I’ve written a lot about salads, ingenious and otherwise, but in the introduction to June’s selection of recipes from the National Mark Calendar of Cooking, Augustus heath and Mrs D.D. (Dorothy Daisy) Cottington-Taylor, offer six suggestions. There are other recipes too, but the ingenious salad mention comes in the introduction, which I wrote about last year:
A new month and a new set of notes in the 1930’s recipe book issued by the National Mark to promote home-grown fruit, vegetables ans other produce. The book, the National Mark Calendar of Cooking, was written by Ambrose Heath and Dorothy Daisy Cottington-Taylor; I don’t know for certain, but I think Ambrose might have written the texts and Dorothy oversaw the recipes… that is only a guess based on reading other books Ambrose wrote.
June is principally the month for fruits. Strawberries, and gooseberries – is it not these that June evokes? And the rest of the kitchen garden (reflected in our greengrocer’s window) abets her. peas, the first early beans, new potatoes, lettuce.. for these we will willingly sacrifice departing seakale and asparagus.
Chickens continue apace, and ducklings old enough to braise, if only an excuse to accompany them with oranges. Beef we shall begin to think of as cold: the noble derby Round, rosy sirloin or rib, boiled silverside in a symphony of grey and pink. An ingenious salad will absorb the remains.
In half the year our housewife has scarcely sampled half the charms of National Mark. The whole summer plethora of fruit and vegetables is now before her, and she can taste and taste again until the winter months proffer their condolences in cans of what she now enjoys. Summer! The bees are busy collecting National Mark honey that she will eat next winter. Calves are growing into Select, Prime and Good beasts, in English and Scottish meadows. But what is more important is that strawberries are ripening and raspberries, too. Gather ye strawberries while ye may – the delicious and yet most uncertain fruit in England. But even for one dish, summer would have earned its glory!
I love the way these little monthly introductions are written, so expressive! So charming! … and in a sweet way quite hilarious!