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Day 359: Roast Duck and Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Christmas Greetings from The Canadian Grocer magazine December 1898.

Christmas Greetings from The Canadian Grocer magazine December 1898.

Today is Christmas Day and I’m staying in my childhood home with my family. After mentioning a few weeks ago that I could get a farm fresh duck, it was decided that duck would be the fowl for Christmas dinner this year. So today I used the Roast Duck recipe in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) that Mrs. A. Taylor contributed. I also planned to serve Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce for dessert.

I picked up the duck from Amy a couple of days ago. It had led a happy life roaming around the farm before meeting its destiny. I didn’t need to singe or draw the bird but I did pick a few more pin feathers from it before removing the giblets (heart, lungs, and liver) and the neck and washing and drying the bird. I put the giblets and neck in a pot of water to boil. As soon as the giblets were cooked I removed them and left the neck to continue cooking.

Stuffing the duck before roasting

Stuffing the duck before roasting

Time to make the dressing. I chopped the giblets and also an onion into very small pieces. I put them in a frying pan with a bit of butter to fry. Meanwhile I had two slices of stale bread soaking in some milk. Once the onion and giblets were fried until the onions were slightly golden I squeezed the bread and poured off the milk. You might be wondering why I chose to soak the bread in milk. The recipe doesn’t mention what liquid to use so I decided milk might work well. I mixed the fried giblets and onions with the bread and then started wondering whether the bread was supposed to have been fried with the other things. I ended up putting it all back in the frying pan to see what would happen to the bread. I let it fry a tiny bit and decided that the bread wasn’t to be fried. I seasoned the dressing with salt, pepper and ground sage before putting it in the duck. I placed the bird (breast side up) on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and rubbed some salt and pepper into it.  I’d held back a bit of the onions and giblets and put them in the bottom of the roasting pan since I wasn’t sure if that was what was intended in the instructions. It is hard to get salt pork here so I decided to put pieces of bacon on top of the duck’s breast. I poured a cup of water in the bottom of the pan before I put it in the preheated oven. I decided to try roasting it at 375 F. since the instructions said a moderately hot oven.

Carving the Roast Duck

Carving the Roast Duck

My duck weighed 5.5 lbs so I thought roasting for 1 1/2 hours might not be long enough so I planned the rest of the meal to be ready no earlier than two hours from the moment the duck went into the oven. I checked it every half hour or so and attempted to baste it. I discovered their was an instant read thermometer in the house so I used that modern invention to confirm that the duck was cooked. It was in the oven for two hours before I removed it and set it aside to rest while I made the gravy.

Gravy made from the Roast Duck

Gravy made from the Roast Duck

To make the gravy I scraped some of the drippings from the roasting pan avoiding as much grease as possible and added it to the water used for boiling the neck and giblets. I made a paste of flour and water and then added some of the hot liquid duck juices to it. then I added the flour mixture to the juices in the pot, stirred and turned up the heat. I kept stirring to avoid lumps and seasoned this gravy with salt and pepper. It was time to bring to the table the Roast Duck on a platter ready to carve along with the gravy in a sauce-boat to enjoy with the rest of the meal (mashed potatoes, baked squash, stuffing, cranberry orange sauce, and salad). I’d also made the Potato Rolls from day 64. I cut the first slice from the duck and started serving everyone as they helped themselves to the rest of the food. We sat down to enjoy our Christmas dinner together and eventually report on the taste of the roast duck.

Once the duck was in the oven roasting I started preparing Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding. I was stymied by the lack of currants and peel but decided to go ahead and make this recipe using two kinds of raisins and substituting crystallized ginger for the peel. Ginger appears in some other pudding recipes so it is appropriate if not completely accurate for this recipe. Again my lack of a kitchen scale meant I had to rely on conversions from the internet. It was soon obvious that I didn’t have enough ingredients to make the full recipe so I cut it in half. I put 1 pound (4 cups of sultana raisins in a bowl along with 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) of golden raisins instead of currants. One advantage of modern life is the availability of prepared suet. I didn’t have to do any chopping. I measured out 1 pound (3 3//4 cups) of suet and added it to the bowl. I stirred and then started preparing the rest of the ingredients. I added 1/4 pound (3/4 cup) brown sugar and then chopped 3 ounces (3/4 cup) of crystallized ginger before stirring it into the rest. I beat 3 eggs with 1/2 quart (2 cups) of milk and then poured it into the bowl. Once it was mixed I added 1/2 ounce of spice. I decided to use 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 tablespoon of nutmeg. I stirred well as I added the last ingredient 1 1/4 pound (about 4 cups) flour. It was time to get this pudding steaming or boiling.

