Tag Archives: Bon Appetit

Bunny, blushing bunny

2006AR0188-01

Embroidered Rabbit. England, 17th century c. 1625 V&A

This little blush colored  bunny ( a detail from an embroidered jacket) made me think of another sort of Blushing Bunny….

Bunny, Miss and Thumper

Miss Bunny and Thumper…from Bambi – but not this blushing bunny

This Blushing Bunny:

blushing bunny LAtimes

From “Worldly Blushing Bunny”  by Charles Perry Jan. 3. 2007 LA Times

One that is Welsh Rabbit ( or rarebit) with a can of tomato soup added

Campbells_Soup_Cans_MOMA

Campbell’s made soup good food; Andy Warhol made soup cans good art

Rabbits go back to Hannah Glasse

Glasse - First catch

A modern edition of The Art of Cookery is titled ” First Catch Your Hare.” Very appropriate for the first Welsh rabbit recipe to be there, too! Even though we all know that hares and rabbits aren’t the same thing…

and then are one or two more, the way there is never ONE rabbit….

18th century ‘Rabbit’ Recipes

1747

To make a Scotch rabbit,toast the bread very nicely on both sides, butter it, cut a slice of cheese about as big as the bread, toast it on both sides, and lay it on the bread.

-1747. Hannah Glasse. The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy. Prospect Books ed. p.95

 To make a Welch rabbit, toast the bread on both sides, then toast the cheese on one side, lay it on the toast, and with a hot iron brown the other side. You may rub it over with mustard.

-1747. Hannah Glasse. The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy. Prospect Books ed. p.95

To make an English rabbit,  toast the bread brown on both sides, lay it in a plate before the fire, pour a glass of red wine over it, and let it soak the wine up. Then cut some cheese very thin and lay it very thick over the bread, put it in a tin oven before the fire, and it will be toasted and browned presently. Serve it away hot.

-1747. Hannah Glasse. The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy. Prospect Books ed. p.95

Or do it thus. Toast the bread and soak it in the wine, set it before the fire, rub butter over the bottom of a plate, lay the cheese on, pour in two or three spoonfuls of white wine, cover it with another plate, set it over a chafing-dish of hot coals for two or three minutes, then stir it till it is done and well mixed. You may stir in a little mustard; when it is enough lay it on the bread, just brown it with a hot shovel.

-1747. Hannah Glasse. The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy. Prospect Books ed. p.95

The 1740’s

Scotch Rabbit

Toast a bit of bread on both sides then lay it on a plate before the fire. Pour a glass of red wine over it, and let it soak the wine up, then cut some cheese very thin and lay it thick over the bread and put it in a tin oven before the fire and it will be toasted and browned presently….You may stir in a little mustard.”

—   Scottish manuscript, cookbook of Moffat family.

  • The Thirteen Colonies Cook Book, p. 238

 1753          

To make a Scotch Rabbit.

Toast a Piece of Bread on both Sides, butter it, cut a Slice of Cheese about as big as the Bread, toast it on both sides, and lay it on the Bread.

-1753. The Lady’s Companion. London. p. 264-5.(foodtimeline)

 

To make a Welch Rabbit.

Toast the Bread on both Sides, then Toast the Cheese on one Side, lay on the Toast, and with a hot iron brown the other Side. You may rub it over with Mustard.

-1753. The Lady’s Companion. London. p. 264-5.

To make a Portugal Rabbit.

Toast a Slice of Bread brown on both Sides, then lay it in a Plate before the Fire, pour a Glass of red Wine over it, and let it soak the Wine up; then cut some Cheese very thin, and lay it very thick over the Bread; put it in a Tin Oven before the Fire, and it will be toasted and brown’d presently. Serve it away hot with Sugar over it, and Wine poured over.

-1753. The Lady’s Companion. London. p. 264-5.

Or do it thus.

