lördag 23 september 2017

Lördag med Gutenberg

September Edmund, 1915
 Blair Leighton

Min päronskörd är bärgad  tack och lov ville några grannar ha en stor del av den, vilket betyder att allt jag nu har kvar är en skål med ätpäron att frossa i. Inte ens tillräckligt för att prova alla Henriettas päronrecept (inalles fem stycken).
Redan efter förordets första mening, förstod jag att det här är en bok för mig: 
BEFORE dipping into this book very far, reader (pray note that I cozen you with neither “gentle” nor “dear”), allow me to suggest that you familiarize yourself with the spirit of Emerson, who has allowed that the truly consistent person changes his mind whenever occasion offers
Så jag läser vidare i Henrietta Sowles "I Go A-Marketing" från 1900:
Is it necessary, I wonder, to say that this compilation of persiflage and cookery is not intended to be the whole culinary library of any housekeeper? In case it may be believed that I have any such inflated idea of its value, let me say at once that any housekeeper who secures this book, by buying or by borrowing, will want just as many of the old-line “cook-books” at hand as if she had never heard of it. Its mission is a supplementary one. It is for those dark and dreary days when the housekeeper “wants something good,” but cannot say what. It suggests. Therein is all of beauty and use, for “beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know and all ye need to know.”
Furthermore, it is for the housekeeper who knows by experience, or intuition, how to lay a fire, and how to broil a steak. With kindergarten methods it does not deal—it rather takes it for granted that it will fall into the hands of those who have been graduated from kindergarten cookery. Neither does it attempt to set forth the duties of butlers or of housemaids. It goes on the principle rather that the housekeeper who supports these factotums knows what their duties should be. [ix]And is there any necessity for those who cannot attain to such appointments burdening their minds with knowledge never to be used? Think on all these things omitted when you are getting inspiration from this slender source, and be thankful that I have shown so much consideration for you.

Boken har ett kapitel för varje månad och jag skyndar vidare till september.

 “But the fruit that falls without shaking  
Indeed is too mellow for me.”

Går snabbt förbi alla ostronrecept och fördjupar mig i frukten:
Of late years, when the subject of home-made preserves and pickles has been referred to in my hearing, I have been wont to assume a very superior and quite top-lofty air, and to remark in a know-it-all tone of voice: “Oh, life’s too short for me to bother with anything like that; give me the fruits and vegetables and all other edibles that one can buy preserved in tin or glass the year round; they’re better than home-made nine times out of ten, they cost no more in the end, and there’s slight necessity for guesswork when you are to open a can as to the condition of its contents.” Sometimes, if I had a very tractable audience, this would end all discussion for the time being. At others it would fairly set the advocates of domestic preserving by their ears, and then you may be sure they  defended their cause in good earnest. But they never induced me to go in for anything of the sort. Still, I now have on hand a very fair array of jars and bottles and tumblers filled with jellies and jams and pickles, and they are home-made, and they are old-fashioned and I am proud of them. And I’ll tell you how it happened. Out in the country, three weeks or so ago, I was passing a farmhouse where the door opening into the kitchen stood wide open, and through that open door came a fragrant breath that called to mind numberless sweet woodsy smells. There was in it a suggestion of sweet fern, a reminder of bayberry, a hint of sassafras and a distinct likeness of grapevine blossoms. And this divine odor was conjured up, I learned, by the stewing of grapes—wild grapes, of course; the cultivated varieties being quite out of it when it comes to preserving. That settled it. Within twenty-four hours from that time there was issuing from my kitchen an odor of wild grapes a-stewing.
Grapes, Peaches and Quinces in a Niche 
Frans Snyders

Druvor och kvitten kommer inte på fråga  visserligen odlar min granne druvor, men vilda har vi inga i mina trakter, och vad beträffar kvitten så är det bara rosenkvitten som går att odla på mina breddgrader. Och har du försökt att ta dig in i en sådan frukt, så förstår du varför jag låter dem vara kvar på busken. 
Have you ever made a salad of apples and celery? frågar Henrietta, visst har jag det, faktum är att jag gör det rätt ofta, fast jag aldrig har provat det med kapris och oliver. Och inte bryr jag mig om vad min kniv är tillverkad av för material.
Nothing can exceed the joy-giving properties of an apple salad if it be rightly concocted. For myself I prefer that there shall be a judicious mixture of celery with the apple, that the pepper, salt, and oil be added with a sparing hand, and that without fail lemon juice shall be used in place of vinegar. It hardly seems necessary to say, and yet one never knows just what is the proper stopping place in giving advice, that a steel knife must not be allowed to touch the apples, else what might have been and should be a thing of beauty is a damaging blight to an otherwise perfectly appointed table. 
Use sour apples cut into dice-shaped pieces, and cut the celery into half-inch bits. Arrange in the salad dish in this way: A layer of the apple, then a sprinkling of capers; next a layer of the celery, and over this three or four olives cut in thin slices, and so on till the dish is full. Make a dressing of a saltspoonful of salt, a good dash of cayenne pepper, the juice of a lemon, and six tablespoonfuls of olive oil. Pour this over the apples and celery about ten minutes before serving. Be sure that you let the youngsters have all of this salad that they want, for it will be hard to concoct a more wholesome and healthful one.
Visst skulle det vara trevligt att få en krysantem i utbyte mot en god maträtt, men jag kan nog tänka mig att prova "Broiled Tomatoes on Toast" utan några blomsterbaktankar:
Cut some round slices of bread and fry them delicately in butter till they are brown. Slice firm, ripe tomatoes to match the sizes of the bread slices; broil the tomatoes just a wee bit, and then lay a slice on each piece of the French bread. Season them with pepper and salt, scatter grated Parmesan cheese over them, spread them with a layer of fine bread-crumbs moistened with melted butter. Brown in a hot oven and serve piping hot. And if the man o’ the house is the right sort you will get a vote of thanks in the shape of a big bunch of the earliest and brightest chrysanthemums to be found in town.

Chrysanthemums in a Woven Basket, 1906
Paul De Longpre

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