Let Them Eat Brioche

Joanna here.

One of the minor disappointments of life is that there are no croissants in the Regency.  My characters can enjoy flaky rolls, buns, sliced bread, tarts and all sorts of pastries for breakfast, but croissants didn't arrive in Paris till the late 1830s.  They're as anachronistic on the Regency table as cornflakes.

Regency folks can chow down on brioche though.  We got brioche. 

Brioche dessert first attrib Brioche is a light yeast bread, eggy and somewhat sweet — though the recipes tell us it was less sweet in 1800 than it is nowadays — frequently carrying a nice surprise of nuts or raisins.  It was a veritable breakfast cliché in Paris in the Eighteenth Century.  Brioche would have been comfortable and familiar on any wealthy English breakfast table, those being the ones influenced by the French way of cooking.  By 1820, brioche was so common in England it was standard in cookbooks.

Which brings us to the question, how did a cook in a London or Paris household knead up a brioche for the gentility upstairs?

Carl Sagan said, "If you want to make an apple pie, you must first invent the universe."  Somewhat less ambitiously, if we wish to set brioche before our Regency lady and gentleman, we must invent some Regency cookery.

Wiki 660px-Secale_cereale_flour We start the universe with hydrogen.  
We start the brioche with flour, of which there were many kinds.  'Grist' was the most ordinary sort, flour with only the bran removed, used for making common bread.  But our urban household buys their day-to-day bread from a bakery.  They keep only fine white flour in the house for cakes and pastries and special puddings. 

Flour would have been delivered to the house in a big barrel.  In fact, a 'flour barrel' was a standard measure that held fourteen stone or just shy of 200 pounds, (ninety kilos,) of flour.  That would be the size of forty modern bags of flour, stacked. That would be a bit of a tight fit in my kitchen. 

Our Regency cook — she's a formidable woman wearing a big white apron with the bib pinned up high on the shoulders — is monarch of a substantial domain, 
Cook
including some extensive food storage in the pantry, which is where they roll that flour barrel.  When she sets out to make brioche, she sends some hapless underling — the kitchenmaid — to pop up the lid of the barrel and scoop out an earthenware bowl of flour. 

Our flour is sifted through a round sieve at this point to remove any ambitious wildlife that might have found a way in. 

Then — Take four pounds of very dry flour.  Lay the flour on the table after you have sifted it, says an 1828 recipe. 

Attr chatirygirlThe cook would take part of that flour to mix up a 'sponge' of flour, water and a dollop of yeast from her yeast-on-go supply she has back in the pantry.  She'd cover the bowl of sponge and set it to keep warm next to the fire.  This gives the yeast a kickstart and makes  sure it's working. 

Cook keeps her own little farm of yeast going, stored in a jug on a cool shelf in the pantry, covered with a cloth.  She might stick a quill through the cloth to let gases escape.

Here's how she makes yeast:
Mix two quarts of soft water with wheat flour, to the consistence of thick gruel, or soft hasty pudding; boil it gently for half an hour, and when almost cold, stir into it half a pound of sugar, and four spoonfuls of good yeast. Put it into a large jug, or earthen vessel, with a narrow top, and place it before the fire, so that it may, by a moderate heat, ferment. The fermentation will throw up a thin liquor, which pour off and throw away; the remainder keep for use in a cool place in a bottle, or jug tied over. 

The water our Cook uses in Mayfair comes from twenty miles away in Hertfordshire by way of a reservoir in Islington.  From there, it travels in iron pipes to the west of London.  Chardin_The_Copper_Drinking_Fountain 1740

In Paris, in the Regency era, water is still delivered by water carriers.  Drinking water in Paris would be stored in a copper cistern in some handy spot in the kitchen.

Our cook has set the sponge aside to do its frothing while she performs other useful and interesting culinary tasks.   After an hour or so she comes back and sets herself up at the big working table.  All the ingredients are at hand.  Flour.  Eggs.  A bit of salt.  A bit of sugar.  Raisins.  The yeast is in its bowl, all sprightly and blowing off bubbles in the sponge.  We're ready.

A period recipe says: Make a great hole in the flour, put four small pinches of salt on as many different places, with a good pinch of sugar to correct the bitter taste of the yeast, and a little water to melt the salt. Then take two pounds of butter, which you break into small pieces with your hand, and put in the middle of the flour: next break the eggs, and smell them successively to ascertain if they are good: mix the whole well together. 

Salt she probably bought in a grocery.  This would be a small shop by modern standards, the place to pick up coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, raisins, and spices.  This is a modern and forward-looking, brioche-eating Regency  household, so our cook probably bought 'basket salt' that came from the salt springs in Cheshire instead  of the common sea salt.  Basket salt was considered superior for its whiteness, purity and fineness of grain.  In the kitchen, the store of salt would be a saltbox, a small, square, lidded wood box that stayed dry next Food blog and fish 015to the fireplace.  The saltbox might rest on a shelf, or have a niche by the oven designed to hold it, or hang from a nail in the wall.  Our cook would take a small bowl of salt from the box and put it handy on the table, ready to dip a pinch out when needed.

On to the sugar

I always wondered, in a desultory manner, why 'sugar loaf' mountains don't look like loaves.

Sugar_cone_worker In the Regency, sugar came to the household as a big tall cone.  This was because, out in the Caribbean, the end of the process of sugar making was to pour thick sugar syrup into cone-shaped molds and let it harden.  The little hills of Vermont look like those cones.

We buy bags of granular, free-running sugar.  We pay extra for hard sugar formed into cubes. 

Our Regency cook, on the other hand, just naturally expected sugar to come in a rock-hard cone.  To get pouring sugar she had to chip or saw pieces off the cone, pound them into submission and grind them up fine in a mortar and pestle.
Grind, grind.   More work for the kitchenmaid.

 
Sugar nippers on stand wiki detailAttrib felix

This here is a 'sugar nipper', not a Medieval torture instrument.  They use sugar nippers to nip off handy-sized bits for putting in tea.  'One lump or two' was the result  of this artistic handwork. 

Can you see a fussy Grande Dame looking over the sugar bowl and trying to decide whether the sugar lumps are running kinda puny before she commits herself to how many she wants?

Milkmaid3 detailb

Milk was brought to the kitchen door at the crack of dawn by clear-complexioned  and buxom — buxom means having big breasts, but it's a really polite way to point this out — milkmaids.  They carry a pair of cans suspended from a yoke over their shoulders and dole out a helping into the kitchen jug, using various measuring dippers.  Cream was sold separately from the milk.
The cook would strain the milk one last time before using it.

Our cook buys her butter in the open air markets of the city when she's going from booth to booth, comparing freshness of all those lettuces and carrots.  She probably goes to a farmer's wife she knows whose butter costs a little more and whose product is superior.  This would be butter that was never let go rancid and then 'refreshed' by kneading it through  many washes of water.

800px-Buttermodel_04

Mistress Farm Wife molds her butter into fancy shapes using a wood butter mold.  The top comes out stamped with the unique design that tells the knowledgeable what farm the butter came from.

The cook might buy her eggs right from the same market. 

Talking about  eggs . . . 
I had this mistaken assumption that brown-shelled eggs were traditional, old-fashioned eggs and white eggs were sorta modern.  I guess I assumed they came up with white eggs in the Fifties to be hygienic
Old woman cooking eggs and streamlined. 

Not so much.  If you go searching back through the visual record of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,  all the eggs are white.  Yup.  White eggs everywhere. 

Greuze btoken eggs detail 1756 Now it might be all that preponderance of white eggs used in paintings could be because they're more — to steal a modern idea — 'photogenic'.  But I'm inclined to  think the eggs the cook broke into the dough were white.

Flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar, eggs.  At this point, much kneading is proceeding.

The final ingredient this morning is raisins, because this is a somewhat festive brioche, a gay and debonair brioche to cheer everyone up.

Before the mid-Nineteenth Century, just about all grapes had seeds in them.  Recipes call for 'stoned raisins' which means they'd had the seeds removed, not that the raisins were inebriated.  To get the seeds out, you'd cut each raisin open with a small knife or split them apart with fingers and pop the seeds out, a process that must have been tedious in the extreme.    

One kind of naturally seedless grape of the time is the small, dark, sweet raisin, grown in Greece and exported all over Europe.  They're called currants, after Corinth in Greece. 
These currants are grapes, though, and not to be confused with the 'black currants' that grow on a bush and are related to gooseberries. 

Why they decided to call two entirely different and unrelated fruits the same word I cannot imagine.  It's not as if we are short of words.

I mean, sometime you look at the language and just wonder, 'why?'


Still_life_with_cake-lpeale 1818 deal

Raisins come to the household still on the vine, as it were.   They're dried in the sun as bunches and sold attached to the twigs and branches, from which they must be removed before they are washed and rolled in flour and kneaded into the dough.

We're at the finish line.  Our brioche dough makes a firm sphere. Cook adds one fanciful flourish.   A small ball of dough is pressed into the
very top to make that cap that is the traditional Brioche
experience. 

The brioche is tied into a paper and ready to bake.  Later on, in Victorian times, they'll get around to using distinctive, fluted baking dishes. Now it's paper cookery.

And so, to the oven.

creative commons photocredits starter sponge chatirygirl, brioche dessertfirst, sugar cone felix.   Manet still-life-with-brioche

When Marie Antoinette was not saying, 'let them eat cake' —
which she didn't say because the phrase was around before poor Marie Antoinette arrived in France —
what she didn't say was, 'Let them eat brioche.' 

Which I will now leave my Regency ladies and gentlemen to get down to.   

Thinking back, I find I have set my characters down to eat breakfast in all three books.  Annique has a bowl of milky coffee and a flaky pastry in The SPYMASTER'S LADY.  Jessamyn is offered toast and tea in MY LORD AND SPYMASTER.  And Maggie toys with surprisingly good coffee and a slice of bread at the café in THE FORBIDDEN ROSE. 

What does a hero eat for breakfast?  (Villains.  Right.  I set myself up for that.) 
No, really.  Roarke and Eve just finished French Toast for breakfast.  When you picture a heroic character just rolling out of bed, what does he have for breakfast? 

210 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Brioche”

  1. Wonderful post, Joanna. I can’t wait for breakfast. You’ve made me think of the breakfasts I had in Paris many years ago. I’m not all that fond of croissants, so my choice was usually a fresh-baked chunk of baguette, sliced in half and spread with butter and/or apricot jam. It was washed down with coffee, which was served in two pots, one of black strong coffee and the other containing hot milk. Heaven. Every now and then I still treat myself to a “Parisian breakfast.”
    As for the “breakfast of heroes” my guys usually go for protein — bacon, eggs, ham, even roast beef or steak— and even though it was common for men to to wash their breakfast down with ale in those days, I usually serve my heroes coffee, because I don’t want my headers to think they were alcoholics, drinking ale at breakfast.