Toast the Bread and soak it in the Wine, set it before the Fire, cut your Cheese in very thin Slices, rub Butter over the Bottom of a Plate, lay the Cheese on, pour in two or three Spoonfuls of White Wine, cover it with another Plate, set it over a Chafing-dish of hot Coals for two or three Minutes, then stir it till done, and well mixed. You may stir in a little Mustard; when it is enough lay it on the Bread, just brown with a hot Shovel. Serve it away hot.

– 1753. The Lady’s Companion. London. p. 264-5

An Italian Rabbit.

Toast a Slice of Bread, butter it, put upon it a Slice of Cheese the Length of your Bread, Let that be toasted; then put upon the Cheese some Mustard and Pepper, then Parsley minced, and upon the whole some Anchovies, in Pieces, very thick, to serve away.

-1753. The Lady’s Companion. London. p. 264-5

The Welsh are not alone in this! Scotch, English as well as Italian and Portuguese. This is one well traveled rabbit.

rabbit italian c1460

Italian rabbit 15th century

Sooooo

when do rabbits become rarebits?

1852

No. 164. How to Make a Welsh Rarebit.

First, make a round of hot toast, butter it and cover it with thin slices of cheese; put it before the fire until the cheese is melted, then season with mustard, pepper, and salt, and eat the rarebit while hot.

 

  • Francatelle, Charles. A Plain Cookery Book. p. 78.

But that’s not the end of rabbits – rarebits and rabbits continue together through the centuries

1858

Welsh rabbit.

Welsh rabbit is made by melting cheese and adding wine and other seasonings.

  • Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book. p. 206.

I haven’t been able to fill in the 100 year gap between The Lady’s Companion and Miss Beecher (who is Catherine Beecher, Harriot Beecher Stowe’s sister), but this already became more obsessive/compulsive then it began.

In the 2oth century, English Monkey, Yorkshire Buck, Scotch Rarebit, Cheese Muff, The Mackie, Oyster Rarebit, Midnight Rabbit and of course, Blushing Bunny.

Welsh Rarebit

6 servings

Melt in the top of a double boiler over simmering water:

1 tablespoon butter

Stir in and heat until warm:

1 cup beer, ale, milk, or cream

Gradually, stir in:

4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar or Colby (1 pound)

Cook, stirring constantly with a fork, until the cheese is melted. Stir in:

1 egg, beaten

    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

    ¼ teaspoon dry mustard

    (¼ teaspoon curry powder)

    Pinch of ground red pepper

Cook, stirring, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Serve at once on top of

12 slices white, rye, or other bread of your choice, toasted, or 18 crackers

 The Mackie

Prepare Welsh Rarebit, above, topping toasted slices of white bread with sliced tomatoes and crisp bacon before covering with cheese mixture.

Blushing Bunny

Prepare Welsh Rarebit, above, substituting tomato juice or canned condensed cream of tomato soup for the beer or the milk.

  • Rombauer, Irma S., Becker, Marion Rombauer and Ethan Becker. Joy of Cooking. Scribner: NY. p. 112.

 

joy of cooking 75th

and on the Rabbit/Rarebit debate, Joy of Cooking says this:

“Our correspondence is closed on the subject of rarebit versus rabbit. We stick to “rarebit” because “rabbit” already means something else. We can only answer the controversy with a story. A stranger trying to calm a small crying boy: “I wouldn’t cry like that if I were you.” Small boy: “You cry your way and I’ll cry mine.”

 

I realize that the history or recipes and food  isn’t quite the same as MY history with food and recipes, I’ve stared another blog  for the historical things. Foodways Pilgrim will continue as my journey with food. But for the historical inquiry, The Backstory of Welsh Rabbit (or Rarebit, as the case may be) or What Did They Serve at the First Thanksgiving sorts of questions/stories/cool background, that will now be at Plays with Fire.

Caravaggio_-_Cena_in_Emmaus 1601 National galleryLondon

Cena in Emmaus – 1601 –  Caravaggio at National Gallery, London

Caravaggio_supperat Emmaus Milan Brera Fine Arts Academy1606

Caravaggio, Supper at Emmaus (again)  this in 1606 and now in Milan at the Brera Fine Arts Academy .How has the food changed – and why?

