Old books

18 05 2011

I’ve just happened upon The Accomplisht Cook, OR THE ART & MYSTERY OF COOKERY, which was first printed in 1685. While much of the contents is a little more than I’d be willing to attempt (“Make the likeness of a Ship in Paste-board, with Flags and Streamers, the Guns belonging to it of Kickses“), I am thoroughly pleased with the headings in the section on “Directions for the order of carving Fowl“. I have reproduced the headings below. They strike me as the kind of thing that I could accidentally learn by heart and be caught secretly chanting as I work.

Lift that Swan
Rear the Goose
To cut up a Turkey or Bustard
Dismember that Hern
Unbrace that Mallard
Unlace that Coney
Sauce that Capon
Allay that Pheasant
Wing that Partridg
Wing that Quail
Display that Crane
Dismember that Hern
Unjoynt that Bittern
Break that Egript
Untach that Curlew
Untach that brew
Unlace that Coney
Break that Sarcel
Mince that Plover
A Snite
Thigh that Woodcock

On a slightly less excitable note, I rather like the look of THE COOKING MANUAL OF PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS FOR ECONOMICAL EVERY-DAY COOKERY by Juliet Corson, printed in 1877. It is sub-titled “How well can we live, if we are moderately poor?” and there are chapters on “cheap dishes” with and without meat. The recipes are straight-forward, easy to follow and sound tasty. Quite a few of the cheap meat dishes are made from things it’s not easy to get hold of post-BSE, but some of them are viable as-is and substitutions could be made in many of the others.

Taking a much-more-modern tack, I’ve been enjoying reading The 1940s Experiment and am hoping to try out some of those recipes too, particularly the mock cream.



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