    Reply
  2. Wonderful post, Joanna. I can’t wait for breakfast. You’ve made me think of the breakfasts I had in Paris many years ago. I’m not all that fond of croissants, so my choice was usually a fresh-baked chunk of baguette, sliced in half and spread with butter and/or apricot jam. It was washed down with coffee, which was served in two pots, one of black strong coffee and the other containing hot milk. Heaven. Every now and then I still treat myself to a “Parisian breakfast.”
    As for the “breakfast of heroes” my guys usually go for protein — bacon, eggs, ham, even roast beef or steak— and even though it was common for men to to wash their breakfast down with ale in those days, I usually serve my heroes coffee, because I don’t want my headers to think they were alcoholics, drinking ale at breakfast.

    Reply
  3. Wonderful post, Joanna. I can’t wait for breakfast. You’ve made me think of the breakfasts I had in Paris many years ago. I’m not all that fond of croissants, so my choice was usually a fresh-baked chunk of baguette, sliced in half and spread with butter and/or apricot jam. It was washed down with coffee, which was served in two pots, one of black strong coffee and the other containing hot milk. Heaven. Every now and then I still treat myself to a “Parisian breakfast.”
    As for the “breakfast of heroes” my guys usually go for protein — bacon, eggs, ham, even roast beef or steak— and even though it was common for men to to wash their breakfast down with ale in those days, I usually serve my heroes coffee, because I don’t want my headers to think they were alcoholics, drinking ale at breakfast.

    Reply
  4. Wonderful post, Joanna. I can’t wait for breakfast. You’ve made me think of the breakfasts I had in Paris many years ago. I’m not all that fond of croissants, so my choice was usually a fresh-baked chunk of baguette, sliced in half and spread with butter and/or apricot jam. It was washed down with coffee, which was served in two pots, one of black strong coffee and the other containing hot milk. Heaven. Every now and then I still treat myself to a “Parisian breakfast.”
    As for the “breakfast of heroes” my guys usually go for protein — bacon, eggs, ham, even roast beef or steak— and even though it was common for men to to wash their breakfast down with ale in those days, I usually serve my heroes coffee, because I don’t want my headers to think they were alcoholics, drinking ale at breakfast.

    Reply
  5. Wonderful post, Joanna. I can’t wait for breakfast. You’ve made me think of the breakfasts I had in Paris many years ago. I’m not all that fond of croissants, so my choice was usually a fresh-baked chunk of baguette, sliced in half and spread with butter and/or apricot jam. It was washed down with coffee, which was served in two pots, one of black strong coffee and the other containing hot milk. Heaven. Every now and then I still treat myself to a “Parisian breakfast.”
    As for the “breakfast of heroes” my guys usually go for protein — bacon, eggs, ham, even roast beef or steak— and even though it was common for men to to wash their breakfast down with ale in those days, I usually serve my heroes coffee, because I don’t want my headers to think they were alcoholics, drinking ale at breakfast.

    Reply
  6. Joanna, great post. Brought back some great memories for me of my grandmother baking bread – she was blind, but she unerringly made the best bread I’d ever tasted. To this day, I still remember her at the old wooden table in her house, kneading the bread. And after she died, I was given an old wooden butter mold that had belonged to my great-grandmother.
    As for the breakfast of heroes, mine are usually Irish, so they’d be eating soda bread or Colcannon (potatoes mixed with cream and wild leeks) with tea. I actually had the opportunity to taste Colcannon when I was in Ireland last year, and it’s delicious!

    Reply
  7. Joanna, great post. Brought back some great memories for me of my grandmother baking bread – she was blind, but she unerringly made the best bread I’d ever tasted. To this day, I still remember her at the old wooden table in her house, kneading the bread. And after she died, I was given an old wooden butter mold that had belonged to my great-grandmother.
    As for the breakfast of heroes, mine are usually Irish, so they’d be eating soda bread or Colcannon (potatoes mixed with cream and wild leeks) with tea. I actually had the opportunity to taste Colcannon when I was in Ireland last year, and it’s delicious!

    Reply
  8. Joanna, great post. Brought back some great memories for me of my grandmother baking bread – she was blind, but she unerringly made the best bread I’d ever tasted. To this day, I still remember her at the old wooden table in her house, kneading the bread. And after she died, I was given an old wooden butter mold that had belonged to my great-grandmother.
    As for the breakfast of heroes, mine are usually Irish, so they’d be eating soda bread or Colcannon (potatoes mixed with cream and wild leeks) with tea. I actually had the opportunity to taste Colcannon when I was in Ireland last year, and it’s delicious!

    Reply
  9. Joanna, great post. Brought back some great memories for me of my grandmother baking bread – she was blind, but she unerringly made the best bread I’d ever tasted. To this day, I still remember her at the old wooden table in her house, kneading the bread. And after she died, I was given an old wooden butter mold that had belonged to my great-grandmother.
    As for the breakfast of heroes, mine are usually Irish, so they’d be eating soda bread or Colcannon (potatoes mixed with cream and wild leeks) with tea. I actually had the opportunity to taste Colcannon when I was in Ireland last year, and it’s delicious!

    Reply
  10. Joanna, great post. Brought back some great memories for me of my grandmother baking bread – she was blind, but she unerringly made the best bread I’d ever tasted. To this day, I still remember her at the old wooden table in her house, kneading the bread. And after she died, I was given an old wooden butter mold that had belonged to my great-grandmother.
    As for the breakfast of heroes, mine are usually Irish, so they’d be eating soda bread or Colcannon (potatoes mixed with cream and wild leeks) with tea. I actually had the opportunity to taste Colcannon when I was in Ireland last year, and it’s delicious!

    Reply
  11. How very interesting! It’s details like these that make our understanding of the times greater and therefore the reading even more pleasurable.
    Than you so much for sharing Joanna!

    Reply
  12. How very interesting! It’s details like these that make our understanding of the times greater and therefore the reading even more pleasurable.
    Than you so much for sharing Joanna!

    Reply
  13. How very interesting! It’s details like these that make our understanding of the times greater and therefore the reading even more pleasurable.
    Than you so much for sharing Joanna!

    Reply
  14. How very interesting! It’s details like these that make our understanding of the times greater and therefore the reading even more pleasurable.
    Than you so much for sharing Joanna!

    Reply
  15. How very interesting! It’s details like these that make our understanding of the times greater and therefore the reading even more pleasurable.
    Than you so much for sharing Joanna!

    Reply
  16. Oh, all this food sounds wonderful! I want some of each–and a cook to make them, because I would starve if I had to cook for myself. Good thing hubby is a good cook. (I love you, dear).

    Reply
  17. Oh, all this food sounds wonderful! I want some of each–and a cook to make them, because I would starve if I had to cook for myself. Good thing hubby is a good cook. (I love you, dear).

    Reply
  18. Oh, all this food sounds wonderful! I want some of each–and a cook to make them, because I would starve if I had to cook for myself. Good thing hubby is a good cook. (I love you, dear).

    Reply
  19. Oh, all this food sounds wonderful! I want some of each–and a cook to make them, because I would starve if I had to cook for myself. Good thing hubby is a good cook. (I love you, dear).

    Reply
  20. Oh, all this food sounds wonderful! I want some of each–and a cook to make them, because I would starve if I had to cook for myself. Good thing hubby is a good cook. (I love you, dear).

    Reply
  21. Hi Annie —
    I have to say, the thought of ale for breakfast sets my teeth on edge. Couldn’t face it, myself.
    (I have always thought much of European history can be explained by the theory that everyone went around mildly buzzed all the time.)
    Protein. Yes. Definitely.

    Reply
  22. Hi Annie —
    I have to say, the thought of ale for breakfast sets my teeth on edge. Couldn’t face it, myself.
    (I have always thought much of European history can be explained by the theory that everyone went around mildly buzzed all the time.)
    Protein. Yes. Definitely.

    Reply
  23. Hi Annie —
    I have to say, the thought of ale for breakfast sets my teeth on edge. Couldn’t face it, myself.
    (I have always thought much of European history can be explained by the theory that everyone went around mildly buzzed all the time.)
    Protein. Yes. Definitely.

    Reply
  24. Hi Annie —
    I have to say, the thought of ale for breakfast sets my teeth on edge. Couldn’t face it, myself.
    (I have always thought much of European history can be explained by the theory that everyone went around mildly buzzed all the time.)
    Protein. Yes. Definitely.

    Reply
  25. Hi Annie —
    I have to say, the thought of ale for breakfast sets my teeth on edge. Couldn’t face it, myself.
    (I have always thought much of European history can be explained by the theory that everyone went around mildly buzzed all the time.)
    Protein. Yes. Definitely.

    Reply
  26. Hi Cynthia Owens,
    Butter molds seem to come in a couple three sorts.
    Some English examples were used by the dairy owners to mark their product. This could be a mold the butter went into or a stamp to tap down on top.
    Some molds were finely made, meant to decorate butter that would be served ‘upstairs’. There’s one in the inventory of a cabinetmaker, for instance.
    Then there’s a whole folk art tradition in America, influenced by German immigrants. I just love these. Charming and vibrant art.
    You’re fortunate to have one that’s been in your family so long.
    Fascinating about the Irish Breakfasts. And Irish soda bread. Yum yum. I never make this as well as they do in Ireland.

    Reply
  27. Hi Cynthia Owens,
    Butter molds seem to come in a couple three sorts.
    Some English examples were used by the dairy owners to mark their product. This could be a mold the butter went into or a stamp to tap down on top.
    Some molds were finely made, meant to decorate butter that would be served ‘upstairs’. There’s one in the inventory of a cabinetmaker, for instance.
    Then there’s a whole folk art tradition in America, influenced by German immigrants. I just love these. Charming and vibrant art.
    You’re fortunate to have one that’s been in your family so long.
    Fascinating about the Irish Breakfasts. And Irish soda bread. Yum yum. I never make this as well as they do in Ireland.

