, but snakes-in-the-cake. What a horrible idea for a "novelty" - or was it May's idea for a very unsubtle "subtlety"?!

Robert May did have some odd ideas about what might "delighte the companye": in another subtelty suggestion - he calls them "triumphs" but they are still medieval-style (un)subtelties - he has live frogs bouncing around underfoot while overhead birds commit suicide by flying into the candles.

But maybe by 1660 he was just a sour old man. He was born in about 1588 yet his best known work, 'The Accomplish't Cook', came out only just as the monarchy was restored in 1660. During the austerity years of the Civil War and Commonwealth May had remained in England keeping his head down, quietly working in the service of middling-rank catholic royalist familiies, while some of his contemporaries, like William Rabisha, had fled aboard and had made a name for themselves on the continent. But although timed to perfection, May's 1660 cookbook still rather missed the mark as he continually harked back to an older, almost medieval-style of cuisine from well before the Civil War ... rather than the new, French, à la mode style, that accompanied Charles II back from his exile.


Robert May's huge work is justly recognised as one of the first comprehensive English cookbooks (albeit so expensive at the time that it was really only for fellow professional cooks), but it more truely reflects the period of James I and Charles I than the date of its publication. When 'The Accomplish't Cook' came out it had already been beaten to it in most domestic households by other, more modern and often cheaper, cookbooks such as the translation from the French of La Varenne's masterwork, 'Le Cuisiner Francois', which had first appeared in English as, 'The French Cook', the first edition of which was printed in London in 1653, when Cromwell was still in power.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 14:30; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : problem commas ... à l'Oscar Wilde)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 23 Nov 2017, 13:31

It's a cook book !!!!!!!!!!!!!:

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 23 Nov 2017, 15:35

The fourth Thursday in November is traditionally Thanksgiving Day in North America, which is today this year.

Here is a menu from Thanksgiving Day 1900:




Recipe for Rum Punch:

Ingredients
4 tsp golden rum
4 tsp white rum
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp vanilla syrup
1 tbsp apricot liqueur
25ml/1fl oz mango juice
25ml/1fl oz guava juice
1 tbsp dark rum

To serve
1 pineapple leaf
1 mango slice
1 mint sprig
pinch freshly grated nutmeg



Method

1.Place the gold and white rums, the lime juice, vanilla syrup, apricot liqueur, mango juice and guava juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice.


2.Shake well and strain into a large bowl-shaped glass (or a beer glass) filled with ice.


3.Carefully pour the dark rum into the glass so that it floats at the top of the cocktail.


4.Serve, garnished with a pineapple leaf, slice of mango, mint sprig and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 23 Nov 2017, 16:16

I was sure we had a thread about drinks and cocktails, but I can't find it.
No matter.
The rum punch recipe reminded me of a tavern scene from the film Northwest Passage, where Spencer Tracy is drinking "flip".
This recipe is similar to what he was consuming:

Colonial Hot Buttered Rum

the above is made in a slow cooker. The original used a hot poker.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 24 Nov 2017, 13:14

An alternative view of Thanksgiving:

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 26 Nov 2017, 08:41

26 November 1865 - the publication of 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.

The original story about a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for adventure down a rabbit hole, was told by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) to Lorina, Alice and Edith, three young daughters of Henry Liddell (the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University), during a boat trip along the river Isis near Oxford on 4 July 1862. The girls loved it and Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her. He began writing the manuscript of the story the next day and finally on 26 November 1864 (coincidentally the same date as publication a year later), he gave Alice the handwritten manuscript with illustrations by himself, entitled 'Alice's Adventures Under Ground', dedicating it as "A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child in Memory of a Summer's Day".

But before Alice received her copy Dodgson was already preparing and expanding it for publication. He was, however, unhappy with the original title. On 10 June 1864 he wrote to his friend Tom Taylor:

"I should be very glad if you could help in in fixing on a name for my fairy-tale, which Mr Tenniel (in consequence of your kind introduction) is now illustrating for me, and which I hope to get published before Xmas. The heroine spends an hour underground, and meets various birds, beasts, etc. (no fairies), endowed with speech. The whole thing is a dream, but that I don't want revealed till the end. I first thought of "Alice's Adventures Under Ground", but that was pronounced too like a lesson-book, in which instruction about mines would be administered in the form of a grill; then I took ‘Alice’s Golden Hour’, but that I gave up, having a dark suspicion that there is already a book called “Lily’s Golden Hours’. …  I at present prefer ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. In spite of your ‘morality’, I want something sensational. Perhaps you can suggest a better name."

Taylor evidently could not and so Dodgson settled on his own preference.

On publication the book generally received poor reviews, with reviewers giving more credit to Tenniel's illustrations than to Carroll's story. However on the release of 'Alice Through the Looking-Glass', in 1871, the first Alice tale gained in popularity and, by the end of the 19th century it was being hailed as a much-loved classic of children’s literature.

And as a theme for Dish of the Day, I’ve got just the very thing …

Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice, "Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?"
"No," said Alice. "I don't even know what a Mock Turtle is."
"It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from", said the Queen.


— Alice in Wonderland, chapter IX.  

Carroll enjoyed word games, puns, paradoxes, and satirical comments on Victorian fashions and etiquette. The Mock Turtle is just one of many such puns in Alice in Wonderland and the drawing by John Tenniel cleverly drew on Carroll’s description for full comedic effect. Tenniel’s illustration of the Mock Turtle shows him with the body of a turtle, but the head, hooves and tail of a calf: the lesser parts of a calf that were often discarded but could be used to imitate turtle meat in mock turtle soup.



"Once", said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, “I was a real turtle”.

— Alice in Wonderland, chapter IX.
  

From the moment someone discovered that the West Indian green sea turtle, a gentle beast weighing between 60 and 100 pounds, could survive transportation to England, a turtle dinner became a byword for success at Georgian dinner parties. The first recipe appears in Richard Bradley’s 'Country Housewife and Ladies Director' (1727) and came via "a Barbadoes Lady". It involved laying the flesh in salt water for two hours, sticking it with cloves and roasting it with a baste of wine and lemon juice, crisping the outside with four and breadcrumbs and serving it with lemon peel and a little sugar, with the gelatinous green fat rendered into a sauce. Bradley also used turtle meat in a pie with cloves, herbs, lemons, olive oil, white wine and its much-prized, unguent fat. The fact that no turtle recipe was included in Hannah Glasse's very popular and comprehensive cookbook, ‘The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy’ until the 1755 fifth edition, gives a good indication of the dish's progress to popularity.

A turtle dinner was not an easy production, typically taking at least eight hours to prepare. The recipes that used up every part of the reptile often covered several pages, typically observing the importance of killing "your Turtle the Night before you want it, or very Early next morning, that you may have all your Dishes going on at a Time". What no one ever fully detailed was how you managed to hoist it up, secure it firmly and then cut off its extended head while the large live turtle protested strenuously. Some cooks suggested starting two days in advance since, to complement the soup itself, six or seven other dishes were made from various parts of the turtle, designed to fill the spaces at the top, bottom and corners of the table. The flesh was sliced into collops, the guts stewed, the heart ragoued, the lights fricasséed, and the gravy alone, "for a Turtle of a hundred weight [could] take two Legs of veal and two Shanks of beef". It all took a cook "equal to the task", one with the patience to clean out both shells, scrape the intestines and whiten them with lemon juice, make the broths and farces, guard against the dishes becoming slimy, and to poach the turtle eggs as garnishes. There can have been few domestic cooks who embarked upon the process with anything like equanimity.

With turtle dinners so much of the moment, it did not take long for recipes to begin to appear for faking, or 'mocking', them. It was still labour-intensive and far from cheap: a calf’ head had to be scalded, split and boned, a strong gravy made, lifted with copious amounts of Madeira, port wine, anchovies and cayenne pepper (according to one cook, "as much as will lie on a shilling"), and the whole lot served with sweetbreads, palates, the shredded tails and claws of lobsters, oysters, morels and truffles, and lashings of butter to simulate the fat. By the turn of the century, the great French epicure and restaurant critic, Grimod de la Reynière was astounded that this "supposed soup" had caught the interest even of the French, who "adore novelties, and are always kind enough to envy those dishes which their neighbours prize at a far higher value than their worth. Such is the case with mock turtle soup, which has had Parisian tongues wagging for several years." ('Almanach des gourmands', 1803). But just a little over a century later the culinary world had changed to such a degree that the great Escoffier would suggest that turtle soup should be bought in tins.



