Thursday, 30 December 2010


Nobody eats junket any more. I wonder why? This is from the Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932

1/2 pint milk
1 tsp rennet
2 tsps brandy
2 tsps sugar
a little cream
nutmeg and cinnamon

Warm the milk, add the sugar, brandy and pinch of cinnamon, mix in the rennet and pour into a glass dish or into custard cups. Leave until cold, pour a little cream on top and grate with nutmeg.

It turns into a kind of milk jelly. It was a standard dessert that would get dished up every so often. But familiarity never made people like it. (Actually it is rather delicious.) You can buy rennet at Tesco's and Sainsbury's.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Mrs Beeton's Melted Butter

Mrs B's "melted butter" was really more of a butter sauce. (Add chopped capers for fish.)

I. INGREDIENTS - 1/4 lb. of butter, a dessertspoonful of flour, 1 wineglassful of water, salt to taste.
Mode.—Cut the butter up into small pieces, put it in a saucepan, dredge over the flour, and add the water and a seasoning of salt; stir it one way constantly till the whole of the ingredients are melted and thoroughly blended. Let it just boil, when it is ready to serve. If the butter is to be melted with cream, use the same quantity as of water, but omit the flour; keep stirring it, but do not allow it to boil.
Time.—1 minute to simmer.
Average cost for this quantity, 4d.

II. (More Economical.) INGREDIENTS - 2 oz. of butter, 1 dessertspoonful of flour, salt to taste, 1/2 pint of water.
Mode.—Mix the flour and water to a smooth batter, which put into a saucepan. Add the butter and a seasoning of salt, keep stirring one way till all the ingredients are melted and perfectly smooth; let the whole boil for a minute or two, and serve.
Time.—2 minutes to simmer.
Average cost for this quantity, 2d.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Red Cabbage Casserole

from Ration Book Cookery

1 small red cabbbage
a small onion, or chopped spring onion
8 oz apples
1 oz dripping
2 tsp flour
1/2pt water or stock
1/2 bay leaf

Wash and halve the cabbage, remove the centre tough stalk and shred or slice the leaves finely. Chop onion finely and peel and quarter apples. Place cabbage, onion and apples into the melted dripping in a a casserole and saute for a few mins. Stir in flour and add the water or stock. Add the bay leaf, then simmer gently until the cabbage is tender, adding vinegar to taste.

Serve on its own or with sausages. Or fry bacon until crips, chop and add just before serving. These days we'd leave out the flour and add a couple of tablespoons of sugar or honey.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Hannah Glasse's Mince Pies

To make mince-pies the best way.
Original Recipe From Hannah Glasse
The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1740

Take three pounds of suet shred very fine, and chopped as small as possible; two pounds of raisins stoned, and chopped as fine as possible; two pounds of currants nicely picked, washed, rubbed, and dried at the fire; half a hundred of fine pipins, pared, cored and chopped small; half a pound of sugar pounded fine; a quarter an ounce, of mace, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, two large nutmegs, all beat fine; put all together into a great pan, and mix it well together with half a pint of brandy, and half a pint of sack [wine]; put it down close in a stone pot, and it will keep good for four months.

When you make your pies, take a little dish, something bigger than a soup plate, lay a very thin crust all over it, lay a thin layer of meat, and then a thin layer of citron cut very thin, then a layer of mince meat, and a layer of orange-peel cut thin, over that a little meat, squeeze half the juice of a fine Seville orange or lemon, lay on your crust and bake it nicely.*

These pies eat finely cold. If you make them in little patties, mix your meat and sweetmeats accordingly. If you chuse meat in your pies, parboil a neat’s tongue, peel it, and chop the meat as fine as possible, and mix with the rest; or two pounds of the inside of a sirloin of beef boiled. But you must double the quantity of fruit when you use meat.

*Mince-pies must be baked in tin patties, because taking them out, and puff-paste is best for them.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Bread Pudding

This fine old English dish is from the Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932

1/2 lb stale bread
1 oz suet or dripping (or lard)
1/2 oz sugar
1/4 pint milk
1 egg

Soak the bread in cold water, squeeze dry, put a layer in a greased pie-dish, then a little chopped suet and some sugar and a few currants. Repeat this until the dish is nearly full, grate on a little nutmeg, beat the egg, mix with the milk and pour over the bread. Bake for about 3/4 hour.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Potato Rissoles

From The Women's Institute Book of Home Cooking

12 oz smooth mashed potato
1 tsp chopped parsley
2 oz chopped cooked ham
beaten egg

Mix the parsley and ham into the mashed potato. Shape the mixture into balls and flatten slightly.
Coat with egg, then with breadcrumbs. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
Drain on kitchen paper, and serve hot.

I think you could add more parsley than that. Early cook books instructed you to egg and breadcrumb everything twice, but maybe cooks couldn't be bothered.

Polish Broad Beans

From the Women's Institute Book of Home Cooking, c. 1975.

1-1.5 lb broad beans, shelled
water of stock
2 tsps clear honey
1 tsp French mustard
1/4 pint soured cream or yoghourt

Cook beans in a little boiling water or stock until just tender (15-30 mins). Drain.
Mix honey and hustard with the cream/yoghurt and add to the beans.
Stir over low heat until heated through.

They are also delicious drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated cheese.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Khaki Scones

From WWI's The Best Way Book. I don't know what makes them khaki - perhaps the writer was just being patriotic.

Into a basin put six tablespoonfuls of flour, half a teaspoonful of baking soda, and a quarter of a teaspoonful of cream of tartar. Beat all well together with a little buttermilk, then add a large tablespoonful of treacle and beat again, and add more buttermilk if required. Drop onto a hot, greased griddle in teaspoonfuls. Turn when air bubbles burst, and do not let them burn. (Just made them - delicious.)