    Reply
  28. Hi Cynthia Owens,
    Butter molds seem to come in a couple three sorts.
    Some English examples were used by the dairy owners to mark their product. This could be a mold the butter went into or a stamp to tap down on top.
    Some molds were finely made, meant to decorate butter that would be served ‘upstairs’. There’s one in the inventory of a cabinetmaker, for instance.
    Then there’s a whole folk art tradition in America, influenced by German immigrants. I just love these. Charming and vibrant art.
    You’re fortunate to have one that’s been in your family so long.
    Fascinating about the Irish Breakfasts. And Irish soda bread. Yum yum. I never make this as well as they do in Ireland.

    Reply
  29. Hi Cynthia Owens,
    Butter molds seem to come in a couple three sorts.
    Some English examples were used by the dairy owners to mark their product. This could be a mold the butter went into or a stamp to tap down on top.
    Some molds were finely made, meant to decorate butter that would be served ‘upstairs’. There’s one in the inventory of a cabinetmaker, for instance.
    Then there’s a whole folk art tradition in America, influenced by German immigrants. I just love these. Charming and vibrant art.
    You’re fortunate to have one that’s been in your family so long.
    Fascinating about the Irish Breakfasts. And Irish soda bread. Yum yum. I never make this as well as they do in Ireland.

    Reply
  30. Hi Cynthia Owens,
    Butter molds seem to come in a couple three sorts.
    Some English examples were used by the dairy owners to mark their product. This could be a mold the butter went into or a stamp to tap down on top.
    Some molds were finely made, meant to decorate butter that would be served ‘upstairs’. There’s one in the inventory of a cabinetmaker, for instance.
    Then there’s a whole folk art tradition in America, influenced by German immigrants. I just love these. Charming and vibrant art.
    You’re fortunate to have one that’s been in your family so long.
    Fascinating about the Irish Breakfasts. And Irish soda bread. Yum yum. I never make this as well as they do in Ireland.

    Reply
  31. Hi Kim Colby —
    I love understanding the details of everyday life.
    This stuff is surprisingly hard to find out about, though. Nobody puts this in their period journal or mentions it in a letter.
    I guess it makes sense. I mean, how many times do we sit down and write the details of how to change a lightbulb?

    Reply
  32. Hi Kim Colby —
    I love understanding the details of everyday life.
    This stuff is surprisingly hard to find out about, though. Nobody puts this in their period journal or mentions it in a letter.
    I guess it makes sense. I mean, how many times do we sit down and write the details of how to change a lightbulb?

    Reply
  33. Hi Kim Colby —
    I love understanding the details of everyday life.
    This stuff is surprisingly hard to find out about, though. Nobody puts this in their period journal or mentions it in a letter.
    I guess it makes sense. I mean, how many times do we sit down and write the details of how to change a lightbulb?

    Reply
  34. Hi Kim Colby —
    I love understanding the details of everyday life.
    This stuff is surprisingly hard to find out about, though. Nobody puts this in their period journal or mentions it in a letter.
    I guess it makes sense. I mean, how many times do we sit down and write the details of how to change a lightbulb?

    Reply
  35. Hi Kim Colby —
    I love understanding the details of everyday life.
    This stuff is surprisingly hard to find out about, though. Nobody puts this in their period journal or mentions it in a letter.
    I guess it makes sense. I mean, how many times do we sit down and write the details of how to change a lightbulb?

    Reply
  36. Lovely post, but now I’m hungry. Breakfast — whether brioche, French toast (and why French, I wonder), or Cheerios plus banana — is my favorite meal of the day. I think the reason Cook added raisins is because the hero (the youngest son in the household) loves raisins and Cook has always had a soft spot for him (as does our heroine, perfect for him in every way except for her dislike of raisins).
    I noticed that the measurements of the dry ingredients in the recipes were often in weights. This is still the way it’s done in Europe, but in the US we tend to measure by volume, which, as I understand it, is more variable and therefore less accurate. I wouldn’t necessarily know from personal experience, as my husband, like Linda’s, does all the cooking (in return, I clean).

    Reply
  37. Lovely post, but now I’m hungry. Breakfast — whether brioche, French toast (and why French, I wonder), or Cheerios plus banana — is my favorite meal of the day. I think the reason Cook added raisins is because the hero (the youngest son in the household) loves raisins and Cook has always had a soft spot for him (as does our heroine, perfect for him in every way except for her dislike of raisins).
    I noticed that the measurements of the dry ingredients in the recipes were often in weights. This is still the way it’s done in Europe, but in the US we tend to measure by volume, which, as I understand it, is more variable and therefore less accurate. I wouldn’t necessarily know from personal experience, as my husband, like Linda’s, does all the cooking (in return, I clean).

    Reply
  38. Lovely post, but now I’m hungry. Breakfast — whether brioche, French toast (and why French, I wonder), or Cheerios plus banana — is my favorite meal of the day. I think the reason Cook added raisins is because the hero (the youngest son in the household) loves raisins and Cook has always had a soft spot for him (as does our heroine, perfect for him in every way except for her dislike of raisins).
    I noticed that the measurements of the dry ingredients in the recipes were often in weights. This is still the way it’s done in Europe, but in the US we tend to measure by volume, which, as I understand it, is more variable and therefore less accurate. I wouldn’t necessarily know from personal experience, as my husband, like Linda’s, does all the cooking (in return, I clean).

    Reply
  39. Lovely post, but now I’m hungry. Breakfast — whether brioche, French toast (and why French, I wonder), or Cheerios plus banana — is my favorite meal of the day. I think the reason Cook added raisins is because the hero (the youngest son in the household) loves raisins and Cook has always had a soft spot for him (as does our heroine, perfect for him in every way except for her dislike of raisins).
    I noticed that the measurements of the dry ingredients in the recipes were often in weights. This is still the way it’s done in Europe, but in the US we tend to measure by volume, which, as I understand it, is more variable and therefore less accurate. I wouldn’t necessarily know from personal experience, as my husband, like Linda’s, does all the cooking (in return, I clean).

    Reply
  40. Lovely post, but now I’m hungry. Breakfast — whether brioche, French toast (and why French, I wonder), or Cheerios plus banana — is my favorite meal of the day. I think the reason Cook added raisins is because the hero (the youngest son in the household) loves raisins and Cook has always had a soft spot for him (as does our heroine, perfect for him in every way except for her dislike of raisins).
    I noticed that the measurements of the dry ingredients in the recipes were often in weights. This is still the way it’s done in Europe, but in the US we tend to measure by volume, which, as I understand it, is more variable and therefore less accurate. I wouldn’t necessarily know from personal experience, as my husband, like Linda’s, does all the cooking (in return, I clean).

    Reply
  41. Hi Susan/DC —
    The French, being intransigent, don’t call it French Toast. THEY call it ‘lost bread’,
    which is evocative, but also one of those things that make you wonder, ‘why’?
    Who lost the bread? Who found it? How did it get into an eggs/milk/skillet situation?
    The dynamic of a hero who likes raisins and a heroine who loathes them is, I believe, what writerly types would call an external conflict. The resolution of this turmoil eludes me, I’m afraid.
    Perhaps they will construct a long happy future where breakfast tables hold both brioche and wheaten toast.

    Reply
  42. Hi Susan/DC —
    The French, being intransigent, don’t call it French Toast. THEY call it ‘lost bread’,
    which is evocative, but also one of those things that make you wonder, ‘why’?
    Who lost the bread? Who found it? How did it get into an eggs/milk/skillet situation?
    The dynamic of a hero who likes raisins and a heroine who loathes them is, I believe, what writerly types would call an external conflict. The resolution of this turmoil eludes me, I’m afraid.
    Perhaps they will construct a long happy future where breakfast tables hold both brioche and wheaten toast.

    Reply
  43. Hi Susan/DC —
    The French, being intransigent, don’t call it French Toast. THEY call it ‘lost bread’,
    which is evocative, but also one of those things that make you wonder, ‘why’?
    Who lost the bread? Who found it? How did it get into an eggs/milk/skillet situation?
    The dynamic of a hero who likes raisins and a heroine who loathes them is, I believe, what writerly types would call an external conflict. The resolution of this turmoil eludes me, I’m afraid.
    Perhaps they will construct a long happy future where breakfast tables hold both brioche and wheaten toast.

    Reply
  44. Hi Susan/DC —
    The French, being intransigent, don’t call it French Toast. THEY call it ‘lost bread’,
    which is evocative, but also one of those things that make you wonder, ‘why’?
    Who lost the bread? Who found it? How did it get into an eggs/milk/skillet situation?
    The dynamic of a hero who likes raisins and a heroine who loathes them is, I believe, what writerly types would call an external conflict. The resolution of this turmoil eludes me, I’m afraid.
    Perhaps they will construct a long happy future where breakfast tables hold both brioche and wheaten toast.

    Reply
  45. Hi Susan/DC —
    The French, being intransigent, don’t call it French Toast. THEY call it ‘lost bread’,
    which is evocative, but also one of those things that make you wonder, ‘why’?
    Who lost the bread? Who found it? How did it get into an eggs/milk/skillet situation?
    The dynamic of a hero who likes raisins and a heroine who loathes them is, I believe, what writerly types would call an external conflict. The resolution of this turmoil eludes me, I’m afraid.
    Perhaps they will construct a long happy future where breakfast tables hold both brioche and wheaten toast.

    Reply
  46. That made me* hungary. Wouldn’t mind a brioche right now.
    Remember way, way back going to my great Aunt’s and operating a churn to get butter…up, down, up, down forever. She used a large “butter crock” to hold the result from churning. I’d get a glass of buttermilk.
    Good.

    Reply
  47. That made me* hungary. Wouldn’t mind a brioche right now.
    Remember way, way back going to my great Aunt’s and operating a churn to get butter…up, down, up, down forever. She used a large “butter crock” to hold the result from churning. I’d get a glass of buttermilk.
    Good.

    Reply
  48. That made me* hungary. Wouldn’t mind a brioche right now.
    Remember way, way back going to my great Aunt’s and operating a churn to get butter…up, down, up, down forever. She used a large “butter crock” to hold the result from churning. I’d get a glass of buttermilk.
    Good.

    Reply
  49. That made me* hungary. Wouldn’t mind a brioche right now.
    Remember way, way back going to my great Aunt’s and operating a churn to get butter…up, down, up, down forever. She used a large “butter crock” to hold the result from churning. I’d get a glass of buttermilk.
    Good.

    Reply
  50. That made me* hungary. Wouldn’t mind a brioche right now.
    Remember way, way back going to my great Aunt’s and operating a churn to get butter…up, down, up, down forever. She used a large “butter crock” to hold the result from churning. I’d get a glass of buttermilk.
    Good.

