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Friday Food: Eliza Leslie’s Recipe for Green Corn Pudding, 1837

Don’t miss the Food Sense symposium this weekend! This is our last Friday Food post.  Eliza Leslie (1787–1858) aspired to be a poet or novelist, but she is best remembered today for her cookbooks.  In 1828, Leslie published her first book, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, a collection of recipes she had developed as a cooking school student. Encouraged by its popularity, she went on to publish at least six more titles and established a reputation as the most popular and influential food writer in America.  Directions for Cookery (1837) is considered her most important work.

Leslie was famous for popularizing distinctly American foods, as the following recipe from Directions for Cookery shows.  Her Indian Meal Book (1846) was the first cookbook devoted entirely to corn.

Green Corn Pudding

From Directions for Cookery

Take twelve ears of green corn, as it is called, (that is, Indian corn when full grown, but before it begins to harden and turn yellow,) and grate it. Have ready a quart of rich milk, and stir into it by degrees a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, and a quarter of a pound of sugar. Beat four eggs till quite light; and then stir them into the milk, &c. alternately with the grated corn, a little of each at a time. Put the mixture into a large buttered dish, and bake it four hours. It may be eaten either warm or cold, for sauce, beat together butter and white sugar in equal proportions, mixed with grated nutmeg.

To make this pudding,—you may, if more convenient, boil the corn and cut it from the cob; but let it get quite cold before you stir it into the milk. If the corn has been previously boiled, the pudding will require but two hours to bake.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

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Friday Food: Maria Eliza Rundell’s Recipe for Chicken Curry, 1806

Maria Eliza Rundell (1745–1828) didn’t set out to be a domestic goddess. The widow of a surgeon, she collected recipes and household hints for her three married daughters.  John Murray, a prominent publisher, happened to be a family friend, and Rundell gave him her recipe collection as a favor, expecting no financial reimbursement.

Murray published Rundell’s work in 1806 as A New System of Domestic Cookery, and Rundell became a housekeeping superstar, supplanted only by Mrs. Beeton in the 1860s.  The book was an immediate success, especially in the United States, and went through over 65 editions in the next thirty years.  Rundell focused on budget cooking and household management.  Her recipes included dishes such as eel pie and calves’ foot broth, as well as more standard fare.  This week’s recipe is an early example of Anglo-Indian cuisine, fostered by British contact with India through colonization and trade.

Chicken Curry

From A New System of Domestic Cookery

Cut up the chickens before they are dressed, and fry them in butter, with sliced onions, till of a fine colour : or if you use those that have been dressed, do not fry them : lay the joints, cut in two or three pieces each into a stewpan, with veal or mutton gravy, a clove or two of garlick, four large spoonfuls of cream, and some Cayenne : rub smooth one or two spoonfuls of curry powder, with a little flour, and a bit of butter, and add twenty minutes before you serve ; stewing it on till ready. A little juice of lemon should be squeezed in when serving.

Slices of rare done veal, rabbit or turkey, make a good curry.

A dish of rice boiled plain, as hereafter directed, must be always served to eat with curry.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

Don’t miss Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, March 16-18.  SCARaB is participating with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition, now open in the Ellis Library Colonnade.

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Friday Food: William Kitchiner’s Recipe for Wow Wow Sauce, 1817

William Kitchiner claimed to have a medical degree, but there is no evidence of his ever actually attending university.  His eccentric, epicurean dinner parties are his primary claim to fame.  He also invented a condiment he called Wow Wow Sauce, which became popular in the nineteenth century.

Kitchiner takes scientist’s approach to cooking in The Cook’s Oracle.  He published specific instructions for cooking techniques, an explanation of the chemical processes of cooking, and a table of weights and measures.

Wow Wow Sauce for Stewed or Bouilli Beef

From The Cook’s Oracle

Chop some Parsley leaves very finely, quarter two or three pickled Cucumbers, or Walnuts, and divide them into small squares, and set them by ready; — put into a saucepan a bit of Butter as big as an egg; when it is melted, stir to it a tablespoonful of fine Flour, and about half a pint of the Broth in which the Beef was boiled ; add a tablespoonful of Vinegar, the like quantity of Mushroom Catsup, or Port Wine, or both, and a teaspoonful of made Mustard; let it simmer together till it is as thick as you wish it, put in the Parsley and Pickles to get warm, and pour it over the Beef, — or rather send it up in a Sauce-tureen.

Obs.—If you think the above not sufficiently piquante, add to it some Capers, or a minced Shallot, or one or two teaspoonsful of Shallot Wine (No. 402), — or Essence of Anchovy, — or Basil (No 397), — Elder, or Tarragon (No. 396), or Horseradish (No. 399), or Burnet Vinegar ; or strew over the meat, Carrots and Turnips cut into dice, — minced Capers, — Walnuts, — Red Cabbage, — pickled Cucumbers, — or French Beans, &c.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

Don’t miss Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, March 16-18.  SCARaB will be participating with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition.

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Posted in Closed Collection, Exhibits
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