Saturday, June 25, 2022

Strawberries and Cream

In time for Wimbledon... where they still serve Strawberries and Cream... a sketch by Robert Seymour, 1835, with cream pitcher, sugar container with spoon and pottles (cone baskets for strawberries). Pottles are so interesting that I did a blog post with 15 images. HERE
With the huge basket on their heads loaded with pottles, which could weigh over 30 pounds, the street sellers would rush from the fields to sell the strawberries on the street.

STRAWBERRIES and CREAM. recipe. Beeton 1865
"Ingredients. —To every pint of picked strawberries allow 1/3 pint of cream, 2 oz. of finely-pounded sugar. Mode.—Pick the stalks from the fruit, place it on a glass dish, sprinkle over it pounded sugar, and slightly stir the strawberries, that they may all be equally sweetened; pour the cream over the top, and serve. Devonshire cream, when it can be obtained, is exceedingly delicious for this dish; and, if very thick indeed, may be diluted with a little thin cream or milk. Average cost for this quantity, with cream at ls. per pint, ls. Sufficient for 2 persons. Seasonable in June and July."
Mrs. Beeton's Dictionary of every-day cookery. London: 1865

"Among all the extraordinary and fantastic dishes compounded for the palate of Heliogabalus, the Prince of Epicures, that delicious admixture of the animal and the vegetable-Strawberries and Cream-is never mentioned in the pages of the veracious chronicler of his gastronomic feats!

Yes! 'tis a lamentable truth, this smooth, oleaginous, and delicately odorous employment for the silver spoon was unknown. … As palateable as well-timed flattery - As light and filling as the gas of a balloon - As smooth as a courtier - As odorous as the flowers of Jasmin" …
Seymour's humorous sketches, comprising eighty-six caricature etchings. London: 1866. The sketches first published between 1834-36.

Silver and fruit
Fruit knives were silver since the acid in fruit could affect steel ones. Mary Randolph wrote to use a silver spoon to smash peaches for her peach ice cream. HERE

Cream in jug matching sugar holder
"With strawberries and raspberries, cream is sometimes served, in a glass or basin, corresponding to that for the sugar, or in a glass jug."
Instructions in household matters. London: 1844

1850 New York strawberry party
Strawberry parties, washed in milk, whole strawberry fritters 1755, cakes… blog posts HERE



©2022 Patricia Bixler Reber
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