    Reply
  51. Hi Louis —
    You have actually seen and operated a butter churn!
    Just wow. Wow.
    There must have been 1800-ish butter crocks, but I have not yet located a picture of one. Always something that eludes us.
    They make nifty two-piece ceramic ‘French butter keepers’ or ‘French butter bells’, but the design seems to date only to the late Nineteenth Century. Too bad, really.

    Reply
  52. Hi Louis —
    You have actually seen and operated a butter churn!
    Just wow. Wow.
    There must have been 1800-ish butter crocks, but I have not yet located a picture of one. Always something that eludes us.
    They make nifty two-piece ceramic ‘French butter keepers’ or ‘French butter bells’, but the design seems to date only to the late Nineteenth Century. Too bad, really.

    Reply
  53. Hi Louis —
    You have actually seen and operated a butter churn!
    Just wow. Wow.
    There must have been 1800-ish butter crocks, but I have not yet located a picture of one. Always something that eludes us.
    They make nifty two-piece ceramic ‘French butter keepers’ or ‘French butter bells’, but the design seems to date only to the late Nineteenth Century. Too bad, really.

    Reply
  54. Hi Louis —
    You have actually seen and operated a butter churn!
    Just wow. Wow.
    There must have been 1800-ish butter crocks, but I have not yet located a picture of one. Always something that eludes us.
    They make nifty two-piece ceramic ‘French butter keepers’ or ‘French butter bells’, but the design seems to date only to the late Nineteenth Century. Too bad, really.

    Reply
  55. Hi Louis —
    You have actually seen and operated a butter churn!
    Just wow. Wow.
    There must have been 1800-ish butter crocks, but I have not yet located a picture of one. Always something that eludes us.
    They make nifty two-piece ceramic ‘French butter keepers’ or ‘French butter bells’, but the design seems to date only to the late Nineteenth Century. Too bad, really.

    Reply
  56. Don’t know what kind of chickens were around during the Regency, but can tell you the vast majority of chicken breeds lay brown eggs. We’ve raised many different breeds, and only the white Leghorns lay white eggs. We get brown, blue and green eggs currently. It is also false that these colors taste any different. The taste and texture are better because of freshness, not shell color.

    Reply
  57. Don’t know what kind of chickens were around during the Regency, but can tell you the vast majority of chicken breeds lay brown eggs. We’ve raised many different breeds, and only the white Leghorns lay white eggs. We get brown, blue and green eggs currently. It is also false that these colors taste any different. The taste and texture are better because of freshness, not shell color.

    Reply
  58. Don’t know what kind of chickens were around during the Regency, but can tell you the vast majority of chicken breeds lay brown eggs. We’ve raised many different breeds, and only the white Leghorns lay white eggs. We get brown, blue and green eggs currently. It is also false that these colors taste any different. The taste and texture are better because of freshness, not shell color.

    Reply
  59. Don’t know what kind of chickens were around during the Regency, but can tell you the vast majority of chicken breeds lay brown eggs. We’ve raised many different breeds, and only the white Leghorns lay white eggs. We get brown, blue and green eggs currently. It is also false that these colors taste any different. The taste and texture are better because of freshness, not shell color.

    Reply
  60. Don’t know what kind of chickens were around during the Regency, but can tell you the vast majority of chicken breeds lay brown eggs. We’ve raised many different breeds, and only the white Leghorns lay white eggs. We get brown, blue and green eggs currently. It is also false that these colors taste any different. The taste and texture are better because of freshness, not shell color.

    Reply
  61. Re egg color, I believe the color related directly to the color of the hen — white hens pretty much ay white eggs and colored hens lay brown eggs. I believe the “brown eggs is better” notion came when an occasional brown eggs came from white hens, which made it unusual. We kept chickens when I was a kid and whenever we found a brown egg it was treated as a reward. Similarly a double yolker was a surprise treat.
    I think Enid Blyton used to wax lyrical about brown eggs, too, which added to the impression in my child’s brain.
    There was a bit of an outcry here last Orthodox Easter as the folk who traditionally dye eggs for Easter are finding it harder and harder to find white eggs, and the brown color dulls the bright dyes they use.
    Re the butter crocks, I’m guessing, but it might be that in the UK the weather wasn’t warm enough for melting to be a problem, so the butter kept in slabs quite well, and the butter was salted to preserve it. They might have needed a different system in warmer climes. Unsalted butter was and is, I think, much more prevalent in European countries.
    And one last piece of trivia — when I was staying in North Wales (Caernarfon) many years ago, where central heating was not standard, I was intrigued that my hostess placed the butter crock next to the hearth every night, so that it would be soft enough in the morning to spread on toast. They never put butter in the fridge, whereas we in hotter climes have to.

    Reply
  62. Re egg color, I believe the color related directly to the color of the hen — white hens pretty much ay white eggs and colored hens lay brown eggs. I believe the “brown eggs is better” notion came when an occasional brown eggs came from white hens, which made it unusual. We kept chickens when I was a kid and whenever we found a brown egg it was treated as a reward. Similarly a double yolker was a surprise treat.
    I think Enid Blyton used to wax lyrical about brown eggs, too, which added to the impression in my child’s brain.
    There was a bit of an outcry here last Orthodox Easter as the folk who traditionally dye eggs for Easter are finding it harder and harder to find white eggs, and the brown color dulls the bright dyes they use.
    Re the butter crocks, I’m guessing, but it might be that in the UK the weather wasn’t warm enough for melting to be a problem, so the butter kept in slabs quite well, and the butter was salted to preserve it. They might have needed a different system in warmer climes. Unsalted butter was and is, I think, much more prevalent in European countries.
    And one last piece of trivia — when I was staying in North Wales (Caernarfon) many years ago, where central heating was not standard, I was intrigued that my hostess placed the butter crock next to the hearth every night, so that it would be soft enough in the morning to spread on toast. They never put butter in the fridge, whereas we in hotter climes have to.

    Reply
  63. Re egg color, I believe the color related directly to the color of the hen — white hens pretty much ay white eggs and colored hens lay brown eggs. I believe the “brown eggs is better” notion came when an occasional brown eggs came from white hens, which made it unusual. We kept chickens when I was a kid and whenever we found a brown egg it was treated as a reward. Similarly a double yolker was a surprise treat.
    I think Enid Blyton used to wax lyrical about brown eggs, too, which added to the impression in my child’s brain.
    There was a bit of an outcry here last Orthodox Easter as the folk who traditionally dye eggs for Easter are finding it harder and harder to find white eggs, and the brown color dulls the bright dyes they use.
    Re the butter crocks, I’m guessing, but it might be that in the UK the weather wasn’t warm enough for melting to be a problem, so the butter kept in slabs quite well, and the butter was salted to preserve it. They might have needed a different system in warmer climes. Unsalted butter was and is, I think, much more prevalent in European countries.
    And one last piece of trivia — when I was staying in North Wales (Caernarfon) many years ago, where central heating was not standard, I was intrigued that my hostess placed the butter crock next to the hearth every night, so that it would be soft enough in the morning to spread on toast. They never put butter in the fridge, whereas we in hotter climes have to.

    Reply
  64. Re egg color, I believe the color related directly to the color of the hen — white hens pretty much ay white eggs and colored hens lay brown eggs. I believe the “brown eggs is better” notion came when an occasional brown eggs came from white hens, which made it unusual. We kept chickens when I was a kid and whenever we found a brown egg it was treated as a reward. Similarly a double yolker was a surprise treat.
    I think Enid Blyton used to wax lyrical about brown eggs, too, which added to the impression in my child’s brain.
    There was a bit of an outcry here last Orthodox Easter as the folk who traditionally dye eggs for Easter are finding it harder and harder to find white eggs, and the brown color dulls the bright dyes they use.
    Re the butter crocks, I’m guessing, but it might be that in the UK the weather wasn’t warm enough for melting to be a problem, so the butter kept in slabs quite well, and the butter was salted to preserve it. They might have needed a different system in warmer climes. Unsalted butter was and is, I think, much more prevalent in European countries.
    And one last piece of trivia — when I was staying in North Wales (Caernarfon) many years ago, where central heating was not standard, I was intrigued that my hostess placed the butter crock next to the hearth every night, so that it would be soft enough in the morning to spread on toast. They never put butter in the fridge, whereas we in hotter climes have to.

    Reply
  65. Re egg color, I believe the color related directly to the color of the hen — white hens pretty much ay white eggs and colored hens lay brown eggs. I believe the “brown eggs is better” notion came when an occasional brown eggs came from white hens, which made it unusual. We kept chickens when I was a kid and whenever we found a brown egg it was treated as a reward. Similarly a double yolker was a surprise treat.
    I think Enid Blyton used to wax lyrical about brown eggs, too, which added to the impression in my child’s brain.
    There was a bit of an outcry here last Orthodox Easter as the folk who traditionally dye eggs for Easter are finding it harder and harder to find white eggs, and the brown color dulls the bright dyes they use.
    Re the butter crocks, I’m guessing, but it might be that in the UK the weather wasn’t warm enough for melting to be a problem, so the butter kept in slabs quite well, and the butter was salted to preserve it. They might have needed a different system in warmer climes. Unsalted butter was and is, I think, much more prevalent in European countries.
    And one last piece of trivia — when I was staying in North Wales (Caernarfon) many years ago, where central heating was not standard, I was intrigued that my hostess placed the butter crock next to the hearth every night, so that it would be soft enough in the morning to spread on toast. They never put butter in the fridge, whereas we in hotter climes have to.

    Reply
  66. Flour sifting – random annoyance or kitchen menace.
    http://kitchensavvy.typepad.com/journal/2005/07/sifting_flour.html
    Lots of reasons to sift flour.
    Your cook might indeed sift her flour to remove any critters, but most likely she is in fact going to some lengths to prevent her supplies from becoming weavil (or mouse) infested in the first place.
    Like tainted meat, it would happen, but is not the normal or expected state of affairs.
    A barrel of flour sounds like a lot, but a good-sized household would tear through it pretty quickly.
    What the cook is sifting her flour for is to aerate it in order to produce a lighter final product.
    Sift the stuff about twice and you’ve got separated all the tiny grains of flour and incorporated a lot of air.
    It just handles differently than compacted flour, even if you are going to be kneading it for a while.

