Friday, July 19, 2024

How we used to cook

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Ali Bohn, The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper

I do not need to remind you how cold it has been lately.

Waking up to the sound of the birds squawking to their mates to pry them from the frozen grass as we lay cozied up under the doona hardly makes one want to spring out of bed and face the bitter morning.

The thing I love most about winter is the comforting aroma of soups and casseroles bubbling away on the stove, and home-baked treats fresh from the oven.

Wearing my favourite slippers, with music playing in the background, I love a good winters day of food preparation for the days ahead. Meals and lunchbox treats, and sometimes extras to deliver to family members.

I was talking about this to one of our most loved visitors to The Bridge office just the other day, and when she returned the following week with a bunch of old recipes in her hand, I couldn’t wait to read through them.

The sponge that never fails, traditional fruit cake, hearty beef and vegetable stew. I anticipated all these recipes as my taste buds became awakened, sat back in my chair and put my glasses on.

The recipes were from an old CWA cookbook circa 1958, I believe, and I just could not wait to share these lovely culinary delights with our readers.

Can you imagine serving up some of these classics today? I just love some of the names of recipes too! I have also included a couple of sandwich filling ideas for when ham and cheese just won’t cut it, and some kitchen hints. I hope this gives you a laugh, or at least invokes some precious memories…

Invalid Soup

Ingredients: 3 ounces fillet of veal, 1 pint milk, salt, 1 oz. rice, chopped onion.

Cut the veal into very small pieces and wash the rice well. Put into a saucepan with the milk and a little chopped onion and salt. Allow to barely simmer for 3 hours. Strain and reheat without boiling, otherwise the soup is apt to curdle. The soup should be of the consistency of a thick cream. Serve in a small bowl with sippets of toast.

Mutton Broth

Ingredients: 1 ½ lbs scragend neck mutton, 2 quarts water, carrot, turnip, 2 oz. pearl barley, onion, celery, salt, cayenne, chopped parsley.

Cut meat off bone and cut up finely. Remove fat. Put meat bones into saucepan with water, salt and cayenne and well-washed barley. Bring slowly to boil, simmer half an hour, add vegetables cut into dice. Simmer 1 ½ hours longer. Skim well, remove bones, add chopped parsley, season to taste. Serve in tureen very hot.

Sandwich fillings

Minced tongue and pickle, chopped ginger and nuts.

Kitchen hints

Test the purity of milk with a steel knitting needle. If the liquid runs off the needle quickly, water has been added, but pure milk will cling to the needle, dropping off slowly.

If you happen to run short of eggs when making a cake, a mixture of warm milk and golden syrup will help serve the same purpose.

It is a very different world we live in now. One thing is for sure, and that is that the household was run with whatever you had available to you and with one heck of a lot of improvising.

We are now a spoiled generation, indeed!

The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper 4 August 2022

This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 4 August 2022.

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For all the news from The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, go to https://www.thebridgenews.com.au/