Author Topic: Forgotten phrases about cooking  (Read 1031 times)

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Online tggzzz

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Forgotten phrases about cooking
« on: August 13, 2022, 07:25:44 pm »
When I was young the everyday meats were beef, lamb and pork. Chicken was a rare treat for a Sunday lunch.

What's forgotten that if you were served chicken, it was quite reasonable to complement your host by telling them it was a "good bird". I doubt anybody has said that in decades, and youngsters couldn't comprehend why you might say it - or might not.

That's probably A Good Thing, but the sameness does preclude being pleasantly surprised.
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Offline abquke

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2022, 07:29:55 pm »
I was reading one of my Grandma's recipes and an instruction was "bake in a moderate oven". That's it.

It was later explained to me that it means "350F for 1 hour".
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2022, 07:45:28 pm »
It was a specific oven in an Aga (or similar) stove.  The 'Baking' oven would be at an intermediate temperature between the roasting and simmering ovens, hence 'moderate'.
https://www.blakeandbull.co.uk/pages/what-each-part-of-your-aga-range-cooker-is-called-and-what-its-for
 

Offline Zenith

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2022, 09:05:36 pm »
As I recall chicken was a luxury, but that tailed off in the 60s with highly tuned factory farming methods, plucking machines and refrigeration, leading to oven ready chickens being a commonplace by the 70s.

The world's become more squeamish. The modern miss will readily devour pheasant in the Normandy style, casseroled with apples, cream and Calvados and served with pomme dauphinoise and carefully steamed vegetables. Should she ask you where it came from, just say "Sainsburys". Do not say, "It went high with the setting sun on it and I had it out of the left. It was hung for three weeks. Could have done with a week longer to bring out the flavour". Just lie and say "Sainsburys". This is "lived experience" as they say these days.

 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2022, 09:21:30 pm »
As I recall chicken was a luxury, but that tailed off in the 60s with highly tuned factory farming methods, plucking machines and refrigeration, leading to oven ready chickens being a commonplace by the 70s.

The world's become more squeamish. The modern miss will readily devour pheasant in the Normandy style, casseroled with apples, cream and Calvados and served with pomme dauphinoise and carefully steamed vegetables. Should she ask you where it came from, just say "Sainsburys". Do not say, "It went high with the setting sun on it and I had it out of the left. It was hung for three weeks. Could have done with a week longer to bring out the flavour". Just lie and say "Sainsburys". This is "lived experience" as they say these days.

Pretty much.

Try getting an unprepared pheasant nowadays; not easy. The traditional technique was to hang a pheasant by its neck, and when the body hit the floor it was ready for eating. That's a little too far gone for my taste, though.

I think everyone should have plucked and drawn a pheasant at least once in their life, so as to have a visceral (ho ho) appreciation of what's what. Ditto cooked and eaten winkles.

The netter at Stolford used to have a Belfast sink full of live eels. Once you had tried to handle one, you knew the origin of the phrase "slippery as an eel". Daughter had great fun doing that quarter of a century ago.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Zenith

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2022, 10:30:00 pm »
When I was young the everyday meats were beef, lamb and pork. Chicken was a rare treat for a Sunday lunch.
You're showing your youth. Mutton was a common meat back until the 70s. Lamb was a seasonal thing then. I was glad that mutton disappeared. The taste wasn't great and the grease stuck to the roof of your mouth. Prince Charles tried to revive it a few years back. Veal was popular at Whitsun and was excellent, but people were put off by the methods of husbandry.

I could never see why horse meat was so disparaged in the UK. I've had it in France and it was excellent and very tender. Here's an expression to keep things on topic, "This steak is like a piece of horse meat", meaning it was tough.

For pheasant, there's too little fat in the meat to roast it successfully. It turns out dry. You can drape it with bacon and put an onion inside it, and it's OKish. Casseroling it is the best, and in that case, you may as well skin it and cut off the wings and legs with secateurs. Casseroled skin isn't up to much and it avoids the work and mess of plucking it.

Duck's a different thing, not that much meat but the skin, properly done, is the best part.

When I was a kid I knew someone with a game cupboard - perforated zinc sides and the birds hung on cup hooks. They liked them properly gamey (rotten) but I don't believe they ever had them dropping off the necks.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2022, 01:42:58 pm »
I do remember mutton, but it was rare mind you, there was little to stop people selling old lamb.

I remember a horse butcher by Kingston-on-Thames market, the triangular road market, not the animal market a little east of there. I've not been able to find a references to it.

Hen pheasant is better than cock pheasant, due to the extra skin fat. Stuffing should be chestnuts with butter. Streaky bacon is traditionally draped over the breast. I'll dig out proper refs when I get home.

