Thursday, 29 December 2011

Peach Cream

According to Mrs Beeton. Makes a change from her 101 ways with boiled cabbage...

1/2 pint of peach puree
1/2 pint of whipped cream
1 oz castor sugar
1 gill of peach syrup

Pass sufficient peaches through a hair sieve to make the required amount of puree. Dissolve the gelatine in the syrup, add the sugar and the puree, stir in the stiffly whipped cream. Turn into a mould and put it in the fridge to set.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Celery Soup (Economical)

From Beeton's Cookery - all the recipes without Isabella's waffle about the history of barley (yawn).

2 pts water
1 pt milk
2 oz lean bacon or ham
1 oz butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 large head of celery
2 onions
salt and pepper

Cut the ham into dice, slice the onions and celery. Melt the butter in a pan, fry the vegetables without browning, put in the bacon and water and simmer for 30 or 40 minutes, or until the clery is tender. Strain, rub through a fine sieve, return to the saucepan, add the milk and bring to the boil. Mix the flour with a little milk, stir and cook for 5 or 6 minutes, season to taste and serve.

Average cost: 6d to 8d. Sufficient for 6 persons.

You could always NOT sieve it. And NOT add so much flour. Try adding a teaspoon of cornflour or rice flour instead. And some ginger, sugar and lemon juice would pep it up a bit.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Cheese and Potato bake

From the Walberton Quick and Easy Cookbook

2lbs potatoes
6oz grated Cheddar cheese
1 egg
knob of butter and a little milk
small onion diced
1 large tomato sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon

Peel and boil potatoes. Fry the onion until soft. Grill the bacon and then cut into pieces. When potatoes have boiled, drain them and mash adding the knob of butter and a little milk. Add the egg, 40z cheese, onion and stir well. Turn mixture into casserole, arrange the bacon pieces and slices of tomato on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 30-40 mins at 200C or Gas Mk 6. Serve with peas or other favourite vegetable.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Austerity Party Food

From Marguerite Patten's Post-War Kitchen

Fork and Finger Savouries

Spread slices of bread with butter or margarine. Cut off the crusts, and cut into fours. Top each with a slice of hard-boiled egg, a slice of beetroot and a pinch of parsley. (Toast might work better.)

Roll out pastry and cut into small squares. When baked, top with grated cheese mixed with mayonnaise, and a lattice of celery strips.

Cut celery into three-inch lengths. Mix mashed potato, grated cheese and tinned chopped tomatoes. Fill the celery "baskets" with the pink mixture. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. (And eat with care.)

Smoked Haddock with Egg and Cream Sauce

from Delia Smith's original How to Cheat at Cooking.

1.5 lb filleted smoked haddock
1/2 pint milk
1 bay leaf
2oz butter
1/2 packet white sauce mix
2tbsp double cream
1 hard-boiled egg
1 tbsp chives

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Divide the haddock into 4 and lay in a baking tin. Pour the milk over and throw in a bay leaf. Put a few flecks of butter here and there. Bake for 20-25 mins. Make up the white sauce mix using the liquid the fish was cooked in, then add the cream, chopped hard-boiled egg and chives. Serve the fish with the sauce poured over.

You could make your own white sauce, using cream. The bay leaf is optional (funny how we used to add them to everything.)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Devilled Eggs

A wartime recipe for Halloween, from Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall's Ministry of Food: Thrifty Wartime Ways to Feed Your Family Today

12 small eggs
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tsps curry powder
strips of red pepper, gherkins or anchovies

Boil eggs for 9 mins. Plunge into cold water. Remove the shells, cut the eggs in half lengthways and put the yolks in a bowl. Mash with a fork and beat in the mayonnaise and curry powder. Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg halves. Garnish with the strips of red pepper, gherkin or anchovies.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Everything a Woman Ought to Know

Is a book by Florence Jack - it's main title is The Woman's Book of Household Management.

Here are some of her handy tips:

Ventilation is essential to avoid the dangers of Vitiated Air!

Electric light as an illuminant has many advantages. It is cleanly, hygienic and convenient.

In the new Boudoir Grate, an almost perfect imitation of a homely log fire is achieved.

Brown Lincrusta is much used for dining-room dadoes.

Wood panelling painted white is often used in drawing-room decoration.

To paper a library in pale shades of blue or green would be to go against every law of what is fitting and proper.

The ugly gilt-edged mirror which formed the conventional chimney-piece decoration of the time of our grandmother is now mercifully buried in oblivion. Artistic wooden chimney-pieces and overmantels combined now form part of the decorative equipment of most tastefully furnished houses.

There are still some middle class people who keep their drawing room as a show room... but such rooms always wear an air of stiffness which is often reflected in the manner of the mistress...