There are many reasons to produce mock food: expense, unavailablity, rationing, seasonality, religious restrictions, cultural taboos or simple novelty, and the practice certainly goes back many, many centuries. The Romans in particular were great fans of mock dishes, although some cooks and their patrons took food disguise too far even for their taste. For example, Petronius describes a meal at the house of a rather vulgar man called Trimalchio:

There were, '... thrushes made of pastry and stuffed with nuts and raisins, and prunes stuck with thorns so that they looked like sea-urchins. That would have been fine, had it not been for an even more curious dish; so revolting did we suppose this to be, that we thought we would rather have died of starvation than to have touched it. A bowl was served with, as it seemed, a fat duck on it, surrounded by all kinds of fish and birds, but Trimalchio said: "Friends, everything you see here on the table is made from the same stuff."
With my usual quick insight, I thought I knew what it probably was, so turning to Agamemnon, I said "I wouldn’t be surprised if all those things are not made out of excrement, or out of clay at the very least: I saw a similar artifice practiced at Rome during the Saturnalia."
But I hadn’t finished speaking when Trimalchio chimed in: "As I hope to enlarge my fortune rather than my belly, my cook has made all this out of pork. There is none more valuable than he: he’d make a fish for you out of a sow’s womb, a wood pigeon from bacon, a turtle-dove from ham, and a chicken from a pork knuckle" … '

Petronius, 'The Satyricon' Vol.II chapter 69

Trimalchio’s Feast was satire and the detail should be taken with a pinch of salt, as it were, but the situation was not entirely invented. Trimalchio was made out to be a typical  nouveau-riche parvenu, and the Roman reader would probably have laughed in recognition at his excesses.

By the middle ages, while classical novelty was still an excuse to fake food - how else was a cook to produce a roast cockatrice or a stuffed basilisk - religious injunctions provided a more pressing reason. Before the Reformation everyone was expected to eat no meat, eggs nor dairy produce throughout Lent, and all Wednesdays (until the 15th century), Fridays and Saturdays, as well as on certain other important feast days throughout the year, such as Christmas Eve or All Hallows Eve. For the well off with their master cooks, and (irony or ironies) for the monastic rich, the food on these ‘fast’ days meant a succession of ingeniously inventive dishes. Henry V’s queen, Catherine of Valois, was crowned on St Matthew’s Day 1420 – a religious fast day – and of necessity the coronation feast was entirely meat-less, but ‘joints’ of roast whale and roast porpoise were supplied to alleviate the many fish dishes, as did numerous splendid custard tarts made with almond milk, rice flour and saffron in place of the forbidden eggs, butter, cheese and cream.

More recently food shortages and rationing meant that both WW1 and WW2 were also peak times for mock food. Mock cream was made with margarine, sugar, and dried milk powder; mock mayonnaise with a tin of sweetened milk, vinegar, salad oil and mustard; sausage meat and root vegetables were shaped into everything from ‘chops’ to whole ‘joints’; and mock fish was made from ground rice and anchovy essence. Meanwhile coffee-drinkers habituated themselves to substitutes made from haricot beans, roasted chicory and dandelion roots, or even acorns.

Anyway here are some old recipes for an entire meal in which, as with Trimalchio’s Feast, or as outlined by the wartime BBC’s "Kitchen Front", nothing is quite what it purports to be. The first course is of course mock turtle soup.

Menu for a Mock Dinner

Mock Turtle Soup
Mock Lobster with Mock Parsley Sauce
Mock Goose with Mock Artichokes, served with Mock Caper sauce
Mock Apricot Tart with Mock Cream

All served with
Mock champagne

"Have some wine," the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. "I don’t see any wine," she remarked.
"There isn’t any," said the March Hare.
"Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it," said Alice angrily.
"It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited," said the March Hare.

— Alice in Wonderland, chapter VII.



1 White Mock-Turtle Soup.
Procure half a calf's head, (scalded, not skinned), bone it, then cut up a knuckle of veal, which put into a stewpan, well buttered at the bottom, with half a pound of lean ham, an ounce of salt, a carrot, a turnip, three onions, a head of celery, a leek, a bunch of parsley and a bay-leaf, add half a pint of water; set it upon the fire, moving it round occasionally, until the bottom of the stewpan is covered with a white glaze; then add six quarts of water, and put in the half head, let simmer gently for two hours and a half, or until the head is tender, then take it out, and press it between two dishes, and pass the stock through a hair sieve into a bowl; then in another stew-pan have a quarter of a pound of butter, with a sprig of thyme, basil, marjoram and bay-leaf, let the butter get quite hot, then add six ounces of flour to form a roux, stir over a sharp fire a few minutes, keeping it quite white; stand it off the fire to cool, then add the stock, stir over the fire until boiling, then stand it at the corner, skim off all the fat, and pass it through a hair sieve into another stewpan; cut the head into pieces an inch square, but not too thick, and put them into the soup, which season with a little cayenne pepper; when the pieces are hot, add a gill of cream and pour it into your tureen.


The above quantity would make two tureens of soup, and will keep good several days, but of course half the quantity could be made.

—'The Modern Housewife', by Alexis Soyer (1850).

2. To make an artificial Crab or Lobster.
Suppose you have by you the large Shells of Sea-Crabs clean'd; then take part of a Calf's Liver, boil it and mince it very small, and a little Anchovy Liquor, and but very little, to give it the Fish-taste. Mix it well with a little Lemon Juice, some Pepper, and some Salt, with a little Oil, if you like it, and fill the Shells with it; and then the outside Parts of the Liver, being a little hard, will feel to the Mouth like the Claws of the Crab broken and pick'd, and the inner Parts will be soft and tender, like the Body of a Crab. One may serve this cold, and it will deceive a good Judge, if you do not put too much of the Anchovy Liquor into it.


— 'The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director', by Richard Bradley (1732).

3. Mock Parsley Sauce.
If you cannot get any parsley, you may easily communicate the flavour of it to your sauce, by tying up half a drachm of parsley seed in a piece of clean muslin, and boiling it for ten minutes in five tablespoonsful of water; use this water to melt your butter with; this will impose on the Palate; to cheat the Eye, parboil a little spinage, and chop it fine, and stir it into melted butter.


— 'Apicius redivivus. The Cooks Oracle', by William Kitchiner (1818).

4. Mock Goose.
Cooking time: 1 hour, Ingdredients: 1 ½ lb. potatoes, 4 oz. grated cheese, 2 large cooking apples, ½ teaspoon dried sage, ¾ of a pint vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon flour, pepper and salt. Quantity: Four helpings.


Method: Scrub and slice potatoes thinly, slice apples, grate cheese. Grease a fireproof dish, place a layer of potatoes on it, cover with apple and a little sage, season lightly and sprinkle with cheese, repeat layers leaving potatoes and cheese to cover. Pour in ½ pint of the stock, cook in a moderate oven for ¾ of an hour. Blend flour with remainder of stock, pour into dish and cook for another ½ of an hour. Serve as a main dish with a green vegetable.

'Daily Mail' - Recipe of the Week No.24 (1 October 1942).

5. Mock Artichokes.
Pare a solid white turnip, cut it into slices a quarter of an inch thick, and with a round cutter, cut from each slice a 'cake' about an inch and a half in diameter. Cook in boiling unsalted water until perfectly transparent. Arrange them on a small platter, one slice overlapping the other; put at the end of the platter a well-made egg sauce.

— 'Mrs. Rorer’s Diet for the Sick' (1914).

6. An excellent substitute for caper sauce.
Boil slowly some pasrsely, of pickled French beans, that they may become a lead colour, but do not chop very fine, put it to half a pint of melted butter, with a dessert-spoonful of vinegar, and a little salt; boil up and serve.

'The Frugal Cook', by E Carter (1851).

