Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The CWA rides again

A few months back I posted about one of my favourite cookbooks - The CWA Cookery Book and Household Hints. I always enjoy browsing through this book. It's a bit like a time capsule for a bygone era. Like this for example:

Tea cosy hint - chamois leather is a great retainer of heat. If you have any spare pieces, join them together and use to line your tea cosy. You will find your tea will keep warm for much longer.

Even better is the section on invalid cooking which includes such delicious treats as raw liver juice. I can totally see the logic in this. I mean invalids can be a lot of trouble. If anything is going to get them out of bed proclaiming their health to the world surely it's the threat of raw liver juice. For some reason the recipe says that it must be served in a ruby glass. Is this a red glass or is it something else? Maybe it's particularly good at disguising its contents from the poor sap who is going to have to drink it.

So anyway, whenever I browse through this book there's a few recipes that I return to again and again because they just sound so absolutey awful. And this makes me wonder. Is it just me? I mean someone obviously thought highly enough of these recipes to write them down and put them in a book. Am I just a food snob? Have tastes changed so much since my grandparents generation?

There was only one thing to do. I would have to make some of these recipes and actually taste them. After all how do you really know unless you give it a go, right.

What was clear was that I was not going to go through this alone. And clearly the bigger the reference sample the more accurate the outcome. So I blackmailed, errrr coerced, errrr volunteered two gullible, errrr dear friends for a taste testing fiesta.

At the risk of retribution from redoubtable CWA ladies, anonymity was granted and they asked to be known as Kevin07 and Collingwood Forever. This will immediately alert Australian readers as to the quality of my social circle. For non-Australians explanations are provided at the end of the post.

So let's get to it.

Dish no.1 - Mock Brains

This dish is made up of left over porridge mixed with diced onions, flour, egg, salt and pepper and then panfried. Mocking seems to a singular trait from the first half of last century. Nobody except my sister's mother-in-law seems to bother with it anymore.

Kevin 07

What did you like: the crusty bits on the outside.

What didn't you like: the kinda gluey lumpy bits on the inside.

Overall opinion: surprisingly edible, but I can't say I would trample over a vegemite sandwich to get to it.

Collingwood Forever

What did you like: it tasted much better than expected.

What didn't you like: it's called mock brains.

Overall opinion: not too bad at all. It would be good with tomato sauce. I'd eat it again.


What did you like: it really tasted not bad. Kind of like heavy fritters.

What didn't you like: it was a bit heavy and kind of gluey.

Overall opinion: it exceeded expectations, but I won't be making it again anytime soon or ever.

Dish no.2 - Sausages Jellied

Now this dish is made up of cold cooked sausages set into milky beef broth jelly. Obviously, this was a way of using up left over sausages. Why not just reheat them I ask.


What did you like: the plate it was served on and the lettuce was fresh.

What didn't you like: oh the cold, hard, fatty sausages, the clammy jelly, the taste, shall I go on.

Overall opinion: if it was the only thing in the whole house, it was pouring rain, the phone was out and the car was broken, I still wouldn't eat it again.

Collingwood Forever

What did you like: [complete silence]

What didn't you like: oooooh everything.

Overall opinion: dog food gone wrong!!!


What did you like: i've got nothing here.

What didn't you like: Everything.

Overall opinion: it was truly awful. Really, it was. I can think of a million better ways to use up sausages.

If I didn't know better, I would swear that this was a photo of sausages sitting in a tray of solidified fat.

Dish no. 3 - Chocolate Jelly

So this dish is basically a thin chocolate custard made with cocoa, mixed into a packet of made up jelly crystals. Sprinkled with coconut for a touch of exotica.


What did you like: well it wasn't horrible.

What didn't you like: the chocolate taste was a bit nondescript. It was kinda watery.

Overall opinion: it's kind of a poverty stricken man's panacotta.

Collingwood Forever

What did you like: after the jellied sausages, it's nectar

What didn't you like: is it supposed to be chocolate?

Overall opinion: meh!


What did you like: it had a nice soft texture for a jelly.

What didn't you like: the chocolate custard flavour was a bit weak, so it tasted kind of watery.

Overall Opinion: It has potential. But then again, why not just make a chocolate panacotta.

So what do I conclude from this little experiment. There are lots of excellent recipes in the CWA Cookbook. These are not three of them. Our tastes have moved on, and really we are spoiled by endless choices and cheap, high quality and abundant produce. Lucky us.

Thanks to may panel. I appreciate your time served, errrr assistance


Kevin07 is the campaign slogan for the current leader of the opposition Kevin Rudd, a kind of round chubby faced school boy kind of a person. An election will be called any day now, and there is a very real possibility that he will be our next Prime Minister. You can even buy a Kevin07 t-shirt.

Collingwood is an Australian Rules Football team. They lost in the semi-finals a few weeks ago. Collingwood Forever did not take it well.


At 12:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oH this is too funny! You are so brave to try these recipes and kudos to your tasters they are pretty brave too!

At 7:30 am, Blogger Deborah said...

You 3 are VERY brave!! I don't think I would have even been brave enough to try that second one...

At 11:57 am, Blogger Anh said...

KJ, you are super brave. I don't think I will ever try these recipes... But you are right about how tastes have changed from generation to generation!

At 7:18 am, Blogger Cottage Smallholder said...

This is a real fun post. It made me laugh! Sounds like the sort of cooking I was raised on in the fifties. Nostalgia doesn't get a look in...

At 1:03 pm, Blogger Cynthia said...

Hi KJ, I like this review :) honest, funny and to the point.

I want to thank you very much for stopping by my blog. It is a pleasure to discover yours. I do hope you come back and visit when you can.

I'll email you the foo-foo recipe.

At 7:59 pm, Blogger Kelly-Jane said...

Raw liver juice? jellies sausages?

Great experiment, and such fun to read, thanks to you and your panel:) You are spot on when you say tastes have changed ...thankfully!

At 7:54 am, Blogger KJ said...

Hi Veron, Deborah and Anh, we had to psych ourselves up a little bit to try the jellied sausages. That was the worst.

Hi Fiona, having tried these recipes I understand.

Hi Cynthia, thank you for sending me foo foo. I will be trying it soon. I will definitely be visiting your blog again, it always so interesting.

Hi Kelly-Jane, yes I'm grateful we have moved on as well.

At 9:57 am, Blogger Dharm said...

I was laughing quite hard!! Brought back great memories of my Aussie days! "Good Ol Collingwood forever...." although I'm actually a Roos supporter and they had to lose to Port Adelaide. Silly buggers!!

At 11:17 am, Blogger Kirsten said...

Hi there KJ,

I am literally in PAIN I was laughing so hard, I mean crying and shaking kind of laughing.

This is tremendous good fun and a great reminder of how we are so lucky to not live in an era where this kind of food would appear (normally).

Love your blog!


At 6:00 pm, Blogger Shella said...

I am bowled over by the sausage jelly.


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