I’m enjoying consulting the little National Mark cookery book I came across; I think I must have acquired it at a second-hand bookshop I certainly didn’t inherit it from my mum or my mother-in-law. The National Mark was set up in the 1930’s to try and regulate food production and ensure that people were able to buy fruit and vegetables (including bottled and canned), meat dairy and other produce of a good standard and quality.

This little book of over two hundred recipes is organised as a calendar of cooking; at the start of each of the twelve chapters there is a list of fruit and vegetables in season:

  • beetroot
  • broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • cabbages
  • carrots
  • celery
  • chicory (witloof)
  • horseradish
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • leeks
  • mushrooms
  • mustard and cress
  • onions
  • parsnips
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Scotch kale
  • seakale (forced)
  • swedes
  • turnips

There are twelve recipes, including oxtail soup, fillets of beef Pompadour, Brussel sprouts au gratin, cold cheese creams and duchy toasts. I am going to try cooking some of these… and I will share the results with you!

What strokes me about these recipes is that they are practical, imaginative and wholesome; the writers, Ambrose Heath and Mrs Cottington Taylor seem to be as keen to get ordinary people (in this case housewives!!) cooking with an eye to their purses as well as  the health of their families… very much as cookery and food writers are today, some eighty years later!

 

10 thoughts on “Beetroot, broccoli, sprouts

    • Oooh, yes, we called them scraps, they were the best! And did you also get scallops – not the sea creature but slices of potato dipped in batter and fried? I came across them when I went to Manchester; they were yummy… and cheap… and no doubt fattening… but we had no central heating, had to walk everywhere and no doubt used up most of the calories!

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  1. Yes, my mum made them and I make them to occasionally. When I was in Newfoundland on our east coast a few years ago I tried some real scallops and was told that most tourists are given Skate that is cut to look like scallops and the taste is almost the same.

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    • I can believe it!! When scampi first came out here it wasn’t scampi at all but monkfish…. no-one wanted to eat monkfish because it looked so ugly. Now of course monkfish is a real delicacy and really expensive!

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  2. When my wife was young her mother cooked and baked on an old coal and wood stove and I always thought that it took a lot of skill because although it had a temperature gauge it can’t have been very precise and you had to continually keep stoking the fire. Those ladies had a lot of talent then and stamina. Once I was at a farming museum and they had portraits of the original settlers and none had a smile on there face. I was told that they had little to smile about because life was so tough. Were spoiled rotten today.

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  3. I asked an old Indian friend how far he went in school and he said five miles. No I said how high did you go? Second floor, first door on the right he said. Some of our natives are sure funny, specially them Heckawees!

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