I can’t believe how much I enjoy my book business. The books that come my way bowl me over, just reading them is a joy. Today two books arrived that I had bought, one on cookery and one on gardening both published in the late 19th century.
The gardening book is actually two in one – titled The Miniature Fruit Garden and The Orchard House by Thomas Rivers and published in1860. It gives instruction on growing miniature fruit trees and includes different varieties that can be used for instance on different facing walls of a house. The names alone sound delicious, pears Beurre d’Anjou, Doyenne D’Ete and Conseiller de la Coeur and varieties of apple bushes on paradise root stock, how fab is that.
The orchard house section includes not just the fruits that can be grown there but details plans and costs of how they are built and ventillated, including a builders estimate for a an Orchard House 30 feet long – total £28 5s.
The book has the inscription of George Constable the gardener at Earlswood Asylum making it a bit of social history as well.
The cookery book is titled Soups, Savouries, Sweets with a Chapter on Bread and is by a ‘Practical Housewife’. Published in 1889. Every page has a quote or section of a poem or play and even the cover is amusing with each corner having a little sign – Make Me, Buy Me, Read Me and Eat Me.
The recipes sound so good I am going to have to make some of them, I promise I will include them on this site as I go. They include Jenny Lind Soup – a vegetable and lentil soup, Angel puddings – a souflee type pudding with lemon and Reform Cabinet pudding. One I will be trying when the peas are out is Pea Pod soup with mint.
Some I won’t be able to try including Count Rumford Soup which calls for a packet of Count Rumford soup powder, alas no longer with us. I wonder what it was like.
But the joy, as I said is in the reading. Here is a little excerpt from the introduction.
‘There are many young housewives, well educated as well as practical, who like to prepare with their own hands the dainty trifles which give variety to the ordinary book of fare…..To these young housewives I dedicate my book. It may cost them effort sometimes to put down Shakespear, Tennyson or Browning, and to leave the library for the kitchen. Perhaps, if quite candid, they will own that the receipt book open beside them does not keep their thoughts from turning lovingly to their favourite author left unread.’ thank you Mrs Taylor