Samp soup—a recipe from Count Rumford

Count_RumfordFound in a pamphlet of c 1796, entitled On Food, and particularly of Feeding the Poor by the pioneer of cheaply produced dishes , Benjamin, Count Rumford, is a recipe that is not likely to catch on among modern foodies, though those who like experimenting with trendy cereals such as Quinoa, might find it intriguing. To me it sounds like a superior thickened gruel, but others might disagree.

Receipt for a very cheap Soup

‘Take of water eight gallons, and mixing with it 5lbs of barley-meal, boil it to the consistency of a thick jelly.—Season it with salt, pepper, vinegar, sweet herbs, and four red herrings, pounded in a mortar.—-Instead of bread, add to it 5lb. of Indian Corn made into Samp, and stirring it together with a ladle, serve it up immediately in portions of 20 ounces.

Continue reading

Spice Girls spice labels

[raw]

Sent in by a loyal jotwatcher this useful and amusing piece about the Spice Girls and Viz the cult British comic magazine. It probably dates from about 1996. Go easy on the nutmeg!

Spice Girls spice labels

Does anyone remember that issue of Viz that appeared at a time when the Spice Girls were at the height of their fame. This particular number featured cut-out ’n’-keep labels which could be stuck onto spice jars. Aping the designs of the famous Schwartz spice bottles, there was one label for four of the Spice Girls—‘Scary Spice’ was left out for some reason.  Was I the only person who actually cut out the labels and used them? I somehow doubt it. Anyway, I’ve still got them, although they are getting a bit grubby. Each label contains a description of each of the spices, together with a recipe contributed by one of the girls.

Victoria presents Basil.

There is no finer sight in a herb garden than a basil flower. Generally used to add colour a dish, Basil is completely tasteless, but compensates for this by being extremely flavourful. It can be bought in most supermarkets or stolen from posh people’s gardens.

Victoria’s recipe.
Welsh rabbit.     Place your rabbit (or hare if in season) on the toast and cover  generously with cheese. Then toast until Welsh throughout. Add Basil to taste and serve

Toast
Cheese.
Rabbit
Basil

Continue reading

IMG_0987

Rock and Roll Cookery

Found – an uncommon cook book called Cool Cooking. Recipes of your Favorite Rock Stars by Roberta Ashley ( Scholastic Book Service USA 1972). As it was published 40 years some of the stars are now dead (John Lennon, George Harrison, Eddie Kendricks, Wilson Pickett, Joe Cocker) or sadly forgotten (The Honey Cones, The Grass Roots, The Bells, Andy Kim, Odetta, The Delfonics, Rose Colored Glass, Mandrill) and Paul McCartney was still eating meat. He provides a pizza recipe with sausage and anchovies etc.,

Some recipes are long and complicated and some short to the point of minimalist. From Elton John (‘who doesn’t cook at all’) is a multi ingredient Shrimp Currry. Kris Kristofferson’s Tacos looks slightly difficult but he advises (unlike Nigella) ‘prepackaged taco shells’. George Harrison’ s Banana Sandwich requires bread and a banana with peanut butter optional -‘Slice  a ripe banana lengthwise and lay on a piece of bread. If you like, you can spread the bread with peanut butter.’ That’s it.

Another banana themed recipe comes from Carly (‘You’re so vain’) Simon. Carly ‘likes strange food combinations she creates spontaneously’. This concoction, she says, tastes great with yoghurt and mandarin oranges.

Carly’s Concoction
Chopped Walnuts
1 container cottage cheese
1 banana
honey ( as much as you like)
Mix the walnuts into the cottage cheese and sliced the banana over the top of this mixture. Pour honey over the whole concoction and serve.

Lastly John Fogerty ( Creedence Clearwater Revival) has a good egg recipe for a rock and roll breakfast.

Fogerty Scrambled Eggs
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter

 Beat  the eggs well and stir in the sour cream ; add salt and pepper and blend. Melt the butter in a skillet and pour in the eggs. Fry over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the eggs are  solid. Serves 2.

Rumfordsuppe

The most nourishing soup

A pot of Rumford’s Soup from the basic recipe: pearl barley and dried peas, water, salt, some vinegar (no potatoes). Thanks to Gestumblindi.
Found - an 'extract' from a book about food with a recipe for pearl barley soup. This piece appears in various forms throughout the 19th century but derives from work with the poor by Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford)  when he was army minister in Bavaria in the 1790s. Rumford was an American ennobled by the courts of Europe because of his pioneer discoveries in cooking.The soup is sometimes known as Rumford's Soup. He wrote:

The difference in the apparent goodness, or the palatableness, and apparent nutritiousness of the same kinds of food, when prepared or cooked in different ways struck me very forcibly and I constantly found that the richness or quality of a soup depended more upon a proper choice of the ingredients and a proper management of the fire in the combination of those ingredients, than upon the quantity of solid nutritious matter employed ;— much more upon the art and skill of the cook, than upon the amount of the sums laid out in the market.

