Thursday, 5 May 2005

Ave atque vale to all throdkins

Since throdkins first appeared on the internet on April 27th, there has been worldwide interest in this unattractive-sounding dish (oatmeal, bacon and syrup? Oh, for goodness’ sake) and today Google finds about twenty references. In the singular - “throdkin” - there are three others, and one of these, on a Chicago-based culinary chat site, ante-dated my introduction of the word to the net.
That’s enough; I’m bored with this. As Falstaff very nearly said, A plague on your poxy throdkins, I’ll have no more of them.

However, some of the other dishes in danger of extinction which William Black mentioned in his book The Land That Thyme Forgot sound intriguing:
Bawd bree: Scottish hare soup
Blaand: A Shetland drink of lightly fermented buttermilk whey
Cabbieclaw: a Scottish dish of cod with egg sauce and horseradish
Clapshot: Orcadian mashed potato and neeps
Hindle wakes: boiled fowl stuffed with pigs blood and prunes and covered in a lemony butter sauce
Katt pie: from Pembrokeshire, this is made from mutton, sugar and currants
Muggety pie: made with the umbilical cord of a calf
Pan haggerty: a fried mix of potatoes, onions and Lancashire cheese
Seftons: veal custard
Sherwood pot: a Nottinghamshire poacher’s stew containing game, rabbit and sometimes squirrels and other small mammals, cooked in ale.
Shoe horns: eighteenth-century hors d’oeuvres made from anchovies, bread, salted tuna roe, snapdragons and herrings
Umble pie: umble means offal. Nothing to do with humility.

It is possible, I suppose, that some of these are not merely obscure but never actually existed. This is certainly true of one of them; if I get three or more comments guessing correctly which is the one I just invented I promise to give £10 to Save the Children.


Anonymous said...

That list reads like the Monty Python chocolates skit ... "Eel surprise garnished in lark's vomit". (My parents have all the old tapes).

They all sound utterly vile, but I'd have to say the 'Hindle Wakes' are your invention. Buttery lemon sauce sounds rather twentieth century to me.

Great White North Boy

MrVilhauer said...


I hope you made up the Muggety Pie.

I really hope you did.

bonhead said...

Sherwood Pot is the fictional dish.
I don't even recall that Robin Hood was noted to have enjoyed it, but I may be wrong. I'm also hard pressed to imagine how a recipe for "poachers stew", invented--ostensibly--by characters trying to conceal their activities deep in the woods somewhere, could have achieved such currency as to survive down the ages and make it to your list, when so many records of so many activities that are known to have taken place in the open and without concealment, have been lost to fires and floods and takings, and the mists of time, etc.. And you are a hard man, Tony, if you'll withhold that 10 pounds from those children, for want of 2 more votes. I say got 3 votes altogether at least! Save the Children!!!

Tony said...

Of course, they didn't make Sherwood Pot until they got home with their game, so there is no reason why it shouldn't have survived in folk memory.
However, you are right; that is the one I invented. There's no point in trying to persuade me that one correct and two wrong answers are the same as three correct ones, so I feel under no obligation to pay up, and I must make it clear that I am doing so only ex gratia; I am today sending a cheque for 10 pounds sterling to the Save The Children Fund and unless you are a very hard man you will do the decent thing and send them a check for the same amount ($18.27) in celebration of your correct guess.

bonhead said...

Tony, You have a great sense of humor and of fair play, and it's done. I've rounded up to $20.00 US and donated to Save The Children through this website: Thank you, by the way, for figuring the currency exchange rate for me. I could never understand why you Britains carry your money around in pounds of sterling, and have a theory, that it was only the weight of it, as inflation has increased over the years, that actually slowed you British down enough to lose the Empire.