31 August 2011

Good Poultry and Game Dishes

In his day, Ambrose Heath wrote and translated more than one hundred works on food. We have a few of them and you might remember that we have featured several of them in the last few years. Good Poultry and Game Dishes falls into another of our favorite categories, game cookbooks.

First, let me say that we cook chicken every single Sunday and on other days of the week, too. Second, let me say that living with a thousand cookbooks often means that is nothing new on the recipe front. If you can eat it, we have read a recipe for it. In fact, we have read recipes for numerous things that you wouldn't put in your mouth in a million years!

So while perusing Good Poultry and Game Disheswe ran across several recipes for hazel hen. What exactly is a hazel hen. Here was something quite new and in need of research.

The hazel hen is a small little grouse. They are found in England and central Europe. The males are quite the little crooners and evidently sing as a way to defend their breeding territory. There are a few recipes out there for this type of grouse and here is Ambrose Heath's.

Hazel Hens, Potted

Cut three or four hazel hens into neat pieces and slice the breasts. Put a few slices of fat bacon into a terrine, and add some pieces of the bird with a bay-leaf, one or two cloves, a little cinnamon and chopped onion and salt and peppercorn, covering with more bacon and repeating the layers until the terrine is full, then pour in enough light red wine nearly to fill the terrine, put on a lid or a pastry top, and bake in a very slow oven for five to six hours. Serve cold.

In a 1958 Sport's Illustrated article, we are told that "21" is the place to go for fowl of all kinds including the hazel hen:
"But Scottish grouse is only one of a large number of game specialties which have helped to establish the considerable reputation of "21." Chukar partridge, mallard and other species of duck, hazel hen, Mexican quail, young Canadian snow goose and Norwegian ptarmigan are other available items in season. Larger game includes venison, of course (the ragout of venison St. Hubert is outstanding), reindeer, moose, elk, hare from Canada and, occasionally, saddle of antelope. Also, of all things, bear. Gary Cooper, I was told, on his visits to New York never misses ordering the grilled black bear chops."

Ambrose Heath has nary a recipe for bear in Good Poultry and Game Dishes, but there are about 99 other books we could try.

30 August 2011

150 Alabama First Lady's Cookbook

We don't go in much for old spiral-bound cookbooks, but when one spends a lot of time studying Southern cooking, they are hard to escape. 150 Alabama First Lady's Cookbook was assembled by then Governor Albert P. Brewers wife, Mrs. Albert P. Brewer. (Rumor has it her Christian name was "Martha" but there is no sign of that in this cookbook.) The cookbook was compiled for the Alabama Sesquicentennial in 1969. It is just jam packed with recipes, quite a large number of them involving "canned" ingredients like mushroom soup, mushrooms and lots of Jello. There is the ever present lemon Jello and tomato juice aspic, cheese straws, and Red Velvet Cake.

We have Mrs. Hardenburgh's $1000 Prize Recipe for Chicken which might have been awarded this vast sum because she actually used fresh herbs in the chicken... also canned mushrooms and canned cream of mushroom soup, but fresh basil and rosemary just the same.

So here is a recipe for Party Chicken. It would seem that "party chicken" was quite a popular dish as two, count them, TWO Mrs. offered up this recipe.

Party Chicken

4 whole chicken breasts, split, skinned and boned
8 slices of bacon
1 4-ounce package of chipped beef
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream

Wrap each breast in strip of bacon, cover bottom of flat, greased baking dish with chipped beef. Arrange chicken on chipped beef. Mix undiluted soup and sour cream and pour over chicken. Cove and refrigerate. Bake uncovered in a very low (275) oven for 3 hours.

I have spent a lot of time in Alabama and I have never been served chipped beef on chicken. Especially after it has been cooked for three hours. I just don't believe there is enough canned soup and sour cream to keep chicken breasts from totally drying out after three hours.

I suggest serving the Party Chicken with Company Beans.

Company Beans

2 packages French cut green beans, frozen
2 packages baby lima beans, frozen
2 packages English peas, frozen

Cook each according to instruction on the package.

Mix the following sauce, and keep at room temperature:

2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1 medium sized onion, minced
4 hard-boiled eggs, minced
Salt and pepper to taste.

Drain liquid from hot vegetables, put into serving dish, and top with sauce.

