A Victorian Passage is a delightfully instructional blog. Now that we have a kitchen in our recently remodelled dementia ward, the DT has been busy stocking it with appropriate tools. Because nothing keeps dotty old dames busy like whipping up something in the kitchen.
artwork by Gene Bilbrew
In an extract from The Lady’s New Receipt Book we are told how to beat eggs. “Persons who do not know the right way, complain much of the fatigue of beating eggs, and therefore leave off too soon. There will be no fatigue, if they are beaten with the proper stroke, and with wooden rods. Move only your hand at the wrist, and let the stroke be quick, short, and horizontal.
Then came a rush of patent egg-beaters, and a rush of purchasers as well, whose aching wrists and shoulders pleaded for relief from long hours of incessant ” beating,” ” whipping,” and ” frothing.”
There were wire spoons with wooden handles that broke off, and tin handles that turned the perspiring hand black; wire whirligigs that ran up and down upon a central shaft and spattered the eggs over the face and bust of the operator.
Then, our enterprising merchant overwhelmed us with a double compound back (and forward) action machine that was “warranted to whip up a stiff ‘ meringue in a minute and a half.’”
With it I make the formidable ” snow-custard ” in less than half an hour, with no after tremulousness of nerve or tendon.