Tag Archives: lemon juice

Mandrang or Mandram

After buying 2 cucumbers in order to make one into a Chinese salad for a party, I decided to make the other into salad as well (as opposed to tzatziki  and a tzatziki  delivery system).  After checking the index of Modern Cookery For Private Families (first published in 1845, reissued in 2011 by Quadrille), I decided to make the cucumber dish with the oddest name.

I canot find out much about the words ‘mandram’ or ‘mandrang’ or who went to to where in the Caribbean to bring the recipe back to Acton. Most descriptions of this ‘salad-like hash’ (William Woys Weaver, Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, edited by Harlan Walker, 1991), lead back to Acton’s recipe, although I enjoyed the idea of it as  an ‘unfailing stimulant to the appetite‘. Food in England by Dorothy White (1945) has completely different recipe for ‘cucumber mandram’, so perhaps I’ll have a go at that another time.

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Double Apple Salad

Cooking means carefulness, inventiveness, willingness and readiness of appliance. It means the economy of your grandmothers and the science of the modern chemist; it means much testing and no wasting; it means English thoroughness, French art, Arabian hospitality’ These are Ruskin’s words, as true and inspired today as they were when he wrote them eighty-five years ago.’

So begins The Blender Book by Gwen Robyns, first published by Hamish Hamilton for Thorn Domestic Appliances in 1971.

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Lemon, nut and thyme dressing

Occasionally I say to myself ‘No more vintage cookbook buying. You have lots [28 and at least 7 leaflets], you even have some you’ve never cooked from. No more new ones until you’ve had a good go at the ones you have.’

Then I go into the British Heart Foundation shop on Holloway Road and  I just can’t hold back:

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Chicken Piccata

This is from the I’M IN THE MOOD FOR cookbook published in 1982 by Wear-ever Aluminum. Whilst it concludes in all cases that you are in the mood for food, it does helpfully divide  the recipes into occasions such as Rainy Afternoons (Cheese Popcorn), The Pleasure of Your Own Company (Lemon Soup), and Romantic Notions (Stir-fried Cucumbers). I’ve chosen a recipe from the Winding Down section, which seems to link relaxation with violently attacking some meat.

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Sienisalaatti or Fresh Mushroom Salad

This was from the Time Life Scandinavian cookbook, and was one of my healthy vegetable based dishes for Eurovision. Healthy, plus cream. Of course.

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Victorian Berocca

A half pint of water First up in the lemonade trials: Mrs Beeton.

Reading through these recently posted lemonade recipes I didn’t immediately discern that good old Mrs Beeton (dead at 28, having apparently lived part of her childhood actually “in the grandstand of Epsom racecourse”, which may have had something to do with it) makes the same rookie lemonade faux pas of attempting to sweeten it with nothing more than granulated sugar stirred into cold water.

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Courgette Salad

Courgettes are one of my very favourite vegetables and I would gladly eat them all year round, if they tasted of anything in winter.  Anyway, it is now courgette season and if you have been organised enough to plant some, you’ll be reaping the rewards.  (I’m mostly enjoying things in my garden which have seeded themselves, although, apparently, urban pigeons have so much littered food to eat, they can afford to ignore my cherries. Hurrah!)  Here is a quick salad from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book (Penguin, 1978).

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