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Title: Cakes & Ale - A Dissertation on Banquets Interspersed with Various - Recipes, More or Less Original, and anecdotes, mainly - veracious
Author: Spencer, Edward
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cakes & Ale - A Dissertation on Banquets Interspersed with Various - Recipes, More or Less Original, and anecdotes, mainly - veracious" ***

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                            CAKES AND ALE

                         _BY THE SAME AUTHOR_

                           THE FLOWING BOWL

                      WITH SUNDRY ANECDOTES AND


                            EDWARD SPENCER

                        ('NATHANIEL GUBBINS')

                   Author of "Cakes and Ale," etc.

                  _Crown 8vo., cloth gilt, 2/6 net._

                           SECOND EDITION.

               With cover design by the late PHIL MAY.

              "The Flowing Bowl" overflows with good
              cheer. In the happy style that enlivens its
              companion volume, "Cakes and Ale," the
              author gives a history of drinks and their
              use, interspersed with innumerable recipes
              for drinks new and old, dug out of records
              of ancient days, or set down anew.

                      LONDON: STANLEY PAUL & CO.
                    31, Essex Street, Strand, W.C.

                             CAKES & ALE

                      A DISSERTATION ON BANQUETS

                      MORE OR LESS ORIGINAL, AND
                     ANECDOTES, MAINLY VERACIOUS


                            EDWARD SPENCER
                        ('NATHANIEL GUBBINS')

                  AUTHOR OF "THE FLOWING BOWL," ETC.

                           _FOURTH EDITION_

                          STANLEY PAUL & CO.

                    31, ESSEX STREET, STRAND, W.C.

                      _First printed April 1897
                      Reprinted May 1897
                      Cheap Edition February 1900
                      Reprinted 1913_

                        TO THE MODERN LUCULLUS

                             JOHN CORLETT

                              I DEDICATE

                              THIS BOOK


A long time ago, an estimable lady fell at the feet of an habitual
publisher, and prayed unto him:--

"Give, oh! give me the subject of a book for which the world has a
need, and I will write it for you."

"Are you an author, madam?" asked the publisher, motioning his visitor
to a seat.

"No, sir," was the proud reply, "I am a poet."

"Ah!" said the great man. "I am afraid there is no immediate worldly
need of a poet. If you could only write a good cookery book, now!"

The story goes on to relate how the poetess, not rebuffed in the
least, started on the requisite culinary work, directly she got
home; pawned her jewels to purchase postage stamps, and wrote far
and wide for recipes, which in course of time she obtained, by the
hundredweight. Other recipes she "conveyed" from ancient works of
gastronomy, and in a year or two the _magnum opus_ was given to the
world; the lady's share in the profits giving her "adequate provision
for the remainder of her life." We are not told, but it is presumable,
that the publisher received a little adequate provision too.

History occasionally repeats itself; and the history of the present
work begins in very much the same way. Whether it will finish in an
equally satisfactory manner is problematical. I do not possess much of
the divine _afflatus_ myself; but there has ever lurked within me some
sort of ambition to write a book--something held together by "tree
calf," "half morocco," or "boards"; something that might find its way
into the hearts and homes of an enlightened public; something which
will give some of my young friends ample opportunity for criticism. In
the exercise of my profession I have written leagues of descriptive
"copy"--mostly lies and racing selections,--but up to now there has
been no urgent demand for a book of any sort from this pen. For years
my ambition has remained ungratified. Publishers--as a rule, the most
faint-hearted and least speculative of mankind--have held aloof. And
whatever suggestions I might make were rejected, with determination,
if not with contumely.

At length came the hour, and the man; the introduction to a publisher
with an eye for budding and hitherto misdirected talent.

"Do you care, sir," I inquired at the outset, "to undertake the
dissemination of a bulky work on Political Economy?"

"Frankly, sir, I do not," was the reply. Then I tried him with
various subjects--social reform, the drama, bimetallism, the ethics
of starting prices, the advantages of motor cars in African warfare,
natural history, the martyrdom of Ananias, practical horticulture,
military law, and dogs; until he took down an old duck-gun from a peg
over the mantelpiece, and assumed a threatening attitude.

Peace having been restored, the self-repetition of history recommenced.

"I can do with a good, bold, brilliant, lightly treated, exhaustive
work on Gastronomy," said the publisher, "you are well acquainted with
the subject, I believe?"

"I'm a bit of a parlour cook, if that's what you mean," was my humble
reply. "At a salad, a grill, an anchovy toast, or a cooling and
cunningly compounded cup, I can be underwritten at ordinary rates. But
I could no more cook a haunch of venison, or even boil a rabbit, or
make an economical Christmas pudding, than I could sail a boat in a
nor'-easter; and Madam Cook would certainly eject me from her kitchen,
with a clout attached to the hem of my dinner jacket, inside five

Eventually it was decided that I should commence this book.

"What I want," said the publisher, "is a series of essays on food,
a few anecdotes of stirring adventure--you have a fine flow of
imagination, I understand--and a few useful, but uncommon recipes. But
plenty of plums in the book, my dear sir, plenty of plums."

"But, suppose my own supply of plums should not hold out, what am I to

"What do you do--what does the cook do, when the plums for her
pudding run short? Get some more; the Museum, my dear sir, the great
storehouse of national literature, is free to all whose character is
above the normal standard. When your memory and imagination fail, try
the British Museum. You know what is a mightier factor than both sword
and pen? Precisely so. And remember that in replenishing your store
from the works of those who have gone before, you are only following
in their footsteps. I only bar Sydney Smith and Charles Lamb. Let me
have the script by Christmas--d'you smoke?--mind the step--_good_

In this way, gentle reader, were the trenches dug, the saps laid
for the attack of the great work. The bulk of it is original, and
the adventures in which the writer has taken part are absolutely
true. About some of the others I would not be so positive. Some of
the recipes have previously figured in the pages of the _Sporting
Times_, the _Lady's Pictorial_, and the _Man of the World_, to the
proprietors of which journals I hereby express my kindly thanks for
permission to revive them. Many of the recipes are original; some
are my own; others have been sent in by relatives, and friends of my
youth; others have been adapted for modern requirements from works of
great antiquity; whilst others again--I am nothing if not candid--have
been "conveyed" from the works of more modern writers, who in their
turn had borrowed them from the works of their ancestors. There is
nothing new under the sun; and there are but few absolute novelties
which are subjected to the heat of the kitchen fire.

If the style of the work be faulty, the reason--not the excuse--is
that the style is innate, and not modelled upon anybody else's
style. The language I have endeavoured to make as plain, homely,
and vigorous as is the food advocated. If the criticisms on foreign
cookery should offend the talented _chef_, I have the satisfaction
of knowing that, as I have forsworn his works, he will be unable to
retaliate with poison. And if the criticisms on the modern English
methods of preparing food should attract the attention of the home
caterer, he may possibly be induced to give his steam-chest and his
gas-range a rest, and put the roast beef of Old England on his table,
occasionally; though I have only the very faintest hopes that he will
do so. For the monster eating-houses and mammoth hotels of to-day are
for the most part "run" by companies and syndicates; and the company
within the dining-room suffer occasionally, in order that dividends
may be possible after payment has been made for the elaborate, and
wholly unnecessary, furniture, and decorations. Wholesome food is
usually sufficient for the ordinary British appetite, without such
surroundings as marble pillars, Etruscan vases, nude figures, gilding,
and looking-glasses, which only serve to distract attention from the
banquet. It is with many a sigh that I recall the good old-fashioned
inn, where the guest really received a warm welcome. Nowadays, the
warmest part of that welcome is usually the bill.

It is related of the wittiest man of the nineteenth century, my late
friend Mr. Henry J. Byron, that, upon one occasion, whilst walking
home with a brother dramatist, after the first performance of his
comedy, which had failed to please the audience, Byron shed tears.

"How is this?" inquired his friend. "The failure of my play appears to
affect you strangely."

"I was only weeping," was the reply, "because I was afraid you'd set
to work, and write another."

But there need be no tears shed on any page of this food book. For I
am not going to "write another."


                              CHAPTER I


  Formal or informal?--An eccentric old gentleman--The ancient
  Britons--Breakfast in the days of Good Queen Bess--A
  few tea statistics--Garraway's--Something about coffee--Brandy
  for breakfast--The evolution of the staff of life--Free
  Trade--The cheap loaf, and no cash to buy it      Pages 1-9

                              CHAPTER II

                       BREAKFAST (_continued_)

  Country-house life--An Englishwoman at her best--Guests'
  comforts--What to eat at the first meal--A few choice
  recipes--A noble grill-sauce--The poor outcast--Appetising
  dishes--Hotel "worries"--The old regime and the new--"No
  cheques"; no soles, and "whitings is hoff"--A
  halibut steak--Skilly and oakum--Breakfast out of the
  rates      10-21

                             CHAPTER III

                       BREAKFAST (_continued_)

  Bonnie Scotland--Parritch an' cream--Fin'an haddies--A knife
  on the ocean wave--_À la Français_--In the gorgeous East--_Chota
  hazri_--English as she is spoke--Dâk bungalow fare--Some
  quaint dishes--Breakfast with "my tutor"--A Don's
  absence of mind      22-33

                              CHAPTER IV


  Why lunch?--Sir Henry Thompson on overdoing it--The children's
  dinner--City lunches--"Ye Olde Cheshyre Cheese"--Doctor
  Johnson--Ye pudding--A great fall in food--A
  snipe pudding--Skirt, not rump steak--Lancashire hot-pot--A
  Cape "brady"      34-43

                              CHAPTER V

                        LUNCHEON (_continued_)

  Shooting luncheons--Cold tea and a crust--Clear turtle--Such
  larks!--Jugged duck and oysters--Woodcock pie--Hunting
  luncheons--Pie crusts--The true Yorkshire pie--Race-course
  luncheons--Suggestions to caterers--The "Jolly
  Sandboys" stew--Various recipes--A race-course sandwich--Angels'
  pie--"Suffolk pride"--Devilled larks--A light lunch
  in the Himalayas      44-58

                              CHAPTER VI


  Origin--Early dinners--The noble Romans--"Vitellius the
  Glutton"--Origin of haggis--The Saxons--Highland hospitality--The
  French invasion--Waterloo avenged--The bad
  fairy "_Ala_"--Comparisons--The English cook or the foreign
  food torturer?--Plain or flowery--Fresh fish and the flavour
  wrapped up--George Augustus Sala--Doctor Johnson
  again                                                     59-72

                             CHAPTER VII

                         DINNER (_continued_)

  Imitation--Dear Lady Thistlebrain--Try it on the dog--Criminality
  of the English caterer--The stove, the stink,
  the steamer--Roasting v. baking--False economy--Dirty
  ovens--Frills and fingers--Time over dinner--A long-winded
  Bishop--Corned beef      73-81

                             CHAPTER VIII

                         DINNER (_continued_)

  A merry Christmas--Bin F--A _Noel_ banquet--Water-cress--How
  Royalty fares--The Tsar--_Bouillabaisse_--_Tournedos_--_Bisque_--
  _Vol-au-vent_--_Pré salé_--Chinese banquets--A fixed
  bayonet--_Bernardin Salmi_--The duck-squeezer--American
  cookery--"Borston" beans--He couldn't eat beef               82-96

                              CHAPTER IX

                         DINNER (_continued_)

  French soup--A regimental dinner--A city banquet--_Baksheesh_--Aboard
  ship--An ideal dinner--Cod's liver--Sleeping in the
  kitchen--A _fricandeau_--Regimental messes--Peter the
  Great--Napoleon the Great--Victoria--The Iron Duke--Mushrooms--A
  medical opinion--A North Pole banquet--Dogs
  as food--Plain unvarnished fare--The Kent Road
  cookery--More beans than bacon                               97-110

                              CHAPTER X


  Use and abuse of the potato--Its eccentricities--Its origin--Hawkins,
  not Raleigh, introduced it into England--With or
  without the "jacket"?--Don't let it be _à-la_-ed--Benevolence
  and large-heartedness of the cabbage family--Pease on
  earth--Pythagoras on the bean--"Giving him beans"--"Haricot"
  a misnomer--"Borston" beans--Frijoles--The
  carrot--Crécy soup--The Prince of Wales--The Black
  Prince and the King of Bohemia                              111-122

                              CHAPTER XI

                       VEGETABLES (_continued_)

  The brief lives of the best--A vegetable with a pedigree--
  Argenteuil--The Elysian Fields--The tomato the emblem of
  love--"Neeps"--Spinach--"Stomach-brush"--The savoury
  tear-provoker--Invaluable for wasp-stings--Celery merely
  cultivated "smallage"--The "_Apium_"--The parsnip--O
  Jerusalem!--The golden sunflower--How to get pheasants--A
  vegetarian banquet--"Swelling wisibly"                     123-133

                             CHAPTER XII


  Different modes of manufacture--The "native" fraud--"That
  man's family"--The French _kari_--A Parsee curry--"The
  oyster in the sauce"--Ingredients--Malay curry--Locusts--When
  to serve--What to curry--Prawn curry--Dry curry,
  champion recipe--Rice--The Bombay duck               134-146

                             CHAPTER XIII


  Nebuchadnezzar _v._ Sydney Smith--Salt?--No salad-bowl--French
  origin--Apocryphal story of Francatelli--Salads _and_
  salads--Water-cress and dirty water--Salad-maker born
  not made--Lobster salad--Lettuce, Wipe or wash?--Mayonnaise--Potato
  salad--Tomato ditto--Celery ditto--A
  memorable ditto                                        147-157

                             CHAPTER XIV

                        SALADS AND CONDIMENTS

  Roman salad--Italian ditto--Various other salads--Sauce for
  cold mutton--Chutnine--Raw chutnee--Horse-radish sauce--Christopher
  North's sauce--How to serve a mackerel--_Sauce
  Tartare_--Ditto for sucking pig--Delights of making
  _Sambal_--A new language                                158-169

                              CHAPTER XV


  Cleopatra's supper--Oysters--Danger in the Aden bivalve--Oyster
  stew--Ball suppers--Pretty dishes--The _Taj Mahal_--Aspic--Bloater
  paste and whipped cream--Ladies' recipes--Cookery
  colleges--Tripe--Smothered in onions--North
  Riding fashion--An hotel supper--Lord Tomnoddy at the
  "Magpie and Stump"                                      170-180

                             CHAPTER XVI

                         SUPPER (_continued_)

  Old supper-houses--The Early Closing Act--Evans's--Cremorne
  Gardens--"The Albion"--Parlour cookery--Kidneys fried
  in the fire-shovel--The true way to grill a bone--"Cannie
  Carle"--My lady's bower--Kidney dumplings--A Middleham
  supper--Steaks cut from a colt by brother to "Strafford"
  out of sister to "Bird on the Wing"                      181-191

                             CHAPTER XVII

                            "CAMPING OUT"

  The ups and downs of life--Stirring adventures--Marching on to
  glory--Shooting in the tropics--Pepper-pot--With the
  _Rajah Sahib_--Goat-sacrifices at breakfast time--Simla to
  Cashmere--Manners and customs of Thibet--Burmah--No
  place to get fat in--Insects--Voracity of the natives--Snakes--Sport
  in the Jungle--Loaded for snipe, sure to
  meet tiger--With the gippos--No baked hedgehog--Cheap
  milk                                                     192-205

                            CHAPTER XVIII

                           COMPOUND DRINKS

  Derivation of punch--"Five"--The "milk" brand--The best
  materials--Various other punches--Bischoff or Bishop--"Halo"
  punch--Toddy--The toddy tree of India--Flip--A
  "peg"--John Collins--Out of the guard-room              206-218

                             CHAPTER XIX

                          CUPS AND CORDIALS

  Five recipes for claret cup--Balaclava cup--Orgeat--Ascot cup--Stout
  and champagne--Shandy-gaff for millionaires--Ale
  cup--Cobblers which will stick to the last--Home Ruler--Cherry
  brandy--Sloe gin--Home-made, if possible--A new
  industry--Apricot brandy--Highland cordial--Bitters--Jumping-powder--
  Orange brandy--"Mandragora"--"Sleep rock thy brain!"      219-231

                              CHAPTER XX

                          THE DAYLIGHT DRINK

  Evil effects of dram-drinking--The "Gin-crawl"--Abstinence in
  H.M. service--City manners and customs--Useless to argue
  with the soaker--Cocktails--Pet names for drams--The
  free lunch system--Fancy mixtures--Why no cassis?--Good
  advice like water on a duck's back                     232-245

                             CHAPTER XXI


  Thomas Carlyle--Thackeray--Harrison Ainsworth--Sir Walter
  Scott--Miss Braddon--Marie Corelli--F. C. Philips--Blackmore--Charles
  Dickens--_Pickwick_ reeking with alcohol--Brandy
  and oysters--_Little Dorrit_--_Great Expectations_--Micawber
  as a punch-maker--_David Copperfield_--"Practicable"
  food on the stage--"Johnny" Toole's story of Tiny
  Tim and the goose                                       246-259

                             CHAPTER XXII


  William of Normandy--A "head" wind at sea--Beware the
  druggist--Pick-me-ups of all sorts and conditions--Anchovy
  toast for the invalid--A small bottle--Straight talks to
  fanatics--Total abstinence as bad as the other thing--Moderation
  in all matters--Wisely and slow--_Carpe diem_--But
  have a thought for the morrow                        260-274

                              CHAPTER I


         "The day breaks slow, but e'en must man break-fast."

     Formal or informal?--An eccentric old gentleman--The
     ancient Britons--Breakfast in the days of Good Queen
     Bess--A few tea statistics--"Garraway's"--Something about
     coffee--Brandy for breakfast--The evolution of the staff of
     life--Free Trade--The cheap loaf, and no cash to buy it.

This is a very serious subject. The first meal of the day has
exercised more influence over history than many people may be aware
of. It is not easy to preserve an equal mind or keep a stiff upper lip
upon an empty stomach; and indigestible food-stuffs have probably lost
more battles than sore feet and bad ammunition. It is an incontestable
fact that the great Napoleon lost the battles of Borodino and Leipsic
through eating too fast.

When good digestion waits on appetite, great men are less liable to
commit mistakes--and a mistake in a great man is a crime--than when
dyspepsia has marked them for her own; and this rule applies to all

There should be no hurry or formality about breakfast. Your punctual
host and hostess may be all very well from their own point of view;
but black looks and sarcastic welcomings are an abomination to the
guest who may have overslept himself or herself, and who fails to say,
"Good-morning" just on the stroke of nine o'clock. Far be it from
the author's wish to decry the system of family prayers, although
the spectacle of the full strength of the domestic company, from the
stern-featured housekeeper, or the chief lady's-maid (the housekeeper
is frequently too grand, or too much cumbered with other duties to
attend public worship), to the diminutive page-boy, standing all in a
row, facing the cups and saucers, is occasionally more provocative of
mirth than reverence. But too much law and order about fast-breaking
is to be deplored.

"I'm not very punctual, I'm afraid, Sir John," I once heard a very
charming lady observe to her host, as she took her seat at the table,
exactly ten minutes after the line of menials had filed out.

"On the contrary, Lady V----" returned the master of the house, with a
cast-iron smile, "you are punctual in your unpunctuality; for you have
missed prayers by the sixth part of one hour, every morning since you
came." Now what should be done to a host like that?

In the long ago I was favoured with the acquaintance of an elderly
gentleman of property, a most estimable, though eccentric, man. And he
invariably breakfasted with his hat on. It did not matter if ladies
were present or not. Down he would sit, opposite the ham and eggs--or
whatever dish it might chance to be--with a white hat, with mourning
band attached, surmounting his fine head. We used to think the
presence of the hat was owing to partial baldness; but, as he never
wore it at luncheon or dinner, that idea was abandoned. In fact, he
pleaded that the hat kept his thoughts in; and as after breakfast he
was closeted with his steward, or agent, or stud-groom, or keeper, for
several hours, he doubtless let loose some of those thoughts to one or
the other. At all events we never saw him again till luncheon, unless
there was any hunting or shooting to be done.

This same old gentleman once rehearsed his own funeral on the carriage
drive outside, and stage-managed the solemn ceremony from his study
window. An under-gardener pushed a wheelbarrow, containing a box
of choice cuttings, to represent the body; and the butler posed as
chief mourner. And when anybody went wrong, or the pall-bearers--six
grooms--failed to keep in step, the master would throw up the
window-sash, and roar--

"Begin again!"

But this is wandering from the subject. Let us try back.

Having made wide search amongst old and musty manuscripts, I can find
no record of a bill-of-fare of the first meal of the ancient Britons.
Our blue forefathers, in all probability, but seldom assisted at
any such smart function as a wedding-breakfast, or even a hunting
one; for the simple reason that it was a case with them of, "no
hunt, no breakfast." Unless one or other had killed the deer, or the
wild-boar, or some other living thing to furnish the refection the
feast was a Barmecide one, and much as we have heard of the strength
and hardiness of our blue forefathers, many of them must have died
of sheer starvation. For they had no weapons but clubs, and rough
cut flints, with which to kill the beasts of the country--who were,
however, occasionally lured into pitfalls; and as to fish, unless they
"tickled" them, the denizens of the streams must have had an easy time
of it. They had sheep, but these were valuable chiefly on account of
their wool; as used to be the case in Australia, ere the tinned meat
trade was established. Most of the fruits and vegetables which we
enjoy to-day were introduced into Britain by the Romans. Snipe and
woodcock and (in the north) grouse may have been bagged, as well as
hares. But these poor savages knew not rabbits by sight, nor indeed,
much of the feathered fowl which their more favoured descendants are
in the habit of shooting, or otherwise destroying, for food. The
ancient Britons knew not bacon and eggs, nor the toothsome kipper,
nor yet the marmalade of Dundee. As for bread, it was not invented
in any shape or form until much later; and its primitive state was a
tough paste of flour, water, and (occasionally) milk--something like
the "damper" of the Australian bush, or the unleavened _chupati_ which
the poorer classes in Hindustan put up with, after baking it, at the
present day.

The hardy, independent Saxon, had a much better time of it, in the
way of meat and drink. But with supper forming the chief meal of the
day, his breakfast was a simple, though plentiful one, and consisted
chiefly of venison pasty and the flesh of goats, washed down with ale,
or mead.

"A free breakfast-table of Elizabeth's time," says an old authority,
"or even during the more recent reign of Charles II., would contrast
oddly with our modern morning meal. There were meats, hot and cold;
beef and brawn, and boar's head, the venison pasty, and the

                             _Wardon Pie_

of west country pears. There was hot bread, too, and sundry 'cates'
which would now be strange to our eyes. But to wash down these
substantial viands there was little save ale. The most delicate
lady could procure no more suitable beverage than the blood of John
Barleycorn. The most fretful invalid had to be content with a mug of
small beer, stirred up with a sprig of rosemary. Wine, hippocras, and
metheglin were potations for supper-time, not for breakfast, and beer
reigned supreme. None but home productions figured on the board of
our ancestors. Not for them were seas traversed, or tropical shores
visited, as for us. Yemen and Ceylon, Assam and Cathay, Cuba and
Peru, did not send daily tribute to their tables, and the very names
of tea and coffee, of cocoa and chocolate, were to them unknown. The
dethronement of ale, subsequent on the introduction of these eastern
products, is one of the most marked events which have severed the
social life of the present day from that of the past."

With the exception of the Wardon pie and the "cates," the above
bill-of-fare would probably satisfy the cravings of the ordinary
"Johnny" of to-day, who has heard the chimes at midnight, and would
sooner face a charging tiger than drink tea or coffee with his first
meal, which, alas! but too often consists of a hot-pickle sandwich and
a "brandy and soda," with not quite all the soda in. But just imagine
the fine lady of to-day with a large tankard of Burton ale facing her
at the breakfast-table.


which is said to have been introduced into China by Djarma, a native
of India, about A.D. 500, was not familiar in Europe until the end of
the sixteenth century. And it was not until 1657, when Garraway opened
a tea-house in Exchange Alley, that Londoners began tea-drinking as an
experiment. In 1662 Pepys writes--

"Home, and there find my wife making of tea"--two years before, he
called it "tee (a China drink)"--"a drink which Mr. Pelling the
Pothicary tells her is good for her cold and defluxions."

In 1740 the price of tea ranged from 7s. to 24s. per lb. In 1725,
370,323 lbs. were drunk in England, and in 1890, 194,008,000. In 1840
the duty was 2s. 2¼d. per lb.; in 1858 1s. 5d. per lb.; and in 1890
4d. per lb.

The seed of

                          _The Coffee-Tree_,

which, when roasted, ground, and mixed with water, and unmixed
with horse-beans, dandelion-root, or road-scrapings, forms a most
agreeable beverage to those who can digest it, was not known to
the Greeks or Romans, but has been used in Abyssinia and along the
north-east coast of Africa almost as long as those parts have been
populated. Here, in merry England, where coffee was not introduced
until the eighteenth century, it was at first used but sparingly,
until it almost entirely took the place of chocolate, which was the
favoured beverage of the duchesses and fine madams who minced and
flirted, and plotted, during the reign of the Merry Monarch, fifty
years or so before. The march of knowledge has taught the thrifty
housewife of to-day to roast her own coffee, instead of purchasing it
in that form from the retail shopkeeper, who, as a rule, under-roasts
the berry, in order to "keep the weight in." But do not blame him too
freely, for he is occasionally a Poor Law Guardian, and has to "keep
pace with the Stores."

During the Georgian era, the hard-drinking epoch, breakfast far too
often consisted chiefly of French brandy; and the first meal was, in
consequence, not altogether a happy or wholesome one, nor conducive to
the close study of serious subjects.

The history of

                        _The Staff of Life_[1]

would require a much larger volume than this, all to itself. That the
evolution of bread-making has been very gradual admits of no denial;
and as late as the Tudor and Stuart periods the art was still in
its infancy. The quality of the bread consumed was a test of social
standing. Thus, whilst the _haut monde_, the height of society, lords
and dukes, with countesses and dames of high degree, were in the habit
of consuming delicate manchets, made of the finest wheaten flour, of
snowy purity, the middle classes had to content themselves with white
loaves of inferior quality. To the journeyman and the 'prentice (who
had to endure, with patience, the buffets of master and mistress) was
meted out coarse but wholesome brown bread, made from an admixture
of wheat and barley flour; whilst the agricultural labourer staved
off starvation with loaves made from rye, occasionally mixed with red
wheat or barley. The introduction of

                             _Free Trade_

--by no means an unmixed blessing--has changed all this; and the
working-classes, with their wives and families, can, when out of the
workhouse, in the intervals between "strikes," enjoy the same quality
of bread, that "cheap loaf" which appears on the table of the wicked
squire and the all-devouring parson. In Yorkshire, at the present day,
almost the worst thing that can be urged against a woman is that she
"canna mak' a bit o' bread."

"Just look," wrote an enthusiastic Free Trader, a quarter of a century
ago, "at the immense change that has latterly taken place in the food
of the English peasantry. Rye bread and pease-pudding exchanged for
wheaten loaves. A startling change, but not greatly different from
what has occurred in France, where, with the abuses of the Bourbon
rule, an end was put to the semi-starvation of French tillers of the
soil. Black bread is now almost as much a rarity in France as on our
side of the Channel; while barley in Wales, oats in Scotland, and the
potato in Ireland, are no longer the food-staples that they were."

I have no wish for anything of a contentious nature to appear in this
volume; but may deliver, with regard to the above, the opinion that
pease-pudding is by no means despicable fare, when associated with
a boiled leg of pork; and I may add that too many of the English
peasantry, nowadays, have been reduced, by this same Free Trade, to a
diet of no bread at all, in place of wheaten, or any other loaves.

Wedding breakfasts, with the formal speeches, and cutting of the cake,
have gone out of fashion, and the subject of the British breakfast of
to-day demands a new chapter.

                              CHAPTER II

                       BREAKFAST (_continued_)

            "Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table."

     Country-house life--An Englishwoman at her best--Guests'
     comforts--What to eat at the first meal--A few choice
     recipes--A noble grill-sauce--The poor outcast--Appetising
     dishes--Hotel "worries"--The old regime and the new--"No
     cheques"; no soles, and "whitings is hoff"--A halibut
     steak--Skilly and oakum--Breakfast out of the rates.

By far the pleasantest meal of the day at a large country-house is
breakfast. You will be staying there, most likely, an you be a man,
for hunting or shooting--it being one of the eccentric dispensations
of the great goddess Fashion that country-houses should be guestless,
and often ownerless, during that season of the year when nature looks
at her loveliest. An you be a woman, you will be staying there for
the especial benefit of your daughter; for flirting--or for the more
serious purpose of riveting the fetters of the fervid youth who may
have been taken captive during the London season--for romping, and
probably shooting and hunting, too; for lovely woman up-to-date
takes but little account of such frivolities as Berlin wool-work,
piano-practice, or drives, well wrapped-up, in a close carriage, to
pay calls with her hostess. As for going out with the "guns," or
meeting the sterner sex at luncheon in the keeper's cottage, or the
specially-erected pavilion, the darlings are not content, nowadays,
unless they can use dapper little breech-loaders, specially made for
them, and some of them are far from bad shots.

Yes, 'tis a pleasant function, breakfast at the Castle, the Park,
or the Grange. But, as observed in the last chapter, there must be
no undue punctuality, no black looks at late arrivals, no sarcastic
allusions to late hours, nor inane chaff from the other guests about
the wine cup or the whisky cup, which may have been drained in the
smoking-room, during the small hours.

Her ladyship looks divine, or at all events regal, as she presides
at what our American cousins would call the "business end" of the
long table, whilst our host, a healthy, jolly-looking, "hard-bitten"
man of fifty, faces her. His bright keen eye denotes the sportsman,
and he can shoot as straight as ever, whilst no fence is too high,
too wide, nor too deep for him. Sprinkled about, at either side of
the table, amongst the red and black coats, or shooting jackets of
varied hues--with a vacancy here and there, for "Algie" and "Bill,"
and the "Angel," who have not yet put in appearance--are smart,
fresh-looking women, young, and "well-preserved," and matronly, some
in tailor-made frocks, and some in the silks and velvets suited for
those of riper age, and some in exquisitely-fitting habits. It is
at the breakfast-table that the Englishwoman can defy all foreign
competition; and you are inclined to frown, or even say things under
your breath, when that mincing, wicked-looking little _Marquise_, all
frills, and ribbons, and lace, and smiles, and Ess Bouquet, in the
latest creation of the first man-milliner of Paris, trips into the
room in slippers two sizes too small for her, and salutes the company
at large in broken English. For the contrast is somewhat trying, and
you wonder why on earth some women _will_ smother themselves with
scents and _cosmetiques_, and raddle their cheeks and wear diamonds
so early in the morning; and you lose all sense of the undoubted
fascination of the Marquise in speculating as to what manner of
"strong woman" her _femme de chambre_ must be who can compress a
22-inch waist into an 18-inch corset.

There should, of course, be separate tea and coffee equipments for
most of the guests--at all events for the sluggards. The massive
silver urn certainly lends a tone to the breakfast-table, and looks
"comfortable-like." But it would be criminally cruel to satisfy the
thirst of the multitude out of the same tea-pot or coffee-pot; and
the sluggard will not love his hostess if she pours forth "husband's
tea," merely because he _is_ a sluggard. And remember that the hand
which has held two by honours, or a "straight flush" the night before,
is occasionally too shaky to pass tea-cups. No. Do not spare your
servants, my lord, or my lady. Your guests must be "well done," or
they will miss your "rocketing" pheasants, or fail to go fast enough
at that brook with the rotten banks.

"The English," said an eminent alien, "have only one sauce." This is
a scandalous libel; but as it was said a long time ago it doesn't
matter. It would be much truer to say that the English have only one
breakfast-dish, and its name is

                          _Eggs and Bacon_.

Pardon, I should have written two; and the second is ham and eggs. A
new-laid egg--poached, _not_ fried, an ye love me, O Betsy, best of
cooks--and a rasher of home-cured hog are both excellent things in
their way; but, like a partridge, a mother-in-law, and a baby, it is
quite possible to have too much of them. The English hostess--I do not
refer to the typical "her ladyship," of whom I have written above,
but to the average hostess--certainly launches out occasionally in
the direction of assorted fish, kidneys, sausages, and chops, but the
staple food upon which we are asked to break our fast is, undoubtedly,
eggs and bacon.

The great question of what to eat at the first meal depends greatly
upon whether you sit down to it directly you emerge from your
bedroom, or whether you have indulged in any sort of exercise in the
interim. After two or three hours "amateur touting" on such a place
as Newmarket Heath, the sportsman is ready for any sort of food, from
a dish of liver and bacon to a good, thick fat chop, or an underdone
steak. I have even attacked cold stewed eels (!) upon an occasion
when the pangs of hunger would have justified my eating the tom-cat,
and the landlady as well. But chops and steaks are not to be commended
to furnish forth the ordinary breakfast-table. I am coming to the
hotel breakfast presently, so will say nothing about fried fish just
yet. But here follows a list of a few of what may be called

                     _Allowable Breakfast Dishes_

Mushrooms (done plainly in front of the fire), sausages (toasted),
scrambled eggs on toast, curried eggs, fish balls, kidneys, savoury
omelette. Porridge may be useful for growing boys and briefless
barristers, but this chapter is not written solely in their interests.
Above all, do not, oh! do not, forget the grill, or broil. This should
be the feature of the breakfast. Such simple recipes as those for the
manufacture of fish balls or omelettes or curried eggs--though I shall
have plenty to say about curries later on--need not be given here; but
the following, for a grill-sauce, will be found invaluable, especially
for the "sluggard."

                           _Gubbins Sauce_

     The legs and wings of fowl, turkey, pheasant, partridge,
     or moor-hen should only be used. Have these scored across with
     a sharp knife, and divided at the joints. And when your grill
     is taken, "hot as hot," but _not burnt_, from the fire, have
     poured over it the following sauce. Be very particular that
     your cook pours it over the grill just before it is served up.
     And it is of the most vital importance that the sauce should
     be made, and well mixed, on a plate _over hot water_--for
     instance, a slop-basin should be filled with boiling water and
     a plate placed atop.

     Melt on the plate a lump of butter the size of a large
     walnut. Stir into it, when melted, two teaspoonfuls of made
     mustard, then a dessert-spoonful of vinegar, half that quantity
     of tarragon vinegar, and a tablespoonful of cream--Devonshire
     or English. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne,
     according to the (presumed) tastes and requirements of the

Let your sideboard--it is assumed that you have a sideboard--sigh and
lament its hard lot, under its load of cold joints, game, and pies,--I
am still harping on the country-house; and if you have a York ham in
cut, it should be flanked by a Westphalian ditto. For the blend is
a good one. And remember that no York ham under 20 lb. in weight is
worth cutting. You need not put it all on the board at once. A capital
adjunct to the breakfast-table, too, is a reindeer's tongue, which,
as you see it hung up in the shops, looks more like a policeman's
truncheon in active employment than anything else; but when well
soaked and then properly treated in the boiling, is very tasty, and
will melt like marrow in the mouth.

A simple, excellent August breakfast can be made from a dish of
freshly-caught trout, the legs and back of a cold grouse, which has
been roasted, _not_ baked, and

                           _A Large Peach_.

But what of the wretched bachelor, as he enters his one sitting-room,
in his humble lodging? He may have heard the chimes at midnight, in
some gay and festive quarter, or, like some other wretched bachelors,
he may have been engaged in the composition of romances for some
exacting editor, until the smallish hours. Poor outcast! what sort
of appetite will he have for the rusty rasher, or the shop egg, the
smoked haddock, or the "Billingsgate pheasant," which his landlady
will presently send up, together with her little account, for his
refection? Well, here is a much more tasty dish than any of the above;
and if he be "square" with Mrs. Bangham, that lady will possibly not
object to her "gal" cooking the different ingredients before she
starts at the wash-tub. But let not the wretched bachelor suffer the
"gal" to mix them.

I first met this dish in Calcutta during the two months of (alleged)
cold weather which prevail during the year.

                          _Calcutta Jumble._

     A few fried fillets of white fish (sole, or plaice--sole
     for choice), placed on the top of some boiled rice, in a soup
     plate. Pour over them the yolks of two _boiled_ eggs, and mix
     in one green chili, chopped fine. Salt to taste.

"Another way:"

     Mix with the rice the following ingredients:--

         The yolks of two _raw_ eggs, one tablespoonful anchovy
         sauce, one _small_ teaspoonful curry powder (raw), a sprinkling
         of cayenne, a little salt, and one green chili chopped fine.
         Each ingredient to be added separately, and the eggs and curry
         powder to be stirred into the rice with a fork. Fillets of sole
         to be served atop.

How many cooks in this England of ours can cook rice properly? Without
pausing for a reply, I append the recipe, which should be pasted on
the wall of every kitchen. The many cookery books which I have read
give elaborate directions for the performance, of what is a very
simple duty. Here it is, in a few lines--

                    _To cook Rice for Curry, etc._

     Soak a sufficiency of rice in cold water for two hours.
     Strain through a sieve, and pop the rice into _boiling_ water.
     Let it boil--"gallop" is, I believe, the word used in most
     kitchens--for not quite ten minutes (or until the rice is
     tender), then strain off the water through a sieve, and dash a
     little _cold_ water over the rice, to separate the grains.

Here is another most appetising breakfast dish for the springtime--

                        _Asparagus with Eggs_.

     Cut up two dozen (or so) heads of cooked asparagus into
     small pieces, and mix in a stewpan with the well-beaten yolks
     of two raw eggs. Flavour with pepper and salt, and stir freely.
     Add a piece of butter the size of a walnut (one of these should
     be kept in every kitchen as a pattern), and keep on stirring
     for a couple of minutes or so. Serve on delicately-toasted

                        _An Hotel Breakfast._

What memories do these words conjure up of a snug coffee-room, hung
with hunting prints, and portraits of Derby winners, and churches,
and well-hung game; with its oak panellings, easy arm-chairs,
blazing fire, snowy naperies, and bright silver. The cheery host,
with well-lined paunch, and fat, wheezy voice, which wishes you
good-morning, and hopes you have passed a comfortable night between
the lavender-scented sheets. The fatherly interest which "William,"
the grey-headed waiter, takes in you--stranger or _habitué_--and
the more than fatherly interest which you take in the good cheer,
from home-made "sassingers" to new-laid eggs, and heather honey, not
forgetting a slice out of the mammoth York ham, beneath whose weight
the old sideboard absolutely grunts.

Heigho! we, or they, have changed all that. The poet who found his
"warmest welcome in an inn" was, naturally enough, writing of his own
time. I don't like fault-finding, but must needs declare that the
"warmest" part of an inn welcome to be found nowadays is the bill.
As long as you pay it (or have plenty of luggage to leave behind
in default), and make yourself agreeable to the fair and haughty
bookkeeper (if it's a "she") who allots you your bedroom, and bullies
the page-boy, nobody in the modern inn cares particularly what becomes
of you. You lose your individuality, and become "Number 325." Instead
of welcome, distrust lurks, large, on the very threshold.

                       "_No Cheques Accepted_"

is frequently the first announcement to catch the eye of the incoming
guest; and although you cannot help admiring the marble pillars, the
oak carving, the gilding, the mirrors, and the electric light, an
uncomfortable feeling comes over you at meal times, to the effect that
the cost of the decorations, or much of it, is taken out of the food.

"Waiter," you ask, as soon as your eyes and ears get accustomed to the
incessant bustle of the coffee-room, and your nostrils to the savour
of last night's soup, "what can I have for breakfast?"

"What would you like, sir?"

"I should like a grilled sole, to begin with."

"Very sorry, sir, soles is hoff--get you a nice chop or steak."

"Can't manage either so early in the day. Got any whitings?"

"Afraid we're out of whitings, sir, but I'll see."

Eventually, after suggesting sundry delicacies, all of which are
either "hoff," or unknown to the waiter, you settle down to the
consumption of two fried and shrivelled shop eggs, on an island of
Chicago ham, floating in an Ægean Sea of grease and hot water; whilst
a half quartern loaf, a cruet-stand the size of a cathedral, a rackful
of toast of the "Zebra" brand, and about two gallons of (alleged)
coffee, are dumped down in succession in front of you.

There are, of course, some hostelries where they "do" you better
than this, but my experience of hotel breakfasts at this end of the
nineteenth century has not been encouraging, either to appetite or
temper; and I do vow and protest that the above picture is not too
highly coloured.

The toothsome, necessary bloater is not often to be met with on the
hotel's bill-of-fare; but, if soft roed--use no other--it will repay
perusal. Toast it in a Dutch oven in front of a clear fire, and just
before done split it up the back, and put a piece of butter on it.
The roe should be well plumped, and of the consistency of Devonshire
cream. A grilled sole for breakfast is preferable to a fried one,
principally because it is by no means impossible that the fried
sole be second-hand, or as the French call it _réchauffé_. And why,
unless directions to the contrary be given, is the modest whiting
invariably placed, tail in mouth, on the frying pan? A grilled
whiting--assassinate your cook if she (or he) scorches it--is one of
the noblest works of the kitchen, and its exterior should be of a
golden brown colour.

Do not forget to order sausages for breakfast if you are staying at
Newmarket; there is less bread in them than in the Metropolitan brand.
And when in Lincoln attempt a

                           _Halibut Steak_,

of which you may not have previously heard. The halibut should,
previous to grilling or frying _in salad oil_, be placed on a shallow
dish and sprinkled with salt. Then the dish should be half filled with
water, which must not cover the salt. Leave the fish to soak for an
hour, then cut into slices, nearly an inch thick, without removing the
skin. Sprinkle some lemon juice and cayenne over the steaks before

If you wish to preserve an even mind, and be at peace with the world,
a visit to

                          _The Hotel Parish_

is not to be recommended. The Irish stew at dinner is not bad in
its way, though coarse, and too liberally endowed with fat. But the
breakfasts! Boiled oatmeal and water, with salt in the mess, and a
chunk of stale brown bread to eat therewith, do not constitute an
altogether satisfactory meal, the first thing in the morning; and it
is hardly calculated to inspire him with much pride in his work, when
the guest is placed subsequently before his "task" of unbroken flints
or tarred rope.

                             CHAPTER III

                       BREAKFAST (_continued_)

        "There's nought in the Highlands but syboes and leeks,
         And lang-leggit callants gaun wanting the breeks."

     Bonnie Scotland--Parritch an' cream--Fin'an haddies--A
     knife on the ocean wave--_À la Français_--In the gorgeous
     East--_Chota hazri_--English as she is spoke--Dâk bungalow
     fare--Some quaint dishes--Breakfast with "my tutor"--A Don's
     absence of mind.

For a "warm welcome" commend me to Bonnie Scotland. Though hard of
head and "sae fu' o' learning" that they are "owre deeficult to
conveence, ye ken," these rugged Caledonians be tender of heart, and
philanthropic to a degree. Hech, sirs! but 'tis the braw time ye'll
hae, gin ye trapese the Highlands, an' the Lowlands as well for the
matter o' that--in search o' guid refreshment for body an' soul.

Even that surly lexicographer, Doctor Samuel Johnson (who, by the
way, claimed the same city for his birthplace as does the writer),
who could not be induced to recognise the merits of Scotch scenery,
and preferred Fleet Street to the Trossachs, extolled the luxury of
a Scotch breakfast above that of all other countries. And Sir Walter
Scott, who never enthused much about meat and drink, is responsible in
_Waverley_ for a passage calculated to make the mouths of most people

"He found Miss Bradwardine presiding over the tea and coffee, the
table loaded with warm bread, both of flour, oatmeal, and barley meal,
in the shape of loaves, cakes, biscuits, and other varieties, together
with eggs, reindeer ham, mutton and beef ditto, smoked salmon, and
many other delicacies. A mess of oatmeal porridge, flanked by a silver
jug which held an equal mixture of cream and buttermilk, was placed
for the Baron's share of the repast."

"And," as Mr. Samuel Weller would have observed, "a wery good idea of
a breakfast, too."

A beef-ham sounds like a "large order" for breakfast, even when we
come to consider that the Scotch "beastie," in Sir Walter Scott's
time, was wanting in "beam" and stature. I have seen and partaken of a
ham cut from a Yorkshire pig, and weighing 52 lbs.; but even a Scotch
beef-ham must have topped that weight considerably. Fortunately the
sideboards of those times were substantial of build.

Missing from the above bill-of-fare is the haddock,

                         _The Fin'an Haddie_,

a bird which at that period had probably not been invented. But the
modern Scottish breakfast-table is not properly furnished without it.
The genuine "Fin'an" is known by its appetising savour and by its
colour--a creamy yellow, which is totally distinct from the Vandyke
browny hue of the haddock which is creosoted in the neighbourhood of
the Blackfriars Road, London, S.E. "Strip off the skin," says the
recipe in one cookery book, "and broil before the fire or over a
quick clear one." Another way--_my_ way--is _not_ to strip off the
skin and to _steam_ your haddies. Place them in a dish which has been
previously heated. Throw boiling water on them, and cover closely
with a plate; place on a hot stove, and in from 10 to 15 minutes the
Fin'ans will be accomplished. Drain, and serve hot as hot, buttered,
with a sprinkling of cayenne, and, maybe, a dash of Worcester sauce.

Salmon is naturally a welcome guest at the table of the land of his
birth, served fresh when in season, and smoked or kippered at all

                           _A Salmon Steak_

with the "curd" between the flakes, placed within a coat of
virgin-white paper (oiled) and grilled for 15 minutes or so, is an
excellent breakfast dish. A fry of small troutlets, a ditto of the
deer's interior economy--_Mem._ When up at the death of a hunted stag,
always beg or annex a portion of his liver--are also common dishes at
the first meal served by the "gudewife"; and I once met a cold haggis
at 9.30 A.M. But this, I rather fancy, was "a wee bit joke" at my
expense. Anyhow I shall have plenty to say about the "great chieftain
o' the puddin' race" in a later chapter.

