Fish and Seafood Cookery by Booth, 1930

This cookbooklet is the best of retro -- interesting and useful.

It's not always useful, mind you. They claim that it's safe to let seafood thaw on your counter -- and suggest that you thaw your shrimp "on a clean soft towel" -- and I doubt that's a paper towel. Of course that would soak up the unwanted liquid nicely...but I don't like to deal with raw non-vegetarian bits in my laundry.

As often happens, this company offered more varieties of frozen seafood than we often find today, including several types of pike.

They say that in the past fish was only available inland on Fridays, how interesting (to do with religion surely that it was available even then). 

Hmm, it claims that seafood is "the oldest of human foods." Perhaps because archaeologists found a lot of shells and such in ancient settlement sites?

Speaking of archaeology, I see I need to date this booklet, as there's no mention of when it was published. Clues include...
There's an "Eleanor Harvey" maybe who wrote the intro -- I'm not sure I'm reading her signature properly. Any mention of her online?...Not this one, it looks like.
It's by Booth Fisheries -- when were they in business?...Hmm, looks like they were bought by Sara Lee and may still exist.
They claim that "quick frozen" is the "newest and most modern form" of dealing with seafood. That seems to have come about in the early 1920s.
They use not plastic but cellophane in their "modern, sanitary" packaging. However, it seems that waterproof cellophane at least was not available until the late 1920s.

So I'm guessing 1929 or 1930....And duh I just thought -- Look at the professional book sellers, what do they say?! 1930! Good.

One nice-sounding and easy recipe they include, to serve over cooked fish, is their Anchovy Butter, in which you mix melted butter with mustard, mashed anchovies, lemon juice, a bit of sugar, and parsley.

The more things change...

An 1839 editor-publisher-writer in England complained of the same thing some of us (at least I!) complain about in today's food markets, that they carry fewer varieties of many foods, and many are brought from far away:

Ah! what a goodly sight was Holbornhill in "my time." Then there was a comely row of fruit-stalls, skirting the edge of the pavement from opposite the steps of St. Andrew's Church to the corner of Shoe Lane. The fruit stood on tables covered with white cloths, and placed end to end, in one long line. In autumn it was a lovely sight. The pears and apples were neatly piled in [half-]pennyworths. [He describes many varieties.] Such "golden pippins" as were then sold [have gone up much in price], and the true "golden rennet" can only be heard of at great fruiterers. The decrease in the growth of this delightful apple is one of the "signs of the times"! The finest apples...for these they demand and obtain very high prices; but instead of London in general being supplied, as it was formerly, with the best apples, little else is seen except swine feed, or French, or American apples. The importations of this fruit are very large, and under the almost total disappearance of some of our finest sorts, very thankful we are to get inferior ones of foreign growth. Really good English apples are scarcely within the purchase of persons of moderate means.

-- from the entry for July 4 in The Every-Day Book by William Hone

This picture is from later, by the famous Edmund B. Leighton (1852-1922); it's called "An Apple for the Boatman." I'm guessing that apple was grown in England.

I may actually be somewhat current

I read in (well, last month's -- hmm, make that May's since I actually am writing this post a little early) Food and Wine that "re-creating the culinary past is a growing trend worldwide..."

They say it is "inspired in part by star chef Heston Blumenthal, who researches recipes at The British Library and serves them at his restaurant Dinner." They speak of food historian Mariana Kavroulaki who "has produced banquets for The Archaeological Museum of Delphi."

Dinner has a marvelous website! -- where I learned how electricity changed mealtimes! Of course it was easier to have the biggest meal, which had the most prep, when it was daylight in order to work!

I adore how he labels his dishes by their year! A small sample from that site:

Treasury of Good Food Ideas, from the Kraft Kitchens, 1963, 1964, 1965

This is a pretty generally useful older cookbook, especially if one likes cheese! I found it interesting that Kraft in those days offered a wider variety of cheeses, including even more variations on cheddar.

I of course liked that part of this book emphasized culinary history, though at a very light level. It included of course a Mr. Kraft making his first processed cheese, much earlier than I realized -- 1915 -- on a very old-fashioned stove.

There's a free download from MIT! about Kraft's history at .

Speaking of free or not, today's Kraft foods has a magazine I never heard of nor saw, not inexpensive, Kraft Food & Family. Has anyone seen it? I saw it through their official website, .

I also found it interesting that Kraft used to sponsor some TV shows, from which the main part of my copy seems to come; they mention they had visited "weekly...for a great many years" with their readers through "the electronic marvel of television." I see on Wikipedia that they sponsored The Kraft Music Hall (a summer replacement for the Andy Williams Show) from the 1950s to 1970s and Kraft Suspense Theatre in 1963 and 1964.

The copy I have includes a separately numbered section on, surprise, cheese, which was brought out a year later than my main part, and a smaller section also on cheese brought out the next year.

The introduction to the main part of the book mentions that they were planning such sections, this one and also on Salads and on Barbequing. However, I've only been able to find online the sections I already have. Has anyone heard of more actually having been published? I do see another, differently bound edition, though. Perhaps they found it unfeasible to add sections just yearly?

I also found the physical style of the binding interesting -- it has a built-in way to prop it up.

A Fabulous Homemade Ice Cream: Mocha-Lime-Hazelnut

 I combined ideas from the May 2012 Southern Living's Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream and a coating for ice cream in Jamie (Oliver)'s 30-Minute Meals -- and also had to work with the constraint that our grocery store had to close because of a power outage! but I think with a better, definitely less fatty, result!

1 Tbspn lime rind very fine (from 3 organic limes; I love a microplane for this)
about 1/3 cup lime juice (from the same limes)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
a bit over 2 cups whole milk

Freeze in your freezer until it's starting to get very thick -- stir every 30 to 60 min with a fork. Meanwhile whirl in a food processor until getting powdery
a big handful hazelnuts
Then add
a broken-up half big bar of chocolate (about 50g)
and whirl until powdery. Stir in
about 2 tsp ground coffee (I used Starbucks House Blend; if you are not bothered by caffeine you could experiment with more)
Stir the mixture into the lime ice and keep freezing, stirring occasionally, until to the solidity you like.

(This is a re-post from this site's predecessor, surprisingly from the USA -- this weird area gets a lot of power outages.)

This Week's Cookbooks

My menus this week are all inspired by an 1893 source! I had gotten it free at the wonderful -- -- and I loved it so much I wanted it "in person" (my eyes are weird, I'm so much happier with paper copies) -- had a lot of print-on-demand of it, but I've not had great luck with that (it took forever and the printing wasn't great) -- but one book seller, in Massachusetts, had an OK original copy and I grabbed it, and it just arrived. I never check ebay; they very well may have other copies!

My "new" copy is in the back of the picture, complete with clippings that were enclosed, and protected by the paper they ( wrapped it in. Speaking of 1893, I am very impressed by how fun these menus can be -- did you know this old a cookbook would be suggesting one have doughnuts occasionally? I'm not having those myself this week; their menu for this week didn't call for them anyway; but as usual this old cookbook did give ideas for other interesting items I would not have thought of, and reminded me of inexpensive not-necessarily-gourmet-but-delicious vegetables out there. Like many very old cookbooks (I'm thinking 1800s and earlier), however, they have only two "real" meals per day, with supper or similar being more of a snacktime/teatime with lots of sweets! But this particular book has so many ideas it was easy for me to get ideas for both lunch and dinner from their luncheon/dinner menus.

(I see I also caught another older book I got recently that's also out of print I think -- a children's author we used to sell at a bookshop I worked at ages ago, in a beautiful old mansion by a river -- Racey Helps.)