I thought I’d remembered my pudding mold but had to substitute a glass bowl with a good edge to tie down a cloth. I filled the bowl 3/4 full with some of the heavy pudding batter and then put cheesecloth over the top of the bowl. I held it in place by tying string around the edge of the bowl’s lip. I put the prepared bowl in a pot of water making sure the water came up to the level of the pudding but not over the top of the bowl. I put the lid on the pot and turned up the heat. I left it to boil for three hours topping up the water twice. I really wasn’t sure how long this pudding was to boil but guessed that three hours might be enough. After we’d eaten the main part of the meal and done some dishes I started to prepare the pudding sauce before removing the pudding from the pot of boiling water.

Teetotallers' Christmas Pudding and Caramel Sauce

Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding and Caramel Sauce

I decided to try Mrs. A. Taylor’s recipe for Caramel Sauce thinking it might go well with this rather plain pudding. I put 1 cup of sugar in a heavy sauce pan and turned up the heat quite high. The cup of water was nearby so that I wouldn’t have to stop stirring. I kept stirring as the sugar quickly started to melt and turn colour. I kept stirring until it was completely liquid and a nice amber colour. I poured in the water and the sugar seized up but I kept stirring and soon it melted back to a brown liquid. I set the timer for two minutes and left it to boil while I started getting the pudding ready to serve. I carefully removed the bowl from the water and then cut the string to remove the cloth. I poured off a bit of liquid that was sitting on top. It seemed to be a bit of water and melted suet. I slid a knife around the edge of the bowl to loosen the pudding before unmolding it onto a plate that is a family heirloom. I poured the completed Caramel Sauce into a sauce-boat and gathered the family for dessert. My parents don’t drink alcohol so the Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding was very suitable for our family Christmas dinner. I cut slices for everyone and poured on some sauce. It was time to taste.

Mrs. A. Taylor contributed quite a number of recipes including today’s roast duck and the caramel sauce recipe for the pudding. She is Scottish born Margaret “Maggie” Fisher wife of another Scottish immigrant Alfred Taylor. Her recipes cover a broad spectrum of the range available in the many chapters of The New Galt Cook Book. I’ve tried making fifteen of her contributions to the chapters on eggs, puddings, sauces, candy, soups, and cheese as well as other poultry recipes.

Mrs. Hunt of Speedsville shared her recipe for Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding. Ironically I made her baked squash recipe on Day 50. Matilda Ann Hudson was born in England in 1836 and married James Hunt in 1858 when she was 21 years old. James and Matilda lived in Preston when they married but later lived in nearby Galt and Speedsville. Their only child a daughter named Violet V. Hunt was born in 1867. James was involved in the woolen industry but suddenly died of a heart attack in Speedsville in 1896. He was 61. Matilda died in 1913 of pneumonia.

Slices of Roast Duck with dressing and baked squash.

Slices of Roast Duck with dressing and baked squash.

So how did everything turn out? I’m sitting writing and digesting a good meal. Everyone tried the roast duck except my brother who’d once had a pet duck (something I’d completely forgotten). Those of us who prefer white meat when eating chicken or turkey weren’t as keen on the all dark duck meat but the other tasters really liked it. It wasn’t greasy as I’d feared. The skin was crispy and the meat very tender. The dressing was very moist and not nearly as fatty as I’d expected. It tasted good. The big surprise was the gravy. It was a success and popular! I normally make horrible gravy but this tasted like a wonderful mushroom gravy despite not containing any mushrooms. The giblets must have been the mystery element that gave it a mushroom flavour. I’d added some chopped orange when I made the typical cranberry sauce and it went very well with the duck. The potato rolls were also a big hit.

Teetotallers' Christmas Pudding

Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding

The Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding was okay. Everyone ate their serving and the substitution of ginger worked very well — better than peel. The pudding is a bit stodgy. It isn’t very sweet – a plus when there are so many sweets available at this time of year. The Caramel Sauce tasted great with this pudding (and so did the preserved pears with ginger I made two days ago). I might try frying a slice tomorrow for breakfast. I hear it is a good way to enjoy steamed puddings in the days to come… and considering how much pudding is left we are going to have to get creative to use it up.

