WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Rosy Gills

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Rosy Gills

I’m not a preachy person, but no matter your political, religious, or cause-of-the-month persuasion, it’s hard to deny we live in risky times. I’m not going to debate anything, so don’t even waste your time getting revved up, but as of my writing this post, 50.1 million Americans and 120 million earthlings are fully vaccinated against C19.

That makes me smile.

Something else that makes me smile is researching Georgian and Regency fashion, and I started to notice a pattern when virtually strolling through the National Portrait Gallery: rosy cheeks. Such color on the face of my son has always indicated fever, but back in the day it meant the epitome of health, wealth, and general good living.

My favorite discoveries are the final two portraits that I’ll share. The artist reveals an entire story in one captured sitting, with possibly the addition of a deft hand of wry humor?

I hope you can find something that makes you smile this week.

Rosy Gills

One with a sanguine or fresh-coloured countenance.

Not impressed that she’s being painted by Sir Thomas:

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1804, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

Her life reads a bit like a plot from Outlander. You should learn about Flora Macdonald.

Flora Macdonald by Richard Wilson, 1747, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

Lord Sassy Sandwich, if you please.

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich by Joseph Highmore, 1740, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

The set of her mouth is exactly what I’d expect to see on the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Putting up with life one person at a time.

Mary Wolstonecraft by John Opie, circa 1797, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

Bonnie, indeed.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart by Louis Gabriel Blanchet, 1738, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

“You know you want to know what the key is for, dahling.”

Sarah Churchill (née Jenyns (Jennings)), Duchess of Marlborough after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, circa 1702, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

A “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) by Gilbert Stuart, 1787, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

And my favorites…

“Papa, dolly needs a kiss.”

“Must both of us be present at the same time for this portrait?”

Christopher Anstey With His Daughter by William Hoare, circa 1775, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

“Do you have the megrim?”

“I have the husband.”*

*They were actually very happily married, by all accounts.

David Garrick; Eva Maria Garrick (née Veigel) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1772-1773, Primary Collection, National Portrait Gallery UK.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Sugar Sops

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Sugar Sops

Much ado has been made of pandemic baking. According to yesterday’s CBS Sunday Morning here in the States, worldwide vanilla consumption has risen over 300% because of it. Good thing I decided to try my hand at making my own in February this year, although I did choose bourbon rather than vodka as my base. My vanilla has a definite kick body blow to it. My taste-testers have not been complaining, however.

Let’s talk 19th Century baking this week.

Sugar Sops

Toasted bread soked [sic] in ale, sweetened with sugar, and grated nutmeg: it is eaten with cheese.

English Muffins

Mix two pounds of flour with two eggs, two ounces of butter melted in a pint of milk and four or five spoonfuls of yeast; beat it thoroughly, and set it to rise two or three hours. Bake on a hot hearth, in flat cakes. When done on one side turn them.

Mrs. Rundell, A New System of Domestic Cookery, 1806

Sponge Cake

Take a lb of fine flour well dried. Then take a lb of butter and work it very well with your hands till it is soft. Then work into it half a pound of sugar. Then take 12 eggs putting away half the whites, then work them also into your butter and sugar. Then strew your flour into your butter, sugar and eggs, by little and little, till all be in, then strew in 2 oz of caraway seeds. Butter your pan and bake it in a quiet oven, – an hour and a half will bake it.

Martha Lloyd’s Household Book

Hot Cross Buns

To make Hot Cross Buns put two pounds and a half of fine flour into a wooden bowl, and set it before the fire to warm; then add half a pound of sifted sugar, some coriander seed, cinnamon and mace powdered fine; melt half a pound of butter in half a pint of milk; when it is as warm as it can bear the finger, mix with it three table spoonsful of very thick yeast, and a little salt; put it to the flour, mix it to a paste, and make the buns as directed in the above receipt … [for common buns … make it into buns, put them on a tin, set them before the fire for a quarter of an hour, cover over with flannel, then brush them with very warm milk, and bake them of a nice brown in a moderate oven] put a cross on the top, not very deep.

Five Thousand Receipts, Colin MacKenzie, 1825

Jane Austen’s Bread Pudding