This recipe comes from Catherine Dickens, the wife of Charles Dickens. While her husband is better known for his writing career, Catherine Dickens made her own foray into authorship with the cookbook What Shall We Have for Dinner?. The book was first published sometime before 1851 (the date of the first edition is unknown), and was reissued in several revised editions over the next few years. Catherine published her book under what is probably the best pseudonym ever – Lady Maria Clutterbuck – the name of the character she had portrayed in an amateur theatrical production of the play Used Up.Read More »
Cranberry Pudding Supreme
Before cooking shows on television, Americans turned to the radio for all their culinary infotainment.Read More »
Cherry Batter Pudding
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“When we had done, he brought me a pudding, and having set it before me, seemed to ruminate, and to become absent in his mind for some moments.
‘How’s the pie?’ he said, rousing himself.
‘It’s a pudding,’ I made answer.
‘Pudding!’ he exclaimed. ‘Why, bless me, so it is! What?’ looking at it nearer. ‘You don’t mean to say it’s a batter-pudding!’
‘Yes, it is indeed.’
‘Why, a batter-pudding,’ he said, taking up a table-spoon, ‘is my favourite pudding! Ain’t that lucky? Come on, little ‘un, and let’s see who’ll get most.’”
-Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1850.
Preserved Ginger Pudding
This recipe comes from the delightfully-named 1911 book The Woman’s Book: Contains Everything a Woman Ought to Know. In addition to the expected sections on cooking, household management, and the care of children and pets, the book also contains some very progressive (for the time) chapters on careers for women. These outline the types of careers open to women, discuss the training and education needed for each career, and even note what salary to expect.Read More »
Boiled Rhubarb Pudding
One of my favorite things about Isabella Beeton’s 1861 cookbook, The Book of Household Management, is that she lists practical information about the cost, time to make, serving size, and season for each recipe. Knowing the season was especially important; although some fruits and vegetables could be grown in greenhouses all year, others were only available for short windows of time. Even today, that’s still the case with rhubarb, which in my area at least only appears for a few brief weeks in late spring. To make this recipe, I started haunting my grocery stores and local farmers’ markets at the start of April, checking constantly for the first sign of rhubarb’s bright red stalks. Somehow, the excitement of finally finding it after weeks of waiting feels much more gratifying than if I had been able to get it all year round.Read More »
Miss Bremer’s Pudding
This recipe comes from Eliza Acton’s 1845 book Modern Cookery In All Its Branches, my favorite historic cookbook of all time – so far I have made more recipes from this cookbook than any other. In addition to her clear instructions and the fact that she actually lists measurable quantities for each ingredient, I also love Eliza Acton’s cookbook for its literary references. Acton was a published poet as well as a cookbook author, and seems to have been interested in contemporary literature. Some of her recipes, such as Ruth Pinch’s Beef-Steak Pudding, are named after specific characters; others relate more generally to the profession of writing, such as The Author’s Christmas Pudding. This recipe, Miss Bremer’s Pudding, is most likely named after the Swedish author Fredrika Bremer, whose works were popular in England at the time.Read More »
Ruth Pinch’s Beef-Steak Pudding
“‘I don’t know, Tom,’ said his sister, blushing, ‘I am not quite confident, but I think I could make a beef-steak pudding, if I tried, Tom.’
‘In the whole catalogue of cookery, there is nothing I should like so much as a beef-steak pudding!’ cried Tom, slapping his leg to give the greater force to this reply.”– from Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens, 1844
I love gingerbread in pretty much any form, and I am beginning to develop a love of steamed puddings – so naturally I had to try this 1875 recipe for a steamed gingerbread pudding.Read More »
Batter Pudding with Cherries
This recipe comes from Sarah Tyson Rorer’s first cookbook, the Philadelphia Cook Book, published a few years after she opened the Philadelphia Cooking School in 1883.Read More »
The best Orange Pudding that ever was tasted
18th century cookbook authors tended towards hyperbole, but this recipe title from Mary Kettilby really takes the cake (or pudding).
But is it really the best orange pudding that ever was tasted? I finally got my hands on some Seville oranges, so it’s time to find out!Read More »