Friday, 30 November 2007

Christmas Cheer!

Today marks the start of the Christmas season out here in the colonies, so WWS would like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all our visitors. May your stockings be full of little lead men, paints, rules and other silliness!

For those of you wondering what you might serve to your family and guests on the day, here is a traditional Victorian Menu and recipe:

A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER
(Menu from Godey's Lady's Book, December 1890)

Raw Oysters
Bouillon
Fried smelts.................................Sauce tartare
Potatoes a la Maitre d' Hotel
Sweetbread Pates............................Peas
Roast Turkey..................Cranberry Sauce
Roman Punch
Quail with Truffles.............Rice Croquettes
Parisian Salad
Crackers and Cheese
Nesselrode Pudding.............Fancy Cakes
Fruit......................Coffee

RAW OYSTERS
Have blue-point oysters; serve upon the half shell, the shells being laid upon oyster plates filled with cracked ice; six oysters and a thick slice of lemon being served upon each plate.

BOUILLON
Put into a pot three pounds of shin beef, one pound of knuckle of veal, and three quarts of water, and simmer gently. As soon as the scum begins to rise, skim carefully until it quite ceases to appear. Then add salt, two carrots, the same of onions, turnips, and a little celery. Simmer gently four hours, strain, and serve in bouillon cups to each guest.

FRIED SMELTS. SAUCE TARTARE
Clean about two dozen smelts, cut off the gills, wash them well in cold water, and then dry them thoroughly. Put in a pinch of salt and pepper in a little milk, into which dip your smelts, and then roll them in cracker dust. Put into a frying pan some lard, in which, when very hot, fry your smelts a light brown. Also fry some parsley, which place around your fish, and serve with sauce tartare.

SAUCE TARTARE
Put the yolks of two eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper, the juice of a lemon, and one teaspoonful of dry mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon, and add by degrees-- in very small quantities, and stirring continuously-- a tablespoonful of vinegar; then, a few drops at a time, some good oil, stirring rapidly all the time, until your sauce thicken, and a half a pint of oil has been absorbed. Chop one pickle and a tablespoonful of capers, also chop a green onion and a few tarragon leaves, and mix with your sauce.

POTATOES A la MAITRE d'HOTEL
Wash eight potatoes, and boil them in cold water with a pinch of salt. When thoroughly done, peel them cut them in thin round slices; put them--with three ounces of butter, a pinch of salt, pepper and a nutmeg, the juice of a lemon, and a tablespoonful of chopped parsley--in a saucepan on the fire, and, when very hot, serve.

SWEETBREAD PATES
Boil four sweetbreads, and let them become cold; then chop them very fine, add about ten mushrooms, also chopped fine. Mix with these a quarter pound of butter, half a pint of milk, a little flour, pepper, salt, and a little grated nutmeg. Put upon the fire, stir until it begins to thicken, then put in puff-paste that has been prepared, and bake until light brown.

PEAS
Open a can of peas, soak in clear water for half an hour, then put upon the fire in clean water, let them boil up hard, drain well and serve with butter, pepper and salt.

ROAST TURKEY
Clean and prepare a medium sized turkey for roasting. Cut two onions in pieces, and put them in a saucepan with two ounces of butter, and color them slightly. Grate a pound of bread into fine crumbs, add the bread to your onions, the turkey's heart and liver chopped very fine, quarter of a pound of butter, salt, pepper, a pinch of thyme, and mix all well together. Stuff the turkey with this mixture, sew up the opening through which you have introduced the stuffing, and put it to roast, with a little butter on top and a wineglassful of water; roast an hour and a half; strain your liquor in the pan, pour over your turkey, and serve.

CRANBERRY SAUCE
Take one quart of cranberries, pick and wash carefully, put upon the fire with half a teacupful of water, let them stew until thoroughly broken up, then strain and add one pound and a quarter of sugar; put into a mould and turn out when cold.

ROMAN PUNCH
Put in a saucepan on the fire three-quarters of a pound of sugar with three pints of water, boil ten minutes, then put aside to become cold. Put in a freezer, and when nearly frozen, stir into it rapidly a gill of rum and the juice of four lemons. Serve in small glasses.