   Plays With Fire

Van Goh rabbits in landscape

Vincent Van Gogh Landscape with Rabbits 1889

Leave a comment

Filed under 1990's, Books, Bread, Recipe, Wicked Wayback

Winter Blues

Ready for the Snow – George Lucas

 

Snow, snow, snow. Cold, cold, cold. Short days, but getting longer, but not nearly long enough. Long nights getting shorter, but not short enough. Not quite enough sunlight. At least the snow makes the full moon light brighter.

Beth went to  some sort of Publishers Book Fair earlier this month and brought me back some samples. (Thank you Beth! XoX). These are books that haven’t yet been released, the advance reading copies, which makes them doubly delightful, being both new reads and being ahead of their own time, as it were.

One book had menus as chapter headings, and the first chapter was Xmas, so I dove in – what better to read in a snow storm/Jonas/apocalypse?

It turned out to be about a woman pursuing a career (that she’s AWFULLY ambivalent about) with a marriage that she’s outgrown and then she re-invents herself as a single in the city …and since she’s had a career for over 20 years, she’s not exactly a Spring Chicken, but on the other hand she has a young daughter…sometimes….and a non-romantic interest nonagenarian (that’s a 90 something) who is a cook/philosopher. And she finds a Mister Man of Her Unrealized (at the books opening) Dreams before the end.

But of course.

A Twenty-First Century Sleeping Beauty/Snow White/Cinderella Fairy Tale, complete with Disneyesque Princess and unnamed Prince Charming.

disney_live_Three_Princess

Even Disney can’t tell them apart anymore

Each chapter in this fairy tale begins with a menu, and some of the dishes have descriptions or almost recipes written in, and good kitchen advice as well. And drinks. There is plenty of alcohol fueling this fairy tale, too.

As I was reading, I was imagining who would be cast in the movie version…Jennifer Lawrence, perhaps,

Jennifer Lawrence

even though Sandra Bullock would be more age appropriate, and no doubt Dustin Hoffman

dustin_hoffman

could play the Yoda/spatula wielding-leading man… or maybe it could be a limited run TV series, that’s part Drama/part Cooking show with cookbook/life manual to go with it. Since she doesn’t write about his death, and he’s ninety something in 2009, there’s sequel material out there……

And so I went to bed. It’s not until this morning that I realized the name of the leading lady is the same name as the author…both first AND last names, a woman who had done the sort of work that the leading lady had done and that the book is dedicated to someone who has the same name as the darling and mostly absent daughter, and

in a Dawn Breaking over Marblehead moment

dawn over Marblehead

Dawn (or light) breaking ovah Marblehead. We take our figures of speech literally round here.

did I realized this might be

MEMOIR.

As a novel, I’d have more to say about this, but as someone’s portrayal of their life……although my own life is sometimes

A Movie Directed By Mel Brooks,

Mel Brooks

it is not a telenovelas or a soap opera or reality show. And it certainly wouldn’t be  in my written versions. That kind of DRAHMA I can’t sustain for longer than a cup of coffee. If that long.

 

On the other hand, Our Leading Man put a homemade blue cheese dressing on avocados, which make me want that combination in the worst way. And since I have some Blue cheese in the house, and a recipe for blue cheese dressing   This one is a creamy version. I have another vinaigrette somewhere….If I can figure out where the book is -it might be on the shelf of the little bookcase that is still at the ancestral home.

Avocados are on my shopping list, even though I still don’t know how to buy one or keep it or eat it in the place between rock hard and tasteless and brown and slightly oozy and scary bad. But avocados and SuperBowl Sunday go together hand in glove, so there are plenty to go around and at a good price, too.

I’ve also been eating orange and red and yellow food, just for the color warmth.

