Thanksgiving: A Week with Martha Bradley, The British Housewife, Day 3

Still life with Balsam, Apple, and Vegetables by James Peale, c. 1820. (Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)

To accompany our roast, Martha Bradley in her 1756 work The British Housewife: or, the Cook, Housekeeper’s, and Gardiner’s Companion included recipes for stews, savory pies, dinner puddings, soups, sauces, and savory jellies called cullisses. She did not neglect side dishes of vegetables, one of which was the Savoy cabbage:

Forced Savoys
Chuse a Couple of Savoys, such as are large, tender, and quite sound; take off the outside Leave, and clean the rest perfectly well.
Make Half a Pound of good Force-meat, and season it high; fill one of the Savoys with this Force-meat, and tie it up.
Set on a Stewpan with some rich Beef Gravy, season it, put in a Lemon cut in Quarters, and lay in the two Savoys, one with the Force-meat, the other without; cover the Stewpan, set it over a Stove, and let it stew gently till the Savoys are perfectly tender.
Then take them out, and lay them handsomely in a Dish; roll a piece of Butter in Flour and put into the Gravy; thicken it with this, and taste if it be well seasoned; then pour it over the Savoys, and send them up garnished with Lemon.

Apples feature in many of Bradley’s dishes for the month of November, like this one that includes some options for serving:

Sausages and Apples
Cut Half a Dozen fine sound Apples, peeled and cored, into moderately thick Slices, put them into a Pan with Half a Pound of Sausages, and fry them together.
The Apples will be done by that Time the Sausages are, and they will be of a fine Brown.
Warm a Dish, and lay the Sausages in the Middle, with the Apples round them; send up with them a Bason of Gravy, thickened with a Piece of Butter, and with a little Mustard stirred in among it.
The Gravy must not be poured into the Dish, for some prefer the Sausages dry; put it is a great Improvement for those who love it.

Another side dish was described with apples as the main ingredient, but could also make use of other fruits:

Kickshaws
Pare some very good Apples, and cut them into Slices, taking out the Cores.
Roll out some rich Puff Paste, and form it in Moulds, or by Hand, into small Pieces; put in each a Couple of Pieces of Apple, and a little Sugar between them; close the Paste upon them, and send them to the Oven in a small Dish; when they come home lay them handsomely upon a warm Dish, and strew over them some fine Sugar powdered.
These are a Sort of baked Apple Fritters. Some fry them, and that Way they are very good. They make a Kind of Fritter, but they are particular from the Nature of the Crust.
It is not limited to Apples, for in the Season Rasberries may be put into them, or coddled Gooseberries; and at this Season of the year any preserved Fruit may be used, and they will be more rich and agreeable.

Tomorrow: We need some dessert with that!

[Extracts are from Martha Bradley, The British Housewife: or, the Cook, Housekeeper’s, and Gardiner’s Companion (London: undated, 1756 or 1757 2-volume edition originally published as a series of pamphlets); original spellings are preserved.]
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