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|As I said
Written by JulieW
(2/22/2004 4:09 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Dinner enquiry..., penned by Mandy N
It was for a special occasion, so perhaps when Mr darcy and Mr Bingley were invited to dinner,Mrs bennet wold push the boat out and have a very elaborate meal like this,but I think it unlikely,as one has to think of her kitchen and the abilities of the cook and Hill to work to this standard.
I think that even Mrs Bennet at her most extravagant would have a slightly simpler meal than this!We do know that she served vension at that famous meal,as Mr Darcy complimented her upon it!
Eliza Smith in her book The Complete Housewife( which was, I beleive ,the first cookbook to be printed in America) gives simpler bills of fare for winter and summer dinners.
The first course of a winter dinner is as follows;
The second course;
Much simpler,and easier to make in an 18th century kitchen ( thogh testing enough!).
Katherine Windham in her household book- which is a guide to life in a great house based on her running ,as Mistress, Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk in the early part of the 18th century ,complied a list of dishes suitable for first and second course.
She thought the first course should be comprised of soups,large pieces of meat such a joints of beef or vension,either boiled or orasted, fish boiled,stewed or fried, mnce pies,and puddings.Teh second course of small tame and game birds,lamb and kid, vegetables9 peas,artichokes,beans, parsnips,potatoes)pancakes and fritters, omlettes,custards,tarts and cheesecakes,pies, potted meat and some fish( including shellfish)
For the Dessert- preserved fruit,jellies, creams,fresh ruit and nuts,fruit compotes,cheeses,gingerbread and wafers
By the way Hannah Glasse in her book The Art of Cookery 1747, thought taht it would be impertinent to direct a lady how to set out her table,and added that it would not be pretty to see a lady's table set out after the directions of a book.
Frankly I disagree with her,as Elizabeth Raffald's illustration is very fine.I think she was probably considering the cost of employing an engraver , and the effect it would have on her profits...;-0
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