Grand pianos give an air of "finish" to a drawing room which is achieved by no other means.

Chairs of one period must not be mixed up with tables of another, and a bureau of still another epoch.

The wooden bedsteads now on the market are artistic in every way and free from that ugliness which characterised those of Victorian days. during the Victorian era art in furniture went through a marked decadence. The furniture of this recent period is marked by its stiffness, ungainliness, and general air of discomfort. It may safely be said that connoisseurs of the future will not readily advocate a revival of the Victorian style. (Some bold types went against the tide of public opinion and bought Victoriana in the 30s, about 20 years after the date of this book, but it didn't really catch on until the 70s.)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

John Major's Bacon Risotto

From Redcliffe Recipes.

2 oz butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz sliced mushrooms
6 oz long grain rice
1-1 1/2 pints stock
6 oz cooked bacon/ham
4 oz cooked peas
7 oz can sweetcorn with peppers

Melt butter in large frying pan, add onion and cook gently for 5 mins. Add mushrooms, stir round and cook for a few seconds. Stir in rice and one pint of stock. Cover and cook gently for 20-25 mins until rice is cooked. If necessary, add extra stock. Cube the bacon and add to the rice with the remaining ingredients. Season with pepper. Cook for further five minutes to heat through. A few sultanas may be added.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Layered Cashew Nut and Mushroom Roast

From Redcliffe Recipes, compiled to raise money for Redcliffe School some time in the 80s (with a contribution from Prime Minister John Major - he was known for his bacon risotto)

1 tbsp oil
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
225g ground cashew nuts mixed with
110g fresh breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
3 parsnips, cooked and mashed with butter
dried rosemary and thyme
1 tsp yeast extract, dissolved into 150 ml hot water or stock
25g butter
225g mushrooms, chopped

Heat oil, fry onion and garlic until soft. Mix egg, breadcrumbs and nuts, mashed parsnips, herbs and fried onion with all its juices. Add yeast extract. melt the butter in a frying pan, saute the mushrooms until soft. Grease a 2lb loaf tin, press in half the mixture, cover with mushrooms and top with remaining mixture. Cover with foil, and bake for one hour. Stand for ten mins before turning out.

Dried herbs - very 80s! You could use fresh thyme, parsley or sage, or chopped spring onions (scallions). In the 80s we put rosemary in everything.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Creamy Mushroom Risotto

From The Philadelphia Coobook (2011)

2 tsp olive oil
200g risotto rice
600ml hot good quality vegetable stock
350g mixed mushrooms, cut into large pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
120g Philadelphia Light
a little skimmed milk (optional)
a handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the rice and gently fry over a medium heat for 2 mins or until lightly golden. Gradually add the stock and 300ml hot water, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 mins or until tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Add a little more water if required during cooking.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Fry for 4-5 mins, until starting to brown.

Stir the Philly into the cooked rice. If the mixture is too thick add a little milk. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the mushrooms, parsley and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Sausages and War Pie

From the Best Way Book (World War I)

Three carrots, three onions, one turnip, one parsnip, half a pint of split peas, two eggs, two ounces of butter, half a pound of breadcrumbs, a little stock, one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, pinch of sage. Soak peas overnight, then boil them till soft. Boil the other vegetables till done, pound them with the peas, and stir in stock, also beaten egg, parsley, breadcrumbs, and seasoning. When thoroughly mixed, roll paste into sausages. Dip each one in beaten egg and breadcrumbs, and fry till brown.

War Pie
Boil some potatoes and mash with milk. Parboil three onions, cut them up. Fill a dish with alternate layers of potatoes and onions. Cover the top with pastry, and bake till this is brown.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tomato Curry

From The Bestway Book (1914-18)

Take four ounces of rice, on tbsp milk, one tbsp curry powder, 1 gill of stock, one hard-boiled egg, an ounce and a half of butter, one tomato, two shallots. Put on a stewpan and melt the fat, adding shallots, peeled and cut small. When golden brown, stir in the curry powder and cook five minutes longer. Now add the rice, which has been washed and drained, the stock, and the milk, blending all carefully together. Next stir in the tomato, peeled and cut into dice, with grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir gently, and let simmer until the rice is quite tender. Serve with slices of hard-boiled egg.

Kind of a risotto, really. I'd use about four tomatoes, and core them - or open a tin! Here's a book all about tomatoes:

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Can You Cook a Cabbage?

From The Best Way Book (6d), published during World War II

Cream of Cabbage
Cook a nice cabbage, adding to the water an onion stuck with cloves. Let the water boil fast until the cabbage is cooked; then drain it well, and chop up the cabbage and onion finely, taking out the cloves. Put the vegetables into a saucepan with some sour milk and a little nut margarine, pepper and salt, and a dust of nutmeg. Stir it until it is smoking hot. Have some large slices of buttered toast ready in a vegetable dish. Heap the cabbage on the top of this, and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a dust of red pepper.

