Changing tastes

Food goes in and out of fashion just as everything else does, but it seems a shame that so often things which were popular in the past are sneered at. I daresay we do find it hilarious that at parties there used to be a grapefruit sometimes but not always covered in silver paper, with cocktails stuck in it and on the end of each a cube of cheese and a piece of pineapple, but I wonder what features in all the cookery programmes and magazines and cookery supplements which we will find silly, pretentious and a cause of great amusement?

Looking through the eighty year old National Mark Calendar of Cooking, the little seasonal recipe book produced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to promote home-grown produce,  here are some recipes which seem a little strange to ‘modern’ tastes, stuffed cucumbers? Marrow soup?

Here is something which sounds… interesting! Because of the peculiar weather we have had this year, we have pounds and pounds of tomatoes ripening on our vines…so maybe this would be the perfect recipe to use some of them in an original and different way:

Tomato jelly salad

  • ¾ lb tomatoes
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 1 lettuce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • bayleaf
  • 2 cloves
  • celery salt or a little diced celery
  • salt
  • ¼ pint hot water
  • ½ oz gelatine
  • mayonnaise
  1. stew the tomatoes, onion, sugar and spices and celery if using
  2. rub through a serve
  3. dissolve the gelatine and add to the tomato purée
  4. when it is almost cold, pour into wetted individual moulds
  5. when set, turn out and serve on lettuce leaves
  6. garnish with mayonnaise

It’s a sign of our times that celery is available all the year round; in the original recipe it suggests celery ‘when in season’.

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