Having seen Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last weekend, Regency England is trying to take over my brain. (Braaaain!) Here are two historically-inspired recipes if brains aren’t your favorite dish.
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings shares a recipe for pease soup (pea soup) by Jane Austen’s longtime friend Martha Lloyd. It comes from Dinner with Mr. Darcy by Pen Vogler. Inspired by the food featured in her novels and letters, the cookbook takes recipes from Austen’s period and adapts them for contemporary cooks.
Ingredients and directions
Take two quarts of pease. Boil them to a pulp. Strain them. Put 1/2 lb of butter into a saucepan. Celery, half an onion, and stew them til tender. Then put two anchovies, powdered pepper, salt, mint and parsley (each a small handful) and spinach, and heat of each a small quantity. Half a spoonful of sugar. The soup be boiled as thick as you like it and the whole be ground together, boiled up and dished.
The mint sounds interesting, but anchovies…?! Visit Brain Pickings for Pen’s modern version of Martha Lloyd’s pea soup and two other recipes. Or take a peak at Amazon’s preview, which includes a few photos from the book, among them four recipes.
The exact origins of this cherry-infused drink are not known, but it definitely existed towards the end of 18th century, since Martha Washington (1731-1802) had a recipe for it. According to Wikipedia, the village of Frithsden in Hertfordshire claims to have originated it. Since Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is mostly set in Hertfordshire, cherry bounce would make quite a plausible companion to P&P or PPZ.
This recipe is Emily Han’s version, via Design*Sponge:
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) sweet cherries, pitted
4 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
3/4 cup (144 g) turbinado sugar
1 bottle (750 ml, or 3 1/4 cups) bourbon
Combine the cherries, allspice, cloves, mace, and sugar in a quart (1 L) jar. Pour the bourbon into the jar, making sure the cherries are submerged. Cap the jar tightly. Store it in a cool, dark place for at least 2 months, shaking occasionally. The longer it infuses, the better it will be. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or flour sack cloth, gently pressing on the cherries with the back of a spoon to squeeze out all the liquid. Discard the cherries, or reserve them for another use. Bottle and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Yields about 3 1/2 cups (823 ml).
A commenter in the Design*Sponge post suggested trying the discarded cherries on ice cream. That does sound yummy! Visit Design*Sponge for another historically-inspired drink recipe by Emily.
Images: Yellow pea soup by A. Charlotte Riley (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). Cherries by Eppu Jensen
Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!