So I’m back in France for a week’s holiday. I promised myself that I wouldn’t spend much time indoors whilst the sun was shining, but I’ve been cutting grass and made some cake so I don’t feel too bad about writing up a quick entry here!
You may remember a post from January where I took some photos in a hypermarket of some bits and pieces … Somebody mentioned that the next time they’d like some picture of cheese. I have to say, dear reader, that I endeavoured to do so as there was an impressive display. However, the vendeuse kept giving me the hairy eyeball whenever I seemed to be doing anything remotely like get my phone out of my pocket in order to take a photo, so I only managed to get a few hurried shots. For this I apologise.
Not to be outdone, I did get some shots of some vegetables …
And some dried sausage …
And also some sweet stuff …
After the flight palaver and the shopping palaver had finished, made it home where my mum presented me with a gift: A book owned by my great-grandmother, given to her by one of her younger sisters.
Originally published in 1932, this copy was published in February 1943 and given as a Christmas gift in December of that year. How do I know?
The book was written by Jessie Lindsay, who was Head of Household Arts Department, King’s College of Household and Social Science, and Helen M Tress, Lecturer in Household Arts, King’s College of Household and Social Science, Diplomee Cordon Bleu, Paris . Their website has this to say about Jessie:
Particularly prominent among academic staff was Miss Lindsay, Head of the Household Arts Department, whose expertise was in great demand among external organisations. Her many roles included examiner in Sickroom Cookery at St Thomas’s and Bethnal Green Hospitals, Cookery Examiner for both the Federation of Working Girls’ Clubs and the Girl Guides, and Examiner in Cookery and Dietetics for the London, Liverpool and Manchester Domestic Science Training Colleges.
Miss Lindsay was also appointed by the Ministry of Health as the only woman member of the Advisory Committee on Nutrition and as a member of the Institutional Diets Sub-Committee. In connection with this she carried out extensive work in diet balancing and menu construction, and acted in an advisory capacity to numerous hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Miss Lindsay retired as Head of the Department of Household Arts in 1948, a post she had held since 1924.
The only mention of Miss Tress is as follows:
… who had been employed in the Household Arts Department since 1924, and resigned during the war to take up employment in the Ministry of Food, where she organised a nationwide propaganda campaign and was promoted to Head of the Food Education Division.
The introduction was provided by Professor Vernon Mottram, MA.
Of equal standing, within the Physiology Department, was Professor Mottram. A leader in his profession, Professor Mottram published several books during the 1920’s, with titles such as ‘Elementary Physiology’ and ‘Food and the Family’ becoming extremely popular. He also collaborated with Miss Lindsay on the principles of diet and cookery in her book ‘A Manual of Modern Cookery’, and went on to publish ‘The Properties of Food’ with colleague Miss Clifford. His work with Dr Hartwell on the nutritive values of white and brown bread was widely reported in the medical press, and his series of talks on food and nutrition were regularly broadcast by the BBC. Professor Mottram retired in 1944, having held the Chair of Physiology since 1920.
Its quite an interesting book – dealing with the why of cookery rather than the how – but Mottram makes an interesting point in his introduction which sets the scene wonderfully. He is talking about the 3 types of cook – the first is the “divinely inspired who never weigh anything and yet can turn out a perfect meal”, the second is “the criminals who … spoil the best food in the best equipped of kitchens”, and the third are those who “usually muddle along in between”. Of these he adds:
This last class must have been largely augmented since the war by mistresses who, as the result of the dearth of domestic help, have had to turn to and do their own cooking.
It might just be me, but I can almost hear the bemoaning of a lost way of life.
Either way, I’m rather looking forward to seeing what the Misses Lindsay and Tress have to tell me!
And in the back of the book was an old recipe card …
So! That seems like a lot without actually being very much at all … More recipes to come over the next few weeks. I’ll try to space these out a bit to get my monies worth!
P.S. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to call this post “Passport to Appetency IV: The Wrath of Khan” …