Thursday, December 3, 2009

Soup's On

The Bad News: I didn't make it out in time to take advantage of the 2-for-1 pasty deal. The Good News: The missed bargain afforded me the opportunity to try a recipe from the gargantuan food section of Beeton. I went with the vegetable soup, as I had all of the ingredients and it didn't require a meaty stock. Cook time was listed at 3 hours, and I started at 5 pm...luckily Mr. Redux had hockey practice, and wouldn't be home until the target time of 8 pm.

Here is the recipe:

159. INGREDIENTS - 7 oz. of carrot, 10 oz. of parsnip, 10 oz. of potato, cut into thin slices; 1–1/4 oz. of butter, 5 teaspoonfuls of flour, a teaspoonful of made mustard, salt and pepper to taste, the yolks of 2 eggs, rather more than 2 quarts of water.

Mode.—Boil the vegetables in the water 2–1/2 hours; stir them often, and if the water boils away too quickly, add more, as there should be 2 quarts of soup when done. Mix up in a basin the butter and flour, mustard, salt, and pepper, with a teacupful of cold water; stir in the soup, and boil 10 minutes. Have ready the yolks of the eggs in the tureen; pour on, stir well, and serve.

Time.—3 hours. Average cost, 4d. per quart.

Seasonable in winter.

The result? A good amount of somewhat bland soup. I have been trying to look up whether or not all Victorian recipes are bland to taste. I went at it without stock trying to be accurate but afterwards gave in an added a generous dripping of Worcestershire sauce (most def. the easiest to spell and pronounce of all the sauces). Better. There are loads of leftovers and I am hoping to boil it down more to add more flavour. I think the butter and mustard added a bit but of course, meat probably would have kicked it even more.

Mostly, I was proud of myself for creating a big pot of edible soup substance, when it has been known through many parts in America and the UK that I am a deplorable cook and an unskilled novice baker. Though I do make a mean salad.

Today: woke up at quarter till 11. An improvement on yesterday, I must say. I am trying to do it naturally to get in the swing of things. Not sure about the average Victorian's use of the alarm clock. I found on Richard York's website a description of the alarm clock from a Victorian magazine of the time.

The alarm clock is really of very little use; we soon get accustomed to it, and its jingle ceases to attract attention.

So alarm clocks were used in the day, but found lacking (this particular article goes on to describe a new, Rube Goldberg-esque alarm clock which drops books on a sleeper's toes). I will give it another week or so and see when I rise.

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