And things to do with flowers.
Take a big eel, clean and wash it two or three times in water, and then once in vinegar. Put it to boil in a saucepan together with two onions scorched on the fire, one or two bay leaves, a sliced carrot, a few pieces of celery and fennel, pepper and salt. Boil for about two hours, then rub liquid and all through a sieve, seeing theat the flesh of the fish passes well through. Put it on the fire, adding a piece of butter and a spoonful of tomato sauce. Serve hot with small pieces of toast.
Take out the kernels of half a pound of pistachio nuts, beat them in a mortar with a spoonful of brandy and put them into a tossing-pan with a pint of cream and the yolks of two eggs finely beaten. Stir it gently over a slow fire till it is thick, but do not let it boil. Put it into a soup plate, and when it is cold, stick some kernels—cut longways—all over it.
MARMALADE OF CARNATIONS
Half a pound of sugar, a cup of water and half a pound of fresh red carnations. Crush in a mortar the tops of the carnations, seeing that you use only the red part. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and boil to a syrup, add the crushed carnations and boil very slowly till they are in a pulp. Stir well and pour into little cups. (This compote is very useful for people of cold temperament.)
From Venus in the Kitchen, by Norman Douglas, 1952, Bloomsbury