Although Thanksgiving was not a holiday that would have been celebrated by the 19th century British young ladies of our books, Regina and I certainly celebrate it…and one of the things we’re most thankful for is you, our readers. You’re truly what keeps us blogging every week…so thank you!
Now, just because Thanksgiving isn’t a 19th century British holiday doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate it in our own way…so Regina and I would like to offer you some recipes with a 19th century flavor that might do well at your own Thanksgiving feast.
This first one is from Beeton’s Book of Household Management, first published in England in 1861 by Mrs. Isabella Beeton. Remember that name…you’ll be hearing more about her in the coming weeks. This sounds like a terrific way to use up leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes:
Salt and pepper to taste
Egg (number depends on how much mashed potatoes is available)
Bread crumbs (likewise)
Beat the egg in a shallow dish. Set bread crumbs aside in another shallowdish or plate. Add a seasoning of pepper and salt and a little minced parsley to the mashed potatoes. Roll the potatoes into small balls, dip them into the egg and then cover them in bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil or butter for about 10 minutes. Drain and dish them on a napkin, then serve. Note.-The flavour of these rissoles may be very much increased by adding finely-minced tongue or ham, or even chopped onions, when these are liked.
And here’s a recipe from Queen Victoria’s chief chef, Charles Francatelli:
French Beans with fine herbs
Pick over, trim, and wash string beans, and boil in lightly salted water until tender. Put two pats of butter into a stewpan with a tablespoonful of chopped parsley and also two shallots finely chopped, a little nutmeg, mignionette pepper [a mix of black and white pepper and coriander] and salt, and the juice of a lemon; simmer this over a stove-fire until melted, and then add the beans, tossing the whole together, and serve.
This last recipe isn’t 19th century, but it makes its appearance every year on my Thanksgiving table:
Pickled Ginger Cranberry Sauce (from Cooks Country Magazine, October/November 2008)
Pulse one 16 ounce can cranberry sauce (I prefer whole berry myself—gives a better texture), 2 tablespoons drained pickled ginger, and 1 teaspoon wasabi powder or dry mustard in foor processor until combined. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Have a pleasant Thanksgiving, full of good food and good company!