You could used skimmed milk instead of "buttermilk", which is what's left over when you've made milk into butter. They're what we call drop scones, girdle scones or griddle scones. You could eat them with the lemon sauce from the next recipe.

Lemon Pie

More of a lemon rice mould, really. From The Best Way Book (c. 1914)

Boil rice in milk with sugar. Put it into a basin to get cold.

Put the juice and zest of one lemon, with a little water and sugar, into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and let simmer for two hours so that it turns into syrup.

Turn out the rice mould and pour over the lemon sauce.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Vegetable Balls and Tomato Pancakes

From The Best Way Book, circa 1916. Economic recipes that sound just... delicious.

Boil some rice until soft. Have ready some left-over vegetables, chopped very fine. Now mix rice and vegetables thoroughly. Bind with an egg, form into flat cakes or balls. Fry in boiling fat. This makes a tasty meal.

Tomato Pancakes

Three or four tomatoes
One egg
4 tbsps flour
1/4 pint water
1 cup grated chese
tomato sauce
chopped parsley

Skin and seed the tomatoes, and mash with a fork
Make a batter with flour, egg and water and add the tomatoes
Beat well.
Heat some fat in a frying pan, pour a small cupful of the mixture, frying it until brown on each side.
Put a spoonful of hot tomato sauce in the centre of each pancake and fold over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated cheese.
Serve very hot.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Turnips Boulangere

from Delia Smith's Frugal Food, 1976 (a boulangere is a baker)

2lb small turnips
1 onion, chopped
2 slices streaky bacon, chopped
1/4 pint hot stock
1/4 pint milk
1 oz butter

Preheat oven to 350F

Peel and slice turnips thinly. Arrange the ingredients in a casserole or baking dish (generously buttered), as follows:

a layer of sliced turnips
a sprinkling of onion and black pepper

Repeat until you've used up all the turnips and onions.

Pour in milk and stock, dot the surface with butter. Sprinkle chopped bacon over the top and cover with a sheet of buttered foil. Bake in the top half of the oven for an hour. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.

So why "boulangere"? In the olden days when most people didn't have ovens you'd have had to take a dish like this to the baker's.

Cake or Pudding

From Ration Book Cookery.

12 oz hot mashed potatoes
flour to bind
4-6oz dripping, lard, suet or mixture
3 oz sultanas or other dried fruit
2 oz sugar

Mix the potatoes with a little flour to bind. Work in the fat, sultanas, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Add more flour to make a fairly stiff dough.

Put the mixture in a greased shallow tin and bake in a slow oven until crisp and brown. Serve hot for tea or with custard for lunch.

(You could probably add double the amount of sugar.)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Peanut Salad

From Ration Book Cookery

1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp mashed potato
1 tbsp chopped onion
sliced beetroot or tomato
lettuce leaves
salad dressing
grated cheese or chopped ham

Put peanut butter, potato and onion in a bowl. Beat well together, then form into small balls. Mount each on a slice of beetroot or tomato. Arrange lettuce leaves in a bowl and place mounted peanut balls on them. Serve the salad dressing separately and a dish of grated cheese or thinly sliced chopped ham.

Sunset Salad
Grate orange peel, and mix into hot mashed potato. Whip with a little vinaigrette or mayonnaise and include a little finely chopped celery or spring onion. Pile onto a bed of grated cabbage or torn lettuce and decorate with a few sprigs of celery.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Pear, Prune and Ham Risotto

From the Women's Institute Book of Home Cooking
The Women's Institute used to give cooking demos. Perhaps they'll bring them back now the BBC has axed Ready, Steady Cook.

8 oz brown rice
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 pint stock
1/4 pint white wine
1/2 tsp basil
1 eating pear
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 red or green papper, deseeded and diced
8 oz cooked ham, cubed
2 oz prunes, chopped
pepper rings to garnish

In a heavy pan, fry the rice and onion until the rice begins to brown. Allow to cool slightly and add the stock, wine and basil. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is soft.
Cut up the pear and toss in the lemon juice. Mix with the diced pepper. When the rice is cooked, add the ham, pear, pepper and prunes and heat through, stirring all the time.
Serve hot or cold.

You could leave out the peppers. But it would still be pretty nasty!

Poor Knights of Windsor

From the Women's Institute Book of Home Cooking, 1984

A sliced loaf of bread
1/4 pint milk
2 oz caster sugar
1 egg
butter and cooking oil

Cut the bread into 2in wide fingers. Warm the milk and sweeten to taste. Beat the egg. Soak the fingers in the milk. Drain. Dip in the beaten egg. Fry in sizzling butter and oil (the oil stops the butter burning).
Serve piping hot with melted golden syrup or warmed jam.

Rich Knights (Swedish variation)
As above, but dipped the egged fingers ino chopped almonds and sugar. Serve with cream.

Peasant Girl in a Veil

From the Women's Institute Book of Home Cooking, 1984

2 lb ripe Victoria plums
4 oz granulated sugar
6 oz butter
1 oz caster sugar
6 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg white
1/4 pint whipping cream

heat the oven to 180C/350F.
Slit the sides of the plums and take out the stones. Fill each cavity with a teaspoon of granulated sugar and a knob of butter. Arrange the fruit, cut side up, in an ovenproof dish. Cover with caster sugar according to taste and cook for 30 minutes. Leave to cool.
Fry the crumbs lightly in the remaining butter and sprinkle over the plums. Whisk the egg white until stiff and lightly whisk the cream. Fold the two together and spoon over the plums.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Salmon and Almond Casserole

From Try It You'll Like It, 1983

Flake and mash 1 can salmon
Add 1 cup cooked rice and 1 chopped fried onion
Dilute 1 can cream of mushroom soup with 1 can milk
Add to salmon and rice mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 of a packet of potato crisps in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add 1/3 to fish mixture and put in casserole. Cover with remaining crisps. Top with 1/2 cup halved blanched almonds (or flaked and toasted). Bake at 375F for 45 minutes.

