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Basic Foods


A Balic
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Quote: from Wilfrid on 9:51 pm on Dec. 20, 2001
Quote: from yvonne johnson on 7:21 pm on Dec. 19, 2001

Fried, second day's X-mas pudding is delicious.  (Wilfrid, are you sure you're a Brit?!)

Results of the poll are in, and it may be a regonal thing.  Some of my friends from the north of England are acknowledging the dish, although they eat it with brandy butter, not as part of a fry up.  Is Adam on his own with that one?

Anyway, I am now caught up in e-mail correspondence about eating corned beef for breakfast on Christmas Day.  Where this is all heading, goodness knows.

So, I may have invented a new dish? Cool. I would quote that Brillat-Savarin chap on this subject, but the Fat Guy would only point out the utterly pedestrian nature of doing so....   :cheesy:

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I want to talk about fried Christmas pud. Is that OK in this tightly-controlled highly-focussed thread ?

Fried in brandy butter (or just brandy works) absolutely yes. Cannot and must not under any circymstances be served alone. Real, home-made, stand-your-spoon-upright-in-it custard is essential (plus a little more brandy if you like). And this whole miraculous dish (fried pud + custard) is even better served COLD.

Even better than bread pudding. Now who would have thought THAT was possible ?

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Quote: from macrosan on 5:29 pm on Dec. 21, 2001

I want to talk about fried Christmas pud. Is that OK in this tightly-controlled highly-focussed thread ?

Fried in brandy butter (or just brandy works) absolutely yes. Cannot and must not under any circymstances be served alone. Real, home-made, stand-your-spoon-upright-in-it custard is essential (plus a little more brandy if you like). And this whole miraculous dish (fried pud + custard) is even better served COLD.

Even better than bread pudding. Now who would have thought THAT was possible ?

Oh, I give up all semblance control. I was trying not to let this thread become the "son-of-Adam's-Bio" thread.

No, I will fight this, "basic foods that demand more respect' is a really interesting topic.

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I think butter was mentioned a while back. The one brand we buy is Lurpak, unsalted. I really like it. I've never made my own butter. Thought about it, though. Yes, it is really insane that we were brainwashed by the experts into believing that marg was better for us.

If I were allowed only 3 things to eat, I'd choose bread, butter and cheese.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Loath as I am to re-pudding this thread, I recently found an old (1833) Scottish cookbook in a junk shop. In the section on plum puddings (including some with meat content, so very medieval) they suggest that to heat up cooked plum pudding, you fry slices of it or re-steam it. So a quite an old British tradition.

The book, by the way, was "The Cook and Housewifes Manual" by Margaret (Meg) Dods. One of the very first books on the subject of cooking and food in Scotland. I don't know if anybody else has read this book, but it is very interesting and entertaining. It was published before the British became Victorians, so it is very interesting to compare it to Mrs Beeton's book as a contrast. The food reflects the people of the time, which it still does.

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That's interesting, that the frying pudding business goes way back.

We didn't make Christmas puddings for this last Christmas, but a few days ago I came across little Wilkins and Sons puddings going for ū.95 in D'Agostino's (a NY supermarket). They just needed steaming for 30 mins, and they were terrific. So fruity, with a nice weight to them.

I see W & Sons have a web page

By'>http://www.tiptree.com/tiptree/faq.html

By

the way, Sue Lawrence's Scots Cooking has lots of traditional recipes. Interestingly, the reviews are a lot more positive on the amazon.com site. That's no surprise...Americans tend to grade higher.  Students here expect an A, whereas in UK we were ecstatic with a B-.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec....4135065

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I have read Sue Lawrence's book and I thought it was great. I really nice way of making traditional Scottish food more accessible to people. This old Scottish cookbook, I mentioned, was very interesting, I think that you would be amazed at how well the middle classes ate in the early 1800's. These people were eating better then the middle-class of today, to some extent.

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I was about to correct m'learned friend Mr Balic and assert that the British became Victorians in 1831, but I was sensible enough to look it up first.  1837 it was, so Meg would be, what? a Georgian.  In fact, I am not surprised that the middle classes ate well in the early 1800s.  Indeed, I suspect they continued to do so until around 1914.  Take a look at a popular Victorian comic novel, Diary of a Nobody by the Grossmith Brothers.   It deals with the domestic doings of an only-just-middle-class family - the husband is a bank clerk - and gives some idea of the vast quantities of freshly cooked food they expected to eat every day.  I am sure one reason for this was that any British middle class home in the nineteenth century would have had at least one (and often quite a few) domestic servants.  Also, obviously, food would have been bought fresh from local, specialist retailers or open markets.   British cuisine was of some stature and interest until the vast changes brought on by the two world wars (and I do not have the time to go any further with this promising beginning...!).

