When my mother-in-law moved house I helped her sort out her kitchen, not only the utensils, pans, cookware, crockery and cutlery but the contents of her pantry. She didn’t have a car but had local shops she could go to and I was secretly amused to find that she had several packets of cornflour – by several I mean about six! I know what it’s like when you go shopping, even with a list, you suddenly remember you’ve run out of beans or sardines or sandwich spread and you buy a couple. Unpacking the shopping you find you already have several of whatever it is you thought you had forgotten… and next time you go shopping you remember you need beans or sardines or sandwich spread…

When I found mother-in-law’s cornflour I had a little chuckle. She was moving to a smaller place so I ended up with a lot of unwanted items, including several of the packets of cornflour. Since then I have realised how useful it is, and I too have a couple of packets in the cupboard, an open one and a spare for when I run out. Thickening sauces and gravy, coating fried items, baking, pastry… it is just so useful! Every time I use it I think of my dear mother-in-law!

As well as inheriting cornflour, I also inherited a little cornflour recipe book published by Colman’s. Cakes, buns and biscuits, cold sweets, hot puddings, sauces and a real left over form a former age, invalid dishes. This is an area of cooking which no longer is current, there’s never sections in modern cookery books for invalid cooking! There are plenty of recipes to do with healthy living, super foods and healing foods, but no invalid dishes!

Invalid dishes

Colman’s Cornflour is particularly suitable for sick people. It is made from Rice and scientifically prepared to form a light easily digested cornflour. Doctors always recommend Colman’s Cornflour for delicate digestions because it is absolutely NON-IRRITANT. Milk taken alone is often found indigestible bu=y sick people. This is because it forms a clot in the stomach. The addition of Cornflour helps to break up this clot. It will therefore be found that milk (so necessary for the sick and convalescent) can be taken freely and enjoyed if taken in conjunction with Cornflour.

There follows a number of recipes – ‘ a number of attractive ways which will assist in the difficult task of tempting the patient’s appetite.

The simplest is cornflour milk, and then cornflour gruel – which harks back to me to fairy tales! Wine jelly, angel pudding, fish soup, black currant tea, cup pudding – and a sick room favourite, beef tea custard. Beef tea was the standby for treating invalids – in this case, beef tea, Colman’s cornflour, the yolk of an egg and seasoning. I wonder if I’d fancy that if I was ill!!

My featured image is of a corn flower.

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