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Posts Tagged ‘Hannah Glasse’

Amongst herbs to be eaten I find gourds, cucumbers, coleworts, melons disallowed, but especially cabbage. It causeth trouble-some dreams and sends up black vapours to the brain . . .” – Richard Burton, 16th century

Cabbage was first introduced in Great Britain by the Romans. In ancient times the Greeks revered it for its medicinal qualities, and it was well known in the Mediterranean region, where it spread out to other parts of Europe. The vegetable was cultivated as food for man and cattle and consumed mainly by the poor,  for this hardy plant could be grown in the vegetable garden in temperate climates for long periods and harvested into early winter. White cabbage, used for boiling, braising, and stewing, was distinguished from the red cabbage, which was mostly used for pickling. From the 14th century and on, European peasants consumed cabbage in the form of soups and stews, which nourished them through the long winter months. It wasn’t until the 18th century that cabbages began to make their appearance on more aristocratic tables.

Cabbage’s long lasting quality made it a valuable and nutritious vegetable staple for long sea voyages. One imagines that Jane Austen’s sailor brothers ate a great deal of cabbage while sailing.

In his journal for July 1772, Cook gives the following account of the provisions placed aboard the Resolution and Adventure…Biscuit, flour, salt beef, salt pork, beer, wine, spirit [distilled alcohol], pease [dried peas], wheat, oatmeal, butter, cheese [hard], sugar, oyle olive [olive oil], vinegar, suet, raisins, salt, malt, sour krout [sauerkrout], salted cabbage, portable broth [dessicated soup], saloup, mustard, mermalade [marmelade] of carrots, water…” – Sailors & Sauerkraut: Excerpts from the Journals of Captain Cook’s Expeditions All Pertaining to Food With Recipes to Match, Barbara Burkhardt, Barrie Andugs McLean & Doris Kochanek [Grey’s Publishing:Sidney BC] 1978 (p. 23)- The Food Timeline

High in vitamin c and anti-inflammatory properties, this cruciferous vegetable was not only nutritious and helped to fight scurvy, but an apocryphal story states that during Captain Cook’s first voyage, members of his crew were saved from gangrene by doctors who applied poultices of cabbage to their patients’ wounds.

At the time, cabbage was called a ‘cabbage cole’ or ‘colewort. ‘By the mid eighteenth century, an array of different cabbages was grown, and as one anonymous writer put it:

‘There various Kinds of this Plant are endless to describe_’ The common White Cabbage, Sugarloaf, Pontefract, Battersea, Red Cabbage, and the green and White Savoy Cabbage’ [Anon (1744)].

1770 creamware teapot. Image @Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge

Cabbages were grown in family gardens in raised beds, near the door for easy picking, and protected from damaging winds by a fence or hedge and mulch. Recipes for cooking cabbage were included in early cookery books, however, one defies the modern cook to be able to follow Hannah Glasse’s charming recipe for beans ragoo’-d with a cabbage (at least I would have a difficult time.)

TAKE a nice little cabbage, about as big as a pint bacon ; when the outside leaves, top, and stalks are cut off, half boil it, out a hole in the middle pretty big, take what you cut out and chop it very fine, with a sew of the beans boiled, a carrot boiled and mashed, and a turnip boiled,  mash all together, put them, into’a sauce-pan, season them with, pepper, salt, and nutmeg, a good piece of butter, stew them a few minutes over the fire, stirring the pan often. In the mean time put the cabbage into a sauce-pan but take great care it does not fall to pieces; put to it four spoonsfuls of water, two of wine, and one of catchup ; have a spoonful of mushroom-pickle, a piece of butter rolled in a little flour, a very little pepper, cover it close, and let it stew softly till it is tender; then take it up carefully and lay it in the middle of the dish, pour your mashed roots in the middle to fill it up high, and your ragoo round it. You may add the liquor the cabbage was stewed in, and send it to table hot. This will do for a top, bottom, middle, or side-dish. When beans are not to be had, you may cut carrots and turnips into little slices, and fry them; the carrots in little round slices, the turnips in pieces about two inches long, and as thick as one’s finger, and toss them up in the ragoo.

Cabbage tureen, mid-19th century Jacob Petit Porcelain. Image @Christie's

By 1773 the cultivation of cabbage in England was sufficiently commercialized to make it a criminal offence to steal or damage growing crops of cabbage, whose price had dropped by half since the 1730s. Chefs and cooks used cabbage to make ragout and pudding, or stuff it with meat. In the 16th and 17th centuries warm milk was added to make cabbage cream that was left to mature before being presented at dinner tables.

