Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salmon, Roast Pigeons, Vegetables, Macaroni Pudding

Things a Lady Would Like to Know [1876]

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Remember this book? Oh yes. The one with the edifying quotes. Today's menu is for July 25, with this accompanying quote:

Consider everlasting consequences, contemplate approaching judgment. -Rev. James Fordyce, D.D.

Oh, Reverend Fordyce. You are as cheery as ever. You may remember this fellow from such books as Pride and Prejudice, where he is mentioned as a favorite author of Mr. Collins.

Salmon
Roast Pigeons
Vegetables
Macaroni Pudding


Salmon.—Take 2 slices of salmon, and lay them in a baking-dish; put some pieces of butter over them; add salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg, half a tea-spoonful of chopped parsley, 1 shalot, rubbing a little of it into the fish. Baste frequently. Take out when done (in about three-quarters of an hour); drain it; lay it on a hot dish, and pour over it either tomato or caper sauce.



Roast Pigeons.—Pick, draw, and truss them, keeping on the feet. Chop the liver with some parsley; add crumbs of bread, pepper, salt, and a little butter; put this stuffing inside. Slit one of the legs, and slip the other through it; skewer and roast them for half an hour; baste them well with butter. Serve with brown gravy in a boat, and bread sauce.




4. Maccaroni Pudding.—Simmer 1 or 2 oz. of the pipe sort in a pint of milk and a bit of lemon and cinnamon till tender; put it into a dish with milk, 2 or 3 eggs, but only 1 white; sugar, nutmeg, and a half glass of raisin wine, or table-spoonful of brandy. Bake with a paste round the edges. A layer of orange marmalade or raspberry jam in this pudding, for change, is a great improvement; in which case omit the almond water, or ratifia, which you would otherwise flavour it with.


Verdict:

Salmon: Wayyyyyy overcooked. I pulled it out of the oven at 20 minutes, and it was still overcooked. Three-quarters of an hour would render it into salmon jerky. Other than that, I really liked it. The preparation and ingredients were very simple. I didn't do a tomato or caper sauce, and I don't think it needed it. I can recommend this recipe, as long as you don't cook it as long as I did.

Roast Pigeons: Pigeons were unavailable, but luckily a couple cornish game hens were happy to step in as stunt doubles. And they were delicious. I now love cornish game hens. Not a very interesting preparation, but it is pretty fun to eat an entire bird in one go, especially with some fantastic gravy made with the drippings. Husband made the stuffing, using a slice of bread per bird, and also tried really hard to attach the legs together as instructed. This did not succeed. Probably because some thoughtless butcher had cut its feet off. The same butcher also failed to include the tiny wee livers. Shucks!

Macaroni Pudding: The original menu had tapioca pudding on this day, but this looked more entertaining. In place of raisin wine, brandy, or ratafia, I used vanilla and a little orange flower water. I thought it was lovely! Think of it sort of like a custardy rice pudding, but with macaroni instead of rice and also in a pie shell. The marmalade was an excellent touch. Husband thought the flavor was good, but couldn't get over the bouncy texture of the macaroni, so unexpected in a sweet application. Boo sucks to him, that means I get to eat the rest!

3 comments:

Nonna Beach said...

Wonderful dinner and your humorous Verdict is, as always, delightful to read ( Cornish Hens as 'stunt doubles' for pigeons LOL ! )

Hope you and your family have a beautiful Easter !!!

Hugs,
Nonna

Karen K. said...

I didn't know Fordyce was a real person! I wonder if his sermons were as dry as his salmon?? Or if he had to cook it so long because he didn't have a modern oven?

And I agree with Nonna, LOL re your comment about the Cornish hens as stunt doubles. I was wondering how you'd get hold of some pigeons!

Jana said...

NB- Thank you!

Karen- The good reverend is not the author of this book, he wrote "Sermons to Young Women". One of the volumes is available here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=UZk9AAAAYAAJ&dq=sermons%20for%20young%20women&pg=PR1#v=onepage&q&f=false

He was a silly man. One of his sermons warns that men of sense do not wish to marry witty women. He was also against novel-reading, which is probably one of the reasons Jane Austen pokes fun at him.