Again, I lived in Alabama for years and never, never, EVER had a frozen green bean nor a green pea. (OK, we did often have canned English Peas.)

So my little Southern Belles, go forward and party.

26 August 2011

Cooking With Colleen McCullough

People often joke that EVERYONE has a a book in them, well it is not a far stretch (especially if you read Famous Food Friday) to assume that EVERYONE has a cookbook in them. Today we are... Cooking With Colleen McCullough.

McCullough was a literary sensation in the late 1970's and 1980's after producing an rather large and rambling novel about Australia entitled: The Thorn Birds. It was ostensibly about a priest waging battle between his love of God and his love of all things female. It was all the rage and in 1983 it was turned into a rambling mini-series.

I came to write about this cookbook, not because of Colleen McCullough but because of Barbara Stanwyck .

Recently I saw an interview with the new "IT" girl, Brit Marling,

who said the actress she most wanted to be like was Barbara Stanwyck . A few days later, I saw Barbara Stanwyck in Annie Oakley.

Then, I was moving something in a desk and I ran across the Barbara Stanwyck Christmas Ornament, my BFF, Beverly gave me. Then I remembered The Thorn Birds, largely because of Barbara Stanwyck, who had a hot sex scene with a naked Richard Chamberlain. It was quite scandalous at the time. And that, my dear readers, is how we got to to Colleen McCullough's cookbook but, as always, I digress...

Colleen McCullough set out to be a doctor, but dermatitis kept her from scrubbing in as a physician, so she turned her interests to neurophysiology. While studying, she had a professor, Jean Easthope. The pair became friends and quickly began cooking together. They proved to be an unlikely, yet interesting mix. McCullough was raised in a meat-and-potatoes household while Easthope was raised by vegetarian parents.

The book is filled with archival prints, drawings and photographs, including a rather lovely kangaroo hunt (unless, of course, you are the kangaroo).

I was quite dismayed that the book failed to include a single kangaroo recipe. Since humans are a bit on the squeamish side and would rather eat pork than pig, venison than deer, so, an attempt was made recently to develop a "people" friendly culinary term for kangaroo. The winner is... "Australus." If you see"Australus" steak on the menu, you will no longer be in the dark.

Since we had no kangaroo, we immediately went to the chocolate. Even kangaroo, sorry, Australus, would be great if just smothered it in this lovely sauce.

Chocolate Rum Sauce

225 g (8 oz) dark chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons rum

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler, stir well, and add the rum, stirring again.

As long as we are rambling...

The joy (as well as the curse) of our new technology may well be that we never lose anything. When you snort milk out your nose in the junior high lunch room, chances are it will end up on YouTube. Forever. FOREVER. Every dumbass thing one does, things that used to be forgotten, are now immortalized for better or worse.

The good news is, one no longer has to watch 8 hours of The Thorn Birds to see the naughty bit with Richard Chamberlain and Barbara Stanwyck .

24 August 2011

Not A Cookbook: More From Zac Brown

In January we featured Zac Brown's cookbook Southern Ground. Check out this today's article in the New York Times about the band's chef, Rusty Hamlin and their "eat and greets."

23 August 2011

Tart And Sweet

We love confiture.

The last couple of years has seen a boom for canning cookbooks. It seems everyone with some Ball jars and deep pot is out there canning. Well good for them. What is really great about these newer canning book is their detail to size. Many older canning books go for that big batch, supporting the family for the entire year approach. Newer canning books tell you how to grab up a few pints of berries and turn it into jam without commandeering the entire neighborhood or kitchen for that matter.

So here's the deal with many of these cookbooks: they tend to be overwrought with info, making you believe you need to be a rocket scientist to make a simple jam... Houston we have blueberries! Then there is the other extreme, add fruit, sugar, cook, and can. Tart and Sweet has a nice medium. There are photos of things you need to know, like how much head space does one really need in one's pickles, or jam for that matter.

Kelly Geary runs Sweet Deliverance NYC in New York City or Brooklyn, you know somewhere "up there." Jessie Knadler used to be a big old New Yorker until love intervened and now she live in Virginia and can be found at Rurally Screwed. Their recipes are easy, the pictures are lovely, and they give you options for what exactly to do with all this stuff once you get it canned. I love using my jams and conserves as cocktail ingredients and so do they.