7. Mock Apricot flan.
You will need: 1 lb young carrots, a few drops almond essence, 4 round tablespoons plum jam, about 6 tablespoons cold water, 1 lb short-crust or potato pastry*, a further 2 teaspoons of jam if it can be spared.

Set the oven to gas mark 5. Line a plate or flan dish with pastry and neaten carefully. Prick base with a fork, add crumpled greaseproof paper and baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes, remove paper and dry out 5 minutes more.
While the cases are cooking, peel, wash and dry the carrots, and grate into a saucepan, add the jam, essence and water and cook slowly until it forms a pulp. Stir regularly and check it’s not drying up. Spread over the pastry case and top with a little more jam if available.

— BBC ‘Kitchen Front’ radio broadcast (8 January 1942).

*Potato pastry, to help eke out supplies of flour and fat – this recipe is from the Ministry of Food ‘Potato Pete Recipe Book’ (1941):
8oz. sieved cooked potato;4oz plain flour;1oz  cooking fat/margarine,½ tsp salt.
Sieve the flour and salt together.  Rub the cooking fat into the flour mixture until it is fully incorporated.  Add in the potato and rub into the flour and fat mixture.  Add a dash of very cold water and mix to a very dry dough.  Knead well and roll out.

8. Mock Cream.
½ oz cornflour, ¼ pint milk, 1 ½ oz margarine, 3 tsp sugar, a few drops of vanilla essence.

Method - Mix the cornflour with a little of the milk to form a smooth paste. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil. Pour the hot milk over the cornflour paste. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes. Cream the sugar and margarine together. Gradually whisk in the cornflour mixture. Add vanilla essence. Allow to cool.

— Ministry of Food Cookery Leaflet ‘Xmas Recipes’ ( December 1945).

9. To make Imitative Champagne.
Take twelve pounds of loaf sugar; Six pounds of sugar candy; Two ounces of tartaric acid; Six quarts of cider, perry, or gooseberry wine; One quart of French brandy; Ten gallons of spring-water:Boil the water and sugar fifteen minutes, skim this clean, then put it into a narrow tub, and dissolve in it the tartaric acid: before it is cold, add some yeast to ferment it; draw it from the tub into any clean vessel; add the other ingredients, with a quarter of an ounce of isinglass dissolved in vinegar; stir the liquid well, and when the hissing is over bung it down tight; keep it in a cold place four or five months, then bottle it and keep it cool two months longer; add a lump of fine sugar to each bottle, and cork in the Champagne fashion.


— 'Martin Doyle’s Common things of Every-day Life' (1857).

..... And if you’re still hungry on the side buffet there are some, Mock Pâté de Foie Gras Sandwiches - Mix boneless sardines and cream cheese to a smooth paste and spread between slices of bread [bleeuh!], from 'Camouflage cookery; a book of mock dishes', by Helen Watkeys Moore (1918) .... although whoever came up with that either had an evil sense of humour or had never tasted real foie gras.

'Make a remark,' said the Red Queen; 'it's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!'

— Alice in Wonderland, chapter IX.


Last edited by Meles meles on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 17:12; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 26 Nov 2017, 09:20

Thank you for this description of fine dinners and some of the less fine diners, Meles meles, I enjoyed it as I've done most if not all of your contributions on these threads.

Both for the recipés, but perhaps just as the much for telling the of the mores of bygone days.

In this case very much for the history of Alice in Wonderland, much of which have not previously come my way.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 26 Nov 2017, 17:50

The British 'Daily Mail' newspaper is notorious for its fake news, right-wing bias, provocative articles, and click-bait headlines, but even so the recipe for Mock Goose (no. 4 in the above post) intrigues me … it’s not so much mock food as deliberately mocking the diner. The recipe is basically one for a simple apple and potato gratin (and it could almost be called a gratin savoyarde if one wanted to be classy) ... but there’s no meat at all, no mince, no bacon, no sausage-meat, no corned-beef, no spam,  ... not even an oxo cube, ... so what, I wonder, made it mock goose rather than mock pork, mock lamb, or mock beef? I did think I might have transcribed it incorrectly and had to go back and check. But here it is again, in full, from the 'Daily Mail' (Thursday, 1 October 1942):



It sounds quite tasty given the extreme austerity of the time, and is actually the sort of thing I still make for myself as a simple supper ... but why call it mock goose?


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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 26 Nov 2017, 21:03

Gratin Onctueux d'Oie Savoyarde Ersatz?
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 09 Dec 2017, 14:18

Picking up from Vizzer’s 'on this day in history' post ... 

9 December 1917 – Hussein Salim al-Huseini, the Mayor of Jerusalem, surrendered the city to the British under the command of General Allenby. As Viz has said, Jerusalem's mayor first offered the Ottoman Governor's letter surrendering the city to Private Murch, while Murch was out foraging for his breakfast early on the 9th December, but his response was,

"I don't want yer 'oly city. I'm just looking for some eggs."

Shortly after this brief encounter the mayor attempted to deliver the letter of surrender to Sergeants James Sedgewick and Frederick Hurcomb, who were scouting ahead of the main allied force, but they also refused to take it. The letter was eventually accepted by Brigadier General C.F. Watson, commanding the 180th (London) Brigade, on behalf of the C in C.  General Allenby himself finally entered the city only on the 11th.

So in memory of Private Murch and Mayor Hussein Salim al-Husseini, for a dish of the day how about the following, taken from 'Pot-luck; or, The British home cookery book', by May Byron (1914).

317. PALESTINE EGGS (Surrey)
Trim and boil twelve good-sized Jerusalem artichokes, and set them to cool. Boil six eggs hard and let them get cold (they can be plunged into a bowl of cold water), then cut them up. Slice the artichokes, lay them in a buttered baking-dish; strew the chopped eggs over them; next, put a layer of shced tomatoes; last, a layer of grated cheese. Bake until lightly coloured, and serve very hot.


The recipe is not of course really Palestinian, rather it is named in the style of famous Victorian/Edwardian chefs, such as Soyer and Escoffier, who tended to call any dish flavoured with Jerusalem artichokes, 'à la Palestine', as a classy-sounding play on words. Jerusalem artichokes themselves have no direct connection with the Holy Land as they originally came, via the French explorer Champlain, from the lands along the Atlantic coast of what is now southern Canada. The English name is simply a corruption of the Italian girasole ie 'turn-sun', the plants being of the same family as the light-following sunflower. In French the Jerusalem artichoke is known as un topinambour ... a word that had me completely flumoxed the first time I saw it, but the confusion was immediately dispelled once I'd seen, and moreover smelled, the little tubers for sale in a French supermarket.


Last edited by Meles meles on Sun 10 Dec 2017, 20:04; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : originally wrote Cabot - I meant Champlain)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 09 Dec 2017, 19:00

Meles meles,

that's a recept that sounds to me. Will try it...

"The English name is simply a corruption of the Italian girasole ie 'turn-sun'"

And the French name is a corruption of the Bresilian tribe: "Tupinamba"
https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/topinambour

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 11 Dec 2017, 17:24

Ah yes, from English wiki:
 
"The name topinambur, in one account, dates from 1615, when a member of the Brazilian coastal tribe called the Tupinambá visited the Vatican at the same time that a sample of the tuber from Canada was on display there, presented as a critical food source that helped French Canadian settlers survive the winter. The New World connection resulted in the name topinambur being applied to the tuber, the word now used in French, German, Italian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish."
 
… so that explains the French name, topinambour.
 
However it gets more complicated when you consider the English name, Jerusalem Artichoke, for the same North American plant (Helianthus tuberosus). It is generally agreed that the English name is a corruption of the Italian, girasole, the name that is now applied in Italian to the common sunflower Helianthus annuus, another native of North America and now cultivated worldwide for its seeds and the oil extracted from them. In French this plant is the tournesol, roughly meaning ‘sun-turner’, so much the same meaning as the Italian, girasole. So far so good.

