Some not so tempting tastes on offer

FEELING a little peckish, I looked around the other day for something different to eat and was rather surprised by what I found on offer.

What caught my eye and at the same time made my wallet shudder in horror was a Stilton cheese made of real gold which costs �60 a slice.

A dairy in Leicester has announced it will make a limited edition run of it this Christmas.

I won’t be in the queue but I read that the company has already been contacted by a number of interested buyers including an oil sheikh and a famous pop star.

These are the sort of people who have gold-plated toilets. If they don’t have them already, they soon will I suspect.


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At the other end of the scale, there’s a great way to save on the family food bill by serving up toast sandwiches. At just 7.5p a time, they are being hailed by the Royal Society of Chemistry as the cheapest lunch option.

Making it is simplicity itself – toast a very thin slice of bread and when it is cold place it between two slices of thin bread .Butter is option. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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This is not a new invention aimed at keeping the wolf from the door in these dire economic times of ours.

The recipe comes from the 150-year-old Book of Household Management written by Victorian domestic goddess Mrs Isabella Beeton who recommended it as “very tempting to the appetite of an invalid” who was thought to benefit from plain food because of their weak digestion. But not very appetising to most other people I think.

Other ideas from the great lady include toast soup which involved boiling 1lb of bread crusts in 2oz of butter and a quart of “common stock”.

Suggested as a refreshing drink was toast-and-water which constituted a slice of stale loaf toasted then soaked in a quart of boiling water until cold.

But Mrs Beeton warned: If drunk in a tepid or lukewarm state, it is an exceedingly disagreeable beverage.”

Also recommended for the poor invalid was beef tea “that’s as simple to prepare as simply boiling up beef bones to make a stock”.

There was real meat in some of the recipes of another Victorian cookery writer, Charles Elme Francatelli, who wrote A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes in 1852.

I think most of us would not stomach them today. They included Sheep’s Head Broth, and A Pudding made of Small Birds.

Perhaps more palatable was his recommendation for starting the day – pumpkin porridge.

There was no meat in an old Scottish recipe for Fitless Cock – a chicken-shaped oatmeal pudding which had to be boiled for two hours.

Then during the rationing days of World War Two, one of the suggestions from the helpful Ministry of Food was Mock Goose which replaced the meat with lentils. I won’t bother giving you the recipe.

Anyway, I’m much too busy looking up the number for the takeaway.

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