Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Oven Blast From The Past

It's been a big food week and it's not over yet. Why is that when you really go off the rails you stop and eat them as well? I started the morning with a trip to a very good baker who for the cost of a small imported hatchback filled my bag with fruit buns, banana bread and of course, macaroons. Lunch was a wagyu burger and fries at a very good cafe who for the price of an economy seat to Bali were able to provide me with just enough protein to get me through my red meat objectives for the week. Food is never far off my mind but eventually the need to cook my own food arises and I stare into the window of my brand new modern oven like I stare into the Myer Christmas windows. The food on display in my oven window is on the cover of the oven manual all glossy in a clear plastic bag with shiny metal attachments that look like they belong to a gynecologist. I flick through my new modern oven cookbook and marvel at the list of contents described as Fresh Starts, Main Attractions and Saucy Extras. My life feels more enhanced already. Whilst the All Appliance Round Up section tells me about the latest technology of thermo fans and static grills the cookbook section looks somewhat stale and stuck in a time warp. Kedgeree on page sixteen is a clue and goes back to an era of early morning champagne and tennis matches before the 1920 stock market crashed and the plate of pan-fried veal with a carved grapefruit in the middle complete with red cherry on top are a dead giveaway. This oven might be 2009 but these recipes belong in another era. The oriental vegetables are no more than mushrooms, a few bean sprouts with a dash of soy sauce and a Dean Martin record playing in the background. This cookbook is as retro as a wood platter of coon squares and a maraschino cherry on a toothpick. I wonder if the Saucy Extras section includes placing your car keys in a salad bowl and going home with your neighbour? The picture on page fifty nine shows us that we can fit in a roast turkey, baked ham, rack of lamb and vegetables all at once in the oven. Actually now that I think of it I'm not really that hungry, might just pop my oven manual back where I found it. I'm thinking of being a vegetarian tomorrow.


  1. Please tell me the ham is glazed with a pineapple ring on top!

  2. Oven cookbooks are the same the world over I suspect. I think it's time we wrote to the companies and demanded a recipe upgrade. Who has time to make kedgeree and baked hams these days anyway?

  3. Be wary of any oven with a pineapple ring on top. If you have time to glaze hams then you have time to darn socks and knit tea cosies and probably are in a later stage of life when you can't tell the difference between a glazed sock and a darned ham.