But in medieval Europe – long before the discovery of the New World – there was also a plant, known in English as the turnsole (or similar spelling) and named for the same sun-following habit. This was another daisy-like plant, Chrozophora tinctoria, which while not a a true sunflower (Helianthus sp.) is from a fairly closely-related family, but unlike the true sunflowers of the New World is actually native to the Mediterranean. The roots of the turnsole had, since at least Roman times, been used as a source from which a valuable dye – ranging in colour from blue to "murry" (ie. a deep red/purple mulberry colour) – could be extracted for use in inks to illuminate manuscripts, to dye textiles, and as an edible food colourant.

When English 16/17th century recipes refer to 'turn-sol' (or a similar spelling) it is never immediately clear whether they mean Jerusalem-artichoke/topinambour, or sunflower/tounesol, or chrozophora/turnsole/murry-root ... or even perhaps some other exotic tuber, such as those of dahlias, a plant native to Mexico and whose edible roots were a staple of the Aztecs, as recorded by some of the first conquistadors.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 11 Dec 2017, 19:16

@Meles meles wrote:
In French the Jerusalem artichoke is known as un topinambour ... a word that had me completely flumoxed the first time I saw it, but the confusion was immediately dispelled once I'd seen, and moreover smelled, the little tubers for sale in a French supermarket.

I'd have thought that it was the smell post-consumption that explained the name: the delicious wee devils should be eaten only before spending the evening on one's own. In a well ventilated room. And then combined with hard boiled eggs - the mind and the nose boggle, those squaddies must have been tough.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 11 Dec 2017, 19:27

@ferval wrote:
@Meles meles wrote:
In French the Jerusalem artichoke is known as un topinambour ... a word that had me completely flumoxed the first time I saw it, but the confusion was immediately dispelled once I'd seen, and moreover smelled, the little tubers for sale in a French supermarket.

I'd have thought that it was the smell post-consumption that explained the name: the delicious wee devils should be eaten only before spending the evening on one's own. In a well ventilated room. And then combined with hard boiled eggs - the mind and the nose boggle, those squaddies must have been tough.

OOPS, Ferval, thank you for the warning, I was already seeking in the supermarket for Jerusalem artichokes to start the recept...as it sounded that promising from Meles meles...
But yes for the good sake one has to afford a "small breeze"...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 12 Dec 2017, 19:55

One of queen Victoria's favourite dishes was a gratin of Brussels sprouts and Jerusalem artichokes baked in a bechamel sauce ... which might account for why she always insisted the windows were open during dinner, and why she never hung around very long after a meal, but gobbled it all down in 30 minutes and then left the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 16 Dec 2017, 15:24

16 December 1653 – Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Following the execution of Charles I in 1649 supreme executive power lay with the Council of State, while legislative functions were carried out by the Rump Parliament purged of any remaining members with royalist sympathies. In 1653 Oliver Cromwell supported by senior army officers dismissed the Rump and replaced it with a Nominated Assembly. It proved to be as difficult for the executive to work with this parliament as it had with the Rump, so, after sitting for just five months, members friendly to Cromwell’s faction engendered its dissolution on 12 December 1653. The Instrument of Government was adopted on 15 December 1653 and Oliver Cromwell was installed as Lord Protector on the following day. The Lord Protector alone had executive power, and although the post was elective, not hereditary, it was to be held for life. Cromwell was sole head of a military dictatorship. It was also a fundamentalist religious regime in which the Puritan views of the Government and its supporters were imposed on the whole country. The Puritans advocated an austere lifestyle and restricted what they saw as the excesses of the previous regime. Most prominently, holidays such as Christmas and Easter were suppressed and pastimes such as the theatre and gambling were also banned, and the penalties for any infringment were severe.

Oliver Cromwell’s life from relative obscurity as MP for Huntingdon, to General of the New Model Army during the Civil War, and ultimately to Lord Protector, is well known ... but what of his wife, Elizabeth, who found herself suddenly propelled into the position of Lord Protectress, and First Lady of the realm?



Elizabeth Cromwell was born in 1598, the eldest of 12 children of James Bourchier and his wife Frances. Bourchier was a prosperous merchant who owned property in Essex and London and had been knighted in 1603. Nothing more is known of Elizabeth until her marriage to Oliver Cromwell on 22 August 1620 at St Giles Cripplegate in London. Between 1621 and 1638, Elizabeth and Oliver had nine children and they lived in Huntingdon, St Ives and then Ely.

They do seem to have been a genuinely loving couple. Three letters from him to her survive, all dating from the year after the king’s execution (1650–51). While at war in Scotland Oliver wrote to Elizabeth: "Thou art dearer to me than any creature". In another he says, "Although I have not much to write, yet indeed I love to write to my dear, who is very much in my heart." A single letter from Elizabeth to Oliver dated 27 December 1650 is a rare surviving record of her voice. She complains that she has written three letters for every one received from him, saying "Truly, my life is but half a life in your absence."  But the letter reveals more than just her love for Oliver (and for God: they were both devote Puritans) for she tells Oliver to write to the lord chief justice, the president of the Council of State and the speaker of the House of Commons. She concludes, "You cannot think the wrong you do yourself, in the want of a letter, though it were but seldom." It’s tempting to read a lot into this one surviving letter. Is it evidence that Elizabeth guided, even masterminded, her husband’s political career? How much did she help him reach the highest office in the land?

Whatever the truth of the matter, on 14 April 1654 following Oliver Cromwell’s usurpation of power they moved into what had been the royal apartments in Whitehall Palace, and she was now the First Lady in the land. Oliver, however, died in 1658. It is not known if she attended Oliver’s state funeral on 23 November but The Protectorate did offer her a pension of £20,000 and the use of St James’s House. It is also unknown how involved she was in her son Richard’s period as Lord Protector, although in any case his reign was very short-lived as the army wouldn’t follow him. The Protectorate ended and the monarchy was restored just months later.

Elizabeth's late husband’s corpse was exhumed from Westminster Abbey to be 'executed' for treason. By the time Oliver’s head was displayed on a pole at Westminster Hall, she had been evicted, had lost her pension, and had to petition Charles II to be allowed to leave London. She also had to defend herself against rumours that she had stolen some of the royal jewels. Charles must have believed her - perhaps her low profile in the Protectorate even saved her life - for she was allowed to retire to live with her son-in-law John Claypole in Northborough Manor, a few miles from Peterborough. But her health was failing and she died in 1665. A plaque in the St Andrew’s Church near Peterborough marks her grave but the stone is bare though it’s not certain whether the inscription was defaced or merely faded over time.

During the commonwealth Oliver and Eliizabeth were frequent targets for crude satire, in broadsheets and pamphlets printed and circulated in secret, but with the Restoration the pamphleteers could give full rein to their mockery. One such document was a curious little cookbook entitled, ‘The court and kitchin of Elizabeth, commonly called Joan Cromwel, wife of the late usurper, truly described and represented, and now made publick for general satisfaction’. It was complied and annotated by a certain 'Mary Liquorice' and first published in 1660 just weeks after Charles II’s restoration. Who the actual author was is unknown but it has been suggested that it was written by Jos Cooper, who had once been Charles I’s personal cook and who might undertandably have been rather embittered with Cromwell's regime. The book contains genuine recipes in the typical style of the time but it is above all Royalist propaganda designed to denigrate and ridicule the memory and reputation of Elizabeth Cromwell and by association her husband.


Here’s the frontspiece of the 1664 edition – notice the monkey on her shoulder which aludes to a popular proverb of the time which said that on the ground a monkey is passable enough but the higher it climbs the more its extreme ugliness becomes apparent. The animal then symbolises an ignorant upstart, one who according to the author's opinion, "was a hundred times fitter for a barn than a palace."

'The Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth
' accuses Elizabeth Cromwell of "sordid frugality and thrifty baseness" and of being as "stingy toward her husband’s table as she is toward the nation", while at the same time "continually receiving presents from the sectaries; such as Westphalia hams, neats' tongues, puncheons of French wines, runlets of sack, and all manner of preserves and comfits." The book also tells us that when she took possession of the palace of Whitehall, "she employed a surveyor to make her some little labyrinths and trap-stairs, by which she might, at all times, unseen, pass to and fro, and come unawares upon her servants, and keep them vigilant in their places and honest in the discharge thereof Several repairs were likewise made in her own apartments, and many small partitions up and down, as well above stairs as in the cellars and kitchens, her highnessship not being yet accustomed to that roomy and august dwelling, and perhaps afraid of the vastness and silentness thereof". She was also accused – rather bizarrely – of keeping cows in St James’ Park to make her own butter.

