Marion Harland, on Seasonal Fruit, that Wholesome Dessert

"Fruits, each in its season, are the cheapest, most elegant and wholesome dessert you can offer your family or friends, at luncheon or tea. Pastry and plum-pudding should be prohibited by law, from the beginning of June until the end of September. And in winter, a dish of apples and oranges flanked by one of boiled chestnuts, and another of picked walnut or hickory-nut kernels, will often please John and the bairns better than the rich dessert that cost you a hot hour over the kitchen-range, when Bridget was called away to a cousin's funeral or Daphne was laid up with 'a misery in her head'."

Marion Harland, Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea (1886)

Ah, poor Daphne, with her head full of misery. Maybe a handful of boiled chestnuts and an orange will make her feel better. But no! Those are for John and the bairns. She’ll just have to make do with a pastry or a slice of plum pudding… as long as it’s outside the prohibited months of June to September, of course. Meanwhile, where’s Bridget? Lost another cousin, has she? How many are we up to now, I wonder? Two-dozen? Three? They’ll never amount to anything, those two, if they don’t buck up their ideas. Pass the pickled walnuts and hickory-nut kernels, if you please.

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