That lovely little old cookery booklet published by the National Mark, has advice on food and coking for every month. In our more sensitive times, even those of us who do eat meat, might be a little surprised at their opening comments on chicks and ducklings… However, the book was written nearly one hundred years ago… times change! Here is what Ambrose heath and Dorothy Cottington-Taylor wrote about the month of May in their introduction to the recipes:
May is here at last, and all the pleasures we have waited for. Those chickens and ducklings seem suddenly to have grown up, the one for baking – perhaps in that delicious fashion from Maryland; the other to wait only a week or two now for the best accompaniments, green peas, though apple sauce still awaits them. The housewife will remember, though, that the casserole is not only for older birds, but that many delicious ways can be found for thus imparting new and rich flavours to the young ones.
Seakale is with us, one of the most delicate of all vegetables – natural now and no longer forced; asparagus should be getting cheaper and there should be plenty of those smaller spears suitable for garnishes and a jolly savoury with cheese.
Salads of course are cheaper and more popular too. A salad book would be a good present to give those whose birthdays fall in may; and there would be just time to absorb its contents before the summer largesse of lettuce begins.
Although still lighter fare is the order of the day, the house-wife will not forget that beef need not always be a large roast joint – the Roast Beef of Old England. Without disrespect to Sir Loin, she can take a leaf from other nations’ cook-books and remember that beef can be minced, and rolled, and collared, and so on. In these pages she will find, even in beef, some spring and summer fare.