Wednesday, 2 January 2019

100 Years of Food - 2018

This is the final post in this series about a Centenary celebration event held at the Northumberland Federation of the Women's Institute back in September 2018 (can I string these things out or what?).

Sue and Dorothy figured that the phrase 'Eat the Rainbow' is the biggest 'fad' of today, that is being more aware of the nutritional value in food and of the public health push for '5 a Day'. 

She made us a lovely vegetable salad with 'oak leaf' lettuce she had grown herself (green at the base but red on the tips), spinach leaves, water cress, chopped fennel, raw julienne-cut beetroot, baby corn, French breakfast radishes (mild), asparagus (cooked 2 minutes then plunged into ice water), orange and yellow bell peppers and "bell drop" cherry tomatoes. The dressing was made with pomegranate in two parts walnut oil to one part white vinegar, salt & pepper. On top of the salad were pan fried skinless salmon steaks.

As you know, after watching all this astonishing cookery / lecture, we were treated to lunch. In addition to the dishes I've described, we also had two kinds of homemade bread on offer along with with two flavours of butter (lemon and parsley, chive and parmesan). There was enough of each dish to get at least a generous spoonful of each, sometimes more. 

I thought it was excellent value for money and will look forward to any other presentations or feasts they offer.


Unknown said...

What strikes me about this series of posts is that the dishes used to illustrate the food fad at the time generally become less stodgy and possibly less calorific over time. Given the obesity crisis, I guess that many people have lost or never developed the knowledge or skill to prepare their meals from fresh ingredients and have therefore lost out on the pleasure gained by doing so.

Shelley said...

Hi Vivien - Happy New Year!
I'd not thought about the content of the food so much but you are right. I think in the past 100 years food has changed a lot. In the early part of the 20th century food was expensive and people were thin. Portions were small, much of it was home-grown and stodgy foods - white stuff / carbohydrates - were used to fill in the gap of calorific need. I have a home ec text from the 1930s that explains protein as a muscle builder, fruit and veg as 'protective' and carbohydrate/sugar as a source of energy. People cooked from scratch back then but as the food processing industry grew food got less healthy and people got larger. Advertising has convinced people that cooking is really hard and time consuming. I know even quite educated people who believe this, amazingly. And if I cooked the more complicated recipes in some of my cookbooks I might agree. As it is, I make it up as I go, throwing in what I have on hand. It's not gourmet, but we like it fine.