Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Victorian Marmalade

I have just spent three weeks obsessively reading Judith Flanders' wonderful book, The Victorian House, which is worth buying for the footnotes alone (particularly the one on page 1 about sex and U-bends). I knew there had to be a mention of marmalade somewhere, and sure enough...

In Chapter 7, the author reproduces a typical weekly menu for a middle-class household, which shows how thriftily they used up leftovers, recycling food throughout the week rather than thinking up something new every day.

For example, mutton for dinner on Sunday became cold mutton for breakfast on Monday and curried mutton for Monday's dinner. On Tuesday, what was left of the mutton was then given to the servants, who ate it hashed for supper, then ate it again cold on Wednesday.

I was also pleased to see that, in this particular menu, there was baked marmalade pudding for dinner on Monday; cold fowl and tongue followed by eggs and marmalade for breakfast on Wednesday; and buttered eggs, tongue (again), bloaters and marmalade for breakfast on Thursday.

They must have been very grateful for the marmalade; the rest of the menu sounds monotonously grim.


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