It is interesting to compare 'The Court and Kitchin of Elizabeth' with that other piece of royalist culinary propaganda, the cookbook entitled 'The Queen’s Closet Opened', published in London in 1655 (ie during the Protectorate). This was written by a certain WM, almost certainly Walter Montague who was almoner to Charles I’s widow, Queen Henrietta Maria, while she was in exile in France. In it he claims to reveal the "incomparable secrets in physick, chyrurgy, preserving and candying &c. Transcribed from the true Copies of her Majesty’s own Receipt-Book." The recipes themselves are in the same general style as in 'The Court and Kitchin of Elizabeth', and it even includes relatively humble recipes, such as for making brawn, pork sausages and "orange marmalet". But like any celebrity-endorsed cookbook the suggestion was that these were the recipes that her Majesty used in her own kitchen. So despite the rather risible notion that Queen Henrietta-Maria would ever roll-up her sleeves to stuff sausages or worried about getting her marmalade to set, it was nevertheless still implied that, depite her rank, she was a competent and caring, hands-on manager for her whole household. In short while Elizabeth Cromwell was portrayed in 'her' cookbook as a mean, parsimonious, venal and suspicious housewife, little better than a country bumpkin ... Henrietta-Maria was an astute, educated, knowing, prudent housekeeper, and the regal mother (albeit in waiting) of the whole nation.

Anyway here, from the 1664 edition of ‘The court and kitchin of Elizabeth, commonly called Joan Cromwel', is her recipe for scotch veal collops, a fairly lowly dish at least by royalist court standards: it's thin slices of veal bulked out with sausages and oysters, which were then of course viewed as cheap food for the less well off. Scotch veal collops, the Scotch epithet again implying mean-ness, was a dish that Joan was said to have unimaginatively served up nearly every day to her long-suffering household:

How to make Scotch Collops of Veal
Take a Fillet of Veal, cut it out into very broad slices, fat and lean, not too thick, take eight Eggs, beat them very well with a little salt, grate a whole Nutmeg, take a handful of Thyme and strip it, take a pound of Sawsedges, half a pint of Stewing Oysters, the largest to be had, wash and cleanse them from the Gravel; then half fry your Veal with sweet Butter, then put in your Sawsedges and Oysters, then take a quarter of a pound of Capers, shred them very small; three Anchovis, dissolve them in white Wine and fair water, so put in your Eggs, shred Capers, and Anchovis, Butter and Spice, and mingle them, and strew them in the Pan upon the Veal and Oysters, serve it with Sippets, with a little fresh butter, and vinegar, and Limons sliced, and Barberies, with a little salt. You must have a care to keep the meat stirring, lest the Eggs curdle with the heat of the fire.


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 16 Dec 2017, 20:30; edited 8 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 16 Dec 2017, 18:05

Meles meles,

thanks for your, as usual, interesting piece of history and for the related cookery.
Learned a lot from that history (and tested at the same time, if it was all in accordance with the known facts Wink)

Kind regards from your old friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 16 Dec 2017, 18:28

@PaulRyckier wrote:
Learned a lot from that history (and tested at the same time, if it was all in accordance with the known facts).

Paul, ik ben geschokt, geschokt zeg ik je, dat je moet twijfelen aan mijn eerlijkheid en integriteit aan historische feiten!

Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 16 Dec 2017, 21:35

@Meles meles wrote:
to retire to live with her son-in-law John Claypole in Northborough Manor, a few miles from Peterborough. But her health was failing and she died in 1665. A plaque in the St Andrew’s Church near Peterborough marks her grave but the stone is bare though it’s not certain whether the inscription was defaced or merely faded over time.

Another Elizabeth Cromwell living just outside Peterborough at the time was Oliver's cousin Elizabeth who was married to Oliver St John, Chief Justice of the Commonwealth. Their home was Thorpe Hall in the village of Longthorpe, a splendid mansion which they themselves had built between 1653 and 1656. This makes it a rare (if not unique) example of Cromwellian architecture - i.e. a stately home built during the time of the Protectorate:



So there were 2 Elizabeths married to 2 Olivers. Chief Justice St John, however, turned out to be a shrewd operator and, although undoubtedly a supporter of the Parliamentary cause, he concentrated during the initial years of the Commonwealth on working primarily as a jobbing lawyer and (despite what one might think considering his title and marital connection) played no part in the trial of King Charles I. This enabled St John to escape the charge of regicide following the Restoration. Oliver did play a central role in drawing up the first act of union between England and Scotland, the so-called Tender of Union of 1651 by which the English Parliament effectively annexed Scotland to the Commonwealth in a pretty much one-sided declaration. So if anyone possibly had reason to be aggrieved with him post-Restoration then it might have been the Scots. Today Thorpe Hall is a hospice owned by the Sue Ryder Foundation.

P.S. No matter how many times one hears it, the idea that oysters could have been considered 'cheap food for the less well off' just underlines how much English cooking and dietary habits changed (and not necessarily for the better) during the ensuing 300 years.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 16 Dec 2017, 21:43

Meles meles, how could I doubt, as I know you that long and as I have experience of your firm historical background Embarassed...

And even in Dutch, not one fault, not even one single letter...

Kind regards from a "deemoedige" (they translate it with "humble", but in my opinion there is more nuance in "deemoedig" Wink ) Paul.


PS:
http://gtb.inl.nl/iWDB/search?actie=article&wdb=WNT&id=M013247
DEEMOED
Woordsoort: znw.(m.)
Modern lemma: deemoed
znw. m. Ontleend aan hd. demut (ohd. diomuoti, mhd. dêmuot, diemuot) vr. Het eerste lid beantwoordt aan ohd. dio, got. þius, knecht, verg. DEERNE en DIENEN en zie voorts KLUGE.
[url=javascript:toggle('N10060')%0A]↪️[/url] Eene stemming van nederige onderworpenheid. Thans niet in ongunstigen zin, tenzij in ironisch gebruik. 

From the Hochdeutsch:demut, Althochdeutsch:diomuoti
dio from knecht...dienen (serve), deerne (dienster) (waitress) (now it is pejorative...a girl in a café, who makes avances) but in middle Dutch it was a "normal" girl who served the guests in the inn). I feel with persons, who have to translate Middle English or Middle Dutch texts in nowadays language...
And "moed", "Mut" is here of course the English "mood"
Thus: "a mood of humble submissiviness. Nowadays not in a pejorative sense, unless in ironical usage"

Those guys of the etymology banks, they think that they know it always all...

In any case, if you had any doubt: I swear on my first little first communion soul, that it was not ironical...
                                                   Ik zweer op mijn eerste communie zieltje, dat het niet ironisch was...
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 16 Dec 2017, 21:47

Correction: of course it has to be "little first communion soul"
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 17 Dec 2017, 10:48

Yesterday was also the anniversary of this:

16 December 1773 – The Boston Tea Party. As a political protest against the 1773 Tea Act, an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, was thrown into the harbour in Boston, Massachusetts. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution.



Tea, drunk for centuries in China, starts to be mentioned in European literature during the course of the 16th century once it was encountered by Portuguese and Dutch traders in the East Indies. The earliest reference to tea by an Englishman is probably in a letter from a Mr Wickham, an agent of the East India Company, writing from Firando in Japan on 27 June 1615 to a Mr Eaton, an officer of the Company residing in Macao, asking for "a pot of the best sort of Chaw".  Even then supplies didn’t really start arriving in significant quantities in England (at first from Java via Holland courtesy of the Dutch East India Company) until the middle of the century. In James I’s reign it retailed at anything between £6 and £10 a pound – a princely sum. And then in September 1658 the following appeared in the 'Mecurius Politicus', advertising England's first tea shop:
"That excellent and by all Physitians approved China Drink called by the Chineans Tcha, by other nations Tay, aleas Tee, is sold at the Sultaness Head, a cophee-house in Sweetings Rents, by the Royal Exchange, London."