                         _Off to Gold-land!_

Those that go down to the sea in ships, and can summon up sufficient
presence of mind to go down to the saloon at meal times, have far from
a bad time of it. Living was certainly better on the ocean wave in the
days when livestock was kept on board, and slaughtered as required;
for the effect of keeping beef, pork, and mutton in a refrigerating
chamber for any length of time is to destroy the flavour, and to
render beef indistinguishable from the flesh of the hog, and mutton
as tasteless as infantine pap. But the ship's galley does its little
utmost; and the saloon passenger, on his way to the other side of the
equator, may regale himself with such a breakfast as the following,
which is taken from the steward's book of a vessel belonging to the
Union Line:--

     Porridge, fillets of haddock with fine herbs, mutton chops
     and chip potatoes, savoury omelet, bacon on toast, minced
     collops, curry and rice, fruit, rolls, toast, etc., tea and

Cannot my readers imagine a steward entering the state-room of the
voyager who has succumbed to the wiles and eccentricities of the Bay
of Biscay, with the observation: "Won't you get up to breakfast,
sir?--I've reserved a _beautiful_ fat chop, with chips, o' purpose for
you, sir."

And the lot of the third-class passenger who is conveyed from his
native land to the Cape of Good Hope, for what Mr. Montague Tigg would
have called "the ridiculous sum of" £16: 16s., is no such hard one,
seeing that he is allotted a "bunk" in a compact, though comfortable
cabin, and may break his fast on the following substantial meal:--

     Porridge, Yarmouth bloaters, potatoes, American hash,
     grilled mutton, bread and butter, tea or coffee.

An American breakfast is as variegated (and I fear I must add, as
indigestible) as a Scotch one; and included in the bill of fare are as
many, or more, varieties of bread and cake as are to be found in the
land o' shortbread. The writer has, in New York, started the morning
meal with oysters, run the gamut of fish, flesh, and fowl, and wound
up with buckwheat cakes, which are brought on in relays, buttered
and smoking hot, and can be eaten with or without golden syrup.
But, as business begins early in New York and other large cities,
scant attention is paid to the first meal by the merchant and the
speculator, who are wont to "gallop" through breakfast and luncheon,
and to put in their "best work" at dinner.

                     _A Mediterranean Breakfast_

is not lacking in poetry; and the jaded denizen of Malta can enjoy
red mullet (the "woodcock of the sea") freshly taken from the
tideless ocean, and strawberries in perfection, at his first meal,
whilst seated, maybe, next to some dreamy-eyed _houri_, who coos soft
nothings into his ear, at intervals. The wines of Italy go best with
this sort of repast, which is generally eaten with "spoons."

In fair France, breakfast, or the _déjeûner à la fourchette_, is not
served until noon, or thereabouts. Coffee or chocolate, with fancy
bread and butter, is on hand as soon as you wake; and I have heard
that for the roisterer and the _p'tit crevé_ there be such liquors
as _cognac_, _curaçoa_, and _chartreuse verte_ provided at the first
meal, so that nerves can be strung together and headaches alleviated
before the "associated" breakfast at midday. In the country, at the
_château_ of _Monsieur et Madame_, the groom-of-the-chambers, or
_maître d'hôtel_, as he is designated, knocks at your bedroom door at
about 8.30.

"Who's there?"

"Good-morning, _M'sieu_. Will _M'sieu_ partake of the _chocolat_, or
of the _café-au-lait_, or of the tea?"

Upon ordinary occasions, _M'sieu_ will partake of the _chocolat_--if
he be of French extraction; whilst the English visitor will partake of
the _café-au-lait_--tea-making in France being still in its infancy.
And if _M'sieu_ has gazed too long on the wine of the country,
overnight, he will occasionally--reprobate that he is--partake instead
of the _vieux cognac_, diluted from the syphon. And _M'sieu_ never
sees his host or hostess till the "assembly" sounds for the midday

I have alluded, just above, to French tea-making. There was a time
when tea, with our lively neighbours, was as scarce a commodity as
snakes in Iceland or rum punch in Holloway Castle. Then the thin end
of the wedge was introduced, and the English visitor was invited to
partake of a cup of what was called (by courtesy) _thé_, which had
been concocted expressly for her or him. And tea _à la Française_
used to be made somewhat after this fashion. The cup was half-filled
with milk, sugar _à discrétion_ being added. A little silver sieve
was next placed over the cup, and from a jug sufficient hot water, in
which had been previously left to soak some half-dozen leaf-fragments
of green tea, to fill the cup, was poured forth. In fact the visitor
was invited to drink a very nasty compound indeed, something like
the "wish" tea with which the school-mistress used to regale her
victims--milk and water, and "wish-you-may-get" tea! But they have
changed all that across the Channel, and five o'clock tea is one of
the most fashionable functions of the day, with the _beau monde_; a
favourite invitation of the society _belle_ of the _fin de siècle_
being: "_Voulex-vous fivoclocquer avec moi?_"

The _déjeûner_ usually begins with a _consommé_, a thin, clear,
soup, not quite adapted to stave off the pangs of hunger by itself,
but grateful enough by way of a commencement. Then follows an array
of dishes containing fish and fowl of sorts, with the inevitable
_côtelettes à la_ somebody-or-other, not forgetting an _omelette_--a
mess which the French cook alone knows how to concoct to perfection.
The meal is usually washed down with some sort of claret; and a
subsequent _café_, with the accustomed _chasse_; whilst the welcome
_cigarette_ is not "defended," even in the mansions of the great.

There is more than one way of making coffee, that of the lodging-house
"general," and of the street-stall dispenser, during the small hours,
being amongst the least commendable. Without posing as an infallible
manufacturer of the refreshing (though indigestible, to many people)
beverage, I would urge that it be made from freshly-roasted seed,
ground just before wanted. Then heat the ground coffee in the oven,
and place upon the perforated bottom of the upper compartment of
a _cafetière_, put the strainer on it, and pour in boiling water,
gradually. "The Duke" in _Geneviève de Brabant_ used to warble as part
of a song in praise of tea--

            And 'tis also most important
              That you should not spare the tea.

So is it of equal importance that you should not spare the coffee.
There are more elaborate ways of making coffee; but none that the
writer has tried are in front of the old _cafetière_, if the simple
directions given above be carried out in their entirety.

As in France, sojourners (for their sins) in the burning plains of Ind
have their first breakfast, or _chota hazri_, at an early hour, whilst
the breakfast proper--usually described in Lower Bengal, Madras, and
Bombay as "tiffin"--comes later on. For

                            _Chota Hazri_

(literally "little breakfast")--which is served either at the
Mess-house, the public Bath, or in one's own bungalow, beneath the
verandah--poached eggs on toast are _de rigueur_, whilst I have met
such additions as _unda ishcamble_ (scrambled eggs), potato cake, and
(naughty, naughty!) anchovy toast. Tea or coffee are always drunk
with this meal. "Always," have I written? Alas! In my mind's eye I can
see the poor Indian vainly trying to stop the too-free flow of the
_Belati pani_ (literally "Europe water") by thrusting a dusky thumb
into the neck of the just-opened bottle, and in my mind's ear can I
catch the blasphemous observation of the subaltern as he remarks to
his slave that he does not require, in his morning's "livener," the
additional flavour of Mahommedan flesh, and the "hubble-bubble" pipe,
the tobacco in which may have been stirred by the same thumb that

"Coffee shop" is a favourite function, during the march of a regiment
in India, at least it used to be in the olden time, before troops were
conveyed by railway. _Dhoolies_ (roughly made palanquins) laden with
meat and drink were sent on half way, overnight; and grateful indeed
was the cup of tea, or coffee, or the "peg" which was poured forth for
the weary warrior who had been "tramping it" or in the saddle since 2
A.M. or some such unearthly hour, in order that the column might reach
the new camping-ground before the sun was high in the heavens. It was
at "coffee-shop" that "chaff" reigned supreme, and speculations as to
what the shooting would be like at the next place were indulged in.
And when that shooting was likely to take the form of long men, armed
with long guns, and long knives, the viands, which consisted for the
most part of toast, biscuits, poached eggs, and _unda bakum_ (eggs and
bacon), were devoured with appetites all the keener for the prospect
in view. It is in troublous times, be it further observed, that the
Hindustan _khit_ is seen at his best. On the field of battle itself I
have known coffee and boiled eggs--or even a grilled fowl--produced by
the fearless and devoted _nokhur_, from, apparently, nowhere at all.

At the Indian breakfast proper, all sorts of viands are consumed;
from the curried prawns and Europe provisions (which arrive in an
hermetically sealed condition per s.s. _Nomattawot_), to the rooster
who heralds your arrival at the _dak_ bungalow, with much crowing, and
who within half an hour of your advent has been successively chased
into a corner, beheaded, plucked, and served up for your refection in
a scorched state. I have breakfasted off such assorted food as curried
locusts, boiled leg of mutton, fried snipe, Europe sausages, _Iron
ishtoo_ (Irish stew), _vilolif_ (veal olives, and more correctly a
dinner dish), kidney toast--chopped sheep's kidneys, highly seasoned
with pepper, lime-juice, and Worcester sauce, very appetising--parrot
pie, eggs and bacon, omelette (which might also have been used to
patch ammunition boots with), sardines, fried fish (mind the bones
of the Asiatic fish), _bifishtake_ (beef steak), goat chops, curries
of all sorts, hashed venison, and roast peafowl, ditto quail, ditto
pretty nearly everything that flies, cold buffalo hump, grilled
sheep's tail (a bit bilious), hermetically-sealed herring, turtle
fins, Guava jelly, preserved mango, home-made cake, and many other
things which have escaped memory. I am coming to the "curry" part of
the entertainment later on in the volume, but may remark that it is
preferable when eaten in the middle of the day. My own experience
was that few people touched curry when served in its normal place at
dinner--as a course of itself--just before the sweets.

"Breakfast with my tutor!" What happy memories of boyhood do not the
words conjure up, of the usually stern, unbending preceptor pouring
out the coffee, and helping the sausages and mashed potatoes--we
always had what is now known as "saus and mash" at my tutor's--and the
fatherly air with which he would remind the juvenile glutton, who had
seated himself just opposite the apricot jam, and was improving the
occasion, that eleven o'clock school would be in full swing in half an
hour, and that the brain (and, by process of reasoning, the stomach)
could not be in too good working-order for the fervid young student
of Herodotus. The ordinary breakfast of the "lower boy" at Eton used
to be of a very uncertain pattern. Indeed, what with "fagging," the
preparation of his lord-and-master's breakfast, the preparation of
"pupil-room" work, and agile and acute scouts ever on the alert to
pilfer his roll and pat of butter, that boy was lucky if he got
any breakfast at all. If he possessed capital, or credit, he might
certainly stave off starvation at "Brown's," with buttered buns and
pickled salmon; or at "Webber's," or "the Wall," with three-cornered
jam tarts, or a "strawberry mess"; but Smith _minor_, and Jones
_minimus_ as often as not, went breakfastless to second school.

At the University, breakfast with "the Head" or any other "Don" was a
rather solemn function. The table well and plentifully laid, and the
host hospitality itself, but occasionally, nay, frequently, occupied
with other thoughts. A departed friend used to tell a story of a
breakfast of this description. He was shaken warmly by the hand by his
host, who afterwards lapsed into silence. My friend, to "force the
running," ventured on the observation--

"It's a remarkably fine morning, sir, is it not?"

No reply came. In fact, the great man's thoughts were so preoccupied
with Greek roots, and other defunct horrors, that he spoke not a word
during breakfast. But when, an hour or so afterwards, the time came
for his guest to take leave, the "Head" shook him by the hand warmly
once more, and remarked abstractedly--

"D'you know, Mr. Johnson, I don't think that was a particularly
original remark of yours?"

                              CHAPTER IV


                                  "'Tis a custom
          More honoured in the breach than the observance."

     Why lunch?--Sir Henry Thompson on overdoing it--The
     children's dinner--City lunches--Ye Olde Cheshyre
     Cheese--Doctor Johnson--Ye pudding--A great fall in food--A
     snipe pudding--Skirt, not rump steak--Lancashire hot pot--A
     Cape "brady."

"'More honoured in the breach,' do you say, Mr. Author?" I fancy I
hear some reader inquire. "Are these your sentiments? Do you really
mean them?" Well, perhaps, they ought to be qualified. Unless a
man breakfast very early, and dine very late, he cannot do himself
much good by eating a square meal at 1.30 or 2.0 P.M. There can
be no question but that whilst thousands of the lieges--despite
soup-kitchens, workhouses, and gaols--perish of absolute starvation,
as many of their more fortunate brethren perish, in the course of
time, from gluttony, from falling down (sometimes literally) and
worshipping the Belly-god.

Years ago Sir Henry Thompson observed to a friend of the writer's:

"Most men who seek my advice are suffering under one of two great
evils--eating too much good food, or drinking too much bad liquor; and
occasionally they suffer under both evils."

"This luncheon," writes Oliver Wendell Holmes, "is a very convenient
affair; it does not require any special dress; it is informal; and can
be light or heavy as one chooses."

The American--the male American at all events--takes far more count of
luncheon than of breakfast.

But in many cases luncheon and early dinner are synonymous terms.
Take the family luncheon, for instance, of the middle classes, where
mother, governess, and little ones all assemble in front of the
roast and boiled, at the principal meal of the day, and the more or
less snowy tablecloth is duly anointed with gravy by "poor baby," in
her high chair, and the youngest but one is slapped at intervals by
his instructress, for using his knife for the peas--at the risk of
enlarging his mouth--or for swallowing the stones of the cherries
which have been dealt him, or her, from the tart. This is not the
sort of meal for the male friend of the family to "drop in" at, if
he value the lapels of his new frock-coat, and be given to blushing.
For children have not only an evil habit of "pawing" the visitor with
jammy fingers, but occasionally narrate somewhat "risky" anecdotes.
And a child's ideas of the Christian religion, nay, of the Creator
himself, are occasionally more quaint than reverent.

"Ma, dear," once lisped a sweet little thing of six, "what doth God
have for hith dinner?"

"S-sh-sh, my child!" replied the horrified mother, "you must not ask
such dreadful questions. God doesn't want any dinner, remember that."

"Oh-h-h!" continued the unabashed and dissatisfied _enfant terrible_.
And, after a pause, "then I thuppose he hath an egg with hith tea."

In a country-house, of course, but few of the male guests turn
up at the domestic luncheon, being otherwise engaged in killing
something, or in trying to kill something, or in that sport which
is but partially understood out of Great Britain--the pursuit of an
evil-savoured animal who is practically worthless to civilisation
after his capture and death.

It is in "the City" that vile man, perhaps, puts in his best work
as an eater of luncheons. Some city men there be, of course--poor,
wretched, half-starved clerks, whose state nobody ever seems to
attempt to ameliorate--whose midday refections are not such as would
have earned a meed of commendation from the late Vitellius, or from
the late Colonel North. For said refections but seldom consist of
more important items than a thick slice of bread and a stale bloater;
or possibly a home-made sandwich of bread and Dutch cheese--the
whole washed down with a tumbler of milk, or more often a tumbler
of the fluid supplied by the New River Company. During the winter
months a pennyworth of roasted chestnuts supplies a filling, though
indigestible meal to many a man whose employer is swilling turtle
at Birch's or at the big house in Leadenhall Street, and who is
compelled, by the exigencies of custom, to wear a decent black coat
and some sort of tall hat when on his way to and from "business."

But the more fortunate citizens--how do they "do themselves"
at luncheon? For some there is the cheap soup-house, or the
chop-and-steak house reviled of Dickens, and but little changed since
the time of the great novelist. Then, for the "gilt-edged" division
there is


the little green house which, although now "run" by those eminent
caterers, Messrs. Ring and Brymer, is still known by the name of the
old Alderman who deserved so well of his fellow citizens, and who,
whilst a _cordon bleu_ of some celebrity, had also a pretty taste
as a playwright. The old house has not changed one jot, either in
appearance, customs, or fare. At the little counter on the ground
floor may be obtained the same cheesecakes, tartlets, baked custards,
and calf's-foot jellies which delighted our grandfathers, and the same
brand of Scottish whisky. Upstairs, in the soup-rooms, some of the
tables are covered with damask tablecloths, whilst at others a small
square of napery but partially obscures the view of the well-polished

                            _Turtle Soup_

is still served on silver plates, whilst the cheaper juices of the
bullock, the calf, and the pea, "with the usual trimmings," repose
temporarily on china or earthenware. _Pâtés_, whether of oyster,
lobster, chicken, or veal-and-ham, are still in favour with _habitué_
and chance customer alike, and no wonder, for these are something
like _pâtés_. The "filling" is kept hot like the soups, in huge
stewpans, on the range, and when required is ladled out into a plate,
and furnished with top and bottom crust--and such crust, flaky
and light to a degree; and how different to the confectioner's or
railway-refreshment _pâté_, which, when an orifice be made in the
covering with a pickaxe, reveals nothing more appetising than what
appear to be four small cubes of frost-bitten india-rubber, with a
portion or two of candle end.

A more advanced meal is served in Leadenhall Street, at

                       "_The Ship and Turtle_,"

said to be the oldest tavern in London, and which has been more
than once swept and garnished, and reformed altogether, since its
establishment during the reign of King Richard II. But they could have
known but little about the superior advantages offered by the turtle
as a life-sustainer, in those days; whereas at the present day some
hundreds of the succulent reptiles die the death on the premises,
within a month, in order that city companies, and stockbrokers, and
merchants of sorts, and mining millionaires, and bicycle makers, and
other estimable people, may dine and lunch.

Then there are the numerous clubs, not forgetting one almost at the
very door of "The House," where the 2000 odd (some of them _very_ odd)
members are regaled on the fat of the land in general, and of the
turtle in particular, day by day; and that mammoth underground palace
the "Palmerston," where any kind of banquet can be served up at a few
minutes' notice, and where "special Greek dishes" are provided for the
gamblers in wheat and other cereals, at the adjacent "Baltic." There
be also other eating-houses, far too numerous to mention, but most of
them worth a visit.

A "filling" sort of luncheon is a portion of a

                      _Cheshire Cheese Pudding_.

A little way up a gloomy court on the north side of Fleet Street--a
neighbourhood which reeks of printers' ink, bookmakers' "runners,"
tipsters, habitual borrowers of small pieces of silver, and that
"warm" smell of burning paste and molten lead which indicates the
"foundry" in a printing works--is situated this ancient hostelry. It
is claimed for the "Cheese" that it was the tavern most frequented
by Dr. Samuel Johnson. Mr. C. Redding, in his _Fifty Years'
Recollections, Literary and Personal_, published in 1858, says: "I
often dined at the

                         "_Cheshire Cheese_."

Johnson and his friends, I was informed, used to do the same, and I
was told I should see individuals who had met them there. This I
found to be correct. The company was more select than in later times,
but there are Fleet Street tradesmen who well remembered both Johnson
and Goldsmith in this place of entertainment."

Few Americans who visit our metropolis go away without making a
pilgrimage to this ancient hostelry, where, upstairs, "Doctor
Johnson's Chair" is on view; and many visitors carry away mementoes of
the house, in the shape of pewter measures, the oaken platters upon
which these are placed, and even samples of the long "churchwarden"
pipes, smoked by _habitués_ after their evening chops or steaks.

                            _Ye Pudding_,

which is served on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 1.30 and 6.0, is
a formidable-looking object, and its savour reaches even into the
uttermost parts of Great Grub Street. As large, more or less, as
the dome of St. Paul's, that pudding is stuffed with steak, kidney,
oysters, mushrooms, and larks. The irreverent call these last named
sparrows, but we know better. This pudding takes (_on dit_) 17½ hours
in the boiling, and the "bottom crust" would have delighted the
hearts of Johnson, Boswell, and Co., in whose days the savoury dish
was not. The writer once witnessed a catastrophe at the "Cheshire
Cheese," compared to which the burning of Moscow or the bombardment
of Alexandria were mere trifles. 1.30 on Saturday afternoon had
arrived, and the oaken benches in the refectory were filled to
repletion with expectant pudding-eaters. Burgesses of the City of
London were there--good, "warm," round-bellied men, with plough-boys'
appetites--and journalists, and advertising agents, and "resting"
actors, and magistrates' clerks, and barristers from the Temple,
and well-to-do tradesmen. Sherry and gin and bitters and other
adventitious aids (?) to appetite had been done justice to, and the
arrival of the "procession"--it takes three men and a boy to carry
the _pièce de résistance_ from the kitchen to the dining-room--was
anxiously awaited. And then, of a sudden we heard a loud crash!
followed by a feminine shriek, and an unwhispered Saxon oath. "Tom"
the waiter had slipped, released his hold, and the pudding had fallen
downstairs! It was a sight ever to be remembered--steak, larks,
oysters, "delicious gravy," running in a torrent into Wine Office
Court. The expectant diners (many of them lunchers) stood up and gazed
upon the wreck of their hopes, and then filed, silently and sadly,
outside. Such a catastrophe had not been known in Brainland since the
Great Fire.

Puddings of all sorts are, in fact, favourite autumn and winter
luncheon dishes in London, and the man who can "come twice" at such
a "dream" as the following, between the hours of one and three, can
hardly be in devouring trim for his evening meal till very late. It is

                           _Snipe Pudding_.

     A _thin_ slice of beef-skirt,[2] seasoned with pepper and
     salt, at the bottom of the basin; then three snipes beheaded
     and befooted, and with gizzards extracted. Leave the liver and
     heart in, an you value your life. Cover up with paste, and
     boil (or steam) for two-and-a-half hours. For stockbrokers
     and bookmakers, mushrooms and truffles are sometimes placed
     within this pudding; but it is better without--according to the
     writer's notion.

Most of the fowls of the air may be treated in the same way. And when
eating cold grouse for luncheon try (if you can get it) a fruit salad
therewith. You will find preserved peaches, apricots, and cherries in
syrup, harmonise well with cold _brown_ game.

                         _Lancashire Hot-Pot_

is a savoury dish indeed; but I know of but one eating-house in London
where you can get anything like it. Here is the recipe--

     Place a layer of mutton cutlets, with most of the fat and
     tails trimmed off, at the bottom of a deep earthenware stewpan.
     Then a layer of chopped sheep's kidneys, an onion cut into
     thin slices, half-a-dozen oysters, and some sliced potatoes.
     Sprinkle over these a little salt and pepper and a teaspoonful
     of curry powder. Then start again with cutlets, and keep on
     adding layers of the different ingredients until the dish be
     full. Whole potatoes atop of all, and pour in the oyster liquor
     and some good gravy. More gravy just before the dish is ready
     to serve. Not too fierce an oven, just fierce enough to brown
     the top potatoes.

In making this succulent concoction you can add to, or substitute for,
the mutton cutlets pretty nearly any sort of flesh or fowl. I have
met rabbit, goose, larks, turkey, and (frequently) beef therein; but,
believe me, the simple, harmless, necessary, toothsome cutlet makes
the best lining.

In the Cape Colony, and even as high up as Rhodesia, I have met with
a dish called a _Brady_, which is worthy of mention here. It is made
in the same way as the familiar Irish stew; but instead of potatoes
tomatoes are used.

                              CHAPTER V

                        LUNCHEON (_continued_)

                    "He couldn't hit a haystack!"

     Shooting luncheons--Cold tea and a crust--Clear
     turtle--Such larks!--Jugged duck and oysters--Woodcock
     pie--Hunting luncheons--Pie crusts--The true Yorkshire
     pie--Race-course luncheons--Suggestions to caterers--The
     "Jolly Sand boys" stew--Various recipes--A race-course
     sandwich--Angels' pie--"Suffolk pride"--Devilled larks--A light
     lunch in the Himalayas.

There is no meal which has become more "expanded" than a shooting
luncheon. A crust of bread with cheese, or a few biscuits, and a flask
of sherry sufficed for our forebears, who, despite inferior weapons
and ammunition, managed to "bring 'em down" quite as effectually as do
the shootists of this period. Most certainly and decidedly, a heavy
luncheon is a mistake if you want to "shoot clean" afterwards. And
bear this in mind, all ye "Johnnies" who rail at your host's champagne
and turtle, after luncheon, in a comfortable pavilion in the midst of
a pheasant _battue_, and whose very beaters would turn up their noses
at a pork pie and a glass of old ale, that there is nothing so good to
shoot upon as cold tea, unless it be cold coffee. I have tried both,
and for a shooting luncheon _par excellence_ commend me to a crust
and a pint of cold tea, eaten whilst sitting beneath the shelter of
an unpleached hedge, against the formal spread which commences with
a _consommé_, and finishes with guinea peaches, and liqueurs of rare
curaçoa. Of course, it is assumed that the shooter wishes to make a

But as, fortunately for trade, everybody does not share my views, it
will be as well to append a few dishes suitable to a scratch meal of
this sort.

First of all let it be said that a

                        _Roast Loin of Pork_,

washed down with sweet champagne, is not altogether to be commended.
I have nothing to urge against roast pork, on ordinary occasions, or
champagne either; but a woodcock takes a lot of hitting.

Such a pudding as was sketched in the preceding chapter is allowable,
as is also the Lancashire Hot-Pot.

                          _Shepherd's Pie_,

_i.e._ minced meat beneath a mattress of mashed potatoes, with lots of
gravy in the dish, baked, is an economical dish, but a tasty one; and
I have never known much left for the beaters. RABBIT PIE, or Pudding,
will stop a gap most effectually, and

                           _Plover Pudding_

--the very name brings water to the lips--is entitled to the highest

This is the favourite dish at the shooting luncheons of a well-known
Royal Duke, and when upon one occasion the discovery was made that
through some misunderstanding said pudding had been devoured to the
very bones, by _the loaders_, the--well, "the band played," as they
say out West. And a stirring tune did that band play too.

                            _Such Larks!_

     Stuff a dozen larks with a force-meat made from their own
     livers chopped, a little shallot, parsley, yolk of egg, salt,
     bread crumbs, and one green chili chopped and divided amongst
     the twelve. Brown in a stewpan, and then stew gently in a good
     gravy to which has been added a glass of burgundy.

This is a _plât_ fit for an emperor, and there will be no subsequent
danger of his hitting a beater or a dog. Another dainty of home
invention is

                     _Jugged Duck with Oysters_.

     Cut the fleshy parts of your waddler into neat joints,
     and having browned them place in a jar with nine oysters and
     some good gravy partly made from the giblets. Close the mouth
     of the jar, and stand it in boiling water for rather more than
     an hour. Add the strained liquor of the oysters and a little
     more gravy, and turn the concoction into a deep silver dish
     with a spirit lamp beneath. Wild duck can be jugged in the same
     way, but _without_ the addition of the bivalves; and a mixture
     of port wine and Worcester sauce should be poured in, with a
     squeeze of lemon juice and cayenne, just before serving.

Another dish which will be found "grateful and comforting" is an _old_
grouse--the older the tastier. Stuff him with a Spanish onion, add a
little gravy and seasoning, and stew him till the flesh leaves the
bones. All these stews, or "jugs" should be served on dishes kept hot
by lighted spirit beneath them. This is most important.

                           _A Woodcock Pie_

will be found extremely palatable at any shooting luncheon, although
more frequently to be met with on the sideboards of the great and
wealthy. In fact, at Christmas time, 'tis a pie which is specially
concocted in the royal kitchen at Windsor Castle, to adorn Her Most
Gracious Majesty's board at Osborne, together with the time-honoured
baron of specially fed beef. This last named joint hardly meets my
views as part of a breakfast _menu_; but here is the recipe for the
woodcock pie.

     Bone four woodcocks--I _don't_ mean take them off the
     hooks when the gentleman is not in his shop, but tell your
     cook to take the bones out of one you've shot yourself--put
     bones and trimmings into a saucepan with one shallot, one small
     onion, and a sprig of thyme, cover them with some good stock,
     and let this gravy simmer awhile. Take the gizzards away from
     the heart and liver, pound, and mix these with some good veal
     force-meat. Place the woodcocks, skin downwards, on a board;
     spread over each two layers of force-meat, with a layer of
     sliced truffles in between the two. Make your crust, either in
     a mould, or with the hands, put a layer of force-meat at the
     bottom, then two woodcocks, then a layer of truffles, then the
     other two woodcocks, another layer of truffles, and a top layer
     of force-meat, and some thin slices of fat bacon. Cover the
     pie, leaving a hole for the gravy, and bake in a moderate oven.
     After taking out pour in the gravy, then close the orifice and
     let the pie get cold before serving.

     _N.B._--It will stimulate the _digging_ industry if one or
     two _whole_ truffles have been hidden away in the recesses of
     the pie.

Another good pie I have met with--in the north country--was lined with
portions of grouse and black game (no bones), with here and there half
a hard-boiled egg. Nothing else except the necessary seasoning.

With regard to

                         _Hunting Luncheons_

it cannot be said that your Nimrod is nearly as well catered for as is
the "Gun." For, as a rule, the first-named, if he be really keen on
the sport of kings has to content himself, during the interval of a
"check," with the contents of a sandwich-case, and a flask, which may
contain either brown sherry or brandy and water--or possibly something
still more seductive. I have heard of flasks which held milk punch,
but the experience is by no means a familiar one. If your Nimrod be
given to "macadamising," instead of riding the line, or if he sicken
of the business altogether before hounds throw off, he can usually
"cadge" a lunch at some house in the neighbourhood, even though it may
only "run to" bread and cheese--or, possibly, a wedge of a home-made
pork-pie--with a glass, or mug, of nut brown ale. Not that all ale
is "nut brown," but 'tis an epithet which likes me well. Would it
were possible to give practical hints here as to the true way to
manufacture a pork-pie! To make the attempt would, I fear, only serve
to invite disaster; for the art of pork-pie making, like that of the
poet, or the play-actor, should be born within us. In large households
in the midland counties (wherein doth flourish the pig tart) there
is, as a rule, but one qualified pie-maker--who is incapable of any
other culinary feat whatever. I have even been told that it requires
"special hands" to make the crust of the proper consistency; and
having tasted crusts _and_ crusts, I can implicitly believe this
statement. Here is a recipe for a veritable savoury

                           _Yorkshire Pie_.

     Bone a goose and a large fowl. Fill the latter with the
     following stuffing:--minced ham, veal, suet, onion, sweet
     herbs, lemon peel, mixed spices, goose-liver, cayenne, and
     salt, worked into a paste with the yolks of two eggs. Sew up
     the fowl, truss it, and stew it with the goose for twenty
     minutes in some good beef and giblet stock, with a small
     glass of sherry, in a close stewpan. Then put the fowl inside
     the goose, and place the goose within a pie-mould which has
     been lined with good hot-water paste. Let the goose rest on a
     cushion of stuffing, and in the middle of the liquor in which
     he has been stewed. Surround him in the pie with slices of
     parboiled tongue and chunks of semi-cooked pheasant, partridge,
     and hare, filling in the vacancies with more stuffing, put a
     layer of butter atop, roof in the pie with paste, bake for
     three hours, and eat either hot or cold--the latter for choice.

For a skating luncheon

                             _Irish Stew_

is the recognised _entrée_, served in soup-plates, and washed down
with hot spiced ale.

In the way of

                       _Race-course Luncheons_

our caterers have made giant strides in the last dozen years. A member
of a large firm once told me that it was "out of the question" to
supply joints, chops, and steaks in the dining-rooms of a grand stand,
distant far from his base of operations, London. "Impossible, my dear
sir! we couldn't do it without incurring a ruinous loss." But the
whirligig of time has proved this feat to be not only possible, but
one which has led to the best results for all concerned. In the matter
of chops and steaks I hope to see further reforms introduced. These
succulent dainties, it cannot be too widely known, are not at their
best unless _cut fresh_ from loin or rump, just before being placed
on the gridiron. The longer a cut chop (raw) is kept the more of its
virtue is lost. It might, possibly, cause a little extra delay, and a
little extra expense, to send off loins and rumps from the butcher's
shop, instead of ready-cut portions, but the experiment would answer,
in the long run. The same rule, of course, should apply to restaurants
and grill-rooms all over the world.

During the autumn and winter months, race-course caterers seem to
have but one idea of warm comforting food for their customers, and
the name of that idea is Irish stew. This is no doubt an appetising
dish, but might be varied occasionally for the benefit of the habitual
follower of the sport of kings. Why not pea-soup, jugged hare (hares
are cheap enough), hot-pot, Scotch broth, mullagatawny, hotch-potch,
stewed or curried rabbit, with rice, shepherd's pie, haricot ox-tails,
sheep's head broth (Scotch fashion), and hare soup! What is the matter
with the world-renowned stew of which we read in _The Old Curiosity
Shop_--the supper provided by the landlord of the "Jolly Sandboys" for
the itinerant showmen? Here it is again:

     "'It's a stew of tripe,' said the landlord, smacking his
     lips, 'and cowheel,' smacking them again, 'and bacon,' smacking
     them once more, 'and steak,' smacking them for the fourth time,
     'and peas, cauliflowers, new potatoes, and sparrowgrass, all
     working up together in one delicious gravy.' Having come to
     the climax, he smacked his lips a great many times, and taking
     a long hearty sniff of the fragrance that was hovering about,
     put on the cover again with the air of one whose toils on earth
     were over.

     "'At what time will it be ready?' asked Mr. Codlin
     faintly. 'It'll be done to a turn,' said the landlord, looking
     up at the clock, 'at twenty-two minutes before eleven.'

     "'Then,' said Mr. Codlin, 'fetch me a pint of warm ale,
     and don't let nobody bring into the room even so much as a
     biscuit till the time arrives.'"

And I do vow and protest that the above passage has caused much more
smacking of lips than the most expensive, savoury _menu_ ever thought
out. True, sparrowgrass and new potatoes, and any peas but dried or
tinned ones are not as a rule at their best in the same season as
tripe; but why not dried peas, and old potatoes, and rice, and curry
powder, and onions--Charles Dickens forgot the onions--with, maybe,
a modicum of old ale added, for "body"--in this stew, on a cold
day at Sandown or Kempton? _Toujours_ Irish stew, like _toujours_
mother-in-law, is apt to pall upon the palate; especially if not fresh
made. And frost occasionally interferes with the best-laid plans of a
race-course caterer.

"I don't mind a postponed meeting," once observed one of the
"readiest" of bookmakers; "but what I cannot stand is postponed Irish

Than a good bowl of

                           _Scotch Broth_,

what could be more grateful, or less expensive?

     Shin of beef, pearl barley, cabbages, leeks, turnips,
     carrots, dried peas (of course soaked overnight), and
     water--"all working up together in one delicious gravy."


                            _Hotch Potch_.

With the addition of cutlets from the best end of a neck of mutton,
the same recipe as the above will serve for this dish, which it must
be remembered should be more of a "stodge" than a broth.

There are more ways than one of making a "hot-pot." The recipe given
above would hardly suit the views of any caterer who wishes to make
a living for himself; but it can be done on the cheap. The old lady
whose dying husband was ordered by the doctor oysters and champagne,
procured whelks and ginger beer for the patient, instead, on the score
of economy. Then why not make your hot-pot with mussels instead of
oysters? Or why add any sort of mollusc? In the certain knowledge that
these be invaluable hints to race-course caterers, I offer them with
all consideration and respect.

The writer well remembers the time when the refreshments on Newmarket
Heath at race-time were dispensed from a booth, which stood almost
adjoining the "Birdcage." Said refreshments were rough, but
satisfying, and consisted of thick sandwiches, cheese, and bread,
with "thumb-pieces" (or "thumbers") of beef, mutton, and pork, which
the luncher was privileged to cut with his own clasp-knife. Said
"thumbers" seem to have gone out of favour with the aristocracy of the
Turf; but the true racing or coursing sandwich still forms part of the
_impedimenta_ of many a cash-bookmaker, of his clerk, and of many a
"little" backer. 'Tis a solid, satisfying sandwich, and is just the
sort of nourishment for a hard worker on a bitter November day. Let
your steak be grilling, whilst you are enjoying your breakfast--some
prefer the ox-portion fried, for these simple speculators have strange
tastes--then take the steak off the fire and place it, all hot,
between two _thick_ slices of bread. The sandwich will require several
paper wrappings, if you value the purity of your pocket-linings.
And when eaten cold, the juices of the meat will be found to have
irrigated the bread, with more or less "delicious gravy." And, as Sam
Weller ought to have said, "it's the gravy as does it."

"But what about the swells?" I fancy I hear somebody asking, "Is my
Lord Tomnoddy, or the Duke of Earlswood to be compelled to satisfy his
hunger, on a race-course, with tripe and fat bacon? Are you really
advising those dapper-looking, tailor-made ladies on yonder drag to
insert their delicate teeth in a sandwich which would have puzzled
Gargantua to masticate?" Not at all, my good sir, or madam. The
well-appointed coach should be well-appointed within and without. Of
course the luncheon it contains will differ materially according to
the season of the year. This is the sort of meal I will provide, an
you will deign to visit the Arabian tent behind my coach, at Ascot:

Lobster mayonnaise, salmon cutlets with Tartar sauce (_iced_), curried
prawns (_iced_), lobster cutlets, _chaud-froid_ of quails, _foie
gras_ in aspic, prawns in ditto, plovers' eggs in ditto, galantine of
chicken, York ham, sweets various, including iced gooseberry fool;
and, as the _pièce de résistance_, an

                            _Angel's Pie_.

Many people would call this a pigeon pie, for in good sooth there be
pigeons in it; but 'tis a pie worthy of a brighter sphere than this.

     Six plump young pigeons, trimmed of all superfluous
     matter, including pinions and below the thighs. Season with
     pepper and salt, and stuff these pigeons with _foie gras_, and
     quartered truffles, and fill up the pie with plovers' eggs and
     some good force-meat. Make a good gravy from the superfluous
     parts of the birds, and some calf's head stock to which has
     been added about half a wine-glassful of old Madeira, with
     some lemon-juice and cayenne. See that your paste be light and
     flaky, and bake in a moderate oven for three hours. Pour in
     more gravy just before taking out, and let the pie get cold.

This is a concoction which will make you back all the winners; whilst
no heiress who nibbles at it would refuse you her hand and heart

This is another sort of

                             _Pigeon Pie_

which is best served hot, and is more suited to the dining-room than
the race-course.

     Line a pie dish with veal force-meat, very highly
     seasoned, about an inch thick. Place on it some thin slices of
     fat bacon, three Bordeaux pigeons (trimmed) in halves, a veal
     sweetbread in slices, an ox palate, boiled and cut up into
     dice, a dozen asparagus tops, a few button mushrooms (the large
     ones would give the interior of the pie a bad colour) and the
     yolks of four eggs. Cover with force-meat, and bake for three
     hours. Some good veal gravy should be served with this, which I
     have named

                           _Suffolk Pride_.

It is a remarkable fact in natural history that English pigeons are at
their best just at the time when the young rooks leave the shelter of
their nests. Therefore have I written, in the above recipe, "Bordeaux"

Here is a quaint old eighteenth-century recipe, which comes from
Northumberland, and is given _verbatim_, for a

                             _Goose Pie_.

     Bone a goose, a turkey, a hare, and a brace of grouse;
     skin it, and cut off all the outside pieces--I mean of the
     _tongue_, after boiling it--lay the goose, for the outside a
     few pieces of hare; then lay in the turkey, the grouse, and
     the remainder of the tongue and hare. Season highly between
     each layer with pepper and salt, mace and cayenne, and put it
     together, and draw it close with a needle and thread. Take 20
     lbs. of flour, put 5 lbs. of butter into a pan with some water,
     let it boil, pour it among the flour, stir it with a knife,
     then work it with your hands till quite stiff. Let it stand
     before the fire for half an hour, then raise your pie and set
     it to cool; then finish it, put in the meat, close the pie,
     and set it in a cold place. Ornament according to your taste,
     bandage it with calico dipped in fat. Let it stand all night
     before baking. It will take a long time to bake. The oven must
     be pretty hot for the first four hours, and then allowed to
     slacken. To know when it is enough, raise one of the ornaments,
     and with a fork try if the meat is tender. If it is hard the
     pie must be put in again for two hours more. After it comes out
     of the oven fill up with strong stock, well seasoned, or with
     clarified butter. All standing pies made in this way.

Verily, in the eighteenth century they must have had considerably
more surplus cash and time, and rather more angelic cooks than their

During cold weather the interior of the coach should be well filled
with earthenware vessels containing such provender as hot-pot, hare
soup, mullagatawny, lobster _à l'Américaine_, curried rabbit, devilled
larks--with the _matériel_ for heating these. Such cold viands as game
pie, pressed beef, boar's head, _foie gras_ (truffled), plain truffles
(to be steamed and served with buttered toast) anchovies, etc. The
larks should be smothered with a paste made from a mixture of mustard,
Chili vinegar, and a little anchovy paste, and kept closely covered
up. After heating, add cayenne to taste.

Gourmets interested in _menus_ may like to know what were the first
_déjeuners_ partaken of by the Tsar on his arrival in Paris in October

On the first day he had huîtres, consommé, oeufs à la Parisienne,
filet de boeuf, pommes de terre, Nesselrode sauce, chocolat.

Next day he ate huîtres, consommé, oeufs Dauphine, rougets, noisettes
d'agneau maréchal, pommes de terre, cailles à la Bohémienne, poires

The writer can recall some colossal luncheons partaken of at dear,
naughty Simla, in the long ago, when a hill station in India was, if
anything, livelier than at the present day, and furnished plenty of
food for both mind and body. Our host was the genial proprietor of a
weekly journal, to which most of his guests contributed, after their
lights; "sport and the drama" falling to the present writer's share.
Most of the food at those luncheons had been specially imported from
Europe; and although the whitebait tasted more of the hermetical
sealing than of the Thames mud, most of the other items were succulent
enough. There were turtle soup, and turtle fins; highly seasoned
_pâtés_ of sorts; and the native _khansamah_ had added several dishes
of his own providing and invention. A young florican (bustard) is by
no means a bad bird, well roasted and basted; and though the eternal
_vilolif_ (veal olives) were usually sent away untasted, his snipe
puddings were excellent. What was called _picheese_ (twenty-five years
old) brandy, from the _atelier_ of Messrs. Justerini and Brooks, was
served after the coffee; and those luncheon parties seldom broke up
until it was time to dress for dinner. In fact, our memories were
not often keen as to anything which occurred after the coffee, and
many "strange things happened" in consequence; although as they have
no particular connection with high-class cookery, they need not be
alluded to in this chapter.

But, as observed before, I am of opinion that luncheon, except under
certain circumstances, is a mistake.

                              CHAPTER VI


                    "Some hae meat and canna eat,
                     And some wad eat that want it;
                     But we can eat and we hae meat,
                     And sae the Lord be thankit."

     Origin--Early dinners--The noble Romans--"Vitellius
     the Glutton"--Origin of haggis--The Saxons--Highland
     hospitality--The French invasion--Waterloo avenged--The bad
     fairy "_Ala_"--Comparisons--The English cook or the foreign
     food torturer?--Plain or flowery--Fresh fish and the flavour
     wrapped up--George Augustus Sala--Doctor Johnson again.

It is somewhat humiliating to reflect that we Britons owe the art
of dining to our first conquerors the Romans--a smooth-faced race
of voluptuaries whose idea of a _bonne bouche_ took the form of a
dormouse stewed in honey and sprinkled with poppy-seed. But it was
not until the Normans had fairly established themselves and their
cookery, that the sturdy Saxon submitted himself to be educated by the
foreign food-spoiler; and at a later period the frequent invasions of
France by Britain--when money was "tight" in the little island--were
undoubtedly responsible for the commencement of the system of
"decorating" food which so largely obtains to-day.

The name "dinner" is said--although it seems incredible that words
should have become so corrupted--to be a corruption of _dix heures_,
the time at which (A.M.), in the old Norman days, the meal was usually
partaken of; and the time at which (P.M.), in later years, when none
of the guests ever knew the hour, in that loose-and-careless period,
the meal was occasionally partaken of at Limmer's and at Lane's, in
London town. Froissart, in one of his works, mentions having waited
upon the Duke of Lancaster at 5 P.M., "after his Grace had supped";
and it is certain that during the reigns of Francis I. and Louis XII.
of France, the world of fashion was accustomed to dine long before
the sun had arrived at the meridian, and to sup at what we now call
"afternoon tea time." Louis XIV. did not dine till twelve; and his
contemporaries, Oliver Cromwell and the Merry Monarch, sat down to the
principal meal at one. In 1700, two was the fashionable time; and in
1751 we read that the Duchess of Somerset's hour for dinner was three.
The hour for putting the soup on the table kept on advancing, until,
after Waterloo, it became almost a penal offence to dine before six;
and so to the end of the century, when we sit down to a sumptuous
repast at a time when farm-labourers and artisans are either snug
between the blankets, or engaged in their final wrangle at the "Blue

The Romans in the time of Cicero had a light breakfast at 3.30 A.M.,
lunched at noon, and attacked the _coena_ at periods varying between 3
and 7 P.M.--according to the season of the year. They commenced the
first course with eggs, and each noble Roman was supposed to clear his
palate with an apple at the conclusion of the third course. "A banquet
with Vitellius," we read, "was no light and simple repast. Leagues of
sea and miles of forest had been swept to furnish the mere groundwork
of the entertainment. Hardy fishermen had spent their nights on the
heaving wave, that the giant turbot might flap its snowy flakes on
the Emperor's table, broader than its broad dish of gold. Many a
swelling hill, clad in the dark oak coppice, had echoed to ringing
shout of hunter and deep-mouthed bay of hound, ere the wild boar
yielded his grim life, by the morass, and the dark grisly carcase was
drawn off to provide a standing dish that was only meant to gratify
the eye. Even the peacock roasted in its feathers was too gross a
dainty"--especially the feather part, we should think--"for epicures
who studied the art of gastronomy under Caesar; and that taste would
have been considered rustic in the extreme which could partake of more
than the mere fumes and savour of so substantial a dish. A thousand
nightingales had been trapped and killed, indeed, for this one supper,
but brains and tongues were all they contributed to the banquet;
while even the wing of a roasted hare would have been considered far
too coarse and common food for the imperial table." Talk about a

According to Suetonius (whose name suggests "duff") the villain
Nero was accustomed to dine in a superb apartment, surrounded with
mechanical scenery, which could be "shifted" with every course. The
suppers of "Vitellius the Glutton" cost, on the average, more than
£4000 a-piece--which reads like a "Kaffir Circus" dinner at the
Savoy--and the celebrated feast to which he invited his brother was
down in the bill for £40,350. Now a-nights we don't spend as much on
a dinner, even when we invite other people's wives. "It consisted"--I
always think of Little Dombey and the dinner at Doctor Blimber's, on
reading these facts--"of two thousand different dishes of fish, and
seven thousand of fowls, with other equally numerous meats."

