28 April 2009

Tutti Frutti, yet again

Really, there's nothing like an old cookbook. I was kind of on a roll, what with the eggs in hiding and the tangerines, and then Harriet M. Welsch turned me onto an 1887 collaborative cookbook full of fabulous recipes and lovely hints, like "A cup of strong coffee will remove the odor of onions from the breath" (though it fails to mention what to do about the subsequent coffee breath).

There's a recipe for French Toast on page 14, that calls for gravy and no eggs. The missing eggs turn up on page 75, in a concoction called Egg Lemonade - lemon, water, sugar and an egg, all shook up in a mason jar - not something that I really want to drink (and neither do I want to drink "Farmer's Lemonade" which isn't in the Kirmess cookbook but which the guy behind the counter at City Bakery told me was lemonade topped off with half and half, but I digress).

Tutti Frutti A stone jar with cover Awaits the libation Of arrac poured over One bottle its ration Of fruit in its season Pineapple raspberry The peach with its bloom on As well as the cherry And strawberries rosy One pound you will take And in kitchen so cosy This rich compound make But of sugar three quarters In weight will be best And one of your daughters Will stir this with zest For a day or two after Each fruit is immersed With cheer and with laughter This may be rehearsed Eat this fruit by itself Better still with ice cream In a dish of old delf 'T is a poem a dreamWhat really made my day was the recipe for Brandied Fruits in the form of a poem. A poem!

If you didn't make brandied fruits last summer, plan to do it this year. It's really that good.

Use a big jar - three quarts or a gallon. Start with a bottle of brandy. Add summer fruit as it comes into season. For every 10 ounces of fruit you add to the jar, add seven ounces of sugar. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Use up to 10 pounds of fruit all together. Include raspberries, strawberries, peaches, plums, grapes. I found that blueberries were weird - their skins got tough. You could use some pineapple if you don't care about using only local fruit. Come summer's end, put it aside until December. Then, bottle it up and give most of it away as Christmas presents. Save some for yourself. Eat over vanilla ice-cream.

Yum.

Antique cookbooks are good for something.

11 comments:

Rachel said...

My MIL has a similar recipe, but it's for the liquor rather than the fruit. Some kind of alcohol, then you add fresh raspberries, let it sit for months... I don't know, I'm not much of a drinker.

That ice cream dish sounds delicious, though! :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

So lyrical.

Harriet M. Welsch said...

I'm so glad you ran this. I totally missed this recipe when I was looking at the book. Poetry seems the perfect way to write some recipes, I think. And the brandied fruits sound delicious. Too bad my mulberry tree fell down. But maybe I can scare up enough raspberries this year before the birds get them.

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunt Becky said...

And to think, we just used to inject the oranges with vodka and let them sit for a bit.

YourFireAnt said...

"....good booty..!"

;-)

meno said...

My aunt called this a "rum pot." I tried to make some once, but i didn't know about the sugar and it was NASTY.

I think i might try again.

Mayberry said...

EGG Lemonade? Oh, ew!

Nap Warden said...

I have never heard of Brandied Fruits. I have a tough enough time following a cookbook in general...in the form of a poem...no hope!

Woman in a Window said...

I like the giving away part...as in...um...i'm not brave enough to eat it. One of my favorite old cookbooks has a recipe for dealing with lightening strikes. My sister has that one.

Angelina said...

I haven't ever gotten my hands on real antique cookbooks but I love my 1948 version of "The Joy Of Cooking" which has a lot of really surprising recipes in it.