Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Salt of the Earth!

At the fete on Saturday I bought a biscuit tiIM002612n full of buttons. Inside was this wonderful little tin, full of vintage shirt buttons.

It is amazingly tiny - measuring 44mm x 25mm x 70mm - which I reckon to be about 16 teaspoonsful of gravy salt. There is a simple recipe printed on the side for "A Savoury dish for a Family."

It requires 2lbs mutton, 6 small potatoes, 1 cabbage, 2 onions, 1 gill warm water, pepper and Burdall's Gravy Salt.

The instructions state "Wipe the meat, cut into convenient pieces. Put into dish, add water and seasoning and simmer half an hour. Add potatoes sliced, and cabbage cut into 8 pieces. Stew from one to two hours. Serve up."

Then in case you are in any doubt it states "These are splendid dishes, need no sauce, but a healthy appetite" [and good eyesight, the print is TINY!] It all looks wonderfully economical.

The recipe doesn't actually tell you what to do with the onions! I wonder how large the 'family' is meant to be [4, 6, 8?] I don't think I fancy cabbage which has been stewed for 2 hours, however tasty the gravy salt is! Internet research suggests it was discontinued about 5 years ago, but a firm locally here in Leicestershire makes "Old Jake's" and claims it to be a good replacement. I come from a Bisto family - but admit to using Sainsbury's gravy granules for years now!

Am reminded of Tony Hancock's wonderful quote "I thought my mother was a bad cook, but at least her gravy moved"!!!

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