Squash soup made with the frozen squash and some cranberry apple cider that got much sweeter as it cooked; I searched Anna Thomas Love Soup and she had a version of squash soup that had red lentils in it, so I added some of them, and some water. Her soup also had some spices, turmeric, cumin, red pepper – which sounds a lot like curry powder, of which there was none in the house. And although the vegetarian Anna Thomas wouldn’t suggest it, sausage would cut the sweet…

Love Soup

Curry powder and sausage go on the grocery list.

The lentils reminded me of Simon Mujumdar’s Life Saving Dahl, so find his book and put dahl on the list, too. Is Eating My Globe at the ancestral home, too? Interesting what got save first, and once safe was moved to the no worries list…..ah, internet:

EatMyGlobe

 

Life Saving Dahl – Simon Majumdar

And now, back to blues, as in foods.

 

Stiltob cheese

Stilton cheese – a blue cheese

 

 

I bought the bit of supermarket Stilton for a rarebit….and then  took a little trip down a rabbit hole as well.

Just what IS the difference between rabbit and rarebit? When did this become a dish and not just toasted bread and cheese? Inquiring minds want to know!

The short version of which is: It’s confusing! Both rarebits and rabbits abound and there are also a few other names for cheese on toast.

Hannah Glasse (The Art Of Cookery Made Plain & Easy) has the earliest printed Welsh Rabbit recipe, and it’s a rabbit, in 1747. Welsh not the only rabbit in Glasse – there is also Scotch and English rabbits there. In the next chronological reference I could find (this is all rather haphazard and not the least academic) in 1753 (The Ladies Companion)there is A Scotch, A Welsh A Portuguese and An Italian…. and later on there is also Scotch Buck and English Monkey and Blushing Bunny….and the rabbit/rarebit divide isn’t just between England and the US or even between centuries. Both countries and both 19th and 20th centuries use both names. Rabbit Hole.

Alice in Wonderland Tennial

Rabbit or Rarebit?? And just where are you from??????ONE answer, please!

I’m close to crying ‘Uncle’ in all of this, and then it will be a Wicked  WayBack Wednesday post.

In the meantime, this is the blue cheese rarebit that I clipped from Bon Apetit back in 1994 and have enjoyed numerous times since then, especially since I found that the local convenience store sells milk not only in Gallons and Half gallons and Quarts, but also in 14 oz. to-go bottles. As someone who doesn’t drink milk, buying even a quart means I have to come up with at least one other way to use it, so instead of 12 oz of milk, I use the 14 with no harm.

Stilton Rarebit

1 ½ T butter

1 ½ teas flour

1 tsp Coleman’s dry mustard

1 ½ C milk

1 C Stilton (4 oz)(an English blue cheese)

1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 slices WW bread, toasted

Walnuts, chopped

 

  1. …Whisk flour in and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in mustard.
  2. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer till thickened, whisking occasionally: 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add ½ the cheese and whisk until melted. Add remaining cheese, whisk until melted and smooth.
  5. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  6. Cut toasted bread slices on diagonal and overlap 4 halves on each of 2 plates. Ladle rarebit over.
  7. Garnish with chopped walnuts.

2 servings.

  • Bon Appetit magazine. Dec 1994 issue (New Year’s supper 1994)Bon Appetit Dec 1994 cover

In my notebook it’s on a page with Dylan Thomas quote:

….there was sherry and walnuts and bottled beer and crackers by the dessertspoons….

By 1994 I knew that ‘cracker’s’ in this case were NOT saltines…..

christmas-cracker_

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1990's, Books, Bread, winter

Making Sunday Soupier

Because I work in a place with a garden, I sometimes score some lovely produce…..like beets.

Great, big, red, big, really large beets.I know that beets aren’t for everyone, and that means…more beets for me!