    Reply
  67. Flour sifting – random annoyance or kitchen menace.
    http://kitchensavvy.typepad.com/journal/2005/07/sifting_flour.html
    Lots of reasons to sift flour.
    Your cook might indeed sift her flour to remove any critters, but most likely she is in fact going to some lengths to prevent her supplies from becoming weavil (or mouse) infested in the first place.
    Like tainted meat, it would happen, but is not the normal or expected state of affairs.
    A barrel of flour sounds like a lot, but a good-sized household would tear through it pretty quickly.
    What the cook is sifting her flour for is to aerate it in order to produce a lighter final product.
    Sift the stuff about twice and you’ve got separated all the tiny grains of flour and incorporated a lot of air.
    It just handles differently than compacted flour, even if you are going to be kneading it for a while.

    Reply
  68. Flour sifting – random annoyance or kitchen menace.
    http://kitchensavvy.typepad.com/journal/2005/07/sifting_flour.html
    Lots of reasons to sift flour.
    Your cook might indeed sift her flour to remove any critters, but most likely she is in fact going to some lengths to prevent her supplies from becoming weavil (or mouse) infested in the first place.
    Like tainted meat, it would happen, but is not the normal or expected state of affairs.
    A barrel of flour sounds like a lot, but a good-sized household would tear through it pretty quickly.
    What the cook is sifting her flour for is to aerate it in order to produce a lighter final product.
    Sift the stuff about twice and you’ve got separated all the tiny grains of flour and incorporated a lot of air.
    It just handles differently than compacted flour, even if you are going to be kneading it for a while.

    Reply
  69. Flour sifting – random annoyance or kitchen menace.
    http://kitchensavvy.typepad.com/journal/2005/07/sifting_flour.html
    Lots of reasons to sift flour.
    Your cook might indeed sift her flour to remove any critters, but most likely she is in fact going to some lengths to prevent her supplies from becoming weavil (or mouse) infested in the first place.
    Like tainted meat, it would happen, but is not the normal or expected state of affairs.
    A barrel of flour sounds like a lot, but a good-sized household would tear through it pretty quickly.
    What the cook is sifting her flour for is to aerate it in order to produce a lighter final product.
    Sift the stuff about twice and you’ve got separated all the tiny grains of flour and incorporated a lot of air.
    It just handles differently than compacted flour, even if you are going to be kneading it for a while.

    Reply
  70. Flour sifting – random annoyance or kitchen menace.
    http://kitchensavvy.typepad.com/journal/2005/07/sifting_flour.html
    Lots of reasons to sift flour.
    Your cook might indeed sift her flour to remove any critters, but most likely she is in fact going to some lengths to prevent her supplies from becoming weavil (or mouse) infested in the first place.
    Like tainted meat, it would happen, but is not the normal or expected state of affairs.
    A barrel of flour sounds like a lot, but a good-sized household would tear through it pretty quickly.
    What the cook is sifting her flour for is to aerate it in order to produce a lighter final product.
    Sift the stuff about twice and you’ve got separated all the tiny grains of flour and incorporated a lot of air.
    It just handles differently than compacted flour, even if you are going to be kneading it for a while.

    Reply
  71. Hi LI Linda —
    I admit myself puzzled that only white eggs show up in all these European paintings. I see chickens sometimes in the paintings, but I don’t know what breed they are.
    There seem to have been lots of old local breeds we don’t see any more. They had names like Appenzeller, Sabelpoot, Campine, Crevecoeur, Dorking, (If you raised these you could speak familiarly of all the dorks out in the yard,)Hamburgh, Houdan, Polish, Spanish White-face, and — my favorite — a French breed dating to before 1660. La Fleche

    Reply
  72. Hi LI Linda —
    I admit myself puzzled that only white eggs show up in all these European paintings. I see chickens sometimes in the paintings, but I don’t know what breed they are.
    There seem to have been lots of old local breeds we don’t see any more. They had names like Appenzeller, Sabelpoot, Campine, Crevecoeur, Dorking, (If you raised these you could speak familiarly of all the dorks out in the yard,)Hamburgh, Houdan, Polish, Spanish White-face, and — my favorite — a French breed dating to before 1660. La Fleche

    Reply
  73. Hi LI Linda —
    I admit myself puzzled that only white eggs show up in all these European paintings. I see chickens sometimes in the paintings, but I don’t know what breed they are.
    There seem to have been lots of old local breeds we don’t see any more. They had names like Appenzeller, Sabelpoot, Campine, Crevecoeur, Dorking, (If you raised these you could speak familiarly of all the dorks out in the yard,)Hamburgh, Houdan, Polish, Spanish White-face, and — my favorite — a French breed dating to before 1660. La Fleche

    Reply
  74. Hi LI Linda —
    I admit myself puzzled that only white eggs show up in all these European paintings. I see chickens sometimes in the paintings, but I don’t know what breed they are.
    There seem to have been lots of old local breeds we don’t see any more. They had names like Appenzeller, Sabelpoot, Campine, Crevecoeur, Dorking, (If you raised these you could speak familiarly of all the dorks out in the yard,)Hamburgh, Houdan, Polish, Spanish White-face, and — my favorite — a French breed dating to before 1660. La Fleche

    Reply
  75. Hi LI Linda —
    I admit myself puzzled that only white eggs show up in all these European paintings. I see chickens sometimes in the paintings, but I don’t know what breed they are.
    There seem to have been lots of old local breeds we don’t see any more. They had names like Appenzeller, Sabelpoot, Campine, Crevecoeur, Dorking, (If you raised these you could speak familiarly of all the dorks out in the yard,)Hamburgh, Houdan, Polish, Spanish White-face, and — my favorite — a French breed dating to before 1660. La Fleche

    Reply
  76. Hi Anne —
    I shared household with a young Swedish woman when I first lived in London. The fridge was tiny and she used to drive me mad, leaving the milk and butter outside on the windowsill to keep.
    So weird.
    On the other hand, London was not precisely sultry. I used to grow moss on the shady side of the car.

    Reply
  77. Hi Anne —
    I shared household with a young Swedish woman when I first lived in London. The fridge was tiny and she used to drive me mad, leaving the milk and butter outside on the windowsill to keep.
    So weird.
    On the other hand, London was not precisely sultry. I used to grow moss on the shady side of the car.

    Reply
  78. Hi Anne —
    I shared household with a young Swedish woman when I first lived in London. The fridge was tiny and she used to drive me mad, leaving the milk and butter outside on the windowsill to keep.
    So weird.
    On the other hand, London was not precisely sultry. I used to grow moss on the shady side of the car.

    Reply
  79. Hi Anne —
    I shared household with a young Swedish woman when I first lived in London. The fridge was tiny and she used to drive me mad, leaving the milk and butter outside on the windowsill to keep.
    So weird.
    On the other hand, London was not precisely sultry. I used to grow moss on the shady side of the car.

    Reply
  80. Hi Anne —
    I shared household with a young Swedish woman when I first lived in London. The fridge was tiny and she used to drive me mad, leaving the milk and butter outside on the windowsill to keep.
    So weird.
    On the other hand, London was not precisely sultry. I used to grow moss on the shady side of the car.

    Reply
  81. I remember that my great Aunt also used a “butter press”…to squeeze out the last drop of milk. The result was a “brick” of butter.

    Reply
  82. I remember that my great Aunt also used a “butter press”…to squeeze out the last drop of milk. The result was a “brick” of butter.

    Reply
  83. I remember that my great Aunt also used a “butter press”…to squeeze out the last drop of milk. The result was a “brick” of butter.

    Reply
  84. I remember that my great Aunt also used a “butter press”…to squeeze out the last drop of milk. The result was a “brick” of butter.

    Reply
  85. I remember that my great Aunt also used a “butter press”…to squeeze out the last drop of milk. The result was a “brick” of butter.

    Reply
  86. Hi Lori —
    (waves madly)
    I’m always fascinated by the ways technology shapes society.
    Look at water delivery. London has good public pipes. Paris, not so much.
    Paris had public baths in this period. Baths that were stuffily respectable. Inexpensive ones and fancy ones. Some that were the equivalent of a modern ‘Day Spa’.
    London didn’t, really.

    Reply
  87. Hi Lori —
    (waves madly)
    I’m always fascinated by the ways technology shapes society.
    Look at water delivery. London has good public pipes. Paris, not so much.
    Paris had public baths in this period. Baths that were stuffily respectable. Inexpensive ones and fancy ones. Some that were the equivalent of a modern ‘Day Spa’.
    London didn’t, really.

    Reply
  88. Hi Lori —
    (waves madly)
    I’m always fascinated by the ways technology shapes society.
    Look at water delivery. London has good public pipes. Paris, not so much.
    Paris had public baths in this period. Baths that were stuffily respectable. Inexpensive ones and fancy ones. Some that were the equivalent of a modern ‘Day Spa’.
    London didn’t, really.

    Reply
  89. Hi Lori —
    (waves madly)
    I’m always fascinated by the ways technology shapes society.
    Look at water delivery. London has good public pipes. Paris, not so much.
    Paris had public baths in this period. Baths that were stuffily respectable. Inexpensive ones and fancy ones. Some that were the equivalent of a modern ‘Day Spa’.
    London didn’t, really.

    Reply
  90. Hi Lori —
    (waves madly)
    I’m always fascinated by the ways technology shapes society.
    Look at water delivery. London has good public pipes. Paris, not so much.
    Paris had public baths in this period. Baths that were stuffily respectable. Inexpensive ones and fancy ones. Some that were the equivalent of a modern ‘Day Spa’.
    London didn’t, really.

    Reply
  91. Hi Louis —
    And, thus, buttermilk.
    I think ordinary country people in our period would have drunk buttermilk and well-skimmed milk.
    The high-value and relatively transportable products, the cream, butter, cheese and clotted cream would be sent to market.
    One recorder of the time says Londoners used only a drop or two of cream in their tea. Barely enough to change the color. In the morning, when the milkmaid came by, a household would buy an amount of cream ‘equal to a hen’s egg in size’

    Reply
  92. Hi Louis —
    And, thus, buttermilk.
    I think ordinary country people in our period would have drunk buttermilk and well-skimmed milk.
    The high-value and relatively transportable products, the cream, butter, cheese and clotted cream would be sent to market.
    One recorder of the time says Londoners used only a drop or two of cream in their tea. Barely enough to change the color. In the morning, when the milkmaid came by, a household would buy an amount of cream ‘equal to a hen’s egg in size’

    Reply
  93. Hi Louis —
    And, thus, buttermilk.
    I think ordinary country people in our period would have drunk buttermilk and well-skimmed milk.
    The high-value and relatively transportable products, the cream, butter, cheese and clotted cream would be sent to market.
    One recorder of the time says Londoners used only a drop or two of cream in their tea. Barely enough to change the color. In the morning, when the milkmaid came by, a household would buy an amount of cream ‘equal to a hen’s egg in size’

    Reply
  94. Hi Louis —
    And, thus, buttermilk.
    I think ordinary country people in our period would have drunk buttermilk and well-skimmed milk.
    The high-value and relatively transportable products, the cream, butter, cheese and clotted cream would be sent to market.
    One recorder of the time says Londoners used only a drop or two of cream in their tea. Barely enough to change the color. In the morning, when the milkmaid came by, a household would buy an amount of cream ‘equal to a hen’s egg in size’

    Reply
  95. Hi Louis —
    And, thus, buttermilk.
    I think ordinary country people in our period would have drunk buttermilk and well-skimmed milk.
    The high-value and relatively transportable products, the cream, butter, cheese and clotted cream would be sent to market.
    One recorder of the time says Londoners used only a drop or two of cream in their tea. Barely enough to change the color. In the morning, when the milkmaid came by, a household would buy an amount of cream ‘equal to a hen’s egg in size’

    Reply
  96. Hi Anne —
    In re keeping butter cool.
    I’m reminded of Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse. In that book, butter was kept cool in a niche in the brick wall of the well, just within reach.

