A Cardiff Cookbook

The above image is a cookbook belonging to my great-grandmother. While sorting out my mother’s recipe books a month or two back I came across this particular book. My great-grandmother grew up in the Isles of Scilly and these were some of the recipes she no doubt grew up on. My mother and I went through them together and were surprised by the ingenuity of our ancestors. The way they treated colds alone left us speechless. So I decided I would share some of the recipes my great-grandmother would have followed.

Below is an image of a recipe for Stuffed Heart, still a common dish in many countries.

The next dish is something called “Stewed Sweetbread and White Sauce”. Sweetbread is the thymus (also called throat, gullet or sweetbread) or pancreas (also called stomach, belly or gut sweetbread) of a calf or lamb. Beef or pork is a less commonly used alternative. There are various other ingredients that can be utilized when cooking sweetbread. A few of these include what is called “heart” sweetbreads, these are more spherical in shape, while “throat” sweetbreads are more cylindrical in shape. The parotid gland (cheek or ear) and sublingual gland (tongue or throat) are other ingredients utilized when cooking sweetbread. Below is the recipe my great-grandmother would have followed for her sweetbread.

This dish is called Calf’s Head and is typically served with brain sauce made from the calf’s brains once they have been removed. One of the various recipes involves seasoning the brains with bread crumbs, salt and pepper, accompanied by a glass of Port or Claret to be used as sauce. The Port/Claret that remains can be used in a soup the following day. There are various other recipes online one can follow, but I decided to post the recipe my great-grandmother would have followed.

As the above recipe mentioned Brain Sauce, I thought it only right to post the recipe right underneath it’s corresponding dish. There are many variations of this dish. There are recipes for Brain Sauce and Witch Hair and Baked Devil’s Brain in Blood Sauce, among a host of other variations for this particular dish.

These next two recipes I thought I’d put together as they both have the same main ingredient. Eels are still a fish enjoyed in various countries all across the world including England, Japan, Korea and certain coastal towns villages in Asia.

This last dish is a pudding that is still quite popular as an after dinner dessert in the Southern United States, Tipsy Cake. It is traditionally served in England and several small cakes stacked together. One other variation is stale pound cake or angel baked food cake, fruit jam, one ounce of Whiskey, five ounces of Sherry and warm vanilla pie filling or custard.

These are just a few of the many recipes my mother inherited from my great-grandmother. It’s of particular interest to see how food has changed over the years. Each generation grows up accustomed to eating different foods and consequently find of the foods their grandparents and parents grew up eating, rather horrifying, sometimes downright repulsive and bizarre. I would bet that if they could see what we eat today, they too, would be surprised.

I hope you found these recipes as interesting as I did. Again thank you for your continued support, my avidReaders.

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