Book of Cold Life


Had a go at the Not-Beef-Stew recipe by Somer, which was rather fab, to the point that I’ve had to freeze the remainder of it so I don’t keep nicking bits from the tupperware container in the fridge. Additionally, one of my work-colleagues has very kindly given me some old vegetarian cookbooks, as he was having a bit of a clear-out.


These are of 1970s/1980s vintage and are therefore somewhat worthy, and a bit hilarious from the modern point of view, terribly spoilt as we are by the incredible range of foods and cultural influences available in 2013 Britain. Look, The Brown Rice Cookbook!!


(Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wholegrains, but seriously, an entire cookbook devoted to brown rice…!)

Plus photography so 1970s that you can practically taste the flared trousers and wife-swapping parties….


I think “Cooking without Meat” (publ. 1973! I wasn’t even born in 1973!) is likely to be the more useful of the two; it does a lot of stocks and sauces and side dishes and bits and pieces that could be easily adapted or added to the dishes I do now. Watch this space! “Vegetarian Dinner Parties” (1983) is an interesting Cold War museum piece, but most of the dishes are already vegetarian standards, if not cliches, so I’m keeping it just for amusement value. It’s divided up by chapters on the various vegetarian world cuisines, and I have a nasty feeling that most of the “Eastern European” section concerns countries that unfortunately no longer exist…..!

All this literary criticism has left me little time to do much cooking of my own, so here’s a cheap and easy cliche of my own, especially when the local supermarket is doing two large tins of the main ingredient for a quid….sweetcorn fritters.


Sweetcorn fritters

75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
One egg, beaten
150ml milk, or soy milk
1 tin sweetcorn, drained
3 finely chopped spring onions

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. You may wish to add some other ingredients; a few finely chopped black olives or mushroom, grated cheese, chopped vegetarian ham etc.
Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
Heat olive or vegetable oil in a pan, and add a decent spoonful of the mixture to the oil for each fritter.
Fry on each side until golden-brown, then place on kitchen towel on a dish to drain off the excess oil.


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