Sunday, 23 September 2012


Good Morning to you,

Can I ask you a question? 

Do you remember the  first cookery book you bought?

You do. Tell me,  how did you feel when you held the book in your hands?   Were you excited to recreate the recipes the book offered?  Were you seduced by the photographs? Were you "champing at the bit" to read the book from cover to cover?

What I am really describing is how I felt. I remember  all of these feelings and I couldn't wait for my culinary adventure to begin.


Here it is.   I felt nothing less than a book entitled  International Cookery Course would do. As a newly wed, I wanted to impress George with what would be, my newly acquired, exotic culinary cooking!

Remember this was 1970 and cookery books were changing.    Can you imagine  jumping from Ivy's cookery book, which had 4 colour plates, to Phyllis' which had a few more colour plates than Ivy's, to a cookery book which was full of brightly coloured photographs and so much detail. Not only that, but  filled with exotic foods.

I was ensnared. No more plain cooking for me. I was going to be an exotic cook (remember I was very young).... and so my love of food from around the world began.

Greek food is still one of my favourites and  Moussaka is delicious. The sights and sounds of Cyprus come flooding back when the aroma of Moussaka fills my kitchen.  Cooking Moussaka and listening to a little Greek Music makes me a very happy person.


Tourtiere is a well known meat pie from Quebec and is traditionally served after midnight mass at Christmas.  This pie is spiced with cloves as well as mixed dried herbs, which I found unusual at the time.  You can't tell by the photo that it includes bacon, onion, potato as well as pie pork. George loves this pie as his father used to make him plate pies as a child and he says although not as thick as this Tourtiere, the pie his father made was very similar.  

 Can you imagine how I felt when I first set eyes on this cake. No..... well I will tell. I couldn't believe that a cake baked at home could look so spectacular.  As you know Ivy was a skilled baker, but I had never seen anything baked as large as this magnificent cake. I couldn't wait to bake it.   The first time I baked it I had to share it with friends as  the two of us would have been eating it forever more.  My friends were impressed with this cake and so was I. After my first attempt I kept this cake for special occasions.

Does anyone remember making Beef Stroganoff? (That question is for the Diamond Jubilee Children!) This was a very popular dish if you were having a dinner party.   In the '70's we didn't say we would invite friends for supper,which is a much more relaxed affair.  We invited them to a dinner party which was very formal. We dressed for dinner and minded our P's and Q's.   Nowadays things are a lot less formal and much more relax which I prefer.


.....and who didn't make Goulash in the '70's, especially during the winter.  It is such comforting food.   The important ingredient in this recipe is paprika, which can be bought in abundance now, but again it wasn't so readily available back then.  Can you tell this has been a well used recipe over the years. See the marks on the photo, some ingredient or other  was splashed on the page when I was making this dish and you can see where I tried to wipe the mark away.

This Potato Soup with Dumplings is a recipe  used time and time again.  This soup we enjoy for supper as it is filled with carrots, leeks, celery,onions, bacon and salami and is a very hearty, warming soup.

....and now to Spain.  The omelette I was used to, was a  little  French rolled omelette, using  two  eggs and filled with grated cheese, but this was a giant in the world of omelettes. When I came across these tortillas I didn't imagine I would make them as they were so large and far too much for two people.  But when George spotted them they became one of his favourites, as in his youth he did a lot of sport, especially judo and canoeing which took great amounts of energy, so these Tortillas  became a regular in my repertoire of cooking.

Look at that beautiful picture, at the time, there was nothing more exotic than an Indian Curry. The information about making Chicken Curry said,  "Spices and ingredients for curry, including poppadoms, are available in high-class grocery stores ".  mmm didn't know any high-class grocery stores back then, so this dish wasn't made for many years.  Nowadays,  the spices I use  come from India. You can't be more authentic than that.

It was during the middle of the '70's that I was able to buy the ingredients for dishes such as Prawns with Mixed Vegetables and Crispy Pancake Rolls. At the time I felt my culinary education needed to be increased before I attempted these  dishes.  It took a while, but with practise I mastered these dishes and was rewarded with delicious new tastes to savour.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at recipes from way back when..... ok the 1970's.  I hope so, as I am going to recreate a few of the recipes for you.  The first one will be next Sunday, and I'll be cooking  Moussaka.... now, this will be fun as Dimi from Aussi Dimi Decoupage will tell me if I am making it correctly, but I have to say, I adapt recipes for our taste, so it probably won't be strictly correct, but it will be very tasty.
This week I will be joining,
 Green Day at Raindrops and Daisies
Take care and I will see you later in the week. 
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx 
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