    Reply
  97. Hi Anne —
    In re keeping butter cool.
    I’m reminded of Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse. In that book, butter was kept cool in a niche in the brick wall of the well, just within reach.

    Reply
  98. Hi Anne —
    In re keeping butter cool.
    I’m reminded of Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse. In that book, butter was kept cool in a niche in the brick wall of the well, just within reach.

    Reply
  99. Hi Anne —
    In re keeping butter cool.
    I’m reminded of Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse. In that book, butter was kept cool in a niche in the brick wall of the well, just within reach.

    Reply
  100. Hi Anne —
    In re keeping butter cool.
    I’m reminded of Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse. In that book, butter was kept cool in a niche in the brick wall of the well, just within reach.

    Reply
  101. Sherrie, here. I’m such a foodie, so of course, I loved this post, Joanna! And breads are right up there at the top of my list of favorite foods. I do love brioches, but unless I go to a bakery, I don’t see much of them available in my neck of the woods.
    After reading your post, I was all fired up to go make bread, but it’s far too hot to bake in a traditional oven, so I’ll be heading to the kitchen shortly to make bread with the bread machine–a modern marvel that I kiss frequently and use just as frequently. I would dearly love to take a Regency cook and plop her into a modern American kitchen, then fix a meal for her using all the modern gadgets which would have made her life so much easier. I’ll bet she’d be speechless.
    OTOH, sometimes all the modern conveniences in the world can’t compete with a cook who has “the touch.” My Mom had it, and she passed it on to me and my brother and sister. Oddly, each has our own specialty–my brother is a whiz with pastas, my sister is the pastry queen, and I rule over the kingdom of casseroles and desserts. I can see why wealthy households in the Regency may have had specialty cooks–one who did meats and such, and a pastry chef who concocted towering confections.
    Now I’m beastly hungry! I may have to brave the heat and whip up a casserole. Or wait! I’ll use another modern convenience: my crock pot.

    Reply
  102. Sherrie, here. I’m such a foodie, so of course, I loved this post, Joanna! And breads are right up there at the top of my list of favorite foods. I do love brioches, but unless I go to a bakery, I don’t see much of them available in my neck of the woods.
    After reading your post, I was all fired up to go make bread, but it’s far too hot to bake in a traditional oven, so I’ll be heading to the kitchen shortly to make bread with the bread machine–a modern marvel that I kiss frequently and use just as frequently. I would dearly love to take a Regency cook and plop her into a modern American kitchen, then fix a meal for her using all the modern gadgets which would have made her life so much easier. I’ll bet she’d be speechless.
    OTOH, sometimes all the modern conveniences in the world can’t compete with a cook who has “the touch.” My Mom had it, and she passed it on to me and my brother and sister. Oddly, each has our own specialty–my brother is a whiz with pastas, my sister is the pastry queen, and I rule over the kingdom of casseroles and desserts. I can see why wealthy households in the Regency may have had specialty cooks–one who did meats and such, and a pastry chef who concocted towering confections.
    Now I’m beastly hungry! I may have to brave the heat and whip up a casserole. Or wait! I’ll use another modern convenience: my crock pot.

    Reply
  103. Sherrie, here. I’m such a foodie, so of course, I loved this post, Joanna! And breads are right up there at the top of my list of favorite foods. I do love brioches, but unless I go to a bakery, I don’t see much of them available in my neck of the woods.
    After reading your post, I was all fired up to go make bread, but it’s far too hot to bake in a traditional oven, so I’ll be heading to the kitchen shortly to make bread with the bread machine–a modern marvel that I kiss frequently and use just as frequently. I would dearly love to take a Regency cook and plop her into a modern American kitchen, then fix a meal for her using all the modern gadgets which would have made her life so much easier. I’ll bet she’d be speechless.
    OTOH, sometimes all the modern conveniences in the world can’t compete with a cook who has “the touch.” My Mom had it, and she passed it on to me and my brother and sister. Oddly, each has our own specialty–my brother is a whiz with pastas, my sister is the pastry queen, and I rule over the kingdom of casseroles and desserts. I can see why wealthy households in the Regency may have had specialty cooks–one who did meats and such, and a pastry chef who concocted towering confections.
    Now I’m beastly hungry! I may have to brave the heat and whip up a casserole. Or wait! I’ll use another modern convenience: my crock pot.

    Reply
  104. Sherrie, here. I’m such a foodie, so of course, I loved this post, Joanna! And breads are right up there at the top of my list of favorite foods. I do love brioches, but unless I go to a bakery, I don’t see much of them available in my neck of the woods.
    After reading your post, I was all fired up to go make bread, but it’s far too hot to bake in a traditional oven, so I’ll be heading to the kitchen shortly to make bread with the bread machine–a modern marvel that I kiss frequently and use just as frequently. I would dearly love to take a Regency cook and plop her into a modern American kitchen, then fix a meal for her using all the modern gadgets which would have made her life so much easier. I’ll bet she’d be speechless.
    OTOH, sometimes all the modern conveniences in the world can’t compete with a cook who has “the touch.” My Mom had it, and she passed it on to me and my brother and sister. Oddly, each has our own specialty–my brother is a whiz with pastas, my sister is the pastry queen, and I rule over the kingdom of casseroles and desserts. I can see why wealthy households in the Regency may have had specialty cooks–one who did meats and such, and a pastry chef who concocted towering confections.
    Now I’m beastly hungry! I may have to brave the heat and whip up a casserole. Or wait! I’ll use another modern convenience: my crock pot.

    Reply
  105. Sherrie, here. I’m such a foodie, so of course, I loved this post, Joanna! And breads are right up there at the top of my list of favorite foods. I do love brioches, but unless I go to a bakery, I don’t see much of them available in my neck of the woods.
    After reading your post, I was all fired up to go make bread, but it’s far too hot to bake in a traditional oven, so I’ll be heading to the kitchen shortly to make bread with the bread machine–a modern marvel that I kiss frequently and use just as frequently. I would dearly love to take a Regency cook and plop her into a modern American kitchen, then fix a meal for her using all the modern gadgets which would have made her life so much easier. I’ll bet she’d be speechless.
    OTOH, sometimes all the modern conveniences in the world can’t compete with a cook who has “the touch.” My Mom had it, and she passed it on to me and my brother and sister. Oddly, each has our own specialty–my brother is a whiz with pastas, my sister is the pastry queen, and I rule over the kingdom of casseroles and desserts. I can see why wealthy households in the Regency may have had specialty cooks–one who did meats and such, and a pastry chef who concocted towering confections.
    Now I’m beastly hungry! I may have to brave the heat and whip up a casserole. Or wait! I’ll use another modern convenience: my crock pot.

    Reply
  106. Hi Sherrie —
    I wonder if the Regency cook would approve of our ingredients. Would she find the eggs undistinguished, the butter oddly full of water, the flour lacking that ‘nutty flavor’ Parisian bakers of the time demanded?
    I’ll bet she’d love the oven though. The great quest of the Regency cook was a reliable oven temperature. That’s why you start seeing soufflés in cookbooks after 1800, when stove technology was improving.
    And what a Regency cook would make of a microwave oven . . .
    I’ve never owned a bread machine. I keep thinking I should try one out.

    Reply
  107. Hi Sherrie —
    I wonder if the Regency cook would approve of our ingredients. Would she find the eggs undistinguished, the butter oddly full of water, the flour lacking that ‘nutty flavor’ Parisian bakers of the time demanded?
    I’ll bet she’d love the oven though. The great quest of the Regency cook was a reliable oven temperature. That’s why you start seeing soufflés in cookbooks after 1800, when stove technology was improving.
    And what a Regency cook would make of a microwave oven . . .
    I’ve never owned a bread machine. I keep thinking I should try one out.

    Reply
  108. Hi Sherrie —
    I wonder if the Regency cook would approve of our ingredients. Would she find the eggs undistinguished, the butter oddly full of water, the flour lacking that ‘nutty flavor’ Parisian bakers of the time demanded?
    I’ll bet she’d love the oven though. The great quest of the Regency cook was a reliable oven temperature. That’s why you start seeing soufflés in cookbooks after 1800, when stove technology was improving.
    And what a Regency cook would make of a microwave oven . . .
    I’ve never owned a bread machine. I keep thinking I should try one out.

    Reply
  109. Hi Sherrie —
    I wonder if the Regency cook would approve of our ingredients. Would she find the eggs undistinguished, the butter oddly full of water, the flour lacking that ‘nutty flavor’ Parisian bakers of the time demanded?
    I’ll bet she’d love the oven though. The great quest of the Regency cook was a reliable oven temperature. That’s why you start seeing soufflés in cookbooks after 1800, when stove technology was improving.
    And what a Regency cook would make of a microwave oven . . .
    I’ve never owned a bread machine. I keep thinking I should try one out.

    Reply
  110. Hi Sherrie —
    I wonder if the Regency cook would approve of our ingredients. Would she find the eggs undistinguished, the butter oddly full of water, the flour lacking that ‘nutty flavor’ Parisian bakers of the time demanded?
    I’ll bet she’d love the oven though. The great quest of the Regency cook was a reliable oven temperature. That’s why you start seeing soufflés in cookbooks after 1800, when stove technology was improving.
    And what a Regency cook would make of a microwave oven . . .
    I’ve never owned a bread machine. I keep thinking I should try one out.