Red cabbage was prepared and sold as a pickle. Newspapers advertised the sale of cabbage seed, where it was defined as flat sided, green savoy, hellow (probably a misprint for yellow) red, Russia, sugar loaf, turnip, yellow savoy and Yorkshire. (Simone Clarke – British History Online.)

Still life with cabbage, James Peale

“The time has come…to talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing wax–of cabbages–and kings–And why the sea is boiling hot–And whether pigs have wings.” – Lewis Carroll

Mrs. Beeton’s STEWED RED CABBAGE (19th century)

INGREDIENTS – 1 red cabbage, a small slice of ham, 1/2 oz. of fresh butter, 1 pint of weak stock or broth, 1 gill of vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoonful of pounded sugar.

Mode.—Cut the cabbage into very thin slices, put it into a stewpan, with the ham cut in dice, the butter, 1/2 pint of stock, and the vinegar; cover the pan closely, and let it stew for 1 hour. When it is very tender, add the remainder of the stock, a seasoning of salt and pepper, and the pounded sugar; mix all well together, stir over the fire until nearly all the liquor is dried away, and serve. Fried sausages are usually sent to table with this dish: they should be laid round and on the cabbage, as a garnish.

Time.—Rather more than 1 hour. Average cost, 4d. each.

Sufficient for 4 persons.

Seasonable from September to January.

Hannah Glasse’s 18th century Recipe for Pickled Red Cabbage declares this dish to be useful only for garnish:

To pickle red-cabhage.

SLICE the cabbage thin, put to it vinegar and salt, and an ounce of all-spice cold cover it close, and keep it fer use. It is a pickle of little use but for garnishing of dishes, sallads, and pickles, though some people are fond of it.

Years ago, my then husband and I spent an outrageous sum of money eating Bubble and Squeak at a chichi Mayfair restaurant in London. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this costly (to us) side dish consisted of the humble potato and cabbage, a dish invented by Maria Rundell in 1806.

Maria Rundell’s recipe for Bubble and Squeak.

Boil, chop, and fry, with a little butter, pepper, and salt, some cabbage, and lay on it slices of rare done beef, lightly fried.

In both the following receipts, the roots must be taken off the tongue before salted. – A new system of domestic cookery: formed upon principles of economy, and adapted to the use of private families, Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell, 1808

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Gentle readers,

Summer means long, lazy afternoons lounging in the yard or by the pool side, grilling meats like hamburgers, sausages, and hot dogs. The hamburger has had a long tradition.

In 1802, the Oxford English Dictionary defined Hamburg steak as salt beef. It had little resemblance to the hamburger we know today. It was a hard slab of salted minced beef, often slightly smoked, mixed with onions and breadcrumbs. The emphasis was more on durability than taste. “ – Hamburger History 

Sailors from Hamburg, Germany, crossed the Baltic Sea regularly and returned with a taste for the minced raw beef dishes served up in Russian ports. The German haus-frau’s interpretation of these Baltic dishes was to fry or broil the patties. And voila! The Hamburg steak was born. By the late 1700’s the British knew them as Hamburg sausages.

Enter Hannah Glasse and her famous Art of Cookery book, which featured a recipe for Hamburgh sausage.

Hannah Glasse's recipe for Common Sausages

“By the mid-18th century, German immigrants also begin arriving in England. One recipe, titled “Hamburgh Sausage,” appeared in Hannah Glasse’s 1758 English cookbook called The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. It consisted of chopped beef, suet, and spices. The author recommended that this sausage be served with toasted bread. Hannah Glasse’s cookbook was also very popular in Colonial America, although it was not published in the United States until 1805. This American edition also contained the “Hamburgh Sausage” recipe with slight revisions.” – History and Legends of Hamburger 

By 1834, the menu of Delmonico’s in New York City advertised a Hamburger steak. And the rest, as they say, is history. Today the humble hamburger is popular the world over due to the marketing genius (or avarice?) of McDonald’s and other fast food chains.

18th c. Sausage shop. Image © Wellcome Trust

Image description: Two men are working with knives and cleavers as another makes sausages, a woman has come to buy and is holding some money in her hand. Coloured etching. A pork-butcher’s shop: two butchers are working with knives and cleavers as another makes sausages, a woman has come to buy and is holding some money in her hand. Coloured etching, 18-. 19th c.” – Wellcome Trust

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Copryright (c) Jane Austen’s World. This post is in honor of Thanksgiving and all the cooks, feminine or masculine, who toil hard in the kitchen to feed their families on this special holiday.

