It is a truth universally acknowledged that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And so, dear readers, I present one of the most garish cookbooks of my vast collection – Barbara Cartland’s “The Romance of Food”. While her tastes for overblown makeup and a vivid shade of pink colour our memory of her, she wrote over 350 books, and was also an historian and political speaker. She also campaigned for better conditions for nurses, midwives, the aged, and gypsies. So, despite the makeup, and indeed this cookbook, she doesn’t deserve the ditzy image we have of her.
The cookbook is lavishly decorated with some extremely odd ornaments. It boggles the imagination what her house looked like if all these were from a personal collection. Many recipes are embellished with a quote, or some odd bits of information. Ice Cream in a Brandy Basket has the lines:
“Flowers, candlelight and a meringue heart in raspberry puree decorated with arrow pierced hearts. What could go with them better than a diamond and a wedding ring?”
The recipe itself notes that raspberries are good for rheumatism. The recipe for Pink Chicken is lavishly decorated with flowers and surrounded by pink glass ornaments. It is described:
“Chicken in pink sauce, chicken in pink quartz, and the pink flush of your cheeks when he says, I love you.”
A recipe for Chicken with Orange Surprise is decorated with wishbones (surprise! Make a wish for a wedding!). I could go on, but honestly despite the craziness, the recipes sound pretty good.
Special Strawberry Ice Cream
1lb/ 450 gms of strawberries
1/4 cup / 60gms sugar
3/4 cup / 215ml water
2 egg yolks
1&1/4 cups / 315ml cream
Wash and puree the strawberries. Heat the sugar in the water until dissolved. Beat eggs until white, then add the sugar syrup and cream and puree. Combine. Place in freezer, taking out and stirring after an hour.
Serve this with a raspberry sauce made from 6oz raspberries pureed with 1tbsp kirsch, sugar to taste and 1 tsp arrowroot. (or cornflour) Cook this till thickened.
Cindy Tomamichel is a multi genre author, with her SMP series Druid’s Portal a time travel action adventure romance set in Roman Britain. Short stories of fantasy, scifi and romance can be found on her website, where she blogs on aspects of world building. Her latest release -The Organized Author – provides much needed help for authors trying to navigate social media and build an author platform. Doing NaNo this year? Check out her free book NaNoWriMo Ready.
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