Wednesday, April 30, 2008

With a saucepan over the sea

My second foray into the cookbooks of the past is a 1902 volume titled "With a saucepan over the sea..." by Adelaide Keen. Miss Keen claims to have presented recipes from around the world and it does appear that she has found samples from all over Europe (which in 1902 represented the "world" to most Americans).

Ms. Keen may have been ahead of her time with her ideas about eating healthfully. "If we ate freely of greens, in salads and fresh vegetables, all of which are cheaper here than in Europe, we should not need blood purifiers nor quinine; fruit replaces liver pills, olive oil is more easily assimilated than cod liver oil, and strengthening soups are the best tonics. And it may be said that false hair and false teeth are not seen nearly so much abroad as they are here, because the people are better nourished."

Unfortunately for the modern cook, most of Ms Keen's recipes involve parts of animals that we aren't all comfortable eating today. But, that said, she has some recipes with names so curious that I had to include a few.

ANGELS ON HORSEBACK. (English supper dish.)
Cut 2 ounces of bacon into very thin slices, wrap each around a fat oyster, put three on a skewer, using all required, and fry in butter; serve that way on toast, with slices of lemon.

Beat the yolks of 6 eggs well, add 1/2 pound sifted sugar, the grated rind of a lemon, and 2 tablespoonfuls of orange-flower water. Beat all well, add slowly 6 ounces flour, then whites of eggs beaten stiff, and the juice of a lemon. Pour into ladyfinger tins or on a large pan, very thin; bake 1 hour slowly, and cut in strips.

THESE celebrated cakes, or tarts, were invented by Queen Elizabeth, and are still sold at Richmond.

Beat 2 eggs, add 1 quart of milk, and the juice of a lemon. Set in a pan and skim off the curd. Drain it, mix with yolks of 4 eggs, beaten with the grated rind of the lemon, some sugar to taste,- the lemon can be rubbed on it, in two lumps, - a little cinnamon and nutmeg, 6 ounces currants and 1 glass of brandy. Mix well and fill shells of puff paste. Bake 20 minutes.


Anonymous said...

ooh those shoestrings sounds tasty!
I wonder what animal bits were all the rage a hundred years ago? Surely you can't mean tripe. I refuse to believe we ever considered tripe a food. (shiver)

Buck said...

I've actually eaten Angels on Horseback. Yum-yum-yum.

(Devils on Horseback are made with kidneys and hot mustard instead of oysters. ick!