Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Great gran's cook book - Onion Soup

This cook book was written by my Grandfather's grandmother, Elizabeth Lowe Stewart (nee Watt) and then passed onto my Gran.  It is full of recipes, many of which I have probably tasted and my Dad would definitely have grown up eating.  As we go through the book I'll tell you a little bit more about the author and her family.

The book is written in 16 original sections with others added at later dates.  The ink and handwriting are fairly consistent throughout although some recipes have been altered later or commented on.  At the back of the book snippets from magazines have been pasted in, unfortunately there are no dates included.

Here is the first one from the book, taken from Soups.

Onion Soup
Peel 6 good sized Spanish onions - cut them into slices and fry a pale brown.  Drain off the fat, put them into a saucepan with a quart of water and stew till quite tender, then pass them through a seive and return them to the pan.  Add a cup of sifted breadcrumbs previously soaked in as much sweet milk as they will absorb, season with pepper and salt, boil up at once and serve very hot.  An improvement is to sprinkle a little grated cheese - Parmesan for choice, over the soup just before serving.

As you can see amounts are largely ignored as is a list of ingredients, and I like the fact that no mention is given of adding anything to the pan to fry the onions in but you need to pour off the fat after frying.  If  she was anything like my gran, cooking was second nature, I used to watch my gran make cakes and she didn't weigh anything, she would know by looking whether it was right!

So I hope you come back to see some more recipes from the archive as well as a diary of Canadian travels and some contracts of apprenticeship.

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