"Sharp-biting salads," salted herrings, and pickled anchovies, were
served, as _hors d'oeuvres_ during the first course of a Roman banquet,
to stimulate the hunger which the rest of the meal would satisfy; but
although Vitellius was, according to history, "a whale on" oysters,
they do not appear to have been eaten as a whet to appetite. And it
was the duty of one, or more, of the Emperor's "freedmen" to taste
every dish before his imperial master, in case poison might lurk
therein. A garland of flowers around the brows was the regular wear
for a guest at a "swagger" dinner party in ancient Rome, and, the
eating part over, said garland was usually tilted back on the head,
the while he who had dined disposed himself in an easy attitude on
his ivory couch, and proffered his cup to be filled by the solicitous
slave. Then commenced the "big drink." But it must be remembered that
although the subsequent display of fireworks was provided from lively
Early Christians, in tar overcoats, these Romans drank the pure,
unadulterated juice of the grape, freely mixed with water; so that
headaches i' th' morn were not _de rigueur_, nor did the subsequent
massacres and other diversions in the Amphitheatre cause any feelings
of "jumpiness."

The Roman bill-of-fare, however, does not commend itself to all
British epicures, one of whom wrote, in a convivial song--

                  "Old Lucullus, they say,
                  Forty cooks had each day,
            And Vitellius's meals cost a million;
                  But I like what is good,
                  When or where be my food,
            In a chop-house or royal pavilion.

                  At all feasts (if enough)
                  I most heartily stuff,
            And a song at my heart alike rushes,
                  Though I've not fed my lungs
                  Upon nightingales' tongues,
            Nor the brains of goldfinches and thrushes."

My pen loves to linger long over the gastronomies of those shaven
voluptuaries, the ancient Italians; and my Caledonian readers will
forgive the old tales when it is further set forth that the Romans
introduced, amongst other things,


into Bonnie Scotland. Yes, the poet's "great chieftain o' the puddin'
race" is but an Italian dish after all. The Apician pork haggis[3]
was a boiled pig's stomach filled with fry and brains, raw eggs,
and pine-apples beaten to a pulp, and seasoned with _liquamen_. For
although some of the Romans' tastes savoured of refinement, many of
them were "absolutely beastly." The idea of pig's fry and pine-apples
mixed is horrible enough; but take a look into the constitution of
this _liquamen_, and wonder no longer that Gibbons wrote his _Decline
and Fall_ with so much feeling and _gusto_. This sauce was obtained
from the intestines, gills, and blood of fishes, great and small,
stirred together with salt, and exposed in an open vat in the sun,
until the compound became putrid. When putrefaction had done its work,
wine and spices were added to the hell-broth, which was subsequently
strained and sent into the Roman market. This _liquamen_ was
manufactured in Greece, and not one of all the poets of sunny Italy
seems to have satirised the "made-in-Greece" custom, which in those
days must have been almost as obnoxious as the "made-in-Germany" or
the "made-in-Whitechapel" scare of to-day.

The usual farinaceous ingredient of the Roman haggis was frumenty, but
frequently no grain whatever was applied; and instead of mincing the
ingredients, as do the Scots, the ancients pounded them in a mortar,
well moistened with _liquamen_, until reduced to pulp. We are further
told in history that a Roman gladiator was capable, after playing with
eggs, fish, nightingales' tongues, dormice, and haggis, of finishing
a wild boar at a sitting. But as the old lady remarked of the great
tragedy, this happened a long time ago, so let's hope it isn't true.

The Saxon dining-table was oblong, and rounded at the ends. The
cloth was crimson, with broad gilt edgings hanging low beneath the
table, and, it is to be feared, often soiled by the dirty boots of
the guests, who sat on chairs with covered backs, the counterfeit
presentments of which are still to be seen in the Tottenham Court
Road. The food consisted of fish, fowls, beef, mutton, venison, and
pork--wild and domestic--either boiled, baked, or broiled, and handed
to the company by the attendants on small _sples_. A favourite "fish
joint" of the old Saxon was a cut out of the middle of a porpoise; and
bread of the finest wheaten flour reposed in two silver baskets at
each end of the table, above the salt, the retainers having to content
themselves with coarser "household" out of a wooden cradle. Almost
the only vegetable in use amongst the Saxons was colewort, although
the Romans had brought over many others, years before; but hatred of
anything foreign was more rampant in early Saxon days than at present.
Forks were not introduced into England until during the reign of
King "Jamie": so that our ancestors had perforce to "thumb" their
victuals. The fair Queen Elizabeth (like much more modern monarchs)
was accustomed to raise to her mouth with her virgin fingers a turkey
leg and gnaw it. But even in the earliest days of the thirteenth
century, each person was provided with a small silver basin and two
flowered napkins of the finest linen, for finger-washing and wiping
purposes. Grapes, figs, nuts, apples, pears, and almonds, constituted
a Saxon dessert; and in the reign of Edward III. an Act of Parliament
was passed, forbidding any man or woman to be served with more than
two courses, unless on high days and holidays, when each was entitled
to three.

Here is the bill for the ingredients of a big dinner provided by a
City Company in the fifteenth century: "Two loins of veal and two
loins of mutton, 1s. 4d.; one loin of beef, 4d.; one dozen pigeons
and 12 rabbits, 9d.; one pig and one capon, 1s.; one goose and 100
eggs, 1s. 0½d.; one leg of mutton, 2½d.; two gallons of sack, 1s. 4d.;
eight gallons of strong ale, 1s. 6d.; total, 7s. 6d." Alas! In these
advanced days the goose alone would cost more than the "demmed total."

Cedric the Saxon's dining table, described in _Ivanhoe_, was of a much
simpler description than the one noted above; and the fare also. But
there was no lack of assorted liquors--old wine and ale, good mead and
cider, rich morat (a mixture of honey and mulberry juice, a somewhat
gouty beverage, probably), and odoriferous pigment--which was composed
of highly-spiced wine, sweetened with honey. The Virgin Queen, at a
later epoch, was catered for more delicately; and we read that she
detested all coarse meats, evil smells, and strong wines. During the
Georgian era coarse meats and strong wines were by no means out of
favour; and Highland banquets especially were Gargantuan feasts, to
be read of with awe. The dinner given by Fergus MacIvor, in honour
of Captain Waverley, consisted of dishes of fish and game, carefully
dressed, at the upper end of the table, immediately under the eye
of the English stranger. "Lower down stood immense clumsy joints of
beef," says the gifted author, "which, but for the absence of pork,
abhorred in the Highlands, resembled the rude festivity of the banquet
of Penelope's suitors. But the central dish was a yearling lamb,
called a "hog in har'st," roasted whole. It was set upon its legs,
with a bunch of parsley in its mouth, and was probably exhibited in
that form to gratify the pride of the cook, who piqued himself more
on the plenty than the elegance of his master's table. The sides of
this poor animal"--the lamb, not the cook, we suppose is meant--"were
fiercely attacked by the clansmen, some with dirks, others with the
knives worn in the same sheath as the dagger, so that it was soon
rendered a mangled and rueful spectacle."

A spectacle which reminds the writer of a dinner table at the Royal
Military College, Sandhurst, in the early sixties.

"Lower down," continues Sir Walter, "the victuals seemed of yet
coarser quality, though sufficiently abundant. Broth, onions, cheese,
and the fragments of the feast, regaled the sons of Ivor, who feasted
in the open air."

The funeral baked meats used after the interment of the chief of the
Clan Quhele (described in _The Fair Maid of Perth_) were also on a
very extensive scale, and were, like the other meal, "digested" with
pailfuls of usquebaugh, for which no Highland head that supported a
bonnet was ever "the waur i' th' morn." And the custom of placing
bagpipers behind the chairs of the guests, after they have well drunk,
which is still observed in Highland regiments, was probably introduced
by the aforesaid Fergus MacIvor, who really ought to have known better.

And so the years rolled on; and at the commencement of the nineteenth
century, old England, instead of enjoying the blessings of universal
peace, such as the spread of the Gospel of Christianity might have
taught us to expect, found herself involved in rather more warfare
than was good for trade, or anything else. The first "innings" of the
Corsican usurper was a short but merry one; the second saw him finally
"stumped." And from that period dates the "avenging of Waterloo" which
we have suffered in silence for so long. The immigration of aliens
commenced, and in the tight little island were deposited a large
assortment of the poisonous seeds of alien cookery which had never
exactly flourished before. The combat between the Roast Beef of old
England and the bad fairy "_Ala_," with her attendant sprites Grease,
Vinegar, and Garlic, commenced; a combat which at the end of the
nineteenth century looked excessively like terminating in favour of
the fairy.

It has been repeatedly urged against my former gastronomic writings
that they are unjustly severe on French cookery; that far greater
minds than mine own have expressed unqualified approval thereof;
that I know absolutely nothing about the subject; and that my avowed
hatred of our lively neighbours and their works is so ferocious as
to become ridiculous. These statements are not altogether fair to
myself. I have no "avowed hatred" of our lively neighbours; in fact,
upon one occasion on returning from the celebration of the Grand
Prix, I saw a vision of----but that is a different anecdote. My lash
has never embraced the entire _batterie de cuisine_ of the _chef_,
and there be many French _plats_ which are agreeable to the palate,
as long as we are satisfied that the _matériel_ of which they are
composed is sound, wholesome, and of the best quality. It is the cheap
_restaurateur_ who should be improved out of England. I was years ago
inveigled into visiting the kitchen of one of these grease-and-garlic
shops, and----but the memory is too terrible for language. And will
anybody advance the statement that a basin of the _tortue claire_ of
the average _chef_ deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with a
plate of clear turtle at Birch's or Painter's? or that good genuine
English soup, whether ox-tail, mock-turtle, pea, oyster, or Palestine,
is not to be preferred to the French _purée_, or to their teakettle
broth flavoured with carrots, cabbages, and onions, and dignified by
the name of _consommé_?

Then let us tackle the subject of fish. Would you treat a salmon in
the British way, or smother him with thick brown gravy, fried onions,
garlic, mushrooms, inferior claret, oysters, sugar, pepper, salt,
and nutmeg, _en Matelote_, or mince him fine to make a ridiculous
_mousse_? Similarly with the honest, manly sole; would you fry or
grill him plain, or bake him in a coat of rich white sauce, onion
juice, mussel ditto, and white wine, or cider, _à la Normande_; or
cover him with toasted cheese _à la Cardinal_?

The fairy "_Ala_" is likewise responsible for the clothing of purely
English food in French disguises. Thus a leg of mutton becomes a
_gigot_, a pheasant (for its transgressions in eating the poor
farmer's barley) a _faisan_, and is charged for at special rates in
the bill; whilst the nearest to a beef-steak our lively neighbours
can get is a portion of beef with the fibre smashed by a wooden
mallet, surmounted by an exceedingly bilious-looking compound like
axle-grease, and called a _Châteaubriand_; and curry becomes under the
new _régime_, _kari_.

Undoubtedly, the principal reason for serving food smothered in
made-gravies lies in the inferiority of the food. Few judges will
credit France with the possession of better butcher's-meat--with the
exception of veal--than the perfidious island, which is so near in the
matter of distance, and yet so far in the matter of custom. And it is
an established fact that the fish of Paris is not as fresh as the fish
of London. Hence the _sole Normande_, the _sole au gratin_, and the
sole smothered in toasted cheese. But when we islanders are charged
at least four times as much for the inferior article, in its foreign
cloak, as for the home article in its native majesty, I think the
time has come to protest. It is possible to get an excellent dinner
at any of the "Gordon" hotels, at the "Savoy," the "Cecil," and at
some other noted food-houses--more especially at Romano's--by paying
a stiff price for it; but it is due to a shameful lack of enterprise
on the part of English caterers that a well-cooked English dinner is
becoming more difficult to procure, year after year. There be three
purely British dishes which are always "hoff" before all others on
the programme of club, hotel, or eating-house; and these are, Irish
stew, liver-and-bacon, and tripe-and-onions. Yet hardly a week
passes without a new _dîner Parisien_ making its appearance in the
advertisement columns of the newspapers; whilst the cheap-and-nasty
_table d'hôte_, with its six or seven courses and its Spanish claret,
has simply throttled the Roast Beef of Old England.

"Sir," said Dr. Johnson, after examining a French _menu_, "my brain
is obfuscated after the perusal of this heterogeneous conglomeration
of bastard English ill-spelt, and a foreign tongue. I prithee bid thy
knaves bring me a dish of hog's puddings, a slice or two from the
upper cut of a well-roasted sirloin, and two apple-dumplings."

"William," said George Augustus Sala to the old waiter at the
"Cheshire Cheese," "I've had nothing fit to eat for three months; get
me a point steak, for God's sake!"

The great lauder of foreign cookery had only that day returned from
a special mission to France, to "write up" the works of the _cordon
bleu_ for the benefit of us benighted Englishmen. No man in the wide
wide world knew so much, or could write so much, on the subject of and
in praise of the fairy "_Ala_," as George Sala; and probably no man in
the wide wide world so little appreciated her efforts.

But how has it come about that the fairy "_Ala_" has gained such
headway in this island of ours? The answer must commence another

                             CHAPTER VII

                         DINNER (_continued_)

                          "It is the cause!"

     Imitation--Dear Lady Thistlebrain--Try it on the
     dog--Criminality of the English Caterer--The stove, the stink,
     the steamer--Roasting _v._ Baking--False Economy--Dirty
     ovens--Frills and fingers--Time over Dinner--A long-winded
     Bishop--Corned beef.

Now for the cause, alluded to at the end of the last chapter.

_Imprimis_, the French invasion is due to the universal craze for
imitation, which may be the sincerest form of flattery, but which
frequently leads to bad results. For years past the fair sex of Great
Britain have been looking to Paris for fashion in dress, as well as
in cookery; whilst the other sex have long held the mistaken notion
that "they manage things better in France." The idea that France is
the only country capable of clothing the outer and the inner man,
artistically, has taken deep root. Thus, if the Duchess of Dulverton
import, regardless of expense, a divine creation in bonnets from
the Rue de Castiglione, and air the same in church, it is good odds
that little Mrs. Stokes, of the Talbot Road, Bayswater, will have
had the _chapeau_ copied, at about one-twentieth of the original
cost, by the next Sabbath day. Dear Lady Thistlebrain, who has _such_
taste (since she quitted the family mangle in Little Toke Street,
Lambeth, for two mansions, a castle, and a deer park), and with whom
money is no object, pays her _chef_ the wages of an ambassador, and
everybody raves over her dinners. Mrs. Potter of Maida Vale sets her
"gal" (who studied higher gastronomy, together with the piano, and
flower-painting on satin, at the Board School) to work on similar
_menus_--with, on the whole, disastrous results. The London society
and fashion journals encourage this snobbish idea by quoting _menus_,
most of them ridiculous. Amongst the middle classes the custom of
giving dinner parties at hotels has for some time past been spreading,
partly to save trouble, and partly to save the brain of the domestic
cook; so that instead of sitting down to a plain dinner, with, maybe,
an _entrée_ or two sent in by the local confectioner--around the
family mahogany tree, all may be fanciful decoration, and not half
enough to eat, electric light, and _à la_ with attendance charged in
the bill.

The only way to stop this sort of thing is to bring the system into
ridicule, to try it on the groundlings. A fair leader of _ton_, late
in the sixties, appeared one morning in the haunts of fashion, her
shapely shoulders covered with a cape of finest Russian sables, to the
general admiration and envy of all her compeers. Thereupon, what did
her dearest friend and (of course) most deadly rival do? Get a similar
cape, or one of finer quality? Not a bit of it. She drove off, then
and there, to her furriers, and had her coachman and footman fitted
with similar capes, in (of course) cheaper material; and, when next
afternoon she took the air in the park, in her perfectly appointed
landau, her fur-clad menials created something like a panic in the
camp of her enemy, whilst fur capes for fair leaders of "_ton_," were,
like hashed venison at a City luncheon, very soon "hoff."

It is extremely probable that, could it be arranged to feed our
starving poor, beneath the public gaze, on _sôles Normandes_,
_côtelettes à la Reform_, and _salmi de gibier truffé_; to feast our
workhouse children on _bisque d'écrévisses_ and _Ananas à la
Créole_, the upper classes of Great Britain would soon revert to plain
roast and boiled.

But after all it is the English caterer who is chiefly to blame for
his own undoing. How is it that in what may be called the "food
streets" of the metropolis the foreign food-supplier should outnumber
the purveyor of the Roast Beef of Old England in the proportion of
fifty to one? Simply because the Roast Beef of Old England has become
almost as extinct as the Dodo. There are but few English kitchens, at
this end of the nineteenth century, in the which meat is roasted in
front of the fire.

In order to save the cost of fuel, most English (save the mark!)
cooking is now performed by gas or steam; and at many large
establishments the food, whether fish, flesh, fowl, vegetables or
pastry, all goes, in a raw state, into a species of chest of drawers
made of block-tin, in which receptacle the daily luncheons, dinners,
and suppers are steamed and robbed of all flavour, save that of hot
tin. The pity of it! Better, far better for mankind the _à la_ system
than to be gradually "steamed" into the tomb!

It is alleged that as good results in the way of roasting can be got
from an oven as from the spit. But that oven must be ventilated--with
both an inlet and an outlet ventilator, for one will not act without
the other. It is also advisable that said oven should be cleaned out
occasionally; for a hot oven with no joint therein will emit odours
anything but agreeable, if not attended to; and it is not too sweeping
a statement to say that the majority of ovens in busy kitchens
are foul. The system of steaming food (the alleged "roasts" being
subsequently browned in an oven) is of comparatively recent date;
but the oven as a roaster was the invention of one Count Rumford, at
the beginning of the nineteenth century. In one of his lectures on
oven-roasting, this nobleman remarked that he despaired of getting any
Englishman to believe his words; so that he was evidently confronted
with plenty of prejudice, which it is devoutly to be prayed still
exists in English homes. For I do vow and protest that the oven odours
which pervade the neighbourhood of the Strand, London, at midday, are
by no means calculated to whet the appetite of the would-be luncher or
diner. This is what such an authority as Mr. Buckmaster wrote on the
subject of the spit _versus_ the oven:

     "I believe I am regarded as a sort of heretic on the
     question of roasting meat. My opinion is that the essential
     condition of good roasting is constant basting, and this the
     meat is not likely to have when shut up in an iron box; and
     what is not easily done is easily neglected."

In this connection there are more heretics than Mr. Buckmaster. But
if during my lifetime the days of burning heretics should be revived,
I shall certainly move the Court of Criminal Appeal in favour of
being roasted or grilled before, or over, the fire, instead of being
deprived of my natural juices in an iron box.

Some few "roast" houses are still in existence in London, but they be
few and far between; and since Mr. Cooper gave up the "Albion," nearly
opposite the stage-door of Drury Lane Theatre, the lover of good,
wholesome, English food has lost one old-fashioned tavern in the which
he was certain of enjoying such food.

It has been repeatedly urged in favour of French cookery that it
is so economical. But economy in the preparation of food is by no
means an unmixed blessing. I do not believe that much sole-leather
is used up in the ordinary _ragoût_, or _salmi_; but many of us who
can afford more expensive joints have a prejudice against "scrags";
whilst the tails of mutton chops frequently have a tainted flavour,
and the drumsticks and backs of fowls are only fit to grill, or boil
down into gravy. And it is not only the alien who is economical in
his preparation of the banquet. Many of the dwellers in the highways
and bye-ways of our great metropolis will boil down the outer skin
of a ham, and place a portion thereof, together with such scraps as
may also be purchased, at a penny or twopence the plateful, at the
ham and beef emporium, with maybe a "block ornament" or two from the
butcher's, in a pie dish, with a superstructure of potatoes, and have
the "scrap pie" cooked at the baker's for the Sunday dinner. Poor
wretches! Not much "waste" goes on in such households. But I have
known the "gal" who tortured the food in a cheap lodging-house throw
away the water in which a joint had just been boiled, but whether
this was from sheer ignorance, or "cussedness," or the desire to save
herself any future labour in the concoction of soup, deponent sayeth
not. By the way, it is in the matter of soup that the tastes of the
British and French peasantry differ so materially. Unless he or she
be absolutely starving, it is next to impossible to get one of the
groundlings of old England to attempt a basin of soup. And when they
do attempt the same, it has been already made for them. The Scotch,
who are born cooks, know much better than this; but do not, O reader,
if at all thin of skin, or refined of ear, listen too attentively to
the thanks which a denizen of the "disthressful counthry" will bestow
upon you for a "dhirty bowl o' bone-juice."

How many modern diners, we wonder, know the original object of
placing frills around the shank of a leg or shoulder of mutton, a
ham, the shins of a fowl, or the bone of a cutlet? Fingers were
made before--and a long time before--forks. In the seventeenth
century--prior to which epoch not much nicety was observed in
carving, or eating--we read that "English gentlewomen were instructed
by schoolmistresses and professors of etiquette as to the ways in
which it behoved them to carve joints. That she might be able to grasp
a roasted chicken without greasing her left hand, the gentle housewife
was careful to trim its foot and the lower part of its legs with cut
paper. The paper frill which may still be seen round the bony point
and small end of a leg of mutton, is a memorial of the fashion in
which joints were _dressed_ for the dainty hands of lady-carvers, in
time prior to the introduction of the carving-fork, an implement that
was not in universal use so late as the Commonwealth."

How long we should sit over the dinner-table is a matter of
controversy. At the commencement of the nineteenth century, in the
hard-drinking times, our forefathers were loth indeed to quit the
table. But the fairer portion of the guests were accustomed to adjourn
early, for tea and scandal in the withdrawing-room, the while their
lords sat and quarrelled over their port, with locked doors; and where
they fell there they frequently passed the night. The editor of the
_Almanach des Gourmands_ wrote: "Five hours at table are a reasonable
latitude to allow in the case of a large party and recondite cheer."
But the worthy Grimod de la Reymière, the editor aforesaid, lived
at a period when dinner was not served as late as 8.30 P.M. There
is a legend of an Archbishop of York "who sat three entire years at
dinner." But this is one of those tales which specially suited the
dull, brandy-sodden brains of our ancestors. The facts are simply as
follows:--the archbishop had just sat down to dinner at noon when
an Italian priest called. Hearing that the dignitary was sitting at
meat the priest whiled away an hour in looking at the minster, and
called again, but was again "repelled by the porter." Twice more that
afternoon did the surly porter repel the Italian, and at the fourth
visit "the porter, in a heate, answered never a worde, and churlishlie
did shutte the gates upon him." Then the discomfited Italian returned
to Rome; and three years later, encountering an Englishman in the
Eternal City, who declared himself right well known to His Grace of
York, the Italian, all smiles, inquired: "I pray you, good sir, hath
that archbishop finished dinner yet?" Hence the story, which was
doubtless originally told by a fly-fisher.

It is not a little singular that with increasing civilisation, a gong,
which is of barbaric, or semi-barbaric origin, should be the means
usually employed to summon us to the dinner-table. In days of yore
the horn, or cornet, was blown as the signal. Alexander Dumas tells
us that "at the period when noon was the dinner hour, the horn or
cornet (_le cor_) was used in great houses to announce dinner. Hence
came an expression which has been lost; they used to say cornet (or
trumpet) the dinner (_cornez le diner_)." And we are asked to believe
that to this practice "corned" beef owes its derivation. "In days when
inferior people ate little meat in the winter months save salted beef,
the more usual form of the order was _cornez le boeuf_, or 'corn the
beef.' Richardson errs egregiously when he insists that corned beef
derived its distinguishing epithet from the grains or corns of salt
with which it was pickled. Corned beef is trumpeted beef, or as we
should nowadays say, dinner-bell beef."

Well--"I hae ma doots," as the Scotsman said. I am not so sure that
Richardson erred egregiously. But after all, as long as the beef be
good, and can be carved without the aid of pick and spade, what does
it matter? Let us to dinner!

                             CHAPTER VIII

                         DINNER (_continued_)

                    "The strong table groans
           Beneath the smoking sirloin stretched immense."

     A merry Christmas--Bin F--A _Noel_
     banquet--Water-cress--How Royalty fares--The
     salé_--Chinese banquets--A fixed bayonet--_Bernardin
     salmi_--The duck-squeezer--American cookery--"Borston"
     beans--He couldn't eat beef.

A Christmas dinner in the early Victorian era! _Quelle fête
magnifique!_ The man who did not keep Christmas in a fitting manner
in those days was not thought much of. "Dines by himself at the club
on Christmas day!" was the way the late Mr. George Payne of sporting
memory, summed up a certain middle-aged recluse, with heaps of money,
who, although he had two estates in the country, preferred to live in
two small rooms in St. James's Place, S.W., and to take his meals at

And how we boys (not to mention the little lasses in white frocks and
black mittens) used to overeat ourselves, on such occasions, with no
fear of pill, draught, or "staying in," before our eyes!

The writer has in his mind's eye a good specimen of such an
old-fashioned dinner, as served in the fifties. It was pretty much
the same feast every Christmas. We commenced with some sort of clear
soup, with meat in it. Then came a codfish, crimped--the head of that
household would have as soon thought of eating a _sôle au vin blanc_
as of putting before his family an uncrimped cod--with plenty of
liver, oyster sauce, and pickled walnuts; and at the other end of the
table was a dish of fried smelts. _Entrées?_ Had any of the diners
asked for an _entrée_, his or her _exit_ from the room would have been
a somewhat rapid one. A noble sirloin of Scotch beef faced a boiled
turkey anointed with celery sauce; and then appeared the blazing
pudding, and the mince-pies. For the next course, a dish of toasted
(or rather stewed) cheese, home-made and full of richness, was handed
round, with dry toast, the bearer of which was closely pursued by a
varlet carrying a huge double-handed vessel of hot spiced-ale, bobbing
or floating about in the which were roasted crab-apples and sippets of
toast; and it was _de rigueur_ for each of those who sat at meat to
extract a sippet, to eat with the cheese.

How the old retainer, grey and plethoric with service, loved us boys,
and how he would manoeuvre to obtain for us the tit-bits! A favoured
servitor was "Joseph"; and though my revered progenitor was ostensibly
the head of the house, he would, on occasion, "run a bad second"
to "Joseph." Memory is still keen of a certain chilly evening in
September, when the ladies had retired to the drawing-room, and the
male guests were invited to be seated at the small table which had
been wheeled close to the replenished fire.

"Joseph," said the dear old man, "bring us a bottle or two of the
yellow seal--_you_ know--Bin F."

The servitor drew near to his master, and in a stage whisper exclaimed:

"You can't afford it, sir!"

"What's that?" roared the indignant old man.

"You can't afford it, sir--Hawthornden's won th' Leger!"

"Good Gad!" A pause--and then, "Well, never mind, Joseph, we'll have
up the yellow seal, all the same."

One of the writer's last Christmas dinners was partaken of in a sweet
little house in Mayfair; and affords somewhat of a contrast with the
meal quoted above. We took our appetites away with a salad composed
of anchovies, capers, truffles, and other things, a Russian sardine
or two, and rolls and butter. Thence, we drifted into _Bouillabaisse_
(a tasty but bile-provoking broth), toyed with some _filets de sôle
à la Parisienne_ (good but greasy), and disposed of a _tournedos_,
with a nice fat oyster atop, apiece (_et parlez-moi d'ça!_). Then came
some dickey-birds _sur canapé_--alleged to be snipe, but destitute
of flavour, save that of the tin they had been spoiled in, and of
the "canopy." An alien cook can _not_ cook game, whatever choice
confections he may turn out--at least that is the experience of the
writer. We had _cressons_, of course, with the birds; though how
water-cress can possibly assimilate with the flesh of a snipe is
questionable. "Water-creases" are all very well at tea in the arbour,
but don't go smoothly with any sort of fowl; and to put such rank
stuff into a salad--as my hostess's cook did--is absolutely criminal.

To continue the Mayfair banquet, the salad was followed by a _soufflée
à la Noel_ (which reminded some of the more imaginative of our party
of the festive season), some cheese straws, and the customary ices,
coffee, and liqueurs. On the whole, not a bad meal; but what would old
Father Christmas have said thereto? What would my revered progenitor
have remarked, had he been allowed to revisit the glimpses of the
moon? He did not love our lively neighbours; and, upon the only
occasion on which he was inveigled across the Channel, took especial
care to recross it the very next day, lest, through circumstances
not under his own control, he might come to be "buried amongst these
d----d French!"

The following _menu_ may give some idea as to how


entertains its guests. Said _menu_, as will be seen, is comparatively
simple, and many of the dishes are French only in name:--

                       Consommé aux oeufs pochés
                         Bisque d'écrevisses
                        Turbot, sauce d'homard
                    Fillets de saumon à l'Indienne
                        Vol-au-vent Financière
                        Mauviettes sur le Nid
                   Selle de mouton de Galles rotie
                        Poulardes à l'Estragon
                        Bécassines sur croûte
                         Chouxfleur au gratin
                             Plum Pudding
                        Bavarois aux abricots
                           Glace à la Mocha

Truly a pattern dinner, this; and 'twould be sheer impertinence to
comment thereon, beyond remarking that English dishes should, in
common fairness, be called by English names.

Her Imperial Majesty the Tsaritza, on the night of her arrival at
Darmstadt, in October 1896, sat down, together with her august
husband, to the following simple meal:--

           Consommé de Volaille    Cronstades d'écrevisses
                    Filet de Turbot à la Joinville
                         Cimier de Chevreuil
           [A haunch of Roebuck is far to be desired above
                  the same quarter of the red deer].
                         Terrine de Perdreaux
                            Ponche Royale
                           Poularde de Metz
                          Choux de Bruxelles
                        Bavarois aux Abricots
                           Glaces Panachées

The partiality of crowned heads towards "Bavarois aux
Abricots"--"Bavarois" is simply Bavarian cheese, a superior sort of
_blanc mange_--is proverbial. And the above repast was served on
priceless Meissen china and silver. The only remarks I will make upon
the above _menu_ are that it is quite possible that the capon may have
come from Metz, though not very probable. French cooks name their
meat and poultry in the most reckless fashion. For instance, owing to
this reckless nomenclature the belief has grown that the best ducks
come from Rouen. Nothing of the sort. There are just as good ducks
raised at West Hartlepool as at Rouen. "Rouen" in the bill-of-fare is
simply a corruption of "roan"; and a "roan duck" is a quacker who
has assumed (through crossing) the reddish plumage of the wild bird.
As for (alleged) Surrey fowls, most of them come from Heathfield in
Sussex, whence £142,000 worth were sent in 1896.

Let us enquire into the composition of some of the high-sounding
_plats_, served up by the average _chef_.

_Bouillabaisse._--Of it Thackeray sang--

            "This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is--
               A sort of soup, or broth, or brew,
             Or hotch-potch of all sorts of fishes
               That Greenwich never could outdo:
             Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffron,
             Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace;
             All these you eat at Terré's tavern,
               In that one dish of Bouillabaisse."

Avoid eels and herrings in this concoction as too oily. Soles,
mullet, John Dory, whiting, flounders, perch, roach, and mussels
will blend well, and allow half a pound of fish for each person. For
every pound of fish put in the stewpan a pint of water, a quarter of
a pint of white wine, and a tablespoonful of salad oil. If there be
four partakers, add two sliced onions, two cloves, two bay-leaves,
two leeks (the white part only, chopped), four cloves of garlic, a
tablespoonful chopped parsley, a good squeeze of lemon juice, half
an ounce of chopped capsicums, a teaspoonful (or more _ad lib._) of
saffron, with pepper and salt. Mix the chopped fish in all this, and
boil for half an hour. Let the mixture "gallop" and strain into a
tureen with sippets, and the fish served separately.

_Tournedos._--No relation to tornado, and you won't find the word in
any Gallic dictionary. A _tournedos_ is a thin collop of beef, steeped
in a _marinade_ for twenty-four hours (personally I prefer it without
the aid of the marine) and fried lightly. Turn it but _once_. The
oyster atop is simply scalded. _Try this dish._

_Bisque._--In the seventeenth century this was made from pigeons by
the poor barbarians who knew not the gentle lobster, nor the confiding
crayfish. Heat up to boiling-point a Mirepoix of white wine. You don't
know what a


is? Simply a faggot of vegetables, named after a notorious cuckold
of noble birth in the time of Louis XV. Two carrots, two onions, two
shalots, two bay-leaves, a sprig of thyme and a clove of garlic.
Mince very small, with half a pound of fat bacon, half a pound of raw
ham, pepper and salt, and a little butter. Add a sufficiency of white
wine. In this mixture cook two dozen crayfish for twenty minutes,
continually tossing them about till red, when take them out to cool.
Shell them, all but the claws, which should be pounded in a mortar and
mixed with butter. The flesh of the tails is reserved to be put in the
soup at the last minute; the body-flesh goes back into the _mirepoix_,
to which two quarts of broth are now added. Add the pounded shells to
the soup, simmer for an hour and a half, strain, heat up, add a piece
of butter, the tails, a seasoning of cayenne, and a few _quenelles_
of whiting.

_Vol-au-vent Financière._--This always reminds me of the fearful
threat hurled by the waiter in the "Bab Ballads" at his flighty

            "Flirtez toujours, ma belle, si tu oses,
              Je me vengerai ainsi, ma chère:
            Je lui dirai d'quoi on compose
              Vol-au-vent à la Financière!"

     Make your crust--light as air, and flaky as snow, an you
     value your situation--and fill with button mushrooms, truffles,
     cock's-combs, _quenelles_ of chicken, and sweetbread, all
     chopped, seasoned, and moistened with a butter sauce. Brown
     gravy is objectionable. Garnish the _Vol_ with fried parsley,
     which goes well with most luxuries of this sort.

There are some words which occur frequently in French cookery which,
to the ordinary perfidious Briton, are cruelly misleading. For years
I was under the impression that _Brillat Savarin_ was a species of
filleted fish (brill) in a rich gravy, instead of a French magistrate,
who treated gastronomy poetically, and always ate his food too fast.
And only within the last decade have I discovered what a

                              _Pré Salé_

really means. Literally, it is "salt meadow, or marsh." It is said
that sheep fed on a salt marsh make excellent mutton; but is it not
about time for Britannia, the alleged pride of the ocean, and ruler of
its billows, to put her foot down and protest against a leg of "prime
Down"--but recently landed from the Antipodes--being described on the
card as a _Gigot de pré salé_?

The meals, like the ways, of the "Heathen Chinee" are peculiar. Some
of his food, to quote poor Corney Grain, is "absolutely beastly."

                           _Li Hung Chang_

was welcomed to Carlton House Terrace, London, with a dinner, in
twelve courses, the following being the principal items:--Roast duck,
roast pork and raspberry jam, followed by dressed cucumber. Shrimps
were devoured, armour and all, with leeks, gherkins, and mushrooms.
A couple of young chickens preserved in wine and vinegar, with green
peas, a _purée_ of pigeon's legs followed by an assortment of sour
jellies. The banquet concluded with sponge cakes and tea.

In his own land the

                     _Chinaman's Evening Repast_

is much more variegated than the above. It is almost as long as a
Chinese drama, and includes melon seeds, bitter almonds, bamboo
sprouts, jelly-fish, cucumber, roast duck, chicken stewed in spirit
dregs,[4] peas, prawns, sausages, scallions, fish-brawn, pork
chops, plum blossoms, oranges, bird's-nest soup, pigeons' eggs
in bean curd--the eggs being "postponed" ones--fungus, shrimps,
macerated fish-fins, ham in flour, ham in honey, turnip cakes, roast
sucking-pig, fish maws, roast mutton, wild ducks' feet, water
chestnuts, egg rolls, lily seeds, stewed mushrooms, dressed crab with
jam, chrysanthemum pasties, _bêche-de-mer_, and pigs' feet in honey.
Can it be wondered at that this nation should have been brought to its
knees by gallant little Japan?

                      _The Englishman in China_

has not a particularly good time of it, in the gastronomic way,
and H.M. forces in Hong Kong are largely dependent on Shanghai for
supplies. There is "plenty pig" all over the land; but the dairy-fed
pork of old England is preferable. And the way "this little pig goes
to market" savours so strongly of the most refined cruelty that a
branch of the R.S.P.C.A. would have the busiest of times of it over

Reverting to French cookery, here is an appetising dish, called a

                          _Bernardin Salmi_.

It should be prepared in the dining-room, before the eyes of the
guests; and Grimod de la Reyniere (to whom the recipe was given by
the prior of an abbey of Bernardin monks) recommends that the _salmi_
should be conveyed to the mouth with a fork, for fear of devouring
one's fingers, should they touch the sauce.

     Take three woodcocks, underdone, and cut them into neat
     portions. On a silver dish bruise the livers and trails,
     squeeze over them the juice of four (?) lemons, and grate over
     them a little of the thin rind. Add the portions of woodcock,
     seasoned with salt, and--according to the prior--mixed spices
     and two teaspoonfuls of French mustard; but the writer would
     substitute cayenne _seul_; over all half a wine-glass of
     sherry; and then put the dish over a spirit lamp. When the
     mixture is _nearly_ boiling, add a tablespoonful of salad oil,
     blow out the light, and stir well. _Four_ lemons are mentioned
     in this recipe, as at the time it was written lemons were very
     small when "cocks" were "in." _Two_ imported lemons (or limes)
     will amply suffice nowadays.

                        _A Salmi of Wild Duck_

can be made almost in the same way, but here the aid of that modern
instrument the _Duck-Squeezer_ is necessary.

     Cut the best of the meat in slices, off a lightly-roasted
     wild-duck, after brought to table; break up the carcase and
     place in a species of mill (silver) called a "duck-squeezer,"
     which possesses a spout through which the richness of the
     animal escapes, after being squeezed. Make a gravy of this
     liquor, in a silver dish (with a spirit lamp beneath), added to
     a small pat of butter, the juice of a lemon, a tablespoonful
     of Worcester sauce, with cayenne and salt to taste, and half
     a wine-glassful of port wine. Warm the meat through in this
     gravy, which must not boil.

Of course these two last-named dishes are only intended for
bachelor-parties. Lovely woman must not be kept waiting for
"duck-squeezers" or anything else.

                            _The Jesuits_

introduced the turkey into Europe, of which feat the Jesuits need
not boast too much; for to some minds there be many better edible
birds; and the "gobbler" requires, when roasted or boiled, plenty of
seasoning to make him palatable. The French stuff him in his roasted
state, with truffles, fat force-meat, or chestnuts, and invariably
"bard" the bird--"bard" is old English as well as old French--with
fat bacon. The French turkey is also frequently brazed, with an
abundant _mirepoix_ made with what their cooks call "Madére," but
which is really Marsala. It is only we English who boil the "gobbler,"
and stuff him (or her, for it is the hen who usually goes into the
pot) with oysters, or force-meat, with celery sauce. Probably the
best parts of the turkey are his legs, when grilled for breakfast,
and smothered with the sauce mentioned in one of the chapters on
"Breakfast"; and

                           _Pulled Turkey_

makes an agreeable luncheon-dish, or _entrée_ at dinner, the
breast-meat being pulled off the bone with a fork, and fricasseed,
surrounded in the dish by the grilled thighs and pinions.

Who introduced the turkey into America deponent sayeth not. Probably,
like Topsy, it "growed" there. Anyhow the bird is so familiar a
table-companion in the States, that Americans, when on tour in Europe,
fight very shy of him. "Tukkey, sah, cranberry sarce," used to be the
stereotyped reply of the black waiter when interrogated on the subject
of the bill of fare.

                           _Coloured Help_

is, however, gradually being ousted (together with sulphur matches)
from the big hotels in New York, where white waiting and white food
are coming into, or have come into, regular use. In fact, with
the occasional addition of one or other of such special dishes as
terrapin, soft-shell crab, clam chowder, and the everlasting pork and
beans, a dinner in New York differs very little at the time of writing
(1897) from one in London. The taste for

                            _Clam Chowder_

is an acquired one, nor will stewed tortoise ever rank with thick
turtle in British estimation, although 'tis not the same tortoise
which is used in London households to break the coals with. A

                         _Canvass-back Duck_,

if eaten in the land of his birth, is decidedly the most
delicately-flavoured of all the "Quack" family. His favourite food is
said to be wild celery, and his favoured haunts the neighbourhood of
Chesapeake Bay, from whose waters comes the much prized "diamond-back"
terrapin, which is sold at the rate of 50$ or 60$ the dozen. The
canvass-back duck, however, suffers in transportation; in fact, the
tendency of the ice-house aboard ship is to rob all food of its

But however good be the living in

                           _New York City_

--where the hotels are the best in the world, and whose _Mr.
Delmonico_ can give points to all sorts and conditions of food
caterers--it is "a bit rough" in the provinces. There is a story told
of a young actor, on tour, who "struck" a small town out West, and put
up at a small inn. In the course of time dinner was served, and the
landlord waited at table. The principal cover was removed, disclosing
a fine joint of coarsish, indifferently-cooked beef. Our young actor
was strangely moved at the sight.

"What?" he cried. "Beef again? This is horrible! I've seen no other
food for months, and I'm sick and tired of it. I can't eat beef."

Whereupon his host whipped out a huge "six-shooter" revolver, and
covering the recalcitrant beef-eater, coolly remarked:

"Guess you kin!"

But I don't believe that story, any more than I believe the anecdote
of the cowboys and the daylight let through the visitor who couldn't
eat beans.

                              CHAPTER IX

                         DINNER (_continued_)

                "The combat deepens. On ye brave,
                 The _cordon bleu_, and then the grave!
                 Wave, landlord! all thy _menus_ wave,
                     And charge with all thy devilry!"

     French soup--A regimental dinner--A city
     banquet--_Baksheesh_--Aboard ship--An ideal dinner--Cod's
     liver--Sleeping in the kitchen--A _fricandeau_--Regimental
     messes--Peter the Great--Napoleon the Great--Victoria--The Iron
     Duke--Mushrooms--A medical opinion--A North Pole banquet--Dogs
     as food--Plain unvarnished fare--The Kent Road cookery--More
     beans than bacon.

"What's in a name?" inquired the love-sick Juliet. "What?" echoes
the bad fairy "_Ala_." After all the fuss made by the French over
their soups, we might expect more variety than is given us. If it be
true that we English have only one sauce, it is equally true that
our lively neighbours have only one soup--and that one is a broth.
It is known to the frequenters of restaurants under at least eleven
different names _Brunoise_, _Jardinière_, _Printanier_, _Chiffonade_,
_Macédoine_, _Julienne_, _Faubonne_, _Paysanne_, _Flamande_,
_Mitonnage_, _Croûte au Pot_, and, as Sam Weller would say, "It's the
flavouring as does it." It is simply _bouillon_, plain broth, and weak
at that. The addition of a cabbage, or a leek, or a common or beggar's
crust, will change a _potage à la Jardinière_ into a _Croûte au Pot_,
and _vice versa_. Great is "_Ala_"; and five hundred per cent is her

The amount of money lavished by diners-about upon the productions
of the alien _chef_ would be ludicrous to consider, were not the
extravagance absolutely criminal. The writer has partaken of about
the most expensive dinner--English for the most part, with French
names to the dishes--that could be put on the table, the charge being
(including wines) one guinea per mouth. Another banquet, given by a
gay youth who had acquired a large sum through ruining somebody else
on the Stock Exchange--the meal positively reeking of _Ala_--was
charged for by the hotel manager at the rate of _sixteen pounds_
per head, also including wines. I was told afterwards, though I
am still sceptical as to the veracity of the statement, that the
flowers on the table at that banquet cost alone more than £75. And
only on the previous Sunday, our host's father--a just nobleman and
a God-fearing--had delivered a lecture, at a popular institution, on

Here follows the _menu_ of the above-mentioned guinea meal,

                        _A Regimental Dinner_,

held at a well-known city house.

           _Vins._         |             _Hors d'OEuvres._
                           |     Crevettes. Thon Mariné. Beurre.
                           |                  Radis.
                           |                _Potages._
  Madère.                  |         Tortue Claire et Liée.
                           |           Gras de Tortue Vert.
                           |           _Relevés de Tortue._
  Ponche Glacé.            |        Ailerons aux fines Herbes.
                           |        Côtelettes à la Périgueux.
                           |               _Poissons._
                           |            Souché de Saumon.
  Schloss Johannisberg.    |           Turbot au Vin Blanc.
                           |        Blanchaille Nature et Kari.
                           |                _Entrées._
  Amontillado.             |  Suprême de Ris de Veau à la Princesse.
                           |             Aspic de Homard.
  Champagne.               |                _Relevés._
    Piper Heidsieck, 1884. |         Venaison, Sauce Groseille.
    Boll et Cie., 1884.    |           York Ham au Champagne.
  Burgundy.                |          Poulardes à l'Estragon.
    Romanée, 1855.         |                   -----
                           |         Asperges. Haricots Verts.
                           |            Pommes Rissoliées.
                           |                  _Rôt._
  Port, 1851.              |             Canetons de Rouen.
                           |               _Entremets._
  Claret.                  | Ananas à la Créole. Patisserie Parisienne.
    Château Léoville.      |             Gelées Panachées.
                           |                  _Glace._
  Liqueurs.                |           Soufflés aux Fraises.
                           |              _Dessert, etc._

And some of the younger officers complained bitterly at having to pay
£1:1s. for the privilege of "larking" over such a course!

There are only three faults I can find in the above programme: (1)
Confusion to the man who expects the British Army to swallow green fat
in French. (2) Whitebait is far too delicately flavoured a fowl to
curry. (3) Too much eating and drinking.

                            _City Dinners_

are for the most part an infliction (or affliction) on the diner. With
more than fourscore sitting at meat, the miracle of the loaves and
fishes is repeated--with, frequently, the fish left out.

"I give you my word, dear old chappie," once exclaimed a gilded youth
who had been assisting at one of these functions, to the writer, "all
I could get hold of, during the struggle, was an orange and a cold

The great and powerful system of


of course, enters largely into these public entertainments; and the
man who omits to fee the waiter in advance, as a rule, "gets left."
Bookmakers and others who go racing are the greatest sinners in this
respect. A well-known magnate of the betting-ring (1896) invariably,
after arriving at an hotel, hunts up the _chef_, and sheds upon him a
"fiver," or a "tenner," according to the size of the house, and the
repute of its cookery. And that metallician and his party are not
likely to starve during their stay, whatever may be the fate of those
who omit to "remember" the Commissariat Department. I have seen the
same bookmaker carry, with his own hands, the remains of a great dish
of "Hot-pot" into the dining-room of his neighbours, who had been
ringing for a waiter, and clamouring for food for the best part of an
hour, without effect.

