Saturday, 14 April 2018
Dining with Toffs
Tucked inside one of my old recipe books was this gold-edged dinner menu card, dated 8th November, 1883.
Potage aux profiteroles
Merlans Guilles tartare"
Riz de veau en cassis
Quenelles de Volaille fareau
Gigot de Sept heures
Celeris a la Creme
Gateaux Gunois a la Creme
Oeufs en Sardines
Glace aux Ratafias
A little investigation (last year, for my other blog click to see the post) showed me that Uffington House was built in 1688, with an additional wing added to the back of the house in 1809.
Unfortunately the house burned down on 23rd December, 1904.
Location - near Stamford, Lincolnshire, which is about 60 miles away from here.
I was doing some research on another house, a few days ago, and came across some photographs of the interior of Uffington House, one them is of the dining room. Unfortunately it is not very clear, but thrilling to think that this is where the meal was eaten.
The number of chairs lined up in front of the sideboard shows that the table could be greatly expanded when necessary.
Uffington House was the seat of the Earl of Lindsey - a peerage title which was created for Baron Willoughby de Eresby.
What makes this so interesting to me, is that the manor house which was home to 'Miss Read' was also once a seat to the Lords Willoughby de Eresby, later Earls of Lindsey.
I have no idea who wrote/collected all the recipes in my old book, where she may have lived, or why she had the menu card in her collection, but I do like those tenuous links.
The big leather bound volume is full of mystery, as well as many hundreds of recipes. Although it was stamped with the name 'A Johnstone' and the year '1840', the first recipe was written in there in 1848, probably not by A. Johnstone.
There are lots of notes on the food provided for occasions which demanded large scale catering, some written directly into the book, while others are written on notepaper, embossed with the names of some grand houses.
Most of the recipes are for cakes, puddings, pies and biscuits, but there are also lots of savoury dishes too. Some of the most interesting are the recipes for treating ailments.
I bought the book at auction, many years ago, so know nothing about where it came from, other than these little clues.
So many stories, if only it could talk.
Little snail trails through time and space.