Monday, June 04, 2007

Old Maid Day.

Today, June 4th

According to some almanacs, this day is Old Maid’s Day. In spite of the efforts of the feminist movement, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of overwhelming enthusiasm for celebrating this day. Surprisingly, there are several claimants for the honour of inventor of the occasion sometime in the late 1940’s, in America. It may be an adaptation of the Leap Year idea especially resurrected in honour of returning servicemen and in reflection of the hope of the greater number of available women waiting at home.

I blame the name of the day for the lack of enthusiasm for making merry on the day. I blame it even more on the lack of a special food to celebrate it with. It would hardly help the cause to use the dish sometimes called “Old Maid Pie”, and you will understand why when I tell you its other names are “Scrap Pie” or “Saturday Pie”. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that this is the traditional pie of the weeks leftovers, the cook trying valiantly to hide their provenance under a pastry lid.

Old Maid’s Pie
This, which is in a manner of speaking made entirely of scraps, is yet very good. Take 4oz or 8oz of any sort of cold meat, poultry, or game — a mixture of one of these with a little chopped lean ham or bacon is perhaps best. Have ready some freshly boiled mashed potatoes. Spread a layer of these at the bottom of a pie dish, then put a layer of the meat.
Cover this with a layer of freshly-fried onions, then sprinkle with grated cheese and fried breadcrumbs. Continue these layers until the dish is full. Moisten with a little stock or gravy; strew the top very thickly with fried onions and breadcrumbs, and grate over the whole 1oz of cheese (any scraps of dried cheese will do just as well as fresh for this); place a few bits of butter here and there, and bake in a moderate oven until of a golden-brown hue. Take out and serve at once. Fish may be used in place of meat if liked.
[Cookery For Worried Housewives; Mrs Alfred Praga; 1948]

Tomorrow’s Story …

War and Sprouts.

Quotation for the Day …

Cooking Tip: Wrap turkey leftovers in aluminum foil and throw them out. Nicole Hollander.

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