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Bath Buns and Jane Austen

Bath buns

Jane Austen and A Taste for Bath Buns

Though, to be sure, the keep of two will be more than of one, I will endeavor to make the difference less by disordering my stomach with Bath buns.
Jane Austen to Cassandra, January 3, 1801

Jane Austen was only too familiar with Bath Buns. She often found it necessary to sneak them surreptitiously into her room to augment the rather meagre meals given by her well-meaning but rather stingy Aunt Leigh Perrot. Continue reading Bath Buns and Jane Austen

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Boiled Eggs for Easter: Dying Methods and Uses

An egg boiled very soft is not unwholesome. Serle understands boiling an egg better than any body. I would not recommend an egg boiled by any body else….
Mr. Woodhouse, Emma

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Biscuits & Marmalade

“She looks much as she used to do, is netting herself a gown in worsteds, and wears what Mrs. Birch would call a Pot Hat. A short and compendious history of Miss Debary!” ~Jane Austen 25 November, 1798 In 1807 Jane Austen’s dear friend Martha Lloyd spent several days visiting the Debary family. Jane feared for her friend, writing, “The living of which he has gained…I cannot help thinking she will marry Peter Debary.” It would seem there was no love lost between the Austens and those whom Jane referred to as “the endless Debarys”. Fortunately, Martha would instead marry Francis Austen, though Jane would not live to see it. One thing Ms. Lloyd did retain from her friendship with the Debarys is the following recipe for Scotch Marmalade. Scotch Orange Marmalade Each lb. of oranges requires 1 1/2 lbs of lump sugar. Quarter the oranges, then take off the rind and cut part of the white substances from it. Put the rinds into boiling water and boil them quickly for an hour and a half or two hours. Slice them as thin as possible. Sqeeze the pulp thro’ a sieve adding a little water to the dregs. Break the sugar fine. Put it in a pan, pour the pulp on it- when dissolved add the rinds, then boil the whole for twenty minutes- a little essence of lemon may be added before it is taken off the fire, in the proportion of a small teaspoonful to twelve oranges. Donated (more…)
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Black Butter

“The last hour, spent in yawning and shivering in a wide circle round the fire, was dull enough, but the tray had admirable success. The widgeon and the preserved ginger were as delicious as one could wish. But as to our black butter, do not decoy anybody to Southampton by such a lure, for it is all gone. The first pot was opened when Frank and Mary were here, and proved not at all what it ought to be; it was neither solid nor entirely sweet, and on seeing it Eliza remembered that Miss Austen had said she did not think it had been boiled enough. It was made, you know, when we were absent. Such being the event of the first pot, I would not save the second, and we therefore ate it in unpretending privacy; and though not what it ought to be, part of it was very good.” Jane Austen to Cassandra Castle Square, Tuesday (December 27, 1808) Prefer to buy your Black Butter? Try Jersey Black Butter– a centuries old recipe! Black Butter is based on a medieval “apple sauce” recipe. Through the centuries it was been adapted to fit current cooking practices and ingredients. Black Butter is a dark, sweet type of Apple Sauce. It can be spread on toast and biscuits or eaten by itself. The American version, Apple Butter, has been a national favorite for centuries. Apples have been grown in England since Roman times. In the 16th and 17th centuries orchards were (more…)
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All the Delights of the Season

There was now employment for the whole party– for though they could not all talk, they could all eat; and the beautiful pyramids of grapes, nectarines, and peaches soon collected them round the table. Pride and Prejudice In Georgian times, centerpieces that were both exquisite and edible were an inherent part of fine dining. In fact, food was the only centerpiece used until the 1750s. The goal of every great hostess was a captivating and inviting arrangement- a treat to the eyes and the taste. The more elaborate, the better. After all, your wealth and social status were clearly assessed by the size and complexity of the centerpiece. Food stylist Debbie Brodie created many such arrangements for the A&E film “Emma”. Her challenge was to create confections that would look beautiful while standing up to the heat and transportation necessary in filming. “We created these colassal fruit pyramids, which are certainly not the thing to do when you’ve got four-hundred weight of food to put out and you’re in a complete tiz. They take a very long time. You have to have a completely level base onto which you put a layer of the larger fruits (apples, peaches, oranges). This you then spray with mounting glue and add a layer of leaves. I used Ivy leaves but you can use vine or bay leaves.Once that has dried, you do the next layer in the same way, with fruits getting smaller as it gets higher. Any fruits can be used: cherries, (more…)
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Regency White Soup

“As for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough I shall send round my cards.”
Charles Bingley, Pride and Prejudice

Wilma Paterson, author of “The Regency Cookbook” relates that, “regency white soup is a very old recipe. As a delicate veal broth, it was made in Scotland as soup-a-la-reine, a remainder of the ‘Auld Alliance’ between Scotland and France. A more elaborate version, Lorraine soup (possibly a corruption of La Reine) it appeared frequently on fashionable dinner and supper menus during the Regency.” White Soup seems to have been made from veal or chicken stock (broth), egg yolks, ground almonds and cream. Served with negus* (hot sweetened wine and water) they were warming and intoxicating beverages at balls. Continue reading Regency White Soup