The Royal County Arbiter

11 June 2006

Ways of Using Bread

We found this little post-war recipe book while helping my Grandmother move house. Its full title is Over 120 Ways of Using Bread for Tasty and Delightful Dishes, and it cost 6d (old money). Here's the back cover:

Bread Built An Empire - Recipe booklet back cover

Ah, that famous Wild West Great Bread Empire! The dusty road; the covered wagon; the smell of the crust.

A very good point is made in the introduction:

"Of course, we do not live by bread alone. Nobody wants to. Nobody needs to. We could, however, live and thrive on bread and milk, were it not for the monotony."
Over the last few years, I've come to really hate the crushing inevilability of bread. It invokes a kind of midday despair, and reminds me that at its root, life is very boring indeed. This book, then, is both my heaven and hell. Myrtle and I have picked some choice recipes for you to try at home.
BREAD JELLY
¼ pint water, a little sugar, 1 thick slice of bread, 1 egg.
Toast the bread on both sides and remove the crust. Break the toast into small pieces and put into a saucepan with the water. Simmer over the fire until the mixture becomes a jelly. Take it from the fire, and stir in the egg well beaten, sugar to taste, and a little vanilla flavouring if liked.

BREAD CUTLETS
Slices of stale bread, milk, nutmeg, pepper, chopped parsley, herbs, lemon rind, egg and breadcrumbs.
Cut the slices of stale bread into cutlet shapes, about three-quarters of an inch in thickness. Soak them in a little milk on a plate, but do not make them too soft. Mix the chopped parsley, herbs, lemon rind, nutmeg and breadcrumbs. Break the egg on a plate, dip each cutlet in it, then in the prepared breadcrumbs, and drop in deep boiling fat.

TOAST WATER
Cut a slice of bread from a large loaf about ¼ inch thick. Toast it evenly on both sides to a golden brown colour. Cool it, then put into a jug and pour cold water over it. Leave until the water is the colour of sherry, then strain and serve in a glass jug. This is a very refreshing drink in hot weather; it may also be safely given to patients suffering from Influenza and other feverish ailments.

For reasons of space we are unable to reproduce every recipe, but as a kind of blog dessert, you can try to imagine what these dishes from the book might entail:
  • Brown Bread Mist
  • Ham Mould
  • Cold Meat Shape
  • Bread Meringue
  • Brown Bread Ice Cream
  • Rice Toast
Full recipes are available on request. You might like to try this recipe too. Barman, toast water for everyone!

5 Comments:

Blogger pinklefish:

Such pathos!
Perhaps this book is of a time when there were even less vegetarian meal choices than there are now, if that's possible.
How does bread and water turn into jelly? In bygone eras did bread get made with melted pigs hooves?
Toast water is basically carbon tea. I can see how that would be good for stomach upsets but not flu.
I really want to know what "Cold Meat Shape" is. Sounds like Engrish.

10:34 pm  
Blogger Rob:

This is hilarious.. I am definitely going to make toast water first thing in the morning.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Fred:

Reminds me of that horrible ale-bread soup in Babette's Feast...

never understood why bread sauce tastes so good...

I presume there are recipes for bread pudding and bread and butter puddling?

fred

2:06 pm  
Blogger Clare:

Brown bread icecream -- my mother used to make that. It's actually really nice. Sort of nubbly. Good with chocolate sauce.

4:51 pm  
Blogger mig bardsley:

LOL. really, out loud :)

1:25 am  

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