Our Garden & Related Recipes from 1753

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We are so loving our Garden at the moment and we have been so lucky having great Sunny weather to enjoy it, even though its been windy most days and of course we are very fortunate to have some days also with rain to keep it all green.
Watching our Birds in the Garden has been lovely, and for the first time here we have a bird box occupied with a family of Great Tits, Mum & Dad have been so so busy feeding the young, so are looking forward to seeing them fledge. We have had a visit from Mrs Song-Thrush & her 2 young and also today Mrs Blackbird also with 2 young ones. Sammy the Squirrel also had 2 babies, but they are more wary around people, so have only had a brief glimpse…….a few Pictures of the Birds & someone else in our garden!

The Veg garden is taking shape too, Dave thought he wouldn’t have been able to do any this year, but he’s been managing very well, and he says its good therapy to be doing things all the time.
So with this in mind I have searched for some great recipes from my 1753 Cookery Book for you all, I was astonished to read the first one, the Hedge-Hog, I used to make Hedgehogs for my Children’s Birthday parties, and other Animals, I am sure some of you might have too, I haven’t tried this one yet but I will.
Hope everyone has a lovely Bank Holiday weekend whatever you are doing, not long now.

Get a Pound of Almonds, blanch them, and beat them in a Mortar very fine, with a Spoonful of Sack or Orange-flower Water, to keep them from oiling, make it into a ftiff Pafte, then beat in fix Yolks and two Whites of Eggs, fweeten it with fine Sugar, with the quantity of Half a Pint of Cream, and a Quarter of a pound of frefh Butter melted, fet it on your Stove, and keep it ftirring till it is as ftiff as you may make it into the Fafhion of a Hedge-Hog, then stick it full of blanched Almonds, flit and ftuck up like the Briftles of a Hedge-Hog, with two Currants plumped for the two Eyes, then place it in the Middle of your Difh, and boil fome Cream, put in it the Yolks of two Eggs, andfweeten it to your Tafte with Sugar, thicken it, but not too thick, pour it round your Hedge-Hog, let it by to cool, then ferve it for a Side-difh.

To fricafey Skirrets*
Wash the Roots very well, and boil them till they are tender, then the Skin of the Roots muft be taken off, cut in Slices, and have ready a little Cream, a piece of Butter roll’d in Flour, the Yolk of an Egg beat, a little Nutmeg grated, two or three Spoonfuls of White Wine, a very little Salt, and ftir all together. Your Roots being in the Difh, pour the Sauce over them. It is a pretty Side-difh. So likewife you may drefs Root of Salfify** and Scorzonera***.

The perennial plant grows to about 5ft/1.7m tall, it has fleshy white roots, you sow the seeds in September, have found a reference to it being called Water Parsnip. Just got to have a go and see if I can grow some in the Autumn. Root of Salsify**
It is a Root vegetable that belongs to the Dandelion family, known also as the Oyster Plant, because of the similar taste when cooked. Similar in appearance to a long thin Parsnip, thick skin and creamy white flesh. It can be boiled, mashed or used in soups or stews. Scrub the Root then peel before cooking as we do with Carrots etc.
Scorzonera or Black Salsify***
These look good to grow too, they can be used in the first year of growth, or even be left till they get larger in the second year, take care not to snap the brittle roots, best to lift after a frost, taste better. The yellow flowers can also be used..plump flower buds can be steamed & eaten whole and even the petals are good in salads. Cook as above but apparently best to peel after cooking.
In fact I will definitely try and grow all three of these, it will make a nice change to try something new in the vegetable line.
In the meantime I am going to see if its possible to find these veg for sale anywhere, maybe supermarket or even our local Farm Shops.

Sticking with the Vegetables, quite fancy trying this too.
A Potatoe Pudding
Boil two Pounds of Potatoes, then beat them in a Mortar fine, beat in Half a Pound of melted Butter, then boil it Half an Hour, pour melted Butter over it, with a Glafs of White Wine, or the Juice of Seville Orange, and throw Sugar all over the Pudding and Difh when you ferve it.

Will end on what looks like a fairly quick & simple recipe for everyone to try, nothing at all to do with Gardens !

A common Breakfaft Cake
Take three Quarters of a Pound of Flour, Half a Pound of Butter, Half a Pound of good Sugar, four Eggs, Half an Ounce of Carraway-feeds, beat it very well with your Hand in a Pan, and bake it in a quick Oven.

Will try and let you know on this one.

Till next time then……………………

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