Wembley, 1966

WembleyThis weekend, a mere 900 years since the Norman invasion, sees the commemoration of one of this country’s finest ever achievements in the realms of international success – namely the winning of the World Cup in 1966 against Germany at Wembley Stadium!

Eagle Annual 1966England Win 1bIn a year when England achieved the unique and unenviable double of leaving Europe (European Cup and Union) twice in one week, the archive comes to the fore with an article from the 1966 England Win 1aedition of The Eagle boys annual.

Now the annual, in the age old tradition of such volumes  was published in time to be a boys Christmas present in the previous year of 1965. It has, therefore, no knowledge of the result.

England Win 2 Various pundits are arrayed to give their views on the subject with some rather interesting images.

In our current age of instantaneous information and immediate reaction it may seem strange that such a England 2delay should be built in, but then it would naturally heighten the enthusiasm and add to the build-up of tension.

England 4For the occasion BBC radio will be broadcasting the entire match-day commentary towards the end of July which will doubtless be available on the iplayer beyond that.

England 5Being at the time a mere whippersnapper of a thing in short trousers (or was it nappies? it was a very long time ago!) my memory of the event is vague but I have been reliably informed that my father, not on the whole a wealthy man hired a new-fangled colour TV for the entire month!
England Team 1966Such extravagance! But it was a good game by all accounts!

Fred by Fiddy


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English Regional Cookery

Good Housekeeping, May 1935

OECC 1The regional cookery of England, a subject close to my heart as readers of this blog will know, is presented here in an article from Good Housekeeping magazine in a novel and fun format.

As the writer suggests, it would make for a fascinating image, even in its black and white format, to adorn a wall in either the kitchen or dining room.

Good Housekeeping, July 1935

My own blogs on the Counties Of England will, hopefully, provide recipes for the numerous recipes on the map. These can be found by following the relevant link on the title bar (above)


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Radio – The Original ‘Wireless’ Device

Radio 1Given the choice between television or radio I would favour radio any day of the week.

I grew up with the classic comedy series such as the Goons, Tony Hancock, Round the Horne, The Navy Lark and I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again to name but a few. I have even been known to drop into the BBC iPlayer on occasion just listen to some of the classics.

But be that as it may, the ‘wireless’ has a place in the history of the last century as the gathering and dissemination of news and the coverage of world events became faster and more efficient.

Radio iRadio is the technology of using radio waves to carry information, such as sound, by Radio 2systematically modulating some property of electromagnetic energy waves transmitted through space, such as their amplitude, frequency, phase, or pulse width.

When radio waves strike an electrical conductor, the oscillating fields induce an alternating current in the conductor.

The information in the waves can be extracted and transformed back into its original form.

Radio 3Radio-Times 1923The use of ‘radio’ as a standalone word dates back to at least December 30, 1904, when instructions issued by the British Post Office for transmitting telegrams specified that Radio-Times 1951“The word ‘Radio’… is sent in the Service Instructions”.

This practice was universally adopted, and the word ‘radio’ introduced internationally, by the 1906 Berlin Radiotelegraphic Convention, which included a Service Regulation specifying that “Radiotelegrams shall show in the Radio-Times 1939preamble that the service is ‘Radio'”

Radio 4The switch to ‘radio‘ in place of ‘wireless’ took place slowly and unevenly in the Radio-Times 1937English-speaking world.

Lee de Forest helped popularize the new word in the United States.

In early 1907 he founded the de Forest Radio Telephone Radio-Times 1977Company, and his letter in the June 22, 1907 Electrical World about the need for legal restrictions warned that “Radio chaos will certainly be the result until such stringent regulation is enforced”.

Radio eThe United States Navy would also play a role. Although its translation of the 1906 Berlin Convention used the Radio-Times 1969terms ‘wireless telegraph’ and ‘wireless telegram’, by 1912 it began to promote the use of “radio” instead.

Radio cThe term started to become preferred by the general public in the 1920s with the introduction of broadcasting.