You could leave out the crisps! You can toast flaked almonds by tossing them in a heavy bottomed frying pan for about two minutes (keep stirring).

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

How to Cook Rice

My mother was taught how to cook rice by a Chinese man. This is his method.

One cup rice

Two cups water (or 2 1/2 for brown rice)

Bring to the boil and boil for a minute, stirring. Cover almost completely (leave a crack for the steam to escape). Turn the heat down as low as possible, and leave. White basmati rice takes 5 mins, brown rice takes longer. When the water's all been absorbed, and there are little dents in the top of the rice, it's done.

Halloween Pumpkin Soup

or Potage Andalouse
From The Constance Spry Cookery Book, 1956

2 lb pumpkin
6 oz potatoes
4 oz onions
1/2 lb tomatoes
2 pints water
1 1/2 oz rice
1/2 oz butter
1/2 gill cream (about a coffee-cup)

Peel and cut up pumpkin, potatoes, onions and chop the tomatoes. Put them into a (large) saucepan with 2 pints water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, about 20 mins. While the veg is cooking, cook the rice.

Put the cooked veg through a fine sieve (or whizz in a food processor), return to the pan and reheat. Add the rice, the butter and the cream. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

How to Cook the Rice
One cup rice

Two cups water (or 2 1/2 for brown rice)

Bring to the boil and boil for a minute, stirring. Cover almost completely (leave a crack for the steam to escape). Turn the heat down as low as possible, and leave. White basmati rice takes 5 mins, brown rice takes longer. When the water's all been absorbed, and there are little dents in the top of the rice, it's done.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sausages en Surprise, Trench Meat Pudding and so on

From Bombers and Mash, by Raynes Minns

Grill some sausages, let cool, and skin them.
Beat an egg into some mashed potato.
Wrap each sausage in the potato puree.
Egg and breadcrumb them and fry.

Sausage Pancakes
1lb small sausages
4oz flour
1/2 pint milk
1/2 oz custard powder (or an egg)
salt and pepper

Combine the flour and custard powder and mix to a smooth batter with the milk. Beat well for about 5 minutes, stir in the rest of the milk, set aside. Fry the sausages until golden brown, remove from the pan. Pour off the fat, leaving just enough in the pan to fry a pancake. When browned on both sides, roll up with a sausage inside and lay on a hot dish. Serve very hot with fried tomatoes.

Corned Beef Hash
One can mix corned beef, cooked potatoes, puree of tomatoes, cover the mixture with browned crumbs and bits of margarine, and bake int he oven. Fresh hot chutney is good with this.

Trench Meat Pudding
1/2lb steak
2oz shredded suet
2 cups oatmeal
2 small peeled onions
cold water as required

Chop steak and onions finely. Mix with suet and oatmeal. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix to a thick dough with cold water. Three-quarters fill a greased pudding basin. Cover with greased paper. Tie down securely. Steam for 3.5 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and brown gravy. (You could bake this in the oven instead of steaming it.)

To make gravy, melt 1oz beef dripping or margarine. Stir in 1/2 oz flour, then 1/2 pint stock. Stir until smooth and boiling.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

War-time Mayonnaise

From Bombers and Mash by Raynes Minns

1 tbsp custard powder (or flour)
2 tbsp milk powder
1 oz margarine
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 pint boiling water
Mix together the custard powder (flour), milk powder, mustard, pepper and salt. Warm the margarine, and blend it smoothly with the dry ingredients until soft and creamy. Gradually stir in the boiling water, then put it into a saucepan. Bring very slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. Cook until the sauce is smooth and thick. When it is cool, beat in the vinegar. (I think I'd use flour rather than custard powder.)

What to Do with Leftover Porridge
Mix with breadcrumbs and form into cakes. Fry and serve with bacon.

Or you can always turn it into:

Porridge Fingers
Pour leftover porridge into a square plastic food saver and put in the fridge. Next day, turn it out, cut it into fingers, and fry. Eat with lemon juice and caster sugar. Delicious!

Bombers and Mash: The Domestic Front, 1939-45

Friday, 15 October 2010

Creamed Mushrooms with Spaghetti

From Vegetarian Snacks and Starters, Janet Hunt (1984 - co-published with the Vegetarian Society)

8 oz wholewheat spaghetti
4 cups mushrooms
2.5 tbsp polyunsaturated margarine or butter
1/3 cupful sour cream
squeeze of lemon juice
2 tsp chopped chives

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Cook for 10-12 mins until just tender.

Clean and trim the mushrooms and cut into small pieces. Melt the fat in a pan and saute the mushrooms for about 5 mins, sitrring frequently.

Pour in the sour cream and lemon juice and season generously. Continue cooking very gently for a few mins more - take care the mixture does not boil.

Drain the spaghetti and serve at once topped with the mushroom mixture and a sprinkling of chopped chives.

We were very keen on "polyunsaturated" margarine in the 80s. Can't remember why. And I wonder if the Vegetarian Society is still going? Or if anyone still eats wholewheat spaghetti?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Fish and Leek Pudding

From Kitchen Goes to War, a collection of recipes by "big names", quoted in Bombers and Mash, by Raynes Minns. (Her other book is We'll Eat Again.)

3/4lb flour
1 tsp baking powder
6oz chopped suet
2 thick slices of cod or other white fish
4 or 5 leeks

Line a 7-inch pudding basin with a light suet paste. for this mix the flour, the chopped suet and a little salt into a stiffish paste with water. Wash, trim and cut into cubes the fish. Cut the leeks into 2 inch pieces. Place fish and vegetables, well seasoned with salt and pepper, into the lined basin. Fill up with cold water. Cover with suet paste. Tie up securely with a pudding cloth and steam or boil two and a half or three hours.

