BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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Pickles and Perfidious Men – Brighton’s Regency Housekeeper can cope with BOTH

Mrs Finnegan ,the Celebrated Authority in affairs of the HEART and HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT, is proud of her position as HOUSEKEEPER at The Regency Town House in Brighton and Hove, a town rich in art, entertainment and ROYAL connections of multitudinous variety.

Dear Mrs Finnegan

WHAT HAS BECOME of the ladies of today?

I like not this ambition of the fairer sex to equal us in ALL our follies and crimes. They already kill us with the charms nature has given them but now they have passed from KILLING to STEALING.

Some are more anxious to secure our purses than our hearts. 

They desire to steal my bed rather than to make use of it. Those bright eyes that used to enchant me with a single glance now wander over my person in quest of what can be pocketed. 

We men were warned against dimpled chins, polished foreheads and ruby lips. But now swelling bosoms threaten not only our hearts but also our property.
Anon Esquire of Every Corner of the Kingdom

Mrs Finnegan replies

Sir, your references to beds and bosoms make me blush
I can only surmise that you are NO gentlemen and the women of YOUR acquaintance are no ladies.

Yours, still suffering from palpitations,
Mrs Finnegan

PS

Dear friends, you will be AS pleased as I am to KNOW that my mistress, Mrs Hankey, has deigned to SUBSCRIBE to my humble chronicle.

With extreme delight and appropriate self-abnegation, I can tell you that from today SHE is willing to patronise these small inklings with her BENIGN attention.

Mrs Hankey called me to her PARLOUR yesterday and said:

People I know read you and it seems I must too.

Of course, I told her I was unworthy of such an honour and she might not wish to bother…but she was KIND enough to insist.

I will know what you are about, like it or not

she said.

And, of course, I do like it very much.

So I welcome Mrs Hankey and all ladies of QUALITY with a VERY special recipe for my FAMOUS pickles

It is not for piccalilli – this was the only drawing I could find – but in fact plums which are plentiful right now.

To a gallon of white wine vinegar put the FOLLOWING:-

3 pints of mustard,
Mind that your mustard is made as if you were about to eat it with a hefty slice of ham. That is to say it should be pungent enough to linger on the tongue but not sufficiently SHARP as to lance the heart

13 heads of garlic
Do not STINT I beg you!

A good handful of shallots

Another good handful of horseradish
Make sure your hands have NO scratches or open wounds as the pain will bring some discomfort

Three gainers
If you have to ask what that is PERHAPS you are not quite ready for this recipe

Half an ounce of Jamaica pepper

What salt you think fit
You cannot expect me to TELL you everything – there must be space for the EXERCISE of your own skill and ingenuity.

The plums must be gathered before they are QUITE ripe, when they are turning yellow.

They must be cut a little on ONE side to let in the liquor – do not miss this step or all your hard work will be wasted.

Put them in the mixture RAW – this is not a day for boiling or stewing.

Bottle. Store. Enjoy on Christmas day (very good with goose).

You may ALSO do green melons (not so good with goose) or cucumber (so-so with goose) the same way only take out the SEEDS and rub the INSIDES with salt.

There now, don’t you feel fortunate to have such a recipe in your possession.

I EXPECT you will ALL be pickling away until we meet again NEXT Tuesday

APPREHENSIVE that a Tuesday may PASS you by?
FEAR NO MORE. A special messenger service will drive a coach & four to your front door (or use some other means) to let you KNOW when the next episode of The Finnegan Chronicles are READY to read at NO TROUBLE to yourself. All you need do is KNOCK HERE 

4 comments on “Pickles and Perfidious Men – Brighton’s Regency Housekeeper can cope with BOTH

  1. beth
    July 26, 2022

    I love her response to the anon questioner. Bam!

  2. Glen Available
    July 26, 2022

    This is all one right royal crack-up.
    Most especially this…

    “Three gainers. If you have to ask what that is PERHAPS you are not quite ready for this recipe.”

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This entry was posted on July 26, 2022 by in Mrs Finnegen ADVICE from the 1830 and tagged , , .

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