I needed to make a quick recipe tonight so I selected another Welsh Rabbit recipe. This one is from Mrs. H. F. Pearson in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. And no rabbits in this one either despite the alternate spelling in the name of the recipe.
I make a 1/2 recipe so I grated medium orange cheddar until I had 4 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) . I added regular white vinegar the mustard, salt and pepper and then the cheese to a small saucepan on medium low heat. I gave it a quick stir and left it to slowly melt. I cut off crusts on two slices of bread and toasted them. Once the cheese mixture was bubbling I put the toast on a plate and poured the cheese over the toasted bread. It looked and smelled appealing. Now for the first bite.
I liked this version better than the previous as it didn’t have the egg flavour. It had a tangy taste from the vinegar but it wasn’t over powering. This is a great snack or part of a meal for any cheese fan but a modern cook could experiment with the kind of cheese, the type of vinegar and perhaps give it an additional kick with some cayenne pepper or other seasoning. Try different breads too. It takes little time to make once the cheese is grated so a modern cook might speed things even more with pre-grated cheese. I think this would be a good one to make with children just learning to use the stove.
think Mrs. H. F. Pearson is Agnes Blair Gibson. She married dentist surgeon Dr. Harry Frederick Pearson in 1887. In the household 1901 census the couple is listed along with their son James age 12 and daughter Dorothy age 10 and a 17-year-old domestic servant Martha. Dr. Pearson’s heritage is listed as English while his wife’s is Scottish. I picture either Martha or Agnes making this for the children or perhaps even Dorothy learning to make Welsh Rabbit. In the 1911 census just Agnes and her daughter are listed. From the Waterloo Region Generations website I learned the date of the couple’s marriage but also the date of Dr. Pearson’s death. Agnes became a widow at 45 in April 1909 — just three years after this cook book was published. Her 53-year-old husband died of what sounds like a stroke. The census reports the two Scots Presbyterian women (mother and daughter) living on Young street. No occupation is listed for either of them so I hope Dr. Pearson had insurance or that they are being supported by young James. Otherwise I imagine their life has taken a dramatic change. ( http://generations.regionofwaterloo.ca/getperson.php?personID=I94402&tree=generations)
Bread, 1/2 pound cheese, teaspoonful mustard, 2 tablespoons table vinegar, salt and pepper, toast slices of bread from which the crusts have been pared, lay on a warm platter; grate the cheese, mix the other ingredienets [sic] with it, boil up once and pour or spread on toast.