Many wartime recipes involved "boiling or steaming for three hours" - odd when the nation was desperately trying to save fuel. Nobody in the UK boils suet puddings any more, though you can still get dried suet in packets, and you can buy ready-made puddings in tins. Boiled puddings made sense if you had a stove that was on all the time (an Aga or Rayburn), or if your only source of heat was an open fire (you cooked in a cauldron suspended over it).

The wartime housewife could have made a quick fish pie with these ingredients: make a white sauce, add the chopped fish and leeks, put in a pie dish, cover with pastry or a layer of mashed potato, cook in a hot oven for half an hour.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Petites Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

This is from Vegetarian Snacks and Starters, by Janet Hunt (1984). She gives Imperial, Metric and American measurements (I wish everybody would do that).

2/3 cup water
1/4 cup margarine or butter
pinch dry mustard
3/4 cup wholewheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Gruyere

Heat the water in a saucepan, add the fat and bring to the boil.

Remove from heat and add all the flour at once, using a wooden spoon to stir.

Return to heat and continue cooking very gently, stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

Off the heat make a well in the centre and add the eggs, beating thoroughly until the dough is smooth and glossy. Stir in the cheese.

Spoon 12 small balls of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400F/200C for 20-30 minutes or until puffed-up and crisp. Pierce sides and return to the oven (leaving door open) for 5 or 10 mins more.

Eat hot, or filled with any vegetable mixture.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

How to Seduce Your Wife

More from the Seducer's Cookbook (1964)

Pate of chicken livers and pistachio nuts on Melba toast
Celery stuffed with Camembert

Caviar omelette with sour cream and dill
Hot croissants
salad of raw spinach with onion rings

Pears in port

How to Seduce Your Husband

Butterfly crayfish with lemon

Oven-barbecued duckling, Chinese style
sauteed string beans and water chestnuts
Rice with mushrooms and chieves

Sliced oranges in white creme de menthe and coconut

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Seduction Do's and Don'ts

Stay away from casseroles

Career girls and hot-plate cooks had better stay away from a few of the cliche meals that men detest. The classic in this department is sherry-sauteed chicken livers (frozen) on buttered Minute Rice with a salad of French-cut string beans (frozen) in a bottled French dressing. Frozen strawberries on vanilla ice cream with ladyfingers are the standard dessert, and in cases like this the wine is always rose... Beware of all casserole concoctions containing some kind of chopped meat, a canned cream soup and a mashed-potato-cheese topping. (I think lady fingers are what the Brits call "petit fours".)

It is better, simpler and cheaper to give him a big bowl of fettucine, stirred up with butter, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper; or a plateful of scrambled eggs, four slices of crisp bacon and toast; or a large pan-grilled hamburger on a hot roll spread with herb-garlic butter.

Intensive (5 minutes) research on Flickr reveals that what Americans call a casserole is what Brits call a "bake" or even a "loaf" – they look quite thick and hearty, something you cut in slices rather than spoon into a soup bowl. Nothing wrong with that!

Seducer's Pineapple Snow

This is a recipe for making up after a quarrel.

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 envelope unflavoured gelatin, softened in a little cold water
1 cup grated fresh pineapple
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
Candied violets

Boil sugar and water for 5 minutes and add softened gelatin. Stir until dissolved and let mixture cool. Add pineapple with its juice, mix well and fold in the stiffly beaten egg white. Pour into ice-cube tray and freeze for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until mixture is frozen but not hard. Spoon into parfait glasses and decorate with a few candied violets.

You could use tinned pineapple and instant jelly.

Stuffed Olives from The Seducer's Cookbook

The Seducer's Cookbook came out in 1964 and has some witty line drawings, hints on picking people up in museums, conducting brief affairs, cheating on your husband, making stuffed olives... pretty much everything a girl or chap needs to know. 1964! A golden age before the era of the "self-help" book with its reams of waffle. I mean, what self-help book sorts out your life AND tells you how to stuff olives?

Green Olives Stuffed with Almonds And Anchovies
Buy large pitted green olives, stuff some with whole blanched almonds (one to an olive) and others with anchovy fillets rolled around capers.

Sounds delicious, if fiddly.

Pommes Allumettes
Cut two medium potatoes into thin strips so that they are about the size of wooden matchsticks. Fry in deep hot oil (375 degrees F) until golden and dry looking (5-8 mins). Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Also sounds yummy. Both are recommended for seducing Someone Else's Wife. 1964 was also BF - before feminism. That happened around 1968, remember?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Useful Kitchen Measurements

1 level tablespoon Salt Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

3 level tablespoons Flour Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

2 level tablespoons Rice Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

5 level tablespoons Grated Cheese Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

4 level tablespoons Cocoa Powder Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

1 level tablespoon Honey/Syrup/Jam Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

2 level tablespoons Granulated sugar Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

3 level tablespoons Sifted Icing Sugar Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

6 level tablespoons Fresh breadcrumbs Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

4 level tablespoons Porridge oats Approx. 25 g or 1 oz

Oatmeal and Wholemeal Bread

They were short of flour in World War II, but they had quite a lot of oatmeal which they government tried to persuade people to eat. But now we like oatmeal - it has a low glycaemic index (it stops you feeling hungry), contains lots of fibre, and it isn't wheat! But oatmeal recipes haven't quite caught up. This is from Good Eating, Suggestions for Wartime Dishes, a New Selection of Daily Telegraph Readers' Tested Recipes.

1/2 lb wholemeal flour
6 oz oatmeal
2 tsp cream of tartar (not required if sour milk is used)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
milk and water to mix

Mix dry ingredients. Add enough milk and water to make stiff dough. Work together as quickly as possible with hands and put in floured tin or form into round loaf. Bake in fairly hot oven for about 40 minutes. (Lady Janet Gore, Fyning Combe, Rogate, Petersfield, Hampshire, England)

Instead of sour milk, you can use yoghurt or sour cream. It's probably best eaten hot.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bubble and Squeak

From Delia Smith's Frugal Food, 1976.

