Two Regency Recipes

Last time, I blogged about an event I’m organizing for my UU church’s “Dining for Dollars” fundraiser–a Jane Austen movie night with period refreshments.

Since then, I’ve made progress on a menu.  It’s a fair-sized crowd (about 20 people) with a variety of dietary needs and preferences. I’m looking mostly for recipes that can be at least partially prepared ahead of time at home, then reheated or finished as necessary at the church hall; otherwise I’ll need to hire some servants to help me!

The dietary issues are something I doubt a Regency hostess would have had to worry about, but I do want to make sure everyone has at least a few items they can eat. There will be both meat and vegetarian items. I’ve also figured out a few dishes that are gluten free and nut free. No one has asked for vegan. Perusing Georgian and Regency recipes, I’m finding that many include eggs and/or butter. I would have been willing to tinker with them if necessary, although I’m not sure how accurate the results would be (not that I’m being a real purist here).

Here are a few recipes I’ve tried out so far.

The first is a “White Fricasey” of chicken and mushrooms (above). I used a recipe for Uppercross Cottage Chicken Fricassee from the Jane Austen Centre website, adapted from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse (first published in 1747). With roasted potatoes and glazed carrots, it made a very nice meal. It should be easy to double and reheated well, so this should work as the main meat entree.

The other recipe I just tried out is “Rout Drop Cakes” from The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye. The recipe is adapted from one in A New System of Domestic Cookery, by Maria Rundell, 1806. These cookies are made with currants and flavored with orange juice, rose water, sherry, and brandy. I could see why they might be good for parties as they are small and not too crumbly. Good finger food, and I love the hint of rose-scent!

Some other recipes I may try out soon are a “Vegetable Pie” for the vegetarian entree, a “Swiss Soup Meagre” from the cookbook of Martha LLoyd (with whom Jane Austen lived in the later part of her life), and a hedgehog cake which I hope will turn out as cute as the examples I’ve seen online.

Do you enjoy trying out period recipes? Any notable successes or amusing failures?

Elena

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother’s Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency.

Her books have won the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club’s award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011.

When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.

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2 Responses to Two Regency Recipes

  1. That White Fricasey looks really yummy, Elena! I still dream of that goulash with dried apricots and mulsum we made at that Roman cookery workshop I went to last year. That was just so delicious! I should definitely try that one at home one of these days.

    • Elena Greene says:

      That goulash sounds delicious! The idea of mixing sweet things in meat dishes is unusual now, but I’ve always liked it. Reminds me I have a recipe for chicken with wine and apricots I haven’t made in a while…

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