I am sure that the ladies there had nothing to do with the mysteries of the stew-pot or the preserving-pan” – James Edward Austen-Leigh, writing about his aunts, Jane and Cassandra Austen, and grandmother, Mrs Austen, when they lived at Steventon Rectory.

18th century kitchen servants prepare a meal. Image @Jane Austen Cookbook

In 1747, Mrs.Hannah Glasse wrote her historic The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, an easy-to-understand cookbook for the lower class chefs who cooked for the rich. Her recipes were simple and came with detailed instructions, a revolutionary thought at the time.

The Art of Cookery’s first distinction was simplicity – simple instructions, accessible ingredients, an accent on thrift, easy recipes and practical help with weights and timing. Out went the bewildering text of former cookery books (“pass it off brown” became “fry it brown in some good butter”; “draw him with parsley” became “throw some parsley over him”). Out went French nonsense: no complicated patisserie that an ordinary cook could not hope to cook successfully. Glasse took into account the limitations of the average middle-class kitchen: the small number of staff, the basic cooking equipment, limited funds. – Hannah Glasse, The Original Domestic Goddess forum

Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy

Until Mrs. Glasse wrote her popular cookery book (17 editions appeared in the 18th century), these instructional books had been largely written by male chefs who offered complicated French recipes without detailed or practical directions. (To see what I mean, check Antonin Careme’s recipe for Les Petits Vol-Au-Vents a la Nesle at this link.) Like Jane Austen, Hannah signed her books “By a Lady”.

Antonin Careme's cookbook

Mrs. Glasse had always intended to sell her cookery book to mistresses of gentry families or the rising middle class, who would then instruct their cooks to prepare foods from her simplified recipes, which she collected. “My Intention is to instruct the lower Sort [so that] every servant who can read will be capable of making a tolerable good Cook,” she wrote in her preface.

Frontispiece from William Augustus Henderson, The Housekeeper’s Instructor, 6th edition, c.1800. This same picture appeared in the very first edition of c.1791and it shows the mistress presenting the cookery book to her servant, while a young man is instructed in the art of carving with the aid of another book.*

Hanna’s revolutionary approach, which included the first known printed recipe for curry and instructions for making a hamburger, made sense. In the morning, it was the custom of the mistress of the household to speak to the cook or housekeeper about the day’s meals and give directions for the day. The servants in turn would interpret her instructions. (Often their mistress had to read the recipes to them, for many lower class people still could not read.)

In theory, the recipes from Hannah’s cookbook would help the lady of the house stay out of the kitchen and enjoy a few moments of free time. But the servant turnover rate was high and often the mistress had to roll up her sleeves and actively participate in the kitchen. Many households with just two or three servants could not afford a mistress of leisure, and they, like Mrs. Austen in the kitchens of Steventon Rectory and Chawton Cottage, would toil alongside their cook staff.

The simple kitchen at Chawton cottage. Image @Tony Grant

At the start of the 18th century the French courtly way of cooking still prevailed in genteel households. As the century progressed, more and more women like Hannah Glasse began to write cookery books that offered not only simpler versions of French recipes, but instructions for making traditional English pies, tarts, and cakes as well. Compared to the expensive cookbooks written by male chefs, cookery books written by women were quite affordable, for they were priced between 2 s. and 6 d.

Hannah Glasse's practical directions for boiling and broiling

Publishers took advantage of the brisk trade, for with the changes in agricultural practices,  food was becoming more abundant for the rising middle classes. Large editions of cheap English cookery books by a variety of female cooks were distributed to a wide new audience of less wealthy and largely female readers who had money to spend on food. Before Hannah Glasse and her cohort, cooks and housewives  had been accustomed to sharing recipes in private journals (such as Marthat Lloyd’s) or handing them down by word-of-mouth.

Martha Lloyd's recipe for caraway cake written in her journal.

Female authors tended to share their native English recipes in their cookery books. As the century progressed, the content of these cookery books began to change. Aside from printing recipes, these books began to include medical instructions for poultices and the like; bills of fare for certain seasons or special gatherings; household and marketing tips; etc.

Bill of fare for November, The Universal Cook, 1792

By the end of the 18th century, cookery books also included heavy doses of servant etiquette and moral advice. At this time plain English fare had replaced French cuisine, although wealthy households continued to employ French chefs as expensive status symbols.  In the mid-19th century cookery books that targeted the working classes, such as Mrs. Beeton’s famous book on Household Management, began to be serialized in magazines, as well as published in book form.

