Monday, April 2, 2018

Plethora of pudding within 1888 "Cyclopedia of Practical Information"

Five years ago, I did a short post mentioning a handful of the amusing tidbits within What Every One Should Know, a "Cyclopedia of Practical Information" that was compiled by S.H. Burt and published by A.L. Burt in 1888.

(I got the date wrong in that post, too. The content is copyright 1884 and the book was possibly first published in that year, but my battered edition was published in 1888, according to the title page. So please make that adjustment if you're scoring at home.)

For fun, I thought I'd focus today on the plethora of pudding recipes located within the 510-page volume. Because everyone likes a nice pudding, right? Maybe you'll find something here that piques your interest or gives you a future kitchen project.

  • Pudding (Bird's Nest) — to make. — Take six or seven cooking apples, pare them, and remove the cores without breaking the apples. Place them in a pie-dish; next wash thoroughly four heaped teaspoonfuls of sago; mix with sufficient cold water to fill the dish containing the apples, and bake in a moderate oven. Cherries, prunes, etc., may be used instead of apples, or tapioca instead of sago, and, if well made, the the pudding is palatable, wholesome, and inexpensive. To be served with sugar and milk, or cream, if practicable.1
  • Pudding (Cocoanut). — Two quarts rich, tart apples, chopped as for mince-pie; one cup sago, swelled with two cups boiling water; one cup sugar, and one and a half cups desiccated cocoanut; mix intimately and bake one hour in an earthen pudding dish. Serve cold. This is a pudding worthy to grace any occasion when a pudding can be served, and containing no butter or fat, and is not difficult of digestion.
  • Pudding (Christiana). — Put a layer or sliced bread or biscuit, first dipped well in boiling sweet milk, in a baking-dish, then a layer of prune sauce made as for eating, only seeding the prunes, then bread, and so on till the dish is full, bread on top, having sprinkled each layer with a little sugar; pour over this the prune juice and the remainder of the scalded milk. To make it richer, bits of butter may be added to each layer; bake in a moderate oven for three-quarters of an hour to an hour. When cold, turn out in a dish and spread whipped cream on top, or it may be served hot with a sauce or spoonful of whipped cream to each dish. This is a splendid pudding, wholesome and inexpensive.
  • Pudding (Corn). — Grate fifteen ears of sweet corn, scraping off carefully all the milk that may remain on the cob, but do not take the hull with it. Add to this one cup and quarter of white Indian meal, four well-beaten eggs, three spoonfuls of sweet butter, and enough rich milk to make the thin batter; add pepper and salt, and stir in the eggs the last thing, and bake. Stir it several times before it is half done; after that leave it unmolested till done.
  • Pudding (Dandy). — One and one-half pint of milk, four eggs, sugar to taste. Boil the milk and yolks and one teaspoonful of corn starch. Beat the whites to a stiff froth, after the cream is cooked, put it in a dish to cool. Then drop the whites, after sweetening, on the cream. Brown the top a few minutes.
  • Pudding (Marlboro). — Six large apples stewed and strained, a cupful of white sugar, a half cupful of butter, the juice of two lemons, and the grated rind, also a little rose water, and three tablespoonfuls of hot water, one milk biscuit or Boston cracker, rolled fine, six eggs, beaten and stirred in. Line deep plates with a rich crust, have a pretty thick edging, pour in the mixture, and bake.
  • Pudding (King George). — One pint of bread crumbs, half pint of flour, teaspoonful of baking powder, sifted in flour, a little salt, half a pound of raisins, quarter of a pound of currants, quarter of a pound of suet, coffeecupful of milk, one egg; tie tightly in a bag and boil three hours. To be eaten with hard sauce.
  • Pudding (Queen). — One pint of nice fine bread-crumbs, one quart of milk, one cup of sugar, the yolks of four eggs, beaten, the grated rind of a lemon, a piece of butter the size of an egg; bake until done, but not watery; whip the whites of the eggs stiff; beat in a teacupful of sugar, in which has been strained the juice of a lemon; spread over the pudding a layer of jelly; pour the whites of the eggs over this; replace in the oven; bake lightly; to be eaten cold, with cream; if preferred. This is decidedly the best of all puddings.

"You can go to places in the world with pudding. That's funny."

1. Humans are still better than machines. In the version of this book, which "was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online," this is what the Pudding (Bird's Nest) recipe looks like:
Pudding: (Bird's Neat] — to make.— Take nix or «evcn cooking
iipplc!-, puif iliem. *nd remove the ("ten wlilioui breakini; Ihe applet.
Place (hem in a pie-diih; next wash thorounhly four heaped lea>
i.poon[uls of sngo; mix with sufficient cold water lo lill the disJi con-
taining the apples, and bake in a moderate oven. Cherrlci, prunes,
ell-, . may be UNtd instead of apple*, or tapioca Instead of Htgo, and,
if well aade. Ihc pudding It palauble. wholesome, and inexpensive.
To be served with sugar and milk, or cream, if praclicable.


  1. Well, if Mom wasn't a Paul Thomas Anderson fan, then Chris certainly is.

    By the way, in 2007 this was the world's most expensive photograph:

    -- M.F.

    1. Yes, Yours Truly is a major fan of Paul Thomas Anderson. :)