Last month I found a snazzy cookery supplement Woman’s Weekly: Bacon Cookery from 1958 in an antique store in Lyme Regis, Dorset. It caught my eye – I am not sure how anyone could fail not to notice it in all its cholesterol-inducing Technicolor – it is vintage cookery, 1950s and I had to buy it. The supplement is 9th in a series commissioned by Woman’s Weekly magazine and the booklet was produced in association with the Bacon Information Council. It accompanied the September 27th, 1958 issue of Woman’s Weekly. So why not unleash your inner suburban housewife and get cooking this weekend, 1950s style.
Bacon Stuffed Tomatoes
5 rounded tablespoonfuls of cooked, minced bacon; 5 rounded tablespoonfuls of freshly made white breadcrumbs; 6 large tomatoes; 1 egg; 2 rounded dessertspoonfuls of chopped watercress; salt and pepper.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the centre and the seeds of each one and put them on one sie. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Mix the minced bacon, breadcrumbs and chopped watercress together. Beat the egg and add this to them with just enough juice from the tomatoes to moisten the mixture. Season it with salt, if necessary, and pepper. Stuff the tomatoes not too tightly with the filling. Replace the tops at an angle. Bake them in a moderately hot oven, Regulo Mark 5 or 375 degrees, for twenty minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the tomatoes. Serve the tomatoes on a hot dish.
Bacon and Apple Salad
3 rashers of streaky bacon, 2 rosy dessert apples, 1/2 firm-centred cabbage.
For the French Dressing:
2 tablespoonful of salad oil, 1 tablespoonful of vinegar, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar
Remove any discoloured leaves from the cabbage, wash it well, then dry and shred it. Wash and polish the skins of the apples and cut them into quarters, cut out the cores and slice the apple quarters fairly finely. Mix half the slices of apple with the cabbage. Mix the vinegar with a good pinch of salt, pepper and sugar, then gradually beat in the salad oil. Toss the cabbage and apple in this dressing, then heap it into a shallow bowl. Cut the rind off the bacon and remove any little pieces of bone. Cut the bacon into thin strips, and fry them briskly stirring all the time, till they are crisp and brown. Heap them on top of the salad. Surround the bacon with the remaining slices of apple.
Bacon Chops with Arnot Sauce
4 bacon chops, cut between half and threequarters of an inch thick; 1/2 oz bacon fat or dripping; 1 medium-sized onion, chopped finely; 1/4 lb mushroom stalks or mushrooms; 1/2 oz plain flour; 4 tablespoonfuls of cider; 2 tablespoonfuls of water; 2 teaspoonfuls Worcester sauce; 2 teaspoonfuls of mushroom ketchup; pepper; 2 tablespoonfuls of single cream.
For the Garnish:
Creamed potatoes; brussel sprouts – fresh or quick-frozen.
Cut the rind off the chops and put them into a pan with cold water to cover them. Bring them slowly to the boil without a lid, then simmer for three minutes, skimming the surface when necessary. Meanwhile, melt the dripping in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and fry it gently until it is soft and lightly browned. Wash and chop the mushroom stalks or mushrooms, add them to the onion and fry them for a few seconds. Sprinkle in the flour, then add the cider, water, Worcester sauce and mushroom ketchup. Season the sauce with pepper, then bring it to the boil. Lay the chops in an oven-proof dish and spoon the sauce over them. Cover the dish with a lid and put it into a fairly hot oven, Regulo Mark 6 or 400 degrees for ten minutes then reduce the heat to Regulo Mark 4 or 350 degrees for another half an hour. Fill a forcing bag – with a large star pipe attached – with hot, creamed potato and pipe a bed of potato in the centre of a hot dish. Arrange the chops on the potato so that they overlap slightly. Pipe stars of potato round one side of the dish. Stir the cream into the Arnot sauce and season it again, if necessary – it is unlikely to require salt. Pour the sauce across the chops. Heap the hot Brussels sprouts round the other side of the dish.
4 rashers of streaky bacon; 4 eggs; 4 oz mushrooms; 2 large tomatoes; 4 spring onions or 1 small onion; 1 oz butter; salt and pepper; 3 plain soft rolls split, toasted and spread with butter; 2 tablespoonfuls of milk.
Break the eggs into a bowl, beat them well with a fork, then add the milk. Peel the tomatoes and cut them into quarters, remove the seeds and slice the tomato quarters, remove the seeds and add them to the egg mixture. Wash and slice the mushrooms and chop the onions rather finely. Put the butter into a saucepan and when it has melted, add the onions and mushrooms and fry them for a few minutes over a gentle heat, stirring all the time. Stir them into the egg mixture, adding a good pinch of salt and pepper. Put the mixture back into the pan and stir it over a gentle heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of soft scrambled egg. Meanwhile, cut the rind off the bacon and cut the rashers in half, lengthways. Elongate them under a knife, then grill them for a few minutes. Arrange the buttered rolls on a dish and pour the piperade down the centre. Garnish the dish with a trellis of strips of grilled bacon.