We have a new neighbour.

So in keeping with my family tradition it is my intent entertain with some Victorian cuisine, so here’s what’s on the menu:

Broiled Fowl and Mushroom Sauce

A large fowl, seasoning, to taste, of pepper and salt, 2 handfuls of button mushrooms, 1 slice of lean ham, 3/4 pint of thickened gravy, 1 teaspoonful of lemon-juice, 1/2 teaspoonful of pounded sugar.

Cut the fowl into quarters, roast it until three-parts done, and keep it well basted whilst at the fire. Take the fowl up, broil it for a few minutes over a clear fire, and season it with pepper and salt. Have ready some mushroom sauce made in the following manner. Put the mushrooms into a stewpan with a small piece of butter, the ham, a seasoning of pepper and salt, and the gravy; simmer these gently for 1/2 hour, add the lemon-juice and sugar, dish the fowl, and pour the sauce round them.

to roast the fowl, 35 minutes; to broil it, 10 to 15 minutes.

French mode of cooking French beans

A quart of French beans, 3 oz. of fresh butter, pepper and salt to taste, the juice of 1/2 lemon.

Cut and boil the beans by the preceding recipe, and when tender, put them into a stewpan, and shake over the fire, to dry away the moisture from the beans. When quite dry and hot, add the butter, pepper, salt, and lemon-juice; keep moving the stewpan, without using a spoon, as that would break the beans; and when the butter is melted, and all is thoroughly hot, serve. If the butter should not mix well, add a tablespoonful of gravy, and serve very quickly.

About 1/4 hour to boil the beans; 10 minutes to shake them over the fire.


2 quarts of green peas, 3 oz. of fresh butter, a bunch of parsley, 6 green onions, flour, a small lump of sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of flour.

Shell sufficient fresh-gathered peas to fill 2 quarts; put them into cold water, with the above proportion of butter, and stir them about until they are well covered with the butter; drain them in a colander, and put them in a stewpan, with the parsley and onions; dredge over them a little flour, stir the peas well, and moisten them with boiling water; boil them quickly over a large fire for 20 minutes, or until there is no liquor remaining. Dip a small lump of sugar into some water, that it may soon melt; put it with the peas, to which add 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. Take a piece of butter the size of a walnut, work it together with a teaspoonful of flour; and add this to the peas, which should be boiling when it is put in. Keep shaking the stewpan, and, when the peas are nicely thickened, dress them high in the dish, and serve.

Altogether, 3/4 hour. 

The Pudding is called ‘General Satisfaction’.

3 sponge cakes. 2 tablespoonfuls of strawberry or other jam. 1 wineglass of sherry. Rather more than ½ a pint of milk. 4 eggs. 1 tablespoonful of sugar. A little pastry.

Line a pie-dish with a little pastry. Spread the jam at the bottom, and lay on it the sponge cakes, cut in halves. Beat one whole egg and three yolks well together. Mix with the sugar and milk, and pour over the sponge cakes

Bake in a moderate oven until the custard is set. Beat the three whites stiffly, and lay on the top of the pudding. Put into a cool oven until the whites are set, and of a pale fawn colour. This pudding may be served hot or cold


Life of a Kitchen Maid

This advert pricked my interest as it is in Kingston Upon Thames where I was born.

A magazine advert from 1887

Bearfield Road is still there as is the house.

What kind of life did a kitchen maid have though.

Domestic servants are a class in society no less essential to its welfare and convenience than the equivalent in subsistence and money which, for service done, that class receives, is essential to the well-being of each individual belonging to it. An encyclopæaedia of domestic economy by Thomas Webster 1845

Well better than a scullery maid but not by much. A Kitchen maids salary was slightly more than that of the scullery maid. She got a whopping salary of  £15.00 per year and would have worked from 6.30am but until 9.30pm with one afternoon off per week.

Duties of Cook, Kitchen-maid, and Scullion.

The routine duties of cook, kitchen-maid, and scullion being intermingled, can scarcely admit of separate descriptions. The cook directs the whole business of the kitchen; the others assist in its performance; she is responsible for the mode in which it is conducted and performed, and must possess, therefore, adequate skill; they, on their part, have only to be active, cleanly, and obedient. To these domestics, early rising is of the utmost importance, and, as their hours of retiring to rest are less uncertain, and not dependent, as those of the servants in other departments, on the movements of the family, there can be neither hardship nor difficulty in their rising betimes, not later than 6 in the summer and 7 in the winter. If they fail in this, they will find that an hour lost in the morning may be run after, but never overtaken the rest of the day.” The inconvenience of late rising in these three domestics will not only affect their own, but the business also of many of the other servants.  An encyclopæaedia of domestic economy by Thomas Webster 1845

In the bigger households the head kitchen maid is an under-cook, that is she assumes many of the ordinary everyday cooking duties.

She will also be sweeping and cleaning the kitchen, larder, and other offices belonging to the kitchen together with the halls, stone steps at the house entrance, office passages, kitchen stairs, dec.

As well as this daily sweeping and dusting, she has to scour and wash all these places twice a week, and to scrub tables, shelves, and cupboards.

In smaller households will prepares vegetables, game and poultry, does the dairy-work, and bakes the bread.

If there is no stillroom maid, she makes the cakes for luncheon, tea and dessert and the rolls for breakfast. She keeps the kitchen clean and keeps things in order. So a busy  day indeed!

The Kitchen maid would only be allowed upstairs once a day, for morning prayers. Otherwise she spends all her time between her bedroom in the attic and the Kitchen.

Generally speaking she would dine in the kitchen with the scullery maid or in larger houses with the general staff.