If I do have a big old criticism it is using Pomona's Universal Pectin. I have used it before, but being one of those people who is "rurally screwed", it is a tough product to find in West Virginia. But then, I try to stay away from pectin all together. But seriously, what do I do.

That being said, this is a good book for someone who is starting out and needs to know the basics. This book includes one of my favorite pickles, pickled fiddleheads. Now if you think Pomona's Universal Pectin is tough to find, try finding fiddleheads at your local grocery.

I first tried these great pickles in Vermont. I swore my friend Barbara said her mother-in-law made them, but both Barbara and her husband, Steve, swear I made that up. Several years later I found a forager and pickle maker in the backwoods of Vermont. The guy had no e-mail, nothing but a PO Box. I would request two jars of pickled fiddleheads and send cash. Several months later I would eventually receive a box packed with two pints of pickled fiddleheads. I would admire them for several weeks before breaking into them. I lost track of my forager, but if you find the fiddlehead guy, tell him to call. In the meantime if you've got the fiddleheads....

Pickled Fiddleheads

3 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups water

2 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 3/4 lbs. fiddleheads (see note)

Per jar:

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp. brown mustard seed

2 tsp. coriander seed

1/2 tsp. black peppercorns

1/2 tsp. dill seed

1/4 tsp. celery seed

Note: Fiddleheads can taste bitter if not cleaned properly. To prepare, trim the “tail” of the shoot just to where it starts to coil. Soak the heads in cold water and swirl them around, picking and rubbing away any brown flaky bits. Repeat as necessary until all the brown bits have been removed.

1. Bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil in a medium nonreactive pot. Stir to dissolve the salt.

2. Pack the fiddleheads, bay leaf, garlic and spices into hot jars. Pour boiling brine over the fiddleheads, making sure they are covered and leaving 1/2 inch head space.

3. Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims, and seal. Process for 10 minutes , adjusting for elevation.

Or you could just grab a pint or two of berries.

19 August 2011

Down The Kitchen Sink

Last year Lucindaville (and Cookbook Of The Day) offered up a Famous Food Friday about Beverley Nichols and we are doing it again.

When last we were cooking with Beverely Nichols, we were pondering his "found" cookbook, In an Eighteenth Century Kitchen. This was the cookbook Nichols wrote about in A Thatched Roof. After his success with Down The Garden Path, the first and probably best known, or should I say, remembered of Nichols' books, he chose to undertake a similar culinary adventure which would become Down the Kitchen Sink. Nichols knew as little about cooking and he once did about gardening and I am sure he thought if could master gardening, why not cooking.

This is, however, Beverely Nichols, so an actual cookbook is not exactly what is presented. Even Nichols admits to this:

"This is supposed to be a cookery v book, but I suspect that it will turn out to be something rather different. True, it contains a number of Gaskin's own recipes, which, after his death, I found interlarded among the pages of the cookery books that he had collected over the years. these were sometimes scribbled over with mysterious comments on the guest who were to partake of them, such as 'No crab for Lady F'. I cannot remember any Lady F in my life, nor why she should have been denied this delicacy."

The "Gaskin" mentioned is Reginald Arthur Gaskin who was Nichols manservant for 40 years. When the writer, P.G. Woodhouse visited Nichols and was served by Gaskin, he remarked that Gaskin was, "the perfect Jeeves." While it is said that Woodhouse based his character on a butler he employed for research, Eugene Robinson, it comes as no surprise that Jeeves' Christian name is revealed in 1971 to be "Reginald" but then... Bertie was based on an earlier character named Reggie Pepper... but I digress....

Beverely Nichols, Reginald Gaskin and Nichols gardener, Oldfield.

You get the idea of Gaskin's demeanor. After forty years, when Gaskin died, Nichols found himself in his kitchen alone searching for something to eat. Nichols takes it upon himself to write a cookery book, but it becomes more of dining book filled with interesting people including but not limited to: Noel Coward, Oliver Messel, and William Randolph Hearst. His stories are wonderfully gossipy filled with dish and food.

Clearly, some of the recipes are unique to Nichols. This unnamed recipe is on Nichols "heard" about. It is by far the strangest recipe, and one you should replicate at your own risk.

Silver Chicken

I had to invent this title for this recipe does no appear in any cookery book which I have yet encountered.

You take the largest capon you can buy. It must be a whooper.

