The little National Mark Calendar of Cooking recipe books follows the year and looks at seasonal produce; the focus is on ‘home’ grown fruit, vegetables, meat and fish – well, the fish would have to be caught rather than grown as there were’s salmon or oyster farms in 1936 when this little book was published. Fruit and vegetables for this month include peas, marrow, potatoes, spinach, various beans, strawberries, and red and black currants.

Here are two recipes which would make a nice lunch together:

Spinach fritters

  • ½ lb cooked spinach or spinach purée, very well-drained
  • 1 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, well beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
  •  ½ gill white or Béchamel  sauce (a gill is half a pint)
  • 1 tbsp thick cream
  • butter
  • nutmeg
  1. add the spinach and all the other ingredients to the hot sauce (not on the heat)
  2. drop spoonfuls of the mixture into hot but not too deep clarified butter, making sure they don’t touch each other
  3. cook for 1 minute, turn and cook for another minute
  4. drain and serve very hot (kitchen paper is ideal to drain them on)

… and serve with

Scrambled eggs Portugaise

  • eggs
  • chopped tomatoes, peeled, pith, pips and juice removed, drained
  • butter
  • seasoning
  • parsley to garnish
  1. season the tomatoes and cook very briefly in melted butter until they are hot but not turned to a mush
  2. scramble your eggs and put onto a warm serving dish
  3. making sure the tomatoes are not wet (you may need to briefly drain them on kitchen paper) place in the middle of the eggs
  4. garnish

If you wanted a larger lunch, the cookery book offers recipes for different beans, sautés, Provençale, Lyonnaise, devilled potatoes, and to finish strawberry flan, or strawberry or raspberry and redcurrant ice cream, or black currant and almond paste tart

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