The same system prevails aboard ship; and the passenger who has not
propitiated the head steward at the commencement of the voyage will
not fare sumptuously. The steamship companies may deny this statement;
but 'tis true nevertheless.

                           _Dinner Afloat._

Here is an average dinner-card during a life on the ocean wave:

     Julienne soup, boiled salmon with shrimp sauce, roast
     beef and Yorkshire pudding, jugged hare, French beans _à la
     Maître d'Hôtel_, chicken curry, roast turkey with _purée_ of
     chestnuts, _fanchouettes_ (what are they?), sausage rolls,
     greengage tarts, plum-puddings, lemon-jellies, biscuits and
     cheese, fruit, coffee.

Plenty of variety here, though some epicures might resent the presence
of a sausage-roll (the common or railway-station bag of mystery)
on the dinner table. But since the carriage of live stock aboard
passenger ships has been abandoned, the living is not nearly as good;
for, as before observed, the tendency of the ice-house is to make all
flesh taste alike. Civilisation has, doubtless, done wonders for us;
but most people prefer mutton to have a flavour distinct from that of


                            _Ideal Dinner_

was partaken of in a little old-fashioned hostelry (at the west
end of London), whose name the concentrated efforts of all the wild
horses in the world would not extract. Familiarity breeds contempt,
and publicity oft kills that which is brought to light. Our host was a
wine-merchant in a large way of business.

"I can only promise you plain food, good sirs," he mentioned, in
advance--"no foreign kick-shaws; but everything done to a turn."

Six of us started with clear turtle, followed by a thick wedge out of
the middle of a patriarchal codfish, with plenty of liver. And here a
pause must be made. In not one cookery-book known to mankind can be
found a recipe for cooking the

                          _Liver of a Cod_.

Of course it should not be cooked _with_ the fish, but in a separate
vessel. The writer once went the rounds of the kitchens to obtain
information on this point.

"'Bout half-an-hour," said one cook, a "hard-bitten" looking

"_Ma foi!_ I cook not at all the liver of the cod," said an unshorn
son of Normandy. "He is for the _malade_ only."

After asking a number of questions, and a journey literally "round the
town," the deduction made from the various answers was that a piece of
liver enough for six people would take eighteen minutes, after being
placed in _boiling_ water.

To continue with our dinner. No sauce with the oysters, but these
simply scalded in their own liquor. Then came on a monster steak, an
inch thick, cut from the rump immediately before being placed on the
gridiron. And here a word on the grilling of a steak. We English place
it nearer the fire than do our lively neighbours, whose grills do not,
in consequence, present that firm surface which is the charm of an
English steak. The late Mr. Godfrey Turner of the _Daily Telegraph_
(who was almost as great an authority as Mr. Sala on gastronomies)
once observed to the writer, "Never turn your steak, or chop, more
than once." Though by no means a disciple of _Ala_, he was evidently
a believer in the French method of grilling, which leaves a sodden,
flabby surface on the meat. The French cook only turns a steak once;
but if he had his gridiron as close to the fire as his English rival,
the _chef_ would inevitably cremate his _morçeau d'boeuf_. I take
it that in grilling, as in roasting, the meat should, in the first
instance, almost touch the glowing embers.

We had nothing but horse-radish with our steak, which was succeeded by
golden plovers (about the best bird that flies) and marrow bones. And
a dig into a ripe Stilton concluded a banquet which we would not have
exchanged for the best efforts of Francatelli himself.

Yes--despite the efforts of the bad fairy _Ala_, the English method
of cooking good food--if deftly and properly employed--is a long way
the better method. Unfortunately, through the fault of the English
themselves, this method is but seldom employed deftly or properly.
And at a cheap English eating-house the kitchen is usually as dirty
and malodorous as at an inexpensive foreign restaurant. As both
invariably serve as sleeping apartments during the silent watches of
the night, this is, perhaps, not altogether to be wondered at.

But there is one _plât_ in the French cookery book which is not to be
sneered at, or even condemned with faint praise. A properly-dressed
_fricandeau_ is a dainty morsel indeed. In fact the word _fricand_
means, in English, "dainty." Here is the recipe of the celebrated
_Gouffé_ for the FRICANDEAU:

     Three pounds of veal fillet, trimmed, and larded with fat
     bacon. Put in the glazing stewpan the trimmings, two ounces
     of sliced carrot, two ditto onion, with pepper and salt. Lay
     the _fricandeau_ on the top; add half a pint of broth; boil
     the broth till it is reduced and becomes thick and yellow;
     add a pint and a half more broth, and simmer for an hour and
     a quarter--the stewpan half covered. Then close the stewpan
     and put live coals on the top. Baste the _fricandeau_ with the
     gravy--presumably after the removal of the dead coals--every
     four minutes till it is sufficiently glazed; then take it out
     and place on a dish. Strain the gravy, skim off the fat, and
     pour over the meat. It may be added that a spirit lamp beneath
     the dish is (or should be) _de rigueur_.

In their clubs, those (alleged) "gilded saloons of profligacy and
debauchery, favoured of the aristocracy," men, as a rule dine wisely,
and well, and, moreover, cheaply. The extravagant diner-out, with
his crude views on the eternal fitness of things, selects an hotel,
or restaurant, in the which, although the food may be of the worst
quality, and the cookery of the greasiest, the charges are certain to
be on the millionaire scale. For bad dinners, like bad lodgings, are
invariably the dearest.

                         _At the Mess-Table_

of the British officer there is not much riot or extravagance
nowadays, and the food is but indifferently well cooked; though there
was a time when the youngest cornet would turn up his nose at anything
commoner than a "special _cuvée_" of champagne, and would unite with
his fellows in the "bear-fight" which invariably concluded a "guest
night," and during which the messman, or one of his myrmidons, was
occasionally placed atop of the ante-room fire. And there was one
messman who even preferred that mode of treatment to being lectured by
his colonel. Said officer was starchy, punctilious, and long-winded,
and upon one occasion, when the chaplain to the garrison was his guest
at dinner, addressed the terrified servant somewhat after this wise:

"Mr. Messman--I have this evening bidden to our feast this eminent
divine, who prayeth daily that we may receive the fruits of the
earth in due season; to which I, an humble layman, am in the habit
of responding: 'We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.' Mr. Messman,
don't let me see those d----d figs on the table again."

At a military guest-night in India, a turkey and a "Europe" ham
are--or were--_de rigueur_ at table; and on the whole the warrior
fares well, if the _khansamah_ do not attempt luxuries. His chicken
cutlets are not despicable, and we can even forgive the repetition of
the _vilolif_ but his _bifisteakishtoo_ (stewed steak) is usually too
highly-spiced for the European palate. Later in the evening, however,
he will come out strong with _duvlebone_, and grilled sardines in
curlpapers. The presence of the bagpipes, in the mess-room of a
Highland regiment, when men have well drunk, is cruelly unkind--to
the Saxon guest at all events. The bagpipe is doubtless a melodious
instrument (to trained ears), but its melodies are apt to "hum i' th'
head o'er muckle ye ken," after a course of haggis washed down with
sparkling wines and old port.

"Tell me what a man eats," said Brillat Savarin, "and I'll tell you
what he is."

                          _Peter the Great_

did not like the presence of "listening lacqueys" in the dining-room.
Peter's favourite dinner was, like himself, peculiar: "A soup, with
four cabbages in it; gruel; pig, with sour cream for sauce; cold roast
meat with pickled cucumbers or salad; lemons and lamprey, salt meat,
ham, and Limburg cheese."

"Lemons and lamprey" must have had a roughish seat, atop of pig
and sour cream. I once tasted lampreys--only once. It was in
Worcestershire, and said lampreys were stewed (I fancy) in burgundy,
and served in a small tureen--_en casserole_, our lively neighbours
would have called the production, which was grateful, but much
embarrassed with richness.

                        _Napoleon the Great_,

whose tastes were simple, is said to have preferred a broiled breast
of mutton to any other dinner-dish. Napoleon III., however, encouraged
extravagance of living; and Zola tells us in _Le Débâcle_ that the
unfortunate emperor, ill as he was, used to sit down to so many
courses of rich foods every night until "the downfall" arrived at
Sédan, and that a train of cooks and scullions with (literally) a
"_batterie_" _de cuisine_, was attached to his staff.

                            _Her Majesty_

Queen Victoria's dinner-table is invariably graced with a cold sirloin
of beef, amongst other joints; and the same simple fare has satisfied
the aspirations and gratified the palate of full many a celebrity. The

                         _Duke of Wellington_

was partial to a well-made Irish stew; and nothing delighted Charles
Dickens more than a slice out of the breast of a hot roast-goose.

A word about the mushroom. Although said to be of enormous value in
sauces and ragouts, I shall always maintain that the mushroom is best
when eaten all by his quaint self. His flavour is so delicate that
'tis pitiful to mix him with fish, flesh, or fowl--more especially
the first-named. I have seen mushrooms and bacon cooked together,
and I have seen beef-steak (cut into small pieces) and bacon cooked
together, and it was with some difficulty that my Irish host got me
out of the kitchen. If ever I am hanged, it will be for killing a
cook. Above all never eat mushrooms which you have not seen in their
uncooked state. The mushroom, like the truffle, loses more flavour the
longer he is kept; and to "postpone" either is fatal.

"The plainer the meal the longer the life." Thus an eminent
physician--already mentioned in these pages. "We begin with soup, and
perhaps a glass of cold punch, to be followed by a piece of turbot,
or a slice of salmon with lobster sauce; and while the venison or
South-down is getting ready, we toy with a piece of sweetbread, and
mellow it with a bumper of Madeira. No sooner is the mutton or venison
disposed of, with its never-failing accompaniments of jelly and
vegetables, than we set the whole of it in a ferment with champagne,
and drown it with hock and sauterne. These are quickly followed by the
wing and breast of a partridge, or a bit of pheasant or wild duck;
and when the stomach is all on fire with excitement, we cool it for
an instant with a piece of iced pudding, and then immediately lash it
into a fury with undiluted alcohol in the form of cognac or a strong
liqueur; after which there comes a spoonful or so of jelly as an
emollient, a morsel of ripe Stilton as a digestant, a piquant salad
to whet the appetite for wine, and a glass of old port to persuade
the stomach, if it can, into quietness. All these are more leisurely
succeeded by dessert, with its baked meats, its fruits, and its strong
drinks, to be afterwards muddled with coffee, and complicated into a
rare mixture with tea, floating with the richest cream."

Hoity, toity! And not a word about a French _plât_, or even a curry,
either! But we must remember that this diatribe comes from a gentleman
who has laid down the theory that cold water is not only the cheapest
of beverages, but the best. Exception, too, may be taken to the
statement that a "piquant salad" whets the appetite for wine. I had
always imagined that a salad--and, indeed, anything with vinegar
in its composition--rather spoilt the human palate for wine than
otherwise. And what sort of "baked meats" are usually served with

                         _How the Poor Live._

An esteemed friend who has seen better days, sends word how to dine a
man, his wife, and three children for 7½d. He heads his letter

                       _The Kent Road Cookery_.

A stew is prepared with the following ingredients: 1 lb. bullock's
cheek (3½d.), ½ pint white beans (1d.), ½ pint lentils (1d.),
pot-herbs (1d.), 2 lb. potatoes (1d.)--Total 7½d.

When he has friends, the banquet is more expensive: 1 lb. bullock's
cheek (3½d.), ½ lb. cow-heel (2½d.), ½ lb. leg of beef (3d.), 1 pint
white beans (2d.), ½ pint lentils (1d.), pot-herbs (1d.), 5 lb.
potatoes (2d.)--total 1s. 3d.

As we never know what may happen, the above _menus_ may come in useful.

                      _Doctor Nansen's Banquet_

on the ice-floe, to celebrate his failure to discover the Pole, was
simple enough, at all events. But it would hardly commend itself to
the _fin de siècle_ "Johnny." There was raw gull in it, by way of
a full-flavoured combination of _poisson_ and _entrée_; there was
meat chocolate in it, and peli--I should say, pemmican. There were
pancakes, made of oatmeal and dog's blood, fried in seal's blubber.
And I rather fancy the _relevé_ was _Chien au nature_. For in his most
interesting work, _Across Greenland_, Doctor Nansen has inserted the
statement that the man who turns his nose up at raw dog for dinner is
unfit for an Arctic expedition. For my own poor part, I would take my
chance with a Porterhouse steak, cut from a Polar bear.

                            _Prison Fare._

Another simple meal. Any visitor to one of H.M. penitentiaries may
have noticed in the cells a statement to the effect that "beans
and bacon" may be substituted for meat, for the convicts' dinners,
on certain days. "Beans and bacon" sounds rural, if not absolutely
bucolic. "Fancy giving such good food to the wretches!" once exclaimed
a lady visitor. But those who have sampled the said "beans and bacon"
say that it is hardly to be preferred to the six ounces of Australian
dingo or the coarse suet-duff (plumless) which furnish the ordinary
prison dinner. For the tablespoonful of pappy beans with which the
captive staves off starvation are of the _genus_ "haricot"; and the
parallelogram of salted hog's-flesh which accompanies the beans does
not exceed, in size, the ordinary railway ticket.

                              CHAPTER X


                        "Herbs and other country messes,
                Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses."

     Use and abuse of the potato--Its eccentricities--Its
     origin--Hawkins, not Raleigh, introduced it into
     England--With or without the "jacket"?--Don't let it be
     _à-la_-ed--Benevolence and large-heartedness of the cabbage
     family--Peas on earth--Pythagoras on the bean--"Giving him
     beans"--"Haricot" a misnomer--"Borston" beans--Frijoles--The
     carrot--Crécy soup--The Prince of Wales--The Black Prince and
     the King of Bohemia.

Item, the POTATO, earth-apple, murphy, or spud; the most useful, as
well as the most exasperating gift of a bountiful Providence. Those
inclined to obesity may skip the greater part of this chapter. You can
employ a potato for almost anything. It comes in very handy for the
manufacture of starch, sugar, Irish stew, Scotch whisky, and Colorado
beetles. Cut it in half, and with one half you restore an old master,
and with the other drive the cat from the back garden. More deadly
battles have been waged over the proper way to cook a potato, than
over a parish boundary, or an Irish eviction. Strong-headed men hurl
the spud high in air, and receive and fracture it on their frontal
bones; whilst a juggler like Paul Cinquevalli can do what he likes
with it. Worn inside the pocket, it is an infallible cure for chronic
rheumatism, fits, and tubercular meningitis. Worn inside the body it
will convert a living skeleton into a Daniel Lambert. Plant potatoes
in a game district, and if they come up you will find that after
the haulms have withered you can capture all your rich neighbour's
pheasants, and half the partridges in the country. A nicely-baked
potato, deftly placed beneath the root of his tail, will make the
worst "jibber" in the world travel; whilst, when combined with
buttermilk, and a modicum of meal, the earth-apple has been known to
nourish millions of the rising generation, and to give them sufficient
strength and courage to owe their back rents, and accuracy of aim for
exterminating the brutal owner of the soil.

The waiter, bless ye! the harmless, flat-footed waiter, doesn't know
all this. Potatoes to him are simply 2d. or 3d. in the little account,
according to whether they be "biled, mash, or soty"; and if questioned
as to the natural history of the floury tuber, he would probably
assume an air of injured innocence, and assure you that during his
reign of "thirty-five year, man and boy," that establishment had
"never 'ad no complaints."

The potato is most eccentric in disposition, and its cultivator should
know by heart the beautiful ode of Horace which commences

    _Aequam memento rebus in arduis_ . . .

The experiences of the writer as a potato grower have been somewhat
mixed, and occasionally like the following:--Set your snowflakes in
deeply-trenched, heavily-manured ground, a foot apart. In due time
you will get a really fine crop of groundsel, charlock, and slugs,
with enough bind-weed to strangle the sea-serpent. Clear all this
rubbish off, and after a week or two the eye will be gladdened with
the sight of the delicate green leaf of the tuber peeping through
the soil. Slow music. Enter the Earl of Frost. No; they will not
_all_ be cut off. You will get _one_ tuber. Peel it carefully, and
place it in the pig-stye--the peeling spoils the quality of the pork.
Throw the peeling away--on the bed in which you have sown annuals for
choice--and in the late Spring you will have a row of potatoes which
will do you credit.

But this is frivolous. The origin of the potato is doubtful; but
that it was used by the ancients, in warfare, is tolerably certain.
Long before the Spaniards reached the New World it was cultivated
largely by the Incas; and it was the Spaniards who brought the tuber
to Europe, in the beginning of the sixteenth century. It was brought
to England from Virginia by Sir John Hawkins in 1563; and again in
1586 by Sir Francis Drake, to whom, as the introducer of the potato,
a statue was erected at Offenburg, in Baden, in 1853. In schools and
other haunts of ignorance, the credit for the introduction of the
tuber used to be and is (I believe) still given to Sir Walter Raleigh,
who has been wrongly accredited with as many "good things" as have
been Theodore Hook or Sidney Smith. And I may mention _en parenthèse_,
that I don't entirely believe that cloak story. For many years the
tuber was known in England as the "Batata"--overhaul your _Lorna
Doone_--and in France, until the close of the eighteenth century, the
earth apple was looked upon with suspicion, as the cause of leprosy
and assorted fevers; just as the tomato, at the close of the more
civilised nineteenth century, is said by the vulgar and swine-headed
to breed cancer.

Now then, With or without the jacket? And the reader who imagines
that I am going to answer the question has too much imagination. As
the old butler in Wilkie Collins's _The Moonstone_ observes, there is
much to be said on both sides. Personally I lean to the "no-jacket"
side, unless the tuber be baked; and I would make it penal to serve
a potato in any other way than boiled, steamed, or baked.[5] The bad
fairy _Ala_ should have no hand in its manipulation; and there be
few æsthetic eaters who would not prefer the old-fashioned "ball of
flour" to slices of the sodden article swimming in a bath of grease
and parsley, and called a _Sauté_. The horrible concoction yclept
"preserved potatoes," which used to be served out aboard sailing
vessels, after the passengers had eaten all the real articles, and
which tasted like bad pease-pudding dressed with furniture polish, is,
happily, deceased. And the best potatoes, the same breed which our
fathers and our forefathers munched in the Covent Garden "Cave of
Harmony," grow, I am credibly informed, in Jermyn Street. Moreover if
you wish to spoil a dish of good spuds, there is no surer way than by
leaving on the dish-cover. So much for boiling 'em--or steaming 'em.

The CABBAGE is a fine, friendly fellow, who makes himself at home,
and generally useful, in the garden; whilst his great heart swells,
and swells, in the full knowledge that he is doing his level best
to please all. Though cut down in the springtime of his youth, his
benevolence is so great that he will sprout again from his headless
trunk, if required, and given time for reflection. The Romans
introduced him into Great Britain, but there was a sort of cow-cabbage
in the island before that time which our blue forefathers used to
devour with their bacon, and steaks, in a raw state.

"The most evolved and final variety of the cabbage," writes a
_savant_, "is the CAULIFLOWER, in which the vegetative surplus becomes
poured into the flowering head, of which the flowering is more or less
checked; the inflorescence becoming a dense corymb instead of an open
panicle, and the majority of the flowers aborting"--the head gardener
usually tells you all this in the Scottish language--"so as to become
incapable of producing seed. Let a specially vegetative cabbage
repeat the excessive development of its leaf parenchyma, and we have
the wrinkled and blistered SAVOY, of which the hardy constitution,
but comparative coarseness, become also more intelligible; again a
specially vegetative cauliflower gives us an easily grown and hardy
winter variety, BROCCOLI"--_Broccilo_ in Costerese--"from which, and
not from the ordinary cauliflower, a sprouting variety arises in turn."

In Jersey the cabbage-stalks are dried, varnished, and used as spars
for thatched roofs, as also for the correction of the youthful
population. Cook all varieties of the cabbage in water already at the
boil, with a little salt and soda in it. The French sprinkle cheese on
a cauliflower, to make it more tasty, and it then becomes

                        _Choufleur aû Gratin_.

     Remove the green leaves, and _underboil_ your cauliflower.
     Pour over it some butter sauce in which have been mixed two
     ounces of grated cheese--half Gruyère and half Parmesan. Powder
     with bread crumbs, or raspings, and with more grated cheese.
     Lastly, pour over it a teaspoonful of oiled butter. Place in
     a hot oven and bake till the surface is a golden brown, which
     should be in from ten to fifteen minutes. Serve in same dish.

Vegetarians should be particularly careful to soak every description
of cabbage in salt and water before cooking. Otherwise the vegetarians
will probably eat a considerable portion of animal food.

Here occurs an opportunity for the recipe for an elegant dish, which
the French call _Perdrix aux Choux_, which is simply

                _Partridge Stewed with Cabbage, etc._

     A brace of birds browned in the stewpan with butter or
     good dripping, and a portion of a hand of pickled pork in small
     pieces, some chopped onion and a clove or two. Add some broth,
     two carrots (chopped), a bay-leaf, and a chopped sausage or
     two. Then add a Savoy cabbage, cut into quarters, and seasoned
     with pepper and salt. Let all simmer together for an hour and a
     half. Then drain the cabbage, and place it, squashed down, on a
     dish. Arrange the birds in the middle, surround them with the
     pieces of pork and sausage, and pour over all the liquor from
     the stew.

This is an excellent dish, and savours more of Teutonic than of French
cooking. But you mustn't tell a Frenchman this, if he be bigger than

The toothsome PEA has been cultivated in the East from time
immemorial, though the ancient Greeks and Romans do not appear to
have had knowledge of such a dainty. Had Vitellius known the virtues
of duck and green peas he would probably have not been so wrapt up in
his favourite dormice, stuffed with poppy-seed and stewed in honey.
The ancient Egyptians knew all about the little pulse, and not one
of the leaders of society was mummified without a pod or two being
placed amongst his wrappings. And after thousand of years said peas,
when sown, have been known to germinate. The mummy pea-plant, however,
but seldom bears fruit. Our idiotic ancestors, the ancient Britons,
knew nothing about peas, nor do any of their descendants appear to
have troubled about the vegetable before the reign of the Virgin
Queen. Then they were imported from Holland, together with schnapps,
curaçoa, and other things, and no "swagger" banquet was held without a
dish of "fresh-shelled 'uns," which were accounted "fit dainties for
ladies, they came so far and cost so dear." In England up-to-date peas
are frequently accompanied by pigeon pie at table; the dove family
being especially partial to the little pulse, either when attached
to the haulm, in the garden, or in a dried state. So that the crafty
husbandman, who possesses a shot gun, frequently gathereth both pea
and pigeon. A chalky soil is especially favourable to pea cultivation;
and deal sawdust sprinkled well over the rows immediately after the
setting of the seed will frustrate the knavish tricks of the field
mouse, who also likes peas. The man who discovered the affinity
between mint and this vegetable ought to have received a gold medal,
and I would gladly attend the execution of the caitiff who invented
the tinned peas which we get at the foreign restaurants, at three
times the price of the English article.

Here is a good simple recipe for PEA SOUP, made from the dried article:

     Soak a quart of split peas in rain-water for twelve hours.
     Put them in the pot with one carrot, one onion, one leek, a
     sprig or two of parsley (all chopped), one pound of streaky
     bacon, and three quarts of the liquor in which either beef,
     mutton, pork, or poultry may have been boiled. Boil for nearly
     three hours, remove the bacon, and strain the soup through a
     tammy. Heat up, and serve with dried mint, and small cubes of
     fat bacon fried crisp.

GREEN-PEA SOUP is made in precisely the same way; but the peas will
not need soaking beforehand, and thrifty housewives put in the shells
as well.

Harmless and nutritious a vegetable as the BEAN would appear to be, it
did not altogether find favour with the ancients. Pythagoras, who had
quaint ideas on the subject of the human soul, forbade his disciples
to eat beans, because they were generated in the foul ooze out of
which man was created. Lucian, who had a vivid imagination, describes
a philosopher in Hades who was particularly hard on the bean, to eat
which he declared was as great a crime as to eat one's father's head.
And yet Lucian was accounted a man of common sense in his time. The
Romans only ate beans at funerals, being under the idea that the
souls of the dead abode in the vegetable. According to tradition,
the "caller herrin'" hawked in the streets of Edinburgh were once
known as "lives o' men," from the risks run by the fishermen. And the
Romans introduced the bean into England by way of cheering up our
blue forefathers. In the Roman festival of Lemuralia, the father of
the family was accustomed to throw black beans over his head, whilst
repeating an incantation. This ceremony probably inspired Lucian's
philosopher--for whom, however, every allowance should be made, when
we come to consider his place of residence--with his jaundiced views
of the _Faba vulgaris_. Curiously enough, amongst the vulgar folk, at
the present day, there would seem to be some sort of prejudice against
the vegetable; or why should "I'll give him beans" be a synonymous
threat with "I'll do him all the mischief I can?"

There is plenty of nourishment in a bean; that is the opinion of the
entire medical faculty. And whilst beans and bacon make a favourite
summer repast for the farm-labourer and his family, the dish is also
(at the commencement of the bean season) to be met with at the tables
of the wealthy. The aroma of the flower of the broad bean was once
compared, in one of John Leech's studies in _Punch_, to "the most
delicious 'air oil," but, apart from this fragrance, there is but
little sentiment about the _Faba vulgaris_. A much more graceful
vegetable is the _Phaseolus vulgaris_, the kidney, or, as the idiotic
French call it, the _haricot_ bean. It is just as sensible to call
a leg of Welsh mutton a _pré salé_, or salt meadow. No well-behaved
hashed venison introduces himself to our notice unless accompanied by
a dish of kidney beans. And few people in Europe besides Frenchmen and
convicts eat the dried seeds of this form of bean, which is frequently
sown in suburban gardens to form a fence to keep out cats. But the
suburban cat knows a trick worth a dozen of that one; and no bean that
was ever born will arrest his progress, or turn him from his evil
ways. It is criminal to smother the kidney bean with melted butter at
table. A little oil, vinegar, and pepper agree with him much better.

In the great continent of America, the kidney-bean seed, dried,
is freely partaken of. Pork and "Borston" beans, in fact, form
the national dish, and right good it is. But do not attempt any
violent exercise after eating the same. The Mexicans are the largest
bean-eaters in the world. They fry the vegetables in oil or stew
them with peppers and onions, and these _frijoles_ form the principal
sustenance of the lower orders. An English "bean feast" (Vulg.
_beano_) is a feast at which no beans, and not many other things, are
eaten. The intelligent foreigner may take it that _beano_ simply means
the worship of Bacchus.

With the exception of the onion there is no more useful aid to
cookery of all sorts than the lowly carrot, which was introduced
into England--no, not by the Romans--from Holland, in the sixteenth
century. And the ladies who attended the court of Charles I. were in
the habit of wearing carrot leaves in the hair, and on their court
robes, instead of feathers. A similar fashion might be revived at the
present epoch, with advantage to the banking account of vile man.

As the Flemish gardeners brought over the roots, we should not despise
carrots cooked in the FLEMISH way. Simmer some young carrots in
butter, with pepper and salt. Add cream (or milk and yolk of eggs), a
pinch of sugar, and a little chopped parsley.

H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, according to report, invariably eats
carrot soup on the 26th of August. The French call it "CRÉCY" soup,
because their best carrots grow there; and Crécy it may be remembered
was also the scene of a great battle, when one Englishman proved
better than five Frenchmen. In this battle the Black Prince performed
prodigies of valour, afterwards assuming the crest of the late
Bohemian King--three ostrich feathers (surely these should be carrot
tops?) with the motto "_Ich Dien_."

                            _Crécy Soup._

     Place a mirepoix of white wine in the pot, and put a
     quantity of sliced carrots atop. Moisten with broth, and keep
     simmering till the carrots are done. Then pour into a mortar,
     pound, and pass through a tammy. Thin it with more broth,
     sweeten in the proportion of one tablespoonful of sugar to two
     gallons of soup; heat up, pop a little butter in at the finish,
     and in serving it add either small cubes of fried bread, or
     rice boiled as for curry (see page 145).

                              CHAPTER XI

                       VEGETABLES (_continued_)

                "Earth's simple fruits; we all enjoy them.
                 Then why with sauces rich alloy them?"

     The brief lives of the best--A vegetable with a
     pedigree--Argenteuil--The Elysian Fields--The tomato the
     emblem of love--"Neeps"--Spinach--"Stomach-brush"--The
     savoury tear-provoker--Invaluable for wasp-stings--Celery
     merely cultivated "smallage"--The "_Apium_"--The parsnip--O
     Jerusalem!--The golden sunflower--How to get pheasants--A
     vegetarian banquet--"Swelling wisibly."

It is one of the most exasperating laws and ordinations of Nature
that the nicest things shall last the shortest time. "Whom the gods
love die young," is an ancient proverb; and the produce of the garden
which is most agreeable to man invariably gives out too soon. Look at
peas. Every gardener of worth puts in the seed so that you may get the
different rows of marrow-fats and telephones and _ne plus ultras_ in
"succession"; and up they all come, at one and the same time, whilst,
if you fail to pick them all at once, the combined efforts of mildew
and the sun will soon save you the labour of picking them at all.
Look at strawberries; and why can't they stay in our midst all the
year round, like the various members of the cabbage family?

Then look at ASPARAGUS. The gardener who could persuade the heads of
this department to pop up in succession, from January to December
would earn more money than the Prime Minister. The favourite vegetable
of the ancient Romans was introduced by them, with their accustomed
unselfishness, into Britain, where it has since flourished--more
particularly in the alluvial soil of the Thames valley in the
neighbourhood of Mortlake and Richmond, ground which is also
especially favourable to the growth of celery. In an ancient work
called _De Re Rustica_, Cato the Elder, who was born 234 B.C., has
much to say--far more, indeed, than I can translate without the aid of
a dictionary or "crib"--about the virtues and proper cultivation of
asparagus; and Pliny, another noble Roman, devotes several chapters of
his _Natural History_ (published at the commencement of the Christian
era) to the same subject. "Of all the productions of your garden" says
this Mr. Pliny, "your chief care will be your asparagus." And the
cheerful and sanguine householder of to-day who sows his asparagus,
and expects to get it "while he waits" has ample consolation for
disappointment in the reflection that his labours will benefit
posterity, if not the next tenant.

The foreigners can beat us for size, in the matter of asparagus; but
ours is a long way in front for flavour. In France the vegetable is
very largely grown at Argenteuil on the Seine, a district which has
also produced, and still produces, a wine which is almost as dangerous
to man as hydrocyanic acid, and which was invariably served in the
restaurants, after the sitting had been a lengthy one, no matter what
special brand might have been ordered. English hosts play the same
game with their "military" ports and inferior sherries. The Argenteuil
asparagus is now grown between the vines--at least 1000 acres are in
cultivation--hence the peculiar flavour which, however grateful it
may be to Frenchmen, is somewhat sickly and not to be compared with
that of the "little gentleman in Green," nearly the whole of whom we
English can consume with safety to digestion.

According to Greek mythology, asparagus grew in the Elysian fields;
but whether the blessed took oil and vinegar with it, or the
"bill-sticker's paste," so favoured in middle-class kitchens of
to-day, there is no record. It goes best, however, with a plain salad
dressing--a "spot" of mustard worked into a tablespoonful of oil, and
a dessert-spoonful of tarragon vinegar, with pepper and salt _ad lib_.

Asparagus is no longer known in the British pharmacopoeia, but the
French make large medicinal use of its root, which is supposed
to still the action of the heart, like foxglove, and to act as a
preventive of calculi. In cooking the vegetable, tie in small bundles,
which should be stood on end in the saucepan, so that the delicate
heads should be _steamed_, and not touched by the boiling water. Many
cooks will contest this point; which, however, does not admit of

There was once a discussion in a well-known hostelry, as to whether the


was a fruit or a vegetable. Eventually the head-waiter was invited to
solve the great question. He did so on the spot.

"Tumarter, sir? Tumarter's a hextra."

And as a "hextra" it has never since that period ceased to be
regarded. A native of South America, the plant was introduced into
Europe by the Spaniards, late in the sixteenth century, and the
English got it in 1596. Still until a quarter of a century ago the
tomato has not been largely cultivated, save by the market gardener;
in fact in private gardens it was conspicuous by its absence. Those
who eat it do _not_ invariably succumb to cancer; and the dyspeptic
should always keep it on the premises. As the tomato is also known as
the "love-apple," a great point was missed by our old friend Sergeant
Buzfuz, in the celebrated Bardell v. Pickwick trial, when referring to
the postscript, "chops, and tomato sauce." Possibly Charles Dickens
was not an authority on veget---- I beg pardon, "hextras."

Here is a French recipe for

                         _Tomate au Gratin_:

     Cut open the tops and scoop out the pulp. Pass it through
     a sieve, to clear away the pips, and mix with it either a
     modicum of butter, or oil, some chopped shalot and garlic, with
     pepper and salt. Simmer the mixture for a quarter of an hour,
     then stir in some bread-crumbs, previously soaked in broth, and
     some yolks of egg. When cold, fill the tomato skins with the
     mixture, shake some fine bread raspings over each, and bake in
     quick oven for ten or twelve minutes.



is not, as might be sometimes imagined, entirely composed of
compressed deal splinters, but is a vegetable which was cultivated in
India long before the Britons got it. The Scotch call turnips "neeps";
but the Scotch will do anything. Probably no member of the vegetable
family is so great a favourite with the insect pests sent on earth by
an all-wise Providence to prevent mankind having too much to eat. But
see that you get a few turnips to cook when there is roast duck for


was introduced into Spain by the Arabs, and as neither nation
possessed at that time, at all events, the attribute of
extra-cleanliness, they must have eaten a great deal of "matter in
the wrong place," otherwise known as dirt. For if ever there was a
vegetable the preparation of which for table would justify any cook in
giving notice to leave, it is spinach.

The Germans have nick-named it "stomach-brush," and there is no plant
growing which conduces more to the health of man. But there has been
more trouble over the proper way to serve it at table than over
Armenia. The French chop up their _épinards_ and mix butter, or gravy,
with the mess. Many English, on the other hand, prefer the leaves
cooked whole. It is all a matter of taste.

But I seem to scent a soft, sweet fragrance in the air, a homely and
health-giving reek, which warns me that I have too long neglected to
touch upon the many virtues of the


Indigenous to India in the form of


(or _gar-leek_, the original onion), the Egyptians got hold of the
tear-provoker and cultivated it 2000 years before the Christian era.
So that few of the mortals of whom we have ever read can have been
ignorant of the uses of the onion, or _gar-leek_. But knowledge and
practice have enabled modern gardeners to produce larger bulbs than
even the most imaginative of the ancients can have dreamt of. To
mention all the uses to which the onion is put in the kitchen would be
to write a book too weighty for any known motive power to convey to
the British Museum; but it may be briefly observed of the juice of the
_Cepa_ that it is invaluable for almost any purpose, from flavouring a
dish fit to set before a king, to the alleviation of the inflammation
caused by the poison-bearing needle which the restless wasp keeps for
use within his, or her, tail. In fact, the inhabited portion of the
globe had better be without noses than without onions.

Like the tomato, CELERY is a "hextra"--and a very important one.
If you buy the heads at half-a-crown per hundred and sell them at
threepence a portion, it will not exercise your calculating powers to
discover the profits which can be made out of this simple root. Celery
is simply cultivated "smallage"; a weed which has existed in Britain
since the age of ice. It was the Italians who made the discovery that
educated smallage would become celery; and it is worthy of note that
their forefathers, the conquerors of the world, with the Greeks, seem
to have known "no touch of it"--as a relish, at all events; though
some writers will have it that the "Apium," with which the victors at
the Isthmian and other games were crowned was not parsley but the leaf
of the celery plant. But what does it matter? Celery is invaluable as
a flavourer, and when properly cultivated, and not stringy, a most
delightful and satisfactory substance to bite. In fact a pretty woman
never shows to more advantage than when nibbling a crisp, "short" head
of celery--provided she possess pretty teeth.

With boiled turkey, or ditto pheasant, celery sauce is _de rigueur_;
and it should be flavoured slightly with slices of onion, an ounce of
butter being allowed to every head of celery. The French are fond of
it stewed; and as long as the flavour of the gravy, or _jus_, does not
disguise the flavour of the celery, it is excellent when thus treated.
Its merits in a salad will be touched upon in another chapter.

The PARSNIP is a native of England, where it is chiefly used to make
an inferior kind of spirit, or a dreadful brand of wine. Otherwise few
people would trouble to cultivate the parsnip; for we can't be having
boiled pork or salt fish for dinner every day. The VEGETABLE MARROW
is a member of the pumpkin family and is a comparatively tasteless
occupant of the garden, its appearance in which heralds the departure
of summer. In the suburbs, if you want to annoy the people next door,
you cannot do better than put in a marrow plant or two. If they come
to anything, and get plenty of water, they will crawl all over your
neighbour's premises; and unless he is fond of the breed, and cuts
and cooks them, they make him mad. The frugal housewife, blessed
with a large family, makes jam of the surplus marrows; but I prefer
a conserve of apricot, gooseberry, or greengage. Another purpose to
which to put this vegetable is--

     Scoop out the seeds, after cutting it in half, lengthways.
     Fill the space with minced veal (cooked), small cubes of
     bacon, and plenty of seasoning--some people add the yoke of an
     egg--put on the other half marrow, and bake for half-an-hour.

This BAKED MARROW is a cheap and homely dish which, like many another
savoury dish, seldom finds its way to the rich man's dining-room.

The ARTICHOKE is a species of thistle; and the man who pays the usual
high-toned restaurant prices for the pleasure of eating such insipid
food, is an--never mind what. Boil the thing in salt and water, and
dip the ends of the leaves in oil and vinegar, or Holland sauce,
before eating. Then you will enjoy the really fine flavour of the--oil
and vinegar, or Holland sauce.

The so-called JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE is really a species of sunflower.
Its tuber is not a universal favourite, though it possesses far from a
coarse flavour. The plant has nothing whatever to do with Jerusalem,
and never had. Put a tuber or two into your garden, and you will
have Jerusalem artichokes as long as you live on those premises.
For the vegetable will stay with you as long as the gout, or the
rate-gatherer. Pheasants are particularly partial to this sort of crop.

By far the best vegetable production of the gorgeous East is the


'Tis oval in shape, and about the size of a hen's egg, the surface
being purple in colour. It is usually cut in twain and done "on the
grating"; I have met something very like the _brinjal_ in Covent
Garden; but can find no record of the vegetable's pedigree in any book.

Although there are still many vegetarian restaurants in our large
towns, the prejudice against animal food is, happily, dying out; and
if ridicule could kill, we should not hear much more of the "cranks"
who with delightful inconsistency, would spurn a collop of beef, and
gorge themselves on milk, in every shape and form. If milk, butter,
and cheese be not animal food I should like to know what is? And
it is as reasonable to ask a man to sustain life on dried peas and
mushrooms as to feed a tiger on cabbages.

Once, and only once, has the writer attempted a

                        _Vegetarian Banquet_.

It was savoury enough; and possessed the additional merit of being
cheap. Decidedly "filling at the price" was that meal. We--I had a
messmate--commenced with (alleged) Scotch broth--which consisted
principally of dried peas, pearl barley, and oatmeal--and a large
slice of really excellent brown bread was served, to each, with this
broth. Thereupon followed a savoury stew of onions and tomatoes,
relieved by a "savoury pie," apparently made from potatoes, leeks,
bread crumbs, butter, and "postponed" mushrooms. We had "gone
straight" up to now, but both shied a bit at the maccaroni and grated
cheese. We had two bottles of ginger beer apiece, with this dinner,
which cost less than three shillings for the two, after the dapper
little waitress had been feed. On leaving, we both agreed to visit
that cleanly and well-ordered little house again, if only from motives
of economy; but within half an hour that programme was changed.

Like the old lady at the tea-drinking, I commenced to "swell wisibly";
and so did my companion.

"Mon alive!" he gasped. "I feel just for all the wor-rld like a
captive balloon, or a puffy-dunter--that's a puffing whale, ye ken.
I'll veesit yon onion-hoose nae mair i' ma life!"

And I think it cost us something like half a sovereign in old brandy
to neutralise the effects of that vegetarian banquet.

                             CHAPTER XII


                "Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
                 That I will speak to thee."

     Different modes of manufacture--The "native" fraud--"That
     man's family"--The French _kari_--A Parsee curry--"The oyster
     in the sauce"--Ingredients--Malay curry--Locusts--When to
     serve--What to curry--Prawn curry--Dry curry, a champion
     recipe--Rice--The Bombay duck.

The poor Indian grinds his coriander seeds, green ginger, and other
ingredients between two large flat stones; taking a whiff at the
family "hubble-bubble" pipe at intervals. The frugal British housewife
purchases (alleged) curry powder in the warehouse of Italy--where it
may have lived on, like Claudian, "through the centuries"--stirs a
spoonful or two into the hashed mutton, surrounds it with a wall of
clammy rice, and calls it BENARES CURRY, made from the recipe of a
very dear uncle who met his death while tiger-shooting. And you will
be in the minority if you do not cut this savoury meat with a knife,
and eat potatoes, and very often cabbage, with it. The far-seeing
eating-house keeper corrals a _Lascar_ or a discharged _Mehtar_ into
the firm, gives him his board, a pound a month, and a clean _puggaree_
and _Kummerbund_ daily, and "stars" him in the bill as an "Indian
_chef_, fresh from the Chowringhee Club, Calcutta." And it is part of
the duties of this Oriental--supposed by the unwary to be at least a
prince in his native land--to hand the portions of curry, which he
may or may not have concocted, to the appreciative guests, who enjoy
the repast all the more from having the scent of the Hooghly brought
across the footlights. I was once sadly and solemnly reproved by the
head waiter of a very "swagger" establishment indeed for sending away,
after one little taste, the (alleged) curry which had been handed me
by an exile from Ind, in snow-white raiment.

"You really ought to have eaten that, sir," said the waiter, "for that
man's family have been celebrated curry-makers for generations."

I smole a broad smile. In the Land of the Moguls the very babies who
roll in the dust know the secret of curry-making. But that "that man"
had had any hand in the horrible concoction placed before me I still
resolutely decline to believe. And how can a man be cook and waiter at
the same time? The "native curry-maker," depend on it, is more or less
of a fraud; and his aid is only invoked as an excuse for overcharging.

At the Oriental Club are served, or used to be served, really
excellent curries, assorted; for as there be more ways than one of
killing a cat, so are there more curries than one. The French turn
out a horrible mixture, with parsley and mushrooms in it, which they
call _kari_; it is called by a still worse name on the Boulevards, and
the children of our lively neighbours are frequently threatened with
it by their nurses.

On the whole, the East Indian method is the best; and the most
philanthropic curry I ever tasted was one which my own _Khitmughar_
had just prepared, with infinite pains, for his own consumption. The
poor heathen had prospected a feast, as it was one of his numerous
"big days"; so, despising the homely _dhal_, on the which, with a
plate of rice and a modicum of rancid butter, he was wont to sustain
existence, he had manufactured a savoury mess of pottage, the looks
of which gratified me. So, at the risk of starting another Mutiny, it
was ordained that the slave should serve the refection at the table of
the "protector of the poor." And a _pukkha_ curry it was, too. Another
dish of native manufacture with which the writer became acquainted was

                           _Parsee Curry_.

The eminent firm of Jehangeer on one occasion presented a petition to
the commanding-officer that they might be allowed to supply a special
curry to the mess one guest-night. The request was probably made as an
inducement to some of the young officers to pay a little on account
of their "owings" to the firm; but it is to be feared that no special
vote of thanks followed the sampling of that special curry. It was
a curry! I tasted it for a week (as the Frenchman did the soup of
Swindon); and the Parsee _chef_ must have upset the entire contents
of the spice-box into it. I never felt more like murder than when the
hotel cook in Manchester put nutmeg in the oyster sauce; but after
that curry, the strangling of the entire firm of Jehangeer would, in
our cantonments, at all events, have been brought in "justifiable

"Oyster sauce" recalls a quaint _simile_ I once heard a bookmaker make
use of. He was talking of one of his aristocratic debtors, whom he
described as sure to pay up, if you could only get hold of him. "But
mark you," continued the layer of odds, "he's just about as easy to
get hold of as _the oyster in the sauce_, at one of our moonicipal
banquets!" But return we to our coriander seeds. There is absolutely
no reason why the frugal housewife in this country should not make her
own curry powder from day to day, as it may be required. Here is an
average Indian recipe; but it must be remembered that in the gorgeous
East tastes vary as much as elsewhere, and that Bengal, Bombay, Madras
(including Burmah), Ceylon, and the Straits Settlements, have all
different methods of preparing a curry.

     A few coriander and cumin seeds--according to taste--eight
     peppercorns, a small piece of turmeric, and one dried chili,
     all pounded together.

     When making the curry _mixture_, take a piece of the heart
     of a cabbage, the size of a hen's egg; chop it fine and add
     one sour apple in thin slices the size of a Keswick codlin,
     the juice of a medium-sized lemon, a salt-spoonful of black
     pepper, and a tablespoonful of the above curry powder. Mix
     all well together; then take six medium-sized onions which
     have been chopped small and fried a delicate brown, a clove of
     garlic, also chopped small, two ounces of fresh butter, two
     ounces of flour, and one pint of beef gravy. Boil up this lot
     (which commences with the onions), and _when boiling_ stir in
     the rest of the mixture. Let it all simmer down, and then add
     the solid part of the curry, _i.e._ the meat, cut in portions
     not larger than two inches square.

Remember, O frugal housewife, that the turmeric portion of the
entertainment should be added with a niggard hand. "Too much turmeric"
is the fault which is found with most curries made in England. I
remember, when a boy, that there was an idea rooted in my mind that
curries were made with Doctor Gregory's Powder, an unsavoury drug with
which we were periodically regaled by the head nurse; and there was
always a fierce conflict at the dinner-table when the bill-of-fare
included this (as we supposed) physic-al terror. But it was simply the
taste of turmeric to which we took exception.

