Retro chic Australian recipes
Does anyone else have their grandmother’s recipe cards? And being 100% honest, does anyone use their old family recipe cards? To begin with, they’re usually in a box in a kitchen cabinet, which is completely unhelpful when I’m blundering through Woolies after work trying to think of things to cook. But it’s not just that. Even if I was casually musing about a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon I wouldn’t start reaching for Nana’s old recipes because... well they’re kindof strange. There's all this aspic, liver, walnuts and maraschino cherries, prepared in terrines or fish-shaped molds (btw you can still buy a fish shaped mold– I checked eBay).
But seeing as though I have food on the brain pending the upcoming MasterChef finale, I had a wander through Trove wondering if I could find a few old recipes that might work for the modern Australian pallet. There are few that seem very contemporary, or at least retro chic!
1. Puree of Pea (1889)
Okay substitute cooktop for ‘fire’ and put in a blender instead of ‘rubbing through a sieve’ but this seems totally doable for the home chef. It’s not all that far from a pea puree I once saw Nigella do a pea puree for a risotto only she used crème fraiche.
2. Tomato jam (1937)
Mmmm... Sunday brunch – eggs with a spicy tomato jam. I notice that Neil Perry used red wine vinegar instead of lemons to give his jam a little acidic bite but all the key ingredients are there. I’m excited about this recipe. Thank you Mrs Homes for sending this to the Sunday Times in Perth, I bet you had no idea I’d be using it some 75 years on.
3. Apple-almond turnovers (1956)
Admittedly these are more than a little retro but if apple turnovers are back on the menu for Adriano Zumba then that’s good enough for me. Providing I could get the pastry right there would be a definite yum factor.
4. Chocolate-nut meriques (1975)
I can just see these on the front of a magazine, served with a raspberry coulis and dusted with cocoa powder. And the amazing thing is how small the short the list of ingredients is – it almost makes me a little skeptical about whether it will work. And more to the point… did they mean ‘mixed nuts’ instead of ‘mixed fruit’?
I know there's plenty more out there, particularly in the Australian Women's Weekly but I these are some that grabbed my attention!
Last edited by sschinde [NLA]; 05-08-2011 at 08:36 PM.
Thanks for these great links.
I still make and enjoy Tomato Jam, which by the way, is a sweet jam just like this recipe, not a savoury one. It's great on toast, but I don't think I'd like to try it with eggs! I know when I gave jars to my adult children recently I had to impress upon them that it's a sweet jam, just like any other - and after all, tomatoes are a fruit.
I really love Trove (and old recipes) - keep up the good work.
Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy apparently unchanged for a century. This is the earliest recipe I can find from 1901: