Hannah Glasse recommended this simple recipe as a "pretty Side-dish for a second Course, or a Corner-plate." Each course included an equal number of serving dishes, set on the table at the same time. As food historian Jane Carson wrote: "A balanced arrangement of dishes was of first importance. Featured dishes (such as ham, roast beef, or turkey) occupied the top, bottom, and central positions on the table." Side dishes were also equal in number, lining the table on either side. "Corner-plate(s)" would have been placed exactly where Glasse implied, at the corners of the table.
Glasse recommended serving the dish with toast points. "Toast a Toast as big as you have Occasion for," she instructed, meaning enough for each person. Then, "butter it and lay it in your Dish." Follow her directions to complete the recipe, appropriate today for a brunch or Sunday supper. The content on this recipe was adapted by Culinary Historian Nancy Carter Crump for Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertainment, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon.
21/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 or 4 pieces
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Steam or simmer the asparagus until just tender. Drain well, and season lightly with salt. Cover and set aside to keep warm.
- Whisk the eggs until foamy. Add the cream, and blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring often, until just set.
- To serve, place the toast points on a large platter with the points extending from the sides of the platter. Spoon the eggs over the toast, and arrange the asparagus in the middle of the eggs.
Serves 6 to 8
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