I like your sauce!

I’m not sure if anyone says ‘I like your sauce!’ anymore and in fact when I tried to look up where the phrase came from or what its history was I couldn’t find anything about it – so maybe it was just local when i was growing up, or maybe it was just a family saying. I was going to write a little about it before talking about edible sauces (as opposed to sauce meaning liquor)

When we were children there were a few homemade sauces which we had very specifically with things –

  • mint sauce – with lamb, home-made with malt vinegar and home-grown mint
  • white sauce – with vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli (not calabrese, we didn’t have that as children) and asparagus
  • onion sauce – made with onions cooked in butter, a roux, milk, and a dash of cooking sherry
  • parsley sauce – white sauce with parsley with ham and also with fish
  • gravy – if that counts as sauce

The only tomato sauce we had was ketchup, and I don’t remember us having brown sauce at home; ketchup was served on the side as mustard might be to go with a particular thing. There was Worcestershire sauce of course which was useful in cooking as well as with breakfast! We didn’t have bread sauce with roast chicken or turkey – and in fact I didn’t come across it until i was an adult… and then I didn’t like it!

The only sweet sauce we had was Bird’s custard – we didn’t have the mysterious sweet white sauce my friends spoke about, which sounded odd and not nice – not that we ever tasted it!

Looking at old recipe books, I’ve come across loads of sauces, for every day cooking as well as for special dishes, so I think maybe our family just weren’t very saucy! In ‘Light Fare Recipes for Corn Flour and Raisley Cookery, there are three sauce sections, fish, savoury and sweet. I use corn flour a lot, and a cousin who is an excellent cook always uses it for making sauce whereas I just use ordinary flour.

Anyway… here’s a list of the different Raisley Cookery sauces:


  • anchovy – white fish sauce with anchovy essence and anchovy paste and paprika
  • brown – using stock made from butter, fish bones etc. (presumably heads and tails) onion, carrot, herbs, mushrooms, claret, thickened and with extra mushrooms added
  • caper – white fish sauce with coarsely chopped capers and tarragon vinegar
  • cardinal – (for turbot, salmon or sole) white fish sauce with, lobster spawn rubbed through a sieve, butter, double cream
  • Dutch – essentially Hollandaise
  • egg – white fish sauce with chopped hard-boiled egg white, the yolk being used to decorate when served
  • Indian – a curry sauce made from butter, onion, carrot, curry powder, apple, tomato sauce or pulp, fish or meat stock, finely chopped gherkins
  • lobster – white fish sauce with finely chopped lobster and anchovy essence
  • mayonnaise – made over a double boiler, but otherwise just a mayonnaise
  • mustard – roux, fish stock, mustard, vinegar, cream
  • oyster – white fish sauce with oyster juice and cooked oysters
  • parsley – white fish sauce, parsley, lemon juice
  • Polish – roux, fish stock, horseradish, cream, lemon juice
  • shrimp – shells and heads of shrimps boiled in vinegar with mace and a bay leaf, strained and added to white fish sauce, shelled shrimps, anchovy essence
  • white – an ordinary butter and flour roux with milk and fish stock

vegetable – most of these are a white sauce base plus the flavourings of the particular vegetable, except the tomato which is just a normal tomato sauce thickened with corn flour, and the Espagnole which has sherry

  • béchamel
  • brown
  • butter
  • celery
  • Dutch – added egg yolks
  • egg
  • Espagnole
  • gratin
  • lemon
  • mushroom
  • onion
  • parsley
  • tomato
  • white


  • apricot
  • caramel
  • chocolate
  • custard
  • fruit juice
  • jam
  • orange
  • raspberry
  • rice – made with the water from cooking rice
  • white
  • wine



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