Once Britain’s own East India Company began to bring home supplies towards the end of the century, the price started to come down. At first, excise duty was payable on liquid tea as supplied at coffeehouses - 18d a gallon in 1660, raised to 2s in 1670. But, by 1680, enough leaf tea was being bought privately for the duty to be changed to 5s a pound, irrespective of price or quality. For a long time, tea was known as 'Bohea' from 'Thea Bohea' or black shrub. 'Thea Viridis', or green shrub, was simply unripe tea, sold alongside black tea. Both were served in the Chinese fashion - very weak and without milk, although sometimes sugar was added.

Despite the high cost of the leaf, the tea-drinking habit gathered momentum. Its domestic success was ensured with the marriage of the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza to Charles II in 1662. Already familiar with tea and the ritual of its preparation she encouraged tea-drinking at court. Wives of courtiers and friends proceeded to give teas after the newest and most elegant continental manner; the well-to-do ladies of the realm soon followed. Thus, seven years after Pepys drank his first cup of tea, Mrs Pepys enjoyed a similar experience on 28 June 1667: "By coach home and found my wife making tea; a drink Mr Pelling, the potticary [apothecary], tells her is good for her cold and defluxions."

In 1717 Thomas Twining opened the first tea shop for ladies in London at Devereux Court near the Aldwych. A few years later the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were developed as a tea-garden and it proved so popular that many more such gardens were opened in London and other towns. People of every class from the royal family down, both male and female, could meet here to drink tea together and enjoy the concerts, sports or fireworks provided for their entertainment. "Throughout the whole of England", wrote La Rochefoucauld in ‘A Frenchman in England,’ (1784), "the drinking of tea is general. You have it twice a day and, though its expense is considerable, the humblest peasant has twice a day just like the rich man."

Indeed, no drink bas caused more controversy than tea - doctors, political economists, moralists and the clergy joined with the wine merchants and publicans in condemning it roundly. Jonas Hanway never tired of abusing it, because in his view tea had destroyed the beauty of Englishwomen: "Your very chambermaids," he declared in 'An Essay on Tea' (1757), "have lost their bloom by sipping tea." Over-indulgence he thought "hurt the nerves (Bohea especially) and cause various distempers, as tremors, palsies, vapours, fits etc." From the middle of the century, to counteract the effect of tannin, "most people pour a little cream or sweet milk into the teacup when they are about to drink the tea," accorting to Per Kalm's ‘Account of his visit to England’ (1748). Sugar was also often added.

Although more and more tea was being drunk - in 1725 a quarter of a million lb was imported into England and by the end of the century more than 24 million lb annually - the price, which included 5s a lb duty, irrespective of quality, remained high. The price created a black market and an enormous amount was smuggled in from the Continent, especially from Holland, the smugglers succeeding mainly because they had the support and sympathy of the whole country: nearly everybody, from parsons to peers, were getting at least some of their tea via smugglers.


'A Tea Garden' by George Moreland;

The American colonists shared Britain's enthusiasm for beverages and in imitation of London, New York came to support numerous coffee-houses and tea-gardens. But in 1766 Parliament declared its right to tax its colonies with a series of annoying duties "of principle". These included tea duty of 3d per lb. The colonists reacted in true British fashion and boycotted the taxed goods, and in the case of tea, resorted to smuggling it in from Holland. The East India Company found itself sitting on a huge 8,500 ton surplus of tea in England, and as a result the Tea Act was passed in 1773, authorising the Company to ship it direct to the colonies without paying import duties and selling it through its own American agents - in effect, granting a monopoly.

The initial shipment of tea across the Atlantic was that destroyed at the Boston Tea Party on 16 December 1773. Americans bound themselves not "to Conform to the Pernicious Custom of Drinking Tea, until such time as all Acts which tend to enslave our Native Country shall be repealed." Tea became a symbol: to drink it meant to conform to the Mother Country, to turn to coffee represented independence. To this day Americans have tended to take coffee as a result of this extraordinary boycott.

In Britain the duty was lowered to a nominal sum in 1784 and tea-smuggling ended. At the same time the government compelled the East India Company to import enough to satisfy demand without raising prices on the grounds that "tea has become an economical substitute to the middle and lower classes of society for malt liquor [beer] the price of which renders it impossible for them to procure the quantity sufficient for them as their only drink." Cooks and servants from wealthy households were allowed to sell used tea-leaves "to charwomen" (NB the reference to char ie.tea) who in turn sold them on to dealers who recoloured them using poisonous dyes, then resold them to the poor.

But while Americans continued to shun tea, in Britain, tea-drinking spread, despite the warnings of its dangers, Mary Eaton in ‘The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary’ (1822) going so far as to write,
"The habit of drinking tea frequently, and in large quantities, cannot fail to be injurious, as it greatly weakens and relaxes the tone of the stomach. This produces indigestion, nervous trembling and weakness, attended with a pale, wan complexion. When tea is taken only at intervals, and after solid food, it is salutary and refreshing; but when used as a substitute for plain nourishing diet, as is too commonly the case amongst the lower classes, it is highly pernicious, especially as large quantities of a spurious description are too frequently imposed upon the public. ... Persons of weak nerves ought however to abstain from tea, as they would from drams and cordials, as it causes the same kind of irritation on the delicate fibres of the stomach, which ends in lowness, trembling, and vapours. Tea should never be drunk hot at any time, as it tends still more to produce that relaxation which ought to be carefully avoided. Green tea is less wholesome than black or bohea."

But generally tea had more fans than detracters: even the rather dour Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone - who even filled his hotwater bottle with tea to he could imbibe during the night was moved to sing tea’s praises, writing:
If you are cold tea will warm you
If you are heated it will cool you
If you are depressed it will cheer you
If you are excited it will calm you.


So how to make a good cup of tea? Here’s Mrs Beeton’s advice from her 'Book of Household Management' (1861):

TO MAKE TEA.
There is very little art in making good tea; if the water is boiling, and there is no sparing of the fragrant leaf, the beverage will almost invariably   be good. The old-fashioned plan of allowing a teaspoonful to each person, and one over, is still practised. Warm the teapot with boiling water; let it remain   for two or three minutes for the vessel to become thoroughly hot, then pour it away. Put in the tea, pour in from½ to ¾ pint of boiling water, close the   lid, and let it stand for the tea to draw from 5 to 10 minutes; then fill up the pot with water. The tea will be quite spoiled unless made with water that is actually 'boiling', as the leaves will not open, and the flavour not be extracted from them; the beverage will consequently be colourless and tasteless, - in fact, nothing but tepid water. Where there is a very large party to make tea for, it is a good plan to have two teapots instead of putting a large quantity of tea into one pot; the tea, besides, will go farther. When the infusion has been once completed, the addition of fresh tea adds very little to the strength; so, when more is required, have the pot emptied of the old leaves, scalded, and fresh tea made in the usual manner. Economists say that a few grains of carbonate of soda, added before the boiling water is poured on the tea, assist to draw out the goodness: if the water is very hard, perhaps it is a good plan, as the soda softens it; but care must be taken to use this ingredient sparingly, as it is liable to give the tea a soapy taste if added in too   large a quantity. For mixed tea, the usual proportion is four spoonfuls of black to one of green; more of the latter when the flavour is very much liked; but strong green tea is highly pernicious, and should never be partaken of too freely.
Time. - 2 minutes to warm the teapot, 5 to 10 minutes to draw the strength from the tea.
Sufficient. - Allow 1 teaspoonful to each person, and one over.

