Much as I like trying different foods, and recreating dishes from the past, there are some I think I’ll just leave to my imagination. Here are a couple of eighty year old recipes from ‘Cookery To-Day and To-Morrow by Nan Heaton:
Put 2lbs of freshly mashed potato into a basin, add 2 tablespoonfuls each of anchovy essence and chopped parsley, a grated onion and cooked beetroot and beat well together. Add a little extra milk, if necessary, to make a slack consistency and 2 heaped teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Pour into a greased pie-dish, garnish with a little grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven. Serve with parsley sauce.
First of all, imagine grating that onion! Of course these days we could chop it in a blender. So the raw grated onion plus the beetroot which I guess is also grated, raw or cooked isn’t made clear, but I imagine it would be raw, is mixed into the mashed potato flavoured with fish. I can’t say it sounds attractive! I’m quite sensitive to baking powder so that would be extra unpleasant! The cheese might be a redeeming addition, but fish and cheese? It sounds as if it would be quit soft and almost sloppy, and then to add to its damp consistency it’s served with parsley sauce… no thanks to that one!
Asparagus and turnip
Cook some asparagus allowing 4 heads of asparagus to each small turnip, cook the turnips in boiling water till tender then drain and scoop out the centres to form cups. Dress with mayonnaise while still hot and allow to cool. Place on lettuce leaves and fill the centre with the asparagus, cut into small pieces. Dress with mayonnaise and garnish with chopped parsley.
I’m sorry, Nell, this is just not to my taste – cold turnips filled with asparagus and mayonnaise? Maybe it’s something Baldrick would enjoy!