Guest Eurovision blog from Zakia follows:
I took on the Austrian cake Linzertorte which I was reliably informed by Alix would be “simple to make but look impressive”. That’s an aspiration to live by, which made me keen to try it out. It’s apparently the oldest cake recipe in the world, dating from 1693, and became internationally known from the 19th century. This is one of the Marguerite Patten 1970s recipe cards.
This is a Marguerite Patten recipe card. I chose it for the Danish aspect of the Eurovision party and was attracted to how entirely disgusting it looked. It turned out to be the most labour intensive of all the dishes made that night, and early arrivals to the party were treated to the sight of me swearing at an assortment of fruit, muttering ‘I hate it already, this is the worse thing ever’.
This comes from my Marguerite Patten recipe cards. I don’t remember whether I’ve actually cooked any of these before, or whether I’ve merely mocked the weird dolls on them.
More sage counsel from Marguerite Patten – tackling the main course. This is the last part of her ‘Putting it right’ section, although there is much benign didacticism in other parts of the book, which will be added at a later date.
Fish slightly over-cooked and dry, also inclined to break
Use extra melted butter in the sauce or topping to counteract the dry texture. Lift the fish on to individual heated plates, so there is no fear of the fish breaking again. Garnish attractively to disguise slight tendency of portions to break
After a series of culinary mis-steps (none of which involved sauce), I feel inspired to share some more of the practical wisdom of Marguerite Patten.
Sauce made with a roux (butter and flour) has formed lumps
Whisk the sauce briskly and quite often the lumps will go. If this technique fails then rub the sauce through a sieve or put it into a liquidiser and switch on for a few seconds. This treatment will produce a smooth sauce , but one that becomes thinner in consistency, so allow it to simmer gently for a time so it will become a little thicker.
This was Pamela‘s contribution to the Canape Party – over to her:
Stuffed eggs, from Diets For Health, by Marguerite Patten, 1964
“Hard boiled eggs can be stuffed in a variety of ways . . . Take out the yolks, mash and mayonnaise, or margarine and seasoning, then add one of the following:
1 Grated or cream cheese
2 Curry powder and chutney
3 Chopped nuts and parsley
To give additional food value, a spoonful of rolled oats which have been soaked in milk can be mixed with any of the above filling. Pile or pipe into the egg white cases and sprinkle cayenne on top.”
Another from 500 Recipes – Electric Mixers and Blenders by Marguerite Patten (Hamlyn, 1972). I’ve managed to take a picture of the cover this time round, isn’t it lovely?
This is from 500 Recipes for Electric Mixers and Blenders by Marguerite Patten (Hamlyn, 1972).There are loads of 500 Recipes… books around – they’re large, flimsy things, usually with yellowing pages, and quite a low budget look to them. I have this one, and a casseroles and stews one, which promises a lot and delivers little. But, on to the recipe. I like prawns, I like bacon, and I like quiche. So how did this recipe go so horribly wrong?
In which home economics legend Marguerite Patten lists rectifications for the last-minute culinary disasters which can befall a cook who has over-refreshed themselves or spent too long in front of the mirror or with their guests. Or, as she reassures us:
From time to time even the most accomplished and experienced cook has a failure in the kitchen. What appears at first glance to be a spoiled dish amy well be disguised, or the fault remedied, with a little ‘know-how’. I hope the following hints will be helpful.