|Rushden Echo, 25th June 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis
When strict economy is being practised, fish should always be filleted at home instead of by the fishmonger, as the head and bones which are never sent home with filleted fish are very valuable for stock for sauce or soup. For the same reason meat should be boned and poultry drawn and trussed at home, and stock made at once with the bones and giblets. The recipes below were given me by a French friend who is a most wonderful manager.
Fish Frying Batter
Mix smoothly and gradually two tablespoonful of flour, a pinch of salt, and a tiny pinch of baking powder with milk to the consistency of thick cream, and add gradually one teaspoonful of salad oil, stirring till this is well incorporated. The fish should be perfectly dry before it is dipped in the batter. It should be washed and laid in a clean cloth for some time beforehand, and if necessary dusted with a little flour.
The secret of successful frying is to use plenty of fat of the right temperature, and this is more economical than using a little, for the fat wastes less, and can be used time after time if strained at once and re-clarified occasionally. If the fat is the proper heat it will not retain or communicate any undesirable flavour. Thus the same fat can be used for fish, meat, rissoles, &c., or even for sweet fritters. When it is hot enough the fat should be quite still, with thin blue smoke rising from the surface. To test it, throw in a piece of crust of bread. If it turns crisp and golden brown at once the fat is just ready.
Put three pints of the water in which fish has been boiled (cod, hake, or haddock make the best soup) with the bones, skin, and heads of the fish, reserving any nice flaky remains of fish for the present. Let it boil for about half an hour, then strain, return the liquor to the stewpan, and when it boils add one turnip, one carrot, one large onion, all peeled and cut in dice, a few sprigs of parsley, a blade of mace, two or three peppercorns and cloves, and salt to taste. Simmer till the vegetables are tender, then rub through a wire sieve, rinse out the stewpan, return the puree to it, and stir in one dessertspoonful of flour, mixed smoothly with milk, a small piece of butter, and sufficient milk to make the soup of a creamy consistency. Lastly, add the pieces of cold fish and a seasoning of paprika. Serve with dice of fried bread. This soup is not only delicious, but remarkably nourishing and digestible.
Mix two tablespoonfuls of cornflour and one of cocoa with a little milk to a thin paste. Boil rather less than one and a half pints of milk with one tablespoonful of brown sugar, stir in the mixture, and boil for ten minutes, stirring continuously. Flavour with a few drops of vanilla essence, pour into a wet mould and set aside till cold.
Put about six ounces of pieces of bread, broken small, crusts and all, into a basin, pour over half a pint of boiling milk, cover closely and let it soak for an hour. Then beat it smooth with a fork, and add, gradually, four ounces of finely-chopped suet, two tablespoonful of brown sugar, one teacupful of flour, one teaspoonful of baking powder, half a teaspoonful of ground mixed spice or of powdered cinnamon, a good grate of nutmeg, and lastly, four ounces of sultanas and a little candied peel cut up small. Mix very thoroughly. Put into a well-greased pie dish and bake for one hour till nicely browned. Turn out, sprinkle with sifted sugar, and serve either hot or cold it is exceedingly nice cold, and is always much appreciated as nursery fare.
Cut into short pieces all but the outer stems of two heads of washed celery. Thinly slice a fairly large onion, and when plain water forms the basis of the soup, cut into small pieces as much raw ham or lean bacon as will twice fill a tablespoon. In a large enamelled saucepan melt a piece of butter the size of a large egg (about 3oz.), add the celery and onion, cover closely, and draw aside from the central heat of the fire. When the vegetables have cooked in their own steam for about half an hour, add four breakfast-cupfuls (one quart) of water and the ham, or the same amount of water in which ham or meat has been boiled. Season to taste, simmer gently until the vegetables are quite soft, then press through a sieve or colander. Mix two tablespoonful (two ounces) of flour smoothly with milk, and add what remains of two breakfast-cupfuls (one pint) to the soup when reheated. When boiling stir in the flour. Simmer gently for a few minutes longer, and add more seasoning if necessary. A little cream will improve it. Serve separately dice of toasted bread or fried dice of bread.