RICE CROQUETTES
Take one cupful of rice, wash and boil it, and let it get thoroughly cold. Beat up with it one egg, a teaspoonful of sugar and the same of melted butter, salt and a little nutmeg. Work this mixture into the rice, stirring until all is well mixed and the lumps worked out. Make, with floured hands, into oblong rolls about three inches in length, and half an inch in diameter. Coat these thickly with flour, and set them in a cold place until needed. Fry a few at a time in hot lard, rolling them over as they begin to brown to preserve their shape. As each is taken from the fire, put into a colander to drain and dry.

PARISIAN SALAD
Cut in small pieces six cold boiled potatoes, the same quantity of beets, and also of boiled celery--both cold. Mix the yolks of four hard boiled eggs with two tablespoonfuls of anchovy sauce, press through a sieve; add, little by little, four tablespoonfuls of oil, one tablespoonful of mustard, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, a few tarragon leaves chopped fine, two pinches of salt, two of pepper, and the whites of four hard boiled eggs, cut in pieces, mix all well together, and serve.

CRACKERS AND CHEESE
Place on separate dishes, and serve with the salad.

NESSELRODE PUDDING
Remove the shells from two dozen French chestnuts, which put in a saucepan with a little water, then peel off the skin, and put the chestnuts in a saucepan on the fire with a pint of water and one pound of sugar. Boil them until very soft, then press them through a sieve; the put them in a saucepan with one pint of cream, in which you mix the yolks of four eggs. Just before boiling put your mixture through a sieve, add an ounce of stoned raisins, an ounce of currants, two sherry glasses of sherry wine, and freeze it like ice-cream. When frozen, cut four candied apricots, four candied green gages, half an ounce of citron in small pieces, three ounces of candied cherries; mix them thoroughly into the pudding, which is put into a mould, a thick piece of paper on top, and the cover securely shut down upon it. Put some cracked ice, mixed with two handfuls of rock salt, into a bowl, in the middle of which put your mould, covering it entirely with ice and salt; let it remain two hours, then turn it out of the mould, first dipping it into warm water.

MACAROONS
Put half a pound of almonds in boiling water, remove the skins, then put the almonds in cold water, then put them in the oven to dry. Pound them to a paste, adding the white of an egg; then add a pound and a half of powdered sugar, again pound well, adding the whites of two eggs. Spread on a pan a sheet of white paper, pour the mixture into little rounds somewhat smaller than a fifty cent piece, place them on top of the paper in your pan, about an inch and a half apart. Put them in a gentle oven for twelve minutes, the door of the oven shut; at the end of that time, if they are well colored, remove them from the oven, let them become cold, turn the paper upside down, moisten it with a little water and remove the macaroons.

FRUIT
Arrange grapes, apples, bananas and oranges upon fancy dishes, with gaily colored leaves and ivy branches around them.

COFFEE
Take one quart of boiling water, one even cupful of freshly ground coffee, wet with half a cupful of cold water, white and shell of one egg. Stir into the wet coffee the white and shell, the latter broken up small. Put the mixture into the coffee pot, shake up and down six or seven times hard, to insure thorough incorporation of the ingredients, and pour in the boiling water. Boil steadily twelve minutes, pour in half a cupful of cold water, and remove instantly to the side to settle. Leave it there five minutes; lift and pour off gently the clear coffee. Serve in small cups, and put no sugar in the coffee. Lay, instead, a lump in each saucer, to be used as the drinker likes.




And here are a few more links to put you in a Victorian mood for Christmas!

6 comments:

MaksimSmelchak said...

Hi Tas,

AWESOME!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Don M said...

It is indeed! However you are never, repeat never making me a cup of coffee....)

Tas said...

You've nevr had egg whites and shell in your brew? You dont know what you are missing! :-P

Don M said...

Hey I'm ex army I take my coffee very seriously! I'm sure if you were to check I have a caffeine count with the odd very hyperactive red blood cell floating in it....)

Tas said...

Well, that sounds very much like my alcohol-blood count! When ashore that is, of course...

Don M said...

Tas said...

Well, that sounds very much like my alcohol-blood count! When ashore that is, of course...

Is that how one gets their sea legs? ;-)

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!