Lovely Launceston, terrific Tasmania, I bid thee adieu! Having been at a conference for the past four days and now awaiting my flight back across the strait, I don’t fancy my chances of serving up a vegetarian feast this evening. Though there’s every chance the boys will have one waiting for me. Every chance.
I do have in my hot little hands however, a copy of the 21st Birthday Cookery Book of the Country Women’s Association in Tasmania. It is a splendid publication, reissued this year but not altered I am assured, since it was first published in 1957. This becomes quite evident when one reads the advertisements contained within its hallowed pages – “A Gift She Will Always Appreciate – Fowlers Vacola Fruit Bottling Outfit – To Mother with love from Dad and the Children.” Or there’s “Housewives! You can easily make this tasty dessert to suit all the family – Merry Widow Junkets!” Yum. Or my personal favourite depicts two hat-wearing gentlemen having a likely conversation I'm sure – “My wife’s a real Pet! That’s nothing, mine’s a Prizewinner, she uses McAlpin’s Flour (the housewives choice since 1900)!”
|From the shop window of The Tasmanian Country Women's Association|
For this week’s star vegetable my initial plan was to test one of the country women’s recipes but the problem is that there are incredibly few vegetable recipes to be found among its 240 pages. Although starting off promisingly with artichoke soup (artichokes, tick), the only other vegie recipe I can see is in the Salad Section. Simply called ‘Apple and Celery’ the ingredients are one head of celery and four cooking apples. Peel and slice apples and celery into small pieces then sprinkle over finely cut lettuce, advises Mrs A. Young of Evandale. I bet Mr A Young of Evandale could barely contain himself at the thought of Mrs Young’s special Apple & Celery dish after a hard day’s yakka on the farm.
I could always try Sheeps Tongues with Sauce, Pigeons on Toast or Jugged Kangaroo, I suppose. Though what I’m really looking forward to is heading to the baking section for proper scones and sponges, the preserving section for delicious chutneys and jams, and the pudding section for goodness knows what else. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Pat Boone was top of the Hit Parade in 1957. I wonder if the ladies of the Tasmanian Country Women's Association cooed over his beautiful babyface whilst they were kneading their scones and bottling their pears?