Stuff & Nonsense

There-Was-An-Old-Man-Of-Calcutta[1]
Edward Lear -There was an Old Man of Calcutta
Edward Lear is mainly remembered for his limericks and wonderful nonsense poems. However as the following three recipes shows, he also deserves a place in culinary history for his innovative and imaginative dishes, which are best enjoyed with a runcible spoon.

Three Receipts for Domestic Cookery

TO MAKE AN AMBLONGUS PIE

Take 4 pounds (say 4 1/2 pounds) of fresh Amblongusses, and put them in a small pipkin.

Cover them with water and boil them for 8 hours incessantly, after which add 2 pints of new milk, and proceed to boil for 4 hours more.

When you have ascertained that the Amblongusses are quite soft, take them out and place them in a wide pan, taking care to shake them well previously.

Grate some nutmeg over the surface, and cover them carefully with powdered gingerbread, curry-powder, and a sufficient quantity of Cayenne pepper.

Remove the pan into the next room, and place it on the floor. Bring it back again, and let it simmer for three-quarters of an hour. Shake the pan violently till all the Amblongusses have become a pale purple colour.

Then, having prepared a paste, insert the whole carefully, adding at the same time a small pigeon, 2 slices of beef, 4 cauliflowers, and any number of oysters.

Watch patiently till the crust begins to rise, and add a pinch of salt from time to time.

Serve up in a clean dish, and throw the whole out of the window as fast as possible.

TO MAKE CRUMBOBBLIOUS CUTLETS

Procure some strips of beef, and having cut them into the smallest possible slices, proceed to cut them still smaller, eight or perhaps nine times.

When the whole is thus minced, brush it up hastily with a new clothes-brush, and stir round rapidly and capriciously with a salt-spoon or a soup ladel.

Place the whole in a saucepan, and remove it to a sunny place, — say the roof of the house if free from sparrows or other birds, — and leave it there for about a week.

At the end of that time add a little lavender, some oil of almonds, and a few herring-bones; and cover the whole with 4 gallons of clarified crumbobblious sauce, when it will be ready for use.

Cut it into the shape of ordinary cutlets, and serve it up in a clean tablecloth or dinner-napkin.

TO MAKE GOSKY PATTIES

Take a pig, three or four years of age, and tie him by the off-hind leg to a post. Place 5 pounds of currants, 5 of sugar, 2 pecks of peas, 18 roast chestnuts, a candle, and six bushels of turnips, within his reach; if he eats these, constantly provide him with more.

Then, procure some cream, some slices of Cheshire cheese, four quinces of foolscap paper, and a packet of black pins. Work the whole into a paste, and spread it out to dry on a sheet of clean brown waterproof linen.

When the paste is perfectly dry, but not before, proceed to beat the Pig violently, with the handle of a large broom. If he squeals, beat him again.

Visit the paste and beat the pig alternately for some days, and ascertain that if at the end of that period the whole is about to turn into Gosky Patties.

If it does not then, it never will; and in that case the Pig may be let loose, and the whole process may be considered as finished.

Edward Lear 1870

27 thoughts on “Stuff & Nonsense

      1. Yeah I think we have everything we need to live an awesome life but get in our own way by allowing society to what we should do and of course they are always almost wrong and then judge us…guess that’s why the crumbobblious cutlets spoke to me most as I am thinking of all this. Thanks again for the thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. These are delightful (except for violently beating the pig, mind you) Absurd to the extreme but I heard the voice of Julia Child reading these to me. Now I’m off to clear my rooftop of birds so as to set my sauce pan in place. Loved this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, I also think these are delightful. I decided to deadpan the introduction. I love throwing out of the window as soon as possible. Please let me know how the cutlets turn out and don’t forget to serve on a clean table linen or a dinner napkin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, with ‘cake’ in the title it only seems right to occasionally feature a recipe or two. Although one might actually expect ‘deadly’ ones!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love the idea! That actually sounds very interesting. And it would no doubt fit perfectly in the Cakeverse. I’m going to remind you if you forget

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought I would dead pan it. I think they are really funny. Victorian recipes tended to be incredibly elaborate and time-consuming (that’s because the upper crust had an army of servants) this takes it to the nth degree with a poker face.

        Liked by 1 person

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