The production of the soup index

It’s September, and the National Mark Calendar of Cooking has its usual introduction to the month, and the seasonal produce available. it may seem comical now, the way it is written for ‘the housewife’, the woman who is expected to stay at home apart from her adventurous missions to the market and she shops – no supermarkets, but greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers and bakers. At home she would spend her time doing the housework and other domestic chores such as sewing, knitting, mending clothes, doing the laundry, and cooking, which is what this interesting little 1936 book is all about. The man is almost child-like in the domestic situation; he may go out each day to work, but at home he is cosseted and organised by his wife.

Here is the monthly introduction to September:

September brings cooler and more autumnal weather. Darker and damper evenings impel the production of the soup index once more, and we can look a roast joint in the face again with equanimity, if not approval. The happy housewife’s list of vegetables grows. Brussel sprouts are now included and endive – a pleasantly unusual salad.
Chickens are larger, almost monsters now; and with Michaelmas day, the goose comes into his prime. grapes hang luscious in the greenhouses, tomatoes on their vines. Long evenings and idle dinner-time propel us towards dessert, and before the cobnuts we shall sample an apple or perhaps one of the first pears, say a Worcester Pearmain with its crisp sweet flesh; for apples, that loveliest of all, a Doyenne de Comice – names to conjure with. Hungrier and less difficult to please, the mere man relapses into his autumnal habits, and the housewife knows that her task will be less exciting for the next six months!

I mentioned once before that I think this is written with humour, and yes, it really is… looking a roast joint in the face with equanimity, that is just precious!

img005The mere man

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