Family at meal time

Before ending this post, I would like to refer you back to James Edward Austen-Leigh’s quote at top. In contrast to what he wrote (for he did not know his aunts or grandmother well), Jane Austen scholar Maggie Lane reminds us that housewives who consulted with their cook and housekeeper  about the day’s meals still felt comfortable working in the kitchen. She writes in Jane Austen and Food:

“though they may not have stirred the pot or the pan themselves, Mrs. Austen and her daughters perfectly understood what was going on within them…The fact that their friend and one-time house-mate Martha Lloyd made a collection of recipes to which Mrs. Austen contributed is proof that the processes of cookery were understood by women of their class.”

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sickDuring Jane Austen’s time, the woman of the house was in charge of making and dispensing simple medical remedies for common complaints, such as a cold, headache, or a rash. Recipes for herbal remedies were handed down from mother to daughter. A young girl’s education included knowledge about herbal properties, growing vital herbs in the kitchen garden, and maintaining a book of recipes for simple common cures. (Eighteenth Century Remedies and Receipts.) Recipes were available in the common cookbooks of the era, such as Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife and Hanna Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. People drank hot wine made from the berries of the elderberry tree to ease cold and flu symptoms; made cold lozenges (see the Hannah Glasse “recipe” below); and concocted soothing syrups and herbal tea infusions.

The following instructions for a method of a cure (making cold tablets) were printed in the 15th edition of The Compleat Housewife or, Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion, a 1753 cookbook compiled by Eliza Smith and published in London. (Official Site of Colonial Williamsburg)

Take pearls, crab’s-eyes, red coral, white amber, burnt hartshorn, and oriental bezoar, of each half an ounce; the black tips of crabs-claws three ounces; make all into a paste, with a jelly of vipers, and roll it into little balls, which dry and keep for use.

herbs

The recipe for cold lozenges by Hannah Glasse uses more commonly known ingredients. (The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, p. 385.)

Take two pounds of common white loaf-sugar, beat it well in a mortar, dissolve six ounces of Spanish liquorice in a little water; one ounce of gum-arabic dissolved likewise; add thereto a little oil of anise-seed; mix them well to a proper consistence, and cut them into small lozenges; let them lie in a band-box on the top of an oven a considerable time to dry, shaking the box sometimes. – Home Remedies, PDF doc

Herbs in the kitchen garden at Lissadell, Ireland

Herbs in the kitchen garden at Lissadell, Ireland

Listed below are the ways an herbal remedy can be prepared (from The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run):

An infusion: A liquid made by soaking an herb – usually its dried leaves or flowers – in liquid. An herbal tea is really an infusion.
A decoction: A liquid made by boiling an herb.
A poultice: A soft, moist mass of bread, meal, herbs, etc. applied to the body.
A plaister: A solid or semi solid remedy, spread on cloth or leather and applied to the body.
An electuary: Powder dried herb and mix with three times as much honey.
An oil: Fresh or dried herb is soaked in oil to extract the essences of the herb. Usually applied externally.
An ointment: Fresh or dried herb is soaked in lard to extract the essences of the herb, then mixed with beeswax and turpentine. Applied externally.

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Mrs. Norris, Lady Bertram and pug

Mrs. Norris, Lady Bertram and pug, 2007 Mansfield Park"I hope she will not tease my poor pug," said Lady Bertram; "I have but just got Julia to leave it alone." - Mansfield Park, Chapter One

To the education of her daughters, Lady Bertram paid not the smallest attention. She had not time for such cares. She was a woman who spent her days in sitting nicely dressed on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children, but very indulgent to the latter, when it did not put herself to inconvenience, guided in every thing important by Sir Thomas, and in smaller concerns by her sister. – description of Lady Bertram by Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

One is continually struck by the varied roles that dogs have played (and continue to play) in civilized society. Take the Georgian era, for example. Dogs were either pampered and coddled in the upper echelons or considered a work dog at best or a pest in the lower stratas. The image of Lady Bertram caring more for her pug than children, and of the upper crust caring for their hunting dogs and appreciating their courage and companionship is reinforced by paintings commissioned at that time. Edwin Landseer, the famous Victorian painter of animals, painted a typical series of paintings for the day: Dogs in Low Places and High Places, which showed the dog in pampered and humble settings.

