Curried banana and stuffed cuccumbers

Over the last couple of days I’ve been looking at Modern Practical Cookery again, published in the late 1920’s earl 30’s. The idea of supper seems to have disappeared, apart from cheese and biscuits or toast and something – wait a minute, this is old school! my children and their friends would have Deliveroo or Just Eat bring them dishes from around the world and think nothing of having pizza at midnight or spare ribs and chicken wings in the early hours.

Modern Practical Cookery has a whole chapter a whole 53 pages devoted to savouries and supper dishes. Here are a couple which caught my eye:

Curried bananas

  • 3 oz of rice
  • 4 bananas
  • ½ oz of margarine
  • ½ oz of flour
  • ½ apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ onion, finely chopped, plus half an onion grated (mindful of my eyes I think I would chop very finely!)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 dsp of curry-powder
  • 1½ gills of water
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  1. fry the onion and apple in the margarine for five minutes
  2. set the rice to boil
  3. stir the flour, curry-powder, lemon juice and a pinch of salt into the apples and onions, add the water gradually
  4. when the sauce has come to the boil, lay the peeled bananas in it and heat for five minutes, adding more water if necessary
  5. strain the rice and heap onto a serving dish, sprinkling the grated onion on top
  6. place the bananas and sauce around the rice and garnish with quarters of hard boiled egg

This could be quite nice, I guess, apart from the raw onion on the rice – but thinking about it, at Indian restaurants there is often finely chopped raw onion served with poppadoms and chutney.

An interesting instruction in the recipe is ‘do not mash the rice’  – was that common, to have mashed rice? Another not very helpful instruction because it does not give timings, amount of water etc, is this ‘If it is boiled for exactly the right time, each grain will be separate.’  So I wonder what exactly the right time is? It does not tell us!

Stuffed cucumbers

  • 2 good-sized cucumbers, peeled, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed
  • 2 oz of good dripping
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 oz of ham or bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 tsp of Worcester sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 dsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 oz flour
  • ¾ pint of stock
  • more dripping
  1. gently fry the onion and ham/bacon in the lard for 5 mins
  2. add the tomato and fry for a few more minutes
  3. add the breadcrumbs, Worcester sauce, egg, parsley and seasoning, mix well
  4. stuff the cucumbers with the mix, place teh halves together face to face, and tie in place with two or three bits of string
  5. add the extra dripping to the pan (as much as is necessary, and heat until a blue vapour arises put in the cucumbers and brown them all over
  6. remove cucumbers from the pan, drain off excess dripping and add the flour and stock to make a gravy
  7. season with more Worcester sauce, salt and pepper
  8. place the cucumbers back in the pan in the gravy, cover and stew until tender for about an hour

This is such a bizarre recipe, surely the poor cucumbers would collapse to a mus after all that cooking!! One day I must try some of these strange recipes just to see what happens!!

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