Saturday, April 16, 2016

Food From Long Ago

Well, not the food itself, but ...
I recently discovered,  during one of out many moves, a book from probably my great grandmother. It sings the praises of a piece of wonderful new kitchen equipment - the gas stove!!! This dates it to around the 1890s. As my mother was born in 1921 and my grandmother in the 1890s, my great-granny takes the blame! It was written by Miss Amy Atkinson and Miss Grace Holroyd.

I also discovered, in the same trove, a copy of The Olio Cookery Book, 14th Edition, from 1922. This is a rather interesting find, although much younger. It offers a lot of recipes, it is true, but also many tips interspersed amongst the recipes. For an example, on page 144 one may find recipes for Sherry Whey, Raw Beef Tea, Quickly-Made Lemon Jelly, Special Suet Pudding, and Invalid Pudding. After that come two Cures For Neuralgia and a Boer Embrocation For Sprains. Page 145 has a variety of remedies - for afflictions as varied as Boils, Rheumatism, Corns, and Chilblains!
This book was written by a Miss L. Sykes.
Both books contain fascinating little insights into the past, and quick simple little recipes very suitable for today.

With a little bit of research you can find both of these books in a database online from the University of California at Davis. Believe it or not, you can obtain copies of both books from Amazon UK !

Anyway, on to the food!!

Sausage and Tomato Pie

1 lb sausages, chopped as shown 2-3 medium onions, sliced
3 plum tomatoes, sliced Salt and pepper
Half a cup of stock
2 cups Idahoan dried Mashed Potatoes 3 cups of water
1 stick of butter 1 cup of milk

The Chopped Onions. You'll see that at least one had sprouted. This isn't a problem, excepting that most of the bulb was useless - the green part was still good!

The sausage I used was Amylu's fully cooked Chicken Andouille. I got a pack of 8 from CostCo and used four here. For info on the product see here.

You will need a container to cook this in: I used a glassware loaf dish, about 26x15x8 cm.
  1. Start the oven heating to 350F.
  2. Slice up the onions, tomatoes, and sausage. 
  3. Fry the onions until well-browned - the picture below is about 2 or 3 minutes from the end.     
  4. If you're using raw sausages then prick the skins well and cook them gently in boiling water for 5-10 minutes until pretty well cooked through.
  5. Fry the sausage gently until the pieces are reasonably browned. You don't need to totally cook these sausages - they already are cooked! (See the next picture!)
  6. Put a pan on to heat with the water, milk, and butter. Let it come to a boil.
  7. Add the dried mash to the water mix and whisk to mix it. The dry flakes will rapidly turn back into mashed potatoes!
  8. Put the sausage pieces in the bottom of the dish and cover with the onions. 
  9. Add the stock and the tomato slices 
  10. Slather on the mash. Smooth it down to neatness with a fork.
  11. Place in the oven on a baking tray and cook for about 30 minutes, until the tips of the potato turn brown.
  12. Serve!
Onions frying!

As you can see, I've been fighting Blogger a bit to get this to post. I hope you enjoy it.

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