What is TURMERIC? A plant in cultivation all over India, whose tubers
yield a deep yellow powder of a resinous nature. This resinous powder
is sold in lumps, and is largely used for adulterating mustard; just
as inferior anchovy sauce is principally composed of Armenian Bole,
the deep red powder with which the actor makes up his countenance.
Turmeric is also used medicinally in Hindustan, but not this side of
Suez, although in chemistry it affords an infallible test for the
presence of alkalies. The CORIANDER has become naturalised in parts of
England, but is more used on the Continent. Our confectioners put the
seeds in cakes and buns, also comfits, and in Germany, Norway, Sweden,
and (I fancy) Russia, they figure in household bread. In the south of
England, coriander and caraway seeds are sown side by side, and crops
of each are obtained in alternate years. The coriander seed, too, is
largely used with that of the caraway and the cumin, for making the
liqueur known as KÜMMEL.

CUMIN is mentioned in Scripture as something particularly nice. The
seeds are sweet-savoured, something like those of the caraway, but
more potent. In Germany they put them into bread, and the Dutch use
them to flavour their cheeses. The seeds we get in England come
principally from Sicily and Malta.

And now that my readers know all about the ingredients of
curry-powder--it is assumed that no analysis of the chili, the
ginger-root, or the peppercorn, is needed--let them emulate the pupils
of Mr. Wackford Squeers, and "go and do it."

ANOTHER RECIPE for curry-powder includes fenugreek, cardamoms,
allspice, and cloves; but I verily believe that this was the powder
used in that abominable Parsee hell-broth, above alluded to, so it
should be cautiously approached, if at all. "Fenugreek" sounds evil;
and I should say a curry compounded of the above ingredients would
taste like a "Number One" pick-me-up. Yet another recipe (DOCTOR
KITCHENER'S) specifies six ounces of coriander seed, five ounces of
turmeric (_ower muckle, I'm of opeenion_) two ounces each of black
pepper and mustard seed (_ochone!_), half an ounce of cumin seed,
half an ounce of cinnamon (_donner und blitzen!_), and one ounce of
lesser cardamoms. All these things are to be placed in a cool oven,
kept therein one night, and pounded in a marble mortar next morning,
preparatory to being rubbed through a sieve. "Kitchener" sounds like
a good cooking name; but, with all due respect, I am not going to
recommend his curry-powder.

A MALAY CURRY is made with blanched almonds, which should be fried in
butter till lightly browned. Then pound them to a paste with a sliced
onion and some thin lemon-rind. Curry powder and gravy are added,
and a small quantity of cream. The Malays curry all sorts of fish,
flesh, and fowl, including the young shoots of the bamboo--and nice
tender, succulent morsels they are. At a hotel overlooking the harbour
of Point de Galle, Ceylon, "run," at the time of the writer's visit,
by a most convivial and enterprising Yankee, a canning concocter
of all sorts of "slings" and "cocktails," there used to be quite
a plethora of curries in the bill-of-fare. But for a prawn curry
there is no place like the City of Palaces. And the reason for this
super-excellence is that the prawns--but that story had, perhaps, best
remain untold.

CURRIED LOCUSTS formed one of the most eccentric dishes ever
tasted by the writer. There had come upon us that day a plague of
these all-devouring insects. A few billions called on us, in our
kitchen gardens, in passing; and whilst they ate up every green
thing--including the newly-painted wheelbarrow, and the regimental
standard, which had been incautiously left out of doors--our faithful
blacks managed to capture several _impis_ of the marauding scuts,
in revenge; and the mess-cook made a right savoury _plât_ of their

It is criminal to serve curry during the _entrée_ period of dinner.
And it is worse form still to hand it round after gooseberry tart and
cream, and trifle, as I have seen done at one great house. In the land
of its birth, the spicy pottage invariably precedes the sweets. Nubbee
Bux marches solemnly round with the mixture, in a deep dish, and is
succeeded by Ram Lal with the rice. And in the Madras Presidency,
where _dry_ curry is served as well as the other brand, there is a
procession of three brown attendants. Highly-seasoned dishes at the
commencement of a long meal are a mistake; and this is one of the
reasons why I prefer the middle cut of a plain-boiled Tay salmon, or
the tit-bit of a lordly turbot, or a flake or two of a Grimsby cod, to
a _sole Normande_, or a red mullet stewed with garlic, mushrooms, and
inferior claret. I have even met _homard à l'Américaine_, during the
fish course, at the special request of a well-known Duke. The soup,
too, eaten at a large dinner should be as plain as possible; the edge
being fairly taken off the appetite by such concoctions as _bisque_,
_bouillabaisse_, and _mulligatawny_--all savoury and tasty dishes,
but each a meal in itself. Then I maintain that to curry whitebait is
wrong; partly because curry should on no account be served before
roast and boiled, and partly because the flavour of the whitebait
is too delicate for the fish to be clad in spices and onions.
The lesson which all dinner-givers ought to have learnt from the
Ancient Romans--the first people on record who went in for æsthetic
cookery--is that highly-seasoned and well-peppered dishes should
figure at the end, and not the commencement of a banquet. Here follows
a list of some of the productions of Nature which it is allowable to

                           _What to Curry._


     LOBSTER. CRAYFISH. PRAWNS,--but _not_ the so-called
     "DUBLIN PRAWN," which is delicious when eaten plain boiled, but
     no good in a curry.



     EGGS. CHICKEN. RABBIT (the "bunny" lends itself better
     than anything else to this method of cooking). PEASE. KIDNEY

A mistaken notion has prevailed for some time amongst men and women
who write books, that the Indian curry mixture is almost red-hot to
the taste. As a matter of fact it is of a far milder nature than
many I have tasted "on this side." Also the Anglo-Indian does not
sustain life entirely on food flavoured with turmeric and garlic.
In fact, during a stay of seven years in the gorgeous East, the
writer's experience was that not one in ten touched curry at the
dinner table. At second breakfast--otherwise known as "tiffin"--it was
a favoured dish; but the stuff prepared for the meal of the day--or
the bulk thereof--usually went to gratify the voracious appetite of
the "_mehters_," the Hindus who swept out the mess-rooms, and whose
lowness of "caste" allowed them to eat "anything." An eccentric meal
was the _mehter's_ dinner. Into the empty preserved-meat tin which
he brought round to the back door I have seen emptied such assorted
_pabulum_ as mock turtle soup, lobster salad, plum pudding and
custard, curry, and (of course), the surplus _vilolif_; and in a few
seconds he was squatting on his heels, and spading into the mixture
with both hands.

In the Bengal Presidency cocoa-nut is freely used with a curry
dressing; and as some men have as great a horror of this addition, as
of oil in a salad, it is as well to consult the tastes of your guests

A PRAWN CURRY I have seen made in Calcutta as follows, the proportions
of spices, etc., being specially written down by a _munshi_:--

     Pound and mix one tablespoonful of coriander seed, one
     tablespoonful of poppy seed, a salt-spoonful of turmeric, half
     a salt-spoonful of cumin seed, a pinch of ground cinnamon,
     a ditto of ground nutmeg, a small lump of ginger, and one
     salt-spoonful of salt. Mix this with butter, add two sliced
     onions, and fry till lightly browned. Add the prawns, shelled,
     and pour in the milk of a cocoa-nut. Simmer for twenty minutes,
     and add some lime juice.

But the champion of curries ever sampled by the writer was a dry
curry--a decided improvement on those usually served in the Madras
Presidency--and the recipe (which has been already published in the
_Sporting Times_ and _Lady's Pictorial_), only came into the writer's
possession some years after he had quitted the land of temples.

                             _Dry Curry._

          1 lb. of meat (mutton, fowl, or white fish).
          1 lb. of onions.
          1 clove of garlic.
          2 ounces of butter.
          1 dessert-spoonful of curry powder.
          1 dessert-spoonful of curry paste.
          1 dessert-spoonful of chutnee (or tamarind preserve,
          according to taste).

     A very little cassareep, which is a condiment (only
     obtainable at a few London shops) made from the juice of the
     bitter cassava, or manioc root. Cassareep is the basis of that
     favourite West Indian dish "Pepper-pot."

          Salt to taste.
          A good squeeze of lemon juice.

     First brown the onions in the butter, and then dry them.
     Add the garlic, which must be mashed to a pulp with the blade
     of a knife. Then mix the powder, paste, chutnee, and cassareep
     into a thin paste with the lemon juice. Mash the dried onions
     into this, and let all cook gently till thoroughly mixed. Then
     add the meat, cut into small cubes, and let all simmer very
     gently for three hours. This sounds a long time, but it must
     be remembered that the recipe is for a _dry_ curry; and when
     served there should be no liquid about it.

'Tis a troublesome dish to prepare; but, judging from the flattering
communications received by the writer, the lieges would seem to
like it. And the mixture had better be cooked in a _double_ or
porridge-saucepan, to prevent any "catching."

Already, in one of the breakfast chapters, has the subject of the
preparation of rice, to be served with curry, been touched upon; but
there will be no harm done in giving the directions again.

                           _Rice for Curry_

     Soak a sufficiency of rice in cold water until by repeated
     strainings all the dirt is separated from it. Then put the
     rice into _boiling_ water, and let it "gallop" for nine or ten
     minutes--_no longer_. Strain the water off through a colander,
     and dash a little _cold_ water over the rice to separate the
     grains. Put in a hot dish, and serve immediately.

A simple enough recipe, surely? So let us hear no more complaints of
stodgy, clammy, "puddingy" rice. Most of the cookery books give far
more elaborate directions, but the above is the method usually pursued
by the poor brown heathen himself.

Soyer's recipe resembles the above; but, after draining the water from
the cooked rice, it is replaced in the saucepan, the interior of which
has in the interim been anointed with butter. The saucepan is then
placed either near the fire (not on it), or in a slow oven, for the
rice to swell.

Another way:

     After washing the rice, throw it into plenty of boiling
     water--in the proportion of six pints of water to one pound
     of rice. Boil it for five minutes, and skim it; then add
     a wine-glassful of milk for every half pound of rice, and
     continue boiling for five minutes longer. Strain the water off
     through a colander, and put it dry into the pot, on the corner
     of the stove, pouring over the rice a small piece of butter,
     which has been melted in a tablespoonful of the hot milk and
     water in which the rice was boiled. Add salt, and stir the rice
     for five minutes more.

The decayed denizen of the ocean, dried to the consistency of biscuit,
and known in Hindustan as a BOMBAY DUCK, which is frequently eaten
with curry, "over yonder," does not find much favour, this side of
Port Said, although I have met the fowl in certain city restaurants.
The addition is not looked upon with any particular favour by the

"I have yet to learn" once observed that great and good man, the late
Doctor Joseph Pope,[7] to the writer, in a discussion on "postponed"
game, "that it is a good thing to put corruption into the human

                             CHAPTER XIII


                "O green and glorious, O herbaceous meat!
                 'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat.
                 Back to the world he'd turn his weary soul,
                 And dip his fingers in the salad bowl!"

     Nebuchadnezzar _v._ Sydney Smith--Salt?--No
     salad-bowl--French origin--Apocryphal story of
     Francatelli--Salads _and_ salads--Water-cress and dirty
     water--Salad-maker born not made--Lobster salad--Lettuce,
     Wipe or wash?--Mayonnaise--Potato salad--Tomato ditto--Celery
     ditto--A memorable ditto.

If Sydney Smith had only possessed the experience of old King
Nebuchadnezzar, after he had been "turned out to grass," the witty
prebend might not have waxed quite so enthusiastic on the subject of
"herbaceous meat." Still the subject is a vast and important one, in
its connection with gastronomy, and lends itself to poetry far easier
than doth the little sucking pig, upon whom Charles Lamb expended so
great and unnecessary a wealth of language.

But look at the terse, perfunctory, and far from satisfactory manner
in which the _Encyclopædia_ attacks the subject. "Salad," we read,
"is the term given to a preparation of raw herbs for food. It derives
its name from the fact that salt is one of the chief ingredients
used in dressing a salad." This statement is not only misleading but
startling; for in the "dressing" of a salad it would be the act of a
lunatic to make salt the "chief ingredient."

Long before they had learnt the art of dressing the herbs, our
ancestors partook of cresses (assorted), celery, and lettuces, after
being soaked in water for a considerable period; and they dipped the
raw herbs into salt before consuming them. In fact, in many a cheap
eating-house of to-day, the term "salad" means plain lettuce, or
cress, or possibly both, absolutely undressed--in a state of nature,
_plus_ plenty of dirty water. Even the English cook of the end of the
nineteenth century cannot rid himself, or herself, of the idea that
lettuce, like water-cress, knows the running brook, or the peaceful
pond, as its natural element. And thirty years before the end of that
century, a salad bowl was absolutely unknown in nine-tenths of the
eating-houses of Great Britain.

There is no use in blinking the fact that it is to our lively
neighbours that we owe the introduction of the salad proper. Often
as the writer has been compelled, in these pages, to inveigh against
the torturing of good fish and flesh by the alien cook, and the
high prices charged for its endowment with an alien flavour, let
that writer (figuratively) place a crown of endive, tipped with
baby onions, upon the brows of the philanthropist who dressed the
first salad, and gave the recipe to the world. That recipe has, of
course, been improved upon; and although the _savant_ who writes in
the _Encyclopædia_ proclaims that "salad has always been a favourite
food with civilised nations, and has varied very little in its
composition," the accuracy of both statements is open to question.

"Every art," observes another writer, "has its monstrosities;
gastronomy has not been behind-hand; and though he must be a bold man
who will venture to blaspheme the elegancies of French cookery, there
comes a time to every Englishman who may have wandered into a mistaken
admiration of sophisticated messes, when he longs for the simple diet
of his native land, and vows that the best cookery in the world, and
that which satisfies the most refined epicureanism, sets up for its
ideal--plainness of good food, and the cultivation of natural tastes."

And yet the French have taught us, or tried to teach us, how to
prepare a dish of raw herbs, in the simplest way in the world!

"Now a salad," says the same writer, "is simplicity itself, and here
is a marvel--it is the crowning grace of a French dinner, while, on
the other hand, it is little understood and villainously treated
at English tables." Ahem! I would qualify that last statement. At
_some_ English tables I have tasted salads compared with which the
happiest effort of the _chef_ deserves not to be mentioned in the same
garlic-laden breath. And "garlic-laden breath" naturally reminds me
of the story of Francatelli--of which anecdote I do not believe one
word, by the way. It was said of Franc., whilst _chef_ at the Reform
Club, that his salads were such masterpieces, such things of beauty,
that one of the members questioned him on the subject.

"How do you manage to introduce such a delicious flavour into your

"Ah! that should be my secret," was the reply. "But I will tell him
to you. After I have made all my preparations, and the green food is
mixed with the dressing, I chew a little clove of garlic between my
teeth--so--and then breathe gently over the whole."

But, as observed before, I do not believe that garlic story.

O salad, what monstrosities are perpetrated in thy name! Let the
genteel boarding-house cook-maid, the young lady who has studied
harmony and the higher mathematics at the Board School, spread herself
over the subject; and then invite the angels to inspect the matter,
and weep! For this is the sort of "harmony" which the "paying guest,"
who can appreciate the advantages of young and musical society, an
airy front bed-chamber, and a bicycle room, is expected to enthuse
over at the _table d'hôte_: a _mélange_ of herbs and roots, including
water-cress and giant radishes, swimming in equal parts of vinegar and
oil, and a large proportion of the water in which the ingredients have
been soaking for hours--said ingredients being minced small, like veal
collops, with a steel knife. And the same salad, the very identical
horror, obtrudes itself on the table at other genteel establishments
than boarding-houses. For they be "mostly fools" who people the
civilised world.

Let it be laid down as a golden rule, that the concoction of a salad
should never, or hardly ever, be entrusted to the tender mercies of
the British serving-maid. For the salad-maker, like the poet, is
born, not made; and the divine _afflatus_--I don't mean garlic--is as
essential in the one as in the other. We will take the simple mixture,
what is commonly known as the

                           _French Salad_,

first. This is either composed, in the matter of herbs, of lettuce,
chopped taragon, chervil, and chives; or of endive, with, "lurking in
the bowl," a _chapon_, or crust of bread on which a clove of garlic
has been rubbed. But the waiter, an he be discreet, will ask the
customer beforehand if he prefer that the _chapon_ be omitted. The
dressing is simplicity itself:

     Within the bowl of a table-spoon are placed, in
     succession, a spot of made mustard, and a sprinkling of black
     pepper and salt. The bowl is filled up with vinegar, and with
     a fork in the other hand the waiter stirs quickly the mustard,
     etc., afterwards emptying the contents of the spoon over the
     green-stuff. Then the spoon is refilled--either twice or
     thrice, _ad lib._--with Lucca oil, which is also poured over
     the salad. Then the final mixing takes place, in the salad bowl.

But there be many and elaborate ways of salad-making. Here is the
writer's idea of a

                           _Lobster Salad_

for half-a-dozen guests:

     In a soup plate, mix the yolks of two hard-boiled
     eggs--boiled for thirty minutes, and afterwards thrown into
     cold water--into a smooth paste with a teaspoonful of made
     mustard, and a tablespoonful of plain vinegar, added drop by
     drop. Keep on stirring, and add a dessert-spoonful of tarragon
     vinegar, a few drops of essence of anchovies, a teaspoonful
     (_not heaped_) of salt, about the same quantity of sifted
     sugar, and a good pinch of cayenne. [The tendency of black
     pepper is to make a salad gritty, which is an abomination.]
     Lastly, add, drop by drop, three tablespoonfuls of oil. Pour
     this dressing (which should be in a continual state of stir)
     into your salad bowl. Add the pickings of a hen lobster cut
     into dice, and atop of the lobster, lettuces which have been
     shred with clean fingers, or with ivory forks; a little endive
     may be added, with a slice or two of beetroot; but no onion (or
     very little) in a lobster salad. A few shreds of anchovy may
     be placed atop; with beetroot cut into shapes, the whites of
     the eggs, and the coral of the lobster, for the sake of effect;
     but seek not, O student, to achieve prettiness of effect to
     the detriment of practical utility. I need hardly add that the
     sooner after its manufacture a salad is eaten, the better will
     be its flavour. And the solid ingredients should only be mixed
     with the dressing at the very last moment; otherwise a sodden,
     flabby effect will be produced, which is neither pleasing to
     the eye, nor calculated to promote good digestion.

I am perfectly aware that the above is not a strict _Mayonnaise_
dressing, in which the egg yolks should be raw, instead of cooked.
But, like the Scotsman, I have "tried baith," and prefer my own way,
which more resembles the _sauce Tartare_, than the _Mayonnaise_
of our lively neighbours, who, by the way, merely wipe, instead
of wash, their lettuces and endive, to preserve, as they say, the
flavour. Of course this is a matter of taste, but the writer must
own to a preference for the baptised article, which must, however,
on no account be left to soak, but be simply freed from dirt, grit,
and--other things.

What is the origin of the word "MAYONNAISE"? No two Frenchmen will
give you the same answer. "Of or belonging to Mayonne" would seem
to be the meaning of the word; but then there is no such place as
Mayonne in the whole of France. Grimod de la Reyniere maintained
that the proper word was "BAYONNAISE," meaning a native of Bayonne,
on the Spanish frontier. Afterwards Grimod, who was a resourceful
man, got hold of another idea, and said that the word was probably
"MAHONNAISE," and so named in honour of Marshal Richelieu's capture
of the stronghold of Mahon, in the island of Minorca. But what had
this victory got to do with a salad dressing? What was the connection
of raw eggs and tarragon vinegar with Marshal Richelieu? Then up
came another cook, in the person of Carême, who established it as
an absolute certainty that the genuine word was "MAGNONNAISE," from
the word "_manier_," to manipulate. But as nobody would stand this
definition for long, a fresh search had to be made; and this time
an old Provençal verb was dug up--_mahonner_, or more correctly
_maghonner_, to worry or fatigue. And this is now said by purists to
be the source of _Mayonnaise_--"something worried," or fatigued. And
the reason for the gender of the noun is said to be that in ancient
times lovely woman was accustomed to manipulate the salad with her own
fair fingers. In the time of Rousseau, the phrase _retourner la salade
avec les doigts_ was used to describe a woman as being still young and
beautiful; just as in Yorkshire at the present time, "she canna mak'
a bit o' bread" is used to describe a woman who is of no possible use
in the house. So a _Mayonnaise_ or a _Mahonnaise_--I care not which
be the correct spelling--was a young lady who "fatigued" the salad.
More shame to the gallants of the day, who allowed "fatigue" to be
associated with youth and beauty!

But can it possibly matter what the word means, when the mixture
is smooth and savoury; and so deftly blended that no one flavour
predominates? And herein lies the secret of every mixture used for
the refreshment of the inner man and woman; whether it be a soup, a
curry, a trifle, a punch, or a cup--no one ingredient should be of
more weight or importance than another. And that was the secret of
the "delicious gravy" furnished by the celebrated stew at the "Jolly
Farmers," in _The Old Curiosity Shop_ of Charles Dickens.

MAYONNAISE (we will drop for the nonce, the other spelling) is made

     In the proportions of two egg yolks to half a pint of
     Lucca oil, and a small wine-glassful of tarragon vinegar.
     Work the yolks smooth in a basin, with a seasoning of pepper
     (cayenne for choice), salt, and--according to the writer's
     views--sifted sugar. Then a few drops of oil, and fewer of
     vinegar; stirring the mixture all the time, from right to
     left, with a wooden, or ivory, spoon. In good truth 'tis a
     "fatiguing" task; and as in very hot weather the sauce is
     liable to decompose, or "curdle," before the finishing touches
     are put to it, it may be made over ice.

                "Stir, sisters, stir,
                    Stir with care!"

is the motto for the _Mayonnaise_-mixer. And in many cases her only
reward consists in the knowledge that through her art and patience she
has helped to make the sojourn of others in this vale of tears less
tearful and monotonous.

"Onion atoms" should "lurk within the bowl," on nearly every occasion,
and as for a potato salad--don't be afraid, I'm not going to quote any
more Sydney Smith, so don't get loading your guns--well, here is the
proper way to make it.

                           _Potato Salad._

     Cut nine or ten average-sized kidney potatoes (cooked)
     into slices, half an inch thick, put them in a salad bowl, and
     pour over them, after mixing, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar,
     one tablespoonful of tarragon vinegar, six tablespoonfuls
     of oil, one of minced parsley, a dessert-spoonful of onions
     chopped very fine, with cayenne and salt to taste. Shredded
     anchovies may be added, although it is preferable without;
     and this salad should be made a couple of hours or so before
     partaken of.

The German recipe for a potato salad is too nasty to quote; and their
HERRING SALAD, although said to be a valuable restorative of nerve
power, by no means presents an attractive appearance, when served at
table. Far more to the mind and palate of the average epicure is a

                           _Tomato Salad_.

This is the author's recipe:

     Four large tomatoes and one Spanish onion, cut into thin
     slices. Mix a spot of mustard, a little white pepper and
     salt, with vinegar, in a table-spoon, pour it over the love
     apples, etc., and then add two tablespoonfuls of oil. Mix well,
     and then sprinkle over the mixture a few drops of Lea and
     Perrins's Worcester Sauce. For the fair sex, the last part of
     the programme may be omitted, but on no account leave out the
     breath of sunny Spain. And mark this well. The man, or woman,
     who mixes tomatoes with lettuces, or endives, in the bowl, is
     hereby sentenced to translate the whole of this book into Court

                           _Celery Salad._

     An excellent winter salad is made with beetroot and
     celery, cut in thin slices, and served--with or without
     onions--either with a mayonnaise sauce, or with a plain cream
     sauce: to every tablespoonful of cream add a teaspoonful of
     tarragon vinegar, a little sugar, and a suspicion of cayenne.
     This salad looks best served in alternate slices of beet and
     celery, on a flat silver dish, around the sauce.

                      _A Gentleman Salad Maker._

Although in the metropolis it is still customary, in middle-class
households, to hire "outside help" on the occasion of a dinner-party,
we have not heard for some time of a salad-dresser who makes
house-to-house visitations in the exercise of his profession. But,
at the end of the 18th century, the Chevalier d'Allignac, who had
escaped from Paris to London in the evil days of the Revolution, made
a fortune in this way. He was paid at the rate of £5 a salad, and
naturally, soon started his own carriage, "in order that he might
pass quickly from house to house, during the dining hours of the
aristocracy." High as the fee may appear to be, it is impossible to
measure the width of the gulf which lies between the salad as made by
a lover of the art, and the kitchen-wench; and a perfect salad is,
like a perfect curry, "far above rubies."

                         _A Memorable Salad_

was once served in my own mansion. The _chef_, who understood these
matters well, when her hair was free from vine leaves, had been
celebrating her birthday or some other festival; and had mixed the
dressing with Colza oil. Her funeral was largely attended.

                             CHAPTER XIV

                        SALADS AND CONDIMENTS

                                "Epicurean cooks
                Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite."

     Roman salad--Italian ditto--Various other salads--Sauce
     for cold mutton--Chutnine--Raw chutnee--Horse-radish
     sauce--Christopher North's sauce--How to serve a
     mackerel--_Sauce Tartare_--Ditto for sucking pig--Delights of
     making _Sambal_--A new language.

It has, I hope, been made sufficiently clear that neither water-cress
nor radishes should figure in a dressed salad; from the which I
would also exclude such "small deer" as mustard and cress. There is,
however, no black mark against the narrow-leaved CORN SALAD plant,
or "lamb's lettuce"; and its great advantage is that it can be grown
almost anywhere during the winter months, when lettuces have to be
"coddled," and thereby robbed of most of their flavour.

     Instead of yolk of egg, in a dressing, cheese may be
     used, with good results, either cream cheese--_not_ the poor
     stuff made on straws, but what are known as "napkin," or "New
     Forest" cheeses--or Cheddar. Squash it well up with oil and
     vinegar, and do not use too much. A piece of cheese the size of
     an average lump of sugar will be ample, and will lend a most
     agreeable flavour to the mixture.

                            _Roman Salad_

Lucullus and Co.--or rather their cooks--had much to learn in the
preparation of the "herbaceous meat" which delighted Sydney Smith. The
Romans cultivated endive; this was washed free from "matter in the
wrong place," chopped small--absolutely fatal to the taste--anointed
with oil and _liquamen_, topped up with chopped onions, and further
ornamented with honey and vinegar. But before finding fault with the
conquerors of the world for mixing honey with a salad, it should
be remembered that they knew not "fine Demerara," nor "best lump,"
nor even the beet sugar which can be made at home. Still I should
not set a Roman salad before my creditors, if I wanted them to have
"patience." An offer of the very smallest dividend would be preferable.

                           _Italian Salad._

The merry Italian has improved considerably upon the herbaceous treat
(I rather prefer "treat" to "meat") of his ancestors; though he is far
too fond of mixing flesh-meat of all sorts with his dressed herbs, and
his boiled vegetables. Two cold potatoes and half a medium sized beet
sliced, mixed with boiled celery and Brussels sprouts, form a common
salad in the sunny South; the dressing being usually oil and vinegar,
occasionally oil _seule_, and sometimes a _Tartare_ sauce. Stoned
olives are usually placed atop of the mess, which includes fragments
of chicken, or veal and ham.

                           _Russian Salad._

This is a difficult task to build up; for a sort of Cleopatra's
Needle, or pyramid, of cooked vegetables, herbs, pickles, etc., has to
be erected on a flat dish. Carrots, turnips, green peas, asparagus,
French beans, beetroot, capers, pickled cucumbers, and horse-radish,
form the solid matter of which the pyramid is built.

     Lay a _stratum_ on the dish, and anoint the _stratum_ with
     _Tartare_ sauce. Each layer must be similarly anointed, and
     must be of less circumference than the one underneath, till the
     top layer consists of one caper. Garnish with bombs of caviare,
     sliced lemon, crayfish, olives, and salted cucumber; and then
     give the salad to the policeman on fixed-point duty. At least,
     if you take my advice.

                           _Anchovy Salad._

This is usually eaten at the commencement of dinner, as a _hors

     Some shreds of anchovy should be arranged "criss-cross"
     in a flat glass dish. Surround it with small heaps of chopped
     truffles, yolk and white of hard-boiled eggs, capers, and a
     stoned olive or two. Mix all the ingredients together with a
     little Chili vinegar, and twice the quantity of oil.

The mixture is said to be invaluable as an appetiser; but the modest
oyster on the _deep shell_--if he has not been fattened at the
bolt-hole of the main sewer--is to be preferred.

Cooked vegetables, for salad purposes, are not, nor will they ever
be, popular in England, Nine out of ten Britains will eat the "one
sauce" with asparagus, in preference to the oiled butter, or plain
salad dressing, of mustard, vinegar, pepper, salt, and oil; whilst
'tis almost hopeless to attempt to dissuade madame the cook from
smothering her cauliflowers with liquefied paste, before sending them
to table. Many a wild weed which foreign nations snatch greedily
from the soil, prior to dressing it, is passed by with scorn by our
islanders, including the dandelion, which is a favourite of our lively
neighbours, for salad purposes, and is doubtless highly beneficial
to the human liver. So is the cauliflower; and an eminent medical
authority once gave out that the man who ate a parboiled cauliflower,
as a salad, every other day, need never send for a doctor. Which
sounds rather like fouling his own nest.

                            _Fruit Salad._

This is simply a French _compôte_ of cherries, green almonds, pears,
limes, peaches, apricots in syrup slightly flavoured with ginger; and
goes excellent well with any cold brown game. Try it.

                           _Orange Salad._

     Peel your orange, and cut it into thin slices. Arrange
     these in a glass dish, and sugar them well. Then pour over them
     a glass of sherry, a glass of brandy, and a glass of maraschino.

                           _Orange Sauce._

Cold mutton, according to my notions, is "absolutely beastly," to the
palate. More happy homes have been broken up by this simple dish than
by the entire army of Europe. And 'tis a dish which should never be
allowed to wander outside the servants' hall. The superior domestics
who take their meals in the steward's room, would certainly rise in a
body, and protest against the indignity of a cold leg, or shoulder. As
for a cold loin--but the idea is too awful. Still, brightened up by
the following condiment, cold mutton will go down smoothly, and even

     Rub off the thin yellow rind of two oranges on four lumps
     of sugar. Put these into a bowl, and pour in a wine-glass
     of port, a quarter pint of dissolved red-currant jelly, a
     teaspoonful of mixed mustard--don't be frightened, it's all
     right--a finely-minced shallot, a pinch of cayenne, and some
     more thin orange rind. Mix well. When heated up, strain and
     bottle off.

But amateur sauces should, on the whole, be discouraged. The writer
has tasted dozens of imitations of Lea and Perrins's "inimitable,"
and it is still inimitable, and unapproachable. It is the same with
chutnee. You can get anything in that line you want at Stembridge's,
close to Leicester Square, to whom the writer is indebted for some
valuable hints. But here is a recipe for a mixture of chutnee and
pickle, which must have been written a long time ago; for the two
operations are transposed. For instance, _the onions should be dealt
with first_.


     Ten or twelve large apples, peeled and cored, put in an
     earthenware jar, with a little vinegar (on no account use
     water) in the oven. Let them remain till in a pulp, then take
     out, and add half an ounce of curry powder, one ounce of
     ground ginger, half a pound of stoned raisins, chopped fine,
     half a pound moist sugar, one teaspoonful cayenne pepper, one
     tablespoonful salt. Take four large onions (_this should be
     done first_), chop very fine, and put them in a jar with a pint
     and a half of vinegar. Cork tightly and let them remain a week.
     Then add the rest of the ingredients, after mixing them well
     together. Cork tightly, and the chutnine will be ready for use
     in a month. It improves, however, by keeping for a year or so.

                            _Raw Chutnee_

is another aid to the consumption of cold meat, and I have also seen
it used as an accompaniment to curry, but do not recommend the mixture.

     One large tomato, one smaller Spanish onion, one green
     chili, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pulp the tomato; don't try
     to extract the seeds, for life is too short for that operation.
     Chop the onion and the chili very fine, and mix the lot up with
     a pinch of salt, and the same quantity of sifted sugar.

I know plenty of men who would break up their homes (after serving
the furniture in the same way) and emigrate; who would go on strike,
were roast beef to be served at the dinner-table unaccompanied by
horse-radish sauce. But this is a relish for the national dish which
is frequently overlooked.

                        _Horse-radish Sauce._

Grate a young root as fine as you can. It is perhaps needless to add
that the fresher the horse-radish the better. No vegetables taste as
well as those grown in your own garden, and gathered, or dug up, just
before wanted. And the horse-radish, like the Jerusalem artichoke,
comes to stay. When once he gets a footing in your garden you will
never dislodge him; nor will you want to. Very well, then:

     Having grated your horse, add a quarter of a pint of
     cream--English or Devonshire--a dessert-spoonful of sifted
     sugar, half that quantity of salt, and a tablespoonful of
     vinegar. Mix all together, and, if for hot meat, heat in the
     oven, taking care that the mixture does not curdle. Many people
     use oil instead of cream, and mix grated orange rind with the
     sauce. The Germans do not use oil, but either make the relish
     with cream, or hard-boiled yolk of egg. Horse-radish sauce
     for hot meat may also be heated by pouring it into a jar, and
     standing the jar in boiling water--"jugging it" in fact.

                           _Celery Sauce_,

for boiled pheasant, or turkey, is made thus:

     Two or three heads of celery, sliced thin, put into a
     saucepan with equal quantities of sugar and salt, a dust of
     white pepper, and two or three ounces of butter. Stew your
     celery slowly till it becomes pulpy, but _not brown_, add two
     or three ounces of flour, and a good half-pint of milk, or
     cream. Let it simmer twenty minutes, and then rub the mixture
     through a sieve.

The carp as an item of food is, according to my ideas, a fraud. He
tastes principally of the mud in which he has been wallowing until
dragged out by the angler. The ancients loved a dish of carp, and yet
they knew not the only sauce to make him at all palatable.

                          _Sauce for Carp._

     One ounce of butter, a quarter pint of good beef gravy,
     one dessert-spoonful of flour, a quarter pint of cream and two
     anchovies chopped very small. Mix over the fire, stir well till
     boiling, then take off, add a little Worcester sauce, and a
     squeeze of lemon, just before serving.

                     _Christopher North's Sauce._

     This is a very old recipe. Put a dessert-spoonful of
     sifted sugar, a salt-spoonful of salt, and rather more than
     that quantity of cayenne, into a jar. Mix thoroughly, and
     add, gradually, two tablespoonfuls of Harvey's sauce, a
     dessert-spoonful of mushroom ketchup, a tablespoonful of lemon
     juice, and a large glass of port. Place the jar in a saucepan
     of boiling water, and let it remain till the mixture is very
     hot, but not boiling. If bottled directly after made, the sauce
     will keep for a week, and may be used for duck, goose, pork, or
     (Christopher adds) "any broil." But there is but _one_ broil
     sauce, the GUBBINS SAUCE, already mentioned in this work.

                          _Sauce for Hare._

What a piece of work is a hare! And what a piece of work it is to cook
him in a laudable fashion!

     Crumble some bread--a handful or so--soak it in port
     wine, heat over the fire with a small lump of butter, a
     tablespoonful of red-currant jelly, a little salt, and a
     tablespoonful of Chili vinegar. Serve as hot as possible.

Mackerel is a fish but seldom seen at the tables of the great. And yet
'tis tasty eating, if his Joseph's coat be bright and shining when
you purchase him. When stale he is dangerous to life itself. And he
prefers to gratify the human palate when accompanied by

                         _Gooseberry Sauce_,

     which is made by simply boiling a few green gooseberries,
     rubbing them through a sieve, and adding a little butter and a
     suspicion of ginger. Then heat up. "A wine-glassful of sorrel
     or spinach-juice," observes one authority, "is a decided
     improvement." H'm. I've tried both, and prefer the gooseberries
     unadorned with spinach liquor.

Now for a sauce which is deservedly popular all over the world, and
which is equally at home as a salad dressing, as a covering for a
steak off a fresh-run salmon, or a portion of fried eel; the luscious,
the invigorating

                           _Sauce Tartare_,

so called because no tallow-eating Tartar was ever known to
taste thereof. I have already given a pretty good recipe for its
manufacture, in previous salad-dressing instructions, where the yolks
of hard-boiled eggs are used. But chopped chervil, shallots, and
(occasionally) gherkins, are added to the _Tartare_ arrangement; and
frequently the surface is adorned with capers, stoned olives, and
shredded anchovies.

In the chapters devoted to dinners, no mention has been made of the
sucking pig, beloved of Charles Lamb.[8] This hardened offender should
be devoured with

                           _Currant Sauce_:

     Boil an ounce of currants, after washing them and picking
     out the tacks, dead flies, etc., in half a pint of water, for
     a few minutes, and pour over them a cupful of finely grated
     crumbs. Let them soak well, then beat up with a fork, and
     stir in about a gill of oiled butter. Add two tablespoonfuls
     of the brown gravy made for the pig, a glass of port, and a
     pinch of salt. Stir the sauce well over the fire. It is also
     occasionally served with roast venison; but not in the mansions
     of my friends.

What is sauce for Madame Goose is said to be sauce for Old Man
Gander. Never mind about that, however. The parents of young Master
Goose, with whom alone I am going to deal, have, like the flowers
which bloom in the spring, absolutely nothing to do with the case.
This is the best

                        _Sauce for the Goose_

known to civilisation:

     Put two ounces of green sage leaves into a jar with an
     ounce of the thin yellow rind of a lemon, a minced shallot, a
     teaspoonful of salt, half a ditto of cayenne, and a pint of
     claret. Let this soak for a fortnight, then pour off the liquid
     into a tureen; or boil with some good gravy. This sauce will
     keep for a week or two, bottled and well corked up.

And now, having given directions for the manufacture of sundry
"cloyless sauces"--with only one of the number having any connection
with _Ala_, and that one a sauce of world-wide reputation, I will
conclude this chapter with a little fancy work. It is not probable
that many who do me the honour to skim through these humble,
faultily-written, but heartfelt gastronomic hints are personally
acquainted with the cloyless


who is a lady of dusky origin. But let us quit metaphor, and direct
the gardener to

     Cut the finest and straightest cucumber in his crystal
     palace. Cut both ends off, and divide the remainder into
     two-inch lengths. Peel these, and let them repose in salt to
     draw out the water, which is the indigestible part of the
     cucumber. Then take each length, in succession, and with a
     very sharp knife--a penknife is best for the purpose--pare it
     from surface to centre, until it has become one long, curly
     shred. Curl it up tight, so that it may resemble in form the
     spring of a Waterbury watch. Cut the length through from end to
     end, until you have made numerous long thin shreds. Treat each
     length in the same way, and place in a glass dish. Add three
     green chilies, chopped fine, a few chopped spring onions, and
     some tiny shreds of the Blue Fish of Java. Having performed
     a fishless pilgrimage in search of this curiosity, you will
     naturally fall back upon the common or Italian anchovy, which,
     after extracting the brine and bones, and cleansing, chop fine.
     Pour a little vinegar over the mixture.

"Sambal" will be found a delicious accompaniment to curry--when
served on a salad plate--or to almost any description of cold meat
and cheese. It is only fair to add, however, that the task of making
the relish is arduous and exasperating to a degree; and that the
woman who makes it--no male Christian in the world is possessed of a
tithe of the necessary patience, now that Job and Robert Bruce are
no more--should have the apartment to herself. For the labour is
calculated to teach an entirely new language to the manufacturer.

                              CHAPTER XV


                            "We are such stuff
                    As dreams are made of."

     Cleopatra's supper--Oysters--Danger in the Aden
     bivalve--Oyster stew--Ball suppers--Pretty dishes--The _Taj
     Mahal_--Aspic--Bloater paste and whipped cream--Ladies'
     recipes--Cookery colleges--Tripe--Smothered in onions--North
     Riding fashion--An hotel supper--Lord Tomnoddy at the "Magpie
     and Stump."

That cruel and catlike courtesan, Cleopatra, is alleged to have
given the most expensive supper on record, and to have disposed of
the _bonne bouche_ herself, in the shape of a pearl, valued at the
equivalent of £250,000, dissolved in vinegar of extra strength. Such
a sum is rather more than is paid for a supper at the Savoy, or the
Cecil, or the Metropole, in these more practical times, when pearls
are to be had cheaper; and there is probably about as much truth in
this pearl story as in a great many others of the same period. I
have heard of a fair _declassée_ leader of fashion at Monte Carlo,
who commanded that her _major domo_ should be put to death for not
having telegraphed to Paris for peaches, for a special dinner; but
the woman who could melt a pearl in vinegar, and then drink----_halte
la!_ Perhaps the pearl was displayed in the deep shell of the oyster
of which the "noble curtesan" partook? We know how Mark Antony's
countrymen valued the succulent bivalve; and probably an oyster feast
at Wady Halfa or Dongola was a common function long before London knew
a "Scott's," a "Pimm's," or a "Sweeting's."

Thanks partly to the "typhoid scare," but principally to the
prohibitive price, the "native" industry of Britain has been, at the
latter end of the nineteenth century, by no means active, although in
the illustrated annuals Uncle John still brings with him a barrel of
the luscious bivalves, in addition to assorted toys for the children,
when he arrives in the midst of a snow-storm at the old hall on
Christmas Eve. But Uncle John, that good fairy of our youth, when
Charles Dickens invented the "festive season," and the very atmosphere
reeked of goose-stuffing, resides, for the most part, "in Sheffield,"
in these practical days, when sentiment and goodwill to relatives are
rapidly giving place to matters of fact, motor cars, and mammoth rates.

The Asiatic oyster is not altogether commendable, his chief merit
consisting in his size. Once whilst paying a flying visit to the city
of Kurachi, I ordered a dozen oysters at the principal hotel. Then I
went out to inspect the lions. On my return I could hardly push my
way into the coffee-room. It was full of oyster! There was no room
for anything else. In fact _one_ Kurachi oyster is a meal for four
full-grown men.

More tragic still was my experience of the bivalves procurable at
Aden--which cinder-heap I have always considered to be a foretaste
of even hotter things below. Instead of living on coal-dust (as
might naturally be expected) the Aden oyster appears to do himself
particularly well on some preparation of copper. The only time I
tasted him, the after consequences very nearly prevented my ever
tasting anything else, on this sphere. And it was only the comfort
administered by the steward of my cabin which got me round.

"Ah!" said that functionary, as he looked in to see whether I would
take hot pickled pork or roast goose for dinner. "The last time we
touched at Aden, there was two gents 'ad 'ysters. One of 'em died the
same night, and the other nex' mornin'."

I laughed so much that the poison left my system.

Yet still we eat oysters--the _Sans Bacilles_ brand, for choice. And
if we can only persuade the young gentleman who opens the bivalves
to refrain from washing the grit off each in the tub of dirty water
behind the bar, so much the better. And above all, the bivalves
should be opened on the _deep_ shell, so as to conserve some of the
juice; for it is advisable to get as much of the bivalve as we can
for the money. Every time I crunch the bones of a lark I feel that I
am devouring an oratorio, in the way of song; and whilst the bivalve
is sliding down the "red lane" it may be as well to reflect that
"there slips away fourpence"; or, as the Scotsman had it, "bang went

In connection with Mr. Bob Sawyer's supper party in _Pickwick_, it may
be recollected that "the man to whom the order for the oysters had
been sent had not been told to open them; it is a very difficult thing
to open an oyster with a limp knife or a two-pronged fork: and very
little was done in this way."

And in one's own house, unless there be an adept at oyster-opening
present, the simplest way to treat the bivalve is the following. It
should be remembered that a badly-opened oyster will resemble in
flavour a slug on a gravel walk. So _roast_ him, good friends, in his
own fortress.

                    _Oysters in their own Juice._

     With the tongs place half-a-dozen oysters, mouths
     outwards, between the red-hot coals of the parlour or
     dining-room fire--the deep shell must be at the bottom--and the
     oysters will be cooked in a few minutes, or when the shells
     gape wide. Pull them out with the tongs, and insert a fresh
     batch. No pepper, vinegar, or lemon juice is necessary as an
     adjunct; and the oyster never tastes better.

At most eating-houses,

                         _Scalloped Oysters_

taste of nothing but scorched bread-crumbs; and the reason is obvious,
for there is but little else in the scallop shell. _Natives only_
should be used.

     Open and beard two dozen, and cut each bivalve in
     half. Melt two ounces of butter in a stewpan, and mix into
     it the same allowance of flour, the strained oyster liquor,
     a teacupful of cream, half a teaspoonful of essence of
     anchovies, and a pinch of cayenne--death to the caitiff who
     adds nutmeg--and stir the sauce well over the fire. Take it
     off, and add the well-beaten yolks of two eggs, a tablespoonful
     of finely chopped parsley, and a teaspoonful of lemon juice.
     Put in the oysters, and stir the whole over a gentle fire for
     five minutes. Put the mixture in the shells, grate bread-crumbs
     over, place a small piece of butter atop, and bake in a Dutch
     oven before a clear fire until the crumbs are lightly browned,
     which should be in about a quarter of an hour.

                            _Oyster Stew_

is thoroughly understood in New York City. On this side, the dish
does not meet with any particular favour, although no supper-table is
properly furnished without it.

     Open two dozen oysters, and take the beards off. Put the
     oysters into a basin and squeeze over them the juice of half a
     lemon. Put the beards and the strained liquor into a saucepan
     with half a blade of mace, half a dozen peppercorns ground,
     a little grated lemon rind, and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer
     gently for a quarter of an hour, strain the liquid, thicken it
     with a little butter and flour, add a quarter of a pint (or a
     teacupful) of cream, and stir over the fire till quite smooth.
     Then put in the oysters, and let them warm through--they must
     not boil. Serve in a soup tureen, and little cubes of bread
     fried in bacon grease may be served with the stew, as with

Be very careful to whose care you entrust your barrel, or bag, of
oysters, after you have got them home. A consignment of the writer's
were, on one memorable and bitter cold Christmas Eve, consigned to the
back dairy, by Matilda Anne. Result--frostbite, gapes, dissolution,
disappointment, disagreeable language.

