The thought of making anything sweet or complicated isn’t very appealing today so I decided to check out the Cookery for the Sick section again in The New Galt Cook Book (1898). I’m not feeling great so it seems appropriate to try something that won’t hurt my sore throat. I decided to make Chicken Panada, a recipe contributed by Miss Wardlaw. It sounds disgusting but according to this site a panada is a “bread soup”.
I realized that the recipe used equal quantities of crumbs, cream, and broth. Although I didn’t care if it was awful, I also didn’t want to be stuck with it or to waste ingredients so I looked up the equivalent measure for a gill and it turns out that one gill is 1/2 cup. This seemed like a reasonable amount. I put 1/2 cup of 35% cream and 1/2 cup bread crumbs in a small saucepan. I shook in some salt and pepper, stirred, and turned the burner on low. I heated everything but it didn’t exactly reach boiling as the two main ingredients became more like a dough. I added 1/2 cup of broth and things improved. I stirred it all together and broke up any lumps. Once the panada was hot I removed the pot from the heat and put it all into a small bowl. This was going to be my supper.
Miss Wardlaw is likely Margaret “Maggie” Janet Wardlaw and she is listed in the 1891 census as a nurse in the hospital. She was born in 1862 to Scottish born parents John and Mary Ann (Davidson) Wardlaw. Her father was a wool dealer but her older brother was a doctor and her younger brother was a dentist. The household also included her father’s unmarried sister Margaret. By 1901 Maggie is no longer listed as having an occupation in the census but she is living with her brother the doctor. Perhaps she is the nurse for his practice. There is also a domestic servant in the household. Miss Wardlaw never married and she died in 1931 at the age of 70.
I suspect none of you are going to believe me but … I liked Miss Wardlaw’s Chicken Panada! It was warm, comforting, and was easy to swallow. If you find the texture of baby cereal or oatmeal porridge revolting then you will not like panada. However, if you like creamy grainy foods such as porridge then this might just appeal to you.
One gill broth, one gill bread crumbs, one gill cream, pepper and salt to taste; place together cream and bread crumbs, salt and pepper, allow to come to the boil,then add the chicken broth (which has been previously made), allow to heat for a few minutes and serve hot.