Meowy Xmas

Hello! How’s your day going? I am cooking my face off here. I have decided to kick off my year of Victoriananana blog with a giant four-course Victorian Christmas meal, and then I will go to smaller, more informal weekly Victorian suppers. I am making recipes from Mrs. Beeton’s cookbook. I got my first edition facsimile in the mail the other day, reprinted in 1963 and now out-of-print unabridged, I believe. I think the biggest surprise so far was the béchamel I made. I think of béchamel as a bland white sauce made of butter and flour and milk. This recipe calls for heavy whipping cream and arrowroot (I used cornstarch) mixed with a reduction of stock that had fresh herbs steeped in it. I think I like béchamel now. Also, this is a béchamel that Franny can eat–no flour. The tragedy is that it is only being used as a little binding for some croquettes of fowl, so I think I will reheat the rest and serve it alongside the croquettes.

My only misfire here was not being able to secure raw oysters this morning. Every year I’ve lived in this house I’ve zipped into Whole Paycheck on xmas morning and gotten some for fresh shucking. This year I was going to serve oyster patties, but the grocery store was actually closed for once! Good for them.

My sister is coming later for supper and Franny is coming back tomorrow. I will make a brag and say I got a ten-cup food processor and some flannel sheets, and, possibly the best part, CHEESE in my stocking, stilton and taleggio WITH crackers. Xmas in progress here.

6 thoughts on “Meowy Xmas

  1. Yes Xmas Yay! I am a bourdelaise sous chef today — I prep but in this kitchen am not allowed to cook — and that is FINE because the cook (FIL) is so so so talented.

    You must get in touch with Bryony as she is queen of balls-out christmases (or indeed cooking) from centuries that are not this one or or the one before. Has she contacted you yet? If not I will glue you together with the email essence.

    Now wondering how we can lure you down here so you can cook for us WHOOPS so we can hang with you. If we set up big foodie weekend with you as guest of honor? Maybe? Can you tell how much we miss you?

  2. I would love to hang with you, always! I am afraid I would not be up to par, though. Food in SF makes Seattle look like a sad backwater. THERE, I SAID IT.

    But visiting, yes PLZ. Got your book…can’t wait to write about it and to write to you about it.

    ETA: Hi, A. Looks like we were commenting at the same time!

    It turned out shockingly well for my first multiple-course meal. I think this is auspicious for 2010. I will update soon, I hope today. Hope your day was nice.

  3. I made cauliflower gratin (among other things). I make bechamel/cheese sauce/gravy very frequently. I figure people who refer to bechamel as flavorless or bland simply haven’t had a GOOD bechamel. It doesn’t HAVE to be bland any more than scrambled eggs, oatmeal, or bread has to be bland.

    I’m glad you found a tasty and Franny-safe version.

  4. Pingback: The Queens Scullery » Blog Archive » Introduction and Christmas 2009

Comments are closed.