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Welcome back Wilfrid, I have also had dysentery so I  know how unpleasant that is. Glad to here that you baby is OK, poor little thing. Meg Dods, was a fictional name (based on the one of Scotts charaters in St. Ronan's Well) used by the author of the book (Christian Isobel Johnstone). But, yes the cooking is largely Georgian, with a few earlier elements as well. As well as a fine Georgian cookbook it is also, in part, a work of fiction, having lots of discourse of food by entirely fictional characters in the footnotes (very over the top they are too). It is also very funny, I would suggest you get a copy, but I saw the same addition as my book for sale on the internet for US辎, so a little expensive (I found my much loved copy in a junk shop).

On of the more interesting books I have read on the subject of the British and food is Philappa Pullar's "Consuming Passions: A history of food and the British". Its a pretty famous book, so you may have already have read it. If not there is a new updated addition published in 2001. Somebody else suggested that I should read "Diary of a Nobody" (I thought they were having some fun with me actually), so I guess that will be my weekend book this week. I would love to discuss the relationship of the British to food, so I will start another thread (maybe on the weekend).

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I look forward to the new thread.  I did read 'Consuming Passions' a while back, and it does a good job of restoring British culinary history - the reputation for gray meat and soggy vegetables really dates from the 1960s and 1970s - although I am sure it hasn't been stamped out.

The 'Nobody' book is one of the funniest things I have ever read, so you may have a fun weekend coming up.

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  • 2 years later...
It tastes of fresh grass and reminds me of the sun, even here in Scotland.

I should be that lucky to get olive oil that fresh. Even though I have tons of relatives in Italy. Mind you I have never had the oppurtunity to meet them. That may be the reason.

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I'm glad to see this thread revived now that it's summer. I just had my first true summer tomato of the year. :wub: . So I made a wonderful BLT. It's inspired me to make some scratch mayo for the next time.

But what I really want to talk about is toast. I don't understand why people use "toasters" (which dries out the bread inside and out :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: ). I make mine stovetop on a cast iron griddle to give a nice crisp browned exterior and a soft, sometimes even chewy texture inside and a more complex toasted taste. And I don't need to keep a toaster on the counter. -- Well, not really true. I do understand, yes, pop in the toaster and forget about it til it pops up again. But as with so many conveniences, it yields a less satisfactory result.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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They arrived. Cherries from several old trees nearby.

The cherries are deep black as coal. And incredibly sweet.

Some years ago, when the farmer was younger, he went to the city market to sell these cherries. They have been famous. Market opened at 7 pm, and I never could buy later than 8 pm. Years later, I learned form a old friend that the farmer with the famous cherries - is his uncle! So I have still the possibility to buy them.

I never made anything with it than just eating. And I don't know of anybody else who processed them into food. They are perfect as they are.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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If you just want to make a little bit to try it, pour a cup of heavy cream into a quart jar and shake it while watching television...good project for kids if you have any around.

I've also made whipped cream from butter and milk, but the little gadget got lost in a move. Butter is better from cream, and cream is better from butter. How can that be?

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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No strawberry in any kind of market tastes like a wild strawberry, just picked, warm from the sun.

I suppose that this is where some of the u-pick popularity comes from, but I've always found u-pick not as good even as finding something wild. We spend many summer days picking wild strawberries, then blueberries, then currants and then making "jam" (My grandmother's recipe was a 1:1 ratio of berries and sugar, that's it.) and I am now very picky about what I deem to be good berrywise. Despite this, I wish people could have a chance to taste berries like that.

--adoxograph

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Strawberries have the best flavor when the plant is producing for the very first time.........that's why wild berries are often more flavorful than even organic ones.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Some time ago I picked up some very good (And expensive) bread, and some excellent butter.

I proceded to devour about half the loaf in one sitting, and I remember thinking, as bread and butter goes, this was damned expensive. But as a meal (Of sorts!) it was fairly cheap.

I think i'd rather have good bread, good butter ,good eggs and no steak rather than cheap steak. Looking at other peoples baskets in the supermarket (I can't be the only one!) I think I am in the minority though.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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We recently bit the bullet and paid way too much for 24 pieces of fruit from Frog Hollow Farms but I would do it again in a heart beat. The best nectarines and peaches I've ever had. The very essence of the flavors of those fruits were in every luscious and juicy bite. I wish I lived up there so I could stop by and pick up fruit whenever I was in the mood.

We were originally going to use the peaches for a tart, but they were so good on their own, I couldn't possibly do anything other than eat raw and in their perfect state.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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