Have you realised the loveliness of tulips with yellow jonquils in contrast? The yellow flowers against the lovely translucent green of the tulip leaves are delightful.
These aren’t my words, but were written probably in the 1920’s by the anonymous author of Modern Practical Cookery; in fact there probably wasn’t one author, there was probably a team of writers and cooks to produce the weighty but interesting volume.
This introduction is in the Little Dinners section of the book heading the suggestions for March. After the menu there is a little more:
At last we are able to have spring flowers to deck our table, but winter winds blow chill outside, and a little homely dinner party is still one of the jolliest entertainments.
The actual menu for six is as follows:
Clear soup á la Royale
Fried Sole and Tartar Sauce
The soup is made from beef stock, and then has a savoury custard… I’ve written about this before, and I am a little mystified by the idea. The tartar sauce is basically a mayonnaise with tarragon vinegar and chopped capers. The sauce is served in ‘lemon baskets‘; a basket shape is made by carefully cutting our parts of the lemon peel to look like a handle, removing the flesh and filling with the tartar sauce.
I thought Vienna steaks might be steak served in a fancy sauce; in fact they are more like hamburgers, minced ‘lean buttock steak‘ mixed with minced onion and breadcrumbs, bound with an egg, dipped in seasoned flour and fried They should be served with thick gravy and cauliflower and potatoes ‘cooked in the usual way’.
The pancakes are made with butter and sugar whipped together, with flour and eggs and the flavour from orange and lemon zest, baked in shallow saucers or pans, served sprinkled with castor sugar – no mention of cream which I would have thought would be essential!
Just referring back to the ‘winter winds’ mentioned in the introduction, having had glorious unseasonable sun, we are now back in winter mode with Storm Freya making her presence felt.
Thanks to Alexas for the lovely picture of mauve tulips.