One of the great things about this blog are the books people give me – this gem, purchased somewhere in south London, is a stone-cold classic. Spiral-bound like a desktop calendar and part of the ‘Standeasy Cookbook’ series, Special Occasions was published in 1979 by Bay Books, edited by Vivian Allwood, with the home economist Ann Page-Wood. You can tell it’s a late 70s cookbook, because two out of the 48 recipes contain tragically misplaced grapes. As you can see – it’s still fully operational:
Nestled between the recipes for vermouth fish loaf and guinea fowl madelaine however, there are some tasty dishes – dinner party standards like devils on horseback and duck a l’orange and from this range, I chose the boeuf en daube after a craving for beef stew persisted after eating an excellent boeuf carbonnade (made by someone else).
I cooked a much smaller portion than listed in the recipe. used some excellent stewing steak from Marsh produce (currently selling through Harringay market) and instead of belly pork, I used a thick rasher of back bacon. I also added larger quantities vegetables than listed and left the meat to marinate for longer (two days, in fact!). Also, as I added just a couple of dried mushrooms for flavour (and picked them
It may not be lovely looking, but it was easily the best stew I’ve ever made. Whether it was the extra veg or the extra marinating time, the sauce was smooth and delicious with tender (somewhat irregular…) pieces of meat and vegetables. Highly recommended (as long as you add an extra leek).
Daube’d by Elly
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?).
Today, a guest post by Martha (her others are here and here).
I bought Elizabeth David’s Summer Cooking sometime last year and we haven’t really had a summer since. So I hadn’t got around to making anything from this until a week ago when after a day of sun I remembered that it was June.
Ms David is of course famous for her cookery writing as much as her recipes, and for shocking post-war English palettes with her re-introduction of the long-lost concept of flavour. Her achievements also include persuading Le Creuset to increase the number of colours in which its cookware was available, pointing at a pack of Gauloises and stating “That’s the blue I want,” (source).
I made this stew in order that my dinner of fried cheese pastries have a glancing acquaintance with the principles of good nutrition. This recipe is also from Puerto Rican Dishes (Waverly Press, 1956) and include ingredients found in many of the recipes in the book, especially the base of ham, onion, tomato and pepper (there is a soffrito recipe earlier in the book which uses these things and two kinds of pork). In fact, although some of the recipes in this book may be similar, they help give the reader an idea of popular flavours combinations, much like an Italian cookbook will repeatedly demonstrate the love of basil, garlic and parmesan.
Although this book is one I’ve had since even before I started actively buying vintage cookbooks I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything from it (may not be true, can’t be bothered to check). This is because it’s horrendous. Every single image in it is a browny-yellow shade and it makes vegetarianism sound like a problem which they’ve come up with a few palliative measures to make the burden slightly more bearable rather than a perfectly reasonable culinary choice. I’m sure with a bit more enthusiasm and better food photography many of the recipes would be more appealing but as it is, I’ve never wanted to cook any of them. Why I suddenly decided to the other night remains a mystery.
Sorry this is being posted late! Events ran away from me towards the end of last week.
As promised, another soup, and one you could conjure from store cupboard ingredients, (if you own a store cupboard, I took these items from my spice shelf, carb-drawer and the fruit bowl). I’m interested to see if it’s edible exactly as written or if these seven ingredients actually don’t magickallye combine into a tasty meal.(This recipe is from Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book, 6th edition, 1958).
This comes from the rather alarmingly covered Hungarian Culinary Art by József Venesz (Corvina Press, 1958):
(Shiny pig. Would eat).
Posted in 1950s, Hungarian Culinary Art
Tagged beef, caraway seeds, egg, garlic, lard, onion, paprika, plain flour, potato, tomato