These old recipes seem to like using nut-sizes rather than proper measures. This time it's a walnut. The nutmeg this time is a real one.
"To make Buttered Ale. Take a quart of mild Ale, put it into, a sauce-pan, with some cloves, mace, a whole nutmeg, and sugar to your taste; set it over the fire, and let it boil five minutes; then take it off and put in a lump of butter, the size of a walnut, and let it stand to melt; then beat six eggs, leaving out sour whites, in a little cold Ale, and mix it with the warm Ale, and pour it in and out of the sauce-pan, till it is fine and smooth; then set it over the fire and heat it again, till it becomes thick and quite hot.—Send it to table with dry toast.
"The family director; or, Housekeeper's assistant" By Addison Ashburn, 1807, page 79.
Buttered Ale, isn't that a Harry Potter thing.
This next one is very Dickensian:
"Dr. Kitchener's Receipt to make Gruel.—(No. 572.)
Ask those who are to eat it, if they like it thick or thin; if the latter, mix well together by degrees, in a pint basin, one table-spoonful of Oatmeal, with three of cold water;—if the former, use two spoonsful.
Have ready in a Stewpan, a pint of boiling water or milk, —pour this by degrees to the Oatmeal you have mixed,— return it into the Stewpan,—set it on the fire,—and let it boil for five minutes,—stirring it all the time to prevent the Oatmeal from burning at the bottom of the Stewpan,—skins and strain it through a Hair Sieve.
2d. To convert this into Caudle,—add a little Ale,— Wine,—or Brandy,—with Sugar,—and if the Bowels are disordered, a little Nutmeg or Ginger grated.
"The Cook's Oracle" by William Kitchiner, 1827, page 418.
Who would have thought that there was a posh form of gruel? I'll have to serve to the family next year instead of a boring old duck.
"We're having Caudle for christmas dinner this years, kids."
"What's that, dad?"
"A special type of gruel."