                           _Ball Suppers._

More hard cash is wasted on these than even on ball dresses, which is
saying a great deal. The alien caterer, or _charcutier_, is chiefly to
blame for this; for he it is who has taught the British matron to wrap
up wholesome food in coats of grease, inlaid with foreign substances,
to destroy its flavour, and to bestow upon it an outward semblance
other than its own. There was handed unto me, only the other evening,
what I at first imagined to be a small section of the celebrated _Taj
Mahal_ at Agra, the magnificent mausoleum of the Emperor Shah Jehan.
Reference to the bill-of-fare established the fact that I was merely
sampling a galantine of turkey, smothered in some white glazy grease,
inlaid with chopped carrot, green peas, truffles, and other things.
And the marble column (also inlaid) which might have belonged to King
Solomon's Temple, at the top of the table, turned out to be a Tay
salmon, decorated _à la mode de charcutier_, and tasting principally
of garlic. A shriek from a fair neighbour caused me to turn my head
in her direction; and it took some little time to discover, and
to convince her, that the item on her plate was not a mouse, too
frightened to move, but some preparation of the liver of a goose, in

This said ASPIC--which has no connection with the asp which the fair
Cleopatra kept on the premises, although a great French lexicographer
says that aspic is so called because it is as cold as a snake--is
invaluable in the numerous "schools of cookery" in the which British
females are educated according to the teaching of the bad fairy
_Ala_. The cold chicken and ham which delighted our ancestors at the
supper-table--what has become of them? Yonder, my dear sir, is the
fowl, in neat portions, minced, and made to represent fragments of
the almond rock which delighted us whilst in the nursery. The ham
has become a ridiculous _mousse_, placed in little accordion-pleated
receptacles of snow-white paper; and those are not poached eggs atop,
either, but dabs of whipped cream with a preserved apricot in the

It was only the other day that I read in a journal written by ladies
for ladies, of a dainty dish for luncheon or supper: _croûtons_
smeared with bloater paste and surmounted with whipped cream; and
in the same paper was a recipe for stuffing a fresh herring with
mushrooms, parsley, yolk of egg, onion, and its own soft roe. I am of
opinion that it was a bad day for the male Briton when the gudewife,
with her gude-daughter, and her gude cook, abandoned the gude roast
and boiled, in favour of the works of the all-powerful _Ala_.

And now let us proceed to discuss the most homely supper of all, and
when I mention the magic word


there be few of my readers who will not at once allow that it is
not only the most homely of food, but forms an ideal supper. This
doctrine had not got in its work, however, in the 'sixties, at about
which period the man who avowed himself an habitual tripe-eater must
have been possessed of a considerable amount of nerve. Some of the
supper-houses served it--such as the Albion, the Coal Hole, and more
particularly, "Noakes's," the familiar name for the old Opera Tavern
which used to face the Royal Italian Opera House, in Bow Street,
Covent Garden. But the more genteel food-emporiums fought shy of tripe
until within three decades of the close of the nineteenth century.
Then it began to figure on the supper bills, in out-of-the-way
corners; until supper-eaters in general discovered that this was not
only an exceedingly cheap, but a very nourishing article of food,
which did not require any special divine aid to digest. Then the price
of tripe went up 75 per cent on the programmes. Then the most popular
burlesque _artiste_ of any age put the stamp of approval upon the new
supper-dish, and tripe-dressing became as lucrative a profession as

There is a legend afloat of an eminent actor--poor "Ned" Sothern,
I fancy, as "Johnny" Toole would never have done such a thing--who
bade some of his friends and acquaintance to supper, and regaled them
on sundry rolls of house flannel, smothered with the orthodox onion
sauce. But that is another story. Practical jokes should find no
place in this volume, which is written to benefit, and not alarm,
posterity. Therefore let us discuss the problem

                         _How to Cook Tripe_.

     Ask for "double-tripe," and see that the dresser gives
     it you nice and white. Wash it, cut into portions, and place
     in equal parts of milk and water, boiling fast. Remove the
     saucepan from the hottest part of the fire, and let the tripe
     keep just on the boil for an hour and a half. Serve with whole
     onions and onion sauce--in this work you will not be told how
     to manufacture onion sauce--and baked potatoes should always
     accompany this dish to table.

Some people like their tripe cut into strips rolled up and tied with
cotton, before being placed in the saucepan; but there is really no
necessity to take this further trouble. And if the cook should forget
to remove the cotton before serving, you might get your tongues tied
in knots. In the North Riding of Yorkshire, some of the farmers'
wives egg-and-bread-crumb fillets of tripe, and fry them in the drip
of thick rashers of ham which have been fried previously. The ham
is served in the centre of the dish, with the fillets around the
pig-pieces. This is said to be an excellent dish, but I prefer my
tripe smothered in onions, like the timid "bunny."

Edmund Yates, in his "Reminiscences," describes "nice, cosy, little
suppers," of which in his early youth he used to partake, at the
house of his maternal grandfather, in Kentish Town. "He dined at two
o'clock," observed the late proprietor of the _World_, "and had the
most delightful suppers at nine; suppers of sprats, or kidneys, or
tripe and onions; with foaming porter and hot grog afterwards."

I cannot share the enthusiasm possessed by some people for SPRATS,
as an article of diet. When very "full-blown," the little fish make
an excellent fertiliser for Marshal Niel roses; but as "winter
whitebait," or sardines they are hardly up to "Derby form."

Sprats are not much encouraged at the fashionable hotels; and when
tripe is brought to table, which is but rarely, that food is nearly
always filleted, sprinkled with chopped parsley, and served with
tomato sauce.

This is the sort of supper which is provided in the "gilt-edged"
_caravanserais_ of the metropolis, the following being a _verbatim_
copy of a bill of fare at the Hotel Cecil:--

                             SOUPER, 5s.

                      Consommé Riche en tasses.
                     Laitances Frites, Villeroy.
                  Côte de Mouton aux Haricots Verts.
            Chaudfroid de Mauviettes. Strasbourg evisie.
                            Biscuit Cecil.

A lady-like repast this; and upon the whole, not dear. But roast loin
of mutton hardly sounds tasty enough for a meal partaken of somewhere
about the stroke of midnight. Still, such a supper is by no means
calculated to "murder sleep." Upon the other hand it is a little
difficult to credit the fact that the whole of the party invited by
"My Lord Tomnoddy" to refresh themselves at the "Magpie and Stump,"
including the noble host himself, should have slumbered peacefully,
with a noisy crowd in the street, after a supper which consisted of

                "Cold fowl and cigars,
                 Pickled onions in jars,
                 Welsh rabbits and kidneys,
                 Rare work for the jaws."

                             CHAPTER XVI

                         SUPPER (_continued_)

                      "To feed were best at home;
                From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
                Meeting were bare without it."

     Old supper-houses--The Early Closing
     Act--Evans's--Cremorne Gardens--The "Albion"--Parlour
     cookery--Kidneys fried in the fire-shovel--The true way
     to grill a bone--"Cannie Carle"--My lady's bower--Kidney
     dumplings--A Middleham supper--Steaks cut from a colt by
     brother to "Strafford" out of sister to "Bird on the Wing."

The Early Closing Act of 1872 had a disastrous effect upon the old
London supper-houses. What Mr. John Hollingshead never tired of
calling the "slap-me-and-put-me-to-bed law" rang the knell of many a
licensed tavern, well-conducted, where plain, well-cooked food and
sound liquor were to be obtained by men who would have astonished
their respective couches had they sought them before the small hours.


The "Cave of Harmony" of Thackeray was a different place to the
"Evans's" of my youthful days. Like the younger Newcome, I was taken
there in the first instance, by the author of my being. But Captain
Costigan was conspicuous by his absence; and "Sam Hall" was _non est_.
I noted well the abnormal size of the broiled kidneys, and in my
ignorance of anatomy, imagined that Evans's sheep must be subjected
to somewhat the same process--the "ordeal by fire"--as the Strasbourg
geese. And the potatoes--zounds, sirs! What potatoes! "Shall I turn
it out, sir?" inquired the attentive waiter; and, as he seized the
tuber, enveloped in the snow-white napkin, broke it in two, and
ejected a floury pyramid upon my plate, I would, had I known of such
a decoration in those days, have gladly recommended that attendant
for the Distinguished Service order. In the course of many visits I
never saw any supper commodity served here besides chops, steaks,
kidneys, welsh-rarebits, poached eggs, and (I think) sausages; and
the earliest impression made upon a youthful memory was the air of
extreme confidence which pervaded the place. We certainly "remembered"
the waiter; but not even a potato was paid for until we encountered
the head functionary at the exit door; and his peculiar ideas of
arithmetic would have given Bishop Colenso a succession of fits.

Who "Evans" was, we neither knew nor cared. "Paddy" Green, with his
chronic smile, was enough for us; as he proffered his ever-ready
snuff-box, inquired after our relatives--"Paddy," like "Spanky" at
Eton, knew everybody--and implored silence whilst the quintette
_Integer Vitæ_ was being sung by the choir. We used to venerate
that quintette far more than any music we ever heard in church, and
I am certain "Paddy" Green would have backed his little pack of
choristers--who, according to the general belief, passed the hours of
daylight in waking the echoes of St. Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster
Abbey, and therefore, at Evans's, always looked a bit stale and
sleepy--against any choir in the world. As for Harry Sidney, the fat,
jolly-looking gentleman who was wont to string together the topics of
the day and reproduce them, fresh as rolls, set to music, we could
never hear enough of him; and I wish I had now some of the half-crowns
which in the past were bestowed upon Herr Von Joel, the indifferent
_siffleur_, who was "permanently retained upon the premises," and who
was always going to take a benefit the following week.

"Kidneys and 'armony"--that was the old programme in the "Cave." And
then the march of time killed poor old Paddy, and another management
reigned. Gradually the "lady element" was introduced, and a portion of
the hall was set apart for the mixed assembly. And then came trouble,
and, finally, disestablishment. And for some time before the closing
of the Cave as a place of entertainment, it was customary to remove
the fine old pictures (what became of them, I wonder), from the walls,
at "Varsity Boat Race" time. For the undergraduate of those days was
nothing if not rowdy. Youth will have its fling; and at Evans's the
fling took the form of tumblers. Well do I recollect a fight in "the
old style" in the very part of the "Cave" where eminent barristers,
actors, and other wits of a past age, used to congregate. The premier
boxer of Cambridge University had been exercising his undoubted
talents as a breaker of glass, during the evening, and at length the
overwrought manager obliged him with an opponent worthy of his fists
in the person of a waiter who could also put up his fists. Several
rounds were fought, strictly according to the rules of the Prize Ring,
and in the result, whilst the waiter had sustained considerable damage
to his ribs, the "Cambridge gent" had two very fine black eyes. Well
do I remember that "mill," also the waiter, who afterwards became an
habitual follower of the turf.

If Cremorne introduced the fashion of "long drinks," sodas, and
et ceteras, the suppers served in the old gardens had not much to
recommend them. A slice or two of cold beef, or a leg of a chicken,
with some particularly salt ham, formed the average fare; but those
who possessed their souls with patience occasionally saw something
hot, in the way of food--chiefly cutlets. The great virtue of the
cutlet is that it can be reheated; and one dish not infrequently did
duty for more than one party. The rejected portion, in fact, would
"reappear" as often as a retiring actor. "I know them salmon cutlets,"
the waiter in _Pink Dominoes_ used to observe, "as well as I know my
own mother!" In fact, Cremorne, like the "night houses" of old, was
not an ideal place to sup at.

But, _per contra_, the "Albion" _was_. Until the enforcement of
the "slap-me-and-put-me-to-bed" policy there was no more justly
celebrated house of entertainment than the one which almost faced the
stage door of Drury Lane theatre, in Great Russell Street. One of the
brothers Cooper--another kept the Rainbow in Fleet Street--retired
on a fortune made here, simply by pursuing the policy of giving his
customers the best of everything. And a rare, Bohemian stamp of
customers he had, too--a nice, large-hearted, open-handed lot of
actors, successful and otherwise, dramatic critics ditto, and ditto
journalists, also variegated in degree; with the usual, necessary,
leavening of the "City" element. The custom of the fair sex was not
encouraged at the old tavern; though in a room on the first floor
they were permitted to sup, if in "the profession" and accompanied
by males, whose manners and customs could be vouched for. In winter
time, assorted grills, of fish, flesh, and fowl, were served as supper
dishes; whilst tripe was the staple food. Welsh rarebits, too, were in
immense demand. And I think it was here that I devoured, with no fear
of the future before my plate, a

                           _Buck Rarebit_.

During the silent watches of the rest of the morning, bile and
dyspepsia fought heroically for my soul; and yet the little animal
is easy enough to prepare, being nothing grander than a Welsh
rarebit, with a poached egg atop. But the little tins (silver, like
the forks and spoons, until the greed and forgetfulness of mankind
necessitated the substitution of electro-plate) which the Hebes
at the "Old Cheshire Cheese" fill with fragments of the hostelry's
godfather--subsequently to be stewed in good old ale--are less harmful
to the interior of the human diaphragm.

A favourite Albion supper-dish during the summer months was

                       _Lamb's Head and Mince_.

I have preserved the recipe, a gift from one of the waiters--but
whether Ponsford, Taylor, or "Shakespeare" (so-called because he bore
not the faintest resemblance to the immortal bard) I forget--and here
it is:

     The head should be scalded, scraped, and well washed.
     Don't have it singed, in the Scottish fashion, as lamb's
     wool is not nice to eat. Then put it, with the liver (the
     sweetbread was chopped up with the brain, I fancy), into a
     stewpan, with a Spanish onion stuck with cloves, a bunch of
     parsley, a little thyme, a carrot, a turnip, a bay leaf, some
     crushed peppercorns, a tablespoonful of salt, and half a gallon
     of cold water. Let it boil up, skim, and then simmer for an
     hour. Divide the head, take out the tongue and brain, and dry
     the rest of the head in a cloth. Mince the liver and tongue,
     season with salt and pepper, and simmer in the original gravy
     (thickened) for half-an-hour. Brush the two head-halves with
     yolk of egg, grate bread crumbs over, and bake in oven. The
     brain and sweetbread to be chopped and made into cakes, fried,
     and then placed in the dish around the head-halves.

Ah me! The old tavern, after falling into bad ways, entertaining
"extra-ladies" and ruined gamesters, has been closed for years. The
ground floor was a potato warehouse the last time I passed the place.
And it should be mentioned that the actors, journalists, etc., who,
in the 'seventies, possessed smaller means, or more modest ambitions,
were in the habit of supping--on supping days--at a cheaper haunt in
the Strand, off (alleged) roast goose. But, according to one Joseph
Eldred, a comedian of some note and shirt-cuff, the meat which was
apportioned to us here was, in reality, always bullock's heart,
sliced, and with a liberal allowance of sage and onions. "It's the
seasoning as does it," observed Mr. Samuel Weller.

Then there was another Bohemian house of call, and supper place,
in those nights--the "Occidental," once known as the "Coal Hole,"
where, around a large, beautifully polished mahogany table, many of
the wits of the town--"Harry" Leigh and "Tom" Purnell were two of
the inveterates--sat, and devoured Welsh rarebits, and other things.
The house, too, could accommodate not a few lodgers; and one of its
great charms was that nobody cared a button what time you retired to
your couch, or what time you ordered breakfast. In these matters, the
Occidental resembled the "Limmer's" of the "Billy Duff" era, and the
"Lane's" of my own dear subaltern days.

                          _Parlour Cookery._

It was after the last-named days that, whilst on tour with various
dramatic combinations--more from necessity than art, as far as I
was concerned--that the first principles of parlour cookery became
impregnated in mine understanding. We were not all "stars," although
we did our best. Salaries were (according to the advertisements)
"low but sure"; and (according to experiences) by no means as sure
as death, or taxes. The "spectre" did not invariably assume his
"martial stalk," of a Saturday; and cheap provincial lodgings do not
hold out any extra inducement in the way of cookery. So, whilst we
endured the efforts of the good landlady at the early dinner, some of
us determined to dish up our own suppers. For the true artist never
really feels (or never used to feel, at all events) like "picking a
bit" until merely commercial folks have gone to bed.

Many a time and oft, with the aid of a cigar box (empty, of course),
a couple of books, and an arrangement of plates, have I prepared a
savoury supper of mushrooms, toasted cheese, or a _kebob_ of larks, or
other small fowl, in front of the fire. More than once have I received
notice to quit the next morning for grilling kidneys on the perforated
portion of a handsome and costly steel fire-shovel. And by the time I
had become sufficiently advanced in culinary science to stew tripe and
onions, in an enamel-lined saucepan, the property of the "responsible
gent," we began to give ourselves airs. Landladies' ideas on the
subject of supper for "theatricals," it may be mentioned, seldom
soared above yeast dumplings. And few of us liked the name, even, of
yeast dumplings.

But perhaps the champion effort of all was when I was sojourning in
the good city of Carlisle--known to its inhabitants by the pet name
of "Cannie Carle." A good lady was, for her sins, providing us with
board and lodging, in return for (promised) cash. My then companion
was a merry youth who afterwards achieved fame by writing the very
funniest and one of the most successful of three-act farces that was
ever placed upon the stage. Now there is not much the matter with a
good joint of ribs of beef, roasted to a turn. But when that beef
is placed on the table hot for the Sunday dinner, and cold at every
succeeding meal until finished up, one's appetite for the flesh of
the ox begins to slacken. So we determined on the Wednesday night to
"strike" for a tripe supper.

"Indeed," protested the good landlady, "ye'll get nae tripe in this
hoose, cannie men. Hae ye no' got guid beef, the noo?"

Late that night we had grilled bones for supper; not the ordinary

                           _Grilled Bones_

which you get in an eating house, but a vastly superior article.
We, or rather my messmate, cut a rib from off the aforementioned
beef, scored the flesh across, and placed the bone in the centre of
a beautifully clear fire which had been specially prepared. It was
placed there by means of the tongs--a weapon of inestimable value in
Parlour Cookery--and withdrawn by the same medium. Some of the black
wanted scraping off the surface of the meat, but the grill was a
perfect dream. The GUBBINS SAUCE, already mentioned in this volume,
had not at that time been invented; but as I was never without a
bottle of TAPP SAUCE--invaluable for Parlour Cookery; you can get it
at Stembridge's--we had plenty of relish. Then we severed another rib
from the carcase, and served it in the same manner. For it was winter
time and we had wearied of frigid ox.

Next morning the landlady's face was a study. I rather think that
after some conversation, we propitiated her with an order for two for
the dress circle; but it is certain that we had tripe that evening.

An ideal supper in _miladi's boudoir_ is associated, in the writer's
mind, with rose-coloured draperies, dainty china, a cosy fire, a
liberal display of _lingerie_, a strong perfume of heliotrope and
orris root--and _miladi_ herself. When next she invites her friends,
she will kindly order the following repast to be spread:--

                         Clear soup, in cups.
                     Fillets of soles Parisienne.
                        Chaudfroid of Quails.
                         Barded sweetbreads.
                            Perigord pâté.

By way of contrast, let me quote a typical supper-dish which the "poor
player" used to order, when he could afford it.

                          _Kidney Dumpling._

     Cut a large Spanish onion in half. Take out the heart, and
     substitute a sheep's kidney, cut into four. Season with salt
     and pepper, join the two halves, and enclose in a paste. Bake
     on a buttered tin, in a moderate oven, for about an hour.

     _N.B._--Be sure the cook _bakes_ this dumpling, as it is
     not nice boiled.

An artistic friend who at one time of his life resided near the great
horse-training centre of Middleham, in Yorkshire, gave a steak supper
at the principal inn, to some of the stable attendants. The fare was
highly approved of.

"Best Scotch beef I ever put tooth into!" observed the "head lad" at
old Tom Lawson's stables.

"Ah!" returned the host, who was a bit of a wag, "your beef was cut
from a colt of Lord Glasgow's that was thought highly of at one time;
and he was shot the day before yesterday."

And it was so. For Lord Glasgow never sold nor gave away a horse, but
had all his "failures" shot.

And then a great cry went up for brown brandy.

                             CHAPTER XVII

                            "CAMPING OUT"

                  "Thou didst eat strange flesh,
                   Which some did die to look on."

     The ups and downs of life--Stirring adventures--Marching
     on to glory--Shooting in the tropics--Pepper-pot--With the
     _Rajah Sahib_--Goat-sacrifices at breakfast time--Simla to
     Cashmere--Manners and customs of Thibet--Burmah--No place to
     get fat in--Insects--Voracity of the natives--Snakes--Sport
     in the Jungle--Loaded for snipe, sure to meet tiger--With the
     gippos--No baked hedgehog--Cheap milk.

The intelligent reader may have gathered from some of the foregoing
pages that the experiences of the writer have been of a variegated
nature. As an habitual follower of the Turf once observed:

        "When we're rich we rides in chaises,
    And when we're broke we walks like ----"

Never mind what. It was an evil man who said it, but he was a
philosopher. Dinner in the gilded saloon one day, on the next no
dinner at all, and the key of the street. Such is life!

Those experiences do not embrace a mortal combat with a "grizzly"
in the Rockies, nor a tramp through a miasma-laden forest in Darkest
Africa, with nothing better to eat than poisonous _fungi_, assorted
grasses, red ants, and dwarfs; nor yet a bull fight. But they include
roughing it in the bush, on underdone bread and scorched kangaroo, a
tramp from Benares to the frontier of British India, another tramp
or two some way beyond that frontier, a dreadful journey across the
eternal snows of the Himalayas, a day's shooting in the Khyber Pass,
a railway accident in Middlesex, a mad elephant (he had killed seven
men, one of them blind) hunt at Thayet Myoo, in British Burmah, a fine
snake anecdote or two, a night at Cambridge with an escaped lunatic,
a tiger story (of course), and a capture for debt by an officer of
the Sheriff of Pegu, with no other clothing on his body than a short
jacket of gaily coloured silk, and a loin cloth. My life's history is
never likely to be written--chiefly through sheer laziness on my own
part, and the absence of the gambling instinct on that of the average
publisher--but like the brown gentleman who smothered his wife, I have
"seen things."

In this chapter no allusion will be made to "up river" delights,
the only idea of "camping out" which is properly understood by the
majority of "up to date" young men and maidens; for this theme has
been already treated, most comically and delightfully, by Mr. Jerome,
in the funniest book I ever read. My own camping experiences have been
for the most part in foreign lands, though I have seen the sun rise,
whilst reclining beneath the Royal trees in St. James's Park; and as
this book is supposed to deal with gastronomy, rather than adventure,
a brief sketch of camp life must suffice.

On the march! What a time those who "served the Widdy"--by which
disrespectful term, our revered Sovereign was _not_ known in those
days--used to have before the continent of India had been intersected
by the railroad! The absence of one's proper _quantum_ of rest, the
forced marches over _kutcha_ (imperfectly made) bye-roads, the sudden
changes of temperature, raids of the native thief, the troubles
with "bobbery" camels, the still more exasperating behaviour of the
_bail-wallahs_ (bullock-drivers), the awful responsibilities of the
officer-on-baggage-guard, on active duty, often in the saddle for
fifteen hours at a stretch, the absolutely necessary cattle-raids,
by the roadside--all these things are well known to those who have
undergone them, but are far too long "another story" to be related
here. As for the food partaken of during a march with the regiment,
the bill-of-fare differed but little from that of the cantonments; but
the officer who spent a brief holiday in a shooting expedition had to
"rough it" in more ways than one.

There was plenty of game all over the continent in my youthful days,
and the average shot need not have lacked a dinner, even if he had not
brought with him a consignment of "Europe" provisions. English bread
was lacking, certainly, and biscuits, native or otherwise--"otherwise"
for choice, as the bazaar article tasted principally of pin-cushions
and the smoke of dried and lighted cow-dung--or the ordinary
_chupatti_, the flat, unleavened cake, which the poor Indian
manufactures for his own consumption. Cold tea is by far the best
liquid to carry--or rather to have carried for you--whilst actually
shooting; but the weary sportsman will require something more
exciting, and more poetical, on his return to camp. As for solid fare
it was usually


for dinner, day by day. We called it Pepper-pot--that is to say,
although it differed somewhat from the West Indian concoction of that
name, for which the following is the recipe:--

     Put the remains of any cold flesh or fowl into a saucepan,
     and cover with _cassaripe_--which has been already described in
     the Curry chapter as extract of Manioc root. Heat up the stew
     and serve.

Our pepper-pot was usually made in a gipsy-kettle, suspended from
a tripod. The foundation of the stew was always a tin of some kind
of soup. Then a few goat chops--mutton is bad to buy out in the
jungle--and then any bird or beast that may have been shot, divided
into fragments. I have frequently made a stew of this sort, with so
many ingredients in it that the flavour when served out at table--or
on the bullock-trunk which often did duty for a table--would have
beaten the wit of man to describe. There was hare soup "intil't" (as
the Scotsman said to the late Prince Consort), and a collop or two of
buffalo-beef, with snipe, quails, and jungle-fowl. There were half the
neck of an antelope and a few sliced onions lurking within the bowl.
And there were potatoes "intil't," and plenty of pepper and salt. And
for lack of cassaripe we flavoured the savoury mess with mango chutnee
and Tapp sauce. And if any cook, English or foreign, can concoct a
more worthy dish than this, or more grateful to the palate, said cook
can come my way.

The old _dak gharry_ method of travelling in India may well come under
the head of Camping Out. In the hot weather we usually progressed--or
got emptied into a ditch--or collided with something else, during
the comparative "coolth" of the night; resting (which in Hindustan
usually means perspiring and calling the country names) all day at one
or other of the _dak bungalows_ provided by a benevolent Government
for the use of the wandering _sahib_. The larder at one of those
rest-houses was seldom well filled. Although the _khansamah_ who
prostrated himself in the sand at your approach would declare that
he was prepared to supply everything which the protector-of-the-poor
might deign to order, it would be found on further inquiry that the
_khansamah_ had, like the Player Queen in Hamlet, protested too
much--that he was a natural romancer. And his "everything" usually
resolved itself into a "spatch-cock," manufactured from the spectral
rooster, who had heralded the approach of the _sahib's_ caravan.

                             _A Rajah's_

ideas of hospitality are massive. Labouring under the belief that
the white _sahib_ when not eating must necessarily be drinking, the
commissariat arrangements of Rajahdom are on a colossal scale--for
the chief benefit of his _major domo_. I might have bathed in dry
champagne, had the idea been pleasing, whilst staying with a certain
genial prince, known to irreverent British subalterns as "Old
Coppertail"; whilst the bedroom furniture was on the same liberal
scale. True, I lay on an ordinary native _charpoy_, which might
have been bought in the bazaar for a few _annas_, but there was
a grand piano in one corner of the apartment, and a buhl cabinet
containing rare china in another. There was a coloured print of the
Governor-General over the doorway, and an oil painting of the Judgment
of Solomon over the mantelshelf. And on a table within easy reach of
the bed was a silver-plated dinner service, decked with fruits and
sweetmeats, and tins of salmon, and pots of Guava jelly and mixed
pickles, and two tumblers, each of which would have easily held a
week-old baby. And there was a case of champagne beneath that table,
with every appliance for cutting wires and extracting the corks.

Another time the writer formed one of a small party invited to share
the hospitality of a potentate, whose estate lay on the snowy side
of Simla. The fleecy element, however, was not in evidence in June,
the month of our visit, although towards December Simla herself is
usually wrapt in the white mantle, and garrisoned by monkeys, who
have fled from the land of ice. Tents had been erected for us in a
barren-looking valley, somewhat famous, however, for the cultivation
of potatoes. There was an annual celebration of some sort, the day
after our arrival, and for breakfast that morning an _al fresco_ meal
had been prepared for us, almost within whispering distance of an
heathen temple. And it _was_ a breakfast! There was a turkey stuffed
with a fowl, to make the breast larger, and there was a "Europe" ham.
A tin of lobster, a bottle of pickled walnuts, a dreadful concoction,
alleged to be an omelette, but looking more like the sole of a tennis
shoe, potatoes, boiled eggs, a dish of Irish stew, a fry of small
fish, a weird-looking curry, a young goat roasted whole, and a plum

The tea had hardly been poured out--Kussowlie beer, Epps's cocoa, and
(of course) champagne, and John Exshaw's brandy were also on tap--when
a gentleman with very little on proceeded to decapitate a goat at
the foot of the temple steps. This was somewhat startling, but when
the (presumed) high-priest chopped off the head of another bleating
victim, our meal was interrupted. The executions had been carried out
in very simple fashion. First, the priest sprinkled a little water on
the neck of the victim (who was held in position by an assistant), and
then retired up the steps. Then, brandishing a small sickle, he rushed
back, and in an instant off went the head, which was promptly carried,
reeking with gore, within the temple. But if, as happened more than
once, the head was not sliced off at the initial attempt, it was left
on the ground when decapitation had been at length effected. The deity
inside was evidently a bit particular!

Nine goats had been sacrificed, ere our remonstrances were attended
to; and we were allowed to pursue our meal in peace. But I don't think
anybody had goat for breakfast that morning.

Later on, the fun of the fair commenced, and the _paharis_, or hill
men, trooped in from miles round, with their sisters, cousins, and
aunts. Their wives, we imagined, were too busily occupied in carrying
their accustomed loads of timber to and fro. Your Himalayan delights
in a fair, and the numerous swings and roundabouts were all well
patronised; whilst the jugglers, and the snake charmers--in many
instances it was difficult to tell at a glance which was charmer and
which snake--were all well patronised. Later on, when the lamps had
been lit, a _burra nâtch_ was started, and the Bengali Baboos who
had come all the way from Simla in _dhoolies_ to be present at this,
applauded vigorously. And our host being in constant dread lest we
should starve to death or expire of thirst, never tired of bidding us
to a succession of banquets at which we simply went through the forms
of eating, to please him. And just when we began to get sleepy these
simple hill folks commenced to dance amongst themselves. They were
just a little monotonous, their choregraphic efforts. Parties of men
linked arms and sidled around fires of logs, singing songs of their
mountain homes the while. And as they were evidently determined to
make a night of it, sleep for those who understood not the game, with
their tents close handy, was out of the question. And when, as soon
as we could take our departure decently and decorously, we started
up the hill again, those doleful monotonous dances were still in
progress, although the fires were out, and the voices decidedly husky.
A native of the Himalayas is nothing if not energetic--in his own
interests be it understood.

A few months later I formed one of a small party who embarked on a
more important expedition than the last named, although we traversed
the same road. It is a journey which has frequently been made since,
from Simla to Cashmere, going as far into the land of the Great Llama
as the inhabitants will allow the stranger to do--which is not very
far; but, in the early sixties there were but few white men who had
even skirted Thibet. In the afternoon of life, when stirring the
fire has become preferable to stirring adventure, it seems (to the
writer at all events) very like an attempt at self-slaughter to have
travelled so many hundreds of miles along narrow goatpaths, with a
_khud_ (precipice) of thousands of feet on one side or the other;
picking one's way, if on foot, over the frequent avalanche (or "land
slip," as we called it in those days) of shale or granite; or if
carried in a _dhoolie_--which is simply a hammock attached by straps
to a bamboo pole--running the risk of being propelled over a precipice
by your heathen carriers. It is not the pleasantest of sensations
to cross a mountain torrent by means of a frail bridge (called a
_jhula_) of ropes made from twigs, and stretched many feet above the
torrent itself, nor to "weather" a corner, whilst clinging tooth
and nail to the face of a cliff. And when there is any riding to be
done, most people would prefer a hill pony to a _yak_, the native ox
of Thibet. By far the best part of a _yak_ is his beautiful silky,
fleecy tail, which is largely used in Hindustan, by dependants of
governors-general, commanders-in-chief, and other mighty ones, for the
discomfiture of the frequent fly. A very little equestrian exercise on
the back of a _yak_ goes a long way; and if given my choice, I would
sooner ride a stumbling cab-horse in a saddle with spikes in it.

But those days were our salad ones; we were not only "green of
judgment," but admirers of the beautiful, and reckless of danger.
But it was decidedly "roughing it." As it is advisable to traverse
that track as lightly laden as possible, we took but few "Europe"
provisions with us, depending upon the villages, for the most part,
for our supplies. We usually managed to buy a little flour, wherewith
to make the inevitable _chupati_, and at some of the co-operative
stores _en route_, we obtained mutton of fair flavour. We did not know
in those days that flesh exposed to the air, in the higher ranges of
the Himalayas, will not putrefy, else we should have doubtless made
a species of _biltong_ of the surplus meat, to carry with us in case
of any famine about. So "short commons" frequently formed the bill
of fare. Our little stock of brandy was carefully husbanded, against
illness; and, judging from the subsequent histories of two of the
party, this was the most miraculous feature of the expedition. For
liquid refreshment we had neat water, and _thé à la mode de Thibet_.
Doctor Nansen, in his book on the crossing of Greenland, inveighs
strongly against the use of alcohol in an Arctic expedition; but I
confess that the first time I tasted Thibet tea I would have given
both my ears for a soda and brandy. The raw tea was compressed into
the shape of a brick, with the aid of--we did not inquire what; its
infusion was drunk, either cold or lukewarm, flavoured with salt, and
a small lump of butter which in any civilised police court would have
gained the vendor a month's imprisonment without the option of a fine.

The people of the district were in the habit of gorging themselves
with flesh when they could get it; and polyandry was another of their
pleasant customs. We saw one lady who was married to three brothers,
but did not boast of it. Thibet is probably the most priest-ridden
country in the world, and ought to be the most religious; for the
natives can grind out their prayers, on wheels, at short intervals, in
pretty much the same way as we grind our coffee in dear old England.

But we reached the promised land at last; and here at least there
was no lack of food and drink. Meat was cheap in those days; and one
of the party, without any bargaining whatever, purchased a sheep for
eight annas, or one shilling sterling. Mutton is not quite as cheap at
the time of writing this book (1897), I believe; but in the long ago
there were but few English visitors to the land of Lalla Rookh, and
those who did go had to obtain permission of the Rajah, through the
British Resident.

With improved transit, and a railroad from Rangoon to Mandalay,
matters gastronomic may be better in British Burmah nowadays; but in
the course of an almost world-wide experience I have never enjoyed
food less than in Pagoda-land during the sixties. And as a Burmese
built house was not a whit more comfortable than a tent, and far
less waterproof, this subject may well be included in the chapter
headed "Camping Out." Fruits there were, varied and plentiful; and
if you only planted the crown of a pine-apple in your compound one
evening you would probably find a decent-sized pine-apple above
ground next--well, next week. At least so they told me when I arrived
in the country. This fruit, in fact, was so plentiful that we used
to peel the pines, and gnaw them, just like a school-boy would gnaw
the ordinary variety of apple. But we had no mutton--not up the
country, that is to say; and we were entirely dependent upon Madras
for potatoes. Therefore, as there was only a steamer once a month
from Madras to Rangoon, which invariably missed the Irrawaddy monthly
mail-boat, we "exiles" had to content ourselves with yams, or the
abominable "preserved" earth-apple. The insects of the air wrestled
with us at the mess-table, for food; and the man who did not swallow
an evil-tasting fly of some sort in his soup was lucky.[9] As for the
food of the Burman himself, "absolutely beastly" was no name for it.
Strips of cat-fish the colour of beef were served at his marriage
feasts; and he was especially fond of a condiment the name of which
was pronounced _nuppee_--although that is probably not the correct
spelling, and I never studied the language of that country--which was
concocted from a smaller description of fish, buried in the earth
until decomposition had triumphed, and then mashed up with _ghee_
(clarified--and "postponed"--butter). There was, certainly, plenty of
shooting to be obtained in the district; but, as it rained in torrents
for nine months in every year, the shooter required a considerable
amount of nerve, and, in addition to a Boyton suit, case-hardened
lungs and throat. And, singularly enough, it was an established fact
that if loaded for snipe you invariably met a tiger, or something
else with sharp teeth, and _vice versa_. Also, you were exceptionally
fortunate if you did not step upon one of the venomous snakes of the
country, of whom the _hamadryad's_ bite was said to be fatal within
five minutes. I had omitted to mention that snake is also a favourite
food of the Burman; and as I seldom went home of an evening without
finding a rat-snake or two in the verandah, or the arm-chair, the
natives had snake for breakfast, most days. The rat-snake is, however,
quite harmless to life.

I have "camped out" in England once or twice; once with a select
circle of gipsies, the night before the Derby. I wished merely to
study character; and, after giving them a few words of the Romany
dialect, and a good deal of tobacco, I was admitted into their
confidences. But the experience gained was not altogether pleasing,
nor yet edifying; nor did we have baked hedgehog for supper. In
fact I have never yet met the "gippo" (most of them keep fowls) who
will own to having tasted this _bonne bouche_ of the descriptive
writer. Possibly this is on account of the scarcity of the hedgehog.
"Tea-kettle broth"--bread sopped in water, with a little salt and
dripping to flavour the soup--on the other hand, figures on most
of the gipsy _menus_. And upon one occasion, very early in the
morning, another wanderer and the writer obtained much-needed liquid
refreshment by milking the yield of a Jersey cow into each other's
mouths, alternately. But this was a long time ago, and in the
neighbourhood of Bagshot Heath, and it was somebody else's cow; so let
no more be said about it.

I fear this chapter is not calculated to make many mouths water. In
fact what in the world has brought it into the midst of a work on
gastronomy I am at a loss to make out. However here it is.

                            CHAPTER XVIII

                           COMPOUND DRINKS

                   "Flow wine! Smile woman!
                    And the universe is consoled."

     Derivation of punch--"Five"--The "milk" brand--The best
     materials--Various other punches--Bischoff or Bishop--"Halo"
     punch--Toddy--The toddy tree of India--Flip--A "peg"--John
     Collins--Out of the guard-room.

The subject of PUNCH is such an important one that it may be placed
first on the list of dainty beverages which can be made by the art or
application of man or woman.

First, let us take the origin of the word. DOCTOR KITCHENER, an
acknowledged authority, during his lifetime, on all matters connected
with eating and drinking, has laid it down that punch is of West
Indian origin, and that the word when translated, means "five";
because there be five ingredients necessary in the concoction of the
beverage. But Doctor Kitchener and his disciples (of whom there be
many) may go to the bottom of the cookery class; for although from the
large connection which rum and limes have with the mixture, there
would seem to be a West Indian flavour about it; the word "five,"
when translated into West Indianese, is nothing like "punch." Having
satisfied themselves that this is a fact, modern authorities have
tried the East Indies for the source of the name, and have discovered
that _panch_ in Hindustani really does mean "five." "Therefore," says
one modern authority, "it is named punch from the five ingredients
which compose it--(1) spirit, (2) acid, (3) spice, (4) sugar, (5)
water." Another modern authority calls punch "a beverage introduced
into England from India, and so called from being usually made of
five (Hindi, _panch_) ingredients--arrack, tea, sugar, water, and
lemon juice." This sounds far more like an East Indian concoction than
the other; but at the same time punch--during the latter half of the
nineteenth century at all events--was as rare a drink in Hindustan as
_bhang_ in Great Britain. The _panch_ theory is an ingenious one, but
there are plenty of other combinations (both liquid and solid) of five
to which the word punch is never applied; and about the last beverage
recommended by the faculty for the consumption of the sojourner in the
land of the Great Mogul, would, I should think, be the entrancing,
seductive one which we Britons know under the name of punch. Moreover
it is not every punch-concoctor who uses five ingredients. In the
minds of some--youthful members of the Stock Exchange, for the most
part--water is an altogether unnecessary addition to the alcoholic
mixture which is known by the above name. And what manner of man would
add spice to that delight of old Ireland, "a jug o' punch?" On the
other hand, in many recipes, there are more than five ingredients used.

But after all, the origin of the name is of but secondary importance,
as long as you can make punch. Therefore, we will commence with a few
recipes for

                            _Milk Punch_.

     1. Three bottles of rum.
     The most delicately-flavoured rum is the "Liquid Sunshine" brand.
     One bottle of sherry.
     13 lbs of loaf-sugar.
     The rind of six lemons, and the juice of twelve.
     One quart of boiling skimmed milk.

     Mix together, let the mixture stand eight days, stirring
     it each day. Strain and bottle, and let it stand three months.
     Then re-bottle, and let the bottles lie on their sides in the
     cellar for two years, to mature. The flavour will be much
     better than if drunk after the first period of three months.

It is not everybody, however, who would care to wait two years, three
months, and eight days for the result of his efforts in punch-making.
Therefore another recipe may be appended; and in this one no "close
time" is laid down for the consumption of the mixture.

     2. Put into a bottle of rum or brandy the thinly-pared
     rinds of three Seville oranges, and three lemons. Cork tightly
     for two days. Rub off on 2 lbs of lump sugar the rinds of six
     lemons, squeeze the juice from the whole of the fruit over
     the 2 lbs of sugar, add three quarts of boiling water, one
     of boiling milk, half a teaspoonful of nutmeg, and mix all
     thoroughly well together until the sugar is dissolved. Pour in
     the rum or brandy, stir, and strain till clear; bottle closely.

There is more than one objection to this recipe. (1) Rum, and not
brandy (by itself), should be used for milk punch. (2) There is an
"intolerable amount" of water; and (3) the nutmeg had better remain in
the spice-box.

     3. Cut off the thin yellow rind of four lemons and a
     Seville orange, taking care not to include even a fragment of
     the _white_ rind, and place in a basin. Pour in one pint of
     Jamaica rum, and let it stand, covered over, twelve hours.
     Then strain, and mix with it one pint of lemon juice, and two
     pints of cold water, in which one pound of sugar-candy has
     been dissolved; add the whites of two eggs, beaten to a froth,
     three pints more of rum, one pint of madeira, one pint of
     strong green tea, and a large wine-glassful of maraschino. Mix
     thoroughly, and pour over all one pint of boiling milk. Let the
     punch stand a little while, then strain through a jelly-bag,
     and either use at once, or bottle off.

Here let it be added, lest the precept be forgotten, that the

                        _Very best Materials_

are absolutely necessary for the manufacture of punch, as of other
compound drinks. In the above recipe for instance by "madeira," is
meant "Rare Old East Indian," and _not_ marsala, which wine, in
French kitchens, is invariably used as the equivalent of madeira.
There must be no inferior sherry, Gladstone claret, cheap champagne,
nor potato-brandy, used for any of my recipes, or I will not be
responsible for the flavour of the beverage. The following is the best
idea of a milk punch known to the writer:--

     4. Over the yellow rind of four lemons and one Seville
     orange, pour one pint of rum. Let it stand, covered over, for
     twelve hours. Strain and mix in two pints more of rum, one pint
     of brandy, one pint of sherry, half-a-pint of lemon juice, the
     expressed juice of a peeled pine-apple, one pint of green tea,
     one pound of sugar dissolved in one quart of boiling water, the
     whites of two eggs beaten up, one quart of boiling milk. Mix
     well, let it cool, and then strain through a jelly-bag, and
     bottle off.

This punch is calculated to make the epicure forget that he has just
been partaking of conger-eel broth instead of clear turtle.

                       _Cambridge Milk Punch._

     This a fairly good boys' beverage, there being absolutely
     "no offence in't." Put the rind of half a lemon (small) into
     one pint of new milk, with twelve lumps of sugar. Boil very
     slowly for fifteen minutes, then remove from the fire, take out
     the lemon rind, and mix in the yolk of one egg, which has been
     previously blended with one tablespoonful of cold milk, two
     tablespoonfuls of brandy, and four of rum. Whisk all together,
     and when the mixture is frothed, it is ready to serve.

                           _Oxford Punch._

There is no milk in this mixture, which sounds like "for'ard on!" for
the undergraduate who for the first time samples it.

     Rub off the yellow rind of three lemons with half-a-pound
     of loaf sugar. Put the result into a large jug, with the yellow
     rind of one Seville orange, the juice of three Seville oranges
     and eight lemons, and one pint of liquefied calf's-foot jelly.
     Mix thoroughly, then pour over two quarts of boiling water,
     and set the jug on the hob for thirty minutes. Strain the
     mixture into a punch-bowl, and when cool add one small bottle
     of capillaire (an infusion of maidenhair fern, flavoured with
     sugar and orange-flower water); one pint of brandy, one pint
     of rum, half-a-pint of dry sherry, and one quart of orange
     shrub--a mixture of orange-peel, juice, sugar, and rum.

After drinking this, the young student will be in a fit state to
sally forth, with his fellows, and "draw" a Dean, or drown an amateur

I have a very old recipe, in MS., for "Bischoff," which I take to
be the original of the better known beverage called "Bishop," for
the manufacture of which I have also directions. For the sake of
comparison I give the two.


     Cut into four parts each, three Seville oranges, and
     slightly score the rinds across with a sharp knife. Roast the
     quarters lightly before a slow fire, and put them into a bowl
     with two bottles of claret, with a little cinnamon and nutmeg.
     Infuse this mixture over a slow heat for five or six hours,
     then pass it through a jelly-bag, and sweeten. It may be drunk
     hot or cold, but in any case must never be allowed to boil.


     Two drachmas each of cloves, mace, ginger, cinnamon, and
     allspice, boiled in half-a-pint of water for thirty minutes.
     Strain. Put a bottle of port in a saucepan over the fire, add
     the spiced infusion, and a lemon stuck with six cloves. Whilst
     this is heating gradually--it must not boil--take four ounces
     of loaf sugar, and with the lumps grate off the outer rind of a
     lemon into a punch-bowl. Add the sugar, and juice, and the hot
     wine, etc. Add another bottle of port, and serve either hot or

I am prepared to lay a shade of odds on the "op" against the "off."

Another old recipe has been quoted in some of my earlier public
efforts, under different names. I have improved considerably upon the
proportion of the ingredients, and now hand the whole back, under the
name of

                            _Halo Punch_.

     With a quarter pound of loaf sugar rub off the outer rind
     of one lemon and two Seville oranges. Put rind and sugar into
     a large punch-bowl with the juice and pulp, mix the sugar well
     with the juice and one teacupful of boiling water, and stir
     till cold. Add half-a-pint of pine-apple syrup, one pint of
     strong green tea, a claret-glassful of maraschino, a smaller
     glassful of noyeau, half-a-pint of white rum, one pint of
     brandy, and one bottle of champagne. Strain and serve, having,
     if necessary, added more sugar.

Note well the proportions. This is the same beverage which some
Cleveland friends of mine, having read the recipe, thought _boiling_
would improve. The result was--well, a considerable amount of chaos.