Radio-Times 1966Did you know that the term ‘Broadcasting’ is based upon an agricultural term meaning roughly ‘scattering seeds widely’?

Radio abBritish Commonwealth countries continued to commonly use the term ‘wireless’ until the mid-20th century, though the magazine of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the UK has been called Radio Times since its founding in the early 1920s.

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The Art Of Feathering

Stork - image 1These images and recipes come from the booklet shown opposite which dates back to somewhere about the late fifties.

Despite being a promotional tool for Stork margarine it nevertheless contains some interesting insights into what would then have been basic home baking techniques.

Gateau cHere can be seen a good example of a ‘feathered’ gateau.

It consists of a simple sandwich cake, very simply presented, the feathering being a feature rather than the main ingredient.

The same principle is used to decorate the biscuits below.


Gateau bFeather Biscuits a


Feathered Biscuits c






Feather Biscuits b


The images (right) show in good detail the actual technique involved in both cases.

The icing can be of any two contrasting colours depending upon the occasion or whim!

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A Taste Of Empire – Gibraltar

Gibraltar - FlagGibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian peninsula and shares its northern border with SpaGibraltar - Armsin.

The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg pretender to the Spanish throne. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain “in perpetuity” under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

The British Empire - MapDuring World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea. Today Gibraltar’s economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services, and shipping.

The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention as Spain asserts a claim to the territory.Gibraltarians’ overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002.

gibraltar-aerial 2

The Rock Of Gibraltar

Gibraltar continues to govern its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom.

Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) and during the Crimean War (1854 – 56), due to its strategic location. Its strategic value increased with the opening of the Suez Canal, as it lay on the sea route between the UK and the British Empire east of Suez. In the later 19th century, there were major investments in improving the fortifications and the port.

Some Gibraltarians’

During World War II, Gibraltar’s civilian population was evacuated (mainly to London, but also to parts of Morocco, Madeira and Jamaica) and the Rock was strengthened as a fortress.

Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s reluctance to allow the German Army onto Spanish soil frustrated a German plan to capture the Rock, code-named Operation Felix. In the 1950s, Franco renewed Spain’s claim to sovereignty over Gibraltar and restricted movement between Gibraltar and Spain.

gibraltar-logo-620x349Gibraltarians’ voted overwhelmingly to remain under British sovereignty in the Gibraltar sovereignty referendum, which led to the passing of the Gibraltar Constitution Order in 1969.

In response, Spain completely closed the border with Gibraltar and severed all communication links. The border with Spain was partially reopened in 1982 and fully reopened in 1985 before Spain’s accession to the European Community.

gibraltar-aerialGibraltarian cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Andalusian Spaniards and the British, as well as the many foreigners who made Gibraltar their home over the past three centuries. The culinary influences include those from Malta, Genoa, Portugal, Andalusia and Britain. This marriage of tastes has given Gibraltar an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and British cuisine.

Rosto is a popular local pasta dish consisting of penne in a tomato sauce with beef or occasionally pork, mushrooms and carrots (among other vegetables depending on family tradition) and topped with grated “queso bola“. The origin of its name is unknown, however, one theory is that it comes from the Italian arrosto (English: roasting) as similar dishes are eaten in Italy using roast pork instead.

Fideos al horno is a baked pasta dish very similar to Greek pastitsio which consists of macaroni, bolognese sauce, and various other ingredients including egg and bacon that vary according to family tradition. The macaroni is usually topped with a layer of grated cheese or béchamel that melts during the baking process and aids in binding. Even though the dish’s main ingredient is macaroni, the name fideos al horno is actually Spanish for ‘baked noodles’.

Gibraltar - CalentitaCalentita is a baked pancake-like dish, the Italian farinata, also known in Genoa as fainâ and in some Spanish-speaking countries as fainá. It is made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper. The word calentita is the informal diminutive of the Spanish word caliente, and means “nice and warm (or hot)”.

