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Dining with the Ambassador - #1

Tea Time with Madame Askew

Recipes for Autumn 2023

   Posted: August 18, 2023

There's a crispness in the air, accompanying hay rides, apple cider, and the bounty of the harvest. It's time for sweaters, and hearty meals. Here are just a few vintage recipes to try as your next comfort food

To ensure we are able to follow these recipes from the 1800s, let's review this listing of Weights and Measures

Clever Cooking, 1896, Pxiv

Let's start our autumn day with a buckwheat pancakes. The listing of ingredients hasn't changed much over time, although modern recipes may additionally call for sugar and butter.

365 Breakfasts, 1906, P156

One of my favorite breakfast dishes is Eggs Benedict – poached eggs with a spoonful of (or preferably drenched in) a Hollandaise Sauce. Modern recipes may amp up the flavour with Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, or other hot sauce, but this classic version from 365 Breakfasts, 1906, page 130 is how it all started.

365 Breakfasts, 1906, P130

Everything old is new again, and these Egg Nests on Toast, Clever Cooking, 1896, page128, started showing up in trendy restaurants within the last ten years. Whipped eggs whites, shaped to resemble a nest, and then baked to a light and fluffy finish, is an easy creative variation of breakfast eggs. The Hollandaise sauce above makes a wonderful addition.

Clever Cooking, 1896, P128

Soup can really hit the spot on a cooler autumn day. This Almond Soup, Superior Cookery 1887, page 6, satisfies a lunch time hunger with ground or pounded almonds along with vegetables in a creamy veal or chicken stock.

Superior Cookery 1887, P6

Hitting the spot along with the almond soup is a Devilled Egg sandwich or spread. Here is the first of two recipes - Devilled Egg Toast, Eggs 300 Ways, 1900, page 64. This is one of my favorites and such a nice change from more basic modern recipes. Use a chutney you already enjoy, or might want to try, and the results will be quite delicious.

Eggs 300 Ways, 1900, P64

This second recipe for Devilled Eggs, Eggs 300 Ways, 1900, page 84, also uses chutney, along with Worcestershire sauce, Harvey sauce (anchovies), and mulligatawny paste (curry or pepper) to create an amazing layered spicy-to-taste spread.

Eggs 300 Ways, 1900, P84

With American Thanksgiving being part of the autumn season, it is worth trying out this Chestnut Puree, 365 Breakfasts, 1906, pages 125-126. The pepper and nutmeg enrich the flavour. One modern step is to run the sauce through the blender to ensure a smooth texture.

365 Breakfasts, 1906, P125-126

Opting for fish for dinner, Salmon Timbales, Breakfast and Supper Dishes, 1890, page 12, makes good use of that Hollandaise sauce again for a delightfully (decadently?) filling meal. The beaten egg whites also help lighten the texture.

Supper Dishes, 1890, P12

Our last dinner recipe is truly a hearty Meat, Egg, Vegetable Curry, Superior Cookery, 1887, page 60. I hadn't been much of a fan of beets (beetroot) aside from the red color but I was adventurous enough to try this recipe. Such a grand mix of spices makes for a perfect stew on a cold evening. For a completely vegetarian variation, use a preferred veggie beef tips or beef cuts, or even veggie ground beef, being cooked separately and added near the end of preparation.

Superior Cookery, 1887, P60

Let's wrap up our fine autumn day with my favorite course – Dessert! When one needs a small reminder of summer flavours, one of my go-to cakes is this Richer Cocoanut Cake, Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea, 1875, page 206. One substitute I often make is using coconut cream instead of milk, just to deepen the flavour.

Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea, 1875, P206

For a different flavor, and one fairly uncommon in today's modern cake recommendations, is this Risen Seed Cake, using carraway seeds, Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea, 1875, page 208. The flavor is much smoother and milder than one might expect.

Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea, 1875, P208

Wrapping up our list is the Orleans Cake, Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea, 1875, page 202. The cinnamon and mace – the nutmeg relative – deliver a solid spicy flavour, while the brandy leaves just a hint behind. Maybe more brandy is needed?

Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea, 1875, P202

May your autumn days be filled with warmth and contentment!

Dining With The Ambassador, #2

Posted: December 15, 2023