Monday, 16 August 2010

Dinner in the workhouse.

Alas, as I get older I get worse and worse at this cooking lark. Visitors this weekend were treated to lumps of various shaped nutrients and food groups (yellow, green, brown, whitish) but not much in the way of delightful fine dining. Would that I could give up entirely and eat out every day.

To the left is a photo of the theatre in Stratford. It is now nearing completion with just the road works and pavements to put in.  I've promised myself some extra visits to it in the coming years as I love the theatre and don't go often enough.  We'd been to Carluccios for the usual coffee and Chocolate Fiorentina

This little tiny butterfly/moth has perplexed me as I'm unable to identify it. It was no more than 1 to 1.5 cms across it's wingspan and was sitting happily on the marjoram. Anyone know what it is please?

A few days ago now I visited and posted about a trip to see Southwell Workhouse, and some of my friends think I have a too rosy view of life in them.  So, I've been doing some research and it's been very interesting. Hands up anyone who thinks of Dickens with Oliver Twist saying "Please sir, can I have some more", when I say the words gruel, or workhouse?

I have been back to original sources for your edification and entertainment and I plan to regail you with snippets for the next few posts!. ......

In 1737, Richard Hutton a workhouse steward, records the improvements he was able to make to the inmates diets.  He records that the diet of John Wilson, whilst he was sick for a period of 6 months,  regularly included....a pint of claret, half a pint of wine, fish, oysters, cheesecake, a 1/4lb of chocolate, 1/2 double refined sugar, 1/4lb of biscuits and conserves of roses with juleps. He also gave a recipe for Frumety, a popular pudding of the day, and which I share with you.

"Take 2 quarts of hull'd boil'd wheat, a gallon of milk, two quarts of cream, and boil them till they become pretty thick, then put in sugar and the yolks of eight or ten eggs well beaten, three pound of currants plump'd by being gently boil'd in water; put these into the furmety, give them a few walms and it will be done."

An acquired taste perhaps? But then again, my visitors might have preferred it to what I dish up!

1 comment:

  1. It's a mint moth - Pyrausta aurata. I surprised a fluttery flock of them in the front garden by walking through the marjoram; had the camera handy and was able to look them up. Discovered, in the process, that butterflies generally rest with their wings vertical and moths have their horizontal.