It's funny, writes Delia, how some very humble dishes like this one can be very special simply because of their rarity - so here's to a comeback for good old Bubble and Squeak!

Bubble and Squeak, rare? In 1976? Delia obviously never ate at her local greasy spoon (downmarket cafe, translator's note). "Bubble" is alive and well and living in London.

1 lb potatoes, peeled
1 small cabbage
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 oz flour
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Some good beef dripping for frying

Put the potatoes on to cook in some salted boiling water, then half fill a medium-sized saucepan with some more salted water and bring it to the boil. Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove the hard stalk and shred the rest. Wash it thoroughly, then plunge it into the fast-boiling water, put a lid on and let it boil for about 6 minutes. Now pour it into a colander, put a plate (one that fits inside the colander( on top of the cabbage, place a weight on top and leave it to drain very thoroughly. When the potatoes are cooked, add some pepper and a knob of butter. Mash them, until smooth - don't add any milk, though, because you don't want them to be too soft. Now mix the well-drained cabbage into the potatoes, and when it is cool take tablespoons of the mixture and shape them into round cakes, which should then be dusted in the flour. Fry them in hot dripping to a good, crisp golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately.

You can use lard or vegetable oil for the frying, and use spinach, kale, sprouts or any leftover greens.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Wartime Cheese Pasties

From Good Eating, Suggestions for Wartime Dishes, a new selection of Daily Telegraph Readers' Tested Recipes

Homes are now experimental kitchens from which dishes are being launched, many to retain a lasting place in our national fare.

Kentish Pasties

These pasties are most popular at the Pie Stations in Sevenoaks Rural District and can be served hot, or cold make excellent snacks or packed lunches.
1/4lb boiled rice
4 oz grated cheese
2 oz raw grated carrot
pepper and salt

Place a heaped tablespoonful of cheese mixture on centre of a round of pastry. Damp edges and fold as for Cornish pasties. Bake in hot oven 1/2 hour. G.M. Warner, School House, Brasted

Delia's Brown Rice Salad

This is from Delia Smith's Frugal Food, published in 1976, when we were in the depths of a recession... On my copy, the top cover line reads: "Bestselling author of ONE IS FUN!" Ha! Delia always used to insist on "freshly milled black pepper" – pepper mills and pepper corns were exciting novelties back in the olden days. She's right, of course, it is much tastier than ready ground pepper.

1 teacup or mug long-grain brown rice
3 or 4 tbsps vinaigrette dressing
3 spring onions, very finely chopped
2 inches cucumber, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
1/2 red or green pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 red dessert apple, chopped but not peeled
1 oz currants
1 oz walnuts, finely chopped
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Cook the rice, then empty it into a salad bowl, fluff it up with a fork and pour the dressin gover while it's still hot. Allow it to cool and then mix in all the other ingredients.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Exciting Ways with Cabbage

From Ethelind Fearon's The Reluctant Cook (1953)

One of the most gruesome memories of meals eaten in any but absolutely first-class English hotels and restaurants is the cabbage. The odour greets you as you enter and follows you as you leave. [The cabbage] is boiled in enough water to conduct a succcessful laundry ... moreover it is stewed so long with the lid on that it turns olive-colour. One then cuts it up and leaves it on the hot plate until the last one to dine has had his fill of it.

I wanted to quote that bit just to remember how ghastly it was. The smell of boiled cabbage followed one everywhere, sometimes mixed with the whiff of paraffin and Alsatians... Here is Ethelind's preferred cabbage method:

Choose a small green cabbage. Forget it until 10 minutes before the meal, then put on a pan with only just enough water to prevent it from burning. When the water boils, shred the washed cabbage into it, press down and boil as fast as you like for not more than 10 minutes, without a lid. Drain it, chop it and mix into it a bit of butter - you heard. I've told you before to put butter in the vegetables and use cream cheese on your bread. Eat it at once. You can even make a separate course of it, eaten with a fork.

In 1953, butter was in short supply and expensive. Those butterless vegetables - shudder! Now we shun butter because we think it's bad for us, but a little will do you no harm.

You can chop cabbage quite finely and stew it in butter with a few raisins and a sprinkling of salt. Or you can boil quickly as above and add butter and a dash of vinegar, or butter and a grating of nutmeg. (Thanks to my mother for the last two.)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Desserts from The Reluctant Cook

From The Reluctant Cook by Ethelind Fearon, 1953

Fresh pears stewed in grapefruit juice thickened with cornflour.

Red packet jelly made in half-grapefruit skins with the edges "nicked in a V pattern". When set, add a green glace cherry in each centre.

Chocolate Pudding
2 cups breadcrumbs
4 eggs
3/4 cup grated chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Separate eggs. Beat sugar and butter to a cream and beat in yolks. Dissolve chocolate in milk, add to crumbs, add this to the eggs and sugar. Whip the egg whites stiffly and fold them lightly into the mixture. Butter a mould and pour in the mixture. Cover and steam or bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Sauce for the Pudding
2 tbsp jam
2 tbsp sherry
4 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar

Boil together and serve hot.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Vegetable Terrine

This is from Good Housekeeping's Easy Entertaining, from the mid-70s. It comes out green, orange and white, like the Irish flag. A little adjustment (and some tomatoes) makes it into the Italian flag.

2lb turnips
1lb carrots
1lb spinach
2oz butter or margarine
1 onion
12oz mushrooms
finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
4 eggs
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp nutmet
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tomatoes
1/2 pint vinaigrette

Peel turnips, cut into chunks, put in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 mins.

Peel and slice the carrots, put in a saucepan with water, bring to the boil and cook until tender.

Drain turnips and carrots.

Cook the spinach, chop the onion finely, peel and slice mushrooms.

Melt 1 1/2oz butter in a frying pan, add onion and fry gently until soft. Add mushrooms and fry, stirring constantly, for a further 5 mins. Stir in the lemon rind and juice.

