Untold lives blog

06 August 2013

Cooking with worm-eaten mushrooms

In a previous post we dipped into a scrapbook belonging to Sir Charles Marsh (1735-1805) to show a programme from the Reading Music Festival of 1787.  Here we are featuring a booklet found in the scrapbook - ‘Receipts on sundry occasions which belonged to Miss Addams’.  There are recipes for potted hare, pickled pigeon, stewed carp, seed cake, gingerbread, currant wine, curry, pilau, 'green peas soop', and lip salve.

Here is Miss Addams’s recipe for ketchup which bears little resemblance to today's tomato variety:

‘Take a Quantity of Large Mushrooms   Peel 'em & cut out all the worm eaten then Break them to Peices with your hands very well in a large Pan & strow a good quantity of Salt all over them & let ‘em stand a night & a day, then put it all into a saucepan, & let it stew gentley about a quarter of an hour then put in 5 or 6 Anchovies   when they are desolved take it of & strain it through a sieve & squeese as much out as you can with the back of a spoon   then put the Liquor into a Sauce-pan with a good quantity of what spice of all sorts you like best & some Rockem bowl & give it a boyl up together & when cold Bottle it & Cork it with Spice & Rockem Bowl in & tye a piece of Bladder over it.  you must be Perticularly careful that Pots sauce-pans & bottles be very dry’.

Ketchup originated from a Chinese sauce named ‘koe-chiap’ or ‘ketsiap’ made from pickled fish. Before tomato ‘catsup’, ‘catchup’ or ketchup became popular there were many different varieties: for example mushroom as favoured by Miss Addams, cucumber or cranberry.

Advertisement for tomato catsup Advertising leaflet 1881  Online Gallery  Noc

If this has inspired you to experiment with some more old recipes, here is one for mango chutney taken from Isabella Mary Beeton’s The book of household management.

Mango chutney recipe
Images Online     Noc

Bon appétit!

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records   Cc-by


Further reading:
IOPP/MSS Eur C426 Sir Charles Marsh's papers
Isabella Mary Beeton, The book of household management (London, 1892)
Reading Music Festival 1787



Thanks to Historical Recipes @historecipes for the suggestion that ‘Rockem Bowl’ is rocambole (wild onion or shallot).

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