Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sheep's trotters! Oh, no, not the sheep's trotters!!

From one of a number of articles over the course of the 19th century which served to illuminate for the comfortable middle-class of Auckland what fate befell those inhabitants of the city's slum areas (in this case, the area around Chancery Street) -- comes this piece of rather curious piece of journalism.
"I have only told a very little of what I had to tell. It may be I will yet tell more. In the meantime, after seeing what I did see in my night's adventure, let me earnestly request the readers of this most respectable journal not on any account; not for a fortune; not for any inducement which can be held out to them : not for the love of anything, or the hate of anything — to eat SHEEP'S TROTTERS.

"Don't ask me why ; don't ask me any questions concerning them ; but for the love of everything beautiful in this world, and for the hate and detestation of all that is vile and ugly, I implore — I beseech— l entreat— no one in this city of Auckland to buy or eat sheep's trotters.

"Some day I may breathe my reasons to the world. But not just now — not just now, on any consideration."
(Southern Cross, 19 August 1872)

Posterity is left to wonder what the heck that was all about.

The Southern Cross four years later published a handy recipe for sheep's trotters, so apparently all must have been forgiven between the paper and Auckland's ovines.
"Sheep's Trotters — Clean, scald and skin four trotters, boil them in salted water until the large bone can be easily removed. Next put them in a saucepan with fresh water and salt, and let them boil away till quite tender and glutinous ; pour off the water, leaving just enough to make the sauce, add a piece of butter rolled in flour, a dozen button mushrooms sliced, and some white pepper, then stir in the yolks of two or three eggs beaten up with the juice of half a lemon, and strained. Let the whole simmer away gently until wanted, but on no account boil."
(Southern Cross, 9 September 1876)

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