Tag Archives: cheddar

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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Publican’s Pie

This is from a pamphlet, of cheese cookery, probably seventies, that I picked up for 49p.

Look at their happy faces. The publican and his wife/ husband (they both look like men to me). Standing happily in front of their pumps and rack of tankards this pair look the right people to listen to when it comes to pie making. But wait! Look at the ingredients. Frozen mixed vegetables. Instant mashed potato. This is not a recipe for a publican from a quaint centuries-old Cotswold inn, with pie recipes running through their veins like, er, blood? Like blood? I’ve lost this metaphor somewhat.  Never mind. No, this is no traditional recipe; this is a recipe for landlords who want to make a token effort to food, but don’t want to splash out on frivolities such as a chef, ingredients or a kitchen. It’s a few levels below Wetherspoons in the haute cuisine stakes. It’s perfect!
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Crusted Cheese Pie

Well. It’s Pie Month again. Where better to find a suitable pie than in the classic Make A Meal Of Cheese? Yes, the recipe book that gave us the abject horror of the Hollow Cheese Loaf. Good idea. There’s no way that could go wrong. Here’s the instructions:

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Rumbledethumps

This Scottish dish is from Potato-wise Cookery, from 1965. It’s very simple and completely inappropriate for this warm weather. Wikipedia says it is Gordon Brown’s favourite food. That’s a factoid to remember for pub quizzes, eh?

 

 

 

 

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Cheese and walnut squares

In my neverending quest to find new ways to eat potatoes, I decided to try these potato scone-pancake hybrid from Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book (6th Edition, 1958)

Recipe
Cooked potato 1lb
Grated cheese 3 oz
Salt and cayenne
Walnuts 2 oz
Milk ½ teacup
One egg
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Aubergine and Onion Gratinee

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.

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Brandade of Tuna Fish and Haricot Beans

I spent all my money taking trains from London to Croatia and back, in August – a wonderful, unforgettable experience. The souvenirs acquired on this holiday include a t-shirt with a stupid wolf on, a tea towel that doubles as a handy map of the Croatian islands, and a hilarious degree of poverty, so for my dinner the other night I turned to The Pauper’s Cookbook by Jocasta Innes (1971) and fashioned this brandade recipe. I had no idea what a brandade was, and turned to wikipedia, whose entry on the subject describes something that’s not at all like what I cooked.  Here’s the recipe:

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Cheese Scones

Despite warnings that it was not very good, I decided to give the BBC’s new series, The Great British Bake-Off a try and reader, my nearest and dearest (and The Telegraph telly reviewer) weren’t lying.  While as a baking nerd, I wouldn’t expect lots of new (to me) information, none of the food historians featured seemed to be able to let their enthusiasm for their subject show, while the human drama of the contest was equally unsatisfyingly represented. (I felt the camera didn’t need to linger quite so long on the sobbing bus driver whose marmalade tea loaf sank in the middle.) I would also have liked to hear more technical stuff from Mary Berry – cooking is an art, baking is a science, as we all know. (‘We’, being those of us who have made something once perfectly, only to have a subsequent attempt collapse in a sticky mess.)

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