Serve with cheese scones and savoury marrow

I’m still looking at my mother-in-law’s school meals recipe book from the 1950’s; it’s so impressive with the variety of dishes cooked – all with an eye to economy and balanced meals with plenty of fresh vegetables, protein, and presentation – yes presentation, little garnishes added! There’s whole sections on meat – roasting, boiling and steaming, stewing, braising and frying, vegetables and salads, pulses, fish, pastry, puddings, biscuits and meringues as well as yeast mixtures, milk puddings, and fruit. At the back, just in case the cooks have run out of ideas there’s a list of supplementary recipes. 

We used to have friends round for meals but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore. Maybe people go out for meals together instead! If I was entertaining, it might be fun to serve a school meal – everyone my age will have had them in their youth, I was lucky at our school with what we were given – as were the pupils at mother-in-law’s school! I’ll have to give the recipes in the quantities in the book which were for a hundred servings:-

So for the fish course

Cod au Gratin

  • 19 lbs skinless cod fillets
  • 3lbs cheese
  • 3 lbs fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 gal milk
  • ½ gal water + 1lb dried milk – reconstituted
  • 2 lbs flour
  • 2 lbs margarine (I would substitute butter!)
  • ½ dried mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley chopped
  1. place fish portions on buttered tray
  2. cream together butter, flour and mustard
  3. bring milk to boiling point and thoroughly whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth sauce results
  4. add the cheese and season
  5. coat the raw fish with the sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cook in a moderate oven until the fish is cooked and the top is lightly browned, approximately ½ hour
  6. garnish with chopped parsley

There’s such a choice for meat course, beef cobbler, fricasee of veal, navarin of mutton, stuffed loin of lamb… but I think I will go with…

Beef Olives

  • 100 very thin slices of lean beef (3in. x 4in.) approximately 16 lbs topside
  • 2 lbs root vegetables
  • 10 pts good gravy


  •  4 lbs breadcrumbs
  • 2 lbs suet
  • 4 oz chopped parsley
  • 8 eggs and milk to mix
  • seasoning
  1. prepare the forcemeat by mixing dry ingredients and moistening with beaten eggs and milk
  2. place portion of forcemeat on each slice of meat, roll and pack tightly in backing tin
  3. add prepared root vegetables, cover with gravy
  4. bake in a moderate oven, with lid on until the meat is tender (about 2 hours)

Serve with cheese scones and savoury marrow (cubed marrow, braised with tomatoes, onions, seasoning in stock)

After all that, I think I would serve apple ring fritters and Swedish fruit charlotte!



  1. andrewbeechroad

    To day we had naming of parts,
    Forcemeat and gravy,
    Cod fillets and cheese.
    And tomorrow scones and Savoury Marrow,
    But today we have Forcemeat and gravy.
    And maybe tomorrow we will have the Simpson’s for dinner,
    But alas Weston is a long way from Manchester,
    And Timmy train proves decidedly unreliable.
    Leaving me to ponder what Lois would call up
    From her extensive cookbook ensembles
    If the Simpson’s were to venture south.
    Perhaps Spanish Meatballs or Navarin Mutton
    Or maybe even a light Florentine soup
    If the Simpson’s were to venture south.
    For now, I can only ponder on what might be,
    Knowing that today it will be,
    Forcemeat and gravy, Cod fillets and cheese
    And perhaps an essential draft of Badger Bum Ale

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.