ROAST DUCK
Mrs. A. Taylor

Singe, draw, wash thoroughly, wipe dry and fill with the following dressing: Two slices stale bread soaked and squeezed dry, a small onion chopped fine, season with salt, pepper and sage, boil the giblets, strain, chop fine, mix all and fry a light brown, place in pan with some slices salt pork on the breast, put a small cup of water in pan, baste frequently, have a moderately hot oven, roast an hour and half, thicken the gravy with a spoonful of flour stirred smooth together.

 

TEETOTALLERS’ CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Mrs. Hunt, Speedsville

Pick and stone two pounds good raisins, pick, wash and dry one pound currants, chop two pounds beef suet. Have ready half pound brown sugar, six ounces candied peel — them, two and a half pounds flour, six eggs, one quart or more milk, one ounce mixed spice and one tablespoonful salt. Mix rather stiff. Use with or without sauce.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE
Mrs. A. Taylor

One cupful granulated sugar, one cupful water. Put the sugar into an iron saucepan; stir with a wooden spoon, over a quick fire, until the sugar melts and turns an amber color, then add the water, let boil two minutes and turn out to cool.

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Day285: Steamed Eggs

After a day of work and a two-hour drive I’m at my parents for Thanksgiving. I stopped for a fast food supper so I’m not sure what to make tonight from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book. I decided to try an egg recipe since there are people around who like eggs. I selected Mrs. A.. Taylor‘s recipe for Steamed Eggs.

I found a steamer and some cups. I set the steamer in a pot and added water. I cracked an egg into each of the custard cups and set them into the steamer. I debated whether I should have buttered the cups but didn’t do it. My mother and I discussed the amount of time they would need to steam. She suggested five minutes so I started the timer as soon as the water boiled. At the four-minute mark the whites appeared set and the yolk too. I removed them from the pan and gave one to each person who likes eggs.

Alfred Taylor home

Alfred Taylor home

Mrs. A. Taylor is probably the wife of Alfred Taylor rather than of his brother Alexander Taylor. Alexander married to Hannah Maria Wells. She was from England and Roman Catholic. Since this cook book is the project from a Presbyterian church Hannah is less likely to have contributed recipes than her sister-in-law Margaret “Maggie” Fisher. Maggie was born in Scotland and is Presbyterian. Her parents Alexander and Georgina brought her to Canada when she was around 5 or 6 years old. They lived in Galt and Maggie continued to live in the community after her marriage to Alfred Taylor. Alfred was a dry goods merchant and as this website states “the first proud owner of this gracious residence”. I’m sure Maggie was pleased with it too. I don’t know when they married but their first child Robert was born in 1877. He died of pneumonia when he was nine. Their second child, another son was born in 1879 and named Alfred E. for his father. He died of appendicitis when he was 25 years old. Margaret Alice “Maggie” was named for her mother after her birth in 1883. She was their only daughter and the longest lived since she was 89 when she died in 1972. Mrs A. Taylor (Maggie Fisher) died in 1929 when she was 79.

I took a tiny bite and they taste like eggs to me — not a recommendation. The tasters added a bit of butter to the top and some salt and pepper and then dug into the cups. My father would have liked it cooked a bit longer since he likes firmer yolks. They were more like a soft-boiled egg.  My mother liked it with the soft white and the runny yolk and commented that it would be great if you were sick since it is easy to eat. It is also very quick to make. She thought it made a good evening snack. Without knowing this family’s history my mother seems to have identified aspects of this recipe that would suit Mrs. A. Taylor’s situation. This is the perfect recipe for a woman trying to take care of a sick child or to quickly eat herself. They had a servant but this recipe would be great for her day off. They also had a lodger in 1891 and it’s something to make when he needed something extra to eat. This method avoids my fear of making poached eggs since they are contained and they are easy to serve in the cups rather than fishing around in the water. This recipe has time travelled well.

STEAMED EGGS
Mrs. A. Taylor

Butter a tin plate and break in your eggs, set in a steamer, place over a kettle of boiling water and steam till the whites are cooked.If broken into buttered patty-pans they look nicer by keeping their form better. Or,still better, if broken into egg cups and steamed until done, they are very nice. Cooked in this way there is nothing of their flavor lost.

