In recent weeks Mrs Beauchamp has been discussing accommodation with the girls. She has a small house with six rooms within the park, and has suggested that some of the girls could take it for a very modest rent. The family which had previously occupied it were her cook and one gardener and lately left to go and help their own family who have been stricken with sickness. Until the Hitty family find some remunerative work they will work on preparing the house, and help also up at Tor House. Tor Cottage was built some hundred years ago as a Folly, and has a grand pillared frontage that belies the modest size of its interior.
G is a good cook, and will cook some meals for Mrs Beachamp. Mrs Beauchamp insists on calling G by her full name Georgina Grace, although she has at least been persuaded to keep to the first name. In private, the girls refer to Mrs B!
The house is only a five minute walk from Wren Cottage, so comings and goings will be easy.
It seems to be an ideal solution for the family. Since the sad death of their parents they have spent long months and years apart, travelling with other relations and friends, and now they want to spend time with each other again, and hear all the experiences and stories of the recent past. They also want to get to know each other again a little better, since they have developed different parts of their personalities and new skills with all the new experiences and travels.
To celebrate this decision and the return of Sophia, G made a wonderful supper for Mrs B and the girls. Mrs B kindly obtained a gammon and a bottle of dry white wine.
Boil eight or ten large Spanish onions, in milk and water, change it three times, when they are quite soft, rub them through a hair sieve, cut an old cock in pieces, and boil it for gravy with one blade of mace, strain it, and pour it upon the pulp of the onions, boil it gently with the crumb of an old penny loaf, grated into half a pint of cream; add Chyan pepper and salt to your taste: a few heads of asparagus or sieved spin age, both make it eat well and look very pretty: grate a crust of brown bread round the edge of the dish.
Take off the sword, or what we call the skin, or rind, and lay it in lukewarm water for two or three hours; then lay it in a pan, pour upon it a quart of canary (the wine), and let it steep in it for ten or twelve hours. When you have spitted it, put some sheets of white paper over the fat side, pour the canary in which it was soaked in the dripping pan, and baste it all the time it is roasting; when it is roasted enough pull off the paper, and dredge it well with crumbled bread and parsley shed fine; make the fire brisk, and brown it well. If you eat it hot, garnish it with raspings of bread: if cold, serve it on a clean napkin, and garnish it with parsley for a second course.
Handed with a ragoo of broad beans, and french beans.
Apple Puffs (Codlins)
12oz – 1lb sharp apples. Pare the fruit, and either stew them in a stone jar on a hot hearth, or bake them. When cold, mix the pulp of the apple with sugar and lemon-peel shred fine, taking as little of the apple juice as you can. Bake them in thin paste in a quick oven; a quarter of an hour will do them if small. Orange or quince marmalade, is a great improvement. Cinnamon pounded, or orange-flower water in change.