W9864l Letter to Matt Broman from his associate, Sgt Trafford
May 28 1943
From: Sgd. S.W. Trafford
SWANS AS FOOD
In the issue of The Field for February 20th, 1943, you have an article on the Swan as English Food. For several generations my family has always fattened and eaten their cygnets at Christmas-time, giving some to their friends. I, too, continued that practice until the outbreak of war. I enclose you a printed slip always sent with the cygnet. The actual slip sent is one of the few remaining of some my grandfather had printed, but my father had some printed and I also have had some done. The fitted cygnet is excellent and I personally think it is even better cold than hot.
One method of fattening is to catch the birds up by September 15th, put them in a large pen that has fresh water from the river constantly passing through, and then feed them on oats and the outside leaves of cabbage and celery. They require a lot of green food. I calculate by the time they are killed each cygnet has eaten about one sack of oats. The pen that was in use at my father's time, up to 1912, had not a very good flow of fresh water. I changed the pen, with the result of very much heavier and fatter birds. Formerly 20 to 21 lb. was thought to be a good bird. Just before the war I killed one of 29 1/2 lb. and weights of 35 to 28 lb. were general.
TO ROAST A CYGNET
Take two pounds of rump steak-chop it fine and season it well with spice, and add a slice of butter; then stuff with the above, taking care to sew the bird up carefully, and let it be tied tightly on the spit so that the gravy may not escape. Enclose the breast of the swan in a meat paste. Afterwards cover the whole bird with paper, well greased with butter. A quarter of an hour before it is taken up remove the paper and paste, baste well with butter and flour till it is brown and frothy.
A swan of fifteen pounds weight will require two hours and a quarter roasting, with a fire not too fierce.
To be served up with gravy and red current jelly. The swan is not to be skinned.
Sgd. S.W. Trafford.
1 This article belongs with W9864k (986.1.080.1), which is a letter to Matt Broman from T.B. McQuesten noting this article.
Matt Broman worked very closely with Thomas B. McQuesten on many of his projects in Hamilton and in Niagara. There is a plaque commemorating Matt Broman's work at the RBG near the Thomas B. McQuesten High Level Bridge. There is also a small lookout park named after him on the brow overlooking King's Forest Park in Hamilton. The series of letters beginning with "986" are all part of the Broman collection.
For more information on T.B. McQuesten see his biography.
For other persons mentioned in the letters or for various plants and trees, search by name.
2 This document was originally numbered 986.1.080.2 but has been renumbered for cataloguing purposes.