Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Cookery Class with Isabella Ross, Food Advertising - and Gingerbread- of course

Image BFA 2014

I was hunting for an 'authentic' gingerbread recipe this morning. The first place to look was in our old cook books. The baking is no further ahead but I hope you enjoy these images from one of my favourites. 

In 1900  the Metropolitan Gas Company, Melbourne published 'Cookery Class Recipes'. Mrs Isabella Ross, their celebrity queen of gas powered cooking, wrote the recipes.

Distilled to an essence Mrs Ross' ethos sounds something like this:

Fresh is best. Produce travels from the garden to the chopping board. That's it.
 Work with the seasons - enjoy the bounty of summer and preserve the surplus. Her readers did not expect fresh courgettes or strawberries in winter.
Be prepared - planning ahead reduces waste.
Get creative- with 'left overs', with opportunities to experiment
Prepare your basics in bulk.
Of course you can - have a go. Trying just one new thing can be the basis for a whole new repertoire.

I like that recipe for outside the kitchen as well. The anachronistic part is that the book was peppered with advertisements for instant sauces and food supplements - sound familiar? It became a proven format used throughout the 20th century.

This publication carried an advertisement for Phosphatine and a special selection of recipes using the product at the end of the book. Produced by a Belgian company, Phosphatine contained calcium phosphate - and still does. It is a brand still popular in Europe today as a food supplement and iron rich tonic. It's reputation for offsetting the effects of poor diet made it a staple in many households during the Great War and the Depression years especially. 

Advertisement 1900 Cookery Class Recipes, Isabella Ross

These days the dangers of artificial phosphates to both humans and animals are well known.1 We do, however, have much in common with the Victorian generation. Not only are products like these 'fortified' foods still available today, but most processed and fast food contains at least one synthetic 
phosphate under the 'E' label code.

Failiere's Phosphatine was also supported by sophisticated four-colour print advertising at point of sale,  in posters and stamps published before the Great War. Featuring marionettes and other themes in collectable sets, they point to the sophisticated use of what we often consider 'modern' marketing techniques.

Faliere's Alphabet Advertising from about 1904 - image Wikimedia
On the subject of processed foods this advertisement found near the Savouries section of the book features a brand well known in Australasia. Hutton's products are now part of Heller's group

By the 1920's the brand had taken a different tone, reflecting the 'talkies' influence on popular culture.
Artwork by J Miller, Huttons Promotional Poster

The great expansion of Empire under Queen Victoria forms the background to much of the advertising of this turn of the century period. Here patriotism and loyalty to 'Home' is encouraged in the purchase of pantry staples.

Which brings us back to gingerbread - here is Mrs Ross's recipe

1. Phosphate in Food Published online 2012 Jan 27. doi:  10.3238/arztebl.2012.0049
PMCID: PMC3278747 Phosphate Additives in Food—a Health Risk
Eberhard Ritz, Prof. Dr. med.,*,1 Kai Hahn, Dr. med.,2 Markus Ketteler, Prof. Dr. med.,3 Martin K Kuhlmann, Prof. Dr. med.,4 and Johannes Mann, Prof. Dr. med.5
'One important step would be to inform physicians and the public thoroughly about the potential risks to cardiovascular and renal function arising from dietary phosphate consumption. Phosphate has long been known to elevate the cardiovascular risk in dialysis patients, but analogous effects have only recently been shown in persons with moderately impaired renal function (of whom the number is growing) and even in persons with normal renal function (6, 7, 23). The changing age structure of the population, with ever more elderly people, further deepens the implications of this problem for health policy, as does the high prevalence of “diseases of civilization,” such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary heart disease, that damage the kidneys and accelerate the age-related decline of renal function. The link between phosphate and progressive renal failure was already suspected and investigated in the early 1980s (24, e10).'

Friday, 16 June 2017

Captain Matthew Slattery of Tipperary - Part Two

We talked about Matthew Slattery and his early career in the previous post. Here we take up his story after the war in Northland, New Zealand.

Map of Kawiti's Pah Ruapekapeka 1846 Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 4626

The 58th Regiment returned to Auckland after the final battle at Ruapekapeka on 11 January 1846, where they had met unexpectedly sophisticated trench warfare and significant casualties. The map gives only a sketch but the strong geographical position and layout give some indication of the defences they encountered that day.

In May 1846, Governor George Grey ordered a continent of the 58th to Wellington to act as deterrent in the wake of ongoing land disputes between new settlers and Ngāti Toa. They saw action in the Hutt Valley at Boulcott’s farm but Slattery was back in Auckland by the end of May. He married Mary Anne Pickford in June 1846. 2 It was a short window of opportunity – he was to be on board ship with his regiment at the end of the month, returning to Wellington.

