Seasonal dishes, 1936

I posted this a couple of years ago… I’m still not convinced!

I’m looking at my little 1936 National Mark Calendar of Cooking; as the name suggests, this little recipe book offers seasonal dishes throughout the year, making use of whatever produce is available and at is best this month. So this month there is a delicious selection of fresh fruit – including blackcurrant, cherries, gooseberries, loganberries, plums and red currants – our seasons have so changed in eighty years that the cherries and currants are all gone now, and vegetables including artichokes, beans of various sorts, beetroot, cucumbers and tomatoes.
There are two tomato recipes… and I really don’t think I would like either… maybe it’s just me, or maybe tastes have changed dramatically since 1936.

Tomato Ice

This is rather good as a first course, or as a soft cocktail.

  • tomatoes
  • cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  1. make a purée of some raw tomatoes by rubbing them through a coarse sieve
  2. strain through a fine sieve
  3. season with salt, pepper and cayenne
  4. freeze to what is technically known as ‘a mush’

‘A mush’ – I really don’t find tomato mush appealing as either a first course or a soft cocktail, even if alcohol is added to make a cocktail!I find a lot of humour in this little book! I’m not sure why,  but I feel that the writer of these introductions is Mr Ambrose Heath, not Dorothy Cottington-Taylor,  . However,

Tomato jelly salad

  • ¾ lb tomatoes
  • ½ an onion, sliced
  • 1 lettuce
  • a little diced celery when in season
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • celery salt
  • bayleaf
  • 2 cloves
  • salt
  • ¼ pint hot water
  • ½ oz gelatine
  • mayonnaise
  1. stew the tomatoes with the onions, celery, sugar, cloves, bayleaf, celery salt
  2. rub through a sieve
  3. dissolve the gelatine in water and add to the tomato purée
  4. when almost cold, pour into small, wetted, individual moulds
  5. when set, turn out and serve on lettuce leaves
  6. garnish with a tsp of mayonnaise

Of course, these days we can have almost whatever we want whatever the season; so if we wanted tomatoes or celery at any time at all, they are always be available! No, tomato jelly would not appeal; it’s not so much the flavour, but the texture would be strange!


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