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.