Sunday, July 29, 2012

Victorian Limpet Soup - (1867)

This recipe appears in the book 'The edible mollusks of Great Britain and Ireland, with recipes for cooking them' by MJ Lovell, published in 1867.  It is a free eBook that is available from Google Books, and freely downloadable from from Google Books if you have a mobile device.  This book covers what sort of shelled creatures you can get away with eating in the UK.

The quantities for this bizarre recipe are very much up to you.  But I would urge you to have a go, just make sure that you don't strip the landscape of Limpets, as that would be selfish and destructive.
Limpet Soup 

1. Wash them and free the shells from seaweed etc put them into a saucepan and parboil them. 

2. Take them out of the shells chop up some parsley and put it with a tablespoonful of oil or an ounce of lard or butter into a saucepan and fry until it becomes brown 

3. Add a pint of water and when boiling throw in the limpets with a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce some pepper and boil again for half an hour or if preferred stew them before putting them into the soup.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Authentic 19th Century American Tomato Ketchup recipe (Catchup) -

One of the things I love about old recipes is the process of decoding them.  Whilst having a quick scour through Google Books, I came across a very authentic recipe for genuine American 1800's tomato ketchup straight from Dr. Chase's recipes; or, Information for everybody; an invaluable collection of about eight hundred practical recipes
The recipe is credited to Mrs Hardy of the American Hotel, Dresden Ohio and according to Dr Chase is 'The best catchup which I have ever tasted'.

The history of ketchup is quite extensive so, as usual, go to to get the background.

The quantity is a tad large.  I did some research, mostly Google based, and the recipe calls for 1 'bushel' of tomatoes.  According to common law, that equates to 53 lbs which is by anyone's standards quite a bit.  So this recipe is quite ready for a little bit of adjustment.

What do you need then?

1 bushel of tomatos, washed and clean.
Salt to taste,
2 cups of allspice
1 tea cup of ground cloves
1 quart of best vinegar

1. Wash and clean the tomatoes, chop them and boil them and then remove once reached boiling point.
2. Allow the tomato to cool and then rub them through a wire sieve.
3. Add salt to taste, the allspice, cloves and vinegar to the stuff that comes through the sieve.
4. Cook the mixture for an hour over a moderate heat, stirring constantly.

So here is the original text.  You can view it here too 

"CATCHUP Tomato Catchup 
Take perfectly ripe tomatoes 1 bushel (53lbs) wash them clean and break to pieces then put over the fire and let them come to a boil and remove from the fire when they are sufficiently cool to allow your hands to them rub through a wire sieve and to what goes through add salt 2 tea cups allspice and cloves of each ground 1 tea cup best vinegar 1 qt Put onto the fire again and cook 1 hour stirring with great care to avoid burning Bottle and seal for use If too thick when used put in a little vinegar If they were very juicy they may need boiling over an hour 
This recipe is from Mrs Hardy of the American Hotel Dresden 0 and is decidedly the best catchup which I lwve ever tasted the only fault I have ever heard attributed to it was I wish we had made more of it We have not got half enough of it &c But there are those who cannot use tomatoes in any shape such persons will undoubt edly like the following."

Credit for the photo goes to the Neo-Victorian Blog, which I found during the research for this recipe.

Butterscotch Walnut Brownies - 1970s

File:English Walnuts.jpg

I love butterscotch, it appeals to my sweet tooth and my general gluttonous side.  Wikipedia says that the origin of butterscotch is a bit of an unknown, read about it

So in my 1001 Recipe Cook Book: Recipes For All Occasions, I found Butterscotch Walnut Brownies. This doesn't appear to be a 'typical' 1970s recipe and if I was asked to write what dishes personified the 1970s I wouldn't necessarily say that this was really one of them.  However this includes two of my favourite ingredients so I can't really keep it to myself.

You'll need:

125g/4oz Butter
125g/4oz brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
5ml/1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
75g/3oz self-raising flour, sifted.
50g/2oz chopped walnuts

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
2. Beat in the eggs then the vanilla essence.
3. Fold in the flour, then the walnuts and mix well.
4. Spoon the batter into a well-greased 18cm/7 inch square baking tin and put into a preheated oven at 170 Celsius/325 F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until firm.  Cut in to squares and serve.