A Walter Crane Christmas: Legends for Lionel

Walter Crane, Legends for Lionel (London: Cassell, 1887), pages 24-5. Cotsen 11587.

On this unseasonably cold fourth day of Christmas 2017, a peek into Walter Crane’s Legends for Lionel should cheer us up for the New Year that is nearly here.  According to the preface, Crane made these drawings for his son Lionel in spare moments on cold winter evenings so the boy could amuse himself coloring.  A book was quickly filled up and when the manuscript was shown to the publisher Cassell, there was no question that it must be printed up for the delight of children outside the Crane family.  A sentimental favorite, may these selections brighten up the holiday..

With his trusty lamp, Lion begins the holiday hunt on page 6.

Lionel hurries out of the cold into the welcoming house on page 9.

Let the revels begin!

Pages 10 and 11.

Page 12.

Page 13.

Page 14.

Page 15.

Page 16.

Page 17.

The Biggest Sausage in Children’s Literature

Overindulgence doesn’t end with the 12th day of Christmas, it wraps up with the obligatory spread on Super Bowl Sunday.   To usher out the holiday season, we offer up a seasonal story with a recipe.


procession-sausage-hhheatingtogethrtsizeandweight2335477year223344We can’t vouch for the veracity of The Wonderful History of the Great Sausage (New York: James Miller, ca. 1880).  But it seems likely that it was translated from an illustrated German-language children’s book or Die Fliegende Blatter, like Schwind’s “Trials of Sir Winter” featured in the previous post.   And it is our considered opinion that the charcuterie in the story must have been a hard smoked sausage if it required a saw to slice.

A recipe from an extremely tattered 1967 printing of The Joy of Cooking follows, just in case one of our loyal followers will be inspired to substitute a Wunderwurst for Buffalo wings at their spread for Super Bowl XLIX…   The recipe will have to be multiplied many times to produce a 1005-yard sausage weighing eight thousand, eight hundred and eighty eight pound, but maybe someone from the world of competitive sausage making can be enlisted to lend a hand.  This is surely a manageable project in comparison to surpassing the  the longest sausage on record (five miles long but of ordinary girth).

Hard Sausage

Have ready: 2 ½ lbs of peeled potatoes. Cook 12 minutes, drain, and cool overnight covered.

Grind three times: 2 ½ lbs of top round of beef, 2 ½ lbs of lean pork, and 2 ½ lbs of small-diced pork fat.  Mix with 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tsp saltpeter, and 2 teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper.

Grind the cooked potatoes once and add to the meat.  Work together until well mixed.  Put into sausage casing and smoke. After smoking, hang in a cool dry place, about 1 to 2 months to cure.

and-it-was,-pictureThanks to the remote researcher who sent the query that caused us to stumble across this tale and “Sir Winter” (January 30 2014 post) in the Cotsen Collection, both of which seemed too good to keep to ourselves.