Panissa is a bread-like dish similar to the calentita. Sharing its Italian origins, it is a descendant of the Genoese dish with the same name. Unlike calentita the ingredients are first simmered in a saucepan for over an hour, stirring constantly, to form a paste which is then left to set. When the polenta-like dough is set, it is cut into small strips and fried in olive oil.

Bollo de hornasso is a sweet and dry bread similar to the Spanish hornazo. It is made with self-raising flour, sugar, eggs, butter or margarine and aniseed. Bollos de hornasso are eaten around Easter just as in Spain, but in Gibraltar they are also popular during Christmas. Gibraltarian hornassos can normally be distinguished from the original Spanish hornazo as they do not tend to be decorated with hard-boiled eggs. It usually glazed with beaten egg and sometimes decorated with hundreds and thousands.

 Pan dulce is a sweet fruit and nut Christmas bread. The term pan dulce means “sweet bread” in Spanish, but its origins may lie in Italy with the Genoese pandolce or Portuguese sweet bread. Its main ingredients can include lard, margarine, sugar, self-raising flour, blanched almonds, raisins, sultanas, pine nuts, candied peel, eggs, aniseed and anisette among others. It is sometimes decorated with hundreds and thousands just like the bollo de hornasso.

Rolitos are thin slices of beef wrapped around a mixture of bread-crumbs, bacon, eggs, olives, vegetables and herbs. These can be baked, fried or cooked in wine. Rolitos is another dish of Maltese origin, similar to braġjoli. It is also known as beef olives in English, even though some families prefer making them with pork or even chicken.

Profiteroles are filled choux pastry balls with a typically sweet filling of whipped cream, custard or pastry cream. They are usually garnished with chocolate sauce. The initial meaning of the name profiterole is unknown, but it later came to mean a kind of roll ‘baked under the ashes’. Profiteroles are the national dish of Gibraltar, meaning they are often served during festivals and celebrations.

Gibraltar - JaponesaJaponesa (English: Japanese lady) is a sweet fried doughnut filled with a custard-like cream. Japonesas are usually enjoyed at teatime or as a snack. They are traditionally coated in syrup or granulated sugar. The name is a reference to Japanese Dorayaki cakes which are similarly shaped and also have a sweet filling.

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Chilling Out

KelvinatorThe preservation of food in a clean and healthy, or fit to eat, state is a relatively new concept.

It didn’t really become an issue until the beginning of the industrial era when the mass migration of the workforce from a country to a town environment meant that as the home grew smaller, larders and clean storage spaces soon began to disappear.

Frigidaire 2In order to house a growing urban population, the Victorians began the trend of creating a ‘safe food’ environment but initially only amongst the upper layers of society.

Poverty was poverty after all and if such was your lot, then hard cheese in more senses than one. To grow successfully bacteria needs four things : food, (the food itself) warmth(+ cooking, – chilling and freezing) moisture (drying, curing, salting) and air or oxygen (canning, vaccuum packing)

ElectroluxDepriving them of one or more of the four will slow their growth and therefore their ability to reproduce and thereby the production of the harmful toxins that can cause illness.

It has been argued that the fifth element required is time but since none of the four primary preserving methods will ensure safety over longer periods it is  unnecessary to mention.

Frigidaire 1The refrigerator and the freezer remove the warmth element and here are some early examples of advertisments  for the now ubiquitous ‘fridge’ taken from the Good Housekeeping (1929) volumes in the archive.

Please note that on the image to the left there is a quotation from that great epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.


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Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755-1826

Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin (1755 – 1826)

The name is a bit of a jaw-cracker but Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was probably the first food critic. Born in the town of Belley, where the Rhône River separates France from Savoy to a family of lawyers, he studied law, chemistry and medicine in Dijon in his early years and later practiced law in his hometown.

In 1789, at the opening of the French Revolution, he was sent as a deputy to the Estates-General that soon became the National Constituent Assembly, where he acquired some limited fame, particularly for a public speech in defence of capital punishment.

Gateau Savarin 2His father Marc Anthelme adopted his second surname in 1733 upon the death of an aunt named Savarin who left him her entire fortune on the condition that he adopt her name.