I suspect the hitting the floor is a bit of an urban legend, but perhaps not in less fussy days.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online themadhippy

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2022, 03:06:54 pm »
Brawn sarny anybody?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2022, 06:22:36 pm »
Here are some pages from the 1954 classic "Food In England" by Dorothy Hartley. It is an interesting mixture of historical research plus going and talking to people all over the country to see what they actually did.

There are a couple of pages on pheasants, one on muggety pie just for fun, and a couplet that I trot out when I come across people that I think ought to have their concepts jolted.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 06:24:51 pm by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2022, 06:27:43 pm »
Brawn sarny anybody?

I thought you could still buy brawn in Waitrose, but I haven't looked for a long time. I'm not convinced it is the same as "your" brawn.

I have eaten a cows' brain, in a French restaurant, before BSE. To misappropriate a phrase, worth eating but not worth going to eat.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Microdoser

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2022, 10:47:47 am »
Interestingly, chicken, cow, pig, sheep are all English words for the animal, yet we often use derivations of the french words for the animal when we describe the meat, pork, beef, mutton, pullet
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2022, 10:53:15 am »
Interestingly, chicken, cow, pig, sheep are all English words for the animal, yet we often use derivations of the french words for the animal when we describe the meat, pork, beef, mutton, pullet

That can be traced back 954 years, as can many aspects of the current English language.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2022, 11:13:41 am »
"First, catch your rabbit."
 

Offline Zenith

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2022, 11:35:10 am »
"First catch your hare" was supposed to be the first line in the recipe for jugged hare in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.

I've been told that a few times, but I've never checked.

 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2022, 12:23:47 pm »
I doubt anybody has said that in decades, and youngsters couldn't comprehend why you might say it - or might not.
I wonder if many youngsters ever had an entire cooked chicken on their table.
They probably will not recognize it because the chicken they know are fried nuggets. :)
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2022, 01:12:49 pm »
"First catch your hare" was supposed to be the first line in the recipe for jugged hare in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.

I've been told that a few times, but I've never checked.

My father had a decently old Mrs Beeton's, but I haven't been able to find it :(
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Zenith

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2022, 06:59:16 pm »
I doubt anybody has said that in decades, and youngsters couldn't comprehend why you might say it - or might not.
I wonder if many youngsters ever had an entire cooked chicken on their table.
They probably will not recognize it because the chicken they know are fried nuggets. :)

Everything is more detached and processed. Meat mainly comes from the supermarket wrapped in plastic. There aren't that many butchers shops in the UK these days. A lot of people don't like to eat things that look like the creature they were.

I knew a French lady who gave spinning demonstrations at country fairs, dressed in traditional Norman costume. One of the other attractions came with cow, which I recall he sometimes milked by hand. She explained that this was important because most people thought milk was something that came in plastic bottles from supermarkets.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2022, 07:57:14 pm »
A lot of people don't like to eat things that look like the creature they were.
There is this saying that when people should kill themselves the animal they want to eat the meat from, 90% of the world population will become vegetarian.
 

Offline Zenith

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2022, 08:50:57 pm »
A lot of people don't like to eat things that look like the creature they were.
There is this saying that when people should kill themselves the animal they want to eat the meat from, 90% of the world population will become vegetarian.

I think that people would rapidly get used to it. Years ago, before WWI when my grandmother was a kid, her aunts would keep a pig and they'd call in the butcher to slaughter it and cut it up. It was a fairly skilled business and beyond them. The slaughtering of the pig was something of a party.

If you keep pigs with the idea of fattening them for consumption, it's illegal to slaughter them yourself. It's also a mistake to give them names, such as Sarah and Harry.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2022, 07:06:21 am »
A lot of people don't like to eat things that look like the creature they were.
There is this saying that when people should kill themselves the animal they want to eat the meat from, 90% of the world population will become vegetarian.

I think that people would rapidly get used to it. Years ago, before WWI when my grandmother was a kid, her aunts would keep a pig and they'd call in the butcher to slaughter it and cut it up. It was a fairly skilled business and beyond them. The slaughtering of the pig was something of a party.

If you keep pigs with the idea of fattening them for consumption, it's illegal to slaughter them yourself. It's also a mistake to give them names, such as Sarah and Harry.

The phrase "he was lead up the garden path" is from when households typically raised pigs. The pigs would happily go up the path to the kitchen, where they were fed the scraps. Except for the last time.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 07:08:21 am by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Forgotten phrases about cooking
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2022, 06:18:36 pm »
Interestingly, chicken, cow, pig, sheep are all English words for the animal, yet we often use derivations of the french words for the animal when we describe the meat, pork, beef, mutton, pullet

As always with the English language: so many redundant words which do not add much concrete information, but convey some hidden tone, like: "this is now related to food".

For a non-native speaker, it's a lot of work to learn even remotely properly, one Finnish word easily maps into 20 different English words.
 


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