I found, likewise, that the nutritiousness of a soup, or its power of satisfying hunger, and affording nourishment, appeared always to be in proportion to its apparent richness or palatableness. But what surprised me not a little, was a discovery of the very small quantity of solid food, which, when properly prepared, will suffice to satisfy hunger, and support life and health ; and the very trifling expense at which the stoutest and most laborious man may, in any country, be fed.

Continue reading

Image_20090908_147_600-1

Pemmican pemmicanised

Found in this comprehensive work aimed at serious travellers, explorers and survivalists - a letter about pemmican. The book is a two volume work, seemingly not transcribed at Google books, although it went through many editions: Hints to travellers: Organisation and equipment, scientific observations, health, sickness and injury. Edward Ayearst Reeves. (Royal Geographical Society, London, 1938.)

The typed letter headed What is pemmican? was a response to 'Questions & Answers' at the magazine Geographical of September 1998. It was sent in by one Alan Gurney from the  Isle of Islay.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820), the first European to cross the full width of North America, described pemmican as the food used by North American Indians on their travels. It was made from dried and pounded caribou meat mixed with an equal proportion of melted caribou fat. The resulting mixture was then packed into bags, eaten, uncooked, on the march. This high calorie convenience food was adopted by the North American fur traders on their long cross country travels. Pemmican -- made from beef rather than caribou -- heated in a Nansen cooked former the famous "hoosh" of Arctic and Antarctic explorers. The Bovril company made a man-pemmican (about half protein and half fat) and a dog pemmican (two thirds protein and a third fat). JD Beauvais of Copenhagen made two mixtures. The "Knud Rasmussen" containing meat, rice, vegetable and fat, packed into tins. The Amundsen containing dried meat powder, vegetables and fat, all pressed into cakes and wrapped in foil. As to taste, Mackenzie said that "time reconciles it to the palate," and Gino Watkins said that "it kept the body twitching but not the soul".

Continue reading

Jot-101-Salaman-Hopkin-book605-1

The Potato Man and the MP —a First World War Story

Discovered in the library of descendants of geneticist Dr. Redcliffe Salaman, author of The History and Social Influence of the Potato (1949 ) is the final volume of an Elzevier Press  edition of Lucan’s Pharsalia,  dated 1671.

It’s fitting that the poem treats of the civil war between Julius Caesar and the forces of the Senate headed by Pompey the Great, because it was found among the rubble of Arras, blitzed by the Germans in 1916, by a soldier, Major Daniel Hopkin, MC, who on returning home to England presented it to Salaman’s son Raphael (then aged about 10 ), who just happened to be one of his  private pupils. On further investigation, the friendship between Salaman senior (b 1874) and Hopkin, his junior by 12 years, becomes even more intriguing.

Continue reading

DSC_0987-1

Huckleberry Pudding

From "As We Like it" Recipes by Famous People edited  by Kenneth Downey  (Arthur Barker, London 1950.) Famous people included Joyce Grenfell, Georgette Heyer, Leslie Charteris, Douglas Fairbanks, Christopher Fry, Celia Johnson Vivian Leigh, Richard Mason, Charles Morgan, Ivor Novello Laurence Olivier, Wilfred Pickles, Freya Stark, Richard Rogers, Eleanor Roosevelt ,Katherine Hepburn, Enid Blyton and Clementina Churchill. The book has a forward by Edwina Mountbatten of Burma and she writes that every penny from the sale of the book will go to the funds of the Returned Prisoners of War Association.

There is much mention of rationing and tinned food but in this recipe from America's first lady whipped cream is called for with the huckleberries. The recipe is very similar to the British one for Summer Pudding - made with blackberries, black and red currants, raspberries etc., In that the soaking tends to be overnight and a good weight on top is advised. The bread should not be completely juice sodden, and a piebald appearance is favoured.

HUCKLEBERRY PUDDING

Cut crusts from slices of white bread. Line bottom and sides of casserole or china bowl (size and quantity dependent on number to be served). Pour in cooked and sweetened huckleberries to cover bottom, then add another slice of bread and more huckleberries, alternating until the dish is filled. Put in ice-box for several hours so berry juice will soak through bread. Serve with plain or whipped cream.

Eleanor Roosevelt.

recipe-cover-1

Make Mine with Marshmallows

Some recipes from the 1939 marshmallow cook book Make Mine with Marshmallows.  The booklet was produced by the Angelus Campfire Company and the company continues today as Doumak in Bensonville near Chicago. The original marshmallow, a delicacy enjoyed by the Pharaohs in 2000  BC, was based on the marshmallow plant. The modern variety is simply corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, water and (the magic ingredient) air. Doumak have a website about the history and manufacture of marshmallows. Here are 3 recipes from this excellent cookbook.

CAMPFIRE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE

1 quarter-pound package (16) Campfire Marshmallows
1 tablespoon milk
2 egg whites
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Continue reading

beeesto-1

Pollen charts

Found in Dorothy Hodges bee book The Pollen Loads of the Honeybee (Bee Research Association Limited, 1962) an attractive 'pollen load' chart over a dozen pages. Similar to a paint chart and showing a surprising variety..