Blend the mushroom mixture until smooth. Transfer to small, heavy-based pan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the puree is fairly thick and dry.

Puree and dry the turnips, carrots and spinach in the same way and place each puree in a separate bowl.

Add 1 egg to each puree and mix well. Stir the coriander into the carrot puree, the grated nutmeg into the spinach and the chopped parsley into the mushroom.

Oil a terrine or loaf tin. Put a layer of turnip puree at the bottom, cover with a layer of carrot, followed by the spinach and finally the mushroom. Cover with foil and bake in a 180C/350F for 1 hour 20 mins. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then turn out onto a plate.

Skin and seed the tomatoes. Blend them with the vinaigrette and serve with the terrine.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Wholemeal Pancakes with Ratatouille

Another from Entertaining with Cranks. The illustrations show food on artisanal pottery plates with brown specks (like the wholemeal flour). Such crockery was very fashionable, and made a horrible grating noise when you put a soup bowl on a plate, or a cup on a saucer. The glasses are cylindrical and Swedish, with heavy bottoms and look quite 2010.

8 oz 100% wholemeal flour
pinch salt
2 eggs
3/4 pint milk

Put the flour and salt into a basin, beat together the eggs and a little of the milk and add. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Gradually add the rest of the milk to make a smooth batter - add more milk if it it seems too thick. Let stand for 30 mins. Pour into a jub. Heat a pancake pan and grease it well. Pour about 3 tbsps of the batter into the pan, swirling it around evenly. Cook over medium heat until light golden brown. Turn and cook the other side. Repeat.

Ratatouille stuffing
1 aubergine
2 tbsps oil
1 sliced onion
1 deseeded and diced red pepper
3 sliced courgettes
2 fl oz water
1 veg stock cube
2 tbsps tomato puree
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
5 sliced tomatoes
8-10 wholemeal pancakes
2 oz grated cheddar cheese

Cut the aubergine into cubes and put in salted water for 30 mins. Drain, rinse and dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the sliced onion and cook gently until transparent. Place the remaining veg on top of the onion in layers. First the aubergine, then the peppers, then the courgettes. Mix the water, stock cube, tomato puree, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and pour over the veg. Cover with the sliced tomatoes. Cover the pan tightly and simmer gently for 15-20 mins. Drain off the liquid and keep for soups and sauces. Divide the mixture between the pancakes. Roll up. Place in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in the over at 180C/350F for 20-30 mins. Serve with watercress.

Ratatouille was big in the 70s and 80s, as was tomato paste/puree. I'm not sure you need to go through that rigmarole with the aubergine. The trick with red peppers is to dice them small and cook them thoroughly - they should subtly flavour, not dominate.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cranks' Chunky Tomato Broth

From Entertaining with Cranks, 1985

2 oz pot barley
1 oz butter/marge
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 oz shredded white cabbage
1 medium potato, diced
1 leek, sliced
1/2 lb chopped tomatoes
1 pt vegetable stock
1 veg stock cube
1/2 pint tomato juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground bayleaf
chopped parsley

Cover the barley with water and boil gentle for one hour until tender, adding extra water if necessary. Drain. melt the butter in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic until transparent. Add all the remaining ingredients except the parsley, and stir in the barley. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 mins until all the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Cranks was a chain of vegetarian restaurants (quite an avant garde concept for the 70s and 80s). Their food was imaginative, but a bit heavy and lacking in spice.

If you use fresh, rather than tinned tomatoes, it would be better to skin and deseed them. Bring some water to the boil, put the tomatoes in the pan and let them boil for about one minute. Remove, and peel the skin off with a knife and fork.

And of course now fresh basil, thyme and bay leaves are easy to find in the supermarket, and hardly anybody uses dried herbs any more. If you use a fresh bayleaf, remove it before eating the soup. I would add a tsp of curry powder, a tsp of sugar and possibly a dash of vinegar.

The recipe doesn't tell you what to do with the veg stock and the stock cube - I imagine you use them for cooking the barley.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Jocasta Innes's Rice Salad

A salad from the Pauper's Cookbook for a sunny day.

Jocasta writes: It is astonishing how much disagreement reigns over the best way of boiling rice... a certain mystery still clings to its preparation.

My mum was taught how to cook rice by a Chinese man, and this is his method.

One cup rice
Two cups water (or 2 1/2 for brown rice)

Bring to the boil and boil for a minute, stirring. Cover almost completely (leave a crack for the steam to escape). Turn the heat down as low as possible, and leave. White basmati rice takes 5 mins, brown rice takes longer. When the water's all been absorbed, and there are little dents in the top of the rice, it's done. I like brown round grain rice – it's good in salads.

Back to Jocasta: Cold rice can be mixed with a great variety of bits and pieces and turned int o successful salads. Any of the following suggestions can be used in varying combinations: tinned or fresh crab, shrimps, cooked mussels, chopped cooked chicken, ham, garlic sausage, hard-boiled egg, diced cucumber, tomatoes (peeled), raw onion, cooked peas, spring onions, raw mushrooms, cubes of green pepper, diced green beans, beetroot, raisins, sultanas, capers, chopped raw apple, grated carrot, cubes of mild cheese. Balace crisp/soft, sharp/sweet. And dice or chop the ingredients quite small. Rice with large lumps of stuff buried in it looks sloppy and faintly sinister.

Season well with salt and pepper or paprika, moisten liberally with a mild vinaigrette or thin mayonnaise and sprinkle on some chopped fresh herbs or parsley.

Raw mushrooms were a strange 70s fad, as was paprika – which seems to have disappeared from supermarket shelves. It's powdered red pepper. Jocasta's suggestions are quite avant garde. In the 60s rice salads consisted of white rice, tinned sweetcorn, frozen peas, diced carrots and peanuts with no dressing.

