Waiter, there’s something in my retro classic – the round-up

by Jeanne on May 8, 2009

in Waiter, there's something in my...

Right folks, roll up, roll up.  It's time for the retro round-up!  For this month's edition of Waiter, There's Something in My…, the monthly food blogging event run by Johanna, Andrew and me, I decreed the theme to be retro classics and asked you all to dig around at the bottom of your recipe files to bring out the classics of yesteryear.  Here's what you came up with:

GourmetGiraffe The very first entry came winging its way into my inbox from Melbourne, Australia, where Johanna of the Gourmet Green Giraffe casts her mind and tastebuds back and comes up with the charmingly-named parkin.  But beware – this molasses-flavoured treat is meant to mature for a week before eating, so those in need of a quick cake-fix will be cliimbing the walls. 

Tastefood Staying with the sweet stuff but jetting across to Lynda of Tastefood in the San Francisco Bay area, we find her busy concocting little butterscotch puddings.  Man, this brings back memories of the "revolutionary" little individual puddings that appeared on South African supermarket shelves in the 1980s –  Flanby!  They definitely did creme caramel but I'm almost sure that they or their competitors also did chocolate and butterscotch – my favourite.  Good times. In fact, I can almost hear Duran Duran on the stereo!

FoodNFamily Off to Cape Town now where my friend Kit of Food & Family proves once again that great minds think alike.  I had gone so far as to buy the shrimps and the avocados when Kit's e-mail arrived in my inbox.  Damn!!  This event was not big enough for two avocado and prawn cocktails, also known as avocado Ritz.  Both Kit and I remember thinking that this was the world's most sophisticated starter when we were growing up!  OK, our views have changed somewhat, but there is no denying that it's still delicious :)

GourmetChick Back in London, Gourmet Chick (like me!) is feeling the stress of these uncertain economic times.  What's a girl to do, other than to revert back to simpler times, before low-carb diets and cholesterol-consciousness.  Yes, folks, I speak of the Golden Age of macaroni cheese.  Comfort in a bowl – made even yummier by GC's addition of bacon bits and mustard.  I feel better already!

Ambrosia Quest A quick trans-Atlantic flight gets us to the kitchen of Paula of Ambrosia Quest in Silicon Valley, California.  Want a traditional Bavarian dessert, but too scared to temper the eggs?  Try Paula's raspberry cream with lemon creme fraiche which uses gelatine instead of eggs – but still turns out to taste lush and sliky.  Now that's my kind of recipe!

BettyNoire Back in South Africa, we catch up with Betty of BettyNoire in Johannesburg.  Although her blog is not exclusively about food, she saw this month's theme and could not resist digging out her classic South African cookbook Kook en Geniet (Cook and Enjoy), billed in its time as " a guide for every young lady, bride and housewife".  She produces a truly astonishing beetroot ring with peas and mayo.  Truly retro-tastic!

HardSpear Another South African blogger who doesn't focus on food exclusively but decided to join in the fun this month is Spear of Hardspear.  He takes us on a magical mystery tour of food of the 1970s – chicken liver pate, Chateaubriand, devilled eggs, angels on horseback… culminating in his dish of raspberry charlotte.  Excuse me, I have to go and put some Abba on the stereo now!

Melecotte Back across the Atlantic in Atlanta, the lovely Chris of Melecotte brings back some childhood memories for me.  As a child growiing up in South African in the 1970s and 1980s, Twinkies were like moon rocks – simply unobtainable.  And yet we knew all about them from those umimpeachable information sources – Archie and Richie Rich comic books ;-)  Now that they are freely available, my adult palate is not nearly as smitten as my teenage one would have been… but I'm sure Melecotte's homemade Twinkies would be a whole different ballgame :)

CocoCooks Further north, my dear "Chicago sister" Courtney of Coco Cooks proves once again that great minds think alike.  Clearly we were both channeling the meringue goddess for this event, as you'll notice when you see my entry!  Courtney gets her hands on the Military Wives cookbook which spans two centuries of cooking.  Now that's a whole lot of retro!  Courtney opts for an old-fashioned banana pudding which is comfort food extraordinaire – and just look at that perfect meringue topping!

Passionatecook Right here in London, my friend and co-founder of this event Johanna from The passionate Cook gave us a break from the sweet stuff and went for something meatier.  Like me, she was on the brink of making prawn cocktail when something in the retro classic Cordon Bleu Cookbook caught her eye: a classic beef Wellington.  You can see why this used to be the ultimate dish to impress at dinner parties!

