I’m still not feeling great so I’m going to make something that sounds easy to make and to eat. It’s Arrowroot Pudding using the recipe Miss Wardlaw contributed to the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.
I’m using the arrowroot powder I bought a number of months ago when it was still winter. According to The Canadian Grocer magazine in 1898, arrowroot was coming from Bermuda and St. Vincent in the Caribbean. I put a tablespoon (2 teaspoons) of the powdered arrowroot in a bowl with 1 dessertspoon (2 teaspoons) of sugar and then added 1 tablespoon of milk. I put the 1/2 pint (1 cup) minus a tablespoon of milk in a saucepan and cut the peel from a lemon and put the rind in with the milk. I boiled the milk and once it was boiled I took out the lemon rind and added some nutmeg. Then I poured the lemon flavoured milk over the arrowroot mixture. I stirred well and left it to cool a bit. Meanwhile I separated 2 eggs. I beat the yolks and added them to the cooled milk mixture. I whipped the egg whites and then folded them into the rest. I poured this into a greased baking dish and put it in the preheated 350 F. oven. I pulled it out after 10 minutes. I wasn’t sure if I was to eat it hot or cold so I’m trying it both ways.
Miss Wardlaw is a somewhat familiar contributor of recipes in this cook book. She’s one of the main women sharing recipes suitable for serving to patients. Margaret “Maggie” Janet Wardlaw was born to Mary Ann Davidson and John Wardlaw in 1861 probably in Oxford county as her family shows up in the 1861 census there. Maggie was likely named for her father’s sister who lived with them later in her life. Her parents were born in Scotland but were in Canada by the time Maggie was born. Her father was a woollen manufacturer and her eldest brother was already an engineer in 1871. Her next oldest brother became a doctor and in the 1891 census her younger brother is a dentist and Maggie is a nurse in the hospital. By 1901 she is living with her widowed doctor brother and is no longer listed as a nurse. They appear in the 1902 booklet about Galt Collegiate and she’s listed as a 1876 graduate and a resident of Galt. She lived in Galt until her parents’ deaths in the early 20th century but I’m not sure what she did afterwards. Her brother had remarried by then. She died in Newmarket Ontario in 1931 and since her brother is the informant on her death certificate I’m assuming she lived with him at least in her later years. As far as I can tell she never married.
Arrowroot Pudding tastes pretty good, at least it is better than I expected. The lemon and nutmeg flavour is very nice and it isn’t too sweet. Initially it was quite liquid with a slightly crispy almost meringue top. Later as it cooled it still didn’t set up as much as I’d hoped. The arrowroot seemed to be on the bottom, the milky liquid in the middle, and the egg white on the top. I’m not sure what I did wrong (if anything) but I think it might be worth another shot sometime. Perhaps it will set up overnight like the blancmange a week ago. I’ve heard of infusing with vanilla bean but not lemon rind. I think this is at least the second time I’ve had to use the lemon rind in milk technique and I really like it. It adds something special to the milk used in desserts and it’s something I’d like to take into my modern cooking.
One tablespoonful arrowroot, half pint milk, two eggs, one dessertspoonful sugar, a little nutmeg and lemon rind. First mix the arrowroot and sugar with one tablespoonful of milk. Boil the rest of the milk with the lemon rind (when the milk boils remove the rind), pour the boiling milk over the arrowroot. When slightly cool add the well beaten yelks of the eggs and mix thoroughly. Beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, add as lightly as possible to the mixture and bake in the oven for ten minutes.