Cassell’s New Dictionary of Food

casSome time ago I picked up a hard copy (a book if you will) of Cassells New Dictionary of Food. It cost me the grand price of £26, the most I’ve ever paid for a book so it is a bit of a treat.

The edition I have was printed in 1911 just after the end of the Victorian era by Messrs Cassell And Company, Limited of London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne. It contains numerous illustrations and eight colour plates and ‘about ten thousand recipes’!

So from a ‘looking at authentic Victorian recipes’ this is a bargain.

My intention is to try them as I go along but here’s a few to be getting on with if you fancy a go!

Alpha Rocks
Beat half a pound of butter to a cream, then stir in three-quarters of a pound of flour, six ounces of loaf sugar, two ounces of sweet almonds blanched and sliced, and one egg; mix thoroughly, then drop it in spoonful’s on a well-oiled tin, and bake in a moderate oven. Lemon or citron-peel and currants can be added if approved. Time to bake about twenty minutes. Probable cost. Is/2d.

Apple Cakes
Take two pounds of apples, pare, core, and quarter them. Stew them gently with one pound of sugar, the juice and finely-chopped rind of a lemon, a table-spoonful of butter, and half a nutmeg grated. Beat these ingredients thoroughly together, and drop them in small rounds upon a sheet of well-oiled paper. Place them in a cool oven, and bake them until they are firm, which will take about a quarter of an hour. They should be kept in a tin box. Probable cost, Is.

Ginger Beer
Put the thinly-peeled rind of four lemons into a large earthen pan with the strained juice, two ounces of bruised ginger, two and a half pounds of loaf sugar, and half an ounce of cream of tartar. Pour over these ingredients two and a half gallons of boiling water, and, when lukewarm, add two table-spoonful’s of fresh brewer’s yeast. Stir the liquid, and leave it to ferment until the next day. Skim the yeast from the top, pour the beer carefully from the sediment, and bottle for use. The corks should be perfectly sound, put into boiling water just before being used, and then securely wired. The ginger-beer will be ready for use in two days. Probable cost, Is. 10d Sufficient for three dozen and a half ginger-beer bottles