Defining Some of those Confusing Cooking Terms

Mrs Beeton must have been a real reference for so many people starting out in the kitchen, needing to understand how to read a recipe, what cuts of meat were called, what tools you should have in your kitchen and what the basic foundation of cooking was to then build their repotoire from.   Some of these terms I have of heard of and others I would guess based on what I thought the final product was supposed to look like.

Here is some of the more foreign terms to me that might help you in reading an older English recipe:

  • To Bard: To place very thinkly cut rashers of fat, green (or plain) bacon on breasts of poultry and game to prevent them from drying up when roasting, the reason being that the legs take longer to cook.
  • To Devil: To rub a highly-flavouried paste – mustard, cayenne pepper etc into the legs of game, poultry etc before grilling.
  • To Dredge: To sprinkle lightly with flour or sugar
  • To Lard: To insert strips of fat bacon into the breasts of poultry , game or into pieces of meat, toprevent them drying up when roasting.
  • To Mask: to cover with a thin layer – of sauce, icing etc
  • To Tammy: To pass sauces or soups through a tammy cloth ( a cloth made of fine wool) to produce a smooth, glossy finish.

Other terms that are more familar for me that I’ve been taught as I’ve spent time in the kitchen include: Baste, Beat, Blanch, Blend, Coat, Cream, Dice, Fold, Dot, Glaze, Grate, Knead, Parboil, Reduce, Rub In, Scald, Score, Sear, Sieve, Sift, Simmer and Steep.

Have you found yourself reaching for the dictionary with any of the recipes in Mrs Beeton’s Book this month?

* all definitions quoted directly from Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery.