07 March 2009

Dinners That Wait

Dinners That Wait by Betty Wason is a great little menu cookbook from the early 1950’s that positively reeks of a Douglas Sirk film!

Mrs. Wason tells us in her introduction,
“It is a well known fact that both the cook-hostess and her guest will enjoy a dinner more if she can spend a leisurely moment with them before eating. But, unfortunately, many a cook is up to her elbows at this time in dinner preparations while her guests try to entertain themselves.”
I wonder where the cook-hostesses “hubby” was while she was up to her elbows cooking and the guests were milling about in the living room watching that deer out the window.

I guess it is just too much of an effort to ask Mr. Wason to chat up the guests! It's rather easy, just sit down next to a guest while your wife slaves in the kitchen.

For tonight's dinner party, we have chosen the exotic dish called Beef Curry. We know it is "exotic" thanks to the burka-wearing babe standing next to that big jar of curry. For this dish we are "looking to the timeless East" which I think of as Connecticut. In the 50's, evidently, the "timeless East" was located somewhere, or perhaps, everywhere east of Britain.

Beef Curry

3 pounds beef, boneless chuck
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons vegetable fat
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 medium apple (optional)
3 1/2 cups water
1 green pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes. Melt the fat in a large skillet. Add the beef, and brown quickly on all sides. Then lower the heat, add onions, garlic, green pepper, and salt. Now add the curry powder stirring it to blend thoroughly with the meat and chopped vegetables. The quality of the curry powder is all-important. Splurge on the very best you can find. The cheaper curry powders are sharper, with a much larger proportion of turmeric, and can ruin the dish entirely. Finally add the raisins, sliced apples, and water, and cover. Simmer at least 1 hour, until the meat is tender when pricked with a fork. Put aside until ready to reheat and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin