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Old-school dinner recipes

School dinners are back can i wash my canada goose coat on the menu in many restaurants around the canada goose coat 0f UK, but do you fancy recreating bright yellow cheese flans or, joy of all joys, pink custard in your own home? Now you can, because a charming new book by Becky Thorn explains how to create those long – or should that be best – forgotten flavours (and colours). And once we’ve awakened those memories from your school days, do share them on the food blog, where we’re celebrating with jelly and ice-cream.

Sausage plait

School cooks worked on the amazon canada goose parka principle, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. In other words, they fed us meals that were familiar and which they thought were good for us. The lack of choice was not seen as a problem: they were providing a meal and if we didn’t eat it we could always become a ‘home dinner’. Broccoli visit, so frequently fed to children now, was nowhere to be seen, sweetcorn came on the cob and beans were runners or baked. The sausage plait was the first meal to push the boundaries a little. Without question this is simply a sausage roll on steroids. It followed the same basic principle of a pastry case surrounding a sausage interior, but with a few added extras. Including mushrooms was possibly even considered a little racy at the time. Again, sausage plait was always, and inexplicably, served with tinned tomatoes and mash. If the mushrooms were bordering on exotic what they added next was almost unheard of. I am sure this was the first time I ever came across bell peppers or, as our school cook very correctly called them when we pointed and asked ‘What’s that?’, capsicums.

500g good-quality plain sausages or sausage meat 2 large flat mushrooms, sliced and diced 1 onion, diced 1 egg, beaten 1/2 a red pepper, finely choppedPepper and salt 1 /2 tsp mustard powder1 tsp tomato puree 1 tbsp oil Shortcrust pastry

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. In a frying pan heat the oil and add the diced onion. Cook until the onion is softened and has begun to turn golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Leave to cool for a few moments. Roll out a 25cm by 20cm rectangle of pastry. Put this on to a baking sheet.

Place the sausage meat into a large bowl. If you are using sausages split the skins and ease out the sausage meat into a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper; add the mustard powder and tomato puree. Add in the diced red peppers, cooled onion and mushrooms. Using your hands mix together well and place lengthways in the middle of the pastry rectangle.

Cut strips 2cm wide in a feather pattern down either side of the pastry. Fold alternating strips across the sausage mixture from top to bottom. Tuck in and tidy the first and canada goose coat $5000 no credit check signature loans last strips, trimming where needed. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. If the pastry is browning too quickly, cover with a piece of foil.

This is lovely eaten cold or at room temperature in the garden on a sunny evening. Please feel free to ignore the previous serving suggestion of tinned toms and mash. I prefer a watercress salad and glass of cold white wine, and so may you!

Jam roly-poly

It is a little-known fact that small children believe they are made from rubber. This has led to children in playgrounds up and down the land contorting their bodies in an unimaginable number of ways. This party trick would be shared first with friends and, if good enough, audiences would be gathered to ‘ooh’, ‘aah’ and generally be revolted. Anyone who best replica canada goose jacket was ‘double-jointed’ would point fingers in strange directions and make their thumbs touch their forearms with ease. Some children could skip using their arms instead of ropes. As we moved closer to Halloween older boys would turn their eyelids inside out to scare the younger children. Rarely, best price for canada goose jacket buy a canada goose jacket these party pieces would result in an accident and true to gruesome form we would all have a good look at the injury before summoning help. Jam roly-poly always looked like one of these playground accidents but it didn’t bother us much. In fact, it was often given a blood-curdling nickname to match.

What a pudding jam roly-poly was: it was as capable of keeping you warm as a balaclava helmet and mittens on strings. Volcanically hot jam tempered by the soft suet crust and the ever-present custard. Occasionally the syrup sponge roll would make an appearance just in case we began to feel our sugar levels drop.

75g suet 150g flour 1tsp baking powder Cold water 4 tbsp seedless jam (raspberry or strawberry)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Using a round-bladed knife mix together the dry ingredients. Adding a little water at a time bring together the mixture to form a soft dough. Use your hands to lift the mixture from the bowl and shape gently into a buy a canada goose jacket ball. Roll or pat out the dough until it is a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches or 20 by 30cm.

Spread the dough with the jam. Dampen the edges with water or milk. Roll the dough into a log shape and place in a lightly buttered baking tin. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until risen and golden. Serve with lashings of custard and extra warmed jam if so desired.

For a steamed or baked syrup sponge roll substitute the jam for the same quantity of golden syrup. Into the golden syrup add a couple of tablespoons of fresh white breadcrumbs. This helps the syrup to stay put in the roll and not escape all over the baking tray when heated.

Pink custard

Rumours are what kept the children talking in the playground. Actually they kept the staff talking too, but usually those rumours often concerned much baser facts. I think I have already mentioned squirrel canada goose coat 1000 calorie a day meal plan and kangaroo meat being used for the meat pies. Other ‘facts’ were that cauliflower was really brains and that anything green and mushy had to be made from snot or bogeys. So many rumours in fact that every playground had their own version of the following rhyme:

Scab and puss custard, Snot and bogey pie, All mixed up with a dead dog’s eye Stir it up, mash it up, eat it up quick, All washed down with a cup of cold sick

The stuff of more glorious legends as far as the school meal was concerned was pink custard. Lurid in colour, luscious in texture and loved almost universally, pink custard made a simple iced sponge into a proper pudding. In researching this recipe some have spoken of alchemy and others of food colouring and strawberry flavouring, but I have discovered the truth (I think). As with best price canada goose parka most truths it is very simple and uncomplicated and I will share it with you. Pink custard is just unset warm blancmange.

1 pint milk, plus a little extra if needed 1 packet pink blancmange mix (strawberry and raspberry both work equally well) 2 or 3 tbs sugar to taste

In a heat-proof bowl empty the contents of a blancmange packet. Add the sugar and two or three tablespoons from the pint of milk and mix to a paste. Heat the remaining milk in a pan until warm but not boiling. Pour a little of this milk on to the paste and give it a really good mix. Pour this bright pink goo into the warmed milk and then bring to the boil. Keep stirring as it has a tendency to catch and burn if your mind wanders for a second. Simmer for about a minute. If the custard is very thick add a little more milk to thin it down. It should be poured over the sponge and not sliced! Serve with iced vanilla sponge or chocolate sponge. Any leftovers can be kept and served cold the next day. N.B. This is a rare event!

• These recipes are taken from School Dinners by Becky Thorn (Portico, £9.99). Buy the book here

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