Friday, July 08, 2005

Mrs Beeton Soup

Monica Dickens writes in "One Pair Of Hands" of making soup in a family home and only discovering as she ladled it out that a child had cut pictures fo food out of Mrs Beeton and added it to the dish.

This Is Not That Soup.

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was published in 1861 and has been a success ever since. An updated version was published recently and indeed I believe that it has been constantly updated since original publication but I am talking about the original or at least close to.

When I lived in England, there was an old worn copy of Mrs Beeton on the kitchen shelf. Something which I suspected had been bought more for the antique look than its contents, but I read it avidly as a cookbook. There were some difficulties, as the measurements were in Ye Olde English a lot of the time but the recipes were enchanting - a link to a bygone age.

The first recipe I ever made from the Book of Household Management was a rice and tomato soup. It featured white rice, chopped tomatoes, onion and stock. I don't remember other ingredients but it was simple, delicate and delicious. It was the second rice soup I had ever tasted and instilled a love for that style of soup in me.

Last month I made dinner for the Plumbaby - brown rice, tomato passata, chickpeas and a few other good things. He did not like it. He did not like it the next day either. The third time he simply pursed his lips and looked me in the eye as if to say "Why are you even bothering to bring that stuff near me again". So the leftovers went into the freezer to be eaten by us.

I dug it out a few days ago but when lunchtime came, I was longing for a soup. Something simple, warming and nourishing. I heated the rice dish and boiled the kettle. Water to bowl and it was suddenly soup. It was just what I wanted and it made me remember those days in England and Mrs Beeton.

Thinking of London again now. Best hopes for all. Plum


Post a Comment

<< Home