 
And to accompany the tea what better than tea-cakes - this is again from Mrs Beeton:

TEA-CAKES.
INGREDIENTS. - 2 lbs. of flour,½ teaspoonful of salt, ¼ lb. of butter or lard, 1 egg, a piece of German yeast the size of a walnut, warm milk.
Mode. - Put the flour (which should be perfectly dry) into a basin mix with it the salt, and rub in the butter or lard; then beat the egg well, stir   to it the yeast, and add these to the flour with as much warm milk as will make the whole into a smooth paste, and knead it well. Let it rise near the fire,   and, when well risen, form it into cakes; place them on tins, let them rise again for a few minutes before putting them into the oven, and bake from ¼ to ½ hour in a moderate oven. These are very nice with a few currants and a little sugar added to the other ingredients: they should be put in after the   butter is rubbed in. These cakes should be buttered, and eaten hot as soon as baked; but, when stale, they are very nice split and toasted; or, if dipped in   milk, or even water, and covered with a basin in the oven till hot, they will be almost equal to new.
Time. - ¼ to½ hour.
Average cost, 10d.
Sufficient to make 8 tea-cakes.
Seasonable at any time.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 17 Dec 2017, 14:04

Well, one of my friends has finally become a naturalised British citizen (apparently her 20-year marriage to a Brit wasn't sufficient to guarantee her right to remain) and we are planning a minor celebration tomorrow at our monthly meeting. Other than frites, what Belgian-themed food should we serve?
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 17 Dec 2017, 14:27

Stoverij/carbonade (beef stew cooked with beer), or waterzooi (a ragout of chicken, cream and eggs), perhaps with witloof à la Flamande? Moules-frites is easy so long as you've got a big enough pot and a friteuse. Filet américan, despite the name is very Belgian, and is popular with my Walloon relations, and it can be nearly all prepared in advance ... but it's only if you like raw meat. Then tarte au riz maybe ... and don't forget the speculoos to have with the coffee. And Belgian beers of course. I'm interested to see what Paul suggests ... steak-frites most probably Wink .
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 17 Dec 2017, 17:21

@Vizzer wrote:
P.S. No matter how many times one hears it, the idea that oysters could have been considered 'cheap food for the less well off' just underlines how much English cooking and dietary habits changed (and not necessarily for the better) during the ensuing 300 years.

Well, as that great urban philosopher, Sam Weller, puts it in 'Pickwick Papers' (1836):

"It’s a wery remarkable circumstance, Sir," said Sam, "that poverty and oysters always seem to go together."
"I don’t understand you, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick.
"What I mean, sir," said Sam, "is, that the poorer a place is, the greater call there seems to be for oysters. Look here, sir; here’s a oyster-stall to every half-dozen houses. The street’s lined vith ‘em. Blessed if I don’t think that ven a man’s wery poor, he rushes out of his lodgings, and eats oysters in reg’lar desperation."
"To be sure he does," said Mr. Weller, senior; "and it’s just the same vith pickled salmon!"
"Those are two very remarkable facts, which never occurred to me before," said Mr. Pickwick. "The very first place we stop at, I’ll make a note of them."


And of course even the great Dr Johnson regularly gave oysters to his cat, Hodge, although as he readily admitted, "He is a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed.”
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 17 Dec 2017, 20:57

@Meles meles wrote:
Stoverij/carbonade (beef stew cooked with beer), or waterzooi (a ragout of chicken, cream and eggs), perhaps with witloof à la Flamande? Moules-frites is easy so long as you've got a big enough pot and a friteuse. Filet américan, despite the name is very Belgian, and is popular with my Walloon relations, and it can be nearly all prepared in advance ... but it's only if you like raw meat. Then tarte au riz maybe ... and don't forget the speculoos to have with the coffee. And Belgian beers of course. I'm interested to see what Paul suggests ... steak-frites most probably Wink .
Ah. I should, I now see, have revealed that she is a vegetarian. Thanks anyway -the tarte au riz sounds about spot on. Used to buy it as dessert after sampling Friture Georges' wares in Blankenberge, where we stopped for a few days before going on to friends in Mons every summer for years.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 18 Dec 2017, 20:25

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
@Meles meles wrote:
Stoverij/carbonade (beef stew cooked with beer), or waterzooi (a ragout of chicken, cream and eggs), perhaps with witloof à la Flamande? Moules-frites is easy so long as you've got a big enough pot and a friteuse. Filet américan, despite the name is very Belgian, and is popular with my Walloon relations, and it can be nearly all prepared in advance ... but it's only if you like raw meat. Then tarte au riz maybe ... and don't forget the speculoos to have with the coffee. And Belgian beers of course. I'm interested to see what Paul suggests ... steak-frites most probably Wink .
Ah. I should, I now see, have revealed that she is a vegetarian. Thanks anyway -the tarte au riz sounds about spot on. Used to buy it as dessert after sampling Friture Georges' wares in Blankenberge, where we stopped for a few days before going on to friends in Mons every summer for years.

Gilgamesh of Uruk,

I would have suggested as speciality: "Carbonades Flamandes", when prepared the right way it is delicious (the most important is the sauce!)
http://www.whats4eats.com/meats/carbonades-flamandes-recipe

And it becomes better while staying and heating it again after a day...

But of course my ultimate preferation, as Meles meles suggested, would be "biefsteak-frites"...or "biefsteak-frites-mayonnaise"
But now you come with a vegetarian she...but for a Belgian lady I would do it all...


To stick to my steak...because that's the real Belgian choice (both in the North as in the South Wink , even in that central piece in the middle...)
Perhaps why not go veggie...but the difficulty, I suppose, will be your wife, unless you are the cook in the household and you would try to spent the time for your guests...
Because it all seems in my untrained eyes so a "laborious" elaborate preparation...haven't they have anything similar in the super market...?

First the most important the steak...




Second: the mayonnaise:



And third and that's the easiest the pommes frites prepared the right! Belgian way in vegetable oil...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 18 Dec 2017, 20:43

Addendum.

Gil and I forgot to say that I found the lady in the vegan steak film so frightening...it is my eyes not a commercial advertisement...
and also...to be sure that it is all as in the two films, one had to be prepared to do first a test to see as it is all as in the easy looking films so appetizing as they show...
And that laborious work I don't wish to let you do...even for a Belgian lady...

Many regards again, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 18 Dec 2017, 21:49

No, Paul. If they want to go veggie, they can eat marinated tofu. Think I've convinced Mathilde to go for the "Welsh Upgrade" citizenship pack, actually.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 18 Dec 2017, 22:18

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
No, Paul. If they want to go veggie, they can eat marinated tofu. Think I've convinced Mathilde to go for the "Welsh Upgrade" citizenship pack, actually.

You are such a practical realist, father of Ur-Nungal...

With esteem from Paul for your problem solving capacities...especially in the perspective of your future relation with Mathilde (in my humble opinion...) if I relate it to our Agnes...
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 19 Dec 2017, 18:24

19 December 1825 – the inauguration of the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures for children.

Under the directorship of Michael Faraday the members of the Institution had decided to deliver a course of public lectures on various area of Natural Philosophy. Accordingly the following advertisement appeared 'The Times' on 17 December 1825:

"A wish having been expressed by several of the members [of the Royal Institution] that a course of Lectures should be delivered at the Royal Institution, in the Christmas, and other vacations, on some of the leading branches of Natural Philosophy adapted to the comprehension of the juvenile auditory, the Managers announce that … John Millington …  Professor of Mechanics to the Royal Institution will deliver a course of twenty-two lectures on the various branches of Experimental Philosophy, including Dynamics, Mechanics, Pneumatics, hydrostatics, optics, magnetism, electricity and astronomy. To commence on Monday the 19th of December, at 2 o’clock; and to be regularly continued on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the exception of Monday the 26th instant, at the same hour, till the completion of the 15th lecture. The remainder of the course will be delivered in the Easter and Whitsuntide vacations …"

The first lecture series, given by the engineer John Millington, was a great success and, apart from a few interludes such as during WW2, the lectures been given every Christmas since. They soon became an established part of London's Christmas season and when Michael Faraday himself was the presenter in 1848, giving his famous series of six lectures entitled "The chemical history of the candle", the audience reads like a who’s who of fashionable and titled London society.


Prince Albert and the 'royal children' attend Michael Faraday’s 1855 Christmas Lecture on 'The Distinctive Properties of the Common Metals', from 'The Illustrated London News'.

But the Royal Institution was not alone in its Christmas celebration of science. Popular publications like 'The Illustrated London News' and 'The Leisure Hour' printed Christmas essays, stories and poems that celebrated scientific progress, as well as activities and experiments "suitable and safe for children to perform at home". Newspapers ran adverts for "scientific Christmas presents" and had articles describing "Christmas scientific recreations". And in the same year that Faraday was the star turn at the Royal Institution (1848) the Victoria Theatre staged one of the most sensational and over-subscribed pantomimes of the decade. E L Blanchard's 'Land of Light, or Harlequin Gas and the Four Elements' made "Science" the personified hero.