You then rinse 6 or 8 silver spoons or forks in hot water. Only silver will do; silver plate would be worse than useless.

Now, taking a firm grip of the chicken, push the silver up its behind. As if this were not enough humiliation, follow it with two heaped tablespoonful of ground ginger. All this sounds extremely sadistic but it is no more so than keeping the poor thing cramped in a cage for the whole of its unnatural life.

Having maltreated the chicken in this manner, bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to a boil, put in the chicken, add 6 carrots and 6 medium sized onions, cram on the lid, and boil at the gallop for precisely 5 minutes.

Turn off the gas, lift up the saucepan, transport to the larder, and leave to cool overnight.

On the following morning you must be prepared for a shock. When you lift the chicken out and drain off the water, and remove the spoons and forks, you will find that they have all gone black. Do not be alarmed. A good soaking in any of the modern silver-cleaning preparations will restore them, though this may take rather longer than usual.

A chicken prepared in this manner tastes quite different from any chicken you have ever had before, unless you are at least sixty years old, and can recall the days of your youth, when a chicken really was a chicken, and not a synthetic Robot bird, reared by Robots for the mechanical digestion of other Robots. Apart from the taste, it can be carved in delicate slices, instead of falling to pieces in the manner of the average boiled chicken of today.

I cannot think of a better dinner companion than Beverely Nichols. When you try this recipe, do send us a photo -- or the chicken and the silverware!

18 August 2011

The Transcendental Boiled Dinner

The Transcendental Boiled Dinner is one of those cookbooks that is not. Died in the wool Mainer, John Pullen delivers his 92 homage to one of the quintessential Maine culinary experiences -- the boiled dinner.

Pullen begins his history with the apropos statement from none other than Mark Twain:

"Mark Twain once remarked that there is nothing so good as Southern corn bread and nothing so bad as the Northern imitation of it."

He had me at "corn bread."

Pullen admits to no culinary ability except for the New England Boiled Dinner. But it is not culinary ability that makes a boiled dinner:

"Success in preparing the New England Boiled dinner begins with the character of the cook."

To understand Pullen's hypothesis he illustrates it with two well-known characters from eighteenth century America. Cooking character on a scale of 1 -10 would give you:

Benjamin Franklin ............................................................Johnathan Edwards

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Pullen says of Franklin, "I would not trust Franklin to boil this Dinner as far as I could throw him."

Pullen says of Edwards, "he is superb metaphysically in his qualifications for the Boiled Dinner assignment."

He had me at "Jonathan Edwards."

Anyone that feels the need to employ the Doctrine of Original Sin into their culinary pursuits is fine with me.
For his Transcendental Boiled Dinner, Pullen notes that there is beef and the following four vegetables: Potatoes, Cabbage, Carrots and Turnips. Now some people will say that in addition to these vegetables, one should add the onion. Pullen disagrees -- vociferously.

"I have emphasized the necessity of a theological point of view that will exclude from the Dinner all ingredients except those I have appointed as being fit and worthy. To all these excluded things the onion stands a does Satan to his host of minor fiends, demons and evil spirits!"

As you now may realize, the recipe for Transcendental Boiled Dinner is more of "path" than an actual recipe, filled with science, theology and literature. Here however is the recipe. There is a standard table and the modified table as Mr. Pullen was regrettably tardy in beginning the process:

Standard Table........................................................... Modified Table

Beef starts simmer.....2:00 P.M.....................................2:05 P.M.
Turnip insertion.........5:16 P.M.....................................5:21 P.M.
Potato insertion..........5:31 P.M.....................................5:36 P.M.
Cabbage insertion.......5:41 P.M.....................................5:46 P.M.
Carrot insertion..........5:46 P.M......................................5:51 P.M.
Dinner done...............6:00 P.M......................................6:05 P.M.

And as Jonathan Edwards will tell you, one simply cannot lie about the details, lest he be cast into Hell. Cookbook or not, The Transcendental Boiled Dinner is a culinary masterpiece.

16 August 2011

Cold Cuisine

In the late 1970' and 1980's, Helen Hecht wrote a series of lovely cookbooks, including Cold Cuisine. The book has a lot of salads and soups and refreshing deserts. As with most old cookbooks, it is a product of its era. Cold Cuisine is very much a a regular book, a simple octavo unadorned by photos and thus very different from the vast majority of the cookbooks published today. Perhaps the grand size and all those colored pictures are simply a mask to conceal the actual recipes. I know it seems much easier to cook from a photo than from the blank canvas of a printed recipe, but in time those photos will be as dated as avocado appliance. In the end, it is the recipes that make the book.