                           _Glasgow Punch._

The following is from _Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk_, and is from
the pen of John Gibson Lockhart:--

     The sugar being melted with a little _cold_ water, the
     artist squeezed about a dozen lemons through a wooden strainer,
     and then poured in water enough almost to fill the bowl. In
     this state the liquor goes by the name of sherbet, and a few of
     the connoisseurs in his immediate neighbourhood were requested
     to give their opinion of it--for in the mixing of the sherbet
     lies, according to the Glasgow creed, at least one-half of the
     whole battle. This being approved of by an audible smack from
     the lips of the umpires, the rum was added to the beverage, I
     suppose, in something about the proportion from one to seven.

Does this mean one of sherbet and seven of rum, or the converse?

     Last of all, the maker cut a few limes, and running each
     section rapidly round the rim of his bowl, squeezed in enough
     of this more delicate acid to flavour the whole composition. In
     this consists the true _tour-de-maitre_ of the punch-maker.

Well, possibly; but it seems a plainish sort of punch; and unless the
rum be allowed to preponderate, most of us would be inclined to call
the mixture lemonade. And I do not believe that since Glasgow has been
a city its citizens ever drank much of _that_.

A few more punches, and then an anecdote.

                             _Ale Punch._

     One quart of mild ale in a bowl, add one wine-glassful of
     brown sherry, the same quantity of old brandy, a tablespoonful
     of sifted sugar, the peel and juice of one lemon, a grate of
     nutmeg, and an iceberg.

     _N.B._--Do not insert old ale, by mistake. And for my own
     part, I think it a mistake to mix John Barleycorn with wine
     (except champagne) and spirits.

                          _Barbadoes Punch._

     A tablespoonful of raspberry syrup, a ditto of sifted
     sugar, a wine-glassful of water, double that quantity of
     brandy, half a wine-glassful of guava jelly, liquid, the juice
     of half a lemon, two slices of orange, one slice of pine-apple,
     in a long tumbler. Ice and shake well and drink through straws.

                           _Curaçoa Punch._

     Put into a large tumbler one tablespoonful of sifted
     sugar, one wine-glassful of brandy, the same quantity of
     water, half a wine-glassful of Jamaica rum, a wine-glassful of
     curaçoa, and the juice of half a lemon; fill the tumbler with
     crushed ice, shake, and drink through straws.

                           _Grassot Punch._

     This has nothing to do with warm asparagus, so have
     no fear. It is simply another big-tumbler mixture, of one
     wine-glassful of brandy, a liqueur-glassful of curaçoa, a
     squeeze of lemon, two teaspoonfuls sugar, one of syrup of
     strawberries, one wine-glassful of water, and the thin rind of
     a lemon; fill up the tumbler with crushed ice, shake, and put
     slices of ripe apricots atop. Drink how you like.

Most of the above are hot-weather beverages, and the great beauty
of some of them will be found in the small quantity of water in the
mixture. Here is a punch which may be drunk in any weather, and either
hot or cold.

                           _Regent Punch._

     Pour into a bowl a wine-glassful of champagne, the same
     quantities of hock, curaçoa, rum, and madeira. Mix well, and
     add a pint of boiling tea, sweetened. Stir well and serve.

_Apropos_ of the derivation of "punch," I was unaware until quite
recently that Messrs. Bradbury's & Agnew's little paper had any
connection therewith. But I was assured by one who knew all about it,
that such was the case.

"What?" I exclaimed. "How can the _London Charivari_ possibly have
anything to do with this most seductive of beverages?"

"My dear fellow," was the reply, "have you never heard of Mark

I turned to smite him hip and thigh; but the jester had fled.

And now a word or two as to "TODDY." One of the authorities quoted
in the punch difficulty declares that toddy is also an Indian drink.
So it is. But that drink no more resembles what is known in more
civilised lands as toddy than I resemble the late king Solomon. The
palm-sap which the poor Indian distils into arrack and occasionally
drinks in its natural state for breakfast after risking his neck in
climbing trees to get it, can surely have no connection with hot
whisky and water? Yet the authority says so; but he had best be
careful ere he promulgates his theory in the presence of Scotsmen and
others who possess special toddy-glasses. This is how I make

                           _Whisky Toddy_.

     The Irish call this whisky punch. But do not let us
     wrangle over the name. Into an ordinary-sized tumbler which
     has been warmed, put one average lump of sugar, a ring of thin
     lemon peel, and a silver teaspoon. Fill the tumbler one quarter
     full of water as near boiling point as possible. Cover over
     until the sugar be dissolved and peel be infused. Then add one
     wine-glassful--not a small one--of the best whisky you can
     find--the "Pollok" brand, and the "R.B." are both excellent.
     Then drink the toddy, or punch; for should you attempt to add
     any more water you will incur the lifelong contempt of every
     Irishman or Scotsman who may be in the same room. If Irish
     whisky be used, of course you will select "John Jameson."

     'Twixt ale-flip and egg-flip there is not much more
     difference than 'twixt tweedledum and tweedledee. Both are
     equally "more-ish" on a cold evening; and no Christmas eve is
     complete without a jug of one or the other.


     Pour into a saucepan three pints of mild ale, one
     tablespoonful of sifted sugar, a blade of mace, a clove, and
     a small piece of butter; and bring the liquor to a boil. Beat
     up in a basin the white of one egg and the yolks of two, mixed
     with about a wine-glassful of cold ale. Mix all together in the
     saucepan, then pour into a jug, and thence into another jug,
     from a height, for some minutes, to froth the flip thoroughly
     but do not let it get cold.


     Heat one pint of ale, and pour into a jug. Add two eggs,
     beaten with three ounces of sugar, and pour the mixture from
     one jug to the other, as in the preceding recipe. Grate a
     little nutmeg and ginger over the flip before serving.

Were I to ask What is

                               _A Peg_?

I should probably be told that a peg was something to hang something
or somebody else on, or that it was something to be driven through or
into something else. And the latter would be the more correct answer,
for at the time of my sojourn in the great continent of India, a peg
meant a large brandy-and-soda. At that time whisky was but little
known in Punkahland, and was only used high up in the Punjaub during
the "cold weather"--and it is cold occasionally in that region, where
for some months they are enabled to make ice--but that is _une autre
histoire_. Rum I once tasted at Simla, and gin will be dealt with
presently. But since the visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, a peg
has always signified a _whisky_-and-soda. And yet we have not heard of
any particular decrease in the death-rate. Despite what those who have
only stayed a month or two in the country have committed to print,
alcohol is _not_ more fatal in a tropical country than a temperate
one. But you must not overdo your alcohol. I have seen a gay young
spark, a fine soldier, and over six feet in height, drink _eight_ pegs
of a morning, ere he got out of bed. There was no such thing as a
"split soda"--or a split brandy either--in those days. We buried him
in the Bay of Bengal just after a cyclone, on our way home.

By the way, the real meaning of "peg" was said to be the peg, or nail,
driven into the coffin of the drinker every time he partook. And the
coffin of many an Anglo-Indian of my acquaintance was all nails. A

                            _John Collins_

is simply a gin-sling with a little curaçoa in it. That is to say,
soda-water, a slice of lemon, curaçoa--and gin. But by altering the
proportions this can be made a very dangerous potion indeed. The
officers of a certain regiment--which shall be nameless--were in the
habit of putting this potion on tap, after dinner on a guest night.
It was a point of honour in those evil, though poetical, times, to
send no guest empty away, and more than one of those entertained by
this regiment used to complain next morning at breakfast--a peg, or
a swizzle, and a hot pickle sandwich--of the escape of "Private John
Collins" from the regimental guard-room. For towards dawn there would
not be much soda-water in that potion--which was usually served hot at
that hour.

                             CHAPTER XIX

                          CUPS AND CORDIALS

            "Can any mortal mixture
             Breathe such divine, enchanting ravishment?"

             "The evil that men do lives after them."

     Five recipes for claret cup--Balaclava
     cup--Orgeat--Ascot cup--Stout and champagne--Shandy-gaff
     for millionaires--Ale cup--Cobblers which will
     stick to the last--Home Ruler--Cherry brandy--Sloe
     gin--Home-made, if possible--A new industry--Apricot
     brandy--Highland cordial--Bitters--Jumping-powder--Orange
     brandy--"Mandragora"--"Sleep rock thy brain!"

I suppose there are almost as many recipes for claret cup as for a
cold in the head. And of the many it is probable that the greater
proportion will produce a cup which will neither cheer nor inebriate;
for the simple reason that nobody, who was not inebriated already,
would be physically capable of drinking enough of it. Let us first of
all take the late Mr. Donald's recipe for

Claret Cup:

      _A._ 1 bottle claret.
           1 wine-glassful fine pale brandy.
           ½ do. chartreuse yellow.
           ½ do. curaçoa.
           ¼ do. maraschino.
           2 bottles soda or seltzer.[10]
           1 lemon, cut in thin slices.
           A few sprigs of borage; not much.
           Ice and sugar to taste.

Here is a less expensive recipe:

     _B._ Put into a bowl the rind of one lemon pared very
     thin, add some sifted sugar, and pour over it a wine-glassful
     of sherry; then add a bottle of claret, more sugar to taste,
     a sprig of verbena, one bottle of aerated water, and a grated
     nutmeg; strain and ice it well.

Once more let the fact be emphasised that the better the wine, spirit,
etc., the better the cup.

Here is a good cup for Ascot, when the sun is shining, and you are
entertaining the fair sex.

     _C._ Put in a large bowl three bottles of claret (St.
     Estephe is the stamp of wine), a wine-glassful (large) of
     curaçoa, a pint of dry sherry, half a pint of old brandy, a
     large wine-glassful of raspberry syrup, three oranges and one
     lemon cut into slices; add a few sprigs of borage and a little
     cucumber rind, two bottles of seltzer water, and three bottles
     of Stretton water. Mix well, and sweeten. Let it stand for an
     hour, and then strain. Put in a large block of ice, and a few
     whole strawberries. Serve in small tumblers.

Another way and a simpler:

     _D._ Pour into a large jug one bottle of claret, add two
     wine-glassfuls of sherry, and half a glass of maraschino. Add
     a few sliced nectarines, or peaches, and sugar to taste (about
     a tablespoonful and a half). Let it stand till the sugar is
     dissolved, then put in a sprig of borage. Just before using add
     one bottle of Stretton water, and a large piece of ice.

My ideal claret cup:

      _E._ 2 bottles Pontet Canet.
           2 wine-glassfuls old brandy.
           1 wine-glassful curaçoa.
           1 pint bottle sparkling moselle.
           2 bottles aerated water.

     A sprig or two of borage, and a little lemon peel.

     Sugar _ad lib._: one cup will not require much.

     Add the moselle and popwater just before using; then put
     in a large block of ice.

Those who have never tried can have no idea of the zest which a small
proportion of moselle lends to a claret cup.

My earliest recollection of a cup dates from old cricketing days
beneath "Henry's holy shade," on "a match day"--as poor old "Spanky"
used to phrase it; a day on which that prince of philosophers and
confectioners sold his wares for cash only. Not that he had anything
to do with the compounding of the

                             _Cider Cup_.

     Toast a slice of bread and put it at the bottom of a
     large jug. Grate over the toast nearly half a small nutmeg,
     and a very little ginger. Add a little thin lemon rind, and
     six lumps of sugar. Then add two wine-glasses of sherry, and
     (if for adults) one of brandy. (If for boys the brandy in the
     sherry will suffice.) Add also the juice of a small lemon,
     two bottles of lively water, and (last of all) three pints of
     cider. Mix well, pop in a few sprigs of borage, and a block or
     two of ice.

Remember once more that the purer the cider the better will be the
cup. There is an infinity of bad cider in the market. There used
to be a prejudice against the fermented juice of the apple for all
who have gouty tendencies; but as a "toe-martyr" myself, I can bear
testimony to the harmlessness of the "natural" Norfolk cider made at
Attleborough, in the which is no touch of Podagra.

For a good

                           _Champagne Cup_

_vide_ Claret Cup _A._ Substituting the "sparkling" for the "ruby,"
the ingredients are precisely the same.

A nice, harmless beverage, suitable for a tennis party, or to
accompany the "light refreshments" served at a "Cinderella" dance, or
at the "breaking-up" party at a ladies' school, is

                            _Chablis Cup_.

     Dissolve four or five lumps of sugar in a quarter of a
     pint of boiling water, and put it into a bowl with a very
     thin slice of lemon rind; let it stand for half-an-hour, then
     add a bottle of chablis, a sprig of verbena, a wine-glassful
     of sherry, and half-a-pint of water. Mix well, and let the
     mixture stand for a while, then strain, add a bottle of seltzer
     water, a few strawberries or raspberries, and a block of ice.
     Serve in small glasses.

                           _Balaclava Cup._

                      "Claret to right of 'em,
                       'Simpkin' to left of 'em--
                       Cup worth a hundred!"

     Get a large bowl, to represent the Valley--which only the
     more rabid abstainer would call the "Valley of Death." You
     will next require a small detachment of thin lemon rind, about
     two tablespoonfuls of sifted sugar, the juice of two lemons,
     and half a cucumber, cut into thin slices, with the peel on.
     Let all these ingredients skirmish about within the bowl; then
     bring up your heavy cavalry in the shape of two bottles of
     Château something, and one of the best champagne you have got.
     Last of all, unmask your soda-water battery; two bottles will
     be sufficient. Ice, and serve in tumblers.

                            _Crimean Cup._

This is a very serious affair. So was the war. The cup, however, leads
to more favourable results, and does not, like the campaign, leave a
bitter taste in the mouth. Here are the ingredients:

     One quart of syrup of orgeat (to make this _vide_
     next recipe), one pint and a half of old brandy, half a
     pint of maraschino, one pint of old rum, two large and one
     small bottles of champagne, three bottles of Seltzer-water,
     half-a-pound of sifted sugar, and the juice of five lemons.
     Peel the lemons, and put the thin rind in a mortar, with the
     sugar. Pound them well, and scrape the result with a silver
     spoon into a large bowl. Squeeze in the juice of the lemons,
     add the seltzer water, and stir till the sugar is quite
     dissolved. Then add the orgeat, and whip the mixture well with
     a whisk, so as to whiten it. Add the maraschino, rum, and
     brandy, and strain the whole into another bowl. Just before
     the cup is required, put in the champagne, and stir vigorously
     with a punch ladle. The champagne should be well iced, as no
     apparent ice is allowable in this mixture.


     Blanch and pound three-quarters of a pound of sweet
     almonds, and thirty bitter almonds, in one tablespoonful of
     water. Stir in by degrees two pints of water and three pints of
     milk. Strain the mixture through a cloth. Dissolve half-a-pound
     of loaf sugar in one pint of water. Boil and skim well, and
     then mix with the almond water. Add two tablespoonfuls of
     orange-flower water, and half-a-pint of old brandy. Be careful
     to boil the _eaû sucré_ well, as this concoction must not be
     too watery.

                             _Ascot Cup._

Odds can be laid freely on this; and the host should stay away
from the temptations of the betting-ring, on purpose to make it.
And--parenthetically be it observed--the man who has no soul for
cup-making should never entertain at a race meeting. The servants will
have other things to attend to; and even if they have not it should
be remembered that a cup, or punch, like a salad, should always, if
possible, be mixed by some one who is going to partake of the same.

     Dissolve six ounces of sugar in half-a-pint of boiling
     water; add the juice of three lemons, one pint of old brandy, a
     wine-glassful of cherry brandy, a wine-glassful of maraschino,
     half a wine-glassful of yellow chartreuse, two bottles of
     champagne. All these should be mixed in a large silver bowl.
     Add a few sprigs of borage, a few slices of lemon, half-a-dozen
     strawberries, half-a-dozen brandied cherries, and three bottles
     of seltzer water. Put the bowl, having first covered it over,
     into the refrigerator for one hour, and before serving, put
     a small iceberg into the mixture, which should be served in
     little tumblers.

How many people, I wonder, are aware that

                   _Champagne and Guinness' Stout_

make one of the best combinations possible? You may search the wide
wide world for a cookery book which will give this information; but
the mixture is both grateful and strengthening, and is, moreover, far
to be preferred to what is known as

                      _Rich Man's Shandy Gaff_,

which is a mixture of champagne and ale. The old Irishman said that
the "blackgyard" should never be placed atop of the "gintleman,"
intending to convey the advice that ale should not be placed on the
top of champagne. But the "black draught" indicated just above is well
worth attention. It should be drunk out of a pewter tankard, and is
specially recommended as a between-the-acts refresher for the amateur

                              _Ale Cup._

     Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a round of hot toast;
     lay on it a thin piece of the rind, a tablespoonful of pounded
     sugar, a little grated nutmeg, and a sprig of balm. Pour over
     these one glass of brandy, two glasses of sherry, and three
     pints of mild ale. Do not allow the balm to remain in the
     mixture many minutes.

One of the daintiest of beverages is a

                            _Moselle Cup_.

     Ingredients: One bottle of moselle. One glass of brandy.
     Four or five thin slices of pine-apple. The peel of half a
     lemon, cut very thin. Ice; and sugar _ad lib_. Just before
     using add one bottle of sparkling water.

                           _Sherry Cobbler_

     although a popular drink in America, is but little known
     on this side of the Atlantic. Place in a soda-water tumbler
     two wine-glassfuls of sherry, one tablespoonful of sifted
     sugar, and two or three slices of orange. Fill the tumbler with
     crushed ice, and shake well. Drink through straws.

                         _Champagne Cobbler._

     Put into a large tumbler one tablespoonful of sifted
     sugar, with a thin paring of lemon and orange peel; fill the
     tumbler one-third full of crushed ice, and the remainder with
     champagne. Shake, and ornament with a slice of lemon, and a
     strawberry or two. Drink through straws.

                            _Home Ruler._

     This was a favourite drink at the bars of the House
     of Commons, during the reign of the Uncrowned King. It was
     concocted of the yolks of two raw eggs, well beaten, a little
     sugar added, then a tumbler of hot milk taken gradually into
     the mixture, and last of all a large wine-glassful of "J.J."


In treating of cordials, it is most advisable that they be _home
made_. The bulk of the cherry brandy, ginger brandy, etc., which is
sold over the counter is made with inferior brandy; and frequently the
operation of blending the virtue of the fruit with the spirit has been

We will commence with the discussion of the favourite cordial of all,

                           _Cherry Brandy_.

     This can either be made from Black Gean cherries, or
     Morellas, but the latter are better for the purpose. Every
     pound of cherries will require one quarter of a pound of white
     sugar, and one pint of the best brandy. The cherries, with the
     sugar well mixed with them, should be placed in wide-mouthed
     bottles, filled up with brandy; and if the fruit be previously
     pricked, the mixture will be ready in a month. But a better
     blend is procured if the cherries are untouched, and this
     principle holds good with all fruit treated in this way, and
     left corked for at least three months.

                             _Sloe Gin._

For years the sloe, which is the fruit of the black-thorn, was used in
England for no other purpose than the manufacture of British Port.
But at this end of the nineteenth century, the public have been, and
are, taking kindly to the cordial, which for a long time had been
despised as an "auld wife's drink." As a matter of fact, it is just
as tasty, and almost as luscious as cherry brandy. But since sloe
gin became fashionable, it has become almost impossible for dwellers
within twenty or thirty miles of London to make the cordial at home.
For sloes fetch something like sixpence or sevenpence a pound in
the market; and in consequence the hedgerows are "raided" by the
(otherwise) unemployed, the fruit being usually picked before the
proper time, _i.e._ when the frost has been on it. The manufacture of
sloe gin is as simple as that of cherry brandy.

     All that is necessary to be done is to allow 1 lb. of
     sugar (white) to 1 lb. of sloes. Half fill a bottle--which need
     not necessarily be a wide-mouthed one--with sugared fruit, and
     "top up" with gin. If the sloes have been pricked, the liquor
     will be ready for use in two or three months; but _do not hurry

In a year's time the gin will have eaten all the goodness out of the
unpricked fruit, and it is in this gradual blending that the secret
(as before observed) of making these cordials lies. As a rule, if you
call for sloe gin at a licensed house of entertainment, you will get a
ruby-coloured liquid, tasting principally of gin--and not good gin "at
that." This is because the making has been hurried. Properly matured
sloe gin should be the colour of full-bodied port wine.

                          _Apricot Brandy._

     This is a cordial which is but seldom met with in this
     country. To every pound of fruit (which should not be quite
     ripe) allow one pound of loaf sugar. Put the apricots into
     a preserving-pan, with sufficient water to cover them. Let
     them boil up, and then simmer gently until tender. Remove the
     skins. Clarify and boil the sugar, then pour it over the fruit.
     Let it remain twenty-four hours. Then put the apricots into
     wide-mouthed bottles, and fill them up with syrup and brandy,
     half and half. Cork them tightly, with the tops of corks
     sealed. This apricot brandy should be prepared in the month of
     July, and kept twelve months before using.

                         _Highland Cordial._

     Here is another rare old recipe. Ingredients, one pint of
     white currants, stripped of their stalks, the thin rind of a
     lemon, one teaspoonful of essence of ginger, and one bottle of
     old Scotch whisky. Let the mixture stand for forty-eight hours,
     and then strain through a hair sieve. Add one pound of loaf
     sugar, which will take at least a day to thoroughly dissolve.
     Then bottle off, and cork well. It will be ready for use in
     three months, but will keep longer.


     One ounce of Seville orange-peel, half an ounce of
     gentian root, a quarter of an ounce of cardamoms. Husk the
     cardamoms, and crush them with the gentian root. Put them in a
     wide-mouthed bottle, and cover with brandy or whisky. Let the
     mixture remain for twelve days, then strain, and bottle off for
     use, after adding one ounce of lavender drops.

                           _Ginger Brandy._

     Bruise slightly two pounds of black currants, and mix
     them with one ounce and a half of ground ginger. Pour over
     them one bottle and a half of best brandy, and let the mixture
     stand for two days. Strain off the liquid, and add one pound of
     loaf sugar which has been boiled to a syrup in a little water.
     Bottle and cork closely.

                          "_Jumping Powder_"

comes in very handy, on a raw morning, after you have ridden a dozen
miles or so to a lawn meet. "No breakfast, thanks, just a wee nip,
that's all." And the ever ready butler hands round the tray. If you
are wise, you will declare on

                           _Orange Brandy_

which, as a rule, is well worth sampling, in a house important enough
to entertain hunting men. And orange brandy "goes" much better than
any other liqueur, or cordial, before noon.

     It should be made in the month of March. Take the thin
     rinds of six Seville oranges, and put them into a stone jar,
     with half-a-pint of the strained juice, and two quarts of good
     old brandy. Let it remain three days, then add one pound and
     a quarter of loaf sugar--broken, not pounded--and stir till
     the sugar is dissolved. Let the liquor stand a day, strain it
     through paper till quite clear, pour into bottles, and cork
     tightly. The longer it is kept the better.


"Can't sleep." Eh? What! not after a dry chapter on liquids? Drink
this, and you will not require any rocking.

     Simmer half-a-pint of old ale, and just as it is about to
     boil pour it into a tumbler, grate a little nutmeg over it, and
     add a teaspoonful of moist sugar, and two tablespoonfuls of
     brandy. Good night, Hamlet!

                              CHAPTER XX

                          THE DAYLIGHT DRINK

                    "Something too much of this."

                    "A nipping and an eager air."

     Evil effects of dram-drinking--The "Gin-crawl"--Abstinence
     in H.M. service--City manners and customs--Useless to argue
     with the soaker--Cocktails--Pet names for drams--The free lunch
     system--Fancy mixtures--Why no Cassis?--Good advice like water
     on a duck's back.

Whilst holding the same opinion as the epicure who declared that good
eating required good drinking, there is no question but that there
should be a limit to both. There is, as Shakespeare told us, a tide
in the affairs of man, so why should there not be in this particular
affair? Why should it be only ebb tide during the few hours that the
man is wrapped in the arms of a Bacchanalian Morpheus, either in
bed or in custody? The abuse of good liquor is surely as criminal a
folly as the abstention therefrom; and the man who mixes his liquors
injudiciously lacks that refinement of taste and understanding which
is necessary for the appreciation of a good deal of this book, or
indeed of any other useful volume. Our grandfathers swore terribly,
and drank deep; but their fun did not commence until after dinner. And
they drank, for the most part, the best of ale, and such port wine
as is not to be had in these days of free trade (which is only an
euphemism for adulteration) and motor cars. Although mine own teeth
are, periodically, set on edge by the juice of the grape consumed by
an ancestor or two; although the gout within me is an heritage from
the three-, aye! and four-, bottle era, I respect mine ancestors,
in that they knew not "gin and bitters." The baleful habit of
alcoholising the inner sinner between meal times, the pernicious habit
of dram-drinking, or "nipping," from early morn till dewy eve, was not
introduced into our cities until the latter half of the nineteenth
century had set in. "Brandy-and-soda," at first only used as a
"livener"--and a deadly livener it is--was unknown during the early
Victorian era; and the "gin-crawl," that interminable slouch around
the hostelries, is a rank growth of modernity.

The "nipping habit" came to us, with other pernicious "notions," from
across the Atlantic Ocean. It was Brother Jonathan who established the
bar system; and although for the most part, throughout Great Britain,
the alcohol is dispensed by young ladies with fine eyes and a great
deal of adventitious hair, and the "bar-keep," with his big watch
chain, and his "guns," placed within easy reach, for quick-shooting
saloon practice, is unknown on this side, the hurt of the system
(to employ an Americanism) "gets there just the same." There is not
the same amount of carousing in the British army as in the days
when I was a "gilded popinjay" (in the language of Mr. John Burns;
"a five-and-twopenny assassin," in the words of somebody else). In
those days the use of alcohol, if not absolutely encouraged for the
use of the subaltern, was winked at by his superiors, as long as the
subalterns were not on duty, or on the line of march--and I don't
know so much about the line of march, either. But with any orderly or
responsible duty to be done, the beverage of heroes was not admired.
"Now mind," once observed our revered colonel, in the ante-room, after
dinner, "none of you young officers get seeing snakes and things, or
otherwise rendering yourselves unfit for service; or I'll try the lot
of you by court martial, I will, by ----." Here the adjutant let the
regimental bible drop with a bang. Tea is the favourite ante-room
refreshment nowadays, when the officer, young or old, is always either
on duty, or at school. And the education of the modern warrior is
never completed.

But the civilian--sing ho! the wicked civilian--is a reveller, and
a winebibber, for the most part. Very little business is transacted
except over what is called "a friendly glass." "I want seven hundred
an' forty-five from you, old chappie," says Reggie de Beers of the
"House," on settling day. "Right," replies his friend young "Berthas":
"toss you double or quits. Down with it!" And it would be a cold
day were not a magnum or two of "the Boy" to be opened over the
transaction. The cheap eating-house keeper who has spent his morning
at the "market," cheapening a couple of pigs, or a dozen scraggy
fowls, will have spent double the money he has saved in the bargain,
in rum and six-penny ale, ere he gets home again; and even a wholesale
deal in evening journals, between two youths in the street, requires
to be "wetted." Very sad is it not? But, as anything which I--who am
popularly supposed to be something resembling a roysterer, but who
am in reality one of the most discreet of those who enjoy life--can
write is not likely to work a change in the system which obtains
amongst English-speaking nations, perhaps the sooner I get on with the
programme the better. Later on I may revert to the subject.

Amongst daylight (and midnight, for the matter of that) drinks, the
COCKTAIL, that fascinating importation from Dollarland, holds a
prominent place. This is a concoction for which, with American bars
all over the Metropolis, the cockney does not really require any
recipe. But as I trust to have some country readers, a few directions
may be appended.

                          _Brandy Cocktail._

     One wine-glassful of old brandy, six drops of Angostura
     bitters, and twenty drops of curaçoa, in a small tumbler--all
     cocktails should be made in a small silver tumbler--shake, and
     pour into glass tumbler, then fill up with crushed ice. Put a
     shred of lemon peel atop.

                        _Champagne Cocktail._

     One teaspoonful of sifted sugar, ten drops of Angostura
     bitters, a small slice of pine-apple, and a shred of lemon
     peel. Strain into glass tumbler, add crushed ice, and as much
     champagne as the tumbler will hold. Mix with a spoon.

                          _Bengal Cocktail._

     Fill tumbler half full of crushed ice. Add thirty drops of
     maraschino, one tablespoonful of pine-apple syrup, thirty drops
     of curaçoa, six drops of Angostura bitters, one wine-glassful
     of old brandy. Stir, and put a shred of lemon peel atop.

                         _Milford Cocktail._

                      (Dedicated to Mr. Jersey.)

     Put into a half-pint tumbler a couple of lumps of best
     ice, one teaspoonful of sifted sugar, one teaspoonful of orange
     bitters, half a wine-glassful of brandy. Top up with bottled
     cider, and mix with a spoon. Serve with a strawberry, and a
     sprig of verbena atop.

                        _Manhattan Cocktail._

     Half a wine-glassful of vermouth (Italian), half a
     wine-glassful of rye whisky (according to the American recipe,
     though, personally, I prefer Scotch), ten drops of Angostura
     bitters, and six drops of curaçoa. Add ice, shake well, and
     strain. Put a shred of lemon peel atop.

                         _Yum Yum Cocktail._

     Break the yolk of a new-laid egg into a small tumbler, and
     put a teaspoonful of sugar on it. Then six drops of Angostura
     bitters, a wine-glassful of sherry, and half a wine-glassful
     of brandy. Shake all well together, and strain. Dust a very
     little cinnamon over the top.

                           _Gin Cocktail._

     Ten drops of Angostura bitters, one wine-glassful of gin,
     ten drops of curaçoa, one shred of lemon peel. Fill up with
     ice, shake, and strain.

                         _Newport Cocktail._

     Put two lumps of ice and a small _slice_ of lemon into
     the tumbler, add six drops of Angostura bitters, half a
     wine-glassful of noyau, and a wine-glassful of brandy. Stir
     well, and serve with peel atop.

                         _Saratoga Cocktail._

     This is a more important affair, and requires a large
     tumbler for the initial stage. One teaspoonful of pine-apple
     syrup, ten drops of Angostura bitters, one teaspoonful of
     maraschino, and a wine-glassful of old brandy. Nearly fill the
     tumbler with crushed ice, and shake well. Then place a couple
     of strawberries in a small tumbler, strain the liquid on them,
     put in a strip of lemon peel, and top up with champagne.

                          _Whisky Cocktail._

     Put into a small tumbler ten drops of Angostura bitters,
     and one wine-glassful of Scotch whisky. Fill the tumbler with
     crushed ice, shake well, strain into a large wine-glass, and
     place a strip of peel atop.

But the ordinary British "bar-cuddler"--as he is called in the
slang of the day--recks not of cocktails, nor, indeed, of Columbian
combinations of any sort. He has his own particular "vanity," and
frequently a pet name for it. "Gin-and-angry-story" (Angostura),
"slow-and-old" (sloe-gin and Old Tom), "pony o' Burton, please
miss," are a few of the demands the attentive listener may hear
given. Orange-gin, gin-and-orange-gin, gin-and-sherry (O bile where
is thy sting?), are favourite midday "refreshers"; and I have
heard a well-known barrister call for "a split Worcester" (a small
wine-glassful of Worcester sauce with a split soda), without a smile
on his expressive countenance. "Small lem. and a dash" is a favourite
summer beverage, and, withal, a harmless one, consisting of a small
bottle of lemonade with about an eighth of a pint of bitter ale added
thereto. In one old-fashioned hostelry I wot of--the same in which
the chair of the late Doctor Samuel Johnson is on view--customers who
require to be stimulated with gin call for "rack," and Irish whisky
is known by none other name than "Cork." The habitual "bar-cuddler"
usually rubs his hands violently together, as he requests a little
attention from the presiding Hebe; and affects a sort of shocked
surprise at the presence on the scene of any one of his friends or
acquaintances. He is well-up, too, in the slang phraseology of the
day, which he will ride to death on every available opportunity. Full
well do I remember him in the "How's your poor feet?" era; and it
seems but yesterday that he was informing the company in assertive
tones, "Now we _shan't_ be long!" The "free lunch" idea of the
Yankees is only thoroughly carried out in the "North Countree,"
where, at the best hotels, there is often a great bowl of soup, or
a dish of jugged hare, or of Irish stew, _pro bono publico_; and by
_publico_ is implied the hotel directorate as well as the customers.
In London, however, the free lunch seldom soars above salted almonds,
coffee beans, cloves, with biscuits and American cheese. But at
most refreshment-houses is to be obtained for cash some sort of a
restorative sandwich, or _bonne bouche_, in the which anchovies and
hard-boiled eggs play leading parts; and amongst other restorative
food, I have noticed that parallelograms of cold Welsh rarebit are
exceedingly popular amongst wine-travellers and advertisement-agents.
The genius who propounded the statement that "there is nothing like
leather" could surely never have sampled a cold Welsh rarebit!

                          _Bosom Caresser._

     Put into a small tumbler one wine-glassful of sherry,
     half a wine-glassful of old brandy, the yolk of an egg, two
     teaspoonfuls of sugar, and two grains of cayenne pepper; add
     crushed ice, shake well, strain, and dust over with nutmeg and

                            _A Nicobine_,

(or "Knickerbein" as I have seen it spelt), used to be a favourite
"short" drink in Malta, and consisted of the yolk of an egg (intact)
in a wine-glass with _layers_ of curaçoa, maraschino, and green
chartreuse; the liquors not allowed to mix with one another. The
"knickerbein" recipe differs materially from this, as brandy is
substituted for chartreuse, and the ingredients are shaken up and
strained, the white of the egg being whisked and placed atop. But,
either way, you will get a good, bile-provoking mixture. In the

                            _West Indies_,

     if you thirst for a rum and milk, cocoa-nut milk is the
     "only wear"; and a very delicious potion it is. A favourite
     mixture in Jamaica was the juice of a "star" apple, the juice
     of an orange, a wine-glassful of sherry, and a dust of nutmeg.
     I never heard a name given to this.

                            _Bull's Milk._

This is a comforting drink for summer or winter. During the latter
season, instead of adding ice, the mixture may be heated.

     One teaspoonful of sugar in a _large_ tumbler, half-a-pint
     of milk, half a wine-glassful of rum, a wine-glassful of
     brandy; add ice, shake well, strain, and powder with cinnamon
     and nutmeg.

                            _Fairy Kiss._

     Put into a small tumbler the juice of a quarter of lemon,
     a quarter of a wine-glassful each of the following:--Vanilla
     syrup, curaçoa, yellow chartreuse, brandy. Add ice, shake, and

                        _Flash of Lightning._

     One-third of a wine-glassful each of the following, in a
     small tumbler:--Raspberry syrup, curaçoa, brandy, and three
     drops of Angostura bitters. Add ice, shake and strain.

                             _Flip Flap._

     One wine-glassful of milk in a small tumbler, one
     well-beaten egg, a little sugar, and a wine-glassful of port.
     Ice, shake, strain, and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

                          _Maiden's Blush._

     Half a wine-glassful of sherry in a small tumbler, a
     quarter of a wine-glassful of strawberry syrup, and a little
     lemon juice. Add ice, and a little raspberry syrup. Shake, and
     drink through straws.

                            _Athole Brose_

is compounded, according to a favourite author, in the following

     "Upon virgin honeycombs you pour, according to their
     amount, the oldest French brandy and the most indisputable
     Scotch whisky in equal proportions. You allow this goodly
     mixture to stand for days in a large pipkin in a cool place,
     and it is then strained and ready for drinking. Epicures drop
     into the jug, by way of imparting artistic finish, a small
     fragment of the honeycomb itself. This I deprecate."

                           _Tiger's Milk._

     Small tumbler. Half a wine-glassful each of cider and
     Irish whisky, a wine-glassful of peach brandy. Beat up
     separately the white of an egg with a little sugar, and add
     this. Fill up the tumbler with ice; shake, and strain. Add half
     a tumbler of milk, and grate a little nutmeg atop.


     Large tumbler. Equal quantities (a liqueur glass of each)
     of maraschino, curaçoa, brandy, with a little orange peel,
     and sugar. Add a glass of champagne, and a _small_ bottle of
     seltzer water. Ice, and mix well together. Stir with a spoon.

                            _Happy Eliza._

     Put into a skillet twelve fresh dried figs cut open, four
     apples cut into slices without peeling, and half a pound of
     loaf sugar, broken small. Add two quarts of water, boil for
     twenty minutes, strain through a--where's the brandy? Stop!
     I've turned over two leaves, and got amongst the _Temperance
     Drinks_. Rein back!

                            _Mint Julep._

     This, properly made, is the most delicious of all American
     beverages. It is mixed in a large tumbler, in the which are
     placed, first of all, two and a half tablespoonfuls of water,
     one tablespoonful of sugar (crushed), and two or three sprigs
     of mint, which should be pressed, with a spoon or crusher,
     into the sugar and water to extract the flavour. Add two
     wine-glassfuls of old brandy--_now_ we shan't be long--fill up
     with powdered ice, shake well, get the mint to the top of the
     tumbler, stalks down, and put a few strawberries and slices
     of orange atop. Shake in a little rum, last of all, and drink
     through straws.


                   (An eighteenth-century recipe.)

     "Take three gills of sweet cream, a grated rind of lemon,
     and juice thereof, three-quarters of a pint of sack or Rhenish
     wine. Sweeten to your taste with loaf sugar, then beat in a
     bowl with a whisk for one hour, and fill your glasses and
     drink to the king."

We are tolerably loyal in this our time; still it is problematical if
there exist man or woman in Merry England, in our day who would whisk
a mixture for sixty minutes by the clock, even with the prospect of
drinking to the reigning monarch.

                            _Brandy Sour._

     This is simplicity itself. A teaspoonful of sifted
     sugar in a small tumbler, a little lemon rind and juice, one
     wine-glassful of brandy. Fill nearly up with crushed ice, shake
     and strain. WHISKY SOUR is merely Scotch whisky treated in the
     same kind, open-handed manner, with the addition of a few drops
     of raspberry syrup.

                            _Blue Blazer._

     Don't be frightened; there is absolutely no danger.
     Put into a silver mug, or jug, previously heated, two
     wine-glassfuls of overproof (or proof) Scotch whisky, and one
     wine-glassful of _boiling_ water. Set the liquor on fire, and
     pass the blazing liquor into another mug, also well heated.
     Pass to and fro, and serve in a tumbler, with a lump of
     sugar and a little thin lemon peel. Be very particular not
     to drop any of the blazer on the cat, or the hearth-rug, or
     the youngest child. This drink would, I should think, have
     satisfied the aspirations of Mr. Daniel Quilp.

One of the most wholesome of all "refreshers," is a simple liquor,
distilled from black-currants, and known to our lively neighbours as


This syrup can be obtained in the humblest _cabaret_ in France; but
we have to thank the eccentric and illogical ways of our Customs
Department for its absence from most of our own wine lists. The duty
is so prohibitive--being half as much again as that levied on French
brandy--that it would pay nobody but said Customs Department to import
it into England; and yet the amount of alcohol contained in cassis is
infinitesimal. Strange to say nobody has ever started a cassis still
on this side. One would imagine that the process would be simplicity
itself; as the liquor is nothing but cold black-currant tea, with a
suspicion of alcohol in it.

                            _Sligo Slop._

     This is an Irish delight. The juice of ten lemons,
     strained, ten tablespoonfuls of sifted sugar, one quart
     of John Jameson's oldest and best whisky, and two port
     wine-glassfuls of curaçoa, all mixed together. Let the
     mixture stand for a day or two, and then bottle. This should
     be drunk neat, in liqueur-glasses, and is said to be most
     effectual "jumping-powder." It certainly reads conducive to

Take it altogether the daylight drink is a mistake. It is simply ruin
to appetite; it is more expensive than those who indulge therein
are aware of at the time. It ruins the nerves, sooner or later; it
is _not_ conducive to business, unless for those whose heads are
especially hard; and it spoils the palate for the good wine which is
poured forth later on. The precept cannot be too widely laid down, too
fully known:

                    _Do not drink between Meals!_

Better, far better the three-bottle-trick of our ancestors, than the
"gin-crawl" of to-day.

                             CHAPTER XXI


                   "Let me not burst in ignorance."

                 "A chiel's amang ye, taking notes."

     Thomas Carlyle--Thackeray--Harrison Ainsworth--Sir
     Walter Scott--Miss Braddon--Marie Corelli--F. C.
     Philips--Blackmore--Charles Dickens--_Pickwick_ reeking
     with alcohol--Brandy and oysters--_Little Dorrit_--_Great
     Expectations_--Micawber as a punch-maker--_David
     Copperfield_--"Practicable" food on the stage--"Johnny" Toole's
     story of Tiny Tim and the goose.

Considering the number of books which have been published during the
nineteenth century, it is astonishing how few of them deal with eating
and drinking. We read of a banquet or two, certainly, in the works of
the divine William, but no particulars as to the _cuisine_ are entered
into. "Cold Banquo" hardly sounds appetising. Thomas Carlyle was a
notorious dyspeptic, so it is no cause for wonderment that he did not
bequeath to posterity the recipes for a dainty dish or two, or a good
Derby Day "Cup." Thackeray understood but little about cookery, nor
was Whyte Melville much better versed in the mysteries of the kitchen.
Harrison Ainsworth touched lightly on gastronomy occasionally, whilst
Charles Lamb, Sydney Smith, and others (blessings light on the man who
invented the phrase "and others") delighted therein. Miss Braddon has
slurred it over hitherto, and Marie Corelli scorns all mention of any
refreshment but absinthe--a weird liquid which is altogether absent
from these pages. In the lighter novels of Mr. F. C. Philips, there
is but little mention of solid food except devilled caviare, which
sounds nasty; but most of Mr. Philips's men, and all his women, drink
to excess--principally champagne, brandy, and green chartreuse. And
one of his heroines is a firm believer in the merits of cognac as a
"settler" of champagne.

According to Mr. R. D. Blackmore, the natives of Exmoor did themselves
particularly well, in the seventeenth century. In that most delightful
romance _Lorna Doone_ is a description of a meal set before Tom
Faggus, the celebrated highwayman, by the Ridd family, at Plover's

     "A few oysters first, and then dried salmon, and then ham
     and eggs, done in small curled rashers, and then a few collops
     of venison toasted, and next a little cold roast pig, and a
     woodcock on toast to finish with."

This meal was washed down with home-brewed ale, followed by Schiedam
and hot water.

One man, and one man alone, who has left his name printed deep on the
sands of time as a writer, thoroughly revelled in the mighty subjects
of eating and drinking. Need his name be mentioned? What is, after
all, the great secret of the popularity of

                          _Charles Dickens_

as a novelist? His broad, generous views on the subject of meals, as
expressed through the mouths of most of the characters in his works;
as also the homely nature of such meals, and the good and great deeds
to which they led. I once laid myself out to count the number of times
that alcoholic refreshment is mentioned in some of the principal
works of the great author; and the record, for _Pickwick_ alone, was
sufficient to sweep from the surface of the earth, with its fiery
breath, the entire Blue Ribbon Army. Mr. Pickwick was what would
be called nowadays a "moderate drinker." That is to say, he seldom
neglected an "excuse for a lotion," nor did he despise the "daylight
drink." But we only read of his being overcome by his potations on
two occasions; after the cricket dinner at Muggleton, and after the
shooting luncheon on Captain Boldwig's ground. And upon the latter
occasion I am convinced that the hot sun had far more to do with his
temporary obfuscation than the cold punch. Bob Sawyer and Ben Allen
were by no means exaggerated types of the medical students of the
time. The "deputy sawbones" of to-day writes pamphlets, drinks coffee,
and pays his landlady every Saturday. And it was a happy touch of
Dickens to make Sawyer and Allen eat oysters, and wash them down with
neat brandy, before breakfast. I have known medical students, aye!
and full-blown surgeons too, who would commit equally daring acts;
although I doubt much if they would have shone at the breakfast-table
afterwards, or on the ice later in the day. For the effect exercised
by brandy on oysters is pretty well known to science.

Breathes there a man with soul so dead as not to appreciate the
delights of Dingley Dell? Free trade and other horrors have combined
to crush the British yeoman of to-day; but we none the less delight
to read of him as he was, and I do not know a better cure for an
attack of "blue devils"--or should it be "black dog?"--than a good
dose of Dingley Dell. The wholesale manner in which Mr. Wardle
takes possession of the Pickwickians--only one of whom he knows
intimately--for purposes of entertainment, is especially delightful,
and worthy of imitation; and I can only regret the absence of a good,
cunningly-mixed "cup" at the picnic after the Chatham review. The wine
drunk at this picnic would seem to have been sherry; as there was not
such a glut of "the sparkling" in those good old times. And the prompt
way in which "Emma" is commanded to "bring out the cherry brandy,"
before his guests have been two minutes in the house, bespeaks the
character of dear old Wardle in once. "The Leathern Bottle," a
charming old-world hostelry in that picturesque country lying between
Rochester and Cobham, would hardly have been in existence now, let
alone doing a roaring trade, but for the publication of _Pickwick_;
and the notion of the obese Tupman solacing himself for blighted hopes
and taking his leave of the world on a diet of roast fowl bacon, ale,
etc., is unique. The bill-of-fare at the aforementioned shooting
luncheon might not, perhaps, satisfy the aspirations of Sir Mota Kerr,
or some other _nouveau riche_ of to-day, but there was plenty to eat
and drink. Here is the list, in Mr. Samuel Weller's own words:

"Weal pie, tongue: a wery good thing when it ain't a woman's: bread,
knuckle o' ham, reg'lar picter, cold beef in slices; wery good. What's
in them stone jars, young touch-and-go?"

"Beer in this one," replied the boy, taking from his shoulder a couple
of large stone bottles, fastened together by a leathern strap, "cold
punch in t'other."

"And a wery good notion of a lunch it is, take it altogether," said
Mr. Weller.

Possibly; though cold beef in slices would be apt to get rather dryer
than was desirable on a warm day. And milk punch hardly seems the sort
of tipple to encourage accuracy of aim.

Mrs. Bardell's notion of a nice little supper we gather from the same
immortal work, was "a couple of sets of pettitoes and some toasted
cheese." The pettitoes were presumably simmered in milk, and the
cheese was, undoubtedly, "browning away most delightfully in a little
Dutch oven in front of the fire." Most of us will smack our lips after
this description; though details are lacking as to the contents of the
"black bottle" which was produced from "a small closet." But amongst
students of _Pickwick_, "Old Tom" is a hot favourite.