Friday, 6 August 2010

French Onion Soup, Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

These are the first two recipes in Jocasta Innes's The Pauper's Cookbook. Nobody makes them any more! French onion soup was big in the 80s, when a lot of people opened French onion soup bars (did they come before or after Belgian crepes?).

1 quart basic stock
4 large or 6 small onions
knob of butter
1/4 lb grated cheddar
4 slices toast
salt and pepper

Slice onions thickly, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and fry onions over moderate heat until golden brown - not burnt. Stir from time to time to prevent them sticking. Pour in stock and bring to boil. Simmer for 1/2-3/4 hour, covered. Taste and add salt and pepper. Toast four thick slices of bread. Grate cheese. Serve in individual bowls. Float a slice of toast on each serving and sprinkle generously with grated cheese.

Artichoke Soup
These are the Jerusalem artichokes, which look like small knobbly potatoes, not the leafy globe variety. Artichokes have a pronounced, though delicate flavour, which makes a particularly good soup.

1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, 1 oz butter, 1 1/2 pints water and 1 bouiloon cube or stock, a little cream or top of milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg

Peel the artichokes, slice them and heat them gently in the butter for a few minutes. Add water and bouillon cube, or basic stock, to cover by about an inch, also salt, pepepr and nutmeg, and simmer gently until tender - 45 minutes-1 hour. Sieve, return to pan and add a little cream or top of milk, or plain milk and butter.

Before all milk was homogenised, the cream used to float to the top - that's what "top of the milk" is. If you can find artichokes, they are a bore to peel. They may have a "delicate flavour", but they are, er... carminative. It's due to the inulin they contain, apparently. (And no, that's not a typo for insulin.)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Swedish Meat Balls

From Jocasta Innes's The Pauper's Cookbook, 1971

1/2 lb minced beef
2 tsps capers
2 tsps pickled beetroot
1 small onion
1 pinch dill
dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp grated stale white bread

Chop the capers and pickled beet together. Chop the onion very finely with a sharp knife. Soak the crumbs in a little water and squeeze dry. Combine all the ingredients, mixing well with a knife or your hands. Leave to stand for an hour or so if possible. Shape into small flat patties. you can either flour both sides and fry in a little oil over a moderate flame for 10-15 mins or put the rissoles in an ovenproof dish with a little butter and a piece of buttered paper over them and bake (400F, 205C) for 1/2-3/4 hour, until they are cooked through. Good with mashed potatoes and buttered greens or spinach.

In 1971 we were in a deep recession and wages were low (especially if you were in your early 20s). The Paupers' recipes are very unlike the garish boom-time food of the 60s (prawn cocktail with Marie Rose sauce and paprika). They have the dull brown tone and dull flavour of the austerity 70s. They are very puritanical, Quakerish and good for you – morally.

The recipes also use ingredients that were common and cheap then, but almost unobtainable now, except at an upmarket butchers: chops, cutlets, kidneys, heart.

Back then (in the Dark Ages), meals were supposed to consist of meat and two veg. Meat was a chicken, or a joint of pork/beef/mutton. All these were beyond our budgets. So offal was suggested as a substitute. We hadn't moved on to sausages, bacon, tinned tuna and mince - the staples of student cookery.

The index lists: brain fritters, braised hearts, hand of pork, gingered pork balls with peas...

We never cooked them! I wonder who did?

She also includes this handy conversion table:

1 level tsp 5 ml
1 level tbsp 15 ml
1 glass 175 ml, 6 fl oz
1 teacup 150 ml, 1/4 pint
1 cup breadcrumbs 5 oz
1 cup grated cheese 5 oz
1 cup honey or syrup 15 oz
1 cup oatmeal 8 oz
1 cup nuts 5 oz
1 cup dried fruit 8 oz

And here are some more:

1 cup Flour = 5 oz (140 g)
1/4 cup Flour = 4 tablespoons = 1 1/4 oz (35 g)
100 g Flour = 3 1/2 oz = 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups Flour = 8 oz (225 g)
1 cup Flour = 4 oz (115 g)
1 pound Flour = 450 g = 4 cups
1 oz (30 g) Flour = 3 tablespoons
25 g Flour = 3 scant tablespoons
275 g Flour = 10 oz = 2 cups
1/4 pound Butter = 4 oz = 115 g = 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
8 oz Butter = 225 g = 1 cup
1 (450 g) pound Butter = 2 cups
1 oz Butter = 30 g = 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon of butter = 1/2 oz = 15 g

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Grilled Grapefruit

From More Easy Cooking for One or Two, 1979

Half a grapefruit
1-2 teaspoons golden syrup

Loosen the segments of the grapefruit with a sharp knife.
Spoon on the golden syrup, keeping it towards the centre.
Place under grill.
Heat gently for about five minutes.

This is a very 70s dish. Half a grapefruit with no embellishments was often served as a starter. Bracing! Or you can grill them with a sprinkling of sugar and a glacĂ© cherry. Sliced pineapple and star fruit are also delicious grilled – add a blob of strawberry jam to the middle.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Quick Pea Soup

From More Easy Cooking for One or Two by Louise Davies, 1979.

1 small potato
1 chicken stock cube
half a pint of hot water
1 small can garden peas

Peel and dice the potato. Put in saucepan with chicken stock cube dissolved in half a pint of hot water. Bring to the boil, stirring. Cover and simmer for about 10 mins. Stir in the peas, mash with potato masher (optional), and reheat.


From Marguerite Patten's Post-war Kitchen.

1 level tablespoon syrup
1 1/2 oz cooking fat or margarine
1 oz sugar
4 oz barley flakes or oatmeal

Melt the fat and syrup in a pan. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Press into a thin layer (about 1/4 in) in an oblong tin and bake in a moderate oven for 30 mins. Mark into squares while hot and break into biscuits when cold.

Wonder if it would work with rye or millet?

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Curry Salad

From Katharine Whitehorn's Kitchen in the Corner/Cooking in a Bedsitter.

