Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No. 3 Economical Pot Liquor Soup

This is from A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, by Charles Elme Francatelli, LATE MAÎTRE D'HÔTEL AND CHIEF COOK TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN [1852]. I don't make the capitalization, I just transcribe it. Well. Also I just copied and pasted. I didn't want to look up how to do all those dealies that go over the letters.

My object in writing this little book is to show you how you may prepare and cook your daily food, so as to obtain from it the greatest amount of nourishment at the least possible expense; and thus, by skill and economy, add, at the same time, to your comfort and to your comparatively slender means. The Recipes which it contains will afford sufficient variety, from the simple every-day fare to more tasty dishes for the birthday, Christmas-day, or other festive occasions.

So, what can we expect in the way of a nourishing, comforting meal on the cheap?

No. 3. Economical Pot Liquor Soup.
A thrifty housewife will not require that I should tell her to save the liquor in which the beef has been boiled; I will therefore take it for granted that the next day she carefully removes the grease, which will have become set firm on the top of the broth, into her fat pot; this must be kept to make a pie-crust, or to fry potatoes, or any remains of vegetables, onions, or fish. The liquor must be tasted, and if it is found to be too salt, some water must be added to lessen its saltness, and render it palatable. The pot containing the liquor must then be placed on the fire to boil, and when the scum rises to the surface it should be removed with a spoon. While the broth is boiling, put as many piled-up table-spoonfuls of oatmeal as you have pints of liquor into a basin; mix this with cold water into a smooth liquid batter, and then stir it into the boiling soup; season with some pepper and a good pinch of allspice, and continue stirring the soup with a stick or spoon on the fire for about twenty minutes; you will then be able to serve out a plentiful and nourishing meal to a large family at a cost of not more than the price of the oatmeal.

IMG_2825.jpg picture by seshet27

No. 3 Economical Pot Liquor Soup II
Boil some beef broth. For every 2 cups of broth, add 1 heaping tablespoon of oatmeal. Boil 20 minutes.

There, was that so hard, Charles Elme Francatelli, LATE MAÎTRE D'HÔTEL AND CHIEF COOK TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN?


It was fine. The oatmeal reminded me a lot of barley, actually, which was pleasantly surprising. The allspice was a little odd, but I didn't put in enough that you could tell that is what it was. It just added an interesting background flavor. This was preeeeeetty thin on the nourishing and comforting side though. I feel sorry for people who'd have to eat this and only this for dinner on a regular basis because they really could not afford anything more. Poor guys.

Rejected: This is my new section where I give you a recipe from the book that I did NOT make, for very good reasons.

No. 24. A Pudding made of Small Birds.
Industrious and intelligent boys who live in the country, are mostly well up in the cunning art of catching small birds at odd times during the winter months. So, my young friends, when you have been so fortunate as to succeed in making a good catch of a couple of dozen of birds, you must first pluck them free from feathers, cut off their heads and claws, and pick out their gizzards from their sides with the point of a small knife, and then hand the birds over to your mother, who, by following these instructions, will prepare a famous pudding for your dinner or supper. First, fry the birds whole with a little butter, shalot, parsley, thyme, and winter savory, all chopped small, pepper and salt to season; and when the birds are half done, shake in a small handful of flour, add rather better than a gill of water, stir the whole on the fire while boiling for ten minutes, and when the stew of birds is nearly cold, pour it all into a good-sized pudding basin, which has been ready-lined with either a suet and flour crust, or else a dripping-crust, cover the pudding in with a piece of the paste, and either bake or boil it for about an hour and-a-half.

-1-1.jpg picture by seshet27


Kathleen said...

Um. Beef broth with oatmeal? No thanks.

Frances Adams said...

Baby bird pudding is actually a pie? so glad you didn't make it. Maybe you just have no industrious boys around?