NZ 27 June 1846

The 58th then returned to Paramatta, Sydney where the birth of Slattery’s first child Robert was registered on 17 April 1847. When the Regiment was again called to New Zealand the family returned to Auckland  on HMS Dido, arriving 1 July 1847.3  A second child named Matthew was born. Although his birth entry has not yet been found in NSW or Auckland, his death in 1848 records the age of 12 months. Robert also died later that year, recorded as just under 2 years, at 22 months.  Ann Eliza, the next child, was baptised in Auckland on 6 August 1848.4 (We shall take a closer look at the life and members of this growing family in a later post.)

Matthew was promoted to Corporal on 1 December 1847 and to Colour Sergeant in 1848. He remained with the 58th at Auckland for the next ten years. He was a property owner by 1853 and therefore able to vote in the contentious election of his commanding officer, Col Wynyard, to the position of Civil Superintendent.5 He enjoyed music, being accomplished on the clarinet. In addition to performances with the army band Matthew was active with the Choral Society and other groups. He gave time generously to the Mechanics' Institute as well, taking part in a series of lectures and concerts of British folk music.6

During these years the 58th took part in many public building works, particularly roading projects. Part of the Quartermaster's duties were the management of supplies, stores, ammunition, and property. 1858 was a busy time for Slattery, as regimental affairs were tidied up in preparation for their departure from New Zealand.

NZH 11 June 1858

Several hundred men took discharge in New Zealand at the time the Regiment left for England, but Matthew was only 34 and continued with his career, being promoted to Quarter Master in July 1858

NZH 10 Nov 1858

 His growing family travelled with him to Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight, where he served until 1862 as Quartermaster 5th Depot.

Embarkation list NZH 20 Nov 1858

Matthew’s Indian service began in June 1862 with the 38th Regiment, the 1st Staffordshire. He served with them as Quartermaster stationed in Sealkote, Benares (Varanasi) from 1863. This Northern cultural centre on the Ganges is often referred to as the ‘Athens of India’. It is considered the holiest of the seven sacred cities by Hindu, while holding special significance for all faiths in India. This city was the scene of an atrocious battle between British and Indian forces in the First Indian Rebellion – or War of Independence of 1857- 1858.

Samuel Bourne's image of Benares from across the Ganges c 1870

The outcome of the uprising was an end to the rule of the East India Company, as the British Crown took control. The British Raj was established in 1858 encompassing approximately 3/5th of the continent. Independent states such as Varanasi remained so, as allies of the Crown.

Harts Army List 1868 p 297 detailing Slattery's rank and background. (image NA)

 Pashwur, Bengal is known today as Peshawar, Pakistan. This North West region was Slattery’s posting to the garrison there in 1870. This was an area of long standing conflict between indigenous clans and invadors, not far from the famed Khyber Pass.

Khyber Pass Region map by wikimedia

The 38th returned to England for a spell during 1871 but contingents sailed again at the end of the year, arriving in Bombay by HMS Euphrates on 8 December.7 His family are not recorded as passengers. In the census of 1871 Mary Anne, Fanny (Frances) and Maude are listed attending a ladies college in Lambeth, London. This arrangement was traditional for families of servicemen in India.

 The regiment went back to England again in 1872  but Matthew returned to India in 1873 as Quartermaster with the 7th Royal Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, stationed with them in Poona (now known as Pune), Bombay 8.
Barracks were a little east of the city, in a large European compound. Matthew was accompanied this time by Mary Anne, 3 sons and 3 daughters. They were seasoned travellers by now and were returning to a busy Anglo-Indian centre of both military and administrative personnel. During monsoon season Poona was the centre of Bombay government administration.

In 1876 the Royals moved to Belgaum, Bombay where he remained until he retired on half pay as Honorary Captain on 25 May 1878.

Matthew Slattery is recorded as leaving India for Melbourne, Australia on 24 May 1878, embarking with his family on the P&O steamer SS Assam.9 He returned to New Zealand to live at Northcote, on Auckland's North Shore.
On 1 July 1881 he was listed as retired on full pay and was last mentioned in Hart’s Army List in 1904 as retired. He continued to take an active part in local affairs until his death in September 1904 at the age of 80.

[1] Times 7 Mar 1859 page 10
[2] St Patricks Cathedral Catholic Registers - Marriage: 30 June 1846, Auckland, Matthew Slattery, 58th Regiment, soldier, son of Robert Slattery and Eliza Champion, to Marianne Pykford, from Sommersetshire, England, daughter of Samuelis Picford and Anna Dexter
[3] ref New Zealander 3 July 1847
[4] St Patricks Cathedral Catholic Registers – Baptism: Ann Eliza, daughter of Matthew Slattery, Sergt, 58th Regiment, and Mary Ann Picford, baptised 6 August 1848. Date of birth not given.
[5] DSC 7 July 1853
[6] NZer 8 & 15 August 1857
[7] Times of India 8 Dec 1871 per fibis transcript
[8] Times of India 3 Nov 1873 per fibis transcript Portsmouth to Bombay arrived HMS Serapis 1 Nov      1873
[9] Times of India 25 May 1878 ibid