11 February 2011

The Canapé Book

In 1934, Rachel Bell Maiden wrote the very first book on the canapé, appropriately titled The Canapé Book. Most of the canapés in this little book involve ingredients pulverized into a paste and spread on toast with the occasional shrimp perched atop the paste.

I mean this description to be in no way lax. Maiden not only used her own recipes but she traveled to many a famous hotel to get their recipes for canapés. Here are a couple.

Hotel Gotham, New York

Chopped cooked ham seasoned with mustard and butter, Spread on toasted whole-wheat bread.

Or perhaps this.

The Mayflower, Washington

Yarmouth Canapé

Make a mixture by joining equal amounts of Yarmouth bloater paste (Crosse and Blackwell) and sweet creamed butter. Spread on thin, freshly made graham toast.

Alas, I believe Crosse and Blackwell is no longer in the business of making bloater paste so you will need to buy Shippam's bloater paste.

The most charming elements of the first canapé book are the illustrations by Lucina Smith Wakefield. While a few of them are less than politically correct in today's environment, they are quite eye catching.

So get out there, make some paste and have yourself ...

...of your dreams.

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