What Shall We Have For Dinner? Catherine Dickens's cookbook is on display!
The Museum has been extremely fortune to acquire a rare copy of What Shall We Have For Dinner? Only four copies are known to have survived and the Museum is very pleased to have this copy on display as part of The Other Dickens: Discovering Catherine exhibition.
This volume is a fascinating collection of meals and menus ('bills of fare') created by Catherine Dickens in the early 1850s under the pen name 'Lady Maria Clutterbuck'. The book's introduction was written by Dickens himself, also under a pen name of 'Sir Charles Coldstream'.
Catherine Dickens was an accomplished entertainer and hostess and this collection of menu plans reflects her broad culinary experiences and talents for catering - anything from 2 guest to 20!
Among Catherine’s menus for two or three persons is a line-up of lobster cutlets, rabbit curry, rice dumpling, mashed & brown potatoes and Italian cream; the last required whipping together cream, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon rind for nearly an hour.
Her menu for 20 includes vegetable soup, turbot with smelts, shrimp sauce, roast saddle of mutton, boiled fowls, tongue, oyster curry, rice, pork cutlets, spinach, mashed and brown potatoes, beetroot salad, cabinet pudding, marmalade tartlets, custards and macaroni.