Author Archives: sarah

Chocolate Mousse

Was idly flipping through “beginner’s cookery” (Betty Falk, revised Penguin edition ’73, original ’64 – can any people tell me the appropriate citation when a publication has repeat editions? I should know this…), after a rough day at work and feeling like something simple… when I found… chocolate mousse! mousse?! no-one can make mousse at home! what is this doing in ‘beginner’s cookery’! How ridiculous! Yes, that’s what I thought too – but there’s only two essential ingredients and one optional one – and the optional one is BOOZE? And I do happen to have a bar of 70% Green and Blacks in the cupboard… how hard can it be!
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i hate to cook book peg brackenAnother one from beloved Peg. From a section entitled Last Minute Suppers: OR THIS IS THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE. According to dearest Peg, the recipes in this section are for those times when … there you are again at quarter to six, with your hat still on, staring at a pound of minced steak or a tin of tuna fish. Lady, if I were EVER home at 5.45, I would thank my lucky stars and be able to cook a flipping roast dinner! This is not the time I would classify as needing Last Minute Suppers! Anyway, I get her point – you can frequently find me getting home at 7.10pm and staring miserably into a fridge containing one bendy carrot and my cupboard containing a huge tub of custard and a tin of BRISLING…

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Toffee Crisp Chicks

TOFFEE CRISP CHICKS (from ‘Novelty Cakes’, one of those Sainsburys related books they put out in the early 80s I think – photo will come).

125g creamy toffees
2 tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice
50g “rice pops”
1 tsp grated orange rind
50 g ready made yellow marzipan

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Salmon Croûtes

This recipe and sieved eggs were made by Rob for our Canapé Party. Rob sez:

“This recipe was taken from Practical Cookery For All, published in 1953 by Odhams Press Ltd. It’s an all-round cookery bible with chapters introducing new cooks to a range of ingredients and techniques, modern kitchenware and the new science of ‘nutrition’. There’s loads of emphasis on presentation. Full-page colour photos depict dishes like meat ragout or mock roast served on giant silver platters, decorated with vegetable crowns, surrounded by oceans of peas and finished with delicate sculptures of piped mashed potato. The recipe chapters dive straight in with a selection of rich hors d’œuvre for the Serious Business of impressing party guests.

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Pirozhnoe Zavarnoye s Zavarnin Kremom (Russian Cream Puffs)

russian cream puffs Baked for the Vintage Cookbook Trials Canapé Party by Cis NS.

“I realised in the run-up to the canape party that while I had a lot of “vintage” cookbooks, the majority of them were by writers like Elizabeth David and Edouard de Pomiane and somehow… not quite right. Luckily I was saved by the discovery of my mother’s copy of Nina Nicolaieff and Nancy Phelan’s 1981 Russian Cookbook, which promises that “all the romance and variety of th[is] vast country is contained in [Russian] cooking – a fusion of the exotic tastes of the East and the more familiar flavours of the West”. And so it is with this recipe! — okay, okay, actually these are pretty straightforward choux-and-crème-pâtissière cream puffs, nothing in the least exotic about them. But the name’s in Russian and that’s got to count for something.

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Betty’s Cocktail Biscuits

i hate to cook book peg brackenFrom a chapter of Peg Bracken’s “I hate to cook book” entitled “Canapés and Heartburn Specials; or – WHO STARTED THIS BUSINESS?”. Good old Peg. Her book is full of recipes involving condensed mushroom soup and packets of French Onion Soup Mix and cheery disdain for people with “fat cookbooks”. Peg seems to live in a constant hair-pulling whirl of party invites populated by people called Ethel who “deep-fat fry small objects or wrap[] oysters in bacon strips”. My book comes complete with someone’s scrawled notes over it in pencil, which get increasingly exasperated as the pages turn, like, “what IS this?!?!?!?!?!?” and “NO“, and “try my frozen onion mix”. Whole party selections are crossed out, like Previous Reader just couldn’t stand it anymore.

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Herbed Carrot Salad

a) apologies for the delay; b) ph34r the fusion of herbed carot salad, mashed potato, sook choo na mool and SAUSAGES! This is what happens when you cannot make salads for one, have urgent leftovers in need of eating and yet CANNOT refuse yourself sausage and mash after a tough day. Hurrah?!

450g carrots
peeled clove garlic
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
juice of one lemon
1/8 tsp granulated sugar
olive oil to taste
freshly chopped parsley to garnish

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