By: Mrs Robot
It's no secret that I love vintage - or, as I generally call it, Old Tat. Back at the start of January my lovely friends Naomi and Zoe sent me a 1959 cookbook called Fun With Food: Planned Menus For All Occasions. It struck me as a book that might help out a housewife from a relatively humble background (or one who grew up on wartime rations), whose lifestyle has gone somewhat upmarket and is suddenly faced with hubby's boss coming for dinner. What to do?! Call on this little book by Nella Whitfield.
Tonight we tried one of the menus. It was supposed to be three courses, starting with strawberry cocktail, but I forgot to buy any strawberries. As it was essentially strawberries macerated in kirsch, served in glasses tarted up with either strawberry or lettuce leaves, I considered serving neat kirsch with a lettuce-leaf garnish, but thought better of it.
So, straight onto the chicken pie. The book called it chicken pie, but it also contained ham and, unusually, hard boiled eggs. You start by boiling the skin and bones with stock veg and a bay leaf for a couple of hours to make a stock, then put sliced egg in the bottom of a pie dish, pop chopped chicken and ham on top with some seasonings (including mace and a tiny bit of grated lemon peel), top it up with stock, whack on a puff pastry lid and bake it.