Syllabub and Nutmeg
I came across an old book at my mother's house. She lives in Suffolk in an ancient cottage,in an ancient village built on a crossroads, a Roman road runs past the house under a thick layer of tarmac. There is a rookery in some huge trees across from it, I watched the rooks returning in the summer twilight, their winged forms like cut black paper gliding smoothly on the still air into the leaves. There they would settle to sleep cawing softly to each other. A very old book then,found among other books and old toys in the back bedroom, in a place where time and centuries overlap in a patch work.The back cover was off and it had originally been bound in leather, pages were loose and tattered. I loved it.
The book was an 18th century cookbook, my edition - the ninth - was published in 1765, and an unknown Mrs William had written on the flyleaf on the 1st of July 1789. 1789 had been quite a year and I thought about Georgian England at the time, the echoes of what was to come in France just beginning two weeks later. The summer of 1789...Food is a way to look briefly into the past, I felt as I looked at the pages and the clear instructions the author Hannah Glasse presented, that I could follow these instructions too and do some time travelling of my own.Look into the 18th Century and taste it.
The great bonus of it is that the recipes are largely very good and quite delicious, especially the cakes and puddings. The ones with meat I have avoided a little, the Georgians were crazy for meat, each meat dish frequently needs more than two different types of animal to lend it a richness and many of them are not for the squeamish. The Georgians ate everything.
And so I have started a blog in which I record my experiences with the cooking and eating of 18th Century food, with Mrs Hannah Glasse as my capable and knowledgeable guide.
Click on the button on the left and come and visit Miss Posset, she's in the kitchen hoping you will wait upon her.