Friday, December 2, 2011

Dinner and a Movie: David Copperfield

To go with David Copperfield, I've made Mulaga-Tawny Soup from the "19th Century England" chapter of Esther B. Aresty's The Delectable Past. It's a very flavorful, a bit spicy and very simple to make. You can even make it several days in advance and reheat, which makes it nice and easy to use up the leftovers! I've served it with buttered and salted white rice, as suggested, and the Green Beans in Tomato Sauce from yesterday.

Mulaga-Tawny Soup
(I'm using Dr. Kitchiner's 1817 spelling.)

1 chicken
1 onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons gingerroot, grated
1 lemon, zest only
1 bay leaf
1 red chili pepper, halved
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
sea salt, to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken by at least 2 inches. I used 5 quarts for my (I believe) 12-quart stock pot. Bring water to a boil then turn down heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Shred chicken and divide between bowls. Strain stock over the chicken.

Serves 8

Adapted from "Mulaga-Tawny Soup" in Dr. William Kitchiner, The Cook's Oracle (1817) qtd in Esther B. Aresty, The Delectable Past (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964), 165 and "Mulligatawny Stew" in ibid., 166.

Print at Food52
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David Copperfield is my favorite Charles Dickens novel. I do really really like Bleak House and Great Expectations, but I love David Copperfield. There's no substitute for actually reading it, but the 1935 film version is a fun way to revisit some of my favorite Dickens characters, as portrayed by some of my favorite actors:

  • Enda May Oliver (Aunt Betsey)
  • Basil Rathbone (Mr. Murdstone)
  • Una O'Connor (Mrs. Gummidge)
  • Lionel Barrymore (Dan Peggotty)
  • W. C. Fields (Micawber)
  • Roland Young (Uriah Heep)
  • Lewis Stone (Mr. Wickfield)
  • Maureen O'Sullivan (Dora)

David Copperfield will be on TCM Monday night at 10:15 CST. It appears as though the DVD is out of print except in a boxed set. The individual DVD is available from Netflix and it looks like the Amazon marketplace has a few copies. I hate when DVDs are out of print!

All David Copperfield images are from Doctor Macro.


  1. Nom nom nom! The soup sounds super delicious!

    Lost in the Haze

  2. Karen @ Lavender and LovageDecember 3, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    My FAVOURITE soup and such an inspiring post as always Lauren!

  3. What a terrific idea! This soup sounds so good too, especially on a cold and rainy day. Your blog is such a treat! And now I'm hungry :)

  4. I love this recipe. This is a must try.

  5. I do love mulaga-tawny soup (haven't seen that spelling before). And you are reminding me that I should read more Charles Dickens. I think I've only read A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist. More to read on these dark winter evenings!

  6. I love winter reading! David Copperfield is such a fun read. I highly recommend it!


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