Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pioneer Women's Walking Trail part 4 and end

Today Nicolas and myself set out to complete the last stage of the Pioneer Women's Walking Trail. This stretch is about 7kms long and is primarily descending. 
We started at Measday's Lookout. This was a nice section of wide track covered in gravel.  We chose to walk in the grass next to the path as the gravel can be slippery and harsh on leather soled shoes. 
This section also had amazing forest views and large rocks that are perfect for a rest. The weather has been starting to change and we had a few patches of light rain. 
This was actually pleasant and made for an enjoyable walk. Just up a small hill from a ridge, we came across the most amazing hill top view of the city. 
it was quite windy, but worth it for the view. We stopped here for a picnic lunch. 
Nic had prepared a fabulous repast of pork pie, scotch egg, cheese and dried beef. He had also prepared aerated water in a torpedo bottle. 
We then continued on our way. The remainder of the trail was beautiful and peaceful. We even spotted multiple different varieties of coloured birds.
As we were descending, the path was quickly and enjoyablely traversed. 
We managed to descend the 7kms in 2 hours including our picnic. 

This was our favorite stage and we will definately walk it again.  Next time we may walk it in reverse as a return hike of 14kms. The lack of cars,  bicycles and other modern inventions also increased our enjoyment. We even ended the day with a celebratory drink at the Edinburgh Hotel in Mitcham.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Pioneer Women's Walking Trail part 3

Today was a public holiday for Queen Elizabeth II's birthday. After spending the last two days in bed with a cold,  I decided to make the most of the holiday and good weather before winter fully sets in. We decided to walk the next two stages of the Pioneer Women's Walking Trail. 
We started at Stirling round about and walked the trail to Crafers. This is a very small stage and only took half an hour and is 1.5kms. Most of this stage was along the side of the freeway on a shared bike and pedestrian pathway. 
We stopped at Crafers at Atelier Cafe. The staff there were lovely and we had a very enjoyable meal. This cafe specialises in selling local art and products.
Once we had finished we started on our second section for today from Crafers to Measdays Lookout a distance of 3.5kms one way.  
This section was in the Cleland National Park. The paths were very rocky,  undulating and steep. It was very difficult walking in leather shoes. 
The last part of the trail at the lookout was extremely steep and was very tricky on the return trip when descending.
Once at the lookout there is a lovely stone wall to rest upon and a beautiful view to admire.
It wasn't until the return walk that Amelia  and I really began to struggle as our cold medication wore off. It really helped us to appreciate how hard it was for the pioneer women who had to make this journey to market regularly and did not have the luxury of sick leave.
The second stage is meant to take 1 hour,  but due to our shoes and feeling ill it took us a bit longer. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Salmon Cutlets Recipe, June 1860

This week we had planned to have baked salmon from a late 19th century Beeton's recipe. Monday night, while I was busy trying to focus on marking, grading and report card writing, Nic decided to read my 1860s ladies magazine to help me destress. I asked him to explore the recipes for June, so we could plan the shopping. It turned out the second recipe for June was samon cutlets and we had all the ingredients. This recipe actually uses less ingredients and is quicker with less preparation and cooking time required.  As you can imagine my procrastinating personality jumped at this opportunity.  Soo on to the recipe.

Salmon slices
Salt and pepper 
Kitchen paper
Caper sauce (recomended)
Anchovy sauce (recomended)

Cut the slices 1 inch thick, and season them with pepper and salt;
butter a sheet of white paper, lay each slice on a separate piece, with its ends twisted.
broil gently over a clear fire, and serve with anchovy or caper-sauce.(The top plate had been removed and the pan is directly over the flame)
When higher seasoning is required,  add a few chopped herbs and a little spice. 

This is a very easy and delicious recipe. Next time I would cut them into thinner slices. 
Extra minimal time is required to make the anchovy and caper-sauces. These sauces are very simple and quick to make and definately improve the salmon. 

It is nice to remember that one can cook some historical recipes with minimal planning. 

