As you know I love to cook. I think it goes back to my childhood because I’ve never made any secret of the fact that my Mother was the worst cook ever created. My Dad used to say that when food saw her coming, it used to beg for mercy. Even tinned food used to climb back in the tin when she took the top off ! Anyway, as I grew up we used to have these classes at school called Housecraft which in other words were cookery and I always remember my teacher. Mrs. Gernooie. I might have that spelling wrong after all these years but that’s the way you pronounced it and Heaven help you if you pronounced it the wrong way. Going back to my childhood memories we had to wear aprons that we’d made in Sewing which had a bit with our name on that we had to embroider especially. Mine was blue and pink – strange the things you remember isn’t it.
Anyway for some reason my love of cooking grew and I started to look into historic recipes more and found a wonderful book by the late Michael Barry so I thought I’d share some of his recipes with you which do still work if you tinker with them. I know that for a fact because I’ve tried them and I haven’t killed anyone yet!
PETS FROM 1630
6 Egg Whites
1/2 lb Caster Sugar
1/2 oz Butter
1 teaspoon lightly crushed Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon lightly crushed Aniseeds
- Beat egg whites until really stiff. Add all but two tablespoons of the sugar until the meringue is really stiff.
- Mix the Coriander and Aniseed with the remaining sugar and crush gently and fold it into the meringue.
- Spread it on a large baking sheet covered with baking parchment.
- Place a large spoonful onto the baking sheet with space between and allow to dry out on Reg. 1.
- These meringues can also be cooked in an Aga successfully.
SODA WATER – 1808
1 pint fresh water (You can use bottled if you want to)
1 oz cream of tartar
1 oz bicarbonate of soda.
1.In a jug that allows for frothing up, pour in the water, then add the cream of tartar.
2. Stir until thoroughly dissolved.
3. Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir.
4. It will immediately fizz up.
5. Pour instantly into a screw top bottle, and seal hard to keep the fizz.
OX KIDNEY SAUTE 1675 – 1750
1 1/2 lb Ox Kidney
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large onion roughly chopped
1 desertspoon marjoram, thyme
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water.
- Remove any fat from the kidneys and cut into slices the size of a walnut.
- Season generously with the salt and pepper and fry in the butter until browned.
- Add the onion and herbs and add just enough water to cover. Simmer gently for 45 minutes.
- Stir in the Cornflour bringing the sauce to a light boil until it is thickened.
- Serve with anything you wish.
These a just a few of the many historic recipes in my collection. I hope you will try them and enjoy them. I’ll be posting more in the future. I don’t have a problem with the food we eat today. Please don’t think that but I think that sometimes we neglect our past and forget how good the food was then.