Category Archives: 1960s

Corn Chowder

Today we welcome another guest post by Cluedo – find her others here and here

As readers of my last post may have already twigged, I’m not a big fan of domestic goddess style cooking, so the She Quickie Cookbook with its faux feminist agenda is a bit of a red rag to me. Be a career woman AND a fabulous cook, and do it all in 15 mins to make your man happy. Hand me the vomit bowl.

But maybe I should not be so unkind, after all, working married women in the 60s were a bit of a novelty*. On the other hand, taking the mickey out of the cookbook is fun, so I thought I’d do it again. This time, I chose the Corn Chowder (cost: 3/9, calories: about 550 each). I had most of the ingredients, so I didn’t check on the pricing, although 3/9 would be £2.85 in today’s prices – I somehow doubt you could get all the necessary stuff for that money nowadays

Now for the cooking:

The recipe is nice and easy as you can see from the images below. I did actually try and be more organised this time, i.e. put all the stuff that I needed near me rather than what I usually do, which is run around frantically, pulling stuff from the fridge and the pantry like I only just realised now that the onions should go in with the minced meat rather than sitting unchopped at the back of my food box while the mince is nearly done. So I was quietly confident that my timing would be not too far off this time, after it took me more than double the time to make the Tomato Rarebit – bad Cluedo.

But again, no such luck.
She Quickie cookbook corn chowder recipe

She Quickie cookbook corn chowder recipe pt 2

Of course, I blame the cookbook: despite their near-anal description of things to collect and plates to warm up before you start, they completely omit that you would need a chopping board and that you need to peel the potato**. Also, I defy anyone but Antony Bourdain on coke to peel and slice an onion, dice 4 rashers and cut up 2 potatoes and 2 tomatoes in 3 minutes, especially if you need to peel the potatoes first. Or did they have pre-peeled potatoes back then? It also doesn’t help that Sainsbury’s fancy bacon comes fanned out in the pack rather than just stacked as it does with their cheap “I-Can’t Believe-This-Has-Pork-In-It”-water bacon. So you lose valuable time stacking them up to dice them in one go. Time is money, honey, especially if you’re working against the She-Quickie-Cookbook-Clock! Also, in which universe do potatoes cook in 10 minutes in not very much water, even when sliced?

Anyway, trying not to be too panicked by the quarter hour deadline, I proceeded apace, and it was all very straight-forward. I did start frying the onions, bacon, potatoes and tomatoes in the frying pan rather than as indicated in the sauce pan, which I always find weird. But that’s probably just me. I transferred the mix over when it was time to put in the sweetcorn & water. The fritters scared me a little bit, as I have a similar success rate with nice-looking fritters as with fried eggs, but surprisingly, they turned out ok. And were very yummy. I altered very little of the recipe – no cooking fat but sunflower oil for the fritters as I was out of Stork and prefer oil over fat anyway. I also used quite a lot more cheese than indicated, but that was because I was trying out lacto-free cheese for the first time and pigged out. Note: lacto-free cheese is bland, but works quite well as glue-cheese required for this dish. I halved the ingredients, and ate the lot alone, when I realised that it’s meant for four – which will go some way to explaining why I felt quite so full afterwards *burp*. But who quarters a tin of corn, and one rasher is never enough, in any circumstance.

It is nice and yummy, so if you’re looking for something quick and easy and comforting, it’s your ticket. It took me 27 minutes to prepare it, which is slightly better than last time. And the potato was still undercooked, albeit edible.

Err, and I do have to apologise for the lack of a picture – I was so hungry by the time I was finished that I simply forgot. Trust me, it looked nice, like the picture in the cookbook, just in colour.

*(not really, women have always worked, but that’s a yarn to be unspun somewhere else at another time…)

**they give you 2 minutes to collect all the stuff together. Hah, I laugh in your face Quickie Cookbook, I live in a house with 7 other people, my tin opener cannot be found that quickly. And cleanly.

Oeufs Mollet or Soft Boiled Eggs Mornay

Another book bought on last year’s Highland trip was Lady Barnett’s Cookbook Lady Barnett's Cookbook front coverby 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).

Lady Barnett's Cookbook back cover CVThis 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.)

soft eggs oeufs mollet recipe 1soft eggs oeufs mollet recipe 2

soft eggs mornay oeufs mollet bechamel spinach recipe

(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.

soft eggs oeufs mollet mornay

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.

soft eggs oeufs mollet mornay with bechamel sauce

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!

Tomato Rarebit

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?).
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Boiled Carrot Salad

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.

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Chocolate cream cheese fudge

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.

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Siphnopitta or Siphnos Pie

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:

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Tea Napkin Shaped Sweet Potato Balls

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.

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