I mentioned our train journey the other day, we have another one today! We won’t be having a picnic lunch anything like Constance Spry describes in her Cookery Book!
Here is what she says about train food, (and its interesting to read about the difficulties picnic makers had in the past without our modern wrapping sheets, plastic bags, snap-lock boxes etc):
The primary qualification about such food is that it shall taste fresh and be really appetising. it should never bear the faintest trace of paper flavouring, something not so easy to avoid as one might think. Sandwiches or bread and butter, and chicken, may each be wrapped in lettuce leaves to keep them away from napkins or wrapping paper, and whenever possible special food cartons should be employed.. and. for keeping salad fresh. Porosan bags. I should like to give you the details of a delicious meal made by one of the family for a small party going up to the far north.
Each of us was handed when we got into our sleepers a small, neat cardboard box containing two little screw-top cartons and other small packages. In one carton was a freshly made lobster salad in a delicious dressing, the second carton contained fresh fruit salad of peaches, strawberries and orange. Crisp poppy-seed rolls were quartered and buttered, and a Porosan bag held the crisp heart of cos lettuce. There were small cream cheese rolls made by taking two short pieces of celery, filling the hollow made when they are put together with cream cheese and rolling the whole in brown bread and butter…
… Thermos flasks, a commonplace to all of you, have brought about the possibilities that would have seemed miracles to us: consommé, coffee, and even toddy, all kept warm for many hours.
Lobster salad! Good grief!
I guessed that Porosan might be some sort of pre-plastic food covering and after a lot of trailing through different sites, found this:
Porosan was a thick plastic skin (the book calls it a ‘synthetic skin’) that was ‘shrink-wrapped’ using a hot water bath method and which produced excellent and safe results. A real shame it’s no longer available, it’s easier and cheaper than replacing rubber rings on Kilner jars.
I see that it is available as waxed discs for making jam on Amazon – if you should want some. it”s not to be confused with Indonesian porosan ‘a dried betel preparation’!