Mix a little curry powder into some mayonnaise. Add chunks of celery and a little chopped onion and mix with cold boiled macaroni. Hard-boiled eggs optional.

Cooking a decent meal in a bedsitter is not just a matter of finding something that can be cooked over a single gas-ring. It is a problem of finding somewhere to put down the fork while you take the lid off the saucepan, and then finding somewhere else to put the lid. It is finding a place to keep the butter where it will not get mixed up with your razor or your hairpins. ... It is cooking at floor level, in a hurry, with nowhere to put the salad but the washing-up bowl, which in any case is full of socks. (Katharine Whitehorn)

Marguerite Patten's Norfolk Pudding

From wartime cookery guru Marguerite Patten's Post-war Kitchen.

4 oz plain flour
pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 pint milk

1/2 oz butter
1 lb cooking apples
2 tbsp dried fruit
2 oz sugar

For the batter, sift the flour with the salt. Beat the egg into the milk and add to the flour. Beat to a smooth batter.

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Put the butter into a large pie dish or casserole and melt gently. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples, add to the butter with the dried fruit and sugar. Mix well, cover the dish and return tot eh oven for 5 mins. Uncover, pour the batter over and bake for 25-30 mins, or until well-risen and brown. Sprinkle with sugar and serve at once.

Stuffed Tomatoes

From Katharine Whitehorn's original Kitchen in the Corner, that became Cooking in a Bedsitter. The early editions contain much fascinating social history about bedsitter life. This was the 50s and early 60s, before they invented flat-sharing. Yes, really, flat-sharing was radical - especially if the flat was "mixed". Whitehorn later wrote about the "gas-fire, brown-lino loneliness" of bedsitter life. There was also no takeaway food back in them days.

2 large tomatoes
2 dessertspoons sausage meat (2 oz)
1 onion
cooked rice

Fry onion for 5 mins. Meanwhile cut off tops of tomatoes and scoop out pulp. Add sausage meat and rice to onions, brown for a minute or two only; remove and add all this to the tomato pulp, with herbs and salt, but no pepper. Stuff the tomatoes with mixture; return to pan and cook 10-15 mins. in oil on medium flame.

For the sausage meat, buy some good sausages and take the skins off. I think I'd want to cook it for longer - maybe in a deep pan with a lid. Another book we loved in the early 70s was the Pauper's Cookbook by Jocasta Innes, who went on to become famous for persuading us all to rag-roll our walls in the 80s. She has a lot to answer for! (Sourcing Pauper's now...)

Friday, 30 July 2010

Sydney Smith's Salad Dressing

TO make this condiment, your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two hard-boiled eggs;
Two boiled potatoes, passed through kitchen sieve,
Smoothness and softness to the salad give.
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, half suspected, animate the whole.
Of mordant mustard add a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment that bites so soon;
But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault,
To add a double quantity of salt.
Four times the spoon with oil from Lucca brown,
And twice with vinegar procured from town;
And, lastly, o'er the flavored compound toss
A magic soupcion of anchovy sauce.
O, green and glorious! O herbaceous treat!
'T would tempt the dying anchorite to eat:
Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul,
And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl!
Serenely full, the epicure would say,
"Fate cannot harm me, I have dined to-day."

2 hard-boiled egg yolks
Two boiled potatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps vinegar

Mash the egg yolks and the potatoes, mix in the other ingredients, beat. Add to coarsely chopped romaine lettuce. (Who has anchovy sauce in their kitchen cupboard?)

Update: I've just made it, and it's delicious. You could eat it on its own. I left out the mustard, salt and pepper but it's just as nice without. I used new potatoes, Palestinian olive oil, Aspall balsamic vinegar and a sweet shallot.

Ethelind Fearon's Salad

Ethelind Fearon was writing soon after World War II. This salad is from The Reluctant Cook. The Reluctant Hostess is good too.

Possible inclusions are:

Spring onions
Hard-boiled eggs
Sliced dates
Sliced olives
Cold vegetable marrow
Cold French beans
Cold peas
Small strawberries

The most unorthodox salad of my life had all of these and a bit of chopped cold ham as well. All the ingredients were chopped, for ease of handling, to about 1/2-inch lengths and bound with a good [salad] cream...

1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3 teasp sugar
1 teasp salt
1/2 teasp pepper
1 egg
1/2 pint milk
1/2 pint vinegar

Mix dry ingredients, then add well-beaten egg, oil, milk and vinegar in that order. Put in double saucepan and stir until it thickens. On no account let it boil.

You could probably make a decent salad out of three of those ingredients. But perhaps not cold marrow, radishes and dates...

The vicar and writer Sidney Smith once wrote a recipe for salad dressing in the form of a poem. I've always wanted to try making it. Coming up...

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Wartime Coffee Mould

½ pint milk

½ pint strong coffee

2 oz cornflour

2 oz sugar

1 oz butter

Few drops vanilla essence

Heat together the coffee and half the milk. Mix the cornflour with the rest of the milk to a smooth paste, add to the hot milk and boil, stirring all the time, till cooked and thick. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla, mix well and pour into a wet mould to set.

It's a bit wartime: you could double the sugar at least. My aunt was still making it in the 90s. (Some recipes never got back their full quota of eggs, sugar and cream after the war.)

Coffee Mallow

Here's how the Boston Cookery School Cook Book does it.

16 marshmallows
1/2 cup hot coffee
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cut marshmallows in quarters with wet scissors. Add coffee. Cook in double boiler until melted. Cool. When beginning to thicken, fold in cream, beaten stiff, and add vanilla. Mold in dessert glasses.

You find a lot of "double boilers" in vintage recipes. I think they date from the days when you couldn't adjust the heat on your hob, and in the 21st century you just need to turn the heat down very low. But I could be wrong.

Still can't find that cornflour version my aunt used to make...