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Cooking with spirit chefs: A recipe from Thomas Allinson

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As one researches the past, the subject of recipes and cooking always arises, no matter what the era. This examiner seems to often have a recipe cross her desk when looking at a particular time period. It's almost as if someone, somewhere, wants to provide a snippet of a moment in time. Today's recipe is from a chef that lived in the late 1800's: Thomas Allinson.

Dr. Allinson was a British physician and dietetic reformer in the 1880's. His theory of Hygienic Medicine involved the promotion of health through diet, exercise, fresh air, and bathing. A vegetarian diet, and the avoidance of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea were primary components of the theory. He also believed in eating “whole grains”, and that smoking caused cancer, which were very radical ideas for his time period.

This recipe is an excerpt from the cookbook The Allinson Vegetarian Cookery Book, by Thomas Allinson., written in 1915. It can be reviewed at Project Gutenburg.

Almond Rice

“1/2 lb. of rice, 2-1/2 pints of milk, 1 oz. of butter, 6 oz. of ground sweet almonds, sugar to taste, 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon, some raspberry jam. Cook the rice, butter, milk, sugar, and almonds until the rice is quite tender, which will take from 40 to 50 minutes; butter a mould, sift the cinnamon over it evenly, pour in the rice, let it get cold, turn out and serve with sauce made of raspberry jam and water. Dip the mould into hot water for 1/2 a minute, if the rice will not turn out easily.”

"Sweet" almonds are also known as regular almonds, the type that can be purchased in the store. Just as a side note, almonds are considered a symbol of promise. In China, the almond is a symbol of both sorrow and beauty. Indian cultures believe that consuming a handful of almonds is good for the brain. Many physicians promote almonds as a nutritious snack. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

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