14 January 2008

Rabbit droppings and Fourses cakes

They add interest to any family history; often the ways of our ancestors seem quite bizarre. Did a great great grandfather carrying rabbit droppings around in his pockets to ensure a long, healthy life. That was practiced in the Fen country of East Anglia, and perhaps more widely in Britain.

An article in the Eastern Daily Press quotes Sian Hogarth, a freelance historical interpreter, on this and traditional cures.

"For coughs and colds, it was recommended you take brown paper, smear it with goose fat and stick it under your shirt on your chest. If it was a more serious cough, and you were coughing up blood, they advised crushing rose petals into sugar," she said.

"A preventative measure was to put a dried pig's bladder on your chest, although it is quite difficult to get hold of one these days."

Fourses cake, Norfolk vinegar cake and herring pie are some of the traditional foods mentioned in the article.

Fourses cake was quite widespread treat in Britain, also known as Lardy Cake after one of the main ingredients. With all that satutated fat its a wonder any of us survived to look into our genealogy!

There's a fourses cake recipe here with several other recipes for Suffolk foods linked from the page.

No comments: