A little while ago I shared an article I had come across, dating back I would guess to the 1930’s or 40’s, about breakfast, and how it should be ‘a comfortable affair’. It had tips about preparations the night before – and I guess if you have a busy working life and need to dash out first thing anything which saves time is a great idea! there were also tips on actual breakfast as regards soggy toast and cooking bacon so the lean part doesn’t become hard.
Here are some more seventy year old tips on cooking bacon, and also eggs and mushrooms and of course, fried bread!:
Eggs: for boiling, put a large spoonful of salt in the water. This improves the taste and stops the white from flowing out of a possible small crack. For fried eggs do not put the egg into very hot fat or the white will frizzle; baste the eggs gently with fat.
Mushrooms and bacon: do not fry the mushrooms in the bacon fat for this makes them too greasy. It is better to sauter them in butter.
Fried bread: there are two methods of making good fried bread:
1. take a plump piece of bread, dip each side slightly in the bacon fat in the grill and then toast.
2. dip each side quickly into water without allowing the bread to soak. Fry in very hot bacon fat, pressing the middle of the slice down into it, and when the edges become brown, turn the slice over. (The underside will be found to brown very quickly) Again press the middle of the slice down into the fat. Drain on paper.
Some of the best of breakfast dishes include grilled bacon, grilled kidneys, grilled or sautéd mushrooms. eggs fried, poached, scrambled or boiled, kippers, finnan-haddock, kedgeree, fish-cakes, fried savoury drop scones, fresh fruit, baked apples, stewed fruit, orange, grape-fruit, and tomato juice, toast, brown bread, croissants, hot rolls, cereals and porridge.
This all sounds jolly fine to me! I was interested to see, and wondered if it might be a typo, the word ‘sauter’ when we would use ‘sauté’ – ‘sautéd’ is used later but we would spell it ‘sautéed’. These days we might fry our food in oil – although to my mind bacon fat gives a much better flavour for fried bread – and a crisper ‘product’ too! I wonder what grilled kidneys would be like – I think they might be tough as they are such delicate things – I’d prefer to gently fry mine. Finnan haddock, or finnan haddie has largely disappeared as a breakfast item I think apart from in fancy hotels, but it is very nice. I don’t remember ever having drop scones at all as a child except when we went to stay with relatives and my aunty who had Scottish connections would make them – but for tea time not for breakfast. They are, obviously, pretty much the same as American pancakes. lastly I was surprised – although maybe I shouldn’t have been, to see croissants on what was an ordinary breakfast menu. However, thinking about it, ordinary here, was definitely very and probably upper middle class!