Helen Hecht writes of cold cuisine:

"The appearance of a dish is especially important in the summer. While a steaming hot cassoulet may require no further embellishment than its own enticing aroma and an appetite stimulated by winter chill, summer food must rouse appetites languishing or dormant in stifling weather. You can transform an ordinary-looking dish into something attractive and appealing with a few simple touches and an eye for color, arrangement , and detail."

It might come as no surprise that Helen Hecht was married to the poet Anthony Hecht, as her brief introduction is a poetic tribute to cuisine. When I read this recipe, it seemed to be a simple salad. That it is, but taking into consideration Hecht's description of transforming a cold weather dishes, a simple salad might just be the starting point. Before you toss a bag of lettuce into a bowl, think of how it might be transformed with tiny black olives, rich green avocado, and bursting red tomatoes.

Al Fresco Salad

8 thin slices bacon
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 medium-size, ripe tomatoes
1 cup black pitted olives, halved
1 small Bermuda onion, peeled and sliced thin
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed and stemmed and dried
freshly ground pepper
1 recipe of Basic Vinaigrette (below)

Sauté bacon till crisp, drain on paper towels. Peel avocados, slice into bowl and toss with lemon juice. Core the tomatoes and chop into bite-size pieces. Combine bacon, avocados, tomatoes, olives, onion, blue cheese, and spinach in a bowl. Season to taste.

Basic Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove peeled and cut in half
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
Combine and let stand for several hours. Remove garlic before using.

Enjoy the last of the garden and Fall is waiting in the wings.

13 August 2011

The Woman's Guide to Boating and Cooking

So you are thinking to yourself, "I really need a good book on sailing and cooking." Well look no farther than The Woman's Guide to Boating and Cooking by Lael Morgan. Not one to spend a great deal of time on the lesson taking approach to sailing, Morgan married a man who liked to sail and travel so they bought a boat and with no experience, Morgan became the first mate, quite literally. And also the cook.

The first half of the book is about sailing. Written in the late 1960's, it might just seem that Mrs. Morgan was at sea during the Women's Movement judging from this observation:

"Women who love to sail are as rare as cats who swim for pleasure. My husband can sail for hours and enjoy playing with the wind and current. I have to be going somewhere. I can't get ecstatic over the set of the jib without ulterior motives, and I have found few women who can."

It is the very "datedness" of this little book that is so charming. Take for example the straight forward approach to buying your boat:

"At the last national boat show the typical answer to "how much?" was $548 for the boat and $501 to move it."

Well, today, given our inflammatory stock market, you couldn't buy groceries for the boat for $548. And speaking of groceries, the recipes in this book are quite consistent with the prevailing food trends of the time -- there is an abundance of canned soups and canned meats, even canned seafood, which, given the fact that one is supposed to be on a boat, seems a little silly. Just catch some fish. Seriously.

Here is a recipe that is the "boating" equivalent to welsh rabbit. It seems to me the kind of dish that just might have the cook walk the plank.

Blushing Bunny

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 pound grated cheese
1 can tomato soup, undiluted

Melt butter, Add flour and mustard. Add water, blend, and let thicken. Add cheese and let melt, stir in soup. When hot and well mixed, serve on crackers.

How about this recipe to get you in the pink...

Pink Stew

1 cup lobster meat (cooked or canned)
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups milk, scalded
1 teaspoon salt
onion slice

Saute lobster in butter 4 minutes. Add milk. Season. Serve hot, but do not boil. Float onion ring in each serving and sprinkle with paprika. (Crabmeat may be substituted for lobster.)

You will forgive me if I don't try these two winners on or off dry land. We seem to be in a "yachting" mood these days. Check out our favorite, Ethelind Fearon's travelogue, Without My Yacht, at Lucindaville.

08 August 2011

Recipes Of All Nations

Many cooks of the thirties, including Elizabeth David, were enamored of Countess Morphy's Recipes Of All Nations. There is very little known about Countess Morphy, though many believe she is a "countess" in that same way Prince is a "prince", that is in name only. Still the Countess knew how to collect recipes. This rather massive tome contains over 800 recipes from 29 countries.

