Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Victorian Picnic

Today I attended the H.B. Plant Museum's Victorian Picnic in the Park in Tampa, FL. It was a wonderful event and there was a good steampunk showing for the event.  If a Victorian themed picnic sounds good to you grab a blanket and check out these era accurate recipes and menus. 

Mrs. Beeton's menu for 40 people. 

 I don't recommend trying this:

Bill of Fare for a Picnic for 40 People:
A joint of cold roast beef, a joint of cold boiled beef, 2 ribs of lamb, 2 shoulders of lamb, 4 roast fowls, 2 roast ducks, 1 ham, 1 tongue, 2 veal and ham pies, 2 pigeon pies, 6 medium lobsters, 1 piece of collard calf's head, 18 lettuces, 6 baskets of salad, 6 cucumbers.
Stewed fruit well sweetened, and put into glass bottles well corked; 3 or 4 dozen plain pastry biscuits to eat with the stewed fruit, 2 dozen fruit turnovers, 4 dozen cheesecakes, 2 cold cabinet puddings in moulds, 2 blancmanges in moulds, a few jam puffs, 1 large cold plum pudding (this must be good), a few baskets of fresh fruit, 3 dozen plain biscuits, a piece of cheese, 6lbs. of butter (This, of course, includes the butter for tea), 4 quarten loaves of household bread, 3 dozen rolls, 6 loaves of tin bread (for tea), 2 plain plum cakes, 2 pound cakes, 2 sponge cakes, a tin of mixed biscuits, 1/2 lb. of tea. Coffee is not suitable for a picnic, being difficult to make.
Things not to be forgotten at a picnic:
A stick of horseradish, a bottle of mint-sauce well corked, a bottle of salad dressing, a bottle of vinegar, make mustard, pepper, salt, good oil, and pounded sugar. If it can be managed, take a little ice. It is scarcely necessary to say that plates, tumblers, wine glasses, knives, forks, and spoons must not be forgotten; as also teacups and saucers, 3 or 4 teapots, some lump sugar, and milk, if this last named article cannot be obtained in the neighbourhood. Take three corkscrews.
Beverages - 3 dozen quart bottles of ale, packed in hampers; ginger beer, soda water, and lemonade, of each 2 dozen bottles; 6 bottles of sherry, of bottles of claret, champagne a discretion, and any other light wine that may be preferred, and 2 bottles of brandy. Water can usually be obtained; so it is useless to take it.
Mrs Beeton

Now the more realistic options:

Salads and Vegetables

Brockely is a pretty dish, by way of Sallad in the middle of the table. Boil it like asparagus, lay it in a dish, and beat up oil and vinegar, and a little salt. Garnish round with Stertion-buds. Or boil it, and have plain butter in a cup- Or farce French roles with it, and buttered eggs together for change- Or farce your roles with muscles done the same way as oysters, only no wine. 
Hannah Glasse

An English Salad and Salad-Sauce: 
Let the herbs be fresh gathered, nicely trimmed and picked, and repeatedly wash in salt and water. Drain and cut them. Just before dinner is served, rub the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs very smooth on a soup-plate, with a little very rich cream. When well mixed, add a tea-spoonful of made mustard and a little salt, a spoonful of olive oil, one oiled butter, or two of sour cream may be substituted, and when this is mixed smooth, put in as much vinegar as will give the proper degree of acidity to the sauce,- about two large spoonfuls; add a little pound lump-sugar if the flavour is liked. Put this sauce in the dish, and lay the cut herbs lightly over it; or mix them well with it, and garnish with beet-root sliced and marked, rings of the white of the eggs, young radishes, &c. Onions may be served seperatly on a small dish. Some knowing persons like grated Parmasan put to their salad and sauce. 
Remoulade: Pound the hard-boiled yolks of two eggs in a mortar, with a little sour cream, or the raw yolk of an egg, a spoonful of made mustard, pepper, salt, cayenne, one spoonful of vinegar and two oil. Rub this salad-sauce through a sieve, and it is ready to serve. 
All the above by Margaret Dods


Victoria Sandwiches

Cut thin brown bread and butter, and between two slices place alternate layers of thinly sliced hard boiled eggs, small salad or American cress, the cleansed fillets of anchovies; divide these slices into small squares or oblongs and serve them on a napkin, either for breakfast, luncheon or supper. 
Francatelli, Chef to Queen Victoria

Cheese Sandwich 

Take a small quantity of very fresh cream cheese, put it in a basin or a marble mortar, add some salt, pepper, and a little mustard, beat it well up until it is of the same consistency as butter; if too hard, add a little of the latter, and use it as butter on bread with slices of meat between. 
Alexis Soyer

Meat Dishes

Curried Beef 
Ingredients - A few slices of tolerably lean cold roast or boiled beef,  3oz of butter, 2 onions, 1 wineglassful of beer, 1 desert-spoonful of curry powder.
Mode - cut up the beef into pieces about 1 inch square, put the butter in a stewpan with the onions sliced, and fry them of a light brown colour. Add all the other ingredients, and stir gently over a brisk fire for about ten minutes.  Should this be thought too dry, more beer or a spoonful or two of gravy or water, may be added; but a good curry should not be very thin. Place it in a deep dish, with a edging of dry boiled rice, in the same manner as for other curries.  Mrs Beeton


Apple Cheesecakes
1/2 lb of apple pulp, 1/4 lb of sugar, 1/4 lb of butter, 4 eggs, the rind and juice of 1 lemon. Pare, core, and boil sufficient apples to make 1/2 lb when cooked; add to these the sugar, the butter, which should be melted, the eggs, leaving out 2 of the whites, and the grated rind and juice of 1 lemon; stir the mixture well; line some patty tins with puff pastry, put in the mixture and bake about 20 minutes. Makes 18-20 cheesecakes.
Mrs Beeton

Pound Cake

1 lb of butter, 1 lb of flour, 1 lb of sugar, 8 eggs, 1 wineglass of brandy (not if you are making this for children!), a little salt, the rind of two oranges or lemons rubbed on sugar. Place the butter in a basin, and work it with a wooden spoon until it assumes the appearance of thick cream; then add the flour, sugar and eggs gradually; when the whole is thoroughly incorporated, add the brandy, rind and salt; mix well together and bake the cakes in any kind of mould (previously spread with butter), or in a tin hoop lined with buttered paper. Plums, currants, almonds, pistachio kernels, candied peel or dried cherries may be added. This should make two good-sized cakes.

Additional Recipes are available at Judges Lodge.

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