Holiday Food

Ah, the American Thanksgiving Day is only a few days away, along with all its turkey goodness.

In honor, here are some bits I like from an 1829 cookery book. (All odd spellings or punctuation are the cookbook author’s.)

These have gone down in France, but are just (like other fashions) coming into vogue among us. Tomatas are used both in sauces and soups, and are pickled.–See Tomato Catsup.

The French put grated nutmeg or minced parsley to stews of cucumber, and thicken the sauce with beat yolks of eggs. Nutmeg is indeed a very suitable condiment with this watery vegetable, so is cayenne.

So many fatal accidents happen every season from the use of poisonous mushrooms, and it is so difficult to distinguish between the edible kinds and those that are deleterious…

Those who are more solicitous about the appearance of their tables than the quality of the dishes, have their potatoes mashed, or boiled peeled, all the year round.

The French, among our other insular distinctions, speak of us as a nation “with twenty religions and only one sauce,”–parsley and butter, by the way, is this national relish,–and unquestionably English cookery, like English manners, has ever been much simpler than that of our neighbours.

For stuffing to fill the craw [of a turkey], take a breakfast cup full of stale bread finely grated, two ounces of minced beef-suet, or marrow, a little parsley parboiled and finely shred, a teaspoonful of lemon-peel grated, a few sprigs of lemon thyme, a little nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Mix the whole well in a mortar, with a couple of eggs.

So… What’s your favorite holiday food? And if someone offered you a dish of stewed cucumber with nutmeg, would you try it?

Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester, in which some jellies are eaten, but (luckily) no mushrooms

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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