Well mom decided I didn't have to wait for my inheritance and gave me this treasure trove of historical cookery the last time I visited.
It is actually a bit like Mrs. Beeton's. There is a lot more in it than just recipes. Like meal plans and nutritional information and hostess tips.
At the beginning of the book is a section on being a hostess and planning meals. Let's just forget the terrible gender stereo typing going on for a second and look at the chapter called Father Entertains. Which doesn't mean the man of the house gets his apron on and cooks a meal for friends and family. It means that Dad gets Mom to cook a meal for all his mates who have come over to play poker.
Anyways, I am just reading through this just now and come across this:
Have a good selection of pickles. Never mind radish roses and carrot curls but choose garlic dills, sweet mixed pickles, a mustard pickle or relish, small pickled onions and olives. Of course, if you make a homemade chili sauce or watermelon rind they will add to your reputation.
That is WTF on soooooo many levels. I laughed out loud at the reputation bit. All of hubby's friends will be so impressed and go home and whine at their wives about how JimBob's wife makes chili sauce and why don't you make chili sauce you lazy hussy.
Ahem. But what grabbed me there was the WATERMELON RIND. What do you mean watermelon rind. Did people used to pickle watermelon rind and then, like EAT it? And not only eat it but consider it such a delicacy that good watermelon rind would totally get you to top table at the country club Christmas dinner dance?
Do you pickle watermelon rind? Have you got a recipe? Would LOVE for you to share it. If it is yummy I might put it into a future newsletter.
Apparently not only did they used to but they still do. And so I found myself typing into the google search box something I could never have thought of needing to type in there in a million years. I mean I eat watermelon. There are always rinds. It never ever occurred to me that I needed to or could be doing something with these.
According to the search results I am apparently the only person on the planet who doesn't know about this.
Just wanted to share that with you.