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Day 205: Mint Sauce

I have a small patch of herbs in my backyard including some mint that was here long before I moved in. My house was built about 1888 so I have no idea how long that patch of mint has been growing . I thought I’d try making Mint Sauce tonight. The recipe appears in the Meat section of the 1898 New Galt Cook Book and was contributed by Mrs. A. Taylor.

I went and gathered the mint while it was dry. Ideally herbs are gathered in the morning after the dew dries. The sun warmed leaves have the most flavour then apparently. I picked enough mint leaves to have 2 tablespoons. I tore and chopped them up and then mixed it with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup (1/4 pint) of vinegar. I wondered if I was supposed to heat this combination but realized the mint would shrivel up if heated. I left it to sit a little so the mint flavour would combine with the vinegar. Now it was time to taste my freshly made mint sauce.

Mrs. A. Taylor is probably Scottish born Margaret “Maggie” Fisher. She was born in 1849 and came to Canada around age 5. She married Alfred Taylor and they had three children. There is another possibility. English-born Hannah Maria Wells. She married Alfred’s brother Alexander Taylor and they too had three children. However, I think Maggie is the more likely contributor as she is Presbyterian while Hannah is Roman Catholic. The Galt Cook Book was a fundraising project for a Presbyterian church in Galt.

Mrs. Taylor seems to think this sauce is the only thing to serve with lamb. Is this what you use? I don’t have any lamb to try it with but I decided to taste it on its own. This is a far cry from the commercial mint jelly I ate as a kid when I had to choke down meat I didn’t like. This mint sauce is not something to enjoy on its own but it makes a nice addition to things like meat. I love mint and it works well with vinegar. A modern cook could vary the sugar and some recipes include a little water to moderate the vinegar. Despite the assertion that this is the must serve sauce I’m not sure I’ll bother making this recipe again since I don’t usually eat lamb.

MINT SAUCE
Mrs. A. Taylor

Two tablespoonfuls of green mint, one of pounded sugar, a quarter pint vinegar. For lamb only mint sauce is proper.

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Day 176: Blanc-Mange Strawberries

I try to consume as many local strawberries as possible during their brief availability so I’m trying the Blanc-mange Strawberries recipe in the New Galt Cook Book (1898). The recipe comes from Mrs. A. Taylor and it looks quick and simple which is an asset since I got home from work at 8:30 tonight.

1898 Seed Catalogue

1898 Seed Catalogue

Each brand of granulated gelatine has a different size of envelope I discovered tonight. The box of Davis gelatine contained 5 envelopes that were .40 ounce while Knox had four .30 ounce envelopes. I highly recommend weighing your gelatine because with larger amounts it will make a difference. Both boxes say that one envelope will set 2 cups of liquid but I decided to use the 1/2 ounce so I added a bit from another envelope of gelatine. I sprinkled it in 1 cup of warm water, stirred and left it 10 minutes to dissolve while I measured the other ingredients. I put 1 pint (2 cups) of cream in a saucepan. I used whipping cream since that’s what I keep on hand for these recipes but I think any sort of cream would work in this one. I weighed the 1/4 pound ( 3/4 cup) sugar and added it to the pan too. Finally I stirred in the dissolved gelatine and started heating it on low and then slowly turned up the heat. The gelatine package says not to boil so it explains the instruction not to boil. When the cream mixture began to simmer I removed the pan from the heat and left it to cool. The next task was preparing the strawberries. I hulled and sliced them and placed them in a glass bowl. I sprinkled some sugar on top and left it to sit while the cream mixture cooled. At last it was time to pour the blanc-mange over the strawberries and dish out some for myself.

Mrs. A. Taylor is Margaret “Maggie” Fisher. She was born in Scotland in 1849 to Alexander and Georgina. They brought her to Canada when she was about five. The family lived in Galt but Alexander must have died just a few years later as he doesn’t appear in the 1861 census. Maggie married Alfred Taylor sometime between 1871 and 1877.  He was a dry goods merchant. They had three children but only their daughter – another Maggie — lived a long life like her father (89 years) while her oldest brother died of pneumonia when he was nine and her other brother died of appendicitis at 25. Mrs. A. Taylor died in 1929 when she was 79.