But for every coddled Georgian canine, there were a score of dogs that lived lives of misery as garbage collectors (scavenging what they could off the streets), or were used for cruel sports, such as dog fights or bear baiting. (I have deliberately used a small image, for I cannot think of the unspeakable cruelty such “sport” must have been to the animals.) Dog fights are still popular today, as evinced by the Michael Vick scandals.

Girl with her dog, British School, 1775, Sudley House

Girl with her dog, British School, 1775, Sudley House

“Industrialization and urbanization in the late 18th and early 19th centuries shifted the focus of blood sports from baiting (in which dogs attacked other species) to fighting (in which dogs attacked each other). Rural laborers flocked to cities to become factory hands. They retained their love for blood sports but lacked the space and free days for baits of large animals. Dogfights, on the other hand, could be held indoors, artificial light allowed evening matches, and workers could still go to work the next day. Businesses called pits arose to meet the demand.” Edmund Russell, A Tale of Two Smithfields, UVA Today

Despite the cruel way in which dogs were treated, increased urbanization marked a change in which dogs were regarded. Edmund Russell goes on to say in his article, “At the same time, industrialization and urbanization in Britain changed attitudes toward dogs. Urbanites had little experience with raising farm animals for slaughter, while more and more families kept pets. Pet dogs had individual names, lived in the house, and never arrived for dinner on a platter.”

Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog, Philip Reinagle, 1805, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog, Philip Reinagle, 1805, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Hunters were bred for specific purposes, and these dogs were kept in kennels to live lives of relative ease and prosperity.

Foxhounds and terriers in a kennel, John Emms (1843-1912)

Foxhounds and terriers in a kennel, John Emms (1843-1912)

But in an age when many people were displaced and lived in abject poverty, the last thing on their minds would be the well-being of their canine friends. During times of plague and epidemics, dogs were killed by the scores as potential carriers of diseases such as rabies. In her cookbook, Hannah Glasse provides recipes to make cures for those bitten by mad dogs. The first one is an 18th century recipe (1747) provided by a Dr. Mead.


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The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy Which Far Exceeds Any Thing of the Kind Yet Published … By Hannah Glasse

As the 19th century progressed, humane societies were formed and paintings of dogs took on a sentimental turn, like this painting by Edwin Landseer entitled “Saved.” Today, the dog’s role in society has not changed much from what it was in Jane Austen’s day, and they still occupy a niche in all strata of society, from the high to the low … to the despicably cruel. (See image in this post.)

Edwin Landseer, Saved, Wikimedia Commons

Edwin Landseer, Saved, 1856, Wikimedia Commons

For more about dogs in this era, click on the following links:

Landseer High and Low images from Picturing Animals in Great Britain: 1750-1850

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These days, a new cookbook seems to be published every day. Over 100 years ago Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management reigned supreme in England. Preceding her by well over a hundred years was Hannah Glasse, the author of The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. In a 2007 Journal Live article, which includes a biographical sketch of Hannah, Jane Hall writes:

She was not a professional cook, however, her expertise lying in dressmaking. Yet when The Art of Cookery was published it was an instant success. Equally popular with ladies of the house and domestic cooks and servants, it would go on to be reprinted in no less than 26 editions – and is still available today.

The book was intended as an instruction manual for servants: “the lower sort,” as she called them.

During the 1700s there was a fashion for books of this kind, which were designed to save the lady of the house from the tedious duty of instructing her kitchen maids. As Hannah said, the book should “improve the Servants and save the Ladies a great deal of Trouble.”

As with some predominant attitudes of today, women cooks were considered to be vastly inferior to male chefs:

In male-dominated Georgian England, it was assumed a woman couldn’t have written such an eloquent and well-organised work. Leading literary figure Dr Samuel Johnson famously said of Hannah’s effort: “Women can spin very well; but they cannot make a good book of cookery.” He promised to write the best collection of recipes ever; he never got around to it.

The following is a list of Hannah’s food for this month – June: The products of the kitchen and fruit garden

ASPARAGUS, garden beans and pease, kidney beans, cauliflowers, artichokes, Battersea and Dutch cabbage, melons on the first ridges, young onions, carrots and parsnips sown in February, purslain, burrage,burnet, the flowers of nasturtian, the Dutch brown, the imperial, the royal, the Silesia and cofs lettuces, some blanched endive and cucumbers. and all sorts of pot herbs.

Green gooseberries, strawberries, some raspberries, currants, white and black duke cherries, red harts, the Flemish and carnation cherries, codlings, jannatings, and the masculine apricot And in the forcing frames all the forward kind of grapes The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy Which Far Exceeds Any Thing of the Kind Yet Published … By Hannah Glasse

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