He returned to Belley and served as the elected mayor for a year. At a later stage of the Revolution there was a bounty declared on his head and he sought shelter in Switzerland with relatives’ in Moudon and then in the hôtel du Lion d’Argent in Lausanne.

He later moved to Holland, and then to the United States, where he stayed in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Hartford, living on the proceeds of giving French and violin lessons. For a time he was first violin in the Park Theatre in New York.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-SavarinHe returned to France under the Directory in 1797 and acquired the magistrate post he would hold for the remainder of his life, as a judge of the Court of Cessation.

 “Grimod and Brillat-Savarin: Between them, two writers effectively founded the whole genre of the gastronomic essay.”

He published several works on law and political economy. He remained a bachelor, but not a stranger to love, which he counted the sixth sense: his inscription of the Physiologie to his beautiful cousin Juliette Récamier reads

“Madam, receive kindly and read indulgently the work of an old man. It is a tribute of a friendship which dates from your childhood, and, perhaps, the homage of a more tender feeling . . . How can I tell? At my age a man no longer dares interrogate his heart.”

Gateau Savarin 3His famous work, Physiologie du Goût, ou Méditations de Gastronomie Transcendante; ouvrage théorique, historique et à l’ordre du jour, dédié aux Gastronomes parisiens, par un Professeur, membre de plusieurs sociétés littéraires et savantes or The Physiology of Taste was published in December 1825. The book has not been out of print since it first appeared, shortly before Brillat-Savarin’s death.

Père-Lachaise - Division 28 - Brillat-SavarinFood writer and critic M. F. K. Fisher, who first translated the work into English, first published in 1949, remarked “I hold myself blessed among translators.”

Besides Latin, Brillat-Savarin had five other languages and when the occasion arose he wasn’t shy of utilising them. The philosophy of Epicurus lies at the back of every page of the Physiologie. The simplest meal satisfied Brillat-Savarin, as long as it was executed with artistry:

 “Those persons who suffer from indigestion, or who become drunk, are utterly ignorant of the true principles of eating and drinking.”

The savarin mould, a ring mould with a rounded contour, and Gâteau Savarin are named in his honour. His reputation was revitalized among modern gastronomes in many parts of the world, by his influence over Chairman Kaga of the TV series “Iron Chef” (Japan) which introduced to millions to his famous aphorism:

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”

Savarin Mould - miniBrillat-Savarin is often considered as the father of low-carbohydrate diet. He considered sugar and white flour to be the cause of obesity and he suggested instead protein-rich ingredients.

‘. . . sure enough, carnivorous animals never grow fat (consider wolves, jackals, birds of prey, crows, etc.). Herbivorous animals do not grow fat easily, at least until age has reduced them to a state of inactivity; but they fatten very quickly as soon as they begin to be fed on potatoes, grain, or any kind of flour . . . The second of the chief causes of obesity is the floury and starchy substances which man makes the prime ingredients of his daily nourishment. As we have said already, all animals that live on farinaceous food grow fat willy-nilly; and man is no exception to the universal law.’

Gateau Savarin 1‘Whoever receives friends and does not participate in the preparation of their meal does not deserve to have friends.’

An avid cheese lover, Brillat-Savarin remarked: “A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.”

“The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star.”

Savarin Cheese 2“A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. ‘Much obliged’, said he, pushing the plate aside, ‘I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills’.”

Savarin Cheese 1“To receive guests is to take charge of their happiness during the entire time they are under your roof.”

“Cooking is one of the oldest arts and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life.”

“The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.”

Savarin Cheese 3 Brillat-Savarin is France’s original triple cream Brie, created c.1890 as “Excelsior” or “Délice des gourmets” by the Dubuc family, near Forges-les-Eaux, and named after the writer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who had a passion for cheese. Brillat-Savarin was also a well respected politician, lawyer and gastronome. The cheese was named after him as a sign of respect for all that he had achieved for France.

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