"Cwt" probably does not need explaining, but in case it does, a cwt or a
hundred weight is one twentieth of a ton or 112 lbs.
What I'm sure does need explaining is an "ormer". These are shellfish
peculiar to the Channel Islands, still available, but rather rare. I
remember, as a boy, helping my father to collect them and my mother to
prepare them. My job was to beat them with a wooden mallet on the kitchen
step in order to tenderise them. And they are delicious.
Here (especially for Patty who likes recipes!, and for others) is how
Lillie would have prepared them:
"Stewed Ormers, Guernsey method
Soak in salt water for 1/2 hour. Then scrub ormers with a hard bristle
brush. Put in clean water and wash until white. Take them out and beat them
with a wooden rolling pin on a wooden chopping board until they become
tender, but take care not to break them. Then brown the ormers in a frying
pan with butter. They will then look like steak. Next put them in a stew
pan with a large onion, cut up, season with herbs to taste and cover with
thick stock gravy and cook for 8 hours. They should then be as tender as
veal cutlets but far more delicious."
(Source for recipe (I know how Nancy insists on sources!) : Mrs E R Mauger,
manuscript receipt book of dishes and remedies, c 1874).
And here's what an ormer is:
"Haliotis tuberculata, ormer, abalone, sea ear, or mutton fish, a shell
fish collected from beneath rocks only at exceptionally low tides from the
end of October until the latter part of April. 'Tis much bigger than an
oyster, and like them, good either fresh or pickled, but infinitely more
pleasant to the gusto."
(Source (always a source!): News from the Channel, 1673).