Good Things In England

There are many more good things in England than bad.

The first of the season's apples for instance.
These are Discoveries.
They are crisp and juicy and the flesh just under the red skin is rosy.
They are not a particularly old variety, only about seventy years old. 
I have tried to discover why they are called discovery. I could not, but I like to imagine it is a reference to Sir Isaac Newton's discovery.

Good Things in England was written in 1932. It is a lovely book to read.
 Some of the recipes do not appeal to us today; moor fowl (moorhens) served with red cabbage, Norwich cygnets, stewed lamb's tails, rook pie for example. 
But, many more do; savoury baked eggs, collier's pie (flaky pastry filled with cheese, bacon and onion), baked white fish, bacon and green peas, skinless sausages, Madras chicken curry, Stoodliegh Rectory stew (Irish stew), strawberry shortcake, poor knights of Windsor (eggy bread), and a Worcester recipe for beef olives are all things I'd put on my table. 
The recipe I most want to try is Grassy Corner Pudding. To make it you must line a mould with lemon jelly, one assumes not from a packet, then you make a pint of strawberry cream and a pint of vanilla cream. You make layers with the two creams and 'put it on ice' (the fridge). If I can just work out how to line a mould with jelly.

Although I have had this book a long time today was the first time I cooked from it.
Ham loaf seemed a nice, simple family meal.

My ham was not very fatty  and wasn't quite 1 lb so I made up the difference with some finely minced streaky bacon.

Ready to go in the oven.

Very good indeed.


  1. I have to confess I have the same book, and it is sitting in a pristine state on a shelf. I will go and fetch it and browse for a tasty supper tomorrow.

  2. And I have it too. For someone who doesn't do so very much cooking I do seem to have a fair few old/reprints of old cookery books. Your ham loaf looks like something my lot would love :)

  3. Your apple pictures are superb! I didn't know that one could have a Persephone cookbook, but I think I'll pass on that one. Stewed Lambs Tails? No thank you, same goes for Rook Pie.

  4. Toffeeapple, Persephone have published at least .six cookery books

  5. I have it too, bought for english hubbie as a reminder of good things! Have never made anything from it! Must have another look!

  6. In answer to your question about how to line a jelly mould with jelly; I imagine you need to find a glass bowl or mould that is smaller than the mould you want to use so it fits inside and then you pour the jelly between the two. Would that work? Love reading your blog, even though I'm no cook. Debs xx

  7. It might Deb, but maybe the smaller bowl would stick to the jelly?

    I think you would have to do it in stages waiting for the jelly to set before you do the next bit. Maybe the jelly sets quickly when poured in a thin layer and you can swoosh it around the mould as it sets?

    It's an interesting problem!

  8. If in doubt do what I do and Google it. It sounds like you're on the right track with the swirling it around but you need the mould as cool as it can be first so it sets quickly(according to the almighty Google who knows all). Can't wait to see the finished product and read how it all went.


  9. A very clever post Sue given the recent events in England - there`s nothing like an English apple and in Worcester and Herefordshire they are excellent I`ve heard!

  10. Oh lord, I'll have to make one now won't I, and soon before the strawberries are gone.

  11. I have this book too and have never cooked anything from it - but I do love reading it especially the variations of the same recipes. Lovely.

  12. What you probably need for the jelly is a cook and a kitchen maid, I expect the Hon. Mrs H Hannen had one or two lurking below stairs!
    I must get this Persephone book! They are fab aren't they?

  13. I saw your name on 'No Knitted Knickers' sidebar, and was curios. Wow your blog is fab. I love all your food photos and would love to come to dinner to your house, I certainly would be well fed.I am your newest follower. Love Linda x

  14. Our neighbor on the allotments has a Discovery tree. Such gorgeous bright red apples and so many of them!

    K x

  15. Apples are in abundance here too! I am a huge fan of Persephone books but have not bought any of the cookery volumes - perhaps I will just take a quick google stroll over there now!

    Sarah x

  16. That looks tasty Sue.

    Focusing on teh good things is the only thing to do at the present I think. Lets hope it keeps raining!

    Looking forward to new apples very much, I think they're going to be earlier than usual this year.
    Have a great weekend.

  17. I have a book called Plat du Jour by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd (lovely names) pub 1957 but it is similarly unused. I must remedy that. Intriguingly it has the name Barbara Pym neatly written on the cover.

  18. Wow, Lucille, do you think it is 'the' Barbara Pym?

    Plats du Jour is another one that Persephone reprinted.

  19. Hi Sue, if you line the inside bowl with clingfilm, the outside of it,that is, you can whip out the inner bowl when the jelly is set, and the clingfilm will pe..e..e..e..e..el off the set jelly.

  20. Thanks Lynne. If I ever attempt this dessert I will try your method.

  21. It's quite an unusual name isn't it? But people usually write their own names inside. I'd love to see her signature. My copy is an original Penguin illustrated by David Gentleman price 3/6. Persephone used his cover as the endpapers.

  22. I love not camping too. In fact, I've never camped. They told me early on in life that there would be no hairdryers and that was that.

    Your photos are beautiful, and that is ever such an elegant book (that everyone has except me), the sort you'd wonder whether to keep pristine or sprinkle lightly with flour to impress guests.

  23. That Florence White book looks fantastic, Sue. I think I shall be ordering it in the near future. I like to hold on to the British side of me when living in France.

  24. I think cooking from old recipe books must be a bit like knitting using a vintage pattern, a little unfamiliar at times, and you're expected to know certain things because they were previously passed down through generations. Very interesting. And I'm pleased it worked out well! Vanessa xxx

  25. I now have book envy and I need to rush out and buy that! I love the ham loaf recipe and also your post about apples,I agree totally ~ English apples are the best, I bring them back to France with me!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage
    PS: My quince tree is laden this year......

  26. Ham loaf looks great! I'm always on the look-out for adult meals that Eldest, who finds chewing meat hard, can enjoy as well.

    Often I end up cooking for us and then putting bits of hers in the mini-chopper.

  27. I'll try to find that book, since I just recently moved to England and have yet to discover its good things. :)


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