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Victuals of Quality

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Category: Desserts, Fruit

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  • *** NON NE *****


At a country auction in Quebec the auctioneer offered a torn straw basket
full of "medicine books". I knew that such books of the 1800s and early
1900s were full of observations on food as well as remedies for the family
and horses. So I made a bid and got the basket and so received 10 times
my money's worth. Among the volumes was an 85-page book with a hard cover
published in Upper Canada in 1901. Its title was Victuals of Quality and it
contained two chapters of unusual ideas. These are my favorites.

For Delicate Fingers: The hostess with delicate taste has an unusual way to
offer a snack with champagne in a moonlit garden. She fills nasturtium
flowers the fresh cream cheese made light by the addition of whipped cream.

Sweet Peach Applesauce: When you next serve a golden, fragrant roast of
pork, serve it with applesauce made sweet with a liqueur glass of port
wine, along with a pinch of sage and cinnamon. Top and beat with a piece of
butter, but never, never add sugar.

Fruit Temptation: Cook enough of the fresh fruit of your choice in a minute
quantity of water, over low heat in a covered saucpan, to make 2 cups of
fruit puree after being put through a sieve. To the fruit add a syrup made
with 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water, the juice of 2 lemons or 2
oranges. Mix well and freeze until mushy.

Pleasant Raspberry: A Canadian trifle of raspberry. Layers of French
macaroons soaked in Spanish sherry with a thick coating of custard on each
layer, and on the custard, sweetened raspberries. A few hours in the cold
room, and you have a most seasonal dessert.

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