Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Food in England


A page from another very nice old book.

Food in England, by Dorothy Hartley was first published 1954 by Macdonald & Co. (Publishers)Ltd., London.

The book covers food, cookery, fuels, fireplaces, and associated household matters from Norman times on.

With many, many illustrations of methods and cooking tools.

Pastry shapes in England, flat stone hearths, peat cutting, churns, slamanders, shadracks, rush matting, sanding, embrocations, torches from thornbacks, rush lights.

And recipes.

The Norman recipe for pommes dores, the fourteenth century direction for Hennys in Bruette, for Boar's head, medieval mustard, gilt gingerbread, orange-flower cream, lavender water, herbs, drinks, breads, meats, fish, fruits.

For everything. Six hundred and seventy-six pages of everything connected with food.

Encyclopedic. Cornucopic. Delightful.

And a treasure for anyone writing a novel set before 1900.

21 comments:

Steve G said...

Lots of cooking and things in that book. Nice to have for a reference.

Bernita said...

Anyone with a survivalist bent would find the book useful as well, Steve.
Or anyone just curious about "how did they do that back then?"

Jaye Wells said...

I don't write about pre-1900 England, but I want that book.

Bernita said...

Jaye, I think you'd love it.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I've had food from that era. Let's just say it's, er, not as great as you might think. Wine helps, though.

This book sounds like it might have some great recipes. It's the kind of book you just want to own.

Bernita said...

There's no particular era emphasized, SS, though, of course, hunger is the best sauce.
The main difference in many recipes is the labour involved.
Wine always helps.

takoda said...

**raises hand and jumps up and down**

"I want it! I want it!"

Seriously, I would love to have this reference. Is it available off Amazon? I'm going to check.

I've done 1500s Belgium.
I'm doing 1400s Rome now.

I'd like to write stories with settings in England and Spain after that.

Thank you, thank you!

Cheers,

Bernita said...

Chris, I believe it is.
It's a lovely book with all sorts of interesting historical asides and explanations.

takoda said...

I did order it. There was one available from 1969 for $60 (passed on that one) and several newer ones for about $20. I also bought one about Rome.

Looking forward to reading it!

raine said...

Okay, I need five bottles of wine, four loaves of bread, two great chunks of cheese, and about a month alone in your library...

kmfrontain said...

Oh, lovely. Where'd you find that? Used book store? Or is it a new release of the old book?

Bernita said...

Oh, nice, Chris! I hope your edition has all the neat illustrations.

Wish you didn't live so far away, Raine...but the wine wouldn't last long.

Found it at a yard sale, Karen. My edition is 1962.
It contains an endless informational snippits.

The Anti-Wife said...

My ancesters were from England and Scotland. They probably ate some of those things. Wonder if that could explain... Well, you know!

Their eating habits were never as interesting to me as their bathing habits - or lack thereof. And where did they go to the bathroom? None of those palaces and castles I toured had bathrooms!

Seeley deBorn said...

OMG I want that book! Besides the fact that I'm writing in Norman England right now, I collect old cookbooks.

Bernita said...

That's odd, AW.


I wouldn't call it a cook book, Seeley, not exactly.
But you wouldn't be disappointed by the contents.

Nicole Kelly said...

That looks like an awesome book.

Of course, this is why I argue that researching and world building is more fun than the writing; you get to buy books like this and it's totally justified.

Jon M said...

Flat stone hearths, peat cutting, churns, slamanders, shadracks, rush matting, sanding, embrocations, torches from thornbacks, rush lights. Sounds like my house! No mention of fish and chip shops which are the lifesource of any Englishman! :-)

the walking man said...

Hello Bernita, i have seen some of your posts around on different blogs so I thought I'd pay a visit to an erudite poster, unlike myself who tends to favor the primitive. But it looks like I may have stumbled over at the right time...is there a recipe for old style short bread in the book, my wife loves it and I'd like to whip her up some of the real thing.

Peace

TWM

Bernita said...

Yes, indeed, Nicole, and it's the sort that one can open on any page and find something interesting.

That's because it deals primarily with the domestic household, Jon.

Nice of you to stop by, TWM.
I haven't noticed shortbread, but there is a recipe for Petticote Tails.

Charles Gramlich said...

I love this kind of stuff. Such fascinating browsing.

Bernita said...

The book is infinitely browse-worthy, Charles!
French toast, for example,is the Norman "pain perdue" - and the recipe is unchanged except for flavourings down to our time.
And now I know why the style of stretchers on very old chairs were low to the floor.