Beets will keep for quite a while, especially the big ones, especially in the back of the fridge. Although, being these were very large big beets – I’m talking nothing smaller then a pound, most around 2 – pounds, that is – and several checking in at 3 – they were hard to forget and get lost in the back of the dark cold place. I’ve been pulling out the smaller ones, one by one throughout December, but a nice beet soup was defiantly in my future. I’ve long been intrigued by borscht and other sorts of beety soups, maybe since Moosewood Cookbook, which has a vegetarian borscht, variation of which I’ve made in the past.

moosewoodBUT

new year, new recipes and when Bon Appetit had not only a Get Healthy headline and a recipe for Beet Caraway Soup,

Bon Appetit January 2015 New Years Cleanse and Big Batch cooking

Bon Appetit January 2015
New Year Healthy and Big Batch cooking – of BEETS

I had to think, Why don’t I pick up Bon Appetit more often? and Beets AND Big Batch Cooking, I’m soooo in !

Detroit Red  beet from Burpee Seed catalog

Detroit Red beet from Burpee Seed catalog – these are probably fist sized or slightly larger – maybe 1/2 pound a piece. A three pound beet – bigger – cradle in your arm big.

To get to the  Get Healthy  part of the story (with the menus and the shopping list and the pantry list), you have to go to the Bon Appetit website, which 1) isn’t the magazine and 2) has lots of moving parts and is an exercise in (I accidentally wrote ‘stupidity’ instead of ‘futility’, but stupidity isn’t completely wrong) exasperation , because there are links within links and for heaven’s sake, YOU ARE A MAGAZINE, PUT IT ON PAPER. LAYOUT IS IMPORTANT AND POPUPS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.

I went back more then once, on different days and I may never go back there again, which is a pity because beneath the flash and dazzle jumpiness, which may pass as edgy, but comes off as far to much caffeine, there a a really good recipe data base. Just not for me.

And the Big Batch stuff serves four. FOUR. That’s right, 4. I may not be good with numbers, but 4 is a batch, no big. For Big it should be 6-8 ; a Crowd should serve 8-12, all of which are smaller numbers then what show in my mother’s church cookbook from 1968.

Now I’m remembering why I don’t pick up BA as often as I used to……because we live in very different worlds.

BUT…. to steam-roast a big batch of beets…first, I made the batch bigger.

BIG BATCH STEAM ROASTED BEETS

4-6  pounds beets

2 Tbl olive oil

1 sprig rosemary or several sprigs fresh thyme or 2 bay leaves

1/4 cup water

  1. If the beets are very large (over 1 #) or uneven sizes, peel and cut to make them the same size.If you have a bunch and they’re pretty uniform, wash and trim the tops and tails and you can peel them after. If you have large ones, peel them now. The red will wash off your hands, I promise.
  2. Put them in a large heavy bottom pot/Dutch oven.
  3. Add the oil and toss all around.
  4. Salt and pepper.
  5. Put in the herbs and the water.
  6. Cover tightly.
  7. At this point you can put it in a 425° oven OR
  8. Put it on the stove top on high.
  9. Stir every now and again.You want the roasty/searing thing, not burning – adjust accordingly.
  10. Beets are done when a knife pierces easily – 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the beets and their age (and whether or not it was a dry or wet season when they were growing).
  11. Cool. They’ll keep at least 3 days in a covered container in the fridge. They can be used as is in salads, or in smoothies or soups.

adapted from Bon Appetit January 2015

Now for the soup.

BEET  SOUP with caraway

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 medium onion

1 leek

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 # cooked beets

2 cups buttermilk, more for serving

cracked pepper (for serving)

  1. Chop the onion and slice the leek.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add caraway seeds and cook, stirring, until they start to pop and dance around in the pan, about 1 minute.
  4. Add onion, leek, and a little water to keep seeds from burning; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 5–7 minutes.
  6. Add beets and 4 cups water to pan.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15–20 minutes.everything should be pretty soft.
  8. Let mixture cool slightly, then purée in a blender in 2 batches, adding 1 cup buttermilk to each batch. Gently heat soup, adding water to adjust consistency if needed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  9. Serve drizzled with buttermilk  and more cracked pepper.

adapted from Bon Appetit Jan 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipe, Soup, winter