Mrs Beeton’s “All About Cookery”

A little while ago I was talking amongst colleagues at work about finding a recipe for butterscotch tart – a childhood favourite of mine. I was saying how difficult it is to find a recipe that matches what I remember it being like in my school days. When I said that, another voice popped up in the office, “Have you tried Mrs. Beeton?” It was Oz, the photographer. I had never even heard of Mrs Beeton let alone seen any of her recipes! He then said he had a copy of one of her All About Cookery books and that he would bring it in for me to borrow.

This is what he brought.

This book is over 100 years old, It was actually presented to his Mum as a leaving present from her employers in 1911!

Out of general curiosity, I did a little research. It turns out that Mrs Beeton (as I’m sure lots of you are already aware!) is really very famous. She published many cookery & household management books before sadly dying at the youthful age of 28. It’s amazing that although so young, she knew so much about running a household! However, some of her recipes made my stomach a little queasy at the sound of them! Here are a few examples of some I found in the book:

Unfortunately it didn’t have the butterscotch tart recipe I was looking for but I did find some recipes that sounded rather tempting! One in particular, I thought would make a lovely lunch: Ham Croûtes. So here are my conversions to make a light lunch for 2-3 people.

  • Butter, knob
  • 90g Cooked Ham, cubed
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 Yolk
  • 1/2 Shallot
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 3 Slices Toasted Bread

Melt the butter in a heavy based frying pan and then add the shallots. Fry until softened then add in the ham.

Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further few minutes . Beat together the egg yolk and the cream then stir into the pan. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly then turn off the heat and add in some chopped parsley.

Serve on top of a slice of toast as a light and tasty lunch.

I had my Gran over for lunch and decided to make this for us. She never stopped making yummy noises and saying how delicious it was! And as soon as I started to tuck in, I must admit, I began making yummy noises too!

I think that Mrs Beeton really knew what she was talking about! Definitely one I will be making again. Quick, simple & tasty. Just what you look for in the perfect light lunch.

A huge thank you to Oz for being kind enough to lend me his book! You can check out the great work he does for my employers over at Northern Light Studio Photography.

So, are any of you going to be trying the Sheep’s Brains with Parsley Sauce??

No? Haha thought not! See you later alligators.

Miss KitchenMason


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