Wednesday, 10 October 2012

2 October 1897 - 'An Afternoon Wedding' by Mary Pocock - Part Two

For part one, click the tag 'an afternoon wedding'.

With regard to the dishes the following list may be useful to choose from: Sandwiches, ham, tongue, potted meat of any kind, with a little mustard (green) and cress, hard-boiled egg, with or without cress, chicken and watercress, shrimps that have been pounded in a mortar with very little nepaul or cayenne pepper, anchovy paste, or potted anchovies, cucumber, mustard and cress, watercress, shred celery, guava or quince jelly, or jam of any kind.

While writing of sandwiches, I would like to remind those who have to provide, that their success depends on the sandwiches being nicely cut and evenly buttered, and most important of all, that the bread of which they are made should be suitable and quite fresh, the general complaint being that the sandwiches "are so dry".

I always use newly-baked tin sandwich-loaves, and after they are made lodge a small plate on top of each pile, then cover with a cloth until wanted. In the course of cutting, the bread loses its newness, but at the same time when put on table, the edges are never curled and hard, as with dry bread. A variety is made by having some of the tiny rolls made for sandwiches; they are an inch wide and about three inches long, they are cut open and what is wished is put on, each making one sandwich. They are convenient and look tempting; the outsides are glazed brown. It is well to have a few dishes of these on table as well as the cut sandwiches.

The following recipe is for a very good cake. Having no fruit in it, it is very suitable for covering with chocolate, coffee, or other fancy icing.

Piedmont Cake:- Ingredients: six yolks of eggs, three whites of eggs, seven ounces of sifted flour, seven ounces of castor sugar, three ounces and a half of melted butter. Mode, best the yolks of the eggs for half an hour, dredging the sugar in as you beat them; beat the three whites of eggs to a hard froth, add them to the yolks and sugar, then sift the flour in slowly, add the butter, which should be melted, not oiled; beat all the time you are adding the ingredients. Put into a tin that you have lined with buttered paper, put a buttered paper lightly over the top of the tin, and bake in a moderately hot oven. This cake cannot be properly made in less than three quarters of an hour. It is best when made with Hungarian flour.

The recipe for chocolate icing is very simple and quite suitable for covering the above. Dissolve over a slow fire two ounces of gyrated good chocolate in a gill of water, add half a pound of castor sugar, stir until it is the consistency of smooth thick cream, when it is ready for use.

Queen drops, or bars of Genoese pastry, are very nice covered with this icing, which must, of course, be used while it is warm.

Queen Drops:- Beat three eggs ten minutes with two tablespoonfuls of good rosewater, sift in six ounces of castor sugar, beating all the time; add a few drops of vanilla, sift in a quarter of a pound of fine flour, add two ounces of butter, previously warmed and stirred to a cream; finish by stirring in two ounces of currants. Drop a small teaspoonful of the mixture on a well buttered paper and bake. If they are to be chocolate-iced, omit the currants. Do not make the icing until the drops are cool; it is easier to join them in pairs with the chocolate than to cover the outsides.

Pistachio Cake:- Ingredients: eight eggs, their weight in castor sugar, the weight of three eggs of fine sifted flour, the weight of one egg of pistachio kernels weighed after they are blanched and skinned. Method:- beat the yolks of eggs with the sugar until they are quite thick, then add the flour slowly, beat for ten minutes; beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, stir them into the mixture. Last add the pistachio kernels, which must have been previously pounded to a paste in a mortar. Bake in a slow oven. Ice with the following -

Put a tablespoonful of lemon juice into a basin with the whites of two eggs, work half a pound of icing sugar into it gradually, using a wooden spoon; work it a long time, until you can break a piece off short from the spoon, when it is done, and should be used at once. If you are obliged to keep it, cover the basin with a damp cloth. Ice the pistachio cake and cover the top with finely chopped pistachio nuts, put in the oven a minute to set, then in a cool dry place until wanted. The above cake may be made with pounded almonds instead of pistachios, the icing then would be ornamented with angelica and dried cherries.

Few people now trouble to make biscuits, but some readers of THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER may like to try the following; they are very simple and I find them much liked at teas. Make a dough with half a pound of flour, and four ounces of golden syrup; add a quarter of a pound of melted butter, two ounces of brown sugar, a large teaspoonful of grated ginger, and one ounce of candied peel chopped small. When well mixed, roll out thin and cut into biscuits with fancy cutter, bake on greased baking sheets in moderate oven. They should be quite thin cakes.

The following is a very good lemonade. Take three large lemons, cut off the peel, as thin as possible, put it in a jug and pour a quart of cold water on it, squeeze the juice from the lemons, being careful to extract it all, strain the pips out and pour the juice to the peel and water, sweeten to taste with castor sugar (do not make it too sweet) add a slice of pineapple (fresh or canned) and let the lemonade stand until wanted, when the peel and pineapple can be strained out. This lemonade being made with cold water should be prepared at least four hours before it is wanted. Add a lump of ice before serving. Three or four lemons to each quart of water, depending on the quality of the lemons.

While writing of weddings, I am reminded of some that, when I was a girl, were hardly noticed. I allude to silver weddings, the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of a marriage. I have been to several of these lately, and really they have seemed to me to be made almost more of than weddings, and perhaps there is some reason in it, for a silver wedding entails no parting, as a marriage does, where a girl is leaving home for her new life. The day should really be a joyous and happy one when two people can look back on a quarter of a century passed together happily with reason to expect many more peaceful years in one another's company.

For silver wedding festivities the invitations are sent in the names of the husband and wife. If for an afternoon reception the arrangements are the same as for a wedding, though some do not care to have a wedding cake.

Presents of articles in silver are made and guests offer their congratulations and good wishes to their host and hostess as they would have done on their wedding day.

At a twenty-fifth anniversary dinner at which I was a guest a few months ago the husband took his wife in to dinner and sat next to her at table as he had done on his wedding day; but I fancy most English people prefer to adhere to the ordinary dinner arrangement; our insular objection is always so great against doing anything that might be construed into a demonstration of feeling, that we cling by preference to our everyday customs.

However a silver wedding party is a very enjoyable one, especially as most people like to get together as many of the original guests as they can, even though the missing faces must give one some sad thoughts, one can give one's hearty good wishes to host and hostess and hope to meet them again on their golden wedding day in good health and with happiness round them.

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