The opening scene takes place in a "goblin coal mine" 5,000 miles beneath the surface of the Earth, where an unhappy troop of fairies bemoan their banishment from the science-enamoured society above. The character, Science, arrives, challenging the fairies to a contest of traditional panto magic. But Science then steals the show by combusting a slab of coal. The stage directions at this point indicate that the player, Gas, appears from the coal "with flame upon his head". And to further perturb even the most hardened health-and-safety enthusiast, the scene's magical finale consists of a "magnificent temple" of artificial light, fuelled by a selection of intensely bright (and potentially explosive) gas-fuelled devices of the time – budelight, limelight, and camphine - as well as more conventional fireworks and gunpowder ... all in a family-packed theatre. Luckwas on their side and the show proved to be a roaring success!

Rivalling the pantomime's dominance in Victorian London's festive season, two "galleries of practical science" opened up in the 1830s that strove to offer "instructive amusement" for the masses. The Adelaide Gallery (later called the National Gallery of Practical Science) arrived first. Their Christmas bill including performances of traditional festive oratorios – usually Handel's Messiah or Haydn's Creation – that featured massive projections of microscopic organisms or dramatic displays of electricity and pyrotechnics. This was followed shortly after by the The Royal Polytechnic Institution (now the University of Westminster) whose Christmas performances were famous for their "abominable smells" and the "odd explosion". It was "Professor" John Henry Pepper, who, having joined as a lecturer and resident chemist in 1848, made Christmas at the Polytechnic legendary. He transformed the Polytechnic into a winter wonderland, with Christmas trees and other evergreens decking the Great Hall, and where a host of impressive machines and inventions were on display. Over the years, the Polytechnic treated the public to such festive marvels as harps that telegraphically channelled music played elsewhere, "optical" pantomimes showcasing the best in projection technology, and, most popular of all, 'The Ghost'.

Pepper's Ghost satisfied the Victorian taste for a rational dose of magic and gothic entertainment at Christmas. Adapting the civil engineer, Henry Dircks's mirror-based invention (which Dirck’s had developed specifically to better, and moreover discredit, the primitive optical illususions then commonly used by charlatan spiritualists), Pepper managed to project on stage the image of an actor concealed below, creating the illusion of an uncannily convincing ghost who could interact with the real actors on stage. At the Polytechnic on Christmas Eve in 1862, an adaptation of Charles Dickens's novella, ‘The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain’ was chosen for the first public performance of the illusion. It was Dickens's fifth and final Christmas book (published in 1848) and told the story of Redlaw, "a learned man in chemistry" who was haunted in his lecture theatre by a doppelganger. Michael Faraday and the fellow scientist Charles Wheatstone were guests at the first performance, and after each subsequent show a lecture was always given by an eminent scientific authority to explain the science behind the illusion. Dickens had in fact written to Faraday after his 1848 Royal Institution lectures asking for his lecture notes, and Faraday was undoubtedly the inspiration for Dickens's protagonist.

Nowadays, apart from the RI Lectures, the popular science magazine 'New Scientist' and its ever-popular, bumper Christmas edition, and Robin Ince's annual secular show 'Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People' … there is little left of the popular scientific seasonal wonder and excitement that was such a regular part of 19th century Christmas.

But in the spirit of scientific Christmas past there’s this article from the 'Manchester Guardian' of December 23, 1922:

THE CHEMIST’S CHRISTMAS.

According to a paragraph in yesterday’s 'Miscellany,' an exact analysis of a Christmas Pudding reveals the following constituents:- Water, 35.58; nitrogenous substances, 4.25; fat, 5.20; sugar (glucose) 23.89; dextrin, 12.23; starch, 11.14; cellulose, 5.31; soluble ash, .92; insoluble ash, .20; other miscellaneous substances, .58.

Bring hither my cleaned apparatus,
And all the retorts I possess:
Without them, the jobs that avail us
Can never be brought to success.
And now, while the steam is condensing
In queerly shaped bottles and tins,
Gather round, for the task of dispensing
Our pudding begins!

We start with the glucose, then adding,
In case the poor pudding should parch,
The water (one pail) with a padding
Of cellulose, sugar, and starch:
Then in with the dextrin and let the
Nitrogenous substances splash,
And whatever you do, don’t forget the
Insoluble ash!

And then let us prove to the erring
That sentiment counts with us, too –
Let each take a hand with the stirring
And wish, as we mingle the brew,
That our pudding may comfort and nourish,
And, while it is still in the pan,
The vitamins blossom and flourish
According to plan.

...oooOOOooo...


And further in the spirit of 'Christmas' experiments can be performed at home, one of my favourite accompaniments to the Christmas meal (although maybe not everyone's) is red cabbage. But even if you can't stand to eat it you really should get one this year because this particular brassica does something interesting. Red cabbage is full of chemicals called anthocyanins (as indeed are most other red or purple fruit and veg' ... it's also what gives your Christmas poinsettias, their red leaves).

Anyhow, when you cook it the anthocyanins leach out of the cabbage, turning the water purple. But before you chuck the cabbage water away pour some into two or three glasses.

Now add a few drops of vinegar to one glass, bicarbonate of soda to the second and washing soda to the third. And low and behold, each glass now contains a different coloured liquid! It's all down to a property of anthocyanins that causes them to change colour in response to acids and alkalis.

Anyone got any other simple "food science" experiments/demonstrations that can easily be done at home?
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 19 Dec 2017, 22:36

Meles meles,

thanks a lot for again a new lecture about dishes.

"And to further perturb even the most hardened health-and-safety enthusiast, the scene's magical finale consists of a "magnificent temple" of artificial light, fuelled by a selection of intensely bright (and potentially explosive) gas-fuelled devices of the time – budelight, limelight, and camphine - as well as more conventional fireworks and gunpowder ... all in a family-packed theatre. Luckwas on their side and the show proved to be a roaring success!"

Yes not sophisticated safety regulations yet...
"budelight, limelight"
limelight:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limelight

http://www.hevac-heritage.org/victorian_engineers/sir_goldsworthy_gurney/sir_goldsworthy_gurney.htm
From the link:
"He improved the problematical lighting of theatres which used "limelight"  with his "Bude Light".  Using a standard flame producer such as an oil lamp and by adding oxygen directly into the flame he produced a dramatically increased bright white light. These type of lights were fitted in The House of Commons and also in Trafalgar Square where replicas of the two styles originally used can still be seen. They have recently been refurbished."
camphine:
https://goo.gl/yVceT7
There is a detailed description in the book about the Vesta lamp invented by Mr.Young, but on the internet I found nothing...
Only an advertisement from 1846 Wink :
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/2945589
"Great Novelty in Lamps"

To return to the safety:
At school in the Fifties...in the theatre of the college (boys only)...a performance to bring the youngsters in contact with the modern technolgy...and on that wooden theatre before some 200 students in a closed hall...a demonstration of a small jet engine?...I think I was only twelve of thirteen then...the man had the engine in his hand...I suppose the device was fueled by gas?...in any case the pipe was burning horizontally...and in a few instants the pipe became red glowing...and ostensibly the engine was pushed by the burning gases or mixture of gas with oxygen...I have seen it all with "my own eyes"...

"Anyhow, when you cook it the anthocyanins leach out of the cabbage, turning the water purple. But before you chuck the cabbage water away pour some into two or three glasses.
Now add a few drops of vinegar to one glass, bicarbonate of soda to the second and washing soda to the third. And low and behold, each glass now contains a different coloured liquid! It's all down to a property of anthocyanins that causes them to change colour in response to acids and alkalis."

We called it the test of PH (grade of acidity) with "lakmoespapier" (litmus paper?)
"the anthocyanins leach out of the cabbage, turning the water purple"
You are lucky that you cooked in pipe water, having overhere due to the lime in it a PH of 7.3 and turn to blueish, while if you would have cooked in rain water (can you do that? Wink ) overhere too, it could have had a PH of 5.3, hence I suppose red, purple then...?

Kind regards from Paul.
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