Prim, old fashioned charm…

It’s September and for a busy housewife in the 1930’s wanting to produce a splendid dinner for six guests, Modern Practical Cookery offered not just a menu and recipes, but a suggested table decoration!

What can equal the prim, old-fashioned charm of zinnias I mixed colours? Their bright hues are enhanced by the soft delicacy of a Chinese bowl.

It does sound charming… if only I had a Chinese bowl, or some zinnias… I’m not exactly sure whether I remember what they are. I’m not sure what the flowers are in my featured image… but certainly zinnias featured in the garden of my childhood along with wallflowers, grape hyacinths, pinks… .Zinnias originated from Mexico and one of their other names is youth-and-age, well, I’ve never come across that before but I’ll think of it whenever I hear them mentioned… or when I go to a garden centre to look for them.

For September  – here is a delightful menu for the betwixt-and-between season when the days of fresh fruit are behind us, and the time for heat-giving foods of winter is not yet come:

cauliflower cream soup
Roast chicken, bread sauce, potatoes, beans
plum jelly creams
mushroom toast

This is quite an easy and practical menu, none of the dishes are complicated and yet they all sound tasty. My family doesn’t like cauliflower so the soup would be out for us, but it does sound delicious – cauliflower, onion, stock, bechamel sauce, celery seeds and paprika.. It’s interesting that for six people there are two chickens – the birds were obviously much smaller in the past!  Not many people would offer adults jelly, and I think glacé cherries would be a talking point these days – very retro! There is nothing fancy about mushroom toast – it’s just mushrooms… and toast!


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