This copy bears an introduction by the well-known 1950's television cook, Philip Harben. Harben states that while he has not cooked all 800 recipes, he has cooked over a dozen and boldly states, "I have never found Countess Morphy once to be in error."

There is a large section on Creole cookery and more than one person believes that before she was the "Countess", she was Marcelle Azra Hincks or maybe Forbes from New Orleans. Her section on Creole recipes features a calas recipe. This is a great old New Orleans recipe that is making a bit of a comeback in cooking circles.

Calas (Breakfast rice fritters)

These delicious breakfast fritters or cakes were sold by the old Creole negro women, and their familiar and harmonious street cry of “Bel calas, bel calas, tout chauds!” was heard in all the streets of the French quarter at breakfast time. They went their daily round carrying on their heads a covered wooden bowl containing the hot Calas – picturesque figures they must have been, with their brightly coloured bandana tignons or head-dress, their blue check dresses and their spotless white aprons. The negro cooks would dash out to secure the freshly made hot Calas, which were eaten with the morning cup of coffee. The following is the traditional recipe for Calas:

Ingredients: ½ a cup of rice, 3 cups of water, 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons of flour, ½ a cup of sugar, about 1 oz or a little under of yeast, lard or oil.

Method: Put the water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and add the rice. Boil till the rice is very soft and mushy. Remove from the saucepan and, when quite cold, mix with the yeast dissolved in warm water. Set the rice to rise overnight. In the morning, beat the eggs thoroughly, add them to the rice, with the sugar and flour. Beat all well and make into a thick batter. Set aside to rise for another 15 minutes. Have ready a deep frying pan with hot oil or lard, drop into it 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time, and cook till a light golden colour. When done, remove them from the fat, drain well by placing them on a sieve or in a colander, sprinkle with sugar and serve very hot.

My copy of this book was used exclusively for the Austro-Hungarian recipes. (There are notes and checks.) This seemed to be a favorite. The "paprika" here refers to the actual pepper so the Countess should have translated it as a Pepper Salad.

Paprika Salat (Paprika Salad)

The paprikas are either boiled or baked till tender and served with salad dressing made of 2 tablespoons of oil to 1 of vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little sugar.

AS you can see, there are just more countries than we have time for here.

01 August 2011

Cold Dishes For Hot Weather

It seems that EVERYONE is talking about the weather. It seems funny that during this horrible "hot" spell, no one is raising the issue of global warming. It is 104 in Washington, D. C.! So it seems time to pull out this little gem, Cold Dishes For Hot Weather. As with the weather, many of these dishes are libel to end up "hot" or at the very least lukewarm before they can be served.

this book was written in 1896 and it features many a simple and straightforward offering.

Egg-Plant Salad

boil the egg-plant until cooked; peel and cut into small pieces; add the juice of a lemon , 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well and serve.

Simple and to the point.

This book loves "patties" for cold dishes and offers this time saving advice:

The cost and trouble of making patty-cases is such that it is far preferable to buy them at the caterers'; especially is it desirable as when the cook will run the risk of spoiling the paste. Pie pastry is not so easily spoiled as patty of puff paste, and as this is not obtainable, the cook will have to tempt fate and try her own skill at making it herself.

And then... the reader receives absolutely no information on making one's own puff pastry or pie pastry for that matter. It is obvious that the cook is obliged to buy those puff pastry cases and be done with it. After you buy yourself some pie crust you are instructed to make pies like this one...

Cheshire Pork Pie

Skin a loin of pork; cut into small steaks; season with salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Make a pie-crust, and fill with a layer of pork, then one of apples, pared and cored, and sugar enough to sweeten it, then another layer of pork; pour over half a pint of white wine, and cover all with a little butter before covering the pie.

OK, that is all the instruction provided. One assumes the pie must now be cooked. Since it has chunks of pork and raw apples, one would think it might just need to be cooked for quite some time. Since it is 1896 and most stoves are still wood-fired, I'm going out a limb here and saying that this "cold" dish is going to seriously heat up my house. My "hot weather" is going to be blazing hot in my house! But the time this pie cools down it may well be tomorrow! I believe that Cheshire Pork Pie should therefore be a 'Hot Dish for Cold Weather."

I'm headed back to the air-conditioning with a Dove Bar.
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