J has two volumes of a cookery book published in 1901 that belonged to her grandmother. Fascinating reading – “The past is a foreign country” really takes on meaning looking through this.

So – suggestions for your next dinner party of family meal menu. Three courses, of course:

Fish – Cold salmon with Montpelier Butter
Main – Boiled Rabbit
Dessert – Ice Pudding

How could you resist?


We are not going to give you the recipes, though ask and we shall provide. Suffice it to say that they knew how to feed themselves in those days. Notice how “white” everything is …

Cold salmon with Montpelier Butter

Boil, cool, coat with aspic jelly
Place on fried bread
Garnish with aspic and piped Montpelier butter
Serve with mayonnaise

Montpelier butter? We wondered about that too but apparently it’s still a thing 120 years later. It’s the pink fluff in the illustration – here’s a link: https://www.marthastewart.com/318086/montpelier-butter

Boiled Rabbit

This must be delicious. Boil rabbit in milk, put on dish and pour white sauce over it garnish with croutons of fried bread and lemon slices

Ice Pudding

Basically, it’s a set custard, concocted from 40 chestnuts, milk and a pint of cream, yolk of 8 eggs, sugar and preserved fruits, a glass of Kirsch