Photo credit here - Fannie Merritt Farmer - pioneer of the North American measuring cup!
During a brief stay in the USA, I decided to carry out some research regarding 'female' cooks and food writers from a bygone era. And to my surprise, I discovered the celebrated American cook – Fannie Merritt Farmer who is, in fact, the perfect ‘nemesis’ to our English culinary marvel - Mrs Isabella Beeton!
As an ongoing project, I shall recreate recipes by jolly old Fannie Merritt Farmer, and document the results in my recipe section.
Following the joys of Stir-Up Sunday I’ve surprisingly woken up bright and early, but I wonder what you’re up to?
Maybe you’re still in the land of nod, nestled within the warm layers of your soft, brushed, cotton duvet – How blissful! Or possibly I’ve startled you from your sleep and now you’re walking like a zombie towards the kettle – definitely time for a cuppa! Either way, I’m going to tell you all about Mrs Beeton’s Traditional British Christmas Pudding – which I re-created with a bit of a Miss Windsor twist, of course!
Darlings, but before I proceed, I do wonder if you know what Stir-Up Sunday actually is? “Hmm, that certainly rings a bell,”I hear you grunt from deep within your bedclothes!
In 1861, during the reign of our sovereign - Queen Victoria (curtsey please!), Mrs Isabella Beeton’s most treasured creation – Beeton’s Book of Household Management was first published. And as nature intended, she flourished into the worlds-greatest teacher of all things ‘domestic and culinary’.
In fact, Mrs Beeton’s been hailed as ‘the grandmother of the modern-day domestic goddess’ – but frankly my dears, I beg to differ! As clearly, due to her untimely farewell via the Pearly Gates, the honourable title of ‘godmother’ is a far more suitable fit – Concur?
I excitedly present Whimsical Winnie – round of applause, please!
Well, I say, Winnie or Wynette, but you may address her by Your Majesty – curtsey please – is immensely charismatic; and bursting with buoyancy!
Oh, and she’s blessed with magical ‘green fingers’ – just one teeny-weeny touch of a seed, and hey presto it’s blossomed into an abundance of fruit or vegetables! And of course, I’m always chuffed to receive a hamper of Winnie’s harvest from her bountiful allotment at Fulham Palace Meadows where she’s been a plot holder since 1996.
One must say, it feels like an age since our last culinary rendezvous! But fear not, Miss Windsor has returned to flurry upon you exciting news about the discovery of a remarkable, handwritten cookbook from 1793 that originated from Begbrook House (Frenchay) Bristol, England , not too far from Miss Windsor's hometown of Backwell.
But, according to the local and national press, this extraordinary ‘slice’ of Bristol’s culinary past – the Begbrook Kitchen Library, could possibly contain the oldest recipe for an English CHICKEN CURRY – Well, let’s see about that!