Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Banquet Hop with Diane Scott Lewis

A Georgian Repast

In the eighteenth century what food was available depended on the season. In finer homes, several courses would be served, with the tablecloth removed between courses. Dinner had its own ritual. Ladies and gentlemen dressed in fine clothes to impress. The host would proceed to the dining room with the most senior lady on his arm. The host sat at the foot of the table, the hostess at the head. After the senior lady sat, the other guests would choose their seats. Chairs near the hostess were considered places of honor and reserved for the most important guests.

One course could consist of between five to twenty-five dishes: soups or creams, main dishes, side dishes and pastries. Meat dishes were placed in the center of the table; vegetable, fish and custard dishes were never placed in the center. The dinner began when the host served soup to his guests. Each guest took a glass of wine, toasting everyone’s health.

Meals would last for hours, ending with the women departing for a drawing room or parlor, to drink coffee or sweet wine, and the men remaining at the table to discuss serious matters over their port.

Households often made their own libations, including wine.

Receipt for raspberry wine: (raspberries available starting in June, but usually in July)

Take some fine raspberries; bruise them with the back of a spoon; strain through a flannel bag into a stone jar. To each quart of juice, put a pound of double-refined sugar. Stir well, and cover with a cloth. Let it stand for three days, then pour it off clear. To a quart of juice, put two quarts of white wine, bottle it off. It will be fit to drink in a week.

A favorite dessert in this era was the syllabub.

Receipt for Whipt Syllabub: Take a quart of thick cream and a half pint of sack. The juice of oranges or lemons (oranges available most months, probably due to being cultivated in an Orangery). Grate the peel of two lemons; add half a pound of double-refined sugar; pour into a broad earthen pan, and whisk well. Sweeten some red wine or sack, and fill glasses; when the froth from the mixture rises, take it off with a spoon and lay it on a sieve to drain. Then fill your glasses with the whipped froth.

Receipts from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, by Mrs. Glasse, 1796.

Diane Scott Lewis

I'll give away a paperback copy of my historical novel, The False Light, set in England during the French Revolution. The winner of this giveaway is Shelly Hammond!

Hop Participants
  1. Random Bits of Fascination (Maria Grace)
  2. Pillings Writing Corner (David Pilling)
  3. Anna Belfrage
  4. Debra Brown
  5. Lauren Gilbert
  6. Gillian Bagwell
  7. Julie K. Rose
  8. Donna Russo Morin
  9. Regina Jeffers
  10. Shauna Roberts
  11. Tinney S. Heath
  12. Grace Elliot
  13. Diane Scott Lewis
  14. Ginger Myrick
  15. Helen Hollick
  16. Heather Domin
  17. Margaret Skea
  18. Yves Fey
  19. JL Oakley
  20. Shannon Winslow
  21. Evangeline Holland
  22. Cora Lee
  23. Laura Purcell
  24. P. O. Dixon
  25. E.M. Powell
  26. Sharon Lathan
  27. Sally Smith O'Rourke
  28. Allison Bruning
  29. Violet Bedford
  30. Sue Millard
  31. Kim Rendfeld


Vesper Meikle said...

I wonder as a vegetarian how the cooks would have coped with providing so many courses without meat or seafood

meikleblog at gmail dot com

Marsha Lambert said...

Great post! So interesting. Thank you for the chance to win your book.

Helen Hollick said...

I am so enjoying browsing all the contributions to the Banquet Blog Hop - yours included!

Tinney Heath said...

A very interesting post! I'd love to win a copy of your book.

Sharon Lathan said...

I had syllabub once, at a private Regency dinner, and it was delicious. Never tried to make it though. Thanks for the recipe!

Shauna Roberts said...

Being an aristocrat in these times seems so boring. Imagine having so little to do that one sat for hours at meals.

ShaunaRoberts [at] nasw [dot] org

Susan Heim said...

I loved your information on a typical meal. Fascinating! Thanks so much for the giveaway.
Susan Heim
smhparent [at] hotmail [dot] com

Diane Scott Lewis said...

Thanks for all your comments. I enjoyed delving into the 18th c. cookery book for receipts, as they called them then. And use the info in my novels.

Shelly Hammond said...

This was really fun to read. The receipt for whipt syllabub sounds rather good. Not sure I could ever pull off actually making it without messing it up royally, but it does sound good. I like the idea of meals lasting for hours! So much better than the rush, rush that seems to be today.

Thank you for the blog and thank you for the chance to enter the giveaway. Have a wonderful day one and all.

Shelly H

Mer said...

Very interesting! I'm really enjoying all the old recipes, as I love imaging what my favorite characters might have eaten. It's fun to try a modern version to snack on while reading.

Kaci Verdun said...

Great post, glad I found this hop! Thanks again for the great giveaway.
kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com