Thursday 31 January 2019

OXO en casserole

Researching archive newspapers can be a very time-consuming occupation. Especially for someone as easily distracted as me.

For as much as I try to concentrate on the article that threw up the hits, my eyes are ineluctably enchanted by neightbouring pieces. All sorts of rubbish about the Yugoslavian cabinet's deliberations, an Italian Duke who had perished fighting in Greece, temperance wankers whingeing in the letters pages, weirdly imprecise reports of bomb damage, bizarre parliamentary debates (nothing changed there) and adverts.

Mainly the adverts distract. With their illustrations and snappy text. Then again, that is the point. If they didn't attract my attention, they'd be pretty crappy ads.

This one particularly harpooned my eyes. Because the product is still on the shelves. Including mine.

Manchester Evening News - Tuesday 19 November 1940, page 3.

I love the contradictory messages. On the one hand, the haut cuisine pretension of "en casserole". Followed by the more prosaic - and wartime appropriate:

"Dumplings cooked in vegetable water to which one or two OXO cubes have been added make a tasty alternative to a meat dish. The dumplings can be made with half flour and half oatmeal."

Not only are stock cubes substituted for meat, the dumplings are half ersatz themselves. The recipe does explain some of the meals I ate in childhood. By cooks versed in the wartime culinary arts.

I do like to keep a beer theme going on this blog. Like daily post, something I feel incapable of abandonning, no matter what the personal cost. Here goes.

To add a Manchester feel to the recipe, use a bottle of Mercer's Meat Stout instead of the OXO. Then taste that Stouty meaty goodness.

Obligatory beer reference completed.

Back the boring old number shit tomorrow.

Does that small girl in the photo have a perm?


A Brew Rat said...

No, I think the small girl is wearing a barrister's wig.

Anonymous said...

When I read 1984 as a high school student, I would have understood it better if my teacher had explained about English austerity times.

MFK Fisher's How to Cook a Wolf is a great account of getting by on wartime rations, although I suspect things were never as dire here as in the UK.