30 April 2009

Dame Edith Sitwell on Cowslip Cream

a young Sitwell photographed by Beaton

in 1952 Dame Edith Sitwell in her "unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish" way that only she could do- gathered old English receipts that used wild flowers.

Here from her A BOOK OF FLOWERS (1952)

Cowslip CREAM

"take the Cowslips when they are green and in Blossom, and bruise them in a mortar, and to a good handful or two so done put a quart of Cream and boil it up gently with them. Put in a blade of Mace, season with fine sugar and Orange-Flower water. Strain it and draw it up with the yolks of two or three Eggs, and clip off the tops of a handful of the Flowers and draw up with it and dish as you please." ~ Joseph Cooper (cook to Charles I) The Art of Cookery, 1654

there's more...

the cowslip

and from Cooper again

"Take two ounces of Syrup of Cowslips, and boil up in your Cream, and season it as before; thicken it with the Yolks of three or four Eggs, and put in two ounces of Candy's Cowslips when you draw it up; dish it in basons and glasses, and strew over some Candy'd Cowslips.

there's more...

from Mrs Mary Eales-confectioner to Queen Anne

CANDY Cowslips or any Flowers or Greens in Bunches~ from The Accomplish'd Lady's Delight, 1719

Steep your Gum Arabic in Water, wet the flowers with it and shake them in a cloth that they may be dry, then dip them in your sifted Sugar, and hang them on a String tied across a chimney that has a Fire in it they must hang two or three days til the Flowers are quite dry.

1 comment:

  1. This may be my favorite post of yours! The Beaton photograph, the quote I'm keeping forever, the beautiful vintage title page and her personal style are all beyond amazing...



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