Another book bought on last year’s Highland trip was Lady Barnett’s Cookbook by Isobel Barnett, a successful, educated middle class woman who married a successful middle class, educated man who was knighted and whose title was used by his spouse to further her career. Yes, this is a celebrity cookbook, 1960s-style.While the airbrushed version of her life appears on the dust jacket in CV form (click on image to enlarge). The internet tells a story which induced my co-bloggeuse to exclaim ‘Oh, she’s tragic!’ (though far more sympathetic than Premiership footballer who pinch supermarket doughnuts).
This book is something of a mixed bag. It’s a guide to entertaining for people who already have a large encyclopedia-type cookbook and are now seeking to bless others with their efforts. I wonder how much it owes to the personal tastes of its author and her guests? Some dishes seem like a genuine treat, others are more along jelly, cream and bananas lines. (Actually, what am I talking about? If someone served me jelly, cream and bananas, I would probably kiss them.)
(The ‘more out-of-the-ordinary’ way of using them ‘a l’Indienne’ i.e with curry sauce. No.)
According to my (admittedly limp) grasp of food hygiene, eggs should either be hot or cold, so please don’t keep them in warm, salted water. Salmonella is a real downer, or so I’ve heard.
This dish may seem like something one might put together from bits found at the back of the fridge (a couple of eggs, a bit of bechamel, some greens where it doesn’t matter if they’re a bit old because they’re going to be wilted, chopped and covered in hot cheese) but it results in something filthily delicious and incredibly filling. I had it as was, but you might want a triangle or two of crisp toast on the side. Recommended now the nights are miserable.
Mollet’ed by Elly
ETA: I have just only just realised that I could see her in her prime – voila! A clip of What’s my Line from 1955. Enjoy!
Another guestpost by Cluedo (the first can be found here). Many thanks to her for attempting this dish. I bought both (yes, there are two) Quickie cookbooks in a charity shop in Crouch End for £1 each.
It’s been a while since I had an adventure in the land of brewis, fidget pie, singin’ hinges and other stuff I have no idea what it is. This is partially due to the fact that I’ve been a lazy bastard too busy with other stuff, and partially due to Elly’s inability to chose a recipe for me, so I had to do it after all. Pffft… if you don’t do it yourself… But alas, Elly provided me with the perfect choice of book: the She Quickie Cookbook from 1965, which suggests the kind of Martha-Stewart-cooking-goddess that makes me reach for the sick bag. Each of the photo-story recipes “gives a hot meal that can be prepared and cooked in 15 minutes”, as verified by “Good Housekeeping Institute”, who timed and tested each recipe (feeling nauseous already?).
It’s a travesty that this is the first time we’ve made something by the queen of all things aromatic, Claudia Roden (a short bio of whom can be found here), however to me the interesting thing currently about this recipe is what it represents in terms of time and cost.
Recently I have made far too many tasteful, sensible recipes, the last (savoury) French dish I made was vegan, for pity’s sake. The time I fried macaroni cheese is so long ago, it’s moved from reality to pub anecdote. (Yes, I am very popular.) It’s time for something ridiculous, and what better to inspire me than the food industry itself, with the recent launch of chocolate-flavoured cream cheese, the thought of which makes me feel faintly nauseous, but this recipe… I was…intrigued.
This is from The Home Book of Greek Cookery by Joyce M Stubbs (1963). I chose an unseasonal Easter dessert to make. To say this recipe went badly amiss would be an understatement. It almost all went in to the bin. Here’s the recipe:
Another from Practical Shoyu Cooking. I’m starting to doubt the accuracy of the title of this book, to be honest. This recipe neither contained shoyu and was not practical.
Guest post! Today, seasoned commenter Salada takes us through a classic apple pie. Due to the unusual weather, the apple harvest is excellent this year, so shop prices are reasonable and if you’re really lucky, a friend, relative or Freecycler will give you some windfalls for free.
Just a bit late for pie month! The first apple pie of the season, made
approximately to Barbara Hammond’s Dutch Apple Pie (a double crust plate pie) recipe from Cooking Explained (1963 edition).
This is from The Book of Egg Cookery, a 1969 delight of egg based craziness. It really goes into quite a lot of depth about eggs generally, starting with What is an egg? (‘an egg is an ellipsoid which is, funnily enough, something that is egg-shaped’) and moves on through nutrition and various modes of preparation, and also includes egg-related ‘did you knows?’ such as:
The original word for egg was ey. That romantic spot, an eagle’s eyrie, is simply an eggery; no more romantic than a carry-cot, really
If you’re superstitious, always smash egg shells – so that witches may not go to sea in them.
Yeah, so basically if it has soy sauce and is fried I want to eat it. Plus meat. This is another from Practical Shoyu Cooking.
Yes, the recipe is just called ‘Spinach’. Can you guess what it is? Well done, it’s spinach. I had this with the Shoyu Fried Chicken. It’s from Japanese Food and Cooking by Stuart Griffin (1963), a book which opens with the lines ‘Before Mrs American Housewife docked at Yokohama or landed at Haneda, her husband Mr. American had scoured the Japanese scene, gastronomically’ and goes on to lay out a number of imaginary situations where Mrs American Housewife is gradually and subtly eased by Mr American into giving the weird native food a try (and eventually being converted to the point of penning this recipe book with Mr American). Here we find Mrs American being served some rice:
‘Yoshie or Michiko slaps down a big white mound besides the peas and the carrots, in the home-fry’s shadow, next to the bread and butter. “Starch!” gasps Mrs American Housewife in a stricken voice, but yields’.