Ann Reardon

Rich v Poor Food 300 Years Ago

Recipe Source: W Ellis, 1750, The Country Housewife’s Family Companion: OR Profitable Directions for whatever relates to the management and good economy of the domestic concerns of a country life.

Savoury Water Gruel
Savoury Water gruel made by poor people. – Some put water, oatmeal, and shed onions or leeks, into a pot at discretion, and boil them till enough: The onion or leek gives the gruel a leasing relish, and altogether supplies the place of meat broth, milk or other such liquids; this many poor laborers families are glad to make shift with that have not an opportunity to come by milk or because they can’t afford a better breakfast or supper then such wholesome gruel. pg211

Gentrys Method for making porridge
300 year old cookbook

Market in Lancashire, potatoes stand in many sacks as well as oatmeal for public sale, for here they are in common use by both poor and rich; and as I have had potatoes brought me from the part, I think I may say they are the best sort in England, for whiteness, shortness and sweetness. And therefore the are much eaten by the poor people, first boiled, then mashed, and the pulp boiled again in milk, in which they stir some flour, and eat it like Hasty Pudding; but the richer sort mingle a little wine and sugar with it, and make sometimes a pudding with potatoes and other ingredients for the belly of a hare or other beasts. pg228

Poor Pie
How a poor Woman makes palatable Mince – Pyes of ftinking Meat . THIS is a poor induftrious Wo- man that rents a little Tenement by me of Twenty Shillings a Year , who for the Sake of her Poverty is every Week relieved , with many others , by the moſt noble Lord of Gaddefden Manour ; who killing a Bullock almoſt every Week for his very large Family , he has the Offald Meat dreffed , and is fo good as to have it given away to the pooreft People in the Neighbour- hood . But it fometimes happens , through the Negli- gence of careleſs Servants , that this charitable Meat is apt to ftink in hot Weather , for want of its due clean- ing , boiling , and laying it in a cool Place : However , the Poor are very glad of this Dole , as it does their Families confiderable Service . And to recover fuch tainted Meat , this Woman , after boiling and cleanfing it well , chops and minces it very fmall , and when mixed with fome Pepper , Salt , chop’d Sage , Thyme and Onion , the bakes it : This for a favoury Pye .

A Puff Paste
Take a Pottle of Flower and the Whites of fix Eggs , make it into a Paſte with cold Water , let it not be very ftiff ; when it is well wrought , roll it forth four- fquare like a Sheet of Paper as thick as your Finger ; then take three Pounds of Butter , and beat it well with a Rolling – pin , then lay it on in Slices all over your Pafte about as thick as your Finger , and ftrew a little Flower over it ; then roll up your Sheet of Pafte like a Collar with the Butter within , fqueeze and roll it at both Ends . broad and long – ways ; then clap up the Ends , and make them meet in the Middle one over another , and faſten it down again with your Rolling – pin , rolling it forth every way as thin as at firft ; then flower your Board well underneath , and ſpread it over with Butter , roll it up , and work it as before ; thus do three or four Times , till your three Pounds of Butter is made ufe of.

To cut the lean Part of a Porker , with fome of its fat Part , and mix and beat them together . This done , ſeaſon them with Nutmeg , Mace , Pepper , and Salt ; and between every Piece of this beaten Meat , lay a fmall thin Cut of hard Fat , as that of the Chine or fuch like . When all is put into the Pye – cruft , put Bits of Butter on the Top of it , with fome Claret , juft as the Pye is put into the Oven .

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