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Cooking with spirit chefs: Coconut soup by Dr. Thomas Allinson

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This week, this examiner is featuring recipes from Dr. Thomas Allinson, a British physician who promoted Hygienic Medicine in the late 1880's. The theory is considered, by some, to be a precursor to the naturalistic medicine theories of today. Dr Allinson created his theory based on his beliefs, and because many medicines in his time period were toxic.

The following is a recipe for coconut soup from his book entitled Dr. Allinson's Cookery Book, which can be viewed at Project Gutenburg.

For informational purposes, "cocoanut" is a Victorian spelling for coconut, "mace" is similar to nutmeg, and "wheatmeal" is a brown flour. "Saltspoonful" is a unit of measure equivalent to 1/4 of a teaspoon. Before 1890, a teaspoon or tablespoon were not units of measurement.

For conversion purposes, use a pinch of ground mace instead of the blades. If you use the blades, take them out after cooking. If you wish, you can also leave out this ingredient entirely.

Cocoanut soup

"2 cocoanuts grated, 2 blades of mace, 1 saltspoonful of cinnamon, 3 pints of water, the juice of a lemon, 2 eggs, 1 oz. of Allinson fine wheatmeal, pepper and salt to taste. Boil the cocoanut in the water, adding the mace, cinnamon, and seasoning. Let it cook gently for an hour; strain the mixture through a sieve, and then return the soup to the saucepan. Make a paste of the eggs, wheatmeal, and lemon juice, add it to the soup and let it boil up before serving; let it simmer for 5 minutes, and serve with a little plain boiled rice."

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