Food is considered important by many to set
the tone of an occasion such as Christmas. During the Victorian era
the mass publication of books and weekly periodicals drew attention to
domestic skills. In the Victorian era, Mrs. Beeton's book of Household Management was
important in setting down some written rules on how to cope with domestic
duties. A skilled organiser and businesswoman, cooking was just one of the arts that Mrs. Beeton explored.
I have a 1923 edition of Mrs. Beeton's Family
Cookery. (See accurate cover book naming
below.) In this 1923 edition, there are no less than five recipes for
variations on Xmas pudding. The recipe for one is given on another page
Poultry and Game is a traditional aspect of Christmas foods and can often bring applause when taken into a dining room set atop a large platter and surrounded by interesting accompaniments.
The antique colour food plate here shows how the meats when dressed might have looked in the 1920s or earlier eras
Many of Mrs Beeton's original recipes were
untested and sometimes quantities given were enough to feed 12 people and
alarm people today when they read the old recipes. Yet that was not so
very terrible - for festive occasions and family gatherings 12 portions
might well have been required. In many cases servants also ate the
remains of food and this would have been taken into consideration during
Please do not confuse this Mrs Beeton's Family Cookery book
with her Household Management book. My copy of the 1923 cookery book
contains 896 numbered pages plus some nineteen additional end piece advert
pages. This is the cookery book version that has the
Mrs Beeton Christmas
Pudding recipes I have printed here.
The Mrs Beeton's Household Management book contains 1676
pages and the frontispiece is shown below. BUT.... a site reader told
me they had bought this version of the book since it does state it is A
Complete Cookery Course. They found it did not contain the Christmas pudding
recipes - so please be warned in your searches for the book at sources like
EBay or Abebooks.
If you want the version with her Christmas Pudding recipes
then buy The Mrs' Beeton's Family Cookery version. Or read them on my
Beeton pudding page here.
And remember in credit crunch times then both of these books, as well as
luxury foods will be full of old fashioned thrifty tips that make the best
use of ingredients in season.
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