The Deputy Shepherd's particular "vanity" appears to have been
buttered toast and reeking hot pine-apple rum and water, which sounds
like swimming-in-the-head; and going straight through the book, we
next pause at the description of the supper given by the medical
students, at their lodgings in the Borough, to the Pickwickians.

"The man to whom the order for the oysters had been sent had not been
told to open them; it is a very difficult thing to open an oyster
with a limp knife or a two-pronged fork; and very little was done in
this way. Very little of the beef was done either; and the ham (which
was from the German-sausage shop round the corner) was in a similar
predicament. However, there was plenty of porter in a tin can; and the
cheese went a great way, for it was very strong."

Probably the oysters had not been paid for in advance, and the man
imagined that they would be returned upon his hands none the worse.
For at that time--as has been remarked before, in this volume on
gastronomy--the knowledge that an oyster baked in his own shells, in
the middle of a clear fire, is an appetising dish, does not appear to
have been universal.

It is questionable if a supper consisting of a boiled leg of mutton
"with the usual trimmings" would have satisfied the taste of the
"gentleman's gentleman" of to-day, who is a hypercritic, if anything;
but let that supper be taken as read. Also let it be noted that the
appetite of the redoubtable Pickwick never seems to have failed him,
even in the sponging-house--five to one can be betted that those
chops were _fried_--or in the Fleet Prison itself. And mention of
this establishment recalls the extravagant folly of Job Trotter
(who of all men ought to have known better) in purchasing "a small
piece of raw loin of mutton" for the refection of himself and ruined
master; when for the same money he could surely have obtained a
sufficiency of bullock's cheek or liver, potatoes, and onions, to
provide dinner for three days. _Vide_ the "Kent Road Cookery," in one
of my earlier chapters. The description of the journeys from Bristol
to Birmingham, and back to London, absolutely reeks with food and
alcohol; and it has always smacked of the mysterious to myself how Sam
Weller, a pure Cockney, could have known so much of the capacities
of the various hostelries on the road. Evidently his knowledge of
other places besides London was "peculiar." Last scene of all in
_Pickwick_ requiring mention here, is the refection given to Mr.
Solomon Pell in honour of the proving of the late Dame Weller's last
will and testament. "Porter, cold beef, and oysters," were some of the
incidents of that meal, and we read that "the coachman with the hoarse
voice took an imperial pint of vinegar with his oysters, without
betraying the least emotion."

It is also set down that brandy and water, as usual in this history,
followed the oysters; but we are not told if any of those coachmen
ever handled the ribbons again, or if Mr. Solomon Pell spent his
declining days in the infirmary.

In fact, there are not many chapters in Charles Dickens' works in
which the knife and fork do not play prominent parts. The food is,
for the most part, simple and homely; the seed sown in England by
the fairy _Ala_ had hardly begun to germinate at the time the novels
were written. Still there is, naturally, a suspicion of _Ala_ at the
very commencement of _Little Dorrit_, the scene being laid in the
Marseilles prison, where Monsieur Rigaud feasts off Lyons sausage,
veal in savoury jelly, white bread, strachino cheese, and good claret,
the while his humble companion, Signor John Baptist, has to content
himself with stale bread, through reverses at gambling with his fellow
prisoner. After that, there is no mention of a "square meal" until we
get to Mr. Casby's, the "Patriarch." "Everything about the patriarchal
household," we are told, "promoted quiet digestion"; and the dinner
mentioned began with "some soup, some fried soles, a butter-boat of
shrimp sauce, and a dish of potatoes." Rare old Casby! "Mutton, a
steak, and an apple pie"--and presumably cheese--furnished the more
solid portion of the banquet, which appears to have been washed down
with porter and sherry wine, and enlivened by the inconsequent remarks
of "Mr. F.'s Aunt."

In _Great Expectations_ occurs the celebrated banquet at the Chateau
Gargery on Christmas Day, consisting of a leg of pickled pork and
greens, a pair of roast stuffed fowls, a handsome mince pie, and a
plum-pudding. The absence of the savoury pork-pie, and the presence
of tar-water in the brandy are incidents at that banquet familiar
enough to Sir Frank Lockwood, Q.C., M.P., and other close students
of Dickens, whose favourite dinner-dish would appear to have been a
fowl, stuffed or otherwise, roast or boiled.

In _Oliver Twist_ we get casual mention of oysters, sheep's heads, and
a rabbit pie, with plenty of alcohol; but the bill of fare, on the
whole, is not an appetising one. The meat and drink at the Maypole
Hotel, in _Barnaby Rudge_, would appear to have been deservedly
popular; and the description of Gabriel Varden's breakfast is
calculated to bring water to the most callous mouth:

"Over and above the ordinary tea equipage the board creaked beneath
the weight of a jolly round of beef, a ham of the first magnitude,
and sundry towers of buttered Yorkshire cake, piled slice upon slice
in most alluring order. There was also a goodly jug of well-browned
clay, fashioned into the form of an old gentleman not by any means
unlike the locksmith, atop of whose bald head was a fine white froth
answering to his wig, indicative, beyond dispute, of sparkling home
brewed ale. But better than fair home-brewed, or Yorkshire cake, or
ham, or beef, or anything to eat or drink that earth or air or water
can supply, there sat, presiding over all, the locksmith's rosy
daughter, before whose dark eyes even beef grew insignificant, and
malt became as nothing."


There is not much eating in _A Tale of Two Cities_; but an intolerable
amount of assorted "sack." In _Sketches by Boz_ we learn that Dickens
had no great opinion of public dinners, and that oysters were, at that
period, occasionally opened by the fair sex. There is a nice flavour
of fowl and old Madeira about _Dombey and Son_, and the description of
the dinner at Doctor Blimber's establishment for young gentlemen is
worth requoting:

"There was some nice soup; also roast meat, boiled meat, vegetables,
pie, and cheese." [_Cheese_ at a small boys' school!] "Every young
gentleman had a massive silver fork and a napkin; and all the
arrangements were stately and handsome. In particular there was a
butler in a blue coat and bright buttons" [surely this was a footman?]
"who gave quite a winey flavour to the table beer, he poured it out so

Dinner at Mrs. Jellyby's in _Bleak House_ is one of the funniest and
most delightful incidents in the book, especially the attendance. "The
young woman with the flannel bandage waited, and dropped everything
on the table wherever it happened to go, and never moved it again
until she put it on the stairs. The person I had seen in pattens (who
I suppose to have been the cook) frequently came and skirmished with
her at the door, and there appeared to be ill-will between them." The
dinner given by Mr. Guppy at the "Slap Bang" dining house is another
feature of this book--veal and ham, and French beans, summer cabbage,
pots of half-and-half, marrow puddings, "three Cheshires" and "three
small rums." Of the items in this list, the marrow pudding seems to be
as extinct--in London, at all events--as the dodo. It appears to be
a mixture of bread, pounded almonds, cream, eggs, lemon peel, sugar,
nutmeg, and marrow; and sounds nice.

David Copperfield's dinner in his Buckingham Street chambers was an
event with a disastrous termination. "It was a remarkable want of
forethought on the part of the ironmonger who had made Mrs. Crupp's
kitchen fireplace, that it was capable of cooking nothing but chops
and mashed potatoes. As to a fish-kettle, Mrs. Crupp said 'Well! would
I only come and look at the range? She couldn't say fairer than that.
Would I come and look at it?' As I should not have been much the
wiser if I _had_ looked at it I said never mind fish. But Mrs. Crupp
said, 'Don't say that; oysters was in, and why not them?' So _that_
was settled. Mrs. Crupp then said 'What she would recommend would
be this. A pair of hot roast fowls--from the pastry cook's; a dish
of stewed beef, with vegetables--from the pastry cook's; two little
corner things, as a raised pie and a dish of kidneys--from the pastry
cook's; a tart, and (if I liked) a shape of jelly--from the pastry
cook's. This,' Mrs. Crupp said, 'would leave her at full liberty to
concentrate her mind on the potatoes, and to serve up the cheese and
celery as she could wish to see it done.'"

Then blessings on thee, Micawber, most charming of characters in
fiction, mightiest of punch-brewers! The only fault I have to find
with the novel of _David Copperfield_ is that we don't get enough of
Micawber. The same fault, however, could hardly be said to lie in the
play; for if ever there was a "fat" part, it is Wilkins Micawber.

_Martin Chuzzlewit_ bubbles over with eating and drinking; and
"Todgers" has become as proverbial as Hamlet. In _Nicholas Nickleby_,
too, we find plenty of mention of solids and liquids; and as a
poor stroller myself at one time, it has always struck me that
"business" could not have been so very bad, after all, in the Crummles
Combination; for the manager, at all events, seems to have fared
particularly well. Last on the list comes _The Old Curiosity Shop_,
with the celebrated stew at the "Jolly Sandboys," the ingredients in
which have already been quoted by the present writer. With regard to
this stew all that I have to remark is that I should have substituted
an ox-kidney for the tripe, and left out the "sparrowgrass," the
flavour of which would be quite lost in the crowd of ingredients. But
there! who can cavil at such a feast? "Fetch me a pint of warm ale,
and don't let nobody bring into the room even so much as a biscuit
till the time arrives."

Codlin may not have been "the friend"; but he was certainly the judge
of the "Punch" party.

In this realistic age, meals on the stage have to be provided from
high-class hotels or restaurants; and this is, probably, the chief
reason why there is so little eating and drinking introduced into
the modern drama. Gone are the nights of the banquet of pasteboard
poultry, "property" pine-apples, and gilded flagons containing nothing
more sustaining than the atmosphere of coal-gas. Not much faith is
placed in the comic scenes of a pantomime nowadays; or it is probable
that the clown would purloin real York hams, and stuff Wall's sausages
into the pockets of his ample pants. Champagne is champagne under the
present regime of raised prices, raised salaries, raised everything;
and it is not so long since I overheard an actor-manager chide a
waiter from a fashionable restaurant, for forgetting the _Soubise_
sauce, when he brought the cutlets.

In my acting days we usually had canvas fowls, stuffed with sawdust,
when we revelled on the stage; or, if business had been particularly
good, the poultry was made from breakfast rolls, with pieces skewered
on, to represent the limbs. And the potables--Gadzooks! What horrible
concoctions have found their way down this unsuspecting throttle!
Sherry was invariably represented by cold tea, which is palatable
enough if home-made, under careful superintendence, but, drawn in
the property-master's den, usually tasted of glue. Ginger beer, at
three-farthings for two bottles, poured into tumblers containing
portions of a seidlitz-powder, always did duty for champagne; and
as for port or claret--well, I quite thought I had swallowed the
deadliest of poisons one night, until assured it was only the cold
leavings of the stage-door-keeper's coffee!

The story of Tiny Tim who ate the goose is a pretty familiar one in
stage circles. When playing Bob Cratchit, in _The Christmas Carol_ at
the Adelphi, under Mr. Benjamin Webster's management, Mr. J. L. Toole
had to carve a real goose and a "practicable" plum-pudding during the
run of that piece, forty nights. And the little girl who played Tiny
Tim used to finish her portions of goose and pudding with such amazing
celerity that Mr. Toole became quite alarmed on her account.

"'I don't like it,' I said," writes dear friend "Johnny," in his
_Reminiscences_; "'I can't conceive where a poor, delicate little
thing like that puts the food. Besides, although I like the children
to enjoy a treat'--and how they kept on enjoying it for forty nights
was a mystery, for I got into such a condition that if I dined at
a friend's house, and goose was on the table, I regarded it as a
personal affront--I said, referring to Tiny Tim, 'I don't like
greediness; and it is additionally repulsive in a refined-looking,
delicate little thing like this; besides, it destroys the sentiment
of the situation--and when I, as Bob, ought to feel most pathetic, I
am always wondering where the goose and the pudding are, or whether
anything serious in the way of a fit will happen to Tiny Tim before
the audience, in consequence of her unnatural gorging!' Mrs. Mellon
laughed at me at first, but eventually we decided to watch Tiny Tim

"We watched as well as we could, and the moment Tiny Tim was seated,
and began to eat, we observed a curious shuffling movement at the
stage-fireplace, and everything that I had given her, goose and
potatoes, and apple-sauce disappeared behind the sham stove, the child
pretending to eat as heartily as ever from the empty plate. When
the performance was over, Mrs. Mellon and myself asked the little
girl what became of the food she did not eat, and, after a little
hesitation, she confessed that her little sister (I should mention
that they were the children of one of the scene-shifters) waited on
the other side of the fireplace for the supplies, and then the whole
family enjoyed a hearty supper every night.

"Dickens was very much interested in the incident. When I had
finished, he smiled a little sadly, I thought, and then, shaking me by
the hand, he said, 'Ah! you ought to have given her the whole goose.'"

                             CHAPTER XXII


                "Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
            And with some antibilious antidote
            Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
            Which weighs upon the soul."

     William of Normandy--A "head" wind at sea--Beware the
     druggist--Pick-me-ups of all sorts and conditions--Anchovy
     toast for the invalid--A small bottle--Straight talks
     to fanatics--Total abstinence as bad as the other
     thing--Moderation in all things--Wisely and slow--_Carpe
     diem_--But have a thought for the morrow.

"I care not," observed William of Normandy to his
quartermaster-general, on the morning after the revelry which followed
the Battle of Hastings, "who makes these barbarians' wines; send me
the man who can remove the beehive from my o'erwrought brain."

This remark is not to be found in Macaulay's _History of England_; but
learned authorities who have read the original MS. in Early Norman,
make no doubt as to the correct translation.

"It is excellent," as the poet says, "to have a giant's thirst; but
it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." And not only "tyrannous"
but short-sighted. For the law of compensation is one of the first
edicts of Nature. The same beneficent hand which provides the simple
fruits of the earth for the delectation of man, furnishes also the
slug and the wasp, to see that he doesn't get too much. Our friend
the dog is deprived of the power of articulation, but he has a tail
which can be wagged at the speed of 600 revolutions to the minute.
And the man who overtaxes the powers of his inner mechanism during
the hours of darkness is certain to feel the effects, to be smitten
of conscience, and troubled of brain, when he awakes, a few hours
later on. As this is not a medical treatise it would be out of place
to analyse at length the abominable habit which the human brain and
stomach have acquired, of acting and reacting on each other; suffice
it to say that there is no surer sign of the weakness and helplessness
of poor, frail, sinful, fallen humanity than the obstinacy with which
so many of us will, for the sake of an hour or two's revelry, boldly
bid for five times the amount of misery and remorse. And this more
especially applies to a life on the ocean wave. The midshipmite who
over-estimates his swallowing capacity is no longer "mast-headed"
next morning; but the writer has experienced a cyclone in the Bay of
Bengal, ere the effects of a birthday party on the previous night
had been surmounted; and the effects of "mast-heading" could hardly
have been less desirable. In that most delightful work for the young,
Dana's _Two years before the Mast_, we read:

"Our forecastle, as usual after a liberty-day, was a scene of tumult
all night long, from the drunken ones. They had just got to sleep
toward morning, when they were turned up with the rest, and kept at
work all day in the water, carrying hides, their heads aching so that
they could hardly stand. This is sailors' pleasure."

Dana himself was ordered up aloft, to reef "torpsles," on his first
morning at sea; and he had probably had some sort of a farewell
carouse, 'ere quitting Boston. And the present writer upon one
occasion--such is the irony of fate--was told off to indite a leading
article on "Temperance" for an evening journal, within a very few
hours of the termination of a "Derby" banquet.

But how shall we alleviate the pangs? How make that dreadful "day
after" endurable enough to cause us to offer up thanks for being still
allowed to live? Come, the panacea, good doctor!

First of all, then, avoid the chemist and his works. I mean
no disrespect to my good friend Sainsbury, or his "Number One
Pick-me-up," whose corpse-reviving claims are indisputable; but at the
same time the habitual swallower of drugs does not lead the happiest
life. I once knew a young subaltern who had an account presented
to him by the cashier of the firm of Peake and Allen, of the great
continent of India, for nearly 300 rupees; and the items in said
account were entirely chloric ether, extract of cardamoms--with the
other component parts of a high-class restorative, and interest.
Saddening! The next thing to avoid, the first thing in the morning,
is soda-water, whether diluted with brandy or whisky. The "peg" may
be all very well as an occasional potation, but, believe one who
has tried most compounds, 'tis a precious poor "livener." On the
contrary, although a beaker of the straw-coloured (or occasionally,
mahogany-coloured) fluid may seem to steady the nerves for the time
being, that effect is by no means lasting.

But the same panacea will not do in every case. If the patient be
sufficiently convalescent to digest a


(I do _not_ mean a M.R.C.S.) his state must be far from hopeless. A
"Doctor" is a mixture of beaten raw egg--not forgetting the white,
which is of even more value than the yolk to the invalid--brandy, a
little sifted sugar, and new milk. But many devotees of Bacchus could
as soon swallow rum-and-oysters, in bed. And do not let us blame
Bacchus unduly for the matutinal trouble. The fairy _Ala_ has probably
had a lot to do with that trouble. A "Doctor" can be made with sherry
or whisky, instead of brandy; and many stockbrokers' clerks, sporting
journalists, and other millionaires prefer a


who appears in the form of a large tumbler containing a couple of eggs
beaten, and filled to the brim with the wine of the champagne district.

                             _A Scorcher_

is made with the juice of half a lemon squeezed into a large
wine-glass; add a liqueur-glassful of old brandy, or Hollands, and a
dust of cayenne. Mix well, and do not allow any lemon-pips to remain
in the glass.

                          _Prairie Oyster._

This is an American importation. There is a legend to the effect that
one of a hunting party fell sick unto death, on the boundless prairie
of Texas, and clamoured for oysters. Now the close and cautious
bivalve no more thrives in a blue grass country than he possesses the
ability to walk up stairs, or make a starting-price book. So one of
the party, an inventive genius, cudgelled his brains for a substitute.
He found some prairie hen's eggs, and administered the unbroken yolks
thereof, one at a time, in a wine-glass containing a teaspoonful of
vinegar. He shook the pepper-castor over the yolks and added a pinch
of salt. The patient recovered. The march of science has improved on
this recipe. Instead of despoiling the prairie hen, the epicure now
looks to Madame Gobble for a turkey egg. And a

                          _Worcester Oyster_

is turned out ready made, by simply substituting a teaspoonful of Lea
and Perrins' most excellent sauce for vinegar.

                           _Brazil Relish._

This is, I am assured, a much-admired restorative in Brazil, and
the regions bordering on the River Plate. It does not sound exactly
the sort of stimulant to take after a "bump supper," or a "Kaffir"
entertainment, but here it is: Into a wine-glass half full of curaçoa
pop the unbroken yolk of a bantam's egg. Fill the glass up with
maraschino. According to my notion, a good cup of hot, strong tea
would be equally effectual, as an emetic, and withal cheaper. But they
certainly take the mixture as a pick-me-up in Brazil.


is a favourite stimulant with our American cousins. Beat up an egg in
a tumbler--if you have no metal vessels to shake it in, the shortest
way is to put a clean white card, or a saucer, over the mouth of the
tumbler, and shake--then add a little sugar, a glass of port, and
some pounded ice. Strain before drinking. Leaving out the ice and the
straining, this is exactly the same "refresher" which the friends of
a criminal, who had served his term of incarceration in one of H.M.
gaols, were in the habit of providing for him; and when the Cold Bath
Fields Prison was a going concern, there was a small hostelry hard by,
in which, on a Monday morning, the consumption of port wine (fruity)
and eggs ("shop 'uns," every one) was considerable. This on the word
of an ex-warder, who subsequently became a stage-door keeper.

One of the most unsatisfactory effects of good living is that the
demon invoked over-night does not always assume the same shape in
your waking hours. Many sufferers will feel a loathing for any sort
of food or drink, except cold water. "The capting," observed the
soldier-servant to a visitor (this is an old story), "ain't very well
this morning, sir; he've just drunk his bath, and gone to bed again."
And on the other hand, I have known the over-indulger absolutely
ravenous for his breakfast. "Brandy and soda, no, dear old chappie; as
many eggs as they can poach in five minutes, a thick rasher of York
ham, two muffins, and about a gallon and a half of hot coffee--that's
what I feel like." Medical men will be able to explain those symptoms
in the roysterer, who had probably eaten and drunk quite as much
over-night as the "capting." For the roysterer with a shy appetite
there are few things more valuable than an

                           _Anchovy Toast_.

The concoction of this belongs to bedroom cookery, unless the
sitting-room adjoins the sleeping apartment. For the patient will
probably be too faint of heart to wish to meet his fellow-men and
women downstairs, so early. The mixture must be made _over hot
water_. Nearly fill a slop-basin with the boiling element, and place
a soup-plate over it. In the plate melt a pat of butter the size of a
walnut. Then having beaten up a raw egg, stir it in. When thoroughly
incorporated with the butter add a dessert-spoonful of essence of
anchovies. Cayenne _ad lib_. Then let delicately-browned crisp toast
be brought, hot from the fire. Soak this in the mixture, and eat as
quickly as you can. The above proportions must be increased if more
than one patient clamours for anchovy toast; and this recipe is of no
use for a dinner, or luncheon toast; remember that. After the meal is
finished turn in between the sheets again for an hour; then order
a "Doctor," or a "Surgeon-Major" to be brought to the bedside. In
another twenty minutes the patient will be ready for his tub (with
the chill off, if he be past thirty, and has any wisdom, or liver,
left within him). After dressing, if he live in London and there be
any trace of brain-rack remaining, let him take a brisk walk to his
hair-dresser's, having his boots cleaned _en route_. This is most
important, whether they be clean or dirty; for the action of a pair
of briskly-directed brushes over the feet will often remove the most
distressing of headaches. Arrived at the perruquier's, let the patient
direct him to rub _eau de Cologne_, or some other perfumed spirit,
into the o'er-taxed cranium, and to squirt assorted essences over
the distorted countenance. A good hard brush, and a dab of bay rum
on the temples will complete the cure; the roysterer will then be
ready to face his employer, or the maiden aunt from whom he may have

If the flavour of the anchovy be disagreeable, let the patient try the
following toast, which is similar to that used with wildfowl: Melt a
pat of butter over hot water, stir in a dessert-spoonful of Worcester
sauce, the same quantity of orange juice, a pinch of cayenne, and
about half a wine-glassful of old port. Soak the toast in this
mixture. The virtues of old port as a restorative cannot be too widely

                       _St. Mark's Pick-me-up._

The following recipe was given to the writer by a member of an old
Venetian family.

Ten drops of Angostura in a liqueur-glass, filled up with orange
bitters. One wine-glassful of old brandy, one ditto cold water, one
liqueur-glassful of curaçoa, and the juice of half a lemon. Mix well
together. I have not yet tried this, which reads rather acid.

For an


athlete, who may not take kindly to his rations, there is no better
cure than the lean of an underdone chop (_not blue_ inside) hot from
the fire, on a hot plate, with a glass of port poured over. A

                        _Hot-pickle Sandwich_

should be made of two thin slices of crisp toast (no butter) with
chopped West Indian pickles in between. And for a

                          _Devilled Biscuit_

select the plain cheese biscuit, heat in the oven, and then spread
over it a paste composed of finely-pounded lobster worked up with
butter, made mustard, ground ginger, cayenne, salt, chili vinegar, and
(if liked) a little curry powder. Reheat the biscuit for a minute or
two, and then deal with it. Both the last-named restoratives will be
found valuable (?) liver tonics; and to save future worry the patient
had better calculate, at the same time, the amount of Estate Duty
which will have to be paid out of his personalty, and secure a nice
dry corner, out of the draught, for his place of sepulture. A

                       _Working-Man's Livener_,

(and by "working-man" the gentleman whose work consists principally
in debating in taverns is intended) is usually a hair of the dog that
bit him over-night; and in some instances where doubt may exist as to
the particular "tufter" of the pack which found the working-man out,
the livener will be a miscellaneous one. For solid food, this brand of
labourer will usually select an uncooked red-herring, which he will
divide into swallow-portions with his clasp-knife, after borrowing
the pepper-castor from the tavern counter. And as new rum mixed with
four-penny ale occasionally enters into the over-night's programme of
the horny-handed one, he is frequently very thirsty indeed before the
hour of noon.

I have seen a journalist suck half a lemon, previously well
besprinkled with cayenne, prior to commencing his matutinal "scratch."
But rum and milk form, I believe, the favourite livener throughout
the district which lies between the Adelphi Theatre and St. Paul's
Cathedral. And, according to Doctor Edward Smith (the chief English
authority on dietetics), rum and milk form the most powerful
restorative known to science. With all due respect to Doctor Smith I
am prepared to back another restorative, commonly known as "a small
bottle"; which means a pint of champagne. I have prescribed this many
a time, and seldom known it fail. In case of partial failure repeat
the dose. A valuable if seldom-employed restorative is made with


as one of the ingredients. Make half-a-pint of beef-tea in a tumbler
with this extract. Put the tumbler in a refrigerator for an hour, then
add a liqueur-glassful of old brandy, with just a dust of cayenne.
This is one of the very best pick-me-ups known to the faculty. A


for recuperative purposes is made with the following ingredients:--a
wine-glassful of Hollands, a liqueur-glassful of curaçoa, three drops
of Angostura bitters, a little sugar, and half a small bottle of
seltzer-water. Churn up the mixture with a swizzle-stick, which can
be easily made with the assistance of a short length of cane (the
ordinary school-treat brand) a piece of cork, a bit of string, and a
pocket knife.

A very extraordinary pick-me-up is mentioned by Mr. F. C. Philips,
in one of his novels, and consists of equal parts of brandy and
chili vinegar in a large wine-glass. Such a mixture would, in all
probability, corrode sheet-iron. I am afraid that writers of romance
occasionally borrow a little from imagination.

The most effectual restorative for the total abstainer is
unquestionably, old brandy. It should be remembered that a rich,
heavy dinner is not bound to digest within the human frame, if washed
down with tea, or aerated beverages. In fact, from the personal
appearances of many worthy teetotallers I have known digestion cannot
be their strong suit. Then many abstainers only abstain in public,
for the sake of example. And within the locked cupboard of the study
lurks a certain black bottle, which does _not_ contain Kopps's ale.
Therefore I repeat that the most effectual restorative for the total
abstainer--whether as a direct change, or as a hair of the dog--is

Our ancestors cooled their coppers with small ale, and enjoyed a
subsequent sluice at the pump in the yard; these methods are still
pursued by stable-helpers and such like. A good walk acts beneficially
sometimes. Eat or drink nothing at all, but try and do five miles
along the turnpike road within the hour. Many habitual roysterers
hunt the next morning, with heads opening and shutting alternately,
until the fox breaks covert, when misery of all sorts at once takes
to itself wings. And I have heard a gallant warrior, whilst engaged
in a Polo match on York Knavesmire, protest that he could distinctly
see _two_ Polo balls. But he was not in such bad case as the eminent
jockey who declined to ride a horse in a hood and blinkers, because
"one of us must see, and I'm hanged if _I_ can!" It was the same
jockey who, upon being remonstrated with for taking up his whip at
the final bend, when his horse was winning easily, replied: "whip be
blowed! it was my balance pole: I should have fell off without it!"

                          _Straight Talks._

In the lowest depth there is a lower depth, which not only threatens
to devour, but which will infallibly devour the too-persistent
roysterer. For such I labour not. The seer of visions, the would-be
strangler of serpents, the baffled rat-hunter, and other victims to
the over-estimation of human capacity will get no assistance, beyond
infinite pity, from the mind which guides this pen. The dog will
return to his own vomit; the wilful abuser of the goods sent by a
bountiful Providence is past praying for. But to others who are on the
point of crossing the Rubicon of good discretion I would urge that
there will assuredly come a time when the pick-me-up will lose its
virtue, and will fail to chase the sorrow from the brow, to minister
to the diseased mind. Throughout this book I have endeavoured to
preach the doctrine of moderation in enjoyment. Meat and drink are,
like fire, very good servants, but the most oppressive and exacting
of slave-drivers. Therefore enjoy the sweets of life, whilst ye can;
but as civilised beings, as gentlemen, and not as swine. For here is
a motto which applies to eating and drinking even more than to other
privileges which we enjoy:

            "Wisely, and slow;
             They stumble who run fast!"

A resort to extremes is always to be deprecated, and many sensible men
hold the total abstainer in contempt, unless he abstain simply and
solely because a moderate use of "beer and baccy" makes him ill; and
this man is indeed a rarity. The teetotaller is either a creature with
no will-power in his composition, a Pharisee, who thanks Providence
that he is not as other men, or a lunatic. There can be no special
virtue in "swearing off" good food and good liquor; whether for the
sake of example, or for the sake of ascending a special pinnacle and
posing to the world as the incarnation of perfection and holiness. In
the parable, the Publican was "justified" rather than the Pharisee,
because the former had the more common sense, and knew that if he set
up as immaculate and without guile he was deceiving himself and nobody
else. But here on earth, in the nineteenth century, the Publican
stands a very poor chance with the Pharisee, whether the last-named
assume the garb of "Social Purity," or "Vigilance," or the sombre
raiment of the policeman. This is not right. This is altogether wrong.
The total abstainer, the rabid jackass who denies himself--or claims
that he does so--the juice of the grape, and drinks the horrible,
flatulent, concoctions known as "temperance beverages," is just as
great a sinner against common sense as that rabid jackass the habitual
glutton, or drunkard, who, in abusing the good things of life--the
gifts which are given us to enjoy--is putting together a rod of
rattlesnakes for his own back.

There is nothing picturesque about drunkenness; and there is still
less of manliness therein. There is plenty of excuse for the careless,
happy-go-lucky, casual over-estimater, who revels, on festive
occasions, with his boon companions. 'Tis a poor heart that never
rejoices; and wedding-feasts, celebrations of famous victories,
birthday parties, and Christmas festivities have been, and will
continue to be, held by high and low, from the earliest times. But
there is no excuse, but only pity and disgust, for the sot who sits
and soaks--or, worse still, stands and soaks--in the tavern day after
day, and carries the brandy-bottle to bed with him. I have lived
through two-thirds of the years allotted to man, and have never
yet met the man who has done himself, or anybody else, any good
by eating or drinking to excess. Nor is the man who has benefited
himself, or society, through scorning and vilifying good cheer, a
familiar sight in our midst. "Keep in the middle of the road," is
the rule to be observed; and there is no earthly reason why the man
who may have applied "hot and rebellious liquors" to his blood, as a
youth, should not enjoy that "lusty winter" of old age, "frosty but
kindly," provided those warm and warlike liquors have been applied in

I will conclude this sermon with part of a verse of the poet Dryden's
imitation of the twenty-ninth Ode of Horace, though its heathen _carpe
diem_ sentiments should be qualified by a special caution as to the
possible ill effects of bidding too fierce a defiance to the "reaction

            "Happy the man, and happy he alone,
              He who can call to-day his own;
              He who, secure within, can say;--
            To-morrow, do thy worst, I've liv'd to-day!"


  "_Ala_," the fairy, 68

  "Albion," the, 77

  Alexander Dumas, 80

  Allowable breakfast-dishes, 14

  _Almanach des Gourmands_, 79, 184

  Anchovy toast, 267

  Angel's pie, 55

  _Apium_, the, 129

  Apricot brandy, 229

  Artichoke, the, 130
    Jerusalem, 131

  Ascot luncheon, 54

  Asparagus, 124
    with eggs, 17

  Aspic, 176

  Athole brose, 241

  Baksheesh, 100

  Ball suppers, 175

  Banquet, a vegetarian, 132

  "Beano," a, 121

  Beans, 119
    "Borston," 120

  Beef, "can't eat," 96

  Bernardin salmi, a, 92

  Birch's, 37

  _Bischoff_, 211

  Biscuit, a devilled, 269

  Bishop, 212

  Bisque, 89

  Bitters, 229

  Blackmore, R. D., 247

  Blue blazer, 243

  Bombay duck, a, 146

  Bones, grilled, 189

  Bosom caresser, a, 239

  Bouillabaisse, 88

  Bovril, 271

  Braddon, Miss, 247

  Brandy, apricot, 229
    cherry, 227
    ginger, 230
    orange, 230
    sour, 243

  Brazil relish, 265

  Breakfast, allowable dishes at, 14
    French, 27
    Indian, 31
    Mediterranean, 26
    with "my tutor," 32

  Brillat Savarin, 106

  Brinjal, the, 131

  Broth, Scotch, 52

  Buckmaster, 77

  Bull's milk, 240

  Burmah, food in, 203

  Burns, John, 234

  Cabbage, the, 115

  Calcutta jumble, 16

  "Cannie Carle," 189

  Canvass-back duck, a, 95

  Carlton House Terrace, 91

  Carlyle, Thomas, 246

  Carrot, the, 121

  Cassis, 244

  Cauliflower, the, 115

  Cedric the Saxon, 66

  Celery, 129
    sauce, 164

  Champagne and stout, 225

  Charles Dickens, 52, 248

  _Chateaûbriand_, a, 70

  Chef, Indian, 135

  "Cheshire Cheese," the, 39
    pudding, 39

  Chinaman's meal, a, 91

  Chops, 50

  _Chota Hazri_, 29

  _Choufleur aû gratin_, 116

  Chowringhee Club, the, 135

  Christmas dinner, a, 82

  Chutnee, raw, 163

  Chutnine, 163

  Cinquevalli, Paul, 112

  City dinners, 100

  Clam chowder, 95

  Cleopatra, 170

  "Coal-hole," the, 187

  Cobbler, champagne, 226
    sherry, 226

  Cocktail, Bengal, 236
    brandy, 235
    champagne, 236
    gin, 237
    Manhattan, 236
    Milford, 236
    Newport, 237
    Saratoga, 237
    whisky, 237
    Yum Yum, 236

  Cod liver, 102

  Coffee tree, the, 7

  Cold mutton, 162

  Collins, John, 218

  Coloured help, 94

  Corelli, Marie, 247

  Cow, milking a, 205

  Crécy soup, 122

  Cremorne Gardens, 184

  Cup, ale, 226
    Ascot, 224
    Balaclava, 223
    Chablis, 222
    champagne, 222
    cider, 221
    claret, 220
    Crimean, 223
    Moselle, 226

  Curry, Benares, 134
    dry Madras, 144
    locust, 140
    Malay, 140
    Parsee, 136
    powder, 139
    Prawn, 143
    rice for, 17, 145
    what to, 142
    when served, 141

  Cyclone, a, 262

  Dana, 263

  Delmonico, 95

  Devilled biscuit, a, 269

  Dickens, Charles, 52, 248

  Dingley Dell, 249

  Dinner, afloat, 101
    city, 100
    Christmas, 82
    an ideal, 101

  Doctor, a, 264
    Samuel Johnson, 71

  Donald, 220

  Duck, Bombay, 146
    canvass-back, 95
    jugged, with oysters, 46
    Rouen, 87
    -squeezer, 93

  Dumas, Alexander, 80

  Dumpling, kidney, 190

  Early Christians, 63
    Closing Act, 181

  Eggs and bacon, 13

  Elizabeth, Queen, 66

  Englishman in China, the, 92

  Evans's, 181

  Fairy "_Ala_," the, 68
    kiss, a, 240

  Fergus MacIvor, 67

  Fin'an haddie, 23

  Fixed bayonet, a, 91

  Flash of lightning, a, 240

  Flip, ale-, 216
    egg-, 217
    -flap, 241

  Fowls, Surrey, 88

  Free trade, 8

  French soup, 97

  _Fricandeau_, a, 104

  Garlic, 128

  Gin, sloe, 227

  Ginger brandy, 230

  Glasgow, the late Lord, 191

  Goats, sacrifice of, 198

  Goose pie, 56

  Gordon hotels, 71

  Green, "Paddy," 182

  Greenland, across, 110

  Grilled bones, 189

  Grouse pie, 48

  Gubbins sauce, 14

  Haggis, 63

  Halibut steak, a, 20

  Happy Eliza, 242

  Hawkins, Sir John, 113

  Hawthornden, 84

  Help, coloured, 94

  Highland cordial, 229

  Hollingshead, John, 181

  Home Ruler, 227

  Horatius Flaccus, 112

  Horse-radish sauce, 164
    steaks, 191

  Hotch potch, 53

  Hotel breakfasts, 17
    "Parish," 21

  Hot-pot, Lancashire, 42

  Hunting luncheons, 48

  Indian breakfasts, 31

  Irish stew, 50

  James I., King, 64

  Japan, 92

  Jesuits, the, 93

  Johnson, Doctor, 71

  John Collins, 218

  "Jolly Sandboys," the, 51

  "Joseph," 83

  Jugged duck with oysters, 46

  Jumping powder, 230

  Kent Road Cookery, the, 109

  Kidney dumpling, 190
    in fire-shovel, 188

  King James I., 64

  Kiss, a fairy, 240

  Kitchener, Doctor, 139

  Knickerbein, a, 239

  Lamb, Charles, 146

  Lamb's head and mince, 186

  Lampreys, 106

  Lancashire hot-pot, 42

  Large peach, a, 15

  Larks, such, 46

  Lightning, a flash of, 240

  Li Hung Chang, 91

  Liver, cod's, 102

  _Lorna Doone_, 247

  Louis XII., 60
    XIV., 60

  Lucian, 119

  Luncheon, Ascot, 54
    race-course, 50
    Simla, 58

  Macaulay, Lord, 261

  _Madère_, 94

  Maiden's blush, 241

  Majesty, Her, 107

  Mandragora, 231

  Marrow, vegetable, 130

  Marsala, 94

  Mayfair, 85

  Mayonnaise, 153

  Mediterranean breakfast, a, 26

  Mess-table, the, 105

  Miladi's boudoir, 190

  Milk, bull's, 240

  Mint julep, 242

  _Mirepoix_, a, 89

  Mutton, cold, 162

  Nansen's banquet on the ice, 109

  Napoleon the Great, 107

  Nero, 62

  New York City, 95

  Nipping habit, the, 233

  "No cheques accepted," 18

  Off to Gold-land, 25

  "Old Coppertail," 197

  Onion, the, 128

  Orange brandy, 230
    sauce, 161

  Orgeat, 224

  Out West, 96

  Oven, the, 76

  Overtrained, 269

  Oysters, Aden, 172
    in their own juice, 173
    Kurachi, 171
    prairie, 265
    sauce, 137
    scalloped, 173
    stewed, 174
    Worcester, 265

  "Paddy" Green, 182

  Parsnip, the, 129

  Parlour cookery, 187

  Payne, George, 82

  Peake and Allen, 263

  Pea soup, 118

  Pease, 117

  "Peg," a, 217

  Pepper-pot, 195

  Peter the Great, 106

  Physician, an eminent, 108

  Pick-me-up, "Number One," 263
    St. Mark's, 268

  Pickles, hot, 269

  Pie, angel's, 55
    goose, 56
    grouse, 48
    pigeon, 55
    pork, 49
    Wardon, 5
    woodcock, 47
    Yorkshire, 49

  Poor, how they live, 109

  Pope, Doctor Joseph, 146

  Possets, 242

  Pork, roast, 45

  Potato, the, 111
    salad, 155

  Port-flip, 266

  Powder, jumping, 230

  _Pré salé_, a, 90

  Prison fare, 110

  "Property" food, 258

  Pudding, Cheshire cheese, 39
    plover, 46
    rabbit, 45
    snipe, 41

  Pulled turkey, 94

  Punch, 206
    ale, 214
    Barbadoes, 214
    Cambridge, 210
    Curaçoa, 214
    Grassot, 214
    Glasgow, 213
    Halo, 212
    milk, 208
    Oxford, 210
    Regent, 215

  Queen Elizabeth, 66

  Rabbit pie, 45

  Race-course luncheons, 50
    sandwich, 53

  Rajah's hospitality, a, 196

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 113

  Rat snakes, 204

  Regimental dinner, a, 99

  Rice for curry, 17, 145

  Richardson, 81

  Roasting, 76

  Romans, the, 59

  Royalty, 85

  Rouen ducks, 87

  Salad, anchovy, 160
    a memorable, 157
    boarding-house, 150
    celery, 156
    cheese in, 158
    corn, 158
    Francatelli's, 150
    French, 151
    fruit, 161
    herring, 155
    Italian, 159
    lobster, 151
    maker, a gentleman-, 156
    orange, 161
    potato, 155
    Roman, 159
    Russian, 160
    tomato, 156

  Salads, 147

  Sala, George Augustus, 71

  _Salmi Bernardin_, 92
    of wild-duck, 93

  Salmon steak, 24

  Sandhurst R.M.C., 67

  Sandwich, a race-course, 53

  _Sambal_, 168

  St. Leger, the, 84

  Sauce, carp, 165
    celery, 164
    Christopher North's, 165
    currant, 167
    goose, 168
    gooseberry, 166
    Gubbins, 14
    hare, 165
    horse-radish, 164
    orange, 161
    oyster, 137
    Tapp, 190
    _Tartare_, 166

  Savarin, Brillat, 90

  Saxon dining-table, a, 65

  Scorcher, a, 264

  Scott, Sir Walter, 67

  Scalloped oysters, 173

  Scotch broth, 52

  Shandy gaff, rich man's, 225

  Shepherd's pie, 45

  Ship and Turtle, the, 38

  Sidney, Harry, 183

  Simla, luncheon at, 58
    to Cashmere, 200

  Sligo slop, 244

  Sloe gin, 227

  Smith, Sydney, 147

  Snipe pudding, 41

  Soup, French, 97

  "Spanky," 182

  Spinach, 127

  Sprats, 179

  Staff of life, the, 7

  Steaks, 50
    salmon, 24
    thoroughbred horse, 191

  Steam-chest, the, 76

  Stew, Irish, 50
    "Jolly Sandboys," 51
    oyster, 174

  Stout and champagne, 225

  Straight talks, 272

  Suetonius, 61

  Suffolk pride, 56

  Such larks, 46

  Supper, Hotel Cecil, 179
    ball, 175

  Surgeon-major, a, 264

  Surrey fowls, 88

  Swizzle, a, 271

  Tapp sauce, 190

  Tartar sauce, 166

  Tea, 6
    _à la Française_, 28

  Thibet, 200

  Thumb-piece, 53

  Tiger's milk, 241

  Toddy, 215
    whisky, 216

  Tomato, the, 126

  Tomnoddy, Lord, 180

  Toole, John Lawrence, 258

  _Tournedos_, a, 89

  Tripe, 177
    how to cook, 178

  Tsar, the, 57

  Tsaritza, the, 86

  Turkey, the, 94
    pulled, 94

  Turmeric, 139

  Turnip, 127

  Turner, Godfrey, 103

  Vegetarian banquet, a, 132

  Vitellius, 61

  _Vol-au-Vent financière_, 90

  Waiter, the, 112

  Wardon pie, a, 5

  Wellington, Duke of, 107

  West Indies, the, 240

  West, out, 96

  Whisky, sour, 243

  Wild-duck, salmi of, 93

  William the Conqueror, 261

  Woodcock pie, 47

  Working man, the, 270

  Wyndham, 241

  Yates, Edmund's Reminiscences, 178

  York, New, 95

  Yorkshire pie, 49

                               THE END

                  MILLER, SON, AND COMPY., LIMITED,
                         FAKENHAM AND LONDON.


[1] It is incorrect to speak of bread as the sole "staff of life."
Eggs, milk, cheese, potatoes, and some other vegetables, supply
between them far more phosphoric acid than is to be got from bread,
either white or brown. And a man could support existence on "beer and
baccy" as well as he could do so on bread alone.

[2] In most recipes for puddings or pies, rump steak is given. But
this is a mistake, as the tendency of that part of the ox is to
_harden_, when subjected to the process of boiling or baking. Besides
the skirt--the _thick_ skirt--there be tit-bits to be cut from around
the shoulder.

[3] The cannie Scot, however, never made his haggis from anything
belonging to the pig. The dislike of the Scots to pork dates from
very long ago, as we read in a note to Sir Walter Scott's _Waverley_.
King "Jamie" carried this prejudice to England, and is known to have
abhorred pork almost as much as he did tobacco. His proposed banquet
to the "Deil" consisted of a loin of pork, a poll (or head) of ling,
with a pipe of tobacco for digestion.

[4] This dish must somewhat resemble the "Fixed Bayonet," which at one
time was the favourite tit-bit of "Tommy Atkins," when quartered in
India. It consisted of a fowl, stuffed with green chilis, and boiled
in rum. The fowl was picked to the bones, and the soldier wound up
with the soup. Very tasty!

[5] Kidney potatoes should always be boiled, as steaming makes them
more "waxy."

[6] Doubtful starters.

[7] Formerly Assistant-Surgeon Royal Artillery. A celebrated lecturer
on "The Inner Man," and author of _Number One, and How to take Care of
Him_, etc.

[8] "Of all the delicacies in the whole _mundus edibilis_ I will
maintain it to be the most delicate--_princeps obsoniorum_. I speak
not of your grown porkers--things between pig and pork--those
hobbydehoys; but a young and tender suckling, under a moon old,
guiltless as yet of the sty, with no original speck of the _amor
immunditiae_, the hereditary failing of the first parents, yet
manifest--his voice as yet not broken, but something between a
childish treble and a grumble--the mild forerunner or _praeludium_ of
a grunt. He must be _roasted_. I am not ignorant that our ancestors
ate them seethed, or boiled--but what a sacrifice of the exterior

"His sauce should be considered. Decidedly a few bread-crumbs, done
up with his liver and brains, and a dash of mild sage. But banish,
dear Mrs. Cook, I beseech you, the whole onion tribe. Barbecue your
whole hogs to your palate, steep them in shalots, stuff them out with
plantations of the rank and guilty garlic--you cannot poison them, or
make them stronger than they are; but consider, he is a weakling--a
flower."--_Lamb on Pig._

[9] Our then commanding officer was noted for his powers of
self-control. I once noticed him leave the table hurriedly, and retire
to the verandah. After an interval he returned, and apologised to the
President. Our revered chief had only swallowed a flying bug. And he
never even used a big D.

[10] An excellent aerated water and a natural one, is obtained from
springs in the valley beneath the Long Mynd, near Church Stretton, in
Shropshire. In fact, the Stretton waters deserve to be widely known,
and are superior to most of the foreign ones.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cakes & Ale - A Dissertation on Banquets Interspersed with Various - Recipes, More or Less Original, and anecdotes, mainly - veracious" ***

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