    Reply
  111. What a wonderful post. I am now craving brioche and a French Breakfast. I am imagining myself at Angelina’s or Laduree right now!
    The sourdough starter made me think of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of the later ones, maybe “Little Town on The Prarie” Laura or maybe Ma explains to company (and the reader) how they make a sourdough starter from scratch so they always have some in the cupboard to work from. I was facinated by this as a child.
    Your article kept me similarly spellbound. Anyone can make a fight scene interesting, but to facinate with flour and raisins is quite a talent!
    Thanks for the lovely read,
    Christine

    Reply
  112. What a wonderful post. I am now craving brioche and a French Breakfast. I am imagining myself at Angelina’s or Laduree right now!
    The sourdough starter made me think of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of the later ones, maybe “Little Town on The Prarie” Laura or maybe Ma explains to company (and the reader) how they make a sourdough starter from scratch so they always have some in the cupboard to work from. I was facinated by this as a child.
    Your article kept me similarly spellbound. Anyone can make a fight scene interesting, but to facinate with flour and raisins is quite a talent!
    Thanks for the lovely read,
    Christine

    Reply
  113. What a wonderful post. I am now craving brioche and a French Breakfast. I am imagining myself at Angelina’s or Laduree right now!
    The sourdough starter made me think of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of the later ones, maybe “Little Town on The Prarie” Laura or maybe Ma explains to company (and the reader) how they make a sourdough starter from scratch so they always have some in the cupboard to work from. I was facinated by this as a child.
    Your article kept me similarly spellbound. Anyone can make a fight scene interesting, but to facinate with flour and raisins is quite a talent!
    Thanks for the lovely read,
    Christine

    Reply
  114. What a wonderful post. I am now craving brioche and a French Breakfast. I am imagining myself at Angelina’s or Laduree right now!
    The sourdough starter made me think of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of the later ones, maybe “Little Town on The Prarie” Laura or maybe Ma explains to company (and the reader) how they make a sourdough starter from scratch so they always have some in the cupboard to work from. I was facinated by this as a child.
    Your article kept me similarly spellbound. Anyone can make a fight scene interesting, but to facinate with flour and raisins is quite a talent!
    Thanks for the lovely read,
    Christine

    Reply
  115. What a wonderful post. I am now craving brioche and a French Breakfast. I am imagining myself at Angelina’s or Laduree right now!
    The sourdough starter made me think of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of the later ones, maybe “Little Town on The Prarie” Laura or maybe Ma explains to company (and the reader) how they make a sourdough starter from scratch so they always have some in the cupboard to work from. I was facinated by this as a child.
    Your article kept me similarly spellbound. Anyone can make a fight scene interesting, but to facinate with flour and raisins is quite a talent!
    Thanks for the lovely read,
    Christine

    Reply
  116. Great post, Joanna!
    Re: “When you picture a heroic character just rolling out of bed, what does he have for breakfast?” I’m gonna guess he’s already had breakfast — a.k.a. the heroine. 😉
    But you’ve got me hungry for fresh homemade bread, which I soon plan to remedy, sans bread-machine. There’s nothing like plunging kneading hands in into a warm four/water mixture and watching it come up dough.

    Reply
  117. Great post, Joanna!
    Re: “When you picture a heroic character just rolling out of bed, what does he have for breakfast?” I’m gonna guess he’s already had breakfast — a.k.a. the heroine. 😉
    But you’ve got me hungry for fresh homemade bread, which I soon plan to remedy, sans bread-machine. There’s nothing like plunging kneading hands in into a warm four/water mixture and watching it come up dough.

    Reply
  118. Great post, Joanna!
    Re: “When you picture a heroic character just rolling out of bed, what does he have for breakfast?” I’m gonna guess he’s already had breakfast — a.k.a. the heroine. 😉
    But you’ve got me hungry for fresh homemade bread, which I soon plan to remedy, sans bread-machine. There’s nothing like plunging kneading hands in into a warm four/water mixture and watching it come up dough.

    Reply
  119. Great post, Joanna!
    Re: “When you picture a heroic character just rolling out of bed, what does he have for breakfast?” I’m gonna guess he’s already had breakfast — a.k.a. the heroine. 😉
    But you’ve got me hungry for fresh homemade bread, which I soon plan to remedy, sans bread-machine. There’s nothing like plunging kneading hands in into a warm four/water mixture and watching it come up dough.

    Reply
  120. Great post, Joanna!
    Re: “When you picture a heroic character just rolling out of bed, what does he have for breakfast?” I’m gonna guess he’s already had breakfast — a.k.a. the heroine. 😉
    But you’ve got me hungry for fresh homemade bread, which I soon plan to remedy, sans bread-machine. There’s nothing like plunging kneading hands in into a warm four/water mixture and watching it come up dough.

    Reply
  121. Hi NinaP —
    I too ended up making bread last night. Cheese muffins.
    This is part of a long-term determination to make cheese muffins that mimic those served by one of the big chain restaurants.
    Not so much luck yet. I persevere.

    Reply
  122. Hi NinaP —
    I too ended up making bread last night. Cheese muffins.
    This is part of a long-term determination to make cheese muffins that mimic those served by one of the big chain restaurants.
    Not so much luck yet. I persevere.

    Reply
  123. Hi NinaP —
    I too ended up making bread last night. Cheese muffins.
    This is part of a long-term determination to make cheese muffins that mimic those served by one of the big chain restaurants.
    Not so much luck yet. I persevere.

    Reply
  124. Hi NinaP —
    I too ended up making bread last night. Cheese muffins.
    This is part of a long-term determination to make cheese muffins that mimic those served by one of the big chain restaurants.
    Not so much luck yet. I persevere.

    Reply
  125. Hi NinaP —
    I too ended up making bread last night. Cheese muffins.
    This is part of a long-term determination to make cheese muffins that mimic those served by one of the big chain restaurants.
    Not so much luck yet. I persevere.

    Reply
  126. Hm. I always thought Pain Perdue meant the bread was lost because it was stale, and this is how you recover it.
    The entire process of feeding a household seems so much more timeconsuming and complex back then. I think poor households, with no maids, tended to do one pot cooking. And you can see why porridge was the common breakfast food rather than bread, and bread was for richer households.
    Great post!

    Reply
  127. Hm. I always thought Pain Perdue meant the bread was lost because it was stale, and this is how you recover it.
    The entire process of feeding a household seems so much more timeconsuming and complex back then. I think poor households, with no maids, tended to do one pot cooking. And you can see why porridge was the common breakfast food rather than bread, and bread was for richer households.
    Great post!

    Reply
  128. Hm. I always thought Pain Perdue meant the bread was lost because it was stale, and this is how you recover it.
    The entire process of feeding a household seems so much more timeconsuming and complex back then. I think poor households, with no maids, tended to do one pot cooking. And you can see why porridge was the common breakfast food rather than bread, and bread was for richer households.
    Great post!

    Reply
  129. Hm. I always thought Pain Perdue meant the bread was lost because it was stale, and this is how you recover it.
    The entire process of feeding a household seems so much more timeconsuming and complex back then. I think poor households, with no maids, tended to do one pot cooking. And you can see why porridge was the common breakfast food rather than bread, and bread was for richer households.
    Great post!

    Reply
  130. Hm. I always thought Pain Perdue meant the bread was lost because it was stale, and this is how you recover it.
    The entire process of feeding a household seems so much more timeconsuming and complex back then. I think poor households, with no maids, tended to do one pot cooking. And you can see why porridge was the common breakfast food rather than bread, and bread was for richer households.
    Great post!

    Reply
  131. Hi Debbie —
    Yes, indeed. You’re quite right. The bread is ‘lost’ as in being dry, stale bread that would otherwise be wasted but can instead become incredibly yummy breakfast if you just dunk it in eggs and milk.
    Would that other problems were so simply solved.
    How stale? Probably not so much. Many places, even now, you buy your bread fresh every day. Yesterday’s bread goes to the chickens.
    Or becomes French Toast or crutons or sop for the soup.
    Now, in the Regency time frame, in England proper and in France, bread was pretty much the basic food of the people.
    It wasn’t baked at home, though, and thus didn’t compete with meals that were. About everywhere possible, bread came from the baker.
    The baker’s advantage was not just in buying bulk supplies. It was in the economics of maintaining and fueling a single huge oven versus many small ones. In fact, the ‘oven advantage’ was such that folks brought their roasts and casseroles to the baker. They pay a small fee to cook dinner communally in his oven.

    Reply
  132. Hi Debbie —
    Yes, indeed. You’re quite right. The bread is ‘lost’ as in being dry, stale bread that would otherwise be wasted but can instead become incredibly yummy breakfast if you just dunk it in eggs and milk.
    Would that other problems were so simply solved.
    How stale? Probably not so much. Many places, even now, you buy your bread fresh every day. Yesterday’s bread goes to the chickens.
    Or becomes French Toast or crutons or sop for the soup.
    Now, in the Regency time frame, in England proper and in France, bread was pretty much the basic food of the people.
    It wasn’t baked at home, though, and thus didn’t compete with meals that were. About everywhere possible, bread came from the baker.
    The baker’s advantage was not just in buying bulk supplies. It was in the economics of maintaining and fueling a single huge oven versus many small ones. In fact, the ‘oven advantage’ was such that folks brought their roasts and casseroles to the baker. They pay a small fee to cook dinner communally in his oven.

    Reply
  133. Hi Debbie —
    Yes, indeed. You’re quite right. The bread is ‘lost’ as in being dry, stale bread that would otherwise be wasted but can instead become incredibly yummy breakfast if you just dunk it in eggs and milk.
    Would that other problems were so simply solved.
    How stale? Probably not so much. Many places, even now, you buy your bread fresh every day. Yesterday’s bread goes to the chickens.
    Or becomes French Toast or crutons or sop for the soup.
    Now, in the Regency time frame, in England proper and in France, bread was pretty much the basic food of the people.
    It wasn’t baked at home, though, and thus didn’t compete with meals that were. About everywhere possible, bread came from the baker.
    The baker’s advantage was not just in buying bulk supplies. It was in the economics of maintaining and fueling a single huge oven versus many small ones. In fact, the ‘oven advantage’ was such that folks brought their roasts and casseroles to the baker. They pay a small fee to cook dinner communally in his oven.