The colour of the pollen load is the colour as it appears when the pollen arrives at the beehive. Bees mix dry pollen with nectar and/or honey to compact the pollen in the pollen basket. The pollen basket or corbicula is part of the tibia on the hind legs of certain species of bees. They use the structure in harvesting pollen and returning it to the nest or hive.

The honey or nectar is used by the bees to mix the dry pollen into a paste-like condition suitable for packing her pollen loads…  as Dorothy Hodges says 'this mixing of the pollen with liquid, either honey or nectar, or possibly a mixture of both, makes the colour of the honeybees pollen load quite different from the colour of the pollen alone as it is seen on the anther of the flower.' This photo of a  Squill flower seems to bely this as the pollen is clearly visible as a dark blue...

843554-1

Macaroni Cheese by Wilfred Pickles

Wilfred Pickles and his wife Mabel

From "As We Like it" Recipes by Famous People edited  by Kenneth Downey  (Arthur Barker, London 1950.)  There is much mention of rationing as in this recipe from Wilfred Pickles. Rather forgotten today but at one point his shows on BBC Radio and TV attracted millions. He also appeared as the grumpy father in Billy Liar (1963).

Macaroni

Here is the recipe I promised you: in these days of shortage of meat this is a recipe which is easy to make and all of the food is unrationed.

First, steam some macaroni in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes, then make a white sauce with grated cheese. Put this cheese sauce over the macaroni, fry some rings of onions crisp, grill some tomatoes and serve with hot, dry toast. And by gum it's grand!

enid-blyton-1

Cherry Cake by Enid Blyton, Mulled wine by Evelyn Waugh

From "As We Like it" Recipes by Famous People edited  by Kenneth Downey  (Arthur Barker, London 1950.) Famous people included Joyce Grenfell, Georgette Heyer, Leslie Charteris, Douglas Fairbanks, Christopher Fry, Celia Johnson Vivian Leigh, Richard Mason, Charles Morgan, Ivor Novello Laurence Olivier, Wilfred Pickles, Freya Stark, Richard Rogers, Eleanor Roosevelt ,Katherine Hepburn, Enid Blyton and Clementina Churchill. The book has a forward by Edwina Mountbatten of Burma and she writes that every penny from the sale of the book will go to the funds of the Returned Prisoners of War Association. There is much mention of rationing and tinned food  but Evelyn Waugh goes for an extravagant and slightly incapacitating mulled wine in full Brideshead fashion.

Mulled Claret (for six persons)

Take six bottles of red wine (it would be improper to use really fine Bordeaux, but the better the wine, the better the concoction.)  Any sound claret or burgundy will do. 1 cup full of water; 2 port glasses of brandy; 1 port glass of ginger wine; 1 orange stuffed with cloves; peel of two lemons; 3 sticks of cinnamon; one grated nutmeg.

Heat in covered cauldron. Do not allow to simmer. Serve hot and keep hot on the hob. Should be drunk at the same temperature as tea. To be drunk during and after luncheon in February or after dinner on any winter evening.

Enid Blyton's recipe is for a fairly simple and economical  Cherry Cake for the children…

This is a cake my own children love, and is easy to make when children come to tea.

Ingredients:

Half pound of margarine. 3 eggs. 6 ounces castor sugar.6 ounces cherries. 6 ounces flour. A few drops of vanilla essence.

Method: Beat the margarine and sugar till soft and creamy, drop in eggs one by one and beat well in between each. Add flour gradually, and lastly cherries and flavouring. If too stiff, add a little milk. Bake in a moderate oven to start, and then drop to Regulo 3. It takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to bake.

This is just as nice with fruit instead of cherries, or ginger cut up it is excellent.

Half the quantity makes a nice little cake for tea, but only takes 3/4 to 1 hour to cook.


Jot-101-snail-syrup-c1890510-1

Snail recipe

From Les Boissons et Liqueurs economique by Etienne Ducret (Paris, c 1890.)
This was sent in by loyal jotter and foodie RR.

A recipe for snail syrup.

First: pound together very finely:500 grammes of snails and 500 grammes of sugar ; then, pass this paste through a fine sieve.

Second: combine 500grammes of sweet almonds; 150 grammes of bitter almonds. Pound them with 500 grammes of sugar and 125 grammes of water. Dilute this paste in 825 grammes of water. Strain vigorously.

Third: add to this emulsion your mixture of sugar and snails that you dissolved in a bain marie on a low heat.

Fourth: when the sugar has melted add a certain quantity of orange flower water.

For consumption and bronchitis, 3 to 6 teaspoonfuls of this syrup is recommended per day.

Only ingredient missing------puppy dogs’ tails. Incidentally, M. Ducret (1829 – 1909), as well as being a gastronome (he also wrote a book on patisserie) seems to have been a literary hack in fin de siècle Paris. His book contains several recipes for absinthe.