Bluebells  with daffodils give our table a festive air

What’s for dinner? These days we can have just about anything we want at any time of year. I think it’s a shame we have lost the excitement of new season’s produce but times change… in fact times are changing so quickly and so chaotically who can predict anything, but maybe we will perforce return to having things only in their season.

Modern Practical Cookery, no longer modern but ninety years old has some lovely suggestions for ‘little dinners’. Here is the dinner for April, with its lovely little introduction:

April

Spring is on its way – and we can use the first bluebells  with daffodils to give our table a festive air. With mats of Normandy lace – a pretty scheme.

Here is the suggested menu:

corn soup
leg of English lamb and mint sauce
new potatoes
spring cabbage
pineapple pie
anchovy fingers

Corn soup is something I’ve not come across in English cooking – maybe I just haven’t looked, but it sounds really nice! With a few adjustments to suit our taste, I think I might try it, but I have altered the recipe slightly as the original suggests you boil the sweet corn for half an hour!:

Corn soup

  • 1 lb sweet corn (tinned or frozen – but defrosted if frozen!)
  • 1¼ chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 onion (small or medium, depending on how much you like onion flavour!) finely chopped
  • ¾ oz flour
  • 1¾ pint milk
  • seasoning
  1. fry the onion in 1 of the ounces of butter until it’s soft, making sure it doesn’t colour
  2. put corn and onion in a blender and whizz until smooth (the original recipe suggests rubbing through a sieve but that’s hard!) adding as much of the stock as you need (all of it if you have a big blender!)
  3. add the rest of the butter to the pan, make a roux with the flour then add the milk until you have a white sauce
  4. add the corn and onion mix and salt and pepper (a little nutmeg or paprika would be nice although that isn’t mentioned in the original recipe!

I think with a little experimentation, this could be very nice – maybe with crispy bacon bits as garnish and a swirl of cream or sour cream!

 

 

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