    Reply
  134. Hi Debbie —
    Yes, indeed. You’re quite right. The bread is ‘lost’ as in being dry, stale bread that would otherwise be wasted but can instead become incredibly yummy breakfast if you just dunk it in eggs and milk.
    Would that other problems were so simply solved.
    How stale? Probably not so much. Many places, even now, you buy your bread fresh every day. Yesterday’s bread goes to the chickens.
    Or becomes French Toast or crutons or sop for the soup.
    Now, in the Regency time frame, in England proper and in France, bread was pretty much the basic food of the people.
    It wasn’t baked at home, though, and thus didn’t compete with meals that were. About everywhere possible, bread came from the baker.
    The baker’s advantage was not just in buying bulk supplies. It was in the economics of maintaining and fueling a single huge oven versus many small ones. In fact, the ‘oven advantage’ was such that folks brought their roasts and casseroles to the baker. They pay a small fee to cook dinner communally in his oven.

    Reply
  135. Hi Debbie —
    Yes, indeed. You’re quite right. The bread is ‘lost’ as in being dry, stale bread that would otherwise be wasted but can instead become incredibly yummy breakfast if you just dunk it in eggs and milk.
    Would that other problems were so simply solved.
    How stale? Probably not so much. Many places, even now, you buy your bread fresh every day. Yesterday’s bread goes to the chickens.
    Or becomes French Toast or crutons or sop for the soup.
    Now, in the Regency time frame, in England proper and in France, bread was pretty much the basic food of the people.
    It wasn’t baked at home, though, and thus didn’t compete with meals that were. About everywhere possible, bread came from the baker.
    The baker’s advantage was not just in buying bulk supplies. It was in the economics of maintaining and fueling a single huge oven versus many small ones. In fact, the ‘oven advantage’ was such that folks brought their roasts and casseroles to the baker. They pay a small fee to cook dinner communally in his oven.

    Reply
  136. Joanna, what a fun post! Tracing the origins of the ingredients makes the final product that much more of an achievement, than simply running off to the store.
    When I read GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, I realized that the ale that most people drank (especially women and older children) at breakfast was much watered down than normal strength.
    Anne, yes, heh. Enid Blyton waxed lyrical about brown eggs and in her farm books about thick-sliced brown bread.

    Reply
  137. Joanna, what a fun post! Tracing the origins of the ingredients makes the final product that much more of an achievement, than simply running off to the store.
    When I read GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, I realized that the ale that most people drank (especially women and older children) at breakfast was much watered down than normal strength.
    Anne, yes, heh. Enid Blyton waxed lyrical about brown eggs and in her farm books about thick-sliced brown bread.

    Reply
  138. Joanna, what a fun post! Tracing the origins of the ingredients makes the final product that much more of an achievement, than simply running off to the store.
    When I read GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, I realized that the ale that most people drank (especially women and older children) at breakfast was much watered down than normal strength.
    Anne, yes, heh. Enid Blyton waxed lyrical about brown eggs and in her farm books about thick-sliced brown bread.

    Reply
  139. Joanna, what a fun post! Tracing the origins of the ingredients makes the final product that much more of an achievement, than simply running off to the store.
    When I read GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, I realized that the ale that most people drank (especially women and older children) at breakfast was much watered down than normal strength.
    Anne, yes, heh. Enid Blyton waxed lyrical about brown eggs and in her farm books about thick-sliced brown bread.

    Reply
  140. Joanna, what a fun post! Tracing the origins of the ingredients makes the final product that much more of an achievement, than simply running off to the store.
    When I read GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, I realized that the ale that most people drank (especially women and older children) at breakfast was much watered down than normal strength.
    Anne, yes, heh. Enid Blyton waxed lyrical about brown eggs and in her farm books about thick-sliced brown bread.

    Reply
  141. Hi Keira —
    I didn’t know that about the watered ale.
    So cool.
    I know folks drank watered wine. It’s what my sisters and I drank when we were in Europe. I think I have Annique in SPYMASTER’S LADY mention it as well.
    This bit about the ale kinda puts the, ‘Folks drank beer and wine because the water supply was unreliable,’ idea in its place.
    Seems to me folks drank ale, beer and wine ’cause they hadn’t invented Mountain Dew and Coke.
    Srlsy.

    Reply
  142. Hi Keira —
    I didn’t know that about the watered ale.
    So cool.
    I know folks drank watered wine. It’s what my sisters and I drank when we were in Europe. I think I have Annique in SPYMASTER’S LADY mention it as well.
    This bit about the ale kinda puts the, ‘Folks drank beer and wine because the water supply was unreliable,’ idea in its place.
    Seems to me folks drank ale, beer and wine ’cause they hadn’t invented Mountain Dew and Coke.
    Srlsy.

    Reply
  143. Hi Keira —
    I didn’t know that about the watered ale.
    So cool.
    I know folks drank watered wine. It’s what my sisters and I drank when we were in Europe. I think I have Annique in SPYMASTER’S LADY mention it as well.
    This bit about the ale kinda puts the, ‘Folks drank beer and wine because the water supply was unreliable,’ idea in its place.
    Seems to me folks drank ale, beer and wine ’cause they hadn’t invented Mountain Dew and Coke.
    Srlsy.

    Reply
  144. Hi Keira —
    I didn’t know that about the watered ale.
    So cool.
    I know folks drank watered wine. It’s what my sisters and I drank when we were in Europe. I think I have Annique in SPYMASTER’S LADY mention it as well.
    This bit about the ale kinda puts the, ‘Folks drank beer and wine because the water supply was unreliable,’ idea in its place.
    Seems to me folks drank ale, beer and wine ’cause they hadn’t invented Mountain Dew and Coke.
    Srlsy.

    Reply
  145. Hi Keira —
    I didn’t know that about the watered ale.
    So cool.
    I know folks drank watered wine. It’s what my sisters and I drank when we were in Europe. I think I have Annique in SPYMASTER’S LADY mention it as well.
    This bit about the ale kinda puts the, ‘Folks drank beer and wine because the water supply was unreliable,’ idea in its place.
    Seems to me folks drank ale, beer and wine ’cause they hadn’t invented Mountain Dew and Coke.
    Srlsy.

    Reply
  146. I have vivid memories of Granny Brown on the porch, churning butter. This would have been in the 1950s in Kentucky. I believe the churn was homemade. It was about 18 inches high, wider at the base. The top was an uneven round of wood with a hole in the center for the paddle. She kept a cow, so the milk and cream would have been very fresh. I think she formed the butter into a mound, but I don’t know if she salted it. Also can’t remember how it was stored.

    Reply
  147. I have vivid memories of Granny Brown on the porch, churning butter. This would have been in the 1950s in Kentucky. I believe the churn was homemade. It was about 18 inches high, wider at the base. The top was an uneven round of wood with a hole in the center for the paddle. She kept a cow, so the milk and cream would have been very fresh. I think she formed the butter into a mound, but I don’t know if she salted it. Also can’t remember how it was stored.

    Reply
  148. I have vivid memories of Granny Brown on the porch, churning butter. This would have been in the 1950s in Kentucky. I believe the churn was homemade. It was about 18 inches high, wider at the base. The top was an uneven round of wood with a hole in the center for the paddle. She kept a cow, so the milk and cream would have been very fresh. I think she formed the butter into a mound, but I don’t know if she salted it. Also can’t remember how it was stored.

    Reply
  149. I have vivid memories of Granny Brown on the porch, churning butter. This would have been in the 1950s in Kentucky. I believe the churn was homemade. It was about 18 inches high, wider at the base. The top was an uneven round of wood with a hole in the center for the paddle. She kept a cow, so the milk and cream would have been very fresh. I think she formed the butter into a mound, but I don’t know if she salted it. Also can’t remember how it was stored.

    Reply
  150. I have vivid memories of Granny Brown on the porch, churning butter. This would have been in the 1950s in Kentucky. I believe the churn was homemade. It was about 18 inches high, wider at the base. The top was an uneven round of wood with a hole in the center for the paddle. She kept a cow, so the milk and cream would have been very fresh. I think she formed the butter into a mound, but I don’t know if she salted it. Also can’t remember how it was stored.

    Reply
  151. We’re the last generation, I guess, who will even have SEEN much of this stuff.
    On the one hand, I’m sorry to see a whole way of life disappear.
    On the other, I’m very glad I don’t have to churn my own butter or put clothes through a mangle or tiptoe out in the cool morning air to slop the hogs, who must be very insulted by the notion of eating ‘slops’ anyway.
    Oh. And milking cows. I’m glad I don’t have to milk Bossy. (It is amazing how generations of milkmaids have named their cows Bossy and then wondered why they kicked over the pail.)

    Reply
  152. We’re the last generation, I guess, who will even have SEEN much of this stuff.
    On the one hand, I’m sorry to see a whole way of life disappear.
    On the other, I’m very glad I don’t have to churn my own butter or put clothes through a mangle or tiptoe out in the cool morning air to slop the hogs, who must be very insulted by the notion of eating ‘slops’ anyway.
    Oh. And milking cows. I’m glad I don’t have to milk Bossy. (It is amazing how generations of milkmaids have named their cows Bossy and then wondered why they kicked over the pail.)

    Reply
  153. We’re the last generation, I guess, who will even have SEEN much of this stuff.
    On the one hand, I’m sorry to see a whole way of life disappear.
    On the other, I’m very glad I don’t have to churn my own butter or put clothes through a mangle or tiptoe out in the cool morning air to slop the hogs, who must be very insulted by the notion of eating ‘slops’ anyway.
    Oh. And milking cows. I’m glad I don’t have to milk Bossy. (It is amazing how generations of milkmaids have named their cows Bossy and then wondered why they kicked over the pail.)

    Reply
  154. We’re the last generation, I guess, who will even have SEEN much of this stuff.
    On the one hand, I’m sorry to see a whole way of life disappear.
    On the other, I’m very glad I don’t have to churn my own butter or put clothes through a mangle or tiptoe out in the cool morning air to slop the hogs, who must be very insulted by the notion of eating ‘slops’ anyway.
    Oh. And milking cows. I’m glad I don’t have to milk Bossy. (It is amazing how generations of milkmaids have named their cows Bossy and then wondered why they kicked over the pail.)

    Reply
  155. We’re the last generation, I guess, who will even have SEEN much of this stuff.
    On the one hand, I’m sorry to see a whole way of life disappear.
    On the other, I’m very glad I don’t have to churn my own butter or put clothes through a mangle or tiptoe out in the cool morning air to slop the hogs, who must be very insulted by the notion of eating ‘slops’ anyway.
    Oh. And milking cows. I’m glad I don’t have to milk Bossy. (It is amazing how generations of milkmaids have named their cows Bossy and then wondered why they kicked over the pail.)

    Reply

Leave a Comment