How fab an idea for an online party is this? Kylie of Lucy Violet Vintage and Donna from Hung up on Retro had the inspired idea to host a link up where all the participants agreed to make something, erm, different from one of their retro cookbooks, or from vintage recipe inspiration online. How could I refuse to take part? If you pop over to their blogs you'll discover such tempting delights as 'Salmon party salad' and 'Black Magic Chocolate cake made with condensed tomato soup' (I kid you not). I didn't quite get organised enough to cook an entire three courses, but as it's half term - the time the kids are allowed Nutella on toast or cocoa-pops for breakfast - I decided a new breakfast treat would be perfect. But what to cook?
Let's see, breakfasts...Aah yes, PERFECT
'The Complete Hostess' is a book I found for 20p at a car boot sale earlier in the year, and it's filled with 'Menus, Table Etiquette, Party Hints and Recipes'.
Nell writes with such authority - "The charm of a well-set table can do much to overcome the early morning grumps of some people" - that I knew she'd have a great suggestion or two up her sleeve to 'vary the breakfast menu'. What could be more delicious than 'cod in custard sauce'?
Mmm, cod SMOTHERED in custard
Not being a massive fan of custard I just make it as and when it's demanded from an aged tub of Birds yellow powder, which went out of date sometime after the war. Therefore I've never made 'proper' custard with egg yolks, and was a little alarmed to note Nell's breezy assumption that one would already know how to do it. Still, by the time I'd drunk a little medicinal gin and tonic and smoked a pack and half of cigarettes - so good for the figure! - I was ready to give it my best shot.
"It is wise to provide an ash-tray either on the table or at some convenient place, as nothing is so unpleasant as ash in the tea or coffee cups and saucers"
Anyway, I merrily flaked my cold boiled cod - 50s housewife Lakota has no concern for the depletion of the oceans - and whisked away frantically with my hot milk and egg yolks. I'm sure Nell wouldn't have dropped her nutmeg in the custard while she was grating it, but I imagine that just infused it with extra flavour.
Come back Birds, all is forgiven. I'm not sure that the violent yellow colour of powdered custard would have been much less appealing than the anemic looking sauce with speckles which I created - perhaps using that lurid dyed yellow haddock would give it a bit more colour. Or maybe it doesn't matter as I should be using "a gay spotted or checked cloth in my breakfast nook".
I bribed the smallest boy with the promise of something from his trick or treat stash, but typically Boy1 didn't need much persuasion. Do you remember Joey in Friends when Rachel accidentally made a trifle using beef sauteed with peas and onions along with jam and lady-finger biscuits? That's my eldest. "Fish? Good. Custard? GOOOOD". I thought even he would be defeated on seeing his initial expression:
But his 'I'll eat anything' genes won out in the end!
Good job Mum!
Of course I wasn't so evil as to make the boys try something I wasn't willing to eat myself:
Gosh, I'll never eat Kelloggs again!
Who's up for breakfast at my place tomorrow? Anyone?
Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out everyone else's creations!