Mmm, delicious, I don't think. Meanwhile, here's a beauty tip:

To prevent freckles, use a lotion made by mixing equal parts of honey and lemon-juice. Massage it into the face before going out. (And the bees will love you...)

Cabbage Savoury
Well wash and cut a cabbage into shreds. Cut up two onions and fry them in dripping or lard, then put in the cabbage, and a pinch of ground chillies and ginger. Cover the pan and simmer gently until the cabbage is tender.

That's more like it. You can leave out the chillies and add nutmeg. A little chopped spring onion and/or fennel is also good.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Boiled Celery

An excitingly titled recipe from Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery for Private Families (Classic Voices in Food) (1845) (just republished in facsimile).

This vegetable is extremely good dressed like sea-kale, and served on a toast with rich melted butter. Let it be freshly dug, wash it with great nicety, trim the ends, take off the coarse outer leaves, cut the roots of equal length, tie them in bunches, and boil them in plenty of water, from 20 to 30 minutes.

Boiled celery on toast with melted butter... hmmmmm.

Chatney Sauce (Bengal Receipt)

From Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery for Private Families (Classic Voices in Food) (1845). It has just be reprinted in a facsimile edition. Here's a recipe for chutney, but handle with care:

Stone four ounces of good raisins, and chop them small, with half a pound of [hard, sour apples or pears]. Take four ounces of coarse brown sugar, two of powered ginger, and the same quantity of salt and cayenne pepper. [Mix everything together] and add gradually as much vinegar as will make the sauce of the consistence of thick cream. [Bottle it.]

You need to peel, core, chop and cook the fruit in a little water (Miss Acton forgets to tell you). Instead of "pounding" it, you can liquidise it, mix it with the raisins, spice and sugar and cook it a little longer before you add the vinegar.

She adds that she doesn't like to recommend hard acid fruit, and suggests using gooseberries or tomatoes instead (green tomatoes would be good). Two ounces sounds like a lot of salt! Perhaps a teaspoon would be better. And I'd add cloves and peppercorns.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Anchovy Salad

From The Encyclopedia of World Cookery (1958)

8 anchovy fillets
1/4 lb ham sausage
1/4 lb smoked salmon
1/4 pint prawns
pickled cucumber
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wine vinegar

Mix the oil and vinegar. Arrange the anchovy fillets in the middle of a dish, surround them with slices of ham sausage and smoked salmon and prepared prawns. Pour the oil and vinegar over them. Garnish with pickled cucumber, capers and slices of lemon.

This is a recipe from Germany. Vegetarians could leave out the sausage.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Carrot Roll

Another lovely wartime recipe from English Heritage's Ration Book Cookery. Originally from the pamphlet Food Facts.

2 large carrots
1 tsp vegetable extract (Marmite or similar)
2 tsps fine oatmeal, toasted
cold cooked mashed potato

Grate the carrots and cook for 10 mins in a very little water. Add the vegetable extract and toasted oatmeal. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring to thicken. Cool. At this stage the mixture will be quite stiff. Have some cold mashed potato ready, dust the pastry board with flour and roll out into an oblong shape. Place the carrot filling in the centre, then fold over and shape into a roll. Dot with a few shavings of fat and bake in a moderately hot oven until nicely browned. Serve with well seasoned brown gravy.

You could leave out the Marmite. I was a vegetarian in the 70s and people insisted on adding Marmite to anything they cooked for you.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Curried Potatoes etc

From The Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932

3 or 4 boiled potatoes
1 tsp curry powder
lemon juice
1 onion
little stock
dripping (or oil)

Fry the onion and slices of potato in a little dripping, shake over the curry powder, add the stock, a little lemon juice and salt and stew gently for 15 minutes.

Barley Posset
Take 1/4lb barley and boil it with 1 1/2 pints milk. Add 1/2 pint cream, and a little mixed spice, and sugar to taste. When nearly cold add a glassful of sherry and beat up the mixture. (The recipe doesn't say how long you should boil it for - try boiling for one minute then simmering for an hour.)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Kitchen and its Equipment

from The Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932

The kitchen should be well lighted and ventilated, and should be equipped iwth:

1. A cooking range or stove.
2. A kitchen table.
3. A kitchen cabinet, cupboard or cupboards.
4. A dresser.
5. At least one chair.
6. A separate cupboard, or tidy for brooms and brushes.
7. A clock.
8. necessary cooking utensils.

If, as is the case in a number of houses nowadays, the kitchen does the duties of both kitchen and scullery, then it should also be provided with:

9. A good sink.
10. A draining-board draining down into the sink.
11. A rack for mops, etc.
12. Soap dish.
13. A draining-rack for cups, saucers and plates.
14. A roller fitted in a convenient spot for carrying a roller towel.

Kitchen designers, please note, especially 10.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Saucer Pudding

From The "Olio" Cookery Book via Ration Book Cookery, published by English Heritage

1 tbsp sugar
2 oz butter
3 oz flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
a little milk
some jam

Mix all the ingredients together as you would for a cake. Divide into two and place each portion on a separate greased saucer. Baker for about 15 mins. cool, spread jam on one of the cakes and place the other on top.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Hash, to Prepare (and More)

This hash is for using up the end of the joint. From the Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932.

1 1/2lb cold meat
2 oz butter/dripping
2 oz flour
1 onion
1 1/2 pints stock
1 dessertspoon ketchup

Remove all fat and gristle from the meat and cut it into neat pieces. Make the fat hot and fry the onion a nice brown. Remove it and fry the flour, brown it welll, being careful not to burn it. Add the stock gradually, stir till it boils, return the meat and onion, add the ketchup and seasoning, thoroughly reheat it, but do not allow it to boil. Serve with snippets of toast or fried bread dipped in chopped parsley. (Mrs Beeton called them "sippets".)

And here are a couple of useful tips on cleaning hats:

Hats, bowler, to clean brims of First rub well with a little fresh butter and clean it off with a solution of 2 oz rock ammonia dissolved in 1/2 pint hot water. Then hold the hat under running water for a minute or two. Wipe with a soft, clean cloth, brush well with the nap, and hang out to dry.

Hats, felt and velour, to restore Thoroughly beat and brush the hat to remove all dust and to raise the surface. Hold it over boiling water and steam thoroughly from the inside. Turn the hat slowly so that it shall be steamed all over. shake well. Give a good final brushing when the hat is dry.

Hedgehogs, the care of Keep in a cage during the day and release at night if it is desired to use them as beetle-catchers. Feed on bread and milk and an occasional earthworm.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Jacques Tati Soup

From The Camping Cook Book by Annie Bell, 2009

Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, slice
1 tsp Middle Eastern Spice blend
1/3 mug green lentils
1/3 mug basmati rice
1/3 mug bulgur wheat
sea salt
lemon juice

Heat a slug of oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until golden. Stir in spice blend, add the lentils, rice and bulgur. Add 5 mugs water and a stock cube and salt. Bring to the boil, half cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Dish up with some olive oil poured over and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Middle Eastern Spice Blend

1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp coriander

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mexican Shrimp Polenta

From The Encyclopedia of World Cookery, circa 1950

1 pint shrimps
4 oz maize flour or semolina (or polenta)
2 onions finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2lb ham, diced
1/4lb mushrooms, sliced
3 rashers bacon

Pour 1 pint boiling water onto the semolina and cook slowly until thick. Chop the bacon and fry lightly. Add the tomato puree, mushrooms, onion and ham. Simmer in 1/4 pint water for 10 minutes. Fill a buttered fireproof dish with alternate layers of semolina, tomato mixture and shrimps. Cover the dish, cook in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

7 Happiness Beef and Rice

From Peg Bracken's Compleat I Hate to Cook Book (1986, but the original books came out in the 60s)

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked rice
minced beef
stuffed olives, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Grated cheese

Crumble the mince into a big bowl. Add everything but the cheese and mix. Pour into a loaf tin and bake for an hour at 350F. Reduce heat and bake another hour. Half an hour before serving, sprinkle on the grated cheese.

Peg has seven reasons for cooking this dish:

1. It is meat and starch combined.
2. Neither has to be cooked first.
3. Everything goes together at once.
4. Very young people and very old people like it and the others don't mind it much.
5. The amount of meat depends on what's there.
6. Odds and ends of veg can go into it.
7. Thought it looks like dogfood when it goes into the oven it doesn't when it comes out.

(You could put some sliced tomatoes on the top, too.)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Cherry Cake

From the Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932

1/2 lb flour
4 oz butter
4 oz castor sugar
3 oz glace cherries
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
grated rind of one lemon
little milk

Cream the butter and sugar well together, sift in the flour and add the eggs alternately, beating well between each addition, add the cherries cut in quarters, grated lemon rind, milk and lastly the baking powder. Put the mixture in a tin lined with buttered paper and bake in a moderate oven for 1 1/4 hours.

I've been wishing for an old-fashioned cherry cake – they used to be called Cherry Genoa cakes. Marks and Spencers version just isn't right. Perhaps I'll try this one. Or go to Genoa.