Spittoon Unsurprisingly, my other friend and co-founder Andrew of SpittoonExtra went for something sweet.  He cleverly combines his regular dessert of the week with WTSIM and makes a dessert that I'm sure every single one of us remembers from childhood:  trifle.  If your childhood was like mine, this will bring to mind claggy custard and jelly cubes in terrifyingly day-glo colours.  But Andrew presents us with a delicious sounding lemon blueberry trifle.  Yum! 

BakedAlaskaTitleWeb And as for me, your hostess with the mostest, I decided to make something that used to fascinate me as a child and that I've only attempted once before.  My first cookbook in the 1970s was the My Learn to Cook Book, and in it was this most astonishing:  baked Alaska!  To a kid, baked ice cream seemed to be an impossibility and I was consequently fascinated.  For my contribution, I made individual baked Alaskas with Cointreau and marmalade.

And that, as they say, is that, folks!  Thanks to all the creative, retro-tastic participants, and I look forward to seeing you all at next month's event over at Johanna's. A little bird has told me that the theme might have something to do with French bistro cooking…!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula Maack May 8, 2009 at 9:44 am

Wow! Nice round-up, Jeanne. Great job putting it all together!!
I enjoyed participating, and look forward to the next one. Thanks!!!
Cheers,
~ Paula

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Kit May 8, 2009 at 10:49 am

I’m so sorry for nipping in a grabbing the prawn cocktail spot, but I’m gald I did ‘cos those baked alaskas look fantastic and maybe now I’ll feel brave enough to try them one of these days!
Thanks for a great event once again!

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Gourmet Chick May 8, 2009 at 10:50 am

Great theme and it came up with a really diverse range of entries (even if there were nearly two prawn cocktails!)

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Charlotte May 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Jeanne, you are hijacking my memory bank. Flanby! I mean, were they not the biggest treat ever? And as for salivating over the unknown Twinkie while reading my Richie Rich magazine, I guess we had parallel childhoods.
Great event. Makes me want to head to the kitchen and start cooking.

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johanna May 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm

wonderful round-up – thank you! what a selection of classics… and the beetroot ring (though not my taste as you know) LOOKS so retro it’s unbelievable! well done everybody, look out for the announcement of the next round when we’ll be cooking BISTRO FOOD!

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Johanna May 8, 2009 at 2:23 pm

great round up – so much fun looking at all these old fashioned recipes and nice to see them made new again – but I loved the beetroot jelly – retrotastic indeed!

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Cookin' Canuck May 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm

How fun! Some of those dishes (beef wellington, meringues) bring back some deeply buried (but good) memories. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
http://www.cookincanuck.com

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Manggy May 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Oh, you mean you don’t *normally* have ABBA on? Shhh! Heh heh :) This is a fantastic round-up– I see people were really inspired to step back in time!

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Tracy Grant May 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm

I found your blog while searching for Braai recipes for a recipe swap I am in and just want to say I love it! And all your recipes sound gorgeous. Got to try the peppermint crisp tart tomorrow, havent had this for years!

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chris May 9, 2009 at 1:21 am

I think this has been one of my favorite events! So many food memories I had forgotten came rushing to the front of my memory. Thanks!

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Hardspear May 11, 2009 at 8:59 am

Jeanne, thanks for the nice comments on my blog. Yes, although my blog is not exclusively about food, I am finding myself doing more and more food posts, such as my mission in starting to bake my own sourdough bread. You also have to check out my latest post on Indian Butter Chicken for Mother’s Day.
Again, I had so much fun doing this post. Also reading the roundup. I will definitely visit the other posts in your roundup, they all look fantastic. I also remember the flanby. It was made by Chambourcy or something to the likes. I don’t think they exist any more. The closest one get now is Moirs’ Caramel Cremes which you have to make yourself.

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courtney May 12, 2009 at 3:46 am

Great round up. I always prefer the more retro style of cooking because it reminds me of home and growing up. And yes, I admit your meringue inspired me!

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Elizabeth May 13, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Drat! How remiss of me not to have noticed this latest WTSIM… theme. I could have posted the Cherries Jubilee that we had not long ago. Good thing there are plenty of comforting looking dishes in the retro-roundup.

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