Saturday, 29 September 2012

11 December, 1897 - 'Some Economical Irish Dishes' - Potato Cakes, Honey Cake, Economical Christmas Cake, Buttermilk Bread

Potato Cakes:- For this, equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and white flour are wanted. Knead well together with a little milk, if necessary. Flour your pastry board well and roll out the mixture about half an inch thick. Cut into three-cornered scones and bake on a griddle. These must be eaten hot, but with plenty of butter. They are delicious!

Honey Cake:- This is another hot cake fit for supper or high tea.

Mix together half a breakfast-cupful of white sugar and one breakfast-cupful of rich sour cream (Dinah was always leaving driblets in jug and basin after afternoon tea or Helen's morning cup. It was not difficult for enough to get sour very frequently). Dredge into the mixture two breakfast-cupfuls of finely sifted flour, and about two tablespoonfuls of clear honey. This will flavour the cake nicely, and must be stirred in well, so as to be thoroughly mixed. Add half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda (it is called bread soda in Ireland) and beat with the back of a wooden spoon until air bubbles appear.

Bake in a buttered tin for three-quarters of an hour and eat hot.

This may not sound a very economical recipe, but Helen drew her aunt's attention to the fact that neither eggs nor butter are used. As a matter of fact, a cake sufficient to allay the hunger of four or five persons can be made for eightpence, not an exorbitant outlay.

Friday, 28 September 2012

11 December, 1897 - 'Some Economical Irish Dishes' - Part 1, Irish Stew, Colcannon and Bacon & Cabbage

"Helen, dear! will you give me some recipes for the things you have in Ireland? They would do nicely for the servants' hall!"

The speaker - a regal-looking dame in blue velvet and rosepoint - looked at her niece sweetly as she spoke. She seemed quite unconscious of the hidden meaning in her speech. But all down the glittering table in that old banqueting hall ran a ripple of laughter. Helen's aunt was always insinuating that the food in Irish homes was only fit for servants' halls!

Helen did not mind. Not she. But a cousin sitting near - a Major, he of the ______ Regiment, stationed in Cork, looked quite furious. He was engaged to a lovely blue-eyed Irish maiden - so perhaps his views on the subject were not impartial. He had his mother reduced almost to tears before he had done descanting on the generous dainty hospitality extended to many in the Emerald Isle. But all the same, Helen made out a list of economical Irish dishes, and left her aunt to use them when and where she would.