Monday, 27 May 2013

We've All Become Cowardy ( Lo-Fat ) Custards


 In the last two weeks I've had lunch in two different little cafés , both  charmingly decorated with vintage china and staffed by nice , apron-clad young women . And in both the clientele were mostly women of the Lean Ladies Who Lunch class . Delicious sandwich menus ...  artisan breads , grilled chicken , smoked salmon , Rocket , frilly salad leaves and chargrilled vegetables abounded ... but not the tiniest smear of butter  . Said Ladies Who Lunch obviously eschew visible fat .
 How we've all changed ! This cheese shop is , in fact , almost next door to Els's cosy little cafè with the assorted 1950s chairs and pretty collectibles here in Leeuwarden  .

 Men were entering in droves , women hanging back somewhat . I , meanwhile tried to drum up enthusiasm for the low-fat Kwark dip , one of my companions bought a small pot of olives and the other one , who can't eat cheese at all , evinced an interest in the decor . When did we all become so feeble ? !
 I remember my father's unvarying after-dinner routine of hacking huge chunks off a wheel of cheddar and handing them round to my mother ,  me and himself in turn till it was finished or we all turned green . Worries about cholesterol , like cellulite and love-handles , all lay in the future . Mind you , we cycled and walked miles most days so we all survived  .
Anyway , by chance the other day , I rediscovered my 1940s copy of Food Without Fuss

 written by Josephine Terry to help the middle-class housewife who suddenly found herself having to cope with rationing and no cook .  The recipes make grim reading but are certainly , like most war-time recipes , almost fat-free .
 Perhaps you'd like to try her Maryland Crusts ? So handy when you've a few leftover boiled Brussel sprouts : Arrange them on some slices of cold toast . Then make a cheese sauce with flour ,the sprout water and milk  and  " as much cheese as you can afford " . Boil up , stirring vigourously and season . Allow to get cold and pour over the prepared crusts  . Garnish with a few "carrot gratings" . Personally I'd rather invite myself to dinner at the Hendrearys in Borrowers Afloat " .

 "There were boiled chestnuts and a smoked minnow each for the men , " It sounds more filling !


Liz said...

I was wondering what to have for dinner; it's got to be Maryland Crusts!

Rattling On said...

I eat butter, and cheese. I prefer to cut out carbs and much prefer savoury things. I've found it very hard to gorge on butter without feeling queasy, but bread...
Now, I love sprouts with a passion so I wouldn't find a few Maryland crusts much of a hardship at all!

(PS. My cholesterol is well below average, I've had it tested. Which is not to say other bits aren't going off the rails!!)

rachel said...

Wonderful recipes (to read about, not to attempt!)
Yes, when did we all get to be so feeble? Food intolerance just wasn't heard of when I was a girl....

Friko said...

I’ve just filled in the “Million Women Questionnaire” and I have to admit that I was horrified at realising how much meat I eat. Practically every day of the week.
But no cheese or dairy.

We make too much fuss. I watched a TV programme from Germany on Sunday, a discussion group about dieting. The panel were all food related professionals, doctors, nutritionists, etc. but they couldn’t even agree among themselves.

Moderation is the key word.

Tattie Weasle said...

I think it's a case to knowing too much and too little exercise. I love big chunks of cheddar and fabulous relishes to go with it on a thickly buttered piece of fresh white bread!

colleen said...

Well I needed a laugh - I certainly will when I get my cholesterol reading. I can live without butter but, oh, how I like a bit of cheese. Still, I can always stand outside Neal's Yard Dairy and just sniff.

love those cupcakes said...

I'm not that fond of butter (I do use it in baking) but enjoy most things cheese related. The mister here loves both. I'm sometimes heard to ask if he'd like a bit of bread with his butter.

Marcheline said...

There's nothing cooler than vintage cookbooks. The worse they are, the better they are! 8-)

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Maryland crusts sound absolutely disgusting! I love the cheese shop though. I think I could just move right in and live there.