So what exactly is blancmange? Perhaps French speakers can tell us if this is really a French word. Basically it is a milky gelatine. I’ve heard of blancmange for years but  never eaten it. The idea of this dessert reminds me a bit of one I had in Thailand which is made with cocoanut milk and agar – a thickener made from a plant rather than an animal. It was served with lychee fruit. A modern vegetarian cook could probably make Mrs. A. Taylor’s recipe using agar instead of gelatine. However, the reality, at least the way mine turned out, is quite different. My blancmange was liquid not solid. I don’t know what I did wrong if anything but I ended up eating strawberries with sweetened cream. This is pleasant but not what I expected. I wonder if the problem is my gelatine. There are several other blancmange recipes so hopefully I’ll figure it out soon enough to enjoy with strawberries. If you don’t live in a place with strawberries try it with the soft fruit (berries) available in your area.

UPDATE: This worked after all! In my impatience last night I must not have let it set long enough. Today it is firm and jelly like and tastes pretty good. The texture is smooth and not as gross as I expected.

BLANC-MANGE STRAWBERRIES
Mrs. A. Taylor

Dissolve half an ounce gelatine in a cupful of water, add to it one pint cream and one-quarter pound sugar, heat it till nearly boiling, let stand till nearly cold, pour over your berries which you have sugared and placed in a glass dish. Looks very pretty and tastes nice.

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Day 163: Cocoanut Candy

I’ve worked eleven days in a row and I’m tired but I still went out and voted in the provincial election. Writing this blog is a constant reminder that the women of 1898 had a very different life from mine. Only certain people could vote in 1898 so the women with recipes in The New Galt Cook Book would have to try to influence an eligible male voter. I want to make something quick and that might give me a bit of energy so I’ve picked Cocoanut Candy from Mrs. A. Taylor.

I am making a very small amount of this candy. I put 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and added a tablespoon of what turned out to be cocoanut cream instead of cocoanut milk. I let it boil for about 3 minutes until it was starting to sugar. I stirred in the 1/2 cup of cocoanut and then spread it out. I was ready to sample in just a few minutes.

Mrs. A. Taylor is Margaret Fisher. I’ve written about her several times. Her husband Alfred Taylor is a dry goods merchant which doesn’t entirely explain her rather eclectic mix of recipe contributions.

This candy is quick and non-dairy. It is very sweet and of course strongly flavoured by the cocoanut. I liked it very much and it reminded me of something I’ve had before in another country. I was very suprised to see cocoanut milk in an 1898 recipe. I somehow thought it was a modern addition to cooking in this region.

 

COCOANUT CANDY
Mrs. A. Taylor

Take equal quantities of white sugar and grated cocoanut, add enough of cocoanut milk to moisten the sugar and boil, stirring constantly. When the candy begins to return to sugar, stir in the cocoanut as quickly as possible, and in a minute or two spread it on dishes to cool. Mark off in squares when cold enough.

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Day 132: Pickled Eggs

Market Report about Eggs from Canadian Grocer 1898

Market Report about Eggs from Canadian Grocer 1898

Today was my day off and I enjoyed sitting out in the sun. I neglected to make any of the recipes requiring hours of preparation as I’d intended. Instead I’m making something that reminds me of summer picnics. With the arrival of spring the chickens in 1898 would start laying eggs more regularly which means there are more to spare for something like Pickled Eggs. I’m making them using Mrs. A. Taylor‘s recipe in the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.

I hard boiled some eggs and then peeled them. I wasn’t sure if the peeled eggs were supposed to be boiled along with the spices and water. I looked at other recipes and finally decided that the eggs should not be boiled with the spices. I measured a teaspoon of each spice into a pot of water. You’ll notice it doesn’t state how much water to use so I decided to use 1/2 pint (1 cup) since that is the amount needed at the end. As soon as I stirred the spices into the water I realized why it says to put them in a muslin bag! I had dark coloured water and once it boiled I ended up with a ring of spice residue around the edge where the water met the pot. I had to strain the water making this all much more complicated than necessary. Buy those little muslin bags or keep a couple of squares of white lightweight cotton around to tie up spices. Cheese cloth probably won’t work for ground spices like these but it is great for whole spices.  I left the spice water to boil for about 7 minutes until the spice flavours had steeped in the water. I measured and needed to add a little more water to reach 1 cup. Next I poured in 1 pint (2 cups) of vinegar. I was running out of my pickling vinegar so I topped it up with cider vinegar. I poured the hot mixture over the eggs and put it in the fridge to cool. They’ll need to be kept in the fridge for a couple of days to let the flavours seep into the eggs. They will probably keep for about a month in the fridge.

Mrs. A. Taylor is another woman who shared many of her recipes for the Galt Cook Book and was one of its editors. She was born Margaret “Maggie” Fisher in Scotland and was the youngest girl in her family. Her brother James was the youngest child and she had about six older brothers and sisters. Her parents Alexander and Georgina brought the family to Canada sometime after 1852 and they settled in Galt Ontario. By the 1861 census Maggie’s father had died and her older brother George was operating a store. Eventually Maggie married another merchant Alfred Taylor and had three children.

I don’t like eggs so I had a tiny taste of one of the hard boiled eggs after it sat in the spiced vinegar for an hour. It was okay — for an egg. If you like eggs and pickles you’ll probably like Mrs. A. Young’s version of Pickled Eggs. I also tasted the liquid by itself. It is not one of those sweet pickling liquids. This is a strong flavoured pickle which can stand up to the sturdy egg. If you like pickled eggs then give this one a try. Remember that this isn’t a method for preserving eggs for long-term storage but rather a way of flavouring them and making hard boiled eggs last a little longer. A quick look at the Canadian Grocer magazines for 1898 reveals that pickled eggs were being sold in stores.

PICKLED EGGS
Mrs. A. Taylor

Boil eggs very hard and remove the shell. Take one teaspoonful each of cinnamon, allspice and mace; put in a little muslin bag in cold water; boil well, and if it boils away add enough to make one-half pint when the spices are taken out; add one pint of strong vinegar; pour over the eggs. If you want them colored put in some beet juice.

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Day 124: Mushroom Sauce for Chicken

I still have lots of chicken left from yesterday’s recipe so I’m going to serve some with a sauce. I’m taking a risk since the recipe for Mushroom Sauce for Chicken comes from the same contributor — Mrs. A. Taylor – as yesterday’s disappointing recipe from The New Galt Cook Book (1898).

I’m using mushrooms I bought at a grocery store that were grown in a greenhouse in Essex County Ontario. I measured the mushrooms to see if I had 1 pint (2 cups). I had just 1 cup so I’m making half the recipe. I got some salt and tried an unfamiliar (at least to me) technique for removing the skin of mushrooms. I wasn’t very successful at creating naked mushrooms but decided to go ahead. I put them in a pot along with half a blade of mace and some nutmeg. This is an interesting combination of spices since mace is the outer coating of nutmeg. Next I weighed butter and found that 3/4 of an ounce is about 1/2 a tablespoon. I rolled the butter in 1/2 teaspoon of flour and added it to the other ingredients. I turned the heat low and added 1/2 pint (1 cup) of cream. Then I turned the heat up until it was boiling. I followed Mrs. Taylor’s instruction to stir continuously. The mushrooms gradually shrunk in size and coloured the cream. I tasted and decided to add a little salt. I’m assuming that if I was more successful at skinning the mushrooms using salt, they would have a bit of a salt on them when they went into the sauce. Once the sauce was boiling and had thickened a bit I removed it from the heat and poured some over my serving of chicken.

souv_pic-r-412Mrs. A. Taylor is Margaret Fisher. Her husband Alfred was born in Scotland in 1846 and came with his parents when he was about seven. According to the 1871 census his family were working in a variety of occupations including as tailors, a carriage trimmer and a store clerk. After the couple were married Alfred is always listed as a merchant. He had a dry goods store called Woods & Taylor in Galt.

At restaurants I sometimes order pasta or chicken in a creamy sauce so this tasted somewhat familiar. The nutmeg and mace are a bit of a surprise flavour but they go well with chicken and mushrooms. I did miss the herbs that sometimes go with this sort of sauce in modern times. The recipe appears in the game section so it would likely work well with wild birds and wild mushrooms if you are confident about your  ability to identify safe fungi. The preparation technique for this recipe is simple so I might try it again. The quantity probably suits the Taylor family. There’s enough to either drizzle over or drench your chicken.

MUSHROOM SAUCE FOR CHICKEN
Mrs. A. Taylor

Rub off the tender skin from a pint of mushrooms with a little salt; put them in a stew-pan with a blade of mace, a little grated nutmeg, an ounce and a half of butter rolled in a teaspoonful of flour and a pint of cream; put on the fire and boil till thick, stirring all the time.

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