Caper Sauce (Beeton's) - made by Nic
Butter, capers, caper juice from the jar

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Potage Printanier or Spring Soup Recipe, May 1869

Today we made the second recipe for May 1860 in the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine.
1/2 pint (1cup) of peas, if in season
A little chevril
2 shredded lettuces
2 onions (I halved and thinly sliced these to match the lettuce as there were no directions)
A very small bunch of parsley
2oz (60g) of butter
3 egg yokes
1 pint (2 cups) of water
2 quarts (1.9L) of stock 
(Prepare the vegetables)
Put in a very clean stewpan, the chevril,  lettuces,  onions, parsley, and butter in 1 pint (2 cups) of water,  and let them simmer till tender.
Season with salt and pepper; when done,  strain off the vegetables and put two thirds of the liqour they were boiled in to the stock. 
Beat up the yokes of the eggs with the other third, give it a toss over the fire, and at the moment of serving, 
Add this with the vegetables which you strained off, to the soup. 
Time- 3/4 hour
Serves 8 people

This is a lovely light soup. It is very simple and easy to prepare. I would definitely recommend this soup in spring,  over the more common modern heavy soups. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Pioneer Women's Walking Trail pt 2

Today we were blessed enough to have a child free afternoon, as Amelia had a playdate.  This was the perfect opportunity to walk the next stage of the Pioneer Women's Walking Trail. This stage was 7kms one way. We began in Bridgewater where we stopped for lunch on the first stage. For this walk I squeezed myself into my 1865 skirt with only petticoat supports. There are a lot of blackberries on the path, which are not kind to crinoline sized skirts.  I paired the skirt with a blouse and Spanish jacket as I wanted a more "activewear" look. This was also the first opportunity to wear my new hat.  I am very proud that it was very comfortable and stable on my head. 
We made our way from Bridgewater to Stirling. This was a long stage,  so we only walked one way.  There is a bus that goes past both points making it easy to return to your vehicle.  The bus goes every half an hour.
This stage is beautiful for the first 3kms. Once you leave the mill you walk along a path at the top of an amazing stone wall with a creak at the bottom. 
There is a fairy garden a little further up the trail and then a beautiful uphill walk through a national park. 
After the incline,  there is a decline that skirts past a golf course.  Once you cross the golf course the remainder of the walk is along roads and not as pleasant.  There was a gem of a bridge. 
I'm glad we were able to complete the 7kms of this stage in 2 hours,  but I doubt we will walk the whole distance again.  In future we will probably turn back at the golf course and return top Bridgewater.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Soup a la Julienne May 1860

Soup a la Julienne - May 1860
For my birthday this year,  Nicolas purchased a copy of May 1860 to April 1861 Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine. As you can imagine I was excited to begin reading and cooking now that Nicolas had finished installing my wood oven. 
There was a delay in beginning as I found that I needed to grow some French herbs. The first recipe from May is Soup a la Julienne. This recipe is 160 years old this month. 
To preserve the book,  I transcribed the recipe onto recipe cards. 

1/2 pint or 1 cup of carrot
1/2 pint or 1 cup of turnip
1/4 pint or 1/2 cup of onions
2-3 leeks
1 head of celery
1 lettuce
A little sorrel and chervil
2oz or 57g of butter
2 quarts or 1.9 litres of stock

Cut carrots, turnips, leeks, onion and celery into very thin strips of 1 1/4 inches long or just over 3cms in length.  Be particular they are all the same size, or some will be hard whilst others will be done to a pulp. (Keep the carrot separate.)  Cut the lettuce,  chervil and sorrel into larger pieces.
Fry the carrots in the butter,  and pour the stock boiling to them. When this is done,  add all the other vegetables, and herbs, and stew gently for at least an hour. 
Skim off all the fat, pour the soup over thin slices of bread, cut round about the size of a shilling and serve. 
(mine were a tad larger than my shilling. We also decided to serve our soup on soup plates made by Copland Spode in the Itallian pattern dated from 1816 to 20th century)
Summary- this is a delicious vegetable soup that requires a skillful hand with a knife.  Well worth the effort.