Party dishes!!

I love my old cookery books – I love the glimpse into a forgotten world they give. The forgotten world is the ordinary domestic world of ordinary people leading ordinary lives – and there is nothing wrong with ordinary lives, my life is pretty ordinary!

So in a chapter on party dishes I’ve found some dishes which I’m sure we wouldn’t serve today, although some we might – trifle for example (plain, orange or rich) egg and salad, ham, and egg sandwiches or sausage rolls – although I think cress has dropped from fashion, and jelly – at a children’s party I’m sure we would serve jelly, although would we serve it with beaten eggs whipped into it – uncooked meringue in other words? Lobster is probably out of reach for most of us, and so it was when my book was written – but tinned lobster was and could be made into lobster patties. Lobster patties – pastry cases filled with white sauce, fried mushrooms and diced lobster… I think I might give that recipe a miss next time I’m having a party… ditto fish or meat paste sandwiches.

In this section of my nearly ninety year old book there seems to be mainly deserts, plenty of moulds – blackberry, chestnut, pineapple for example, cremes and creams – coconut, prunes and Charlotte Russe, various fruit concoctions and then the jellies almond, cherry and lemon, the latter made with gelatin, the other two with packet jellies, vanilla for one, cherry for the other.

Here is their recipe for claret cup (there are recipes for lemonade and lemon squash)

Claret cup (for immediate use)

  • 1 bottle Claret
  • 1 wineglass brandy
  • 2 pints soda water
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 inches of cucumber, sliced
  • ¼ lb sugar
  • borage
  • ice
  1. put the lemon and cucumber into a large jug
  2. add everything else except the borage and ice, and stir to dissolve the sugar
  3. leave to chill covered for 2 hours
  4. strain off the cucumber and lemon
  5. add crushed ice and borage

Just in case you don’t fancy the claret, nor the lemonade or lemon squash, here is a recipe for a fruit cup:

Fruit cup

  • 1 pint cider
  • 1 small wineglass Curaçao
  • 6  sugar lumps
  •  1 unwaxed washed lemon, juiced (see below before juicing)
  • 1 banana sliced
  • 5 oz crushed pineapple
  • 1 orange and peeled and each slice peeled and diced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, diced
  • grapes, halved, pipped and peeled if preferred
  1. rub the sugar lumps over the lemon to infuse them with its oil
  2. mix the liquids and dissolve the sugar lumps, chill
  3. make up the fruit salad and keep cool
  4. to serve, spoon into goblets and add cider




  1. Rosie Scribblah

    Aaaah. Fish paste sandwiches. On white sliced with a smear of softened butter (or marg if money was tight). I want some right now. I made Charlotte Russe in a fit of enthusiasm about 40 years ago. What a palaver. Life’s too short.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Rosie Scribblah

        Yes, we used to send some to our address before we left so they were waiting for us when we got home. They were so cheap (back in the early 1980s) that we sent them instead of postcards, that surprised people lol 😁. Went for a few years for the TT races

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      No-one these days can properly understand paste sandwiches… maybe there should be a museum of best forgotten food!! Yes I had a Charlotte Russe experience…


      1. Rosie Scribblah

        I remember a Welsh comedy duo on TV in the 1970s, Ryan and Ronnie, where Ryan would drag up into the archetypal Welsh Mam and cut bread just like that. In